| Elvis Presley won second prize in a
radio-sponsored talent contest, at the age of 10, in 1945. He sang Old Shep at the Mississippi-Alabama
Fair and Dairy Show in front of several hundred people in downtown Tupelo.
Elvis was still very shy and so it must have come as quite a surprise to
his classmates in attendance when he performed on Childrens Day, standing
on a chair so he could reach the microphone.
| Billboard Magazine reported in 1958 that payola was out of control. Payola was the
practice of record company representatives paying DJs and TV show personalities
to play their records. Finally in 1960, payola was investigated, and two big
names in the business became the focus of the investigation: Dick Clark
and Alan Freed. Clark denied most of the charges against him,
and even though no one believed he was telling the truth, Clark got off
with a slap on the wrist. He did, however, sell off all of his interests in
record labels and publishing, some of the very things that proved his guilt.
With Clark in the clear, Freed became the main target of the
investigation -- someone had to pay. But Freed refused to lie about his
activities. He ended up losing his job and was found guilty of accepting
payola. Record companies testified against him, when they should have shared
half of the guilt. After all, they were offering the bribes.
| Phil Spector and partner Lester Sill
released the first single on their new label in 1961, Philles. It was The Crystals, Oh
Yeah Maybe Baby backed with Theres No Other (Like My Baby). A
little over a year later, they would have a number 1 hit with Hes a
Rebel, and soon after, songs like Da Doo Ron Ron and Then He
Kissed Me would also make the top 10.
| The Chordettes made their final appearance
on the U.S. singles chart when Faraway Star, the B-side to Never On
Sunday, peaked at number 90 in 1961. Mr. Sandman was their first hit, back in
1954, shortly after they had signed with Cadence Records. It spent 7 weeks at
number 1, but it wouldnt be until 1956 and the song Eddie My Love
that their success was repeated. It went top 20 and paved the way for songs
like Born to Be With You, Lay Down Your Arms, Just Between You
and Me, Lollipop and Zorro in the late 50s. Never On
Sunday was a hit in 1961 but the group disbanded shortly
| first single,
Love Me Do, was released this week in 1962. A special CD single of the track was issued in 1992
on its 30th anniversary that included the original single, as well
as the version with Andy White on drums. It also contained the B-side,
P.S. I Love You. The album, Please Please Me included Love Me
Do with Whites drumming and Ringo on tambourine, and so
when it was released, the album version with White was used in further
pressings of the Love Me Do single. Ringo still feels the scars
today, and you can hear him talk about it on his VH1 Storytellers
| The U.K.s national radio network, BBC Radio
One, began broadcasting in 1967.
The first record they spun was The Moves, Flowers in the
Rain. The song would soon peak at number 2 in the U.K. and was from their
debut album, Move.
| Bob Dylans mentor, Woody
Guthrie, died in 1967 of
Huntingtons chorea. He was responsible for bringing classic folk songs
like This Land is Your Land into mainstream music. Son Arlo,
Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs carried on his efforts.
| Cream began their farewell tour in 1968 after only three studio albums.
White Room was on its rise up the charts, following Sunshine of Your
Love from earlier in the year. They were a three-piece band with Eric
Clapton on guitar, Jack Bruce on bass and vocals, and Ginger
Baker on drums. Clapton and Baker went on to form Blind
Faith with Steve Winwood and Ric Grech, while Bruce
explored a solo career.
| Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose in
1970 on October 4th.
She had taken over lead vocals with Big Brother and The Holding Company
and released the hit, Piece of My Heart with them in 1968. Joplin
left for a solo career but Me and Bobby McGee didnt make it to
number 1 until 1971, months after her death.
| Maggie May gave Rod Stewart his
first U.S. number 1 hit in 1971.
The song was originally the B-side to Reason to Believe, another track
included on his Every Picture Tells a Story album. (I Know) Im
Losing You, the follow-up single, also did well in America, hitting number
| Art Garfunkel returned to the top 40 in
1973, with the solo single All
I Know, taken from his Angel Clare album. After splitting from
Paul Simon in 1970, Garfunkel acted in several movies before
going back into the recording studio. He would make the top 40 five more times
before the end of the 1970s, with and without Simon.
| Mike Oldfields, Tubular Bells
hit number 1 on the U.K. albums chart in 1974, over a year after its release. The late rise was
probably due to an excerpt appearing in the movie, The Exorcist. A Tubular
sequel appeared in 1992 and 25 years after the original, Tubular Bells
III hit store shelves. Tubular Bells II was more of an update while
III is much more progressive, having less in common with the
| Al Jackson, drummer with Booker T. and
The MGs, was shot and killed by an intruder at his home in 1975, on October 1st. The group
has backed such artists as Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, The
Blues Brothers and in 1993, a touring Neil Young. Young was
impressed with the band after both played BobFest, a tribute concert to Bob
Dylan in 1992. After hitting number 3 in 1962 with Green Onions, the
band had half a dozen hits in the late 1960s, including an instrumental version
of Mrs. Robinson, from The Graduate soundtrack. It was included
on their 1998 box set, Time is Tight, along with all of their other
| The Star Wars Theme by Meco was
number 1 this week in 1977. Two
more Star Wars movies after The Phantom Menace are in the works, according to
the original plan made by George Lucas over 20 years ago.
| Queen had the number 1 song with Another
One Bites the Dust, in 1980.
It was suggested as a single by Michael Jackson and was their second
song to reach number 1 that year. It and Crazy Little Thing Called Love
were both taken from The Game album.
| The Bee Gees launched a lawsuit against
manager Robert Stigwood in 1980.
They were looking for $2 million compensation for fraud and misrepresentation.
The groups success had been fading since the year began, as disco got
left behind with the 1970s.
| A reunion took place in 1982 when the Phil Collins-led version of
Genesis performed at the WOMAD benefit concert at the Milton Keyes Bowl.
Organizer Peter Gabriel and one-time guitarist, Steve Hackett,
joined their former band on stage for an encore performance of I Know What I
Like, a song from their Selling England by the Pound album. Rumours
abound of the same or more happening in the new millennium.
| Tina Turner had her Foreign Affair
album debut in the U.K. in 1989
at number 1. It was a very strong album, including the popular singles,
The Best and Steamy Windows. Other standout tracks included
Falling Like Rain, Look Me in the Heart and the title track. The
album only made it to number 31 in the U.S. but achieved gold status two months
| Guns N Roses achieved something very
unique in 1991 when two of their
albums debuted in the top positions of the U.S. albums chart. Use Your
Illusion II was at number 1, followed by Use Your Illusion I at
number 2. The CDs were released separately, instead of as a double album. Both
held their positions the following week before starting to slide a bit. You
Could Be Mine, Live and Let Die, November Rain and
Dont Cry were all top 40 hits in America, while Civil War
and Knockin On Heavens Door became popular FM radio
| Sinead OConnor became very unpopular
in 1992 when she tore up a photo
of Pope John Paul II. The Irish singer had just performed on Saturday Night
Live in New York, when she shredded the picture on live TV. Her appearance had
been rescheduled after she refused to appear on the same show as Andrew Dice
| Eric Clapton was still doing well in
1994 when his From the Cradle
CD hit number 1 in the U.S. It was his blues roots album that
he had wanted to record since the 1970s. Songs like Hoochie Coochie Man,
Five Long Years and Motherless Child were included, but the bland
arrangements turned the album into a snoozefest.
| Ozzy Osbourne wrote a letter to the folks
at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, in response to their nomination of Black Sabbath
into the esteemed hall. The letter stated, Just take our name off the
list. Save the ink. Forget about us. The nomination is meaningless, because
its not voted on by the fans. Its voted on by the supposed elite
for the industry and the media, whove never bought an album or concert
ticket in their lives, so their vote is irrelevant to me. Lets face it,
Black Sabbath has never been media darlings. Were a peoples
band and that suits us just fine. They didnt get in that
|It was Sweet Blindness at first when Johnny
Mathis (1935), Gus Dudgeon
(producer of the early Elton John hits, 1942), Frankie Lymon (1942), Dewey Martin (Buffalo
Marilyn McCoo (The 5th Dimension, 1943) and Marc Bolan (T.
|Richard Harris (1930) and Donny Hathaway (1945) were not born in MacArthur Park, but it was
on this day.
|Don McLean (1945) and Mike Rutherford (Genesis, 1950) and Sting (1951) entered this Land of
|There was no Trouble when James Darren
(1936), Eddie Cochran
(1938), Alan ODay
(1940), Chubby Checker
(1941), Lindsey Buckingham
(1949) and Stevie Ray
|Leroy Van Dyke first saw a lot of people Walk
On By his crib in 1929.
|It was more than a little Abracadabra that
brought Steve Miller (1943), Brian Connolly (The Sweet, 1945), Brian Johnson (AC/DC,
1947) and Harold Faltermeyer
(1952) into the
|Millie Small (1946), Bob Weir (The Grateful Dead, 1947) and Kevin Cronin (REO
Speedwagon, 1951) were born
on One Lonely Night on this day.
|Mary Ford died in 1977 at the age of 49. Ronnie Dawson died of throat
cancer in 2003.
|Al Jackson (Booker T. & The MGs) was
killed by a burglar in 1975.
|Gene Autry passed away in 1998 at the age of 91.
|Woody Guthrie died of Huntingtons chorea in
1967. Benjamin Orr (The
Cars) died in 2000 of
pancreatic cancer at the age of 45.
|Janis Joplin died of a drug overdose in 1970.
|Nelson Riddle died in 1985 at the age of 64.