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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
October 21 - 27
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s Britain saw it’s first rock ‘n’ roll show in 1956. It featured Ronnie Harris and Kenny Flame and The Rockets. Harris had a hit a couple of years earlier when The Story of Tina made it to number 12. But since then, artists like Bill Haley and His Comets, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley had made a huge impact. At the same time, U.K. artist Lonnie Donegan was doing very well with his skiffle music, and songs like Rock Island Line, Bring a Little Water Sylvie, Stewball and Lost John. The Story of Tina may be found on the 4 CD collection, One Hundred 50s Favourites.
 1950s Buddy Holly made his final studio recordings in 1958. The four songs completed that day were It Doesn’t Matter Any More, Moondreams, Raining In My Heart and True Love Ways, using a 12 piece string section from the Dick Jacobs Orchestra.
 1960s Ben E. King recorded his first set of solo tracks in 1960, after leaving The Drifters. Included in the four songs were the monster hits, Spanish Harlem and Stand By Me. King had sung lead on The Drifters’ popular songs, There Goes My Baby, This Magic Moment and Save the Last Dance for Me.
 1960s James Brown recorded his famous Live At the Apollo album in 1962 at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre in New York. The 11 songs were released two months later. In 1995 he gave us the sequel, with another 19 amazing songs.
 1960s The top two albums in the U.S. in 1963 this week were both by Peter, Paul and Mary. In the Wind and their self-titled release were two of eleven top 25 albums the trio recorded. In the Wind was the latest collection of songs by the group, and contained two top 10 singles, Blowin’ in the Wind and Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right. Their only number 1 hit came six years later.
 1960s In 1964, Holly’s successor as lead vocalist with The Crickets, David Box, died in a plane crash. Spooky. Box joined in the spring of 1960, but left later in the year for a solo career. His contributions can be heard on the compilation, Still in Style.
 1960s Bill Black, Elvis Presley’s original bass player, died in 1965 from a brain tumour. Black also had many hits of his own as part of Bill Black’s Combo. White Silver Sands was the biggest of his instrumental singles, making it into the U.S. top 10 in 1960. Other top 20 hits without vocals included Don’t Be Cruel, Blue Tango, Smokie, Josephine and Hearts of Stone.
 1960s In 1966, Supremes A Go Go became the first number 1 album in the U.S. by a female group. The Supremes would return to the top spot on the albums chart twice more, in 1969 with TCB, and a year later with Diana Ross and The Supremes’ Greatest Hits. They had seven albums make the top 10 in the 1960s.
 1960s Good Vibrations jumped onto the U.S. singles chart in 1966. The masterpiece was recorded over 6 weeks at 4 different recording studios, and was included on the Smiley Smile album the following month. It was beaten at the Grammys by Winchester Cathedral, from The New Vaudeville Band.
 1960s Last Train to Clarksville and The Monkees albums were certified gold in 1966. Their first single and first album both reached number 1 in the U.S. and proved to be a very successful start for the manufactured band.
 1960s Lulu hit number 1 in the U.S. in 1967 with To Sir With Love. It stayed at the top for 5 weeks, making it the biggest single of the year. Unfortunately, the song didn’t even chart in the U.K., her homeland. Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie was married to Bee Gee, Maurice Gibb, from 1969 to 1973.
 1960s Pink Floyd released their double Ummagumma LP in 1969. One of the records was live while the other consisted of studio recordings. The live disc revisited four of their stronger previous tracks, Astronomy Domine, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun and A Saucerful of Secrets. On disc two, there were actually five different tracks, but a few of them were broken down into several parts each. Sysyphus had four parts, The Narrow had three, and The Grand Vizier’s Garden Party also had three parts, while Grantchester Meadows and Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict were single pieces. Now repeat all of that without looking.
 1970s Gladys Knight and The Pips had the number 1 song in 1973, with Midnight Train to Georgia. It was their only top hit, but many other songs did well in the 1960s and ’70s, including Every Beat of My Heart, I Heard It Through the Grapevine, If I Were Your Woman, I’ve Got to Use My Imagination, Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me, Where Peaceful Waters Flow (these last 3 from the same album as Midnight Train to Georgia, Imagination), On and On and The Way We Were / Try to Remember. What vocals!
 1970s Al Green had a very memorable shower in 1974 when his ex-girlfriend stormed into his bathroom and poured a pot of boiling grits over his head. Green experienced second degree burns and was hospitalized. The former lover, however, shot herself with Green’s gun immediately after burning him. His recent single, Sha-La-La would soon hit the top 10. It was from his upcoming Al Green Explores Your Mind album, which also contained Take Me to the River, an idea that Green must have entertained when considering his next shower.
 1970s Keith Richards was found guilty on a Canadian drug charge on October 24th, 1978, and received a one year suspended sentence, as well an order to play a benefit concert. The Rolling Stone performed the charity concert for the blind in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada early the next year, as Beast of Burden climbed into the top 10.
 1970s Paul McCartney received a rhodium medallion in 1979 from the British government as the best selling songwriter and recording artist in history, as determined by The Guinness Book of Records. Since 1962, McCartney had a hand in 43 million-selling songs and sold over 100 million records. Along with Wings, Macca was finishing the decade by promoting the very underrated Back to the Egg album, and would soon play the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea.
 1980s Paul Kantner, the only original member left in Jefferson Starship, suffered a stroke in 1980. Grace Slick and Marty Balin, the group’s two lead singers, had left not long before, and were replaced by Mickey Thomas, formerly of Elvin Bishop’s group. Thomas sang on the Fooled Around and Fell in Love hit for Bishop in 1976. Jane, a single from Freedom at Point Zero, Jefferson Starship’s latest album, had already made the top 20, while the LP itself was top 10. Luckily, after two weeks in the hospital, Kantner recovered completely from the ailment that struck him during a recording session. Slick was soon welcomed back into the fold, and the group went on to release Modern Times, with its Find Your Way Back hit track, and a couple other albums before transforming into Starship in 1985.
 1980s Dave Edmunds, Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Ringo Starr joined Carl Perkins in a 1985 concert to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the song, Blue Suede Shoes.
 1980s In 1987, Rumours surpassed the record held by Bat Out of Hell for the most weeks on the U.K. albums chart. Rumours was up to 443 weeks by the end of 1991, compared to Meat Loaf’s, 416. In the U.S., Rumours has sold over 18 million copies, and spent 31 weeks at number 1, with a total of 59 weeks in the top 40.
 1980s The Cars finished up on the U.S. singles chart when their last top 20 hit stopped at number 17 in 1987. You Are the Girl was from the Door to Door album, which stalled at number 26 on the albums chart. It was actually a pretty good album that saw the end of the band.
 1980s Phil Collins had the number 1 song in 1988, with A Groovy Kind of Love, written by Carole Bayer Sager and Toni Wine. The song most recently appears on his greatest ...Hits album, and was a remake of the Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders hit from 1966. Collins recorded A Groovy Kind of Love for the Buster soundtrack, a movie he starred in with Julie Walters. A second hit from the movie came in the form of Two Hearts, which also made it to number 1.
 1980s Herb Alpert and partner, Jerry Moss, sold A&M Records to PolyGram Inc. in 1989, for between $400 and $500 million. Their record label was home to such artists as Herb Alpert of course, Nazareth, Supertramp, Styx, Peter Frampton, Rita Coolidge, Joe Cocker, Pablo Cruise, Bryan Adams and Sergio Mendes. PolyGram is now part of the Universal Music Group.
 1990s The fourth annual Bridge School Concert was held in 1990. Performers included Jackson Browne, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Steve Miller, Chris Isaak and Edie Brickell. Costello’s Alison recorded at the gig was included on the 1997 album, The Bridge School Concerts Volume 1.
 1990s Robert Cray started a U.S. tour in 1990 by guesting on Late Night with David Letterman, and then playing New York’s Beacon Theatre before a sellout crowd. He was promoting his latest album, Midnight Stroll, while just a couple of months earlier, Cray had performed on stage with Eric Clapton during Stevie Ray Vaughan’s final appearance. Midnight Stroll made the top 20 in the U.K., but stalled at number 51 in America.
 1990s Def Leppard must have been going for some kind of record in 1995 when they played three concerts on three different continents in the same day. The band was promoting their latest single, When Love and Hate Collide, by performing in Tangiers in the morning, London in the afternoon and finally in Vancouver, Canada, in the evening. The hit single would soon be included on their new compilation album, Vault: Greatest Hits.
 2000s The Beatles found themselves at the top of a different chart in 2000. The much anticipated book to accompany three Anthology CD sets made it to the top of the New York Times’ best sellers list. The Beatles Anthology book beat out the latest from Stephen King, and consisted of recollections by The Fab Four. It was several years overdue.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

October 21:
Manfred Mann (1940), Steve Cropper (Booker T. & The MGs, 1941) and Elvin Bishop (1942) were Blinded By the Light in the delivery room.
October 22:
Bobby Fuller (1942), Annette Funicello (1942) and Leslie West (Mountain, 1945) boarded the Train of Love.
October 23:
Dwight Yoakam arrived in a Long White Cadillac in 1954.
October 24:
The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson, 1930) and Bill Wyman (The Rolling Stones, 1936) made their parents Happy on this day.
October 25:
When Helen Reddy was delivered in 1941, she was already whining to the doctor, “that Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady.” Jon Anderson (Yes) felt the Rhythm of Love on the same day in 1944.
October 26:
Natalie Merchant became one of The Living in 1963.
October 27:
Floyd Cramer first heard the Chattanooga Choo Choo in 1933.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

October 21:
Bill Black died of a brain tumour in 1965.
October 22:
Tommy Edwards died in 1969 at the age of 47.
October 23:
David Box (Buddy Holly’s replacement with The Crickets) died in a plane crash in 1964. Lee Leonard (Shirley & Lee) died in 1976, just as his former partner was having hits like, Shame Shame Shame, as Shirley & Company.
October 25:
Rock promoter Bill Graham died in a helicopter crash in 1991.
October 26:
Singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton died in 1999 at the age of 61.

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