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26 - Mar 3

March
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25 - 31

April
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22 - 28    29 - May 5

May
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27 - Jun 2

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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
September 16 - 22
Last Week   Next Week

 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s The Crew Cuts, a Canadian doo wop group, began a U.K. tour in 1955. The previous year, the group had a couple of top 10 hits with, Crazy ’Bout Ya Baby and Sh-boom. Following in 1955 were Earth Angel, Ko Ko Mo, A Story Untold and the current hit they were promoting, Gum Drop. They were one of the first white groups who covered songs by black artists and had hits with them. Sh-boom for example, was originally done by The Chords and Earth Angel was from The Penguins. Pat Boone and others were just as guilty for taking the soul out of recordings by black artists. Just ask Fats Domino and Little Richard who had their hits stolen on a regular basis.
 1950s Bill Haley was still a God in the U.K. in 1956. He had 5 songs in the top 30. (We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock and See You Later Alligator were back while The Saints Rock ‘n’ Roll, Rockin’ Through the Rye and Razzle Dazzle were already making waves. Only Rockin’ Through the Rye didn’t make the U.S. top 20 in the late 1950s. His popularity would soon fade though, as the rotund singer with the front hair curl was replaced in the hearts of fans by Elvis Presley.
 1960s This week in 1960, Hank Ballard and The Midnighters had the honour of being the first group to have three songs in the U.S. top 100 at the same time. Finger Poppin’ Time, Let’s Go Let’s Go Let’s Go and The Twist all made the top 30, with the former two songs making it into the top 10. Ballard had refused to perform The Twist on a “highly rated U.S. TV show,” so Chubby Checker picked it up at the insistence of Dick Clark. And Checker’s version of the song was number 1 this week in 1960. Less than 16 months later it climbed back up to number 1 for a second time.
 1960s Dusty Springfield (actually Mary O’Brien), brother Tom (Dion O’Brien) and their friend, Tim Feild (later replaced by Mike Longhurst-Pickworth), had their song, Silver Threads and Golden Needles, hit the top 20 in the U.S. in 1962. They were members of The Springfields, and were the first British vocal group to chart that high in America.
 1960s Gone Gone Gone was the song that The Everly Brothers sang on Shindig when the first show aired in 1964. Also on the show were Sam Cooke and The Righteous Brothers. Several months later, Shindig was expanded to a full hour from 30 minutes.
 1960s In 1966 Jimi Hendrix arrived in the U.K. with his new manager (and ex-bass player of The Animals), Chas Chandler. Hendrix would spend the next nine months touring and recording, after which he finally caught the attention of his home country and returned to play the Monterey International Pop Festival in California.
 1960s The Doors were banned from The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967 after Jim Morrison broke his agreement with the show's producers. Morrison said before the performance that he wouldn’t sing the words, “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher,” but did anyway. The Lizard King was constantly in trouble with authorities until he died in 1971.
 1970s The Beatles finally gave up their reign in 1970 as Best Group on Melody Maker’s annual poll. They had disbanded months earlier, and Led Zeppelin moved in to take over. Zep had released two amazing albums in 1969, and songs like You Shook Me, Dazed and Confused, Communication Breakdown, Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker, What is and What Should Never Be and Ramble On were already enough to grant any group superstar status.
 1970s Jimi Hendrix died on September 18th, 1970. He knew he was in trouble when he phoned his manager, Chas Chandler, and left the message, “I need help bad, man,” on Chandler’s answering machine. Two weeks earlier, Hendrix left a Denmark stage with the words, “I’ve been dead for a long time,” after he was poorly received. Three days after the death, Eric Burdon appeared on TV claiming that there was a suicide note. The last album released while Hendrix was still alive was 1970’s live album, Band of Gypsys.
 1970s Jim Croce died this week in 1973 in a plane crash. The Beechcraft D-18 hit a tree on take-off and 30 year old Croce, and five others died on the way to a Texas concert, their second of the day. Only a week before, Croce finished recording his third album, I Got a Name.
 1970s Barry White hit number 1 on the U.S. singles chart in 1974 with Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe. He had just turned 30 and had quite a history in the music business as a singer, songwriter, keyboardist, producer, arranger and recording artist. Some of his credits include studio work on I Fought the Law (with The Bobby Fuller Four), arranging Bob and Earl’s Harlem Shuffle and managing The Love Unlimited Orchestra.
 1970s David Bowie’s original version of Fame was number 1 back in 1975. The song was co-written with John Lennon. A new mix was released in 1990 titled, Fame ’90. It appeared on the Pretty Woman soundtrack, on his newly released, Changesbowie and in five different mixes on a CD single. The 1975 hit was from the Young Americans album. Fame was Bowie’s first number 1, his only other being 1983’s, Let’s Dance, at which point he did an about-face and became a follower of trends.
 1970s The Bay City Rollers performed their soon-to-be number 1 hit, Saturday Night, on U.S. television on the Saturday Night Variety Show in 1975. The song hit the top the first week of January. It was soon followed by another top 10 hit, Money Honey. Two years after Saturday Night they dropped off the charts. The Rollers were originally named The Saxons, back in 1967, but they didn’t have any real success until the early 1970s when Keep On Dancing made it to number 9 in the U.K. in 1971.
 1970s Marc Bolan (T. Rex) died in a car accident in 1977 on September 16th. Two days previously, Bing Crosby died of a heart attack. Strangely enough, both singers recorded duets with David Bowie (on separate occasions) just months before. And speaking of David Bowie duets, where is Freddie Mercury now? Under Pressure...
 1970s The No Nukes concert was held at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1979. Performers included Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, The Doobie Brothers, Poco, Tom Petty, Carly Simon, James Taylor and Bruce Springsteen. Protest-related songs such as The Times They Are A-Changin’, Teach Your Children and Get Together were featured. Unfortunately, Jackson Browne took fourteen years to move on from this cause, and his music suffered as a result, until 1993’s I’m Alive.
 1980s David Geffen formed his own record company this week in 1980. The business executive began as Laura Nyro’s manager in the late ’60s and then formed Asylum Records with Elliott Roberts in the early ’70s, signing Jackson Browne. After selling Asylum to Warner Brothers Records and working for them throughout the decade, he formed his own label, Geffen Records. Geffen immediately signed John Lennon and released the Double Fantasy album. Many other artists followed, including Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Asia, Eric Carmen, Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, Don Henley, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. By 1990, David Geffen had sold his label to MCA for shares in the company, and when they in turn were gobbled up by Matsushita, he became a billionaire. More recently, Geffen went into a partnership with Steven Spielberg, Mo Ostin and Jeffrey Katzenberg to form Dreamworks SKG Music.
 1980s Simon and Garfunkel reunited for a 1981 concert in New York’s Central Park on September 19th, eleven years after splitting up. Paul Simon had recently played on the brand new Art Garfunkel album, Scissors Cut. The concert was recorded and released shortly after as The Concert in Central Park. It easily made the top 10 on the albums chart. Solo tracks were also performed, one by Art Garfunkel and several of Paul Simon’s.
 1980s Kiss appeared for the first time without their make-up in 1983, on September 18th. They guested on MTV, promoting the release that day of their latest album, Lick It Up. Revealing their identities in this way seems like very strange timing, as just a month before their Argentinian tour was cancelled when an extremist group threatened to stop them with whatever it took, and to even go as ”far as to cost the very lives of that unfortunate band.” You’d think that Gene Simmons and the boys would want to keep their faces hidden from such terrorists.
 1980s The first Farm Aid took place back in 1985. Neil Young, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp got the idea at Live Aid from a statement that Bob Dylan made on stage about helping the locals. Six weeks later, 80000 fans watched the organizers along with Dylan, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Loretta Lynn, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and other performers help raise $7 million. The annual event takes place every fall to help the American family farmer.
 1990s Guns N’ Roses released two albums at 12:01 a.m. in 1991. Use Your Illusion I and II sold a combined 500000 copies in its first two hours. The second album would prove to be more popular, and would hit number 1 in early October. Over 4 million copies of the albums were shipped and ready for fans.
 1990s This week in 1991, Bryan Adams’ song (Everything I Do) I Do It for You broke a U.K. record by staying at number one on the charts for the 12th consecutive week. The previous record stood for 36 years, held by Slim Whitman with Rose Marie. I Do It for You sold over eight million copies. A few months later, Billboard changed the way chart positions in the U.S. were calculated, so now it became much easier for a song to hit number 1, and stay there.
 1990s The Temptations’ guest appearance with Rod Stewart in 1991 on The Motown Song helped take the single to its peak at number 10 in the U.S. Previously, their last visit to the top 40 had been way back in 1975 with the forgettable song Glasshouse. Two years before that, Masterpiece had ended their 8 year run of top 10 hits.
 1990s After long associations with both A&M and Capitol Records, Joe Cocker’s debut album for Sony Music hit the U.K. charts in 1994 at number 9, its highest position. Have a Little Faith included covers of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s, Summer in the City, as well as The Band’s, Out of the Blue. The album and its 1996 follow-up, Organic (also for Sony), were both disappointments. In between was the box set, Long Voyage Home, which has since been discontinued.
 1990s Diana Ross was detained by police at Heathrow Airport in London in 1999 after she allegedly assaulted a security officer. Ross had set off a metal detector at the airport and when a standard body search was attempted by a female guard, the superstar tried to “frisk” the officer. After getting off with a caution, Ross boarded the Concorde flight to New York. She had been in London to shoot a video for Not Over You Yet, a single off her upcoming album, Every Day is a New Day.
 2000s Lenny Kravitz joined The Guess Who at the MuchMusic Video awards in Toronto in 2000, to perform American Woman. Kravitz had recorded The Guess Who classic for The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack, almost thirty years after the original. The Guess Who usually performed a 15 minute version of the song when playing live, so it had to be cut down to fit the awards show. Of course, including a song from 1970 in a movie that was supposed to take place in the sixties, is the mystery that Austin Powers should have tried to solve.
 2000s Neil Young stole the show in 2001 when the fundraising event, A Tribute to Heroes, was aired commercial-free. All the major U.S. TV networks broadcast the live program organized to raise money following devastating terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and New York’s World Trade Center. Young performed John Lennon’s Imagine on piano and was accompanied by a string backing. Other artists helping out in the event were Tom Petty (I Won’t Back Down), Paul Simon (Bridge Over Troubled Water), Billy Joel (New York State of Mind), U2 (Walk On), Limp Bizkit (Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here), Bruce Springsteen (My City in Ruins) and others. Young also backed Pearl Jam members on The Long Road. Manning the telephones to take pledges were celebrities like Jack Nicholson, Jim Carrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Goldie Hawn, Robin Williams, Meg Ryan, Cuba Gooding Jr., Kurt Russell, Adam Sandler and many more. Michael Jackson offered to perform, but he was turned down.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

September 16:
B.B. King (1925) and Richard Marx (1963) arrived Completely Well and Satisfied.
September 17:
Hank Williams Sr. (1923) and Bill Black (1926) were born with Hearts of Stone.
September 18:
Frankie Avalon arrived as A Boy Without a Girl in 1939.
September 19:
Brook Benton (1931), Bill Medley (1940), Mama Cass Elliot (1943) and Lol Creme (10cc, 1947) all entered the world to Words of Love.
September 20:
Gogi Grant (1924) and twins, Chuck and John Panozzo (Styx, 1948) were born during The Best of Times.
September 21:
Everybody Knows that Leonard Cohen took his first breath in 1934. And it was on One of These Nights in 1947 that Don Felder of The Eagles dropped by.
September 22:
Joni James (1930), David Coverdale (Whitesnake, 1951) and Joan Jett (1960) began their Dirty Deeds on this day.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

September 16:
Marc Bolan (T. Rex) died in 1977 in a car accident. Sheb Wooley passed away at the age of 82 in 2003.
September 17:
Hugo Winterhalter died in 1973 of cancer. Frankie Vaughan passed away in 1999 at the age of 71, several months after heart surgery.
September 18:
Jimi Hendrix died in 1970 due to inhalation of vomit following barbiturate intoxication.
September 19:
Gram Parsons (The Flying Burrito Brothers) died in 1973 of a drug overdose. Skeeter Davis died from breast cancer in 2004. She was 72.
September 20:
Jim Croce died in a plane crash in 1973.
September 22:
Popular song composer, Irving Berlin, passed away in 1989 at the age of 101. The original Moondog (Louis Hardin) died in 1999. He was 83.

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