Wednesday, December 21, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: December 22

1956:  Elvis Presley finished the year with 17 hit songs, a Rock Era record that would stay until the magical year of 1964, when the Beatles had 30.
1958:  The creation of David Seville, the Chipmunks, made one of the biggest leaps to #1 of the Rock Era (10-1) with "The Chipmunk Song".  The Platters moved strongly to #2 with "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes".  
1962:  Bob Dylan performed at the Singer's Club Christmas Party in London.
1962:  "Stranger On The Shore" by Mr. Acker Bilk dropped off the U.K. chart after 55 weeks, a Rock Era record for longevity at the time.

1962:  One of The Top 10 Instrumentals of the Rock Era* (The great "Telstar" by the Tornadoes, which was a tribute to the satellite) flew to #1.  
1963:  The documentary The Beatles Come to Town premiered in British cinemas.
1963:  The Beatles performed at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool.

1965:  Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs performed on the television show Where the Action Is.
1967:  The Who, Eric Burdon & the Animals, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd and 1984 (with guitarist Brian May) appeared at the all-night festival Christmas On Earth Continued at The Olympia in London.
1967:  During Pink Floyd's performance for Christmas on Earth Continued, lead singer Syd Barrett gave a frozen stare at the audience throughout the show.  It was Barrett's last major show with the group.
1969:  While staying in Canada, John Lennon met with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and discussed drug abuse with John Munro, the Minister of Health.

1972:  Led Zeppelin performed at Alexandra Palace in London.
1973:  Elton John moved to #1 on the U.K. Album chart with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.
1973:  Helen Reddy continued to top the Adult chart for a fourth week with "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)".

                    Roger Daltrey's amazing performance on "Love, Reign O'er Me"...

1973:  Elton John's first big album was a blockbuster--Goodbye Yellow Brick Road spent a seventh week at #1.  The Joker from the Steve Miller Band moved to 2 with Ringo from Ringo Starr and the "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" Soundtrack behind them.  Quadrophenia by the Who was #5 while the new Carpenters compilation The Singles 1969-1973 moved up a couple of spots.  The rest of the Top 10:  back-to-back albums by the late Jim Croce--You Don't Mess Around with Jim and Life and Times, both over 40 weeks on the chart, Mind Games from John Lennon and Gladys Knight & the Pips moved to #10 with Imagination.

1978:  Kenney Jones of Faces was hired as the new drummer for the Who, replacing the late Keith Moon, who had died a couple of months earlier.
1978:  The stage version of Harry Nilson's The Point premiered in London starring Davy Jones and Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees.
1979:  The Pretenders performed at the Marquee Club in London.

1979:  Rupert Holmes had the new #1 song with "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)".  K.C and the Sunshine Band edged up with "Please Don't Go", while "Babe" by Styx moved behind both of those.  "Send One Your Love", the new Stevie Wonder, was up to #4 while the Commodores' #2 smash "Still" was now fifth.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Captain & Tennille with "Do That to Me One More Time", J.D. Souther's "You're Only Lonely", Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer had "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)", Kool & the Gang entered the Top 10 with "Ladies' Night" and Supertramp was at 10 with the great song "Take The Long Way Home".

1980:  We were introduced to a fiery singer with an amazing voice backed by great guitar licks.  Pat Benatar's first career single debuted on the chart on this date--"Heartbreaker".
1980:  Linda Ronstadt debuted on Broadway in the Gilbert & Sullivan production of The Pirates of Penzance at the Uris Theatre.  (Note:  several websites claim she debuted on Broadway on August 21--not possible, since Ronstadt was starring in the same play in New York City's Central Park, according to the book 'Linda Ronstadt:  A Life In Music' by Peter Lewry, and since the play did not open on Broadway until December 22, according to the official website for 'Playbill'.)
1984:  Madonna went to #1 for the first time with "Like A Virgin".

                                        Chicago's biggest album in years...

1984:  Prince achieved a 22nd week at #1 on the Album chart with Purple Rain.  That was enough for the fourth-most of the Rock Era.  Bruce Springsteen had the #2 album (Born In the U.S.A.) for the 17th consecutive week, Madonna edged up with Like a Virgin and Tina Turner swapped places with Private Dancer.  The rest of the Top 10:  Duran Duran's newest Arena at #5, Big Bam Boom from Hall & Oates, the Honeydrippers slipped with Volume One, Stevie Wonder remained at #8 with "The Woman In Red" Soundtrack, Chicago landed in the Top 10 for the 12th time in 17 album releases with Chicago 17 and the durable Can't Slow Down by Lionel Richie was still in the Top 10 after 59 weeks.
1987:  Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue was pronounced dead on arrival in an ambulance after his heart stopped beating for two minutes due to heroin.  He was given two shots of adrenaline in his chest and was brought back to life.
1988:  The Smiths played their last concert at Wolverhampton Civic Hall in England.
   The newest of the "supergroups", Damn Yankees had this one and only big hit.

1990:  Stevie B had a smash hit with "Because I Love You (The Postman Song)", #1 for a third week.  Madonna moved to #2 with incredibly her 21st Top 10 song out of 24 released, "Justify My Love".    Bette Midler's "From A Distance" was third, followed by "Impulsive" from Wilson Phillips and "Tom's Diner" by D.N.A. with Suzanne Vega.  The rest of the Top 10:  Damn Yankees with "High Enough", Whitney Houston's former #1 "I'm Your Baby Tonight", "Freedom" from George Michael, UB40 dropped with their remake of The Way You Do The Things You Do" and Ralph Tresvant found the Top 10 with "Sensitivity".
1991:  Gregg Allman made his acting debut in the movie Rush.
1993:  Frida Lyngstad of ABBA sang an a cappella version of "Dancing Queen" for the Queen of Sweden on her 50th birthday at the Opera House in Stockholm.

2002:  Joe Strummer, co-founder lead singer of the Clash, died of heart failure at the age of 50 in his hometown of Broomfield, England.
2002:  Girls Aloud topped the U.K. chart with "Sound Of The Underground".
2006:  Dennis Linde, songwriter who penned "Burning Love" for Elvis Presley", died from a rare lung disease at age 63 in Nashville, Tennessee.
2007:  Joe Ames of the Ames Brothers ("The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane") died of a heart attack at his home in Eltville am Rhein, Germany at the age of 86.
2009:  Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, announced he was going to rehabilitation to handle his use of painkillers.
2009:  The FBI released 333 pages of documents they had concerning Michael Jackson between 1992 to 2005.  The files contained results of their investigations into alleged inappropriate involvement between Jackson and an underage male (of which they found nothing), as well as fears that Jackson may have been a target of terrorists.
2010:  The British government designated the pedestrian crosswalk outside Abbey Road studios in London, made famous for its use on the cover of the Abbey Road album by the Beatles, as a site of national importance.

2014:  Joe Cocker, who gave us such songs as "You Are You Beautiful", "Up Where We Belong" (with Jennifer Warnes), and "With A Little Help From My Friends", has died at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer in Crawford, Colorado.

Born This Day:
1939:  James Gurley, guitar player of Big Brother & the Holding Company, was born in Detroit, Michigan; died of a heart attack at his home in Palm Desert, California on December 20, 2009, two days shy of his 70th birthday.
1944:  Barry Jenkins, drummer of the Animals, was born in Leicester, England.

1946:  Rick Nielsen, elite guitarist, backing vocalist and primary songwriter of Cheap Trick, was born in Rockford, Illinois.

1949:  Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, brother of Barry and twin brother of Robin, was born in Douglas, Isle of Man; died in a hospital in Miami Beach, Florida from complications of a twisted intestine on January 12, 2003.

1949:  Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees was born in Douglas, Isle of Man; died in London on May 20, 2012 of kidney failure.

1989:  Jordin Sparks, who, at the age of 17 became the youngest-ever winner of American Idol, was born in Phoenix, Arizona.

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