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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
September 30 - October 6
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1940s 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 Children’s Day, standing on a chair so he could reach the microphone.
 1960s 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.
 1960s 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 There’s No Other (Like My Baby). A little over a year later, they would have a number 1 hit with He’s a Rebel, and soon after, songs like Da Doo Ron Ron and Then He Kissed Me would also make the top 10.
 1960s 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 wouldn’t 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 after.
 1960s The Beatles’ 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 White’s 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 CD.
 1960s The U.K.’s national radio network, BBC Radio One, began broadcasting in 1967. The first record they spun was The Move’s, Flowers in the Rain. The song would soon peak at number 2 in the U.K. and was from their debut album, Move.
 1960s Bob Dylan’s mentor, Woody Guthrie, died in 1967 of Huntington’s 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.
 1960s 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.
 1970s 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 didn’t make it to number 1 until 1971, months after her death.
 1970s 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) I’m Losing You, the follow-up single, also did well in America, hitting number 24.
 1970s 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.
 1970s Mike Oldfield’s, 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 original.
 1970s 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 popular tracks.
 1970s 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.
 1980s 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.
 1980s The Bee Gees launched a lawsuit against manager Robert Stigwood in 1980. They were looking for $2 million compensation for fraud and misrepresentation. The group’s success had been fading since the year began, as disco got left behind with the 1970s.
 1980s 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.
 1980s 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 later.
 1990s 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 Don’t Cry were all top 40 hits in America, while Civil War and Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door became popular FM radio tracks.
 1990s Sinead O’Connor 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 Clay.
 1990s 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.
 1990s 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 it’s not voted on by the fans. It’s voted on by the supposed elite for the industry and the media, who’ve never bought an album or concert ticket in their lives, so their vote is irrelevant to me. Let’s face it, Black Sabbath has never been media darlings. We’re a people’s band and that suits us just fine.” They didn’t get in that year.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

September 30:
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 Springfield, 1942), Marilyn McCoo (The 5th Dimension, 1943) and Marc Bolan (T. Rex, 1947) arrived.
October 1:
Richard Harris (1930) and Donny Hathaway (1945) were not born in MacArthur Park, but it was on this day.
October 2:
Don McLean (1945) and Mike Rutherford (Genesis, 1950) and Sting (1951) entered this Land of Confusion.
October 3:
There was no Trouble when James Darren (1936), Eddie Cochran (1938), Alan O’Day (1940), Chubby Checker (1941), Lindsey Buckingham (1949) and Stevie Ray Vaughan (1954) arrived.
October 4:
Leroy Van Dyke first saw a lot of people Walk On By his crib in 1929.
October 5:
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 world.
October 6:
Millie Small (1946), Bob Weir (The Grateful Dead, 1947) and Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon, 1951) were born on One Lonely Night on this day.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

September 30:
Mary Ford died in 1977 at the age of 49. Ronnie Dawson died of throat cancer in 2003.
October 1:
Al Jackson (Booker T. & The MGs) was killed by a burglar in 1975.
October 2:
Gene Autry passed away in 1998 at the age of 91.
October 3:
Woody Guthrie died of Huntington’s chorea in 1967. Benjamin Orr (The Cars) died in 2000 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 45.
October 4:
Janis Joplin died of a drug overdose in 1970.
October 6:
Nelson Riddle died in 1985 at the age of 64.

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