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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
December 23 - 31
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s 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.
 1950s 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, Don’t 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 it’s a gem.
 1950s 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 Loew’s State Theater in Manhattan, New York.
 1960s 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, That’s All. Little Miss Dynamite was also having seasonal success with her Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree hit that featured Boots Randolph on saxophone.
 1960s 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.
 1960s The Beatles 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 The Beatles (1963) Two more special holidays would follow, in 1968 and 1969, with The Beatles (The White Album) and Abbey Road.
 1960s 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 America’s 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.
 1960s 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 later.
 1960s 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. It’s 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 track.
 1960s 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.
 1960s Diana Ross finished with The Supremes and the decade when Someday We’ll 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 didn’t even know. Remaining shows were cancelled after poor ticket sales. After Someday We’ll Be Together, only Up the Ladder to the Roof and Stoned Love cracked the top 10 in 1970.
 1970s Rose Garden hit number 1 on the U.S. country charts for the first of 5 weeks in 1970. It was Lynn Anderson’s 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 You’re My Man and How Can I Unlove You, both number 1 hits.
 1970s In 1972, police provoked a 2 hour riot in Miami, Florida, after disconnecting the power during a Manfred Mann’s Earth Band encore because of a noise complaint. The band was touring to promote their latest album, Glorified Magnified.
 1970s 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 Don’t 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.
 1970s 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 Rea’s 1988 release, New Light Through Old Windows. An instantly likeable holiday song is included on the album, called Driving Home for Christmas. And if you’re into a jazzy Christmas mood, try Bobby Curtola’s, St. Nicholas Christmas. It’s from the 1992 Tartan Records CD, Christmas Flashback. Very catchy.
 1970s 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.
 1970s 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 Pitney.
 1980s 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.
 1980s 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.
 1980s 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.
 1980s 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. Wilson’s 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 Morrison’s song, Jackie Wilson Said, from 1972.
 1980s 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.
 1980s 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 20.
 1980s 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.
 1990s 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 Adams.
 1990s Sheryl Crow performed a New Year’s gig in 1994 (and into 1995), at the Hard Rock Cafe in Maui, Hawaii. All I Wanna Do (stolen from Stealers Wheel’s, Stuck in the Middle With You), had just been a big hit and was followed up by another top 10 single, Strong Enough.
 1990s 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 Harrison’s Maui home in 1999. Harrison’s 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.
 1990s George Harrison didn’t 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 wasn’t auditioning for The Traveling Wilburys.” Abram was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
 1990s Chris Isaak returned to his home town of Stockton, California, in 1999 for the first of two year-end appearances. He hadn’t ever performed in front of a local audience after leaving the area 17 years before. Isaak joked that, “they dropped all the charges so it’s wonderful to come back.” His last album had been 1998’s, 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 1995.
 2000s 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. Ferry’s latest solo effort had been As Time Goes By, an album of cover versions from the fall of 1999.
 2000s Pollstar’s 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.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

December 23:
What a Diff’rence a Day Makes. Or two. Esther Phillips (1935) and Johnny Kidd (1939) were born two days before Christmas.
December 24:
Holy Cow, Dave Bartholomew (1920), Lee Dorsey (1924) and Mike Curb (1944) were all born the day before Christmas.
December 25:
O’Kelly 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 Day.
December 26:
The parents of Phil Spector finished their production of the boy in 1940 on the day after Christmas.
December 27:
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 Home.
December 28:
Edgar Winter (1946) and Alex Chilton (The Box Tops, 1950) had good reason to Cry Like a Baby.
December 29:
Marianne Faithfull (1946), Cozy Powell (Emerson, Lake & Powell, 1947) and Yvonne Elliman (1951) were all greeted by the words, “Hello Stranger.”
December 30:
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.
December 31:
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.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

December 24:
Johnny Ace died playing Russian Roulette in 1954. Nick Massi (The Four Seasons) died at the age of 65 in 2000.
December 25:
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.
December 26:
Curtis Mayfield died in 1999 at the age of 57.
December 27:
Freddie King died in 1976 of heart failure.
December 28:
Dennis Wilson (The Beach Boys) drowned in 1983. Barry Cowsill’s body was found in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005.
December 29:
Tim Hardin died of a drug overdose in 1980.
December 30:
Johnny Moore (The Drifters) died in 1998 after breathing difficulties.
December 31:
Rick Nelson died in a plane crash in 1985. Floyd Cramer passed away at the age of 64 in 1997.

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