Saturday, April 29, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 30

1957:  Elvis Presley recorded the classic "Jailhouse Rock".  (Note:  Some websites report that Presley recorded the song "Jailhouse Rock" on April 30 and May 3, and some say that he recorded it in three sessions--2 on April 30 and May 3 at Radio Recorders and 1 at MGM Studios in Hollywood, California.  Presley did record songs for the movie 'Jailhouse Rock' on those other two days, but according to the book 'Elvis Presley:  A Life In Music' by Ernst Jorgensen, Presley completed recording of the song "Jailhouse Rock" on April 30 at Radio Recorders.)
1960:  Fats Domino recorded "Walking To New Orleans".

Friday, April 28, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 29

1963:  Lesley Gore released the single "It's My Party".

1967:  Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens, Engelbert Humperdinck and the Walker Brothers played two concerts at Bournemouth Winter Gardens in England.
1967:  Aretha Franklin remained atop the R&B chart for a sixth week with "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)".
1967:  "Groovin'" by the Young Rascals was the hottest new song, as it soared from 79 to 49.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 28

1956:  Little Richard earned a third week at #1 on the R&B chart with "Long Tall Sally".
1958:  The Big Beat Show, Alan Freed's rock and roll show, had two performances at Central High School Auditorium in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  The tour featured Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Frankie Lymon, the 
Diamonds, the Chantels, Danny & the Juniors and others.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 27

1957:  Little Richard took over at #1 on the R&B chart with his classic "Lucille".
1959:  Wilbert Harrison's new song was the talk of the town as "Kansas City" moved from #71 all the way to #24.
1959:  The Fleetwoods remained at #1 for a third week with "Come Softly To Me".
1963:  "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons topped the R&B chart for the fourth straight week.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 26

1960:  The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Dave Clark Five were the top performers at the NME poll winner's concert at Wembley Empire Pool in London.
1960:  Elvis Presley began filming for the movie G.I. Blues in Hollywood, California.  (Note:  Director Hal Wallis had shot footage in West Germany from August 17-29, 1969 of Presley's battalion on maneuvers and everyday activities.)

Monday, April 24, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 25

1960:  Bill Black, the bassist behind Elvis Presley for his early Rock Era hits, had formed Bill Black's Combo and they took over on the R&B chart with "White Silver Sands".

Sunday, April 23, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 24

1957:  Ricky Nelson released his first single "Teenager's Romance" on Verve Records.  (Note:  some websites claim the song was released April 27.  We know that Ricky made his musical debut on April 10 before the single was released, and it debuted on the charts on May 13.  According to 'United Press International', Ricky released the single on April 24.)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 23

1963:  The Rolling Stones played at the Crawdaddy Club at the Station Hotel in Richmond, Surrey, England.
1964:  Peter and Gordon topped the U.K. Singles chart with “A World Without Love”.

Sandy Gollin Died Yesterday

Sandy Gallin, CEO of Mirage Entertainment and Sports, who managed the careers of Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand, Cher, Dolly Parton and others and produced over 20 movies and Broadway plays, died yesterday of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Los Angeles. Gollin was 66.

Friday, April 21, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 22

1955:  Elvis Presley was in concert at the New Boston High School Football Field in Texas.
1956:  Elvis made his Las Vegas debut at the Frontier Hotel in the first night of a two-week residency.  The artist who would become one of the most famous performers in Las Vegas history on this night though gave a miserable performance, and was booed off stage.

Cuba Gooding Sr. Found Dead in His Car

Cuba Gooding, Sr. of the Main Ingredient and father of actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., was found dead in his car in Los Angeles yesterday, just seven days shy of his 73rd birthday.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 21

1956:  Andy Williams debuted on the chart with his first career single, "Walk Hand In Hand".
1956:  Eydie Gorme debuted with her first career single on this date--"Too Close For Comfort".
1958:  The Champs ruled the R&B chart for a fourth week with "Tequila".
1962:  Mr. Acker Bilk moved to #1 on the Easy Listening chart with "Stranger On The Shore".

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 20

1957:  "I'm Walkin'" from Fats Domino was #1 for a sixth week on the R&B chart.
1959:  Goldband Records released "Puppy Love" by 13-year-old Dolly Parton, a song she had recorded when she was 11.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 19

1956: Elvis Presley performed at the Civic Center Music Hall in the Municipal Auditorium in Oklahoma City, Texas.
1956: Clyde McPhatter of the Drifters was released from the U.S. Armed Forces.

1961:  Bobby Lewis released the single "Tossin' And Turnin'" on Beltone Records.  (Note:  one website claims the single was released April 30.  "Tossin' And Turnin'" debuted on the Singles chart on April 24, 1961.  It is physically impossible for a song to be included on the Singles chart if it has not yet been released as a single.)

1961:  Ricky Nelson released the single "Travelin' Man" on Imperial Records.
1965: The movie Teenage Command Performance, featuring the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, the Supremes, the Four Tops, James Brown and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles opened in London.


1965: The Beatles released the single "Ticket To Ride" in the United States on Capitol records.
1969: Smile, the group that would later become Queen, appeared at the Revolution Club in London.

1969:  The Isley Brothers took over the top spot on the R&B chart with "It's Your Thing".

1969: "Galveston" by Glen Campbell spent a fourth out of six weeks at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1969:  Blood, Sweat & Tears remained at #1 on the Album chart with their self-titled album.


                                        Steppenwolf's third and final Top 10 song... 

 1969:  "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In", one of The Top 20 Songs of the Rock Era* by the 5th Dimension, was #1 for the second out of six consecutive weeks. Blood, Sweat & Tears would have to settle for #2 because of the competition with "You've Made Me So Very Happy". The rest of the Top 10: The Isley Brothers at #3 with "It's Your Thing", Jerry Butler had #4 with "Only The Strong Survive", Tommy Roe was at 5 with his former #1 "Dizzy", Glen Campbell dropped to 6 with "Galveston", the Cowsills moved "Hair" up to #7, Edwin Starr had song #8 with "Twenty-Five Miles", the Zombies were at position #9 with "Time Of The Season" and Steppenwolf hopped into the Top 10 with "Rock Me".

1970:  Blues Image released the single "Ride Captain Ride".  (Note:  one website claims the song entered the charts on May 3--nope, it entered the charts on May 8. 
1974: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the State Theater in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Only 250 people attended.

1975: Elton John fired bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson.  Bad move.  Elton brought them both back in 1980.
1975: The Stylistics had the #1 album in the U.K. with The Best Of the Stylistics. 
1975: The Captain & Tennille had their first single debut on the chart on this date with "Love Will Keep Us Together".
 1975: Tony Orlando & Dawn had the #1 Adult Contemporary song with "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You).
1975: Led Zeppelin remained at #1 on the Album chart for the fifth week with Physical Graffiti.

                                           Ben E. King with his great new song...

1975: Elton John ruled the charts with "Philadelphia Freedom", followed by B.J. Thomas at #2 with (Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song", Minnie Riperton's "Lovin' You" and Ringo Starr at #4 with "No No Song". The rest of the Top Ten: "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)" by Tony Orlando & Dawn moving from 23-5, Ben E King getting a Top 10 song with "Supernatural Thing", Sammy Johns' "Chevy Van" at #7, Barry White coming in at 8 with "What Am I Gonna' Do With You", Hot Chocolate with their first top ten "Emma" and Freddy Fender's "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" at #10.

1980: R.E.M. performed for the first time as a group at the 11:11 Koffee Club in Athens, Georgia before 150 people.
1980: Air Supply was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for the fourth out of six weeks with "Lost In Love".


1980: Blondie began a six week run at #1 with "Call Me" from An American Gigolo. Pink Floyd was displaced and dropped to #2 with "Another Brick In The Wall", Christopher Cross's debut "Ride Like The Wind" had reached #3 and Billy Preston & Syreeta's "With You I'm Born Again" moved up to #4. The rest of the Top 10: "Special Lady" from Ray, Goodman & Brown, Air Supply's first hit "Lost In Love" moved from 12-6, Bob Seger entered the top ten with "Fire Lake", the Eagles rose to #8 with "I Can't Tell You Why", the Spinners were at #9 with "Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl" and Michael Jackson remained at #10 with "Off The Wall".

1981:  Joey Scarbury released the single "Theme From 'Greatest American Hero (Believe It Or Not)".  No really, he really did.

1982:  .38 Special released the single "Caught Up In You".


1986: George Michael reached #1 in the U.K. with "A Different Corner". He became only the second person (Stevie Wonder was the first) to reach #1 with a song that was written, sung, played, arranged and produced by the same person.
1986:  "Kiss" by Prince was the #1 R&B song for a third week.
1986: Whitney Houston dominated the Album chart, spending a ninth week (out of 14) at #1 with her self-titled debut.
 1986: "Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder spent a second week atop the Adult Contemporary chart.

1988: Sonny Bono was inaugurated as Mayor of Palm Springs.
1993: Saxophonist Steve Douglas, who played on "Da Doo Ron Ron" by the Crystals and  the Ronettes' "Be My Baby", was warming up with Ry Cooder in a recording studio in Hollywood, California, when he collapsed and died at the age of 54 from heart failure.
1997:  "Un-Break My Heart" by Toni Braxton tied the 35-year-old Rock Era record held by Chubby Checker's "The Twist", as it remained in the Top 10 for a 25th week.

                                      Newcomers Savage Garden...

1997:  Puff Daddy & Mase had the top song for a fifth week with "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down".  Jewel moved to challenge with the superior song, "You Were Meant for Me" while the Spice Girls were at 3 with "Wannabe".  Other notable songs in the Top 10:  Monica with "For You I Will" at #4, Celine Dion's remake of the Eric Carmen song "All By Myself", Savage Garden with their first Top 10 "I Want You" at #6, Toni Braxton's former #1 "Un-Break My Heart" was still in the Top 10 after 26 weeks of release (25 of them in the Top 10) and Babyface had a hit with one he kept for himself, "Every Time I Close My Eyes".
2002: Layne Staley of Alice and Chains was found dead in his apartment in Seattle, Washington.  The official date of death was determined to be April 5 from heroin and cocaine.

Born This Day:

1928: Alexis Korner, who, if you followed this blog's story about the British Rock Family Tree, you know was a major force behind the birth of rock and roll in Britain as a member of Blues Incorporated, was born in Paris, France; he died of lung cancer in London January 1, 1984.

1942:  Larry Ramos, singer and guitarist with the Association and a member of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, was born in Waimea, Hawai'i; died April 30, 2014 of metastatic melanoma in Clarkston, Washington.

1942: Alan Price, keyboardist with the Animals, was born in Fatfield, County Durham, England.  (Note:  some websites say Price was born in Fatfield, Washington, County Durham, England, or Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England.  Price was born in the village of Fatfield, in County Durham.  The borough of Washington was not created until 1964, 22 years after Price was born, and the county of Tyne and Wear was not created until 1974, 32 years after Price was born.  Thus, it is impossible that Price could have been born in Washington (a city not yet created) or in Tyne and Wear (a county not yet created.) 
1943: Eve Graham, singer with the New Seekers ("I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing"), was born in Auchterarder, Perth and Kinross, Scotland.
1944: Bernie Worrell, a founding member and keyboardist for Parliament and Funkadelic, was born in Long Branch, New Jersey.
1947: Mark Volman, a founding member of the Turtles and a member of Mothers of Invention, who also worked with Bruce Springsteen and T. Rex, was born in Los Angeles.
1953: Rod Morgenstein, drummer of Winger, was born in New York City.

Monday, April 17, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 18

1956:  Elvis Presley performed in two concerts at the Fairgrounds Pavilion in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
1960:  Percy Faith spent a ninth week at #1 with the classic instrumental "The Theme From 'A Summer Place'".  The Brothers Four had #2 with "Greenfields", Paul Anka was at #3 with "Puppy Love", Brenda Lee moved to #4 with "Sweet Nothin's" and Johnny Horton was moving up with "Sink The Bismark".

Sunday, April 16, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 17

1960: While touring in the U.K., 21-year-old Eddie Cochran was killed when the taxi he was taking crashed into a lamp post in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England.  Cochran died at a hospital in Bath, Somerset, England.  Singer Gene Vincent was also seriously injured but survived the crash.
1961:  Ray Charles landed the #1 R&B song with "One Mint Julep".

This Date in Rock Music History: April 16

1955:  Elvis Presley appeared at the Big D Jamboree at the Sportatorium in Dallas Texas.
1956:  Buddy Holly released his first single, "Blue Days, Black Nights".
1963:  The Beatles made their television debut on BBC-TV's The 625 Show.
1964:  Dean Martin recorded "Everybody Loves Somebody".
1964:  The Rolling Stones released their debut album in the U.K.

Friday, April 14, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 15

1956:  Elvis Presley appeared at the Municipal Auditorium in San Antonio, Texas.
1958:  Buddy Holly's Fender Stratocaster guitar was stolen while the group was having lunch prior to a concert in St. Louis, Missouri.
1960:  The Dick Clark movie Because They're Young, featuring James Darren and Duane Eddy, opened in New York.

1965:  Jackie DeShannon released the single "What The World Needs Now Is Love".  But she could have just as well released the song today, and it would have still been successful.  (Note:  some websites claim the single was released in May.  The correct date of release is April 15, 1965, according to the book 'Fully Alive: Lighten Up and Live - A Journey that Will Change Your Life' by Ken Davis.)  

1966:  Buffalo Springfield appeared in concert for the first time, opening for the Byrds at Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, California.
1966:  Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens, the Walker Brothers and Engelbert Humperdinck appeared together at the Odeon Theatre in Blackpool, England.
1967:  Aretha Franklin prevailed for a fourth week at #1 on the R&B chart with "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)".

1967:  Nancy and Frank Sinatra teamed for a new #1 "Somethin' Stupid".  That replaced the Turtles' classic "Happy Together".  The remainder of the Top Ten:  "This Is My Song" From Petula Clark at #3, "Bernadette" from the Four Tops at #4, the Monkees had #5 with "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You", "Western Union" from the Five Americans was song #6, Tommy James & the Shondells had #7 with "I Think We're Alone Now", the Mamas & Papas came in at 8 with "Dedicated To The One I Love", Aretha Franklin moved into the Top Ten with "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)" and "Jimmy Mack" from Martha & the Vandellas rounded out the Top Ten.
1967:  "Somethin' Stupid" was in the third of nine weeks at #1 on the Easy Listening chart.

1967:  The Monkees spent a 26th week at #1 on the Album chart, 16 of them thanks to their debut album and another 10 with their follow-up, More of the Monkees.  That is far and away the Rock Era record, with Fleetwood Mac a distant second with 19 consecutive weeks at #1, all with Rumours.
1968:  Aretha Franklin recorded "Think" at Atlantic Recording Studios in New York City.

1969:  Creedence Clearwater Revival released the single "Bad Moon Rising".  
1969:  Archie Bell of the Drells was released from the U.S. Army after serving in Vietnam.
1971:  The Beatles won the Oscar for Best Film Score for Let It Be at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Hollywood, California.
1972:  "In the Rain", one of The Top 100 R&B Songs of the 1970's* from the Dramatics, spent a fourth week at #1 on the R&B chart.

                      The Stylistics charmed their way into the Top 10...

  1972:  Roberta Flack began a six-week assault on the Singles chart with her #1 "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face".  That replaced America's "A Horse With No Name" which had enjoyed a three-week stay at the top.  "I Gotcha'" from Joe Tex was #3, followed by "Rockin' Robin" from Michael Jackson, Neil Young's former #1 "Heart Of Gold" at #5, "In The Rain" from the Dramatics moving up to #6, "Puppy Love" by Donny Osmond, the Stylistics jumped into the top Ten with "Betcha By Golly, Wow" at #8, Aretha Franklin had #9 with "Day Dreaming" and Sonny & Cher came in at #10 with "A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done".

1972:  "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" spent a third week atop the Adult Contemporary chart.
1975:  KISS and Rush were in concert at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1978:  One duo (Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams with their song "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late") took over from another (Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway with "The Closer I Get To You") on the R&B chart.
1978:  Dan & Coley held down #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "We'll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again" for the fourth week in a row.

                          Flack & Hathaway teamed up for this soul gem... 

  1978:  A song written by the Bee Gees (in this case their own "Night Fever" was at #1 for the 11th consecutive week of what would be 15 weeks in a row for the trio.  The rest of the Top 10--The Bee Gees' former #1 "Stayin' Alive" at #2, "Lay Down Sally" by Eric Clapton, Barry Manilow at #4 with "Can't Smile Without You", Yvonne Elliman remaining at 5 with "If I Can't Have You", Kansas appeared to have a big hit with "Dust In The Wind", Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway jumped from 13-7 with "The Closer I Get To You", Raydio had #8 with "Jack And Jill", England Dan & John Ford Coley moved into the top Ten with "We'll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again" and Natalie Cole scored a top 10 with "Our Love".
1978:  The Soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever" continued to set the pace on the Album chart for the 13th straight week.
1982:  Billy Joel was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident on Long Island in New York when a car ran a red light.  Joel was hospitalized for over a month.  

1984:  Kenny Loggins had the top song in the land for a third week with "Footloose".  Phil Collins was making a move with "Against All Odds" while Rockwell was going the wrong way, down to #3 with "Somebody's Watching Me".  Lionel Richie appeared destined for the top with "Hello", moving from 10-4.  The rest of the Top 10:  the Pointers had #5 with "Automatic", Culture Club was at 6 with "Miss Me Blind", the Eurythmics slipped to 7 with "Here Comes The Rain Again", the Thompson Twins had a top 10 song with "Hold Me Now", Hall & Oates slipped to #9 with "Adult Education" and Van Halen's former #1 "Jump" was at 10.
1984:  Lionel Richie spent a second of six weeks at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Hello".
1985:  Bruce Springsteen appeared before a sold-out crowd for the fourth of five concerts at Yoyogi Olympic Pool in Tokyo, Japan as part of his Born in the U.S.A. tour.

1986:  Janet Jackson released the single "Nasty".

1987:  Queen was presented with an award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music at the Ivor Novello Awards Show in London.
1988:  Pink Floyd began a North American tour at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.
1989:  The Fine Young Cannibals overtook Roxette (which slipped to #2 with "The Look") at #1 with "She Drives Me Crazy".  The rest of the Top Five:  "Like A Prayer" from Madonna at #3, "Eternal Flame" by the Bangles, and "Girl You Know It's True" by Milli Vanilli had #5, just another clue that the quality of music was slipping.
1989:  "Eternal Flame" was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for a second straight week.
1989:  Tone Loc hit #1 on the Album chart with Loc-ed After Dark.

1989:  "You Got It", which was to be the comeback song for Roy Orbison, produced by fellow Traveling WIlbury member Jeff Lynne, reached the Top 10 four months after Orbison's death of a heart attack.

1991:  Michael Bolton released the single "Love Is A Wonderful Thing".
1995:  Montell Jordan remained at #1 for a third week on the R&B chart with "This Is How We Do It".

1996:  The remaining ashes of Jerry Garcia were scattered near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.  He had requested a small portion of the ashes to be scattered in the Ganges River in India on April 4.
1999:  Entropy starring U2 premiered at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival.
2005:  John Fred Gourrier (John Fred and his Playboy Band) died at age 63 after being hospitalized with kidney problems in New Orleans, Louisiana.
2007:  Aerosmith, Velvet Revolver and Evanescence appeared in concert at the Quilmes Rock Festival at Estadio River Plate in Argentina.

Born This Day:
1937:  Bob Luman ("Let's Think About Livin'" from 1969) was born in Blackjack, Texas; died from pneumonia in Nashville, Tennessee December 27, 1978.  (Note:  several websites report that Luman was born in Nacogdoches, Texas.  According to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, he was born in Blackjack and raised in Nacogdoches.)
1940:  Clarence Satchell, saxophonist and guitarist of the Ohio Players; died on December 30, 1995 of a brain aneurysm.

1944:  Dave Edmunds ("I Hear You Knocking"), who also produced albums by Brinsley Schwarz and the Stray Cats was born in Cardiff, Wales. 

1947:  Mike Chapman, famed songwriter and producer who created hits for Suzi Quatro and Sweet and produced Blondie and the Knack, was born in Queensland, Australia.

1965:  Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes ("What's Going On?"), and an accomplished songwriter and producer ("Get The Party Started" for Pink, "Beautiful" for Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani "What You Waiting For?"),  was born in Springfield, Massachusetts.
1966:  Graeme Clark, bass guitarist of Wet, Wet, Wet (remake of "Love Is All Around"), was born in Glasgow, Scotland.
1966:  Samantha Fox was born in London.
1967:  Frankie Poullain, bassist of the Darkness, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
1968:  Ed O'Brien, songwriter and guitarist of Radiohead, was born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 14

1956:  Bobby Helms ("Jingle Bell Rock") signed with Decca Records.
1958:  The Champs celebrated a third week at #1 on the R&B chart with "Tequila".

Legendary Recording Engineer Dies

Tom Coyne, mastering engineer for the Rolling Stones, the Four Seasons, Taylor Swift, Dionne Warwick, Kool and the Gang, Adele, Billy Ocean, Bruno Mars, Frankie Valli, Mark Ronson and the Weeknd, died yesterday from multiple myeloma in Morristown, New Jersey.  Coyne won six Grammys in his career among 18 nominations.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 13

1959:  The Fleetwoods had the #1 song with "Come Softly To Me".
1962:  The Beatles began performing at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany, the city's newest rock & roll venue.  The band would play 3-4 hours a night for 48 days with one day off. 
1963:  Andy Williams grabbed the #1 spot on the Easy Listening chart with "Can't Get Used To Losing You".

J. Geils Has Died

John W. Geils, Jr,, better known as J. Geils, founder, singer-songwriter and lead guitarist of the J. Geils Band, died of natural causes yesterday in Groton, Massachusetts.

Geils led the group bearing his name to two monster hits in the early '80s, with "Centerfold" climbing to #1 in 1981.

"Freeze Frame" reached #4 the following year.

Geils was 71.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 12

1954:  Bill Haley & the Comets recorded (We're Gonna') Rock Around The Clock", the song that started the Rock Era, at the Pythian Temple Studios in New York City.

Banner Thomas of Molly Hatchet Dies

Banner Thomas, bassist with Molly Hatchet ("Flirtin' With Disaster"), died yesterday of pneumonia in Jacksonville, Florida.

Thomas was 60.

Monday, April 10, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 11

1956:  James Brown made his debut on the R&B charts with "Please, Please, Please".
1960:  Dinah Washington & Brook Benton had the #1 R&B song for the 10th week--"Baby (You've Got What It Takes)".
1967:  The Elvis Presley song "Stuck On You" recorded the fourth biggest jump in rock history, moving from #84 to #17 on this date. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 10

1956:  Nat "King" Cole was attacked on stage by five racial weirdos during a show at the Municipal Hall in Birmingham, Alabama.  Police arrested the sick people, hauled them to jail, and Cole returned later that night to thrill the crowd in a second show.
1957:  Ricky Nelson performed for the first time on the television show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, singing "I'm Walking".
1958:  Bobby Darin recorded "Splish Splash" at Atlantic Studios in New York City.  

Saturday, April 8, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 9

1963:  Henry Mancini won the Oscar for Best Original Song (for "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's) at the Academy Awards.
1964:  Capitol Records won the rights to distribute music by the Beatles in the U.S. in a settlement out of court with Vee Jay Records.

Friday, April 7, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 8

1956:  Elvis Presley played two shows at the Denver Coliseum in Colorado.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 7

1956:  Columbia Records announced that all future record releases would be at 45 R.P.M.
1956:  The Platters appeared on Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey's Stage Show on CBS.  (Note:  many websites claim the appearance represented their national television debut.  This is not true.  They appeared on 'The Perry Como Show' on February 11 on NBC-TV, as you can see in the above video clip.  This is also confirmed by '' as well as the book 'Perry Como:  A Biography and Complete Career Record' by  Malcolm Macfarlane and Ken Crossland.) 
1956:  CBS Radio Network premiered the first scheduled national radio program of exclusively rock & roll music, Alan Freed's "Rock 'n" Roll Dance Party".  The writing was on the wall that rock & roll wasn't going away.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

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.) 
1957:  Fats Domino held off the competition to remain at #1 for a third week on the R&B chart with "I'm Walkin'".

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 5

1962:  In 1962, you would find the Beatles performing often at the Cavern Club in their native Liverpool, and that's where they were on this day 49 years ago.  It was a special occasion sponsored by their ever-growing fan club.  
1964:  The Searchers made their U.S. debut with an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
1967:  The Elvis Presley movie Double Trouble premiered in theaters.

Monday, April 3, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 4

1956:  Elvis Presley played the first of two nights in San Diego Arena.  The San Diego Police chief released a statement saying that if he ever performed like he did again, he would be arrested for disorderly conduct.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 3

1956:  Elvis Presley performed "Heartbreak Hotel", "Shake Rattle and Roll" and "Blue Suede Shoes" on The Milton Berle Show live from the USS Hancock in San Diego.  Nielsen Ratings estimated that one out of four Americans tuned in.
1958:  Bill Haley & the Comets began a month-long tour of South America, performing in Buenos Aires.  (Note:  many websites claim the tour began April 9.  Haley and his group boarded a plane in Miami on April 2 and arrived in South American on April 3.  According to the book 'Bill Haley' by Otto Fuchs, the Comets began their tour on April 3.)
1960:  Elvis recorded "It's Now Or Never" and "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" at the RCA studios in Nashville, Tennessee for his upcoming album.
1960:  The Everly Brothers made their U.K. concert debut at the New Victoria Theatre in London.  The Crickets opened for the Brothers on the tour, a year-and-a-half after the death of Buddy Holly.  (Note:  many websites report that the tour began on April 6, but the correct date is April 3, as reported in the March 28th edition of 'Billboard' magazine.)
1961:  Paul Anka starred on Make Room for Daddy on CBS-TV.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 2

1955:  Elvis Presley, Johnny Horton and Floyd Cramer were featured on the famous Louisiana Hayride broadcast from Shreveport Auditorium.
1955:  We first heard of Pat Boone on this date as his first single "Two Hearts" debuted on the chart and on the radio.

Featured Unknown/Underrated Song: "Partners In Crime" from Rupert Holmes

One of the underlooked songs of 1980 was this hidden gem from Rupert Holmes, the same guy who gave us "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" and "Him":

"Partners In Crime"
Rupert Holmes

Music and Lyrics by Rupert Holmes

She's under-age and she's underweight
And she's one month hooked and she's two months late
She comes from Wyoming
And he named her Desiree

She hit New York like a farm-fresh egg
Hits a frying pan, she's too proud to beg
So she works on the sidewalk
He administrates her pay

She calls him Swagger 'cause of his hat
He adopted her in three seconds flat
By the bus station doorway
Where he found her half-alive

He is her family and in return
He beats up on her and takes all she can earn
And she needs him so badly
Losing him she'd never survive

Him and her, me and you
We do it to each other whatever we do
Hand in hand, arm in arm
It's always been the two of us doing us harm
It's the same deal every time
We're all of us partners in crime

She is a buyer for Bloomingdale's
He's division head of commercial sales
They met at the office
Odds we one to one they'd meet

Work is the great aphrodisiac
It's that nine-to-five gets 'em in the sack
Afternoons at the office
Evenings at the health retreat

And all day long he just balls her out
'Bout some shipment due on the air freight route
But when they leave the office
Guess who gets the upper hand?

She's into power, he's into pain
And beneath her heel, he will long remain
And he needs her so badly
Loves it when she takes command

Him and her, me and you
We do it to each other whatever we do
Hand in hand, arm in arm
It's always been the two of us doing us harm
It's the same deal every time
We're all of us partners in crime

If there's a heaven, if there's a hell
It's made up of those who we love so well
And we make hell or heaven
As we do when we're alive

Two people meet and they fix their deal
And they get what they deserve
And they want the way they feel
And we need love so badly
Losing it we'd never survive

Him and her, me and you
We do it to each other whatever we do
Hand in hand, arm in arm
It's always been the two of us doing us harm
It's the same deal every time
We're all of us partners in crime

Friday, March 31, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: April 1

1955:  George Martin became the head A&R man at Parlophone Records, a division of EMI.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: March 31

1949:  The 45 rpm single record was first introduced by RCA Victor, one year after the LP record was introduced by Columbia.  Both provided better sound quality and longer playing time than the 78 rpm that had been the standard.
1956:  Brenda Lee made her television debut on Ozark Jambouree on ABC, singing "Jambalaya".
1957:  Elvis Presley played two concerts at Olympia Stadium in Detroit before 24,000 fans.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: March 30

1957:  Buddy Knox became the first rock artist to write his own #1 song as "Party Doll" topped the charts.
1959:  "Venus" was her name, but it was also the name of the #1 song that Frankie Avalon had for the fourth week.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: March 29

1961:  Governor Ernest Vandiver of Georgia declared it "Brenda Lee Day".
1963:  The Shadows had their fifth #1 in the U.K. with "Foot Tapper".
1964:  The Hollies, the Dave Clark Five, the Kinks and the Mojos began a U.K. tour at the Coventry Theatre.

Monday, March 27, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: March 28

1942: Frank Sinatra appeared on the charts for the first time with "Night And Day".
1957: Elvis Presley appeared live at the Chicago International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: March 27

1958: CBS announced the invention of stereophonic records.  The new discs could be played on existing record players, but when played on new stereo players, the listener could hear a much richer and fuller sound.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: March 26

1955:  Johnny Ace was still cooking with the #1 R&B song--"Pledging My Love" was there for a ninth week.
1956:  Elvis Presley had a screen test for the first of three days at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.  Presley performed two scenes from The Rainmaker(Note:  several websites report that the test was on April 1.  They're fooling you.  According to the books 'Elvis Presley:  194 Success Facts -Everything you Need to Know about Elvis Presley' by Helen French and 'Elvis Presley:  The King of Rock 'n' Roll' by Jean-Pierre Hornbach, as well as numerous other credible sources, Presley did his screen tests on March 26-28.) 

Friday, March 24, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: March 25

1955:  The movie Blackboard Jungle, which introduced us to the song "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & the Comets, opened in theaters on March 25, 1955, according to many sources, including IMDB and CNN.
1956:  Alan Freed’s three-day Rock ‘n’ Roll Show in Hartford, Connecticut ended badly, as police arrested 11 teenagers and closed the theater.
1958:  After being sworn in as Private 53310761 the previous day, Elvis Presley received the regulation short back and sides haircut from army barber James Peterson.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: March 24

1956:  Les Baxter had the #1 song with "Poor People Of Paris".

Sid Habian, Drummer of Boston, Dies After Collapsing in the Middle of a Set

Sib Hashian, drummer of Boston, died yesterday after collapsing in the middle of performing on a cruise ship near Nassau, Bahamas.

Hashian was a big part of Boston's success, playing on their epic debut in 1976 as well as their follow-up album Don't Look Back in 1978.

Hashian was 67.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: March 23

1959:  Brook Benton had the #1 song on the R&B chart with "It's Just A Matter Of Time".
1959:  "Venus" by Frankie Avalon spent a third week at #1.  
1961:  Elvis Presley recorded "Can't Help Falling In Love" at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, California.
1961:  Elvis Presley scored his seventh #1 in the U.K. with "Wooden Heart".
1963:  Ruby and the Romantics reached #1 on the R&B chart with "Our Day Will Come".