Sunday, February 28, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: February 29

1960:  Percy Faith's "Theme From 'A Summer Place'" again was #1.  
1964:  Meet the Beatles, the first album in America, was #1 for the third week.

1964:  We were introduced to a new group on this date.  The great Temptations first debuted on the chart with their first career single--"The Way You Do the Things You Do".
1964:  "Fun, Fun Fun" from the Beach Boys moved from 69 to 27.

The Rivieras sing the praises of those wonderful California girls!

1964:  The Beatles remained at #1 for the fourth week with "I Want To Hold Your Hand".  Their follow-up "She Loves You" was up to #2 while the 4 Seasons made a bid with "Dawn (Go Away)", which moved from 11 to 3.  The Rivieras had another hot song as "California Sun" moved from 14 to 8.
1968:  Aretha Franklin won her first Grammy, taking home Best Female R&B Performance for "Respect".
1972:  John Lennon's immigration visa in the United States expired.  Lennon would go through hell for 3 1/2 years battling the Nixon White House to stay in the country.  Lennon claimed, and was later validated, that Nixon was trying to deport him because Lennon didn't agree with the Vietnam War.
1976:  Michael Nesmith, guitarist of the Monkees and a solo artist, married wife Kathyrn.
1980:  The glasses belonging to Buddy Holly and a wristwatch worn by J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) were found by the Mason City Sheriff in Iowa among old police files.  The items had been worn by the two stars when their plane crashed February 3, 1959.
1992:  Newcomers Mr. Big completed their run to the top with "To Be With You".  The only new Top 10 song was "Masterpiece" by Atlantic Starr, which moved from 15 to 8.

1992:  Garth Brooks was in the middle of one of the most amazing album runs in the Rock Era.  Three times his album Ropin' the Wind had been bumped out of #1 only to return and now, the album scored its 14th week at the top.  
1996:  Wes Farrell, songwriter and producer of the Partridge Family, who also wrote songs for the Beatles, the Yardbirds, Van Morrison and Jay & the Americans and worked with the Everly Brothers and Lou Christie, died at age 56 of cancer in Fisher Island, Florida.  (Note:  some websites report that Farrell died in Miami, Florida or in Coconut Beach, Florida.  According to the newspaper 'The New York Times', he died while vacationing on Fisher Island.)

2000:  Autlan de Navarro, Mexico announced it would build a public monument Plaza Carlos Santa, to honor elite guitarist Carlos Santana.  The monument and a statue was unveiled on February 28, 2001 and the street Avenue Carlos Santana was named after their native son.
2000: Dennis Danell, guitarist of Social Distortion, died of a brain aneurysm at the age of 38.  (Note:  Lead singer Mike Ness stated on the DVD Another State of Mind that Danell died of a heart condition.  According to the website for Johns Hopkins University, one of the main causes of an aneurysm is coarctation of the aorta, or a narrowing of the aorta, the main artery coming from the heart.  If this indeed was the case, Danell had the heart condition for some time, but he died of a brain aneurysm.)   
2000:  Lonestar's "Amazed" became the first country song to reach #1 in 17 years.  Certainly not because of lack of quality (see Garth Brooks), but rather because of the way Billboard measures success.

2004:  Annie Lennox, Howard Shore and Fran Walsh won Best Original Song for a Motion Picture at the Academy Awards for "Into The West" from Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King.

2012:  Davy Jones, beloved lead singer of the Monkees, died of a severe heart attack at the age of 66 in Indiantown, Florida.

Born This Special Day:
1904:  Jimmy Dorsey, composer, big band leader and multi-instrumentalist ("So Rare" from 1957), was born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania; died of throat cancer in New York City on June 12, 1957.
1940:  Gretchen Christopher of the Fleetwoods ("Come Softly to Me") was born in Olympia, Washington.
1976:  Ja Rule (real name Jeffrey Atkins) was born in Queens, New York.

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