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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
September 23 - 29
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s Elvis Presley released his second single on Sun Records in 1954. He covered Good Rockin’ Tonight, a song made popular in 1948 by Wynonie Harris. It’s B-side was I Don’t Care If the Sun Don’t Shine, written by Mack David. The single did not do nearly as well as his first, That ’s All Right.
 1950s Elvis Presley ended his first 12 months with RCA Records in 1956 after selling over 10 million records. Songs like Heartbreak Hotel, I Want You I Need You I Love You, Hound Dog and Don’t Be Cruel led the way to the bank. RCA bought Elvis from Sun Records in 1955.
 1950s Buddy Holly and The Crickets had their only number one, That’ll Be the Day, this week in 1957. Their next two singles, Peggy Sue and Oh, Boy! also made the top 10, while Maybe Baby and It Doesn’t Matter Anymore (written by Paul Anka) were top 20.
 1960s The Rolling Stones began their first U.K. tour in 1963. They played 32 dates, opening for acts like The Everly Brothers, Bo Diddley and Little Richard. Poison Ivy, a recent single and the follow-up to Come On, had just been cancelled.
 1960s Roy Orbison had the biggest hit of his career in 1964 when Oh, Pretty Woman hit the top for the first of three weeks. The song toppled House of the Rising Sun by The Animals to become Orbison’s second number 1 single. He would return to the top 10 in 1989.
 1960s The Association had their first of two number 1 hits when Cherish beat out the competition for the beginning of a 3 week run in 1966. The New Christy Minstrels almost recorded the track but Association member and songwriter, Terry Kirkman, held onto Cherish instead of selling it for a quick buck ($1000 actually). The finished recording played for 3 minutes and 25 seconds, but the single’s label listed the time as 3:00 so that DJs wouldn’t be discouraged from playing a “long song.”
 1960s The Box Tops had the number 1 song in 1967 this week. The Letter was less than two minutes long, but 16 year old lead singer, Alex Chilton, made it an instant classic. They almost repeated the triumph with Cry Like a Baby months later, but it stalled at number 2. Soul Deep from 1969, was their last single to reach the top 40, giving the band a successful two year run. Chilton also gave us the theme song from That ’70s Show. He wrote In the Street in 1972 with bandmate, Chris Bell, while in Big Star. Cheap Trick re-recorded the song for That ’70s Show and the soundtrack, That ’70s Show Presents That ’70s Album: Rockin’.
 1960s It was announced in 1968 that Janis Joplin would be leaving Big Brother and The Holding Company at the end of the year. They had been together since 1965, and their last appearance together would be on December 7th in Hawaii. Janis would soon be backed by the Kozmic Blues Band.
 1960s Seven minutes and eleven seconds of Hey Jude were number 1 in 1968. The song about Julian Lennon was their biggest, staying at the top for eight weeks. Hey Jude was also the number 1 song of the 1960s. Initially, George Harrison wanted to mimic Paul McCartney’s vocals at the beginning of the song, but Macca told him that less was more. And when the recording of the song started, Ringo was using the facilities, but made it back just in time to add his drums to the track.
 1960s An American newspaper broke the story in 1969 that Paul McCartney had died on November 9th, 1966, and was subsequently replaced by British look-alike, William Campbell. It’s somewhat interesting that it’s also the same day that John first met Yoko. Coincidence? When McCartney was asked to comment by a reporter visiting Macca’s farm, he replied, “Do I look dead? I’m as fit as a fiddle.” Campbell and the surviving Beatles released their final studio album, Abbey Road, a few days later.
 1970s Grand Funk’s, We’re An American Band made it to number 1, in 1973. They would repeat the success in 1974. Many long-time fans were sorry to hear the new commercial sound of the band. Grand Funk spent the next couple of years releasing top 10 singles. A live version of We’re An American Band can be found on 1997’s, Bosnia.
 1970s Bad Company had their only number 1 album in the U.S. when their debut LP hit the top for a week in 1974. The success came on the strength of songs like Can’t Get Enough, Rock Steady, Ready for Love and the title track. Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke had come out of Free, while Mick Ralphs had played guitar with Mott the Hoople and Boz Burrell was bass player for King Crimson before the group formed in 1973. They produced six albums together before disbanding in 1983. After reforming a few times over the years, and with various members, the original Bad Company briefly reunited in 1998 to record four new songs for their latest compilation, The Original Bad Co. Anthology, which also included some B-sides and outtakes.
 1970s Jackie Wilson went into a coma in 1975. It was brought on by a stroke he suffered while on stage. Wilson clung to life in a hospital for another nine years before he died in 1984. Mr. Excitement, as he was known, was the ultimate stage performer from which many other artists learned their moves. He made Michael Jackson look like a statue.
 1970s Blue Öyster Cult had their amazing Agents of Fortune album jump onto the albums chart in 1976. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper was a huge single taken from the LP, making it to number 12 and onto radio play lists everywhere. Another top 40 single, Burnin’ for You, would follow five years later.
 1980s John Bonham died on September 25th, 1980, after a drinking binge. The drummer died at Jimmy Page’s house after taking approximately 40 shots of vodka, and choking on his own vomit after falling asleep. Rehearsals were being carried out by the group for an upcoming U.S. tour. It proved to be the end of Led Zeppelin.
 1980s Billy Joel had the number 1 song this week in 1983 as Tell Her About It hit the top. It was his second of three number ones. Six years later, in 1989, he had a very rough week. Joel sued his former manager (and former brother-in-law) for fraud, while The Piano Man himself was in the New York University Medical Center having kidney stones removed.
 1980s Aerosmith sold their souls in 1986 to get back onto the charts. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry appeared on a cover version of Walk This Way by rappers Run DMC, that made the top 10. Dude (Looks Like a Lady) would hit the top 20 for Aerosmith the next year, with more hits to follow.
 1980s David Bowie ran out of steam in 1987 when Never Let Me Down became his last single to chart in that decade. It only made it as high as number 27 in the U.S. while in the U.K. it stalled at number 34. It was the second single from the album of the same name, which had contributions from Peter Frampton.
 1980s Without the use of a single musical instrument, Bobby McFerrin hit number 1 in the U.S. in 1988. He did it with a composition that had been hanging around in his head for almost five years. Don’t Worry, Be Happy was also included in the movie, Cocktail, which helped take it to the top for 2 weeks. The song was initially found on McFerrin’s Simple Pleasures album.
 1980s Marillion’s lead singer, Fish, began a solo career in 1988. Steve Hogarth replaced him the following year. Marillion was basically a U.K. phenom trying desperately to recreate the Peter Gabriel years of Genesis. Fish has even worked with Genesis member, Tony Banks, on several projects. He also found himself touring Europe in a band with David Gilmour and a couple of singers both named Paul Young in the summer of 2000.
 1990s The third consecutive generation of Nelsons hit the top when (Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection made number 1 in the U.S. in 1990. Rock band Nelson was made up of the twin sons of Ricky Nelson, who had a couple of chart toppers of his own in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Before that, Ozzie Nelson took And Then Some to the peak position in 1935. He had over three dozen hits in the 1930s. Three more songs by Nelson made the top 40 in the early 1990s.
 1990s Marvin Gaye had his name added to the Walkway of Stars on Hollywood Boulevard in 1990, six years after he died. The following year, Marvin Jr. recorded some material with Lou Rawls, while daughter Nona Gaye also made her music business debut.
 1990s Time-Warner cancelled its distribution of Interscope Records in 1995. The huge record company (now owned by AOL), decided that it didn’t need the criticism of the smaller label, which had gained a reputation for signing rap artists. Tha Dogg Pound was ready to release its first Interscope album, but Time-Warner refused. Interscope currently releases its products through Universal Music.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

September 23:
Ray Charles (1930) arrived in The Heat of the Night, as did Ben E. King (1938), Bruce Springsteen (1949) and Lita Ford (1959).
September 24:
Linda McCartney (1941) and Gerry Marsden (Gerry & The Pacemakers, 1942) took the Ferry Cross the Mersey of life.
September 25:
Four Strong Winds were blowing when Ian Tyson (1933) and Ron Tabak (Prism, 1953) arrived.
September 26:
In a Twist of Fate, Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music, 1945) and Olivia Newton-John (1948) experienced the Magic of birth.
September 27:
The doctor was just Takin’ Care of Business when he delivered Randy Bachman (1943) and Meat Loaf (1947).
September 28:
Helen Shapiro was born Little Miss Lonely in 1946.
September 29:
Jerry Lee Lewis (1935), Tommy Boyce (1939) and Mark Farner (Grand Funk, 1948) first felt a Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

September 23:
Robbie McIntosh (Average White Band) died of drug poisoning in 1974.
September 25:
John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) died in 1980 after choking on his own vomit.
September 26:
Robert Palmer died of a heart attack in 2003.
September 28:
Miles Davis passed away at the age of 65, in 1991.

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