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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
December 9 - 15
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1940s Glenn Miller died in a plane crash in 1944 in the English Channel. Recent evidence suggests that his plane was hit by a missile that was being unloaded by British planes returning from a bombing mission. He was 40 years old.
 1940s Fats Domino recorded his first major hit, The Fat Man, in 1949 in New Orleans, at Cosimo Matassa’s J&M studio. The song was originally titled, Junker’s Blues, but was rewritten with the help of Dave Bartholomew, who had discovered Fats at the Hideaway club while appearing with Billy Diamond. The song tied in with Domino’s image, as his 5 foot, 5 inch frame tipped the scales at over 220 pounds.
 1950s Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13 year old cousin in 1957, while still married to his first wife, Jane Mitcham. Youthful bride Myra Gale Brown was also the daughter of the bass player in Lewis’ band, and would stay with the rock ’n’ roll star until 1970. The Killer had first married when he was 16, to Dorothy Barton, the daughter of a local preacher. Mitcham became his second wife in a shotgun ceremony, and before he had divorced the previous Mrs. Lewis. Wife number 4 would drown in 1982 and the next year, his fifth wife died of a methadone overdose. Kerrie McCarver became Lewis’ sixth companion in 1984, at the age of 22. Cousin Myra went on to publish the book, Great Balls of Fire, in 1982, and pursued a career as a real estate broker. Other famous cousins of The Killer include country singer Mickey Gilley and Jimmy Swaggart. Did you get all of that?
 1950s In 1959, Don and Phil Everly made a trip to New York to record Let It Be Me, their first session outside of Nashville. The song was originally a French composition that needed translation, and received an orchestral backing conducted by Archie Bleyer, a big-wig at Cadence Records.
 1960s Brian Epstein officially became The Beatles’ manager in 1961. Epstein operated a highly successful record store for his parents at the time, and had no experience managing rock groups. He never put his signature on the agreement, but always put the needs of The Fab Four ahead of his own. Epstein first heard of the group the previous month when fan Raymond Jones requested a copy of My Bonnie, a song by Tony Sheridan with backing by The Beatles.
 1960s Sam Cooke was shot and killed in a Los Angeles motel on December 11th, 1964. One of his last hits, A Change is Gonna Come, was arguably one of his best. It was written in response to Bob Dylan’s, Blowin’ in the Wind, and followed the top 10 hits, Shake, Another Saturday Night, Twistin’ the Night Away, Chain Gang and You Send Me.
 1960s Twenty-six year old Otis Redding died in a plane crash in 1967 on December 10th. His biggest hit, (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay, was recorded three days before his death and went to number 1 two months later. It was his only top 10 hit, but since the 1960s, his renditions of I’ve Been Loving You Too Long and Try a Little Tenderness have become classics.
 1960s The Rolling Stones filmed their Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus show in 1968. It starred The Stones, John Lennon, Steve Winwood, The Who, Eric Clapton, Jethro Tull and Marianne Faithfull. It wasn’t released until 1995, probably because of legal hassles caused by Allen Klein.
 1960s Eric Clapton appeared as a member of John Lennon’s, Plastic Ono Band in 1969, as part of benefit concert for UNICEF. George Harrison, Delaney and Bonnie, Billy Preston and Keith Moon also took part. The concert went under the name, Peace for Christmas, and was Lennon’s last live appearance in his home country. Clapton had already lost interest in his latest group, Blind Faith, and was looking at outside projects.
 1970s Frank Zappa was pushed by a jealous fan into the orchestra pit at a 1971 London concert. Zappa suffered a broken leg and ankle, as well as a fractured skull. He would have to spend 9 months in a wheelchair and another 3 months in a surgical brace. A week earlier, Zappa’s Mothers of Invention appearance in Montreux occurred during some Smoke On the Water (the building caught fire while they were playing on stage), which was observed by Deep Purple and turned into a classic rock hit.
 1970s Australia had its first female artist hit number 1 in the U.S. when Helen Reddy took I Am Woman to the top in 1972. I Don’t Know How to Love Him stalled at number 13 the previous year, but after I Am Woman, the hits came quite easily. Delta Dawn and Angie Baby (her only U.K. top 10 song), would also make number 1 in the next couple of years, while Leave Me Alone, You and Me Against the World and Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady would all make the top 10. Reddy also appeared in several movies in the 1970s, including Airport, All This and World War II, Pete’s Dragon and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with Peter Frampton and The Bee Gees.
 1970s The stage version of Tommy opened in London in 1972, with members of The Who, Rod Stewart, Steve Winwood, Ringo Starr, Richie Havens and Richard Harris performing with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Rainbow Theatre.
 1970s Genesis appeared in the U.S. for the first time, at a Boston university in 1972. They were promoting Foxtrot, their fourth album. The classic line-up of Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, Steve Hackett and Phil Collins had been established for a year and a half, and would remain intact for another 2½ years. Watcher of the Skies was probably the best of the six tracks on the album.
 1970s Marc Bolan starred in the movie, Born to Boogie which was first shown in London this week in 1972. Elton John made a guest appearance, and none other than Ringo Starr directed. Exactly five years later, John Travolta and The Bee Gees had their contributions to Saturday Night Fever appreciated at the New York premiere.
 1970s Mick Taylor left The Rolling Stones in 1974, a mere 5½ years after replacing lead guitarist, Brian Jones. Taylor later joined The Jack Bruce Band and was replaced in The Stones by Ron Wood, formerly of The Faces.
 1970s David Bowie’s follow-up to the number 1 hit, Fame, jumped into the top 40 in the U.S. in 1975. Golden Years was from his upcoming LP, Station to Station, and would soon peak at number 10. It would be his last major hit until several disco songs became popular in 1983.
 1970s Ace Frehley rocked and then rolled over in 1976 when he received an electrical shock on stage in Lakeland, Florida. He was carried off after the jolt, but returned minutes later. The group was currently enjoying a number 4 single with Beth, as well as the release of a new album, Rock and Roll Over, with future hits, Calling Dr. Love and Hard Luck Woman.
 1970s Robin Trower had his latest album, Long Misty Days, strike gold in 1976. Trower was lead guitarist for Procol Harum before leaving for a solo career in 1971. He would rejoin his old group in 1991 for a new studio album, The Prodigal Stranger, but would not go on tour with them.
 1980s A member of the doo wop group, The Orioles, died in 1981 of a heart attack. Sonny Til sang lead vocals on such great songs as It’s Too Soon to Know and the original version of Crying in the Chapel. They were acknowledged as one of the very first groups to perform the right combination of vocal parts in songs that were later given the doo wop label.
 1980s Original member of The Rolling Stones, Ian Stewart, died in 1985 of a heart attack. He was forced from the band in May of 1963 when management felt that he didn’t fit the image of the group. Stewart died in his doctor’s waiting room.
 1980s Chicago had the top song in 1988, with Look Away. It was their third and last number 1. Can you name the other two? The hit single capped off a good year for past and present members of Chicago, as former lead singer and bass player, Peter Cetera, charted with two singles and two albums, while the group also did well with their Chicago 19 album and the number 3 single, I Don’t Wanna Live Without Your Love.
 1990s Bette Midler had a very impressive 1990 follow-up to Wind Beneath My Wings with From a Distance, a song from her album, Some People’s Lives. The latest single hit number 2 in the U.S. this week, and remained in the top 40 for 19 weeks, a month longer than Wind Beneath My Wings. Midler was named after Bette Davis and began her career working in Broadway musicals. In 1972 she released her first album, The Divine Miss M, which was a huge hit, as were its three singles, Do You Want to Dance?, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and Friends. Midler would also score big in 1980 with The Rose.
 1990s The Beatles were back at number 1 on the U.S. albums chart in 1995 when Anthology 1 vaulted to the top for the first of three weeks. It went on to sell over 4 million copies of the double CD, which included rare Beatle recordings in the form of demos, alternate takes, live versions and previously unreleased material.
 1990s Paul McCartney played The Cavern Club in Liverpool in 1999, for the first time in over 35 years. His back-up band included David Gilmour, Pete Wingfield, Chris Hall, Ian Paice and Mick Green. The group performed songs from McCartney’s newest album of old chestnuts, Run Devil Run. A couple of other songs were also heard by the 300 lucky members of the audience, including Fabulous with its false start, and the first track on The Beatles debut album, I Saw Her Standing There.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

December 9:
Rick Danko (The Band, 1943), Joan Armatrading (1950), and Donny Osmond (1957) became Sweet and Innocent on this day.
December 10:
Chad Stuart (Chad & Jeremy) was born on Distant Shores in 1943.
December 11:
Big Mama Thornton (1926), David Gates (Bread, 1940) and Brenda Lee (1944) first enjoyed Mother Freedom.
December 12:
Frank Sinatra (1915), Connie Francis (1938), Dionne Warwick (1940), Dickey Betts (The Allman Brothers Band, 1943) and Paul Rodgers (Free / Bad Company, 1949) all felt the Love Power.
December 13:
The Doctor delivered Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Steely Dan / The Doobie Brothers) and Ted Nugent, both in 1948.
December 14:
Charlie Rich (1942) and Bill Mononen (Copperpenny, 1948) were born Behind Closed Doors.
December 15:
Guess Who was born on this day? It was Jesse Belvin (who wrote Earth Angel) in 1932 and Cindy Birdsong (replacement in The Supremes for Florence Ballard) in 1939.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

December 9:
Sonny Til (The Orioles) died in 1981 of a heart attack.
December 10:
Otis Redding died in a plane crash in 1967. Faron Young committed suicide with a gun in 1996. Rick Danko (The Band), died in his sleep in 1999 at the age of 56.
December 11:
Sam Cooke was shot to death in 1964.
December 12:
Original Rolling Stone, Ian Stewart, died in 1985 of a heart attack.
December 13:
Dinah Washington died in 1963 from an overdose of alcohol and pills. On a Friday the 13th in 2002, and just six days shy of his 58th birthday, Zal Yanovsky of The Lovin’ Spoonful died of a heart attack.
December 15:
Glenn Miller died in 1944 when his plane disappeared. Jackie Brenston died of a heart attack in 1979. His recording of Rocket 88 is considered by some to be the very first rock ‘n’ roll record.

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