Thursday, July 7, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: July 8

1954:  Sam Phillips, Elvis Presley's manager, gave Memphis D.J. Dewey Phillips of WHBQ Radio a copy of Presley's "That's All Right (Mama)" for his radio show and Presley appeared on Phillips' show.  Phillips that night became the first DJ to play an Elvis Presley song.  (Note:  several websites claim Phillips played the song on July 6 or 7.  According to the newspaper 'The Knoxville Journal', the official Graceland website and the book 'Turn It Up!  American Radio Tales 1946-1996' by Bob Shannon, the correct date is July 8.)
1958:  The soundtrack to Oklahoma! became the first album to be certified Gold by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA).

1959:  Santo and Johnny released the single "Sleep Walk" on Trinity Records.  (Note:  one naive website claims the song was released as a single in August.  "Sleep Walk" debuted on the Singles chart on July 27.  It is physically impossible for a song to be included on the Singles chart if it has not been released as a single.)
1960:  Jimmy Jones had the #1 U.K. hit with "Good Timin'".
1963:  Freddie & the Dreamers recorded "I'm Telling You Now".

1964:  The Elvis Presley movie Viva Las Vegas, generally regarded as one of his best, was #8 in the United States.
1965:  The Hollies' "I'm Alive" returned to #1 in the U.K.
1967:  How's this for a combo?  Jimi Hendrix opened on a national tour at the Jacksonville Coliseum in Jacksonville, Florida for the Monkees.

1967:  Another look back at one of the top years in the Rock Era.  "Windy" by the Association remained at #1 but the Music Explosion was challenging with "Little Bit O' Soul".  Frankie Valli's solo hit "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (he was still in the 4 Seasons) was at #3 and Scott McKenzie remained at 4 with "San Francisco".  The rest of a dynamite Top 10:  Petula Clark's "Don't Sleep In The Subway", "Come On Down To My Boat" from Every Mother's Son, the 5th Dimension's magical "Up-Up And Away" moving from 12-7, the Grass Roots at #8 with "Let's Live For Today", the Young Rascals were on their way down with their classic #1 "Groovin'" and Johnny Rivers joined the group at #10 with "The Tracks Of My Tears".

1967:  One of The Top R&B Songs of the Rock Era*, "Respect" from Aretha Franklin, spent its eighth week at the top on this date. 

1967:  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which had debuted at #8 two weeks before, completed the climb up the Top 200 Albums by reaching #1 for the Beatles one week later and on this date, made it two weeks in a row.  That was nothing--the Beatles would go on to record 15 weeks at the top.  Headquarters from their rival the Monkees was hanging in there at #2.  Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass remained at 3 with Sounds Like.

1968:  Steppenwolf released the single "Born To Be Wild" on Dunhill Records.
1968:  Pink Floyd opened their 20-date tour of North America at the Kinetic Playground in Chicago, Illinois.
1969:  Marianne Faithfull was found in a coma after a drug overdose.
1970:  The Everly Brothers Show began on ABC-TV as a summer television series.

1972:  The Who released the single "Join Together" in the United States.  It had been released June 16 in the U.K.

1972:  "Lean On Me" hit #1 for Bill Withers, with a message we could all take to heart.  Billy Preston's "Outa-Space", one of The Top 100 Instrumentals of the Rock Era*, was up to #2 and the former #1 "Song Sung Blue" from Neil Diamond was down to 3.  Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose came in fourth with "Too Late To Turn Back Now" followed by the former #1 from Sammy Davis, Jr.--"The Candy Man".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Troglodyte" from the Jimmy Castor Bunch, "Rocket Man" by Elton John, Vegas star Wayne Newton got in on the action with "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast", America remained at 9 with "I Need You" and Luther Ingram's still not right with "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right".
1972:  Neil Diamond's "Song Sung Blue" remained at #1 on the Adult chart for a fifth week.
1973:  Mott the Hoople appeared at Royal Albert Hall in London, where the crowd rioted and two boxes in the prestigious venue were damaged.  The Hall temporarily banned rock concerts and issued the group with a fine.
1978:  Lionel Richie & the Commodores were moving on up with "Three Times a Lady"--49 to 26 on this date.

1978:  Teddy Pendergrass owned the top R&B hit with "Close The Door".
1978:  Roberta Flack took over at #1 on the AC chart with "If Ever I See You Again".

1978:  Maybe it was the weather (or being out of school) but summer music sounded better.  Andy Gibb was just beginning a long stay at #1 with "Shadow Dancing" while Gerry Rafferty was camped out at #2 for a fourth week with the classic "Baker Street".  ABBA had #3 with "Take A Chance On Me".  The O'Jays edged up to 4 with "Use Ta Be My Girl" and Bob Seger had #5--"Still The Same".  The rest of the Top 10:  Rod Stewart sound alike Bonnie Tyler with "It's A Heartache", the Stones rolled up from 14-7 with "Miss You", Peter Brown with "Dance With Me", Heatwave had folks dancing with "The Groove Line" at #9 and Carly Simon's 13th hit and fifth Top 10--"You Belong To Me" was at #10.

1978:  Gerry Rafferty dislodged Saturday Night Fever from #1 on the Album chart after an unprecedented 24 consecutive weeks (with the album City To City).  Natural High from the Commodores was third, followed by Some Girls by the Rolling Stones and Stranger in Town from Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band.  The rest of the Top 10:  Darkness on the Edge of Town by Bruce Springsteen, Andy Gibb's Shadow Dancing, Feels So Good from Chuck Mangione at #8, the Soundtrack to "Grease" at #9 and Carly Simon's Boys in the Trees completing the list.
1979:  The B-52's gave their first concert in the U.K. at the Lyceum Ballroom in London.

1981:  Tom Petty released the single with Stevie Nicks--"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around".
1981:  The Jacksons began a national tour at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee.  (Note:  several websites claim the tour began July 9.  Not only did it not begin that date but there was no show on July 9.  The group opened the tour July 8 at the Mid-South Coliseum and after a night off, resumed July 10, according to the book 'Untouchable:  The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson' by Randall Sullivan.)  
1984:  Bono of U2 and Van Morrison joined Bob Dylan on stage at Wembley Stadium in London, with the three singing "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue".
1987:  U2 performed at Vorst National in Brussels, Belgium.

1989:  The Fine Young Cannibals made it two #1's out of the gate as the follow-up to "She Drives Me Crazy", "Good Thing" hit #1. 
1992:  Garth Brooks and wife Sandy celebrated their new daughter, Taylor Mayne Pearl.

1995:  It didn't even take a music professional to tell where this song was heading.  "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal moved from 54 to 32 on this date.
1995:  Michael Jackson continued the ever-increasing practice of debuting at #1 on the Album chart with HIStory:  Past, Present and Future-Book I.

1995:  "Waterfalls", one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era* from TLC, climbed from 7 to the top on this date.  Monica was stuck at #2 with "Don't Take It Personal (just one of dem days)". 

1996:  The Spice Girls released their debut single "Wannabe" in Great Britain.  It would not be released in North America until six months later.

1997:  Jewel released the single "Foolish Games".
1998:  The estate for Roy Orbison filed a $12 million royalty suit against Sony Music.
2000:  Iron Maiden had to cancel several dates of a European tour after guitarist Janick Gers fell off stage during a concert in Mannheim, Germany.
2001:  Coldplay and Beck performed on the final night of the T in the Park Festival in Balado, Scotland.

2001:  Alicia Keys reached #1 on the Album chart with her superb Songs in A Minor.
2003:  Nickelback began filming the video to "Someday" in their hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  It was a two-day project finished July 9.
2003:  An article in the Wall Street Journal emphasized the similarity between lyrics on Bob Dylan's 2001 album Love and Theft and the Japanese book Confessions of a Yakuza.  Author Dr. Junichi Saga claims never to have heard of Dylan.  Better not tell Bob that--don't think his ego could take it.
2004:  Scott Weiland, formerly with Stone Temple Pilots and then with Velvet Revolver, was given three years probation after being convicted of a DUI in a Los Angeles court.
2004:  David Bowie was forced to cancel several concerts after having emergency heart surgery.  (Note:  Several websites report Bowie had the surgery July 9.  News reports surfaced at midnight on July 9, but all of them said the surgery was the night before (July 8), and CBS News confirms that the surgery was on July 8.)
2004:  Mark Purseglove was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in jail for bootlegging famous recordings by the Beatles, Pink Floyd and others.

2005:  Soul great and great guy Luther Vandross was laid to rest following a funeral service at New York's Riverside Church.  Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Usher and Patti LaBelle were among those in attendance. 
2006:  Nelly Furtado owned the #1 album with Loose.
2007:  The Chemical Brothers topped the U.K. Album chart with We Are the Night.
2015:  Ernie Maresca, who co-wrote "The Wanderer" and "Runaround Sue" for Dion, died at his home in Pompano Beach, Florida at age 76.

Born This Day:
1930:  Buddy Bregman, composer, arranger and producer for many of the greatest stars just prior and just after the Rock Era began, was born in Chicago, Illinois; died January 8 in Los Angeles of complications of Alzheimer's disease.  Bregamn worked with such superstars as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, Ethel Merman, Louis Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Count Basie, Buddy Rich and Eddie Fisher.
1935:  Steve Lawrence (Sidney Liebowitz) was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1944:  Jai Johanny Johanson, drummer and one of the founding members of the Allman Brothers Band, was born in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  (Note:  some websites insist Jaimoe, as he was known, was born in Gulfport, Mississippi.  According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was born in Ocean Springs.)
1961:  Andy Fletcher, co-founder and master of synthesizers for Depeche Mode, was born in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England.  (Note:  some websites report he was born July 6, and others say August 8.  According to the book 'Stripped:  Depeche Mode' by Jonathan Miller, Andy was born on July 8 in Nottingham.) 
1961:  Graham Jones, guitarist for Haircut 100 ("Love Plus One"), was born in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.  (Note:  some naive websites claim Jones was born in the county of East Riding of Yorkshire.  The county was not named that until 1974, 13 years after Jones was born, and you will never see East Riding of Yorkshire listed as Graham's County of Birth on his official birth certificate.) 

1962:  Joan Osborne was born in Anchorage, Kentucky.
1970:  Beck (Beck David Campbell) was born in Los Angeles.
1985:  Jamie Cook, guitarist, songwriter and a founding member of the Arctic Monkeys, was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.

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