Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: April 6

1956:  Elvis Presley signed a seven-year, three-movie contract with Paramount Pictures.  (Note:  some websites report that Elvis signed a three-movie deal with Paramount on April 4.  Some sites claim that Presley signed a one-picture deal, with an option for six more, on April 25.  According to the book 'The Gospel According to Elvis' by Kevin Crouch and Tanya Crouch, Presley signed his first contract, a seven-year, three-movie contract, on April 6.  The April 6 date is confirmed by the newspaper 'The Chicago Tribune', as well as the official website for guitarist Scotty Moore.)

1956:  Capitol Tower, the home of Capitol Records, was dedicated in Los Angeles, California.  The iconic building was the first circular building (13 stories and 92 feet in diameter) in America.
1957:  Fats Domino held off the competition to remain at #1 for a third week on the R&B chart with "I'm Walkin'".

1959:  Johnny Horton released the single "The Battle Of New Orleans" on Columbia Records.


                                               The Fleetwoods...

1959:  "Venus" by Frankie Avalon was #1 for a fifth consecutive week.  The Fleetwoods were second with "Come Softly To Me" while Brook Benton's crossover hit "It's Just A Matter of Time" grabbed the #3 spot.
1962:  The communist newspaper Pravda warned youths about the dangers of twisting (Chubby Checker had just released a smash hit about the dance "The Twist".)  The youth of Russia decided they would rather be free, and they later got that freedom with the collapse of the Soviet communist empire.
1963:  The great Motown group Martha & the Vandellas were a brand new act on this date.  Although most wouldn't know them until a bit later, their first single, "Come And Get These Memories", debuted on the chart.

1963:  The Kingsmen recorded their version of "Louie, Louie".
1963:  Skeeter Davis had the top Easy Listening song for a third week with "The End Of The World".
1963:  The Chiffons took over at #1 on the R&B chart with "He's So Fine".

1965:  The Beach Boys began recording "California Girls" with the recording of the instrumental track at United Western Recorders in Hollywood, California.  It took 44 takes before Brian Wilson of the group felt it was satisfactory.  The song was completed June 4 with vocal overdubs.

1965:  Elvis Presley released the single "Crying In The Chapel" on RCA Victor Records.
1966:  The first studio session for the Beatles' album Revolver began at Abbey Road studios in London as the group recorded the rhythm track and vocals for "Tomorrow Never Knows".
1967:  The first master tape of the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was made.  The Beatles were insistent that there be no gaps between tracks, a revolutionary idea at the time.
1968:  Cliff Richard's song "Congratulations" finished second at the Eurovision Song Contest at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
1968:  Pink Floyd made the announcement that group founder Syd Barrett was leaving the group.  Barrett's drug use had caused him to suffer from psychiatric disorders.

1968:  Apple Records, the new Beatles record company, opened in London.

1968:  Simon and Garfunkel reached #1 on the Album chart with "The Graduate" Soundtrack.
1968:  Paul Mauriat was #1 on the Adult chart for an eighth week with "Love Is Blue".

                                        One of the great voices of the Rock Era...

1968:  The late Otis Redding remained at #1 for the fourth week with "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay".  Gary Puckett, from Twin Falls, Idaho, and the Union Gap moved nicely from 7 to 2 with "Young Girl". The Monkees were next with "Valleri" and the Delfonics climbed to 4 with "La - La - Means I Love You".  The rest of the Top 10:  Aretha Franklin and "(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone", the Box Tops exploded from 15 to 6 with "Cry Like A Baby", the Beatles were up with "Lady Madonna", Georgie Fame and "The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde", Paul Mauriat's #1 smash was finally down and Bobby Goldsboro moved from 23-10 with "Honey".

1971:  Carly Simon met James Taylor after her concert at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.  The two married November 3, 1972.
1971:  The Rolling Stones, ever wanting to copy the Beatles and share in some of that success, launched their own record label, Rolling Stones Records, albeit three years after the Beatles did.

1971:  Pete Quaife announced he was leaving the Kinks.

Waterloo by ABBA on Grooveshark
1974:  ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with "Waterloo".
1974:  Gladys Knight & the Pips moved to #1 on the R&B chart with "Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me".

                                                  The incomparable Joni Mitchell...

1974:  John Denver's Greatest Hits was #1 again on the Album chart, holding off Band on the Run from Paul McCartney & Wings and Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark.
1974:  The Stylistics were hot with their new song--"You Make Me Feel Brand New" rose from 70 to 48.

1974:  Billy Joel had his first Top 40 hit with "Piano Man".

1974:  Blue Swede grabbed #1 with their remake of "Hooked On A Feeling".  Elton John moved to challenge with "Bennie And The Jets" and John Denver's #1--"Sunshine On My Shoulders" fell to #3.  Terry Jacks' former #1 "Seasons In The Sun" was ahead of Sister Janet Mead's "The Lord's Prayer" and "Come And Get Your Love" from Redbone.  The rest of the Top 10:  Cher with "Dark Lady", MFSB with the Three Degrees moved from 12 to 8 with "TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)", Carly Simon & James Taylor with "Mockingbird" and Gladys Knight & the Pips entered the list with "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me".
1974:  California Jam 1 Festival took place in Ontario, California.  The Eagles, Earth, Wind & Fire, Seals & Crofts, Deep Purple, Rare Earth, Black Sabbath, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Black Oak Arkansas were some of the performers.  The Festival attracted over 400,000 fans.
1978:  Peter Frampton was a guest star on the final episode of Black Sheep Squadron on NBC-TV.  (Note:  some websites show the date as April 5, but the correct date is April 6, according to 'TV Guide'.)
1979:  Rod Stewart married Alana Hamilton in Beverly Hills, California.
1981:  Bob Hite of Canned Heat died of a heart attack in Los Angeles at the age of 36.  36?  Sounds like mitigating circumstances.  And indeed, you're right if you think that.  Hite died of a heart attack brought on by drugs April 6, 1981 in Los Angeles, California.    (Some websites report that Hite died on April 5, and others on April 16.  Websites also report that he died in Hollywood.  This is the truth as close as we can piece it together: 

Canned Heat performed April 5 at the Palomino Club in Hollywood.  In between sets, Hite was given a drug vile by a fan backstage.  Thinking it was cocaine, he snorted it up his nose.  The vile was heroin, and Hite immediately collapsed.  Hite's condition was further compromised when fans fed him cocaine, which he impulsively snorted.  Hite was then loaded into his van, and taken to a nearby home in Los Angeles.  Hite died in the back of the van there, and the place of death of Los Angeles is confirmed by the Blues Hall of Fame.  Hite died on April 6, also according to Scott Stanton's book, The Blues Hall of Fame, as well as the newspapers 'The New York Times' and 'The Independent'.)
1984:  Thomas Dolby ("She Blinded Me With Science") made his first U.S. concert appearance at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center - Mair Hall in Poughkeepsie, New York.
1984:  Miami Steve Van Zandt left Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, replaced by Nils Lofgrin. 
1985:  Gilbert O'Sullivan won a lawsuit against former manager Gordon Mills for unpaid royalties and was awarded $2 million.

1985:  Paul Young earned his second #1 album in the U.K. with The Secret of Association featuring the song "Everytime You Go Away".
1985:  The Commodores worked the "Nightshift" to #1 for a fourth week on the R&B chart.
1984:  Ral Donner ("You Don't Know What You've Got (Until You Lose It" from 1961) died of lung cancer at age 41 in Chicago, Illinois.
1987:  Roger Waters' attorneys released a statement saying that Roger believed he was the driving force behind Pink Floyd and that he would contest the use of the name by anyone else, including former band members.
1990:  Tommy Lee of Motley Crue gave himself a concussion after falling from his elevated drum kit in New Haven, Connecticut.  Lee had been dangling from the scaffolding prior to the fall.

                                           "Nothing's Changed" from Chris Isaak...

1991:  The self-titled Mariah Carey was #1 on the Album chart for a sixth week.  Gonna' Make You Sweat by C&C Music Factory was second with the great debut from Wilson Phillips third after 53 weeks of release.  Shake Your Money Maker by the Black Crowes was fourth, while R.E.M. bounded from 16 to 5 in their third week with Out of Time.  The rest of the Top 10:  Sting with The Soul Cages, Chris Isaak's excellent Heart Shaped World, "The Doors" Soundtrack, Vanilla Ice with To the Extreme and Gloria Estefan had #10 with Into the Light.

1992:  Celline Dion released the single "If You Asked Me To" in Canada and the United States.  She released the song in June in the U.K.
1992:  George Harrison played his first full concert in the U.K. since prior to the Beatles' breakup to benefit the Natural Law Party.
1996:  The Beatles' album Anthology 2 reached #1 on the Album chart, 26 years after the famous group's breakup.

                                      The Tony Rich Project with their huge hit...

1996:  Celine Dion remained at #1 for a third week with "Because You Loved Me".  Mariah Carey debuted at #2 with "Always Be My Baby" while the Tony Rich Project were still at #3 after 17 weeks of release with "Nobody Knows".
1998:  Dick Clark, Chubby Checker, Lesley Gore and Fabian appeared on the television show Murphy Brown.
1999:  Tipper Gore played congas with Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Mickey Hart at a fund-raiser for her husband and presidential candidate, Vice President Al Gore.
2000:  A tribute to Joni Mitchell was given at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.  Elton John, Bryan Adams, James Taylor, Shawn Colvin and Cyndi Lauper were among the performers.

2003:  White Stripes held down #1 on the U.K. Album chart with Elephant.

                                                        "Numb" from Linkin Park...

2003:  Linkin Park reached #1 on the US Album chart with Meteroa, the band's debut album.
2003:  K-Ci & Jojo were released from prison in Raleigh, North Carolina after being held for tax evasion.
2003:  Avril Lavigne won four Juno Awards including Album of the Year and Best New Artist of the Year.  Shania Twain won three statues including Best Artist of the Year.

2004:  Niki Sullivan, singer and guitarist, died of a heart attack at his home in Sugar Creek, Missouri at the age of 66.  Sullivan was one of the original members of Buddy Holly's group the Crickets.  (Note:  some websites report his place of death as Independence, Missouri.  His funeral was held in Independence, but Sullivan died at his home in Sugar Creek, according to the newspaper 'The St. Petersburg Times'.)

2008:  R.E.M. was back on top of the U.K. Album chart with Accelerate.

Born This Day:
1944:  Michelle Phillips (real name Holly Michelle Gilliam) of the Mamas and the Papas, was born in Long Beach, California.
1947:  Tony Connor, drummer of Hot Chocolate, was born in Romford, Essex, England.  (Note:  some websites report Connor was born in Romford, Havering, England.  This is not correct.  First, Havering is not a county, but rather a borough of London, located in the county of Greater London.  Second, Havering was created in 1965, long after Connor's birth.)
1951:  Ralph Cooper, drummer for Air Supply
1962:  Stan Cullimore, guitarist of the Housemartins (#1 UK hit "Caravan Of Love"), was born in Hull, England.

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