| Johnny Ace died in 1954 from playing Russian Roulette. He began singing and
playing piano in groups with such blues legends as Bobby Bland and
B.B. King. After signing with Duke Records he had a string of hits,
including My Song, Saving My Love, Please Forgive Me,
Cross My Heart and The Clock, all of which made the top 3 on the
R&B charts. He would have two more hits after his death, Pledging My
Love and Anymore.
| Elvis Presley ended 1956 with ten singles in the top 100. He
had 17 different singles chart during the year. Among them were Heartbreak
Hotel, Hound Dog, Dont Be Cruel, I Want You I Need
You I Love You, Love Me Tender and Love Me. Paralyzed
was one of three songs that had just entered the chart, and its a
| Bo Diddley was a real crowd-pleaser in
1958 when Alan Freed held
the first show of a ten day Christmas Rock and Roll Spectacular. Diddley
was joined by Johnnie Ray, The Everly Brothers, Chuck
Berry, Eddie Cochran, The Moonglows, Jackie Wilson and
Frankie Avalon at Loews State Theater in Manhattan, New
| Brenda Lee had her house burn to the ground
in 1962. She was 18 years old at
the time and lost her poodle, Cee Cee, in the fire. Her current hit was All
Alone Am I, and was one of nine singles for the year, in addition to three
successful albums, Sincerely, Brenda Lee, All the Way and
Brenda, Thats All. Little Miss Dynamite was also having
seasonal success with her Rockin Around the Christmas Tree hit
that featured Boots Randolph on saxophone.
| Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys
suffered a nervous breakdown in 1964 while on a flight from Los Angeles to Houston. It was
at the start of a two week tour, and Wilson decided to retire from live
work. Ironically, their Beach Boys Concert album was sitting at number 1
at the time. Glen Campbell became a temporary replacement, shortly after
which Bruce Johnston joined the group.
| spent its third Christmas
in a row at the top of the U.K. albums chart when Rubber Soul made it
week number 3 in 1965. It
followed Beatles For Sale (1964) and With
(1963) Two more special holidays would follow, in 1968 and 1969, with
(The White Album) and Abbey Road.
| The Dave Clark Five finally hit number 1 in
the U.S. when Over and Over did the trick at the end of 1965. Six of their other songs had already
been in the top 10, but Over and Over was Americas favourite. At
home in the U.K., only Glad All Over made it to the top. You Got What
It Takes from 1967 would be their last big hit in the U.S.
| The Magical Mystery Tour movie was shown on
TV on Boxing Day, 1967. While it
contained some of the best tracks ever recorded by The Fab Four, the
movie itself was dismal. (The best scene had John Lennon shovelling
spaghetti onto the plate of a very large woman. Lennon got the idea in a
dream he had.) More Magical Mystery Tour disappointment followed in the
1990s when the movie version of the title track was not included on any of the
Anthology releases. The day before the showing of the movie, Paul
McCartney announced his engagement to Jane Asher, sister of Peter Asher
(Peter and Gordon). It was called off six months
| Dave Mason left Traffic this week in
1967. He returned the following
May. Mason has released some terrific material since then, including his
recording of All Along the Watchtower. Its no coincidence that his
treatment is very similar to the recording by Jimi Hendrix, as Mason
was in the studio at the time that Hendrix laid down the classic
| Eric Burdon announced that The Animals
would be calling it quits after their current 1968 tours were finished. They were still
having the occasional hit, the last being Sky Pilot from the previous
summer, but personnel changes were becoming commonplace at this point. Their
last album was Love Is, with covers like River Deep Mountain
High, Ring of Fire and To Love Somebody.
| Diana Ross finished with The Supremes
and the decade when Someday Well Be Together became their last
of a dozen number 1 U.S. singles in 1969. The prediction would not come true however, when in
2000, Ms. Ross toured with some ex-Supremes that she didnt
even know. Remaining shows were cancelled after poor ticket sales. After
Someday Well Be Together, only Up the Ladder to the Roof
and Stoned Love cracked the top 10 in 1970.
| Rose Garden hit number 1 on the U.S.
country charts for the first of 5 weeks in 1970. It was Lynn Andersons first single to
make it all the way to the top, after sixteen other top 40 songs. She would be
named the 1971 Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association,
after following Rose Garden with Youre My Man and How
Can I Unlove You, both number 1 hits.
| In 1972, police provoked a 2 hour riot in Miami, Florida,
after disconnecting the power during a Manfred Manns Earth Band
encore because of a noise complaint. The band was touring to promote their
latest album, Glorified Magnified.
| Jim Croce had the number 1 song at the end
of 1973, with Time in a
Bottle. It was his last song to top the charts, and was released as a
single long after it appeared on his debut album, You Dont Mess Around
With Jim. The single helped push the album to number 1 as well, after the
LP had been on the charts for over a year and a half.
| James Taylor, Carly Simon, Linda
Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell were seen singing Christmas carols around
Hollywood in 1974. And speaking
of Christmas music, pick up Chris Reas 1988 release, New Light
Through Old Windows. An instantly likeable holiday song is included on the
album, called Driving Home for Christmas. And if youre into a
jazzy Christmas mood, try Bobby Curtolas, St. Nicholas
Christmas. Its from the 1992 Tartan Records CD, Christmas
Flashback. Very catchy.
| Ted Nugent had a gun aimed at him at while
on stage at one of his Washington concerts in 1975. The rifleman later commented that now Nugent,
an avid hunter, knew what it was like to be staring down the barrel of a gun.
David Gelfer was charged with intimidating with a weapon.
| The decade ended in 1979 with Escape (The Pina Colada Song) at the
number 1 position. Rupert Holmes enjoyed 3 weeks at the top in the U.S.,
and also saw the follow-up, Him, make the top 10. He had previously done
studio work for The Drifters, The Platters and Gene
| Beach Boy drummer, Dennis Wilson,
drowned on December 28th, in 1983. He was the only surfer in the band and the first to
release a solo album. Pacific Ocean Blue was issued in 1977, with
Wilson singing and writing every track. He drowned in Marina Del Rey,
California, while under the influence. Special permission was granted by
President Reagan to have a burial at sea, which is usually only allowed with
deceased navy personnel.
| Rick Allen, drummer of Def Leppard,
lost his left arm in a car accident in 1984, after crashing his Corvette while racing another
driver on a U.K. highway. The arm had been sewn back on, but had to be removed
three days later. His right arm was also damaged.
| Rick Nelson died in a plane crash on
December 31st, 1985.
He was seen on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet before hitting the charts
with songs like Poor Little Fool, Travellin Man and
Garden Party. His twin sons had several hits (Love and Affection
and After the Rain), in the 1990s as the duo, Nelson. The
airplane caught fire and crashed in Texas, killing the recording star, his
fiancée, the sound engineer, as well as his backup band.
| Jackie Wilson had his biggest U.K. hit when
the re-release of Reet Petite hit number 1 in 1986, almost three years after he died and 29 years after
it first made the top 10. It received a lot of help from a much-played video
produced for the song. Wilsons highest chart climber in the U.S.
was Night from 1960, while Lonely Teardrops remains his most
loved song. Mr. Excitement was also remembered in Van Morrisons
song, Jackie Wilson Said, from 1972.
| Roger Waters, The Tide is Turning
(After Live Aid) single peaked at number 54 on the U.K. singles chart in
1987. The song was taken from his
Radio Kaos album released earlier in the year. Shortly before, his old
bandmates, still using the Pink Floyd name, stalled at number 55 with
On the Turning Away, a song taken from the excellent A Momentary
Lapse of Reason album.
| Cher saw her latest single, Just Like
Jesse James, hit number 8 in 1989. It was her last U.S. top 10 single until Believe
in 1998. Just Like Jesse James was her third song off the Heart
of Stone album to reach the upper portion of the singles chart, and shortly
after, the title track would also do well, making it to number
| Phil Collins ended 1989 with Another Day in Paradise as the number 1
single. It was the first of five top 40 singles from his ...But Seriously
album. Only Hang in Long Enough would not make it into the top 4 of
the U.S. singles chart. Another Day in Paradise would also become the
number 1 song of 1989 in the U.S.
| Harry Connick Jr. was being a very bad boy
in 1992. The talented piano
player and singer was arrested for carrying a gun onto an airplane at John F.
Kennedy International Airport in New York. Connick had just released
25, an album of material that was a return to his more successful style
of bare-bones singing and piano accompaniment. He did, however, get a bit of
help on several tracks from Ellis Marsalis and Johnny
| Sheryl Crow performed a New Years gig
in 1994 (and into 1995), at the
Hard Rock Cafe in Maui, Hawaii. All I Wanna Do (stolen from Stealers
Wheels, Stuck in the Middle With You), had just been a big hit
and was followed up by another top 10 single, Strong
| After cooking a frozen pizza, drinking a root
beer, getting a start on some laundry and phoning her mother in New Jersey,
Cristin Keleher was arrested in George Harrisons Maui home in
sister-in-law found the intruder and called police. Keleher was charged
with burglary and theft. The incident was minor compared to what happened
exactly one week later.
| George Harrison didnt expect to see
the end of the millennium after he was attacked at Friar Park, his Oxfordshire
mansion, in 1999. At about 3:00
a.m., Michael Abram, a 33 year old Liverpudlian, stabbed Harrison
several times in the chest. With the help of wife Olivia and son Dhani, the
intruder was hit over the head with a lamp and then detained until police
arrived. Harrison suffered a collapsed lung but eventually recovered
from the wound. While in hospital, Harrison commented that Abram
certainly wasnt auditioning for The Traveling
Wilburys. Abram was found not guilty by reason of
| Chris Isaak returned to his home town of
Stockton, California, in 1999 for
the first of two year-end appearances. He hadnt ever performed in front
of a local audience after leaving the area 17 years before. Isaak joked
that, they dropped all the charges so its wonderful to come
back. His last album had been 1998s, Speak of the Devil, and
was probably his best. And then in 1999, Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing was
remixed and included in the Stanley Kubrick movie, Eyes Wide Shut. The song had
originally appeared as the lead-off track on Forever Blue from
| Bryan Ferry had the scare of his life in
2000 while on a flight from
London to Nairobi. A crazed passenger entered the cockpit, disabled the
autopilot and steered the Boeing 747 plane into several nosedives before the
cabin crew could regain control. A 27 year old man from Kenya was taken into
custody when the plane landed, while the pilot and a flight attendant were
treated for injuries. It is not known whether this event got Ferry
thinking about reuniting with Roxy Music, which did occur months
later. Ferrys latest solo effort had been As Time Goes By,
an album of cover versions from the fall of 1999.
| Pollstars Top 10 list of tours for the year
2000 showed some interesting
results. At number 1 was Tina Turner with earnings of $80.2 million from
her Twenty Four Seven farewell tour. Fourth place was earned by another
final world-wide trek as Kiss came in at the $62.7 million level. The
reunited Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were in eighth spot with $42.1
million, while Metallica was ninth at $42 million.
|What a Diffrence a Day Makes. Or two.
Esther Phillips (1935) and
Johnny Kidd (1939) were
born two days before Christmas.
Cow, Dave Bartholomew (1920), Lee Dorsey (1924) and Mike Curb (1944) were all born the day before Christmas.
|OKelly Isley (1937), Noel Redding (Jimi
Hendrix Experience, 1945),
Jimmy Buffett (1946) and
Annie Lennox (1954) made
their families Twist and Shout when they arrived on Christmas
|The parents of Phil Spector finished their
production of the boy in 1940 on
the day after Christmas.
|Scotty Moore (guitarist for Elvis Presley,
1931), Mick Jones
(Foreigner, 1944) and
David Knopfler (Dire Straits, 1952) were all born a Long, Long Way From
|Edgar Winter (1946) and Alex Chilton (The Box Tops,
1950) had good reason to Cry
Like a Baby.
|Marianne Faithfull (1946), Cozy Powell (Emerson,
Lake & Powell, 1947) and
Yvonne Elliman (1951) were
all greeted by the words, Hello Stranger.
||There were strict instructions to Handle With Care
when Bo Diddley (1928), Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul & Mary,
1937), Del Shannon
(1939) Michael Nesmith
(1942), Davy Jones
(1945) and Jeff Lynne
(ELO / Traveling Wilburys (1947) were delivered on this day.
||Andy Summers (The Police, 1942), John Denver (1943), Burton Cummings (The
Guess Who, 1947), Donna
Summer (1948) and Tom
Hamilton (Aerosmith, 1951) came into a Hand Me Down World on the last
day of the year.
|Johnny Ace died playing Russian Roulette in
1954. Nick Massi (The
Four Seasons) died at the age of 65 in 2000.
|Charlie Chaplin died at the age of 88 in 1977. His song, Smile, was made
into a hit by Nat King Cole, and was covered by other artists as well,
including Eric Clapton and Tony Bennett. Ron Tabak
(Prism) died in 1984
from a brain hemorrhage. Dean Martin died in 1995 at the age of 78.
|Curtis Mayfield died in 1999 at the age of 57.
|Freddie King died in 1976 of heart failure.
|Dennis Wilson (The Beach Boys) drowned in
1983. Barry Cowsills
body was found in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in
|Tim Hardin died of a drug overdose in 1980.
||Johnny Moore (The Drifters) died in
1998 after breathing
||Rick Nelson died in a plane crash in 1985. Floyd Cramer passed away at
the age of 64 in 1997.