Friday, February 3, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: February 4

1954:  The Drifters recorded "White Christmas".
1955:  Elvis Presley gave two performances (7:30 and 9:30 p.m.) at Jesuit High School in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1959:  Frankie Avalon, Fabian and Jimmy Clanton took over as the headlining acts for the Winter Dance Party after the death of Buddy Holly.
1961:  Johnny Burnette was hospitalized for an emergency appendectomy.

1963:  The Beach Boys released the single "Surfin' U.S.A."

1963:  Ruby & the Romantics released the single "Our Day Will Come".

1965:  The Righteous Brothers scored their first #1 when "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" reached #1 in the U.K.
1967:  The Monkees climbed to the top of the Album chart in the U.K. with their self-titled debut, which would stay #1 for seven weeks.
1967:  Aaron Neville controlled the R&B chart for a fifth week with "Tell It Like It Is".
1967:  The Rolling Stones moved from 43 to 11 with "Ruby Tuesday".

1967:  The Monkees made it 13 weeks at #1 on the Album chart with their debut.  S.R.O. from Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass and the Soundtracks to "Doctor Zhivago" and "The Sound of Music" were next.  The rest of the Top 10:  Winchester Cathedral from the New Vaudeville Band, the Temptations Greatest Hits, That's Life from Frank Sinatra at #7, Got Live if you Want It!  by the Rolling Stones, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass moved back up after 91 weeks with Whipped Cream & Other Delights and Boise, Idaho's Paul Revere & the Raiders moved from 15-10 with their new album The Spirit of '67.

                               Philadelphia's Keith...

1967:  "I'm A Believer" by the Monkees, one of The Top 100 Songs of the 1960's*, as well as one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, spent a sixth week at #1.  "Georgy Girl" by the Seekers was a strong second followed by the novelty "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron" by the Royal Guardsmen.  Aaron Neville dropped with "Tell It Like It Is" while the Buckinghams were at 5 with "Kind Of A Drag".  The rest of the Top 10:  The Mamas and the Papas and "Words Of Love", Blues Magoos were up to 7 with "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet", Keith had a Top 10 with "98.6", Boise, Idaho's Paul Revere & the Raiders were at 9 with "Good Thing" and the Four Tops held down #10 with "Standing In The Shadows Of Love".
1968:  The Beatles recorded "Across The Universe" at Abbey Road studios in London.
1968:  The Jimi Hendrix Experience performed at the Winterland in San Francisco, California.
1969:  Jackson, Tennessee celebrated "Carl Perkins Day".
1971:  Diana Ross was a guest star on Danny Thomas' television show Make Room For Granddaddy.
1972:  This should tell you a lot about who wants you to have the freedom to protest and who doesn't.  South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell, suggesting that John Lennon be deported.

1974:  Being Music Director at a radio station wasn't tough this week.  Mondays of course are the days for new releases from the record companies, and Monday fell on this date back in 1974.  When MD's came to their desks that day, they found two great singles.  If they didn't immediately add them to their playlists, they didn't know what they were doing.  One was the new one from Gladys Knight & the Pips--"Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me".

1974:  Elton John released his new single "Bennie & The Jets".

1974:  New group Blue Swede released their remake of the B.J. Thomas song "Hooked On A Feeling".


1976:  You will see other music news websites post that Fleetwood Mac released the single "Rhiannon" on March 6.  This of course is impossible since that was the day it debuted on the chart and proves they know very little of what they talk about.  As anyone who has been in the business knows, singles must be released by Tuesday to be eligible to appear on the chart.  "Rhiannon" was actually released much sooner than that--on February 4.

           Albums don't get better than this one, featuring "Gold Dust Woman".

1977:  Fleetwood Mac released the album Rumours.
1977:  American Bandstand celebrated their 25th anniversary on ABC-TV.
1978:  Talking Heads plus new group Dire Straits were in concert at the Oasis Leisure Centre, in Swindon, England.     


1978:  ABBA achieved their third #1 album in the U.K. with their release entitled The Album.
1978:  Neil Diamond posted his fifth #1 on the Adult chart with "Desiree".

                 Styx with the title track from their new album...

1978:  The Soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever" spent a third week at #1 on the Album chart.  Rod Stewart was nearby with Foot Loose & Fancy Free, while the Grammy Award-winning All 'N All by Earth, Wind & Fire was third and Queen's News of the World was ready, willing and able at #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  ELO with their double album Out of the Blue, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours hung in there after 50 weeks on the chart, Neil Diamond moved up to 7 with I'm Glad You're Here With Me Tonight, Styx's solid LP The Grand Illusion, Billy Joel and the phenomenal album The Stranger at #9 and Jackson Browne made the list with Running On Empty.

1978:  Rita Coolidge had one of the hottest songs as her remake of "The Way You Do The Things You Do" moved from 58 to 38.

1978:  The Bee Gees celebrated their second straight #1 with "Stayin' Alive".  Randy Newman's "Short People" was passed up while previous #1 "Baby Come Back" by Player was third.  Queen's biggest hit to date--"We Are The Champions" was fourth followed by Andy Gibb and "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water".  The rest of the Top 10:  Billy Joel's breakthrough hit "Just The Way You Are", former #1 "How Deep Is Your Love" by the Bee Gees, Dan Hill moved from 11-8 with "Sometimes When We Touch", Rod Stewart was on his way down with "You're In My Heart" and Samantha Sang and the Bee Gees moved from 17-10 with "Emotion.  That meant that Barry, Maurice & Robin Gibb wrote half of the week's Top 10.

1980:  The Eagles released the single "I Can't Tell You Why".

                 Karen Carpenter, one of the most-loved stars the world has ever known...

1983:  Karen Carpenter died at her parents' home in Downey, California from heartbeat irregularities resulting from chemical imbalances associated with anorexia nervosa.  She was only 32 years old.
1984:  Paul Gardiner, bassist for Gary Numan ("Cars" from 1980) died from drugs.
1984:  The Eurythmics owned the #1 album in the U.K. with Touch.
1984:  Christopher Cross enjoyed his third #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart since 1980 with "Think Of Laura".

           Genesis was becoming a major force in rock...

1984:  Culture Club moved to #1 with "Karma Chameleon", unseating Yes with "Owner Of A Lonely Heart".  The Romantics remained third with "Talking In Your Sleep" while Kool & the Gang placed "Joanna"at #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  Matthew Wilder's "Break My Stride", Elton John dropped with "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues", Lionel Richie edged up with "Running With The Night", the new Genesis song "That's All!" was #8, Christopher Cross moved into the Top 10 with "Think Of Laura" and John Cougar Mellencamp was at #10 with "Pink Houses".
1984:  Michael Jackson spent a 26th week at #1 on the album chart with Thriller, just five short of the Rock Era record of 31 set by Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.
1986:  Janet Jackson released her third but what would prove to be her breakthrough album--Control.
1989:  Steve Winwood reached #1 on the AC chart with "Holding On".
1989:  Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians' eclectic album Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars moved into the Top 10.

1989:  One of The Top 100 Songs of the 1980's*, "When I'm With You" by Sheriff, was #1 with Paula Abdul chasing from behind with "Straight Up". 
1991:  Cher at the Mirage was televised by CBS.

1991:  Londonbeat released the awesome single "I've Been Thinking About You".
1992:  Pearl Jam performed at the Borderline in London.  Tickets were $8.50.
1992:  Alex Harvey of the Sensational Alex Harvey band died from a heart attack at age 46 n Zeebrugge, Belgium.

1995:  Celine Dion went to #1 in the U.K. with "Think Twice", a song that would remain at the top for seven weeks and would go on to win the Ivor Novello Award for Song of the Year.
1995:  The incredible TLC enjoyed a ninth week at #1 on the R&B chart with "Creep", one of The Top R&B Songs of the 1990's*.
1996:  Rob Pilatus, formerly of the ill-fated Milli Vanilli was hospitalized when was hit over the head with a baseball bat in Hollywood, California.  Pilatus was attempting to steal a car when the owner let him have it.
2000:  Doris Coley of the Shirelles died of breast cancer at age 58.  (Note:  some websites report that Doris died on February 5, but the correct day was Friday, February 4, according to the newspaper 'The New York Times' and other reliable sources.)
2002:  Stevie Wonder sang "Happy Birthday" to Rosa Parks for her 89th at the premiere of the television movie Ride to Freedom:  The Rosa Parks Story.
2004:  Janet Jackson was dropped from the lineup of the Grammy Awards.
2007:  We've heard of infighing within a group but this took it to extremes.  Razorlight stopped their concert in Lyon, France midway through after lead singer Johnny Borrell and bassist Carl Dalemo first exchanged insults then came to blows.  The band then walked off-stage with the French crowd not sure what to make of it all.
2007:  Norah Jones made it three straight #1 albums as Not Too Late rose to #1 in the U.K.

2016:  Maurice White, co-founder, songwriter, arranger, drummer and leader of Earth, Wind & Fire, died in his sleep in Los Angeles.  (Note:  original reports from the group indicated White died February 3, but later Twitter reports, confirmed by both 'CNN' and 'USA Today', among others, indicated he died early in the morning of February 4.)  The group was one of the top acts of the 70's, and White was nominated for 21 Grammys, winning seven, and he won four American Music Awards.  EWF was inducted int both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and White was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame as well.  In addition to his accomplishments in Earth, Wind & Fire, White worked with numerous artists including Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, the Emotions and Deniece Williams.

Born This Day:
1941:  John Steel, original drummer of the Animals, was born in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, England.

1944:  Florence LaRue Gordon of the Fifth Dimension was born in Plainfield, New Jersey.  (Glenside, Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are also shown by several websites as Gordon's birthplace.  There are no reliable sources for either city, but our best information indicates that Florence was born in Plainfield, then moved to Glenside.)
1947:  Spyder Turner (cover of "Stand By Me" from 1967) was born in Beckley, West Virginia.

1948:  Alice Cooper (real name Vincent Furnier) was born in Detroit, Michigan.

1948:  Marguerite ("Margie" or Marge") Ganser, twin sister of Mary Ann below, was born in Oceanside, New York; died of breast cancer on July 28, 1996 in the Bronx, New York.  (Note:  There is much dispute on the Internet regarding Marguerite's vital statistics.  The dates of February 2, 1947, February 8, 1948 and November 8, 1947 are all thrown around.  According to the book 'Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars' by Jeremy Simmonds, Margie was born February 4, 1948 in Queens, New York.  Nick Talevski, in his book 'Rock Obituaries:  Knocking on Heaven's Door', agrees that the Ganser twins were born on February 4, 1948, but says that they were born in Oceanside (a census-designated place) on Long Island, and raised in Queens.  The Long Island newspaper 'Newsday' confirms that Marguerite was in fact born in Oceanside.  Her place of death, on July 28, 1996 unfortunately is also disputed.  Some websites say she died in Valley Stream, New York, while others say she died in New York City.  Marguerite worked in Valley Stream, but she died at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, according to The Associated Press.)

1948:  Mary Ann Ganser was born in Oceanside, New York; died March 14, 1970 in Queens, New York of drugs.  (Note:  Mary Ann's death is also shrouded in myth.  Some websites say that Mary Ann died in 1971, and most websites state that Mary Ann died of encephalitis from a mosquito bite, but according to the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times', Mary Ann in fact died on March 14, 1970 from a drug overdose.  Further proof of the sisters' birthdays is shown from Mary Ann's gravestone at Saint Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York.  While the birthday shown above confirms the information in the two books referred to above, and gravestones are nearly always final proof of vital statistics, in rare instances, the date of death can be wrong.  The shown date of March 16 was the date that Mr. Ganser identified Mary Ann's body, but according to the newspaper 'The New York Times', Mary Ann was found dead on Sunday afternoon, March 15, and an official Coroner's report showed that she died on March 14. ) 
1950:  James Dunn of the Stylistics was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Note:  some websites state that Dunn was born on February 2, but he was born on February 4, according to the book 'Every Chart Topper Tells A Story:  The Seventies' by Sharon Davis.)
1951:  Phil Ehart, the original drummer of Kansas, was born in Coffeyville, Kansas.
1952:  Jerry Shirley, drummer of Humble Pie, was born in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire. (Various places of berth are listed on the Internet, including London, Wattenham Cross, London, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, and Waltham Cross, London.  There is a Wattenham, Germany, and a Tottenham, England, but there is no Wattenham Cross in England.  Waltham Cross is indeed in Hertfordshire, but our best information is that Shirley was born in London.)

1975:  Natalie Imbruglia ("Torn") was born in Sydney, Australia.
1975:  Rick Burch, bass guitarist of Jimmy Eat World
1976:  Cam'ron was born in Harlem, New York.

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