Saturday, March 4, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: March 5

1955:  Johnny Ace had the top R&B song for the fourth week with "Pledging My Love".
1957:  Disc jockey Alan Freed was a guest on To Tell the Truth on CBS-TV.
1959:  Bobby Darin recorded "Dream Lover".

Lyle Ritz Has Died

Lyle Ritz, ukelele player and bassist with the legendary studio backing group The Wrecking Crew, died yesterday in Portland, Oregon.

Ritz compiled over 5,000 credits including "Good Vibrations" for the Beach Boys, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" by the Righteous Brothers and "A Taste Of Honey" for Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass.

Ritz also played for Linda Ronstadt, the Monkees, Sonny & Cher and Dean Martin and played bass on television soundtracks including The Rockford Files and Kojak.

Jim Fuller Has Died

Jim Fuller (front, above), lead guitarist and co-songwriter for the Surfaris, died yesterday in his hometown of Monrovia, California.

Fuller's guitar is featured on the group's biggest hit, a #2 smash in 1963.

Friday, March 3, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: March 4

1959:  Peter Gunn by Henry Mancini won Album of the Year at the first Grammy Awards.  "Volare" by Domenico Modugno took Record of the Year honors.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: March 3

1955: Elvis Presley made his local television debut on The Louisiana Hayride show. The show was broadcast on KWKH-TV from Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana. Presley had been performing on The Hayride since October 16, 1954. (Note:  As more time goes by, people make up their own information, and you will note that several websites erroneously list dates for the debut as March 4, March 5, or even March 26. Some sites also mistakenly say that the station which broadcast the show was KWKH. According to the book 'Elvis Presley: The King of Rock 'n' Roll' by Jean-Pierre Hombach, the correct date is March 3, and the call letters of the television station were KSLA, the CBS affiliate in Shreveport.)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: March 2

1955:  Bo Diddley went into the recording studio for the first time at Universal Recording Studio in Chicago, Illinois, where he recorded "Bo Diddley".
1955:  Elvis Presley performed an early show at the Newport Armory before playing a 10 p.m. set at Porky's Rooftop Club in Newport, Arkansas.
1957:  Most Rock Era fans would not get to know this artist until her 1959 hit "Sweet Nothin's" but on this date, Brenda Lee first appeared on the chart with her debut single "One Step At A Time".
1957:  This artist would capture attention the following year with "Stagger Lee" but on this date, Lloyd Price first appeared on the chart with his debut single "Just Because".
1957:  "Blue Monday" by Fats Domino reigned on the R&B chart for an eighth week.
1959:  "Stagger Lee" continued to hold on to #1 on the R&B chart for a fourth week for Lloyd Price.
1959:  Lloyd Price remained a fixture at #1 for the fourth week on the Popular chart as well with "Stagger Lee".  "Venus" by Frankie Avalon was hot, moving from 28 to 7.
1961:  The Everly Brothers had the new #1 song in the U.K. with "Walk Right Back", a song written by Sonny Curtis of the Crickets.
1963:  "Rhythm Of The Rain" by the Cascades was the new #1 on the Easy Listening chart.
1963:  "My Sweet Lord", um, I mean "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons, was a hot song, moving from #87 to #41.  

1963:  The 4 Seasons became the first group to have three straight #1 songs when "Walk Like A Man" hit the top.

1964:  The Beatles released "Twist And Shout" in the United States on Tollie Records.
1964:  The Beatles began working on their first movie, A Hard Day's Night, on the train from Paddington Station to Minehead, England and back.  Guitarist George Harrison met Pattie Boyd, a young actress in the film, they began dating shortly afterwards, and were married a year later.  (Note:  some websites claim the group began filming at the Marylebone train station.  The cast and crew gathered at Paddington Station, boarded the train, and shot train footage for the next four days and on March 9.  Some websites also state that the movie's opening scenes were shot on this date.  The correct date for the filming of the movie's open at the Marylebone Station is April 5, according to John C. Winn in the book 'Way Beyond Compare:  The Beatles' Recorded Legacy, Volume One, 1957-1965.')

1967:  The Supremes recorded the innovative "Reflections".
1967:  Englebert Humberdinck had the #1 U.K. song with "Release Me".
1968:  For a third week, "I Wish It Would Rain" by the Temptations was #1 on the R&B chart.
1968:  "Love Is Blue" by Paul Mauriat made it three weeks at #1 on the Adult chart.

                                  The Fireballs hit the Top 10 again...

1968:  Four weeks had gone by, and nothing could top "Love Is Blue" by Paul Mauriat.    Dionne Warwick gave it her best shot but would have to settle for second with "(Theme From) 'Valley Of The Dolls'".  The late Otis Redding was up to 3 with "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay".  The rest of the Top 10:  the Temptations still said "I Wish It Would Rain", the 1910 Fruitgum Company was in it for fun with "Simon Says", the Classics IV were next with "Spooky", the First Edition "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)", which moved from 21-7, Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart stood still with "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight", the Fireballs (remember "Sugar Shack") reappeared for the first time in five years with the very different-sounding "Bottle Of Wine" and the Association continued as one of the decade's biggest acts with "Everything That Touches You".

1974:  Stevie Wonder's music had really developed and the Grammys awarded him with four trophies--Album of the Year for the solid Innervisions, Best Male Vocal Performance for "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" and Best R&B Song and Best R&B vocal for "Superstition".

The dynamite title track from Joni's album...

1974:  Planet Waves by Bob Dylan & the Band remained #1 on the Album chart for the third week.  Court and Spark by Joni Mitchell, however, was a better album at #2.  John Denver's Greatest Hits was third followed by Carly Simon's Hotcakes.  Love Unlimited was riding high with Under the Influence of while Jim Croce was being remembered with You Don't Mess Around with Jim.  The rest of the Top 10:  Tales from Topographic Oceans from Yes, Elton John was at #8 with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Paul McCartney & Wings were next with Band on the Run and Charlie Rich closed out the list with Behind Closed Doors.
1974:  Diana Ross ruled the Adult chart for a third week with "Last Time I Saw Him".

1974:  Terry Jacks moved to #1 with "Seasons In The Sun".  Barbra Streisand had one of The Top Songs of 1974* with "The Way We Were" while Jim Stafford provided comic relief with "Spiders & Snakes".  Eddie Kendricks was up to #4 with "Boogie Down".  The rest of the Top 10:  Kool and the Gang's "Jungle Boogie", David Essex was up with "Rock On", Aretha Franklin's excellent "Until You Come Back To Me (That's What I'm Gonna' Do)", Love Unlimited Orchestra's former #1 "Love's Theme", Cher moved from 16 to 9 with her tale of "Dark Lady" and the O'Jays edged in with "Put Your Hands Together".
1977:  The Barry Manilow Special aired on ABC-TV.
1978:  A new group appeared on the Irish television show Youngline, broadcast on RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann).  They were then known as the Hype, today as U2.  (Note:  some websites incorrectly list the date of the group's first television appearance as May 2 or May 26.  The correct date is March 2, according to the official website for the RTE.)

1981:  Styx released the single "Too Much Time On My Hands".

1981:  Frankie & the Knockouts released the single "Sweetheart".

1981:  Michael Jackson appeared on the Diana Ross television special Diana on CBS.
1983:  We had seen 78 rpm records, 45's and LP's.  On this date, a new product, a five-inch "compact disc" which contained up to one hour of music was debuted by Sony, Phillips and Polygram.
1984:  Mick Jagger and wife Jerry Hall celebrated the birth of daughter Elizabeth Scarlett Jagger.
1985:  Phil Collins had the top U.K. album with No Jacket Required, which would remain on top for five weeks.

1985:  Diana Ross had the top R&B song for a third week with her touching tribute to the late Marvin Gaye, "Missing You".
1985:  Make It Big by Wham!  was #1 on the Album chart in the U.S., taking over for Madonna's Like a Virgin.  Born in the U.S.A. was still third after 37 weeks with John Fogerty's Centerfield behind.  
1985:  Wham!  had #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Careless Whisper", its fourth week at the top.

1985:  "Careless Whisper" by Wham!  was well on its way to becoming one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, remaining at #1 for a third week.  Fans were glad to see John Fogerty back and his solo hit "The Old Man Down The Road" moved to #10.
1991:  "All the Man That I Need" gave Whitney Houston the new #1 on the R&B chart.
1991:  Madonna became the highest-debuting female artist of the Rock Era when "Rescue Me" debuted at #15.

                                   We were thankful that Gloria was OK...

1991:  Whitney Houston had #1 for the second week with "All The Man That I Need".  Mariah Carey was bidding for her third straight #1 to open her career with "Someday".  Timmy T remained third with "One More Try" and Celine Dion's first hit "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" was behind Timmy.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Gonna' Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" from C&C Music Factory, Chris Isaak crept up with "Wicked Game", Styx had their eighth and final Top 10--"Show Me The Way", Sting moved in with "All This Time", L.L. Cool J had song #9 with "Around The Way Girl" and Gloria Estefan's comeback from tragedy--"Coming Out Of The Dark", moved from 17 to 10.
1991:  Whitney Houston remained at #1 on the AC chart for a third week with "All The Man That I Need".

1991:  Mariah Carey had sat behind albums like M.C. Hammer's Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em and To the Extreme by Vanilla Ice.  It was time for quality to come to the top and Mariah outlasted the flavors of the month with her debut album which reached #1 on this date, 36 weeks after release.  

1996:  Newcomer Jann Arden had one of the hot songs out as "Insensitive" moved from #87 to #74.

1996:  Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men tied the Rock Era record for weeks at #1 with 14 for the song "One Sweet Day".  That tied Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love To You" and "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston.  

1999:  We lost the great Dusty Springfield to cancer at age 59.  She died in Henley-on-Thames, England.
2003:  Hank Ballard, who wrote and recorded "The Twist" but only included it on the "B side" of a 45, died from throat cancer in Los Angeles at age 75.
2003:  Norah Jones' appeal was universal, as Come Away with Me topped the U.K. Album chart.

2003:  Christina Aguilera had the #1 song in the U.K. with "Beautiful", a far better choice than America made that week. 
2003:  50 Cent had the #1 song with "In Da Club".
2004:  Metallica began a 137-day tour of North America with a show at the America West Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
2007:  Kelis was arrested in Miami Beach, Florida and charged with two misdemeanors for disorderly conduct and another for resisting arrest.  Kelis began screaming racial obscenities at two female police officers who were working undercover as prostitutes. 

2008:  Jeff Healey ("Angel Eyes"), who had lost his sight to retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes that required his eyes being surgically removed when he was eight months old, died at age 42 of the spreading of the cancer in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Healey had been able to live cancer-free for 38 years until he developed sarcoma in his legs that spread to his lungs. 
2008:  Amy Winehouse placed at #1 in the U.K. with her album Back to Black.

2009:  Liverpool Hope University in England began a Masters program on the Beatles, popular music and society.
2011:  James Taylor and Quincy Jones were honored with National Medal of Arts Awards from U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Born This Day:
1938:  Lawrence Payton, songwriter and tenor of the Four Tops and later a producer, was born in Detroit, Michigan; died June 20, 1997 of liver cancer in Southfield, Michigan.

1942:  Lou Reed, songwriter, lead singer and lead guitarist of Velvet Underground and a solo performer ("Take A Walk On The Wild Side", was born in Brooklyn, New York; died October 27, 2013 in Southampton, New York of an illness related to a liver transplant.
1943:  Tony Meehan, drummer of the Shadows (29 Top 40 songs in the U.K.) , was born in Hampstead, North London; died November 28, 2005 in Paddington (now part of Westminster), London from head injuries resulting from a fall.  (Note:  '' claims Meehan was born in 1942, but more credible sources such as the English newspapers 'The Guardian' and 'The Independent' state that Tony was born in 1943.)

1948:  Rory Gallagher, elite guitarist with the group Taste and a solo performer, was born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Ireland; died June 14, 1995 in London from complications of a liver transplant that led to a staph infection.  

 1948:  Larry Carlton, jazz guitarist of the Crusaders, demanded session musician, and solo artist, was born in Torrance, California.

1950:  Karen Carpenter, the once-in-a-lifetime singer and drummer with the Carpenters, was born in New Haven, Connecticut; died February 4, 1983 from anorexia nervosa at her parent's home in Downey, California.
1955:  Jay Osmond of the Osmonds was born in Ogden, Utah.
1956:  Mark Evans, bassist of AC/DC from 1975-1977, was born in Melbourne, Australia.
1956:  John Cowsill, singer and drummer of the Cowsills ("Hair"), was born in Newport, Rhode Island.

1962:  Jon Bon Jovi, founder and lead singer of the group Bon Jovi and a solo performer, was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  (Note:  some websites say Jon was born in Sayreville.  Although no credible sources exist for either place, our best research indicates he was born in Perth Amboy, then lived in Sayreville.)

1977:  Chris Martin, songwriter, pianist, guitarist and vocalist of the acclaimed group Coldplay, was born in Exeter, Devon, England.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: March 1

1957:  The Everly Brothers signed with Cadence Records and recorded "Bye Bye Love" at the RCA Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

1958:  Buddy Holly started his only tour of the U.K. at the Trocadero at Elephant & Castle in London.
1966:  Gene Clark of the Byrds announced he was leaving the group.  It is not lost on observers that a member of the Byrds declared that he "had a fear of flying", which made it difficult for Gene to tour with the group.
1966:  One day after the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, England closed, hundreds of incensed fans barricaded themselves inside.  Believe it or not, someone actually proposed bulldozing the place to build a subway stop, but the smarter people prevailed and the Club took its proper place as a historic site.
1967:  The Beatles began recording a song John Lennon had been working on--"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds".  They had tried to record the song the previous day in eight hours of recording, but weren't satisfied, and most of the tapes from that session were erased.

1968:  Elton John released his first single "I've Been Loving You" in England.
1969:  In his final years, Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, had more trouble in a concert at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami, Florida.  Feeling that he wasn't getting the attention from the crowd (as if he was the only talented member in the Doors!), Morrison dropped his drawers.  Sad to go out that way.  Morrison was arrested four days later and charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, indecent behavior, open profanity and public drunkenness.  He was convicted and sentenced to eight months of hard labor and fled to Paris, France while his lawyer filed an appeal.  Morrison died a little over two years later in Paris at age 27.  (Note:  many websites claim that Morrison was arrested on this date.  Not true.  The concert was March 1; Morrison was arrested on March 5, according to the Doors' official website and the book 'Busted:  Mugshots and Arrest Records of the Famous and Infamous'.) 

                           CCR moved closer to the top...

1969:  Sly & the Family Stone held on to #1 for a third week with "Everyday People".  The former #1 smash "Crimson And Clover" was #2 for the third straight week by Tommy James & the Shondells.  The Foundations had their biggest hit--"Build Me Up Buttercup" while the Doors remained at #4 with "Touch Me".  Many radio stations had that song higher.  CCR moved to #5 with "Proud Mary" while the Turtles continued their hot streak with "You Showed Me".  The rest of the Top 10:  "This Magic Moment" from Jay & the Americans, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles were at #8 with "Baby, Baby Don't Cry", Brooklyn Bridge with "Worst That Could Happen" and Tommy Roe bounced from 25 to 10 with "Dizzy".

         "Sugar On Sunday" helped TJ & the Shondells score a big hit album...

1969:  The White Album by the Beatles registered a ninth week at #1 on the Album chart.  The Soundtrack to "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles was next with Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman in third.  TCB from Diana Ross & the Supremes with the Temptations held on to #4 with the Greatest Hits by the Association right behind.  The rest of the Top 10:  Blood, Sweat & Tears with their great self-titled album, Ball by Iron Butterfly moved from 14 to 7, Crimson & Clover from Tommy James & the Shondells, the farewell album Goodbye from Cream and Iron Butterfly's previous album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida was #10.
1970:  Clips of the Beatles performing "Let It Be" and "Two Of Us" aired on The Ed Sullivan Show on television, the final time the group appeared on the show that kickstarted their career.
1972:  John Lennon was granted an extension of his American work visa.  (Note:  some websites claim this occurred on February 29 or March 15.  They appear to be confused with the facts.  The visas for both John and wife Yoko Ono expired on February 29.  Lennon's lawyer had helped the couple get a fifteen-day extension on March 1, which would have expired on March 15.  However, on March 6, Lennon's visa was summarily canceled.  These facts are verified by the book 'The Love You Make:  An Insider's Story of the Beatles' by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines.)
1973:  The Robert Joffrey Dance Company premiered Deuce Coupe Ballet, based on the music of the Beach Boys, at City Center in New York City.
1974:  Queen began their first tour as a headline act in England at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
                             "Heaven Is 10 Zillion Years Away"...

1975:  Fulfillingness' First Finale by Stevie Wonder was named Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards show at the Uris Theater in New York City.  (Note:  one website claims the awards were presented on March 2, but that was only if one taped the show the night before and watched it on March 2.  According to the official website for the Grammys, the show was on March 1.)

1975:  Olivia Newton-John won the prestigious Record of the Year for "I Honestly Love You" at the Grammy Awards.

1975:  Shirley and Company took over at #1 on the R&B chart with "Shame, Shame, Shame".

1975:  "Poetry Man" by Phoebe Snow was the new #1 on the Adult chart.

1975:  The Eagles were perched at #1 with "Best Of My Love".  Olivia Newton-John was back with "Have You Never Been Mellow" and the Doobie Brothers climbed to 3 with "Black Water".  Frankie Valli had one of his biggest solo hits with "My Eyes Adored You".  The rest of the Top 10:  Grand Funk with their smash "Some Kind Of Wonderful", America was stalled at #6 with "Lonely People", the instrumental "Pick Up The Pieces" from Average White Band was #7, LaBelle rocketed from 17 to 8 with "Lady Marmalade", Stanley, Idaho's Carole King was up to #9 with "Nightingale" and the excellent "Lady" from Styx entered the Top 10.
1977:  Sara Lownds Dylan filed for divorce from Bob Dylan.
1980:  Patti Smith ("Because The Night" from 1978) married Fred "Sonic" Smith, formerly the guitarist for MC5, in Detroit, Michigan.

1980:  Blondie scored their third career #1 in the U.K. with "Atomic", which in the United States became one of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*, unfortunately.
1980:  The Whispers reached #1 on the R&B chart with "And the Beat Goes On".
1980:  Anne Murray's remake of the Monkees' classic "I'm A Believer" rose to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.  It was Anne's eighth career #1 in the genre.
1980:  The Eagles were on fire with their new single, "I Can't Tell You Why", which rose from 60 to 32.

            Pink Floyd with their biggest album since 'Dark Side of the Moon'...

1980:  "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" from Queen remained at #1, holding off "Yes, I'm Ready" from Teri DeSario and K.C.  The Captain & Tennille bowed out with "Do That To Me One More Time" and Dan Fogelberg was up to 4 with "Longer".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Desire" from Andy Gibb, Donna Summer's "On The Radio", Smokey Robinson's great smooth sound with "Cruisin'", Michael Jackson was on his way down to #8 with "Rock With You", the Spinners had their sixth career Top 10 with the medley "Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl" and Pink Floyd had their first and only career Top 10 with "Another Brick In The Wall".

             Rush was making 'Permanent Waves' in the music business...

1980:  The Wall by Pink Floyd was #1 on the Album chart for the seventh week but there was a great #2--Damn the Torpedoes from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.  Off the Wall by Michael Jackson was third followed by another incredible album--Phoenix from Dan Fogelberg.  Rush moved up to join that group with Permanent Waves.  The rest of the Top 10:  Donna Summer with On the Radio-Greatest Hits-Volumes I & II, The Long Run from the Eagles, Kenny by Kenny Rogers was eighth, the Whispers moved into the Top 10 with their self-titled album and Neil Diamond remained in the #10 slot with September Morn.
1986:  The Bangles were in concert at the Queen Margaret Union at Glasgow University in Glasgow, Scotland.

                           The great track "Is It a Crime" from Sade...

1986:  Newcomers Mr. Mister achieved a great feat when Welcome to the Real World reached #1 on the Album chart.  Promise from Sade was still a strong second while the debut from Whitney Houston amazingly was now heading back up after 49 weeks.  Barbra Streisand's former #1 The Broadway Album was fourth and the real undiscovered gem was Scarecrow from John Cougar Mellencamp.  The rest of the Top 10:  Heart and their self-titled release, Starship were at 7 with Knee Deep in the Hoopla, Dire Straits with Brothers in Arms, Afterburner from ZZ Top was #9 and Simple Minds moved to #10 with Once Upon a Time.

1986:  Mr. Mister hit #1 with "Kyrie", knocking off Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know".  Heart had the only new song in the Top 10 with their 19th hit and fifth career Top 10--"These Dreams".

1989:  R.E.M. began a tour at the Louisville Gardens in Louisville, Kentucky.
1989:  Bruce Springsteen's divorce from Julianne Phillips was official.  (Note:  many websites report that the divorce was finalized on December 13, 1988, but the correct date is March 1, 1989, according to 'CNN' and numerous other reputable sources.  Julianne had filed for divorce on August 30, 1988.)
1990:  Janet Jackson set out on her first concert tour at the Miami Arena in Florida.
1991:  Frank Smith from Air Supply died of pneumonia at the age of 42 in Melbourne, Australia.
1991:  The movie The Doors opened in theaters with Val Kilmer playing Doors lead singer Jim Morrison.
1994:  Nirvana performed for the final time at The Terminal Eins (3,000 capacity) in Munich, Germany.
1995:  Bill Berry of R.E.M. suffered a brain aneurysm while performing at the Patinoire Auditorium in Lausanne, Switzerland.

1995:  Bruce Springsteen won Song of the Year, Best Rock Song and Best Male Vocal Performance for "Streets Of Philadelphia" at the Grammy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
1995:  Sheryl Crow won the Grammy for Female Pop Vocal Performance ("All I Wanna' Do") and also captured the Best New Artist award.  Crow is one of the few recipients of the Best New Artist trophy that actually panned out.

1995:  In what is really an amazing story, Tony Bennett won the Album of the Year for his Unplugged.
2002:  Doreen Waddell of Soul II Soul ("Back To Life") died in Shoreham-By-Sea, West Sussex, England after being hit by three cars while she attempted to cross the street.  Waddell was running from store officials who suspected her of shoplifting.
2003:  Mariah Carey and LL Cool J won Outstanding Career Achievement honors at the Soul Train Music Awards.  Nelly, Ashanti, Musiq and B2K received two awards each.
2004:  WEA (Warner Brothers, Elektra and Asylum Records) used to be a powerhouse.  Then the Time corporation bought it and renamed it Time Warner.  On this date, Time Warner sold the Warner Music Group like somebody's garage sale item to an investment group.  WMG at this point still included Madonna, Metallica, Faith Hill and others.
2005:  It wouldn't be a normal day without an episode of Inmates Run Rap Music and on this date, Lil' Kim went on trial for perjury.  She was arrested for lying to a grand jury which was investigating a shooting in 2001 between her rap crew Junior M.A.F.I.A. and fellow rapper Foxy Brown's crew.  Raise your hand if you think rap is taking us backwards.
2006:  Johnny Jackson, a family cousin and drummer of the Jackson 5, was stabbed to death at his home in Gary, Indiana at age 54.
2009:  Never heard it put this way in a song but on this date, Kelly Clarkson had the #1 song with "My Life Would Suck Without You".

Born This Day:
1927:  Harry Belafonte ("The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)") was born in Harlem, New York.  (Note:  some websites claim Belafonte was born in New York City, but according to the newspaper 'The New York Times', he was born in Harlem.)
1939:  Warren Davis of the Monotones was born in Newark, New Jersey.
1943:  Jerry Fisher, who took over as lead singer of Blood, Sweat & Tears after David Clayton Thomas left, was born in Dekalb, Texas.

1944:  Roger Daltrey, lead singer of the Who, was born in Shepherd's Bush, London, England.  (Note:  some websites list Daltrey's birthplace as London, while others say he was born in Hammersmith, or Hammersmith, London.  According to the Who's official website, Roger was born in Shepherd's Bush, London, England.  Hammersmith is a borough of London--Shepherd's Bush is a suburb of London located in the county of London.)
1944:  Mike D'Abo, songwriter and lead singer of Manfred Mann, was born in Betchworth, Surrey, England.

1958:  Nik Kershaw, who wrote songs for Elton John and Bonnie Tyler among others, was born in Bristol, England.
1963:  Rob Affuso, drummer of Skid Row, was born in Newburgh, New York.
1973:  Ryan Peake, guitarist of Nickelback, was born in Brooks, Alberta, Canada.
 1987:  Kesha ("Tik Tok" from 2009) was born in Los Angeles. Our sympathies to you, Los Angeles.
1994:  Justin Bieber was born in London, Ontario, Canada.  And our sympathies to you, London.

Monday, February 27, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: February 28

1962:  In a precursor to industry changes later, WINS in New York City, which featured disc jockey Murray the K, switched formats from Top 40 to Easy Listening and changed its call letters to WHN.
1970:  Led Zeppelin had to perform as the group the Nobs in Denmark after the family of the late airship designer Ferdinand von Zeppelin in that country threatened a lawsuit.
1970:  "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel had become a mass-appeal smash.  The song that would become a classic took over on the Adult chart on this date.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Featured Unknown/Underrated Song*: "Magic" from the Cars

Billboard never figured out how to gauge the popularity of the group.  Case in point:  this smash from the Cars' Heartbeat City album.  Despite monster sales of the album (it was one of the biggest sellers of the year), Billboard shows a peak of #12 for this great song:


Music and Lyrics by Ric Ocasek

Summer turns me upside down
summer summer summer
it's like a merry go round
i see you under the midnight
all shackles and bows
how far will you take it
well no one knows
don't let me go
i got a hold on you tonight

oh oh it's magic
when i'm with you
oh oh it's magic
you know it's true
got a hold on you

Twisted under sideways down
i know you're getting twisted
and you can't calm down
i see you under the midnight
love darts in your eyes
how far can you take it
till you realize
there's magic in your eyes

This Date in Rock Music History: February 27

1961:  Del Shannon released the single "Runaway" on Big Top Records.

1961:  The Marcels released the single "Blue Moon".


1961:  This woman first entered the charts with her first career single "Won't Be Long".  Little did we know it, but she would go on to have 77 hits and become the Queen of Soul--Aretha Franklin.
1961:  Chubby Checker had his second #1 with "Pony Time".  Lawrence Welk had to take a bow with "Calcutta" while the Capris moved to #3 with "There's A Moon Out Tonight".  The big story was Elvis Presley, who moved from 24 to 4 with "Surrender".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Don't Worry" from Marty Robbins, the Shirelles moved up with "Dedicated To The One I Love", Connie Francis had her 22nd hit with "Where The Boys Are", the Miracles' #2 song "Shop Around" was on its way down, the Everly Brothers moved from 18-9 with "Ebony Eyes" and the String-A-Longs remained stuck at 10 with "Wheels".
1965:  Herman's Hermits, Del Shannon and Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders began a U.K. tour at City Hall in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.

1965:  "My Girl" by the Temptations was #1 on the R&B chart for a fourth straight week.  
1965:  "King Of The Road" by Roger Miller topped the Easy Listening chart for a third week.  
1965:  The Supremes' latest ("Stop  In The Name Of Love") was behaving the way several from the trio before had--moving from 80 to 41.
1966:  The Supremes were guest stars on the television show What's My Line.

 1968:  Frankie Lymon died from drugs in Manhattan, New York at the age of 25.  (Note:  some websites claim that Lymon died on February 28.  The newspaper article in The New York Times that reported the death was dated February 28, but it plainly says that Lymon "died yesterday" (February 27).  Newspaper articles are printed the day following news, and the February 27 date is confirmed by the gravestone pictured above.)
1971:  The Carpenters collected their third straight #1 on the Adult chart with "For All We Know".

                                 Lightfoot sings his first big hit...

1971:  "One Bad Apple" by the Osmonds remained at #1 for a third week.  "Mama's Pearl" by the Jackson 5 was #2 although most radio stations didn't have it that high.  Dawn went down with their former #1--"Knock Three Times" while Lynn Anderson dropped with "Rose Garden" and Gordon Lightfoot remained in the #5 position with "If You Could Read My Mind".  The rest of an excellent Top 10:  "Sweet Mary" from Wadsworth Mansion, Jerry Reed had a big hit with "Amos Moses", the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and "Mr. Bojangles" and Janis Joplin moved from 25-10 with the posthumous release "Me And Bobby McGee".

                                                 "Mercedes Benz"...

1971:  Pearl moved to #1 on the Album chart by the late Janis Joplin.
1976:  Mick Jagger, lead singer of the Rolling Stones, checked into a hospital in New York City with a respiratory infection. 
1977:  Keith Richards, guitarist of the Rolling Stones, was charged with possession of heroin (22 grams) with the intent to sell and possession of cocaine (5 grams) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

1978:  Jefferson Starship released the single "Count on Me".

1978:  George Benson released his remake of the Drifters' hit "On Broadway".


1980:  Billy Joel had officially arrived--he won the Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards for 52nd Street.

1980:  The Doobie Brothers were at their career peak as "What a Fool Believes" won both Record and Song of the Year honors at the Grammys.

1980:  Rickie Lee Jones was named Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards show at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

           Journey's "Open Arms" outlasted all of its competition...

1982:  The J. Geils Band remained at #1 for a fourth week with "Centerfold" while "Open Arms" by Journey, which was #1 at many stations, moved up to #2.  Hall & Oates were on the way down with "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" with the Cars at #4 with "Shake It Up".  The rest of the Top 10:  "That Girl" from Stevie Wonder, Air Supply's new one--"Sweet Dreams" was sixth, Quarterflash and "Harden My Heart", Juice Newton was going the wrong way with "The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)", Joan Jett & the Blackhearts had all the right signs as "I Love Rock 'N Roll" moved from 18 to 9 and Dan Fogelberg closed the list with "Leader Of The Band".
1988:  "She's Like The Wind" by Patrick Swayze and Wendy Fraser moved to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

         The great lead singer Paul Carrack kept one for himself...

1988:  George Michael scored his third #1 solo hit with "Father Figure".  The Pet Shop Boys & Dusty Springfield were passed over and they screamed "What Have I Done to Deserve This?"  Patrick Swayze and Wendy Fraser moved from 7-3 with "She's Like The Wind" and Rick Astley made a strong move with "Never Gonna' Give You Up".  The rest of the Top 10:  Eric Carmen's "Hungry Eyes", former #1 "Seasons Change" from Expose, Foreigner with "Say You Will", Belinda Carlisle was back in the Top 10 with "I Get Weak", Paul Carrack had a solo hit with "Don't Shed A Tear" and Glorida Estefan & Miami Sound Machine moved up with "Can't Stay Away from You".

1990: Wilson Phillips released the single "Hold On".
1990:  Here's what Rob Pilatus of Milli Vanilli had to say in Time Magazine:  "Musically, we're more talented than any Bob Dylan or Paul McCartney.  Mick Jagger can't produce a sound.  I'm the new Elvis."  There's appropriate places for people like this where others can care for them.
1991:  James Brown was given parole after serving in prison near Columbia, South Carolina for two years of a six-year sentence.  Brown had led police on an interstate car chase.

1992:  Whitney Houston set a new Rock Era record with "I Will Always Love You" as it was the #1 song for the 14th week, breaking a tie with "The End Of The Road" from Boyz II Men.  The song still is tied as the second-longest running #1.

1996:  Alanis Morissette released the single "Ironic".
1999:  Britney Spears had the #1 U.K. song with "...Baby One More Time".
2000:  The movie The Beach Boys was televised on ABC.

2001:  The Dave Matthews Band released the album Everyday.

2001:  Carlos Santana was given the key to his hometown of Autlan, Mexico in quite a celebration.  The street Avenue Carlos Santana was named after him, and a statue was unveiled as well.
2002:  Jennifer Lopez had the #1 album with the remix package J to tha Lo!  
2004:  Bobby Brown was sentenced to 60 days in jail for violating terms of his probation.  Brown refused to take a drug test, did not pay court-supervision fees on time and couldn't prove he had completed his substance-abuse rehabilitation program.
2004:  A judge in Chicago, Illinois dismissed seven of the 21 child pornography charges against R. Kelly.  Meaning he did not dismiss 14 of them.  Kelly's lawyers' best defense was that the charges of soliciting a minor to appear in a sex tape were based on a law that wasn't in effect yet.

 2005:  Nelly and Tim McGraw teamed up for the #1 U.K. song "Over And Over".
2007:  Bobby Brown was sentenced to 30 days in jail for failing to pay $19,000 in unpaid child support.  A warrant for Brown's arrest was issued in October, 2006 after the deadbeat failed to show up at a hearing for overdue child support for Kim Ward, the mother of two of his children.  When you make the mistake of being with someone like Bobby Brown, you end up paying for it for the rest of your life.  So ladies, the moral of the story is:  try to find someone the exact opposite of Bobby Brown.
2010:  U2 made twice as much money from touring, record sales and royalties than anyone else in 2009, with a haul of $109 million.  Bruce Springsteen brought in $58 million, followed by Madonna with $47 mil and AC/DC with $44 mil.
2011:  Randy Newman won Best Original Song at the Academy Awards for "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3.
2013:  Richard Street, member of the Temptations, died of pulmonary embolism in Las Vegas, Nevada at the age of 70.

Born This Day:
1948:  Eddie Gray, guitarist of Tommy James & the Shondells, was born in Scottsdale, Pennsylvania.
1950:  Robert Balderrama of ? & the Mysterians ("96 Tears")

1954:  Neal Schon, elite guitarist with Santana and Journey   (Note:  some websites say he was born in San Mateo California, or Midwest City, Oklahoma, or Midland City, Oklahoma.  Some sources say that Schon's official website shows he was born on Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, although a check of it shows no such information.  Since there are no credible sources at this time as to his birthplace, we will leave that blank for now.)

1957:  Adrian Smith, elite guitarist of Iron Maiden, was born in Hackney, East London.

1959:  Johnny Van Zant, lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the brother of former lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and the founder of .38 Special Donnie Van Zant, was born in Jacksonville, Florida.  
1960:  Paul Humphreys, lead singer and co-founder of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark ("If You Leave"), was born in London.

1971:  Chilli (real name Rozonda Thomas) of TLC was born in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Note:  some websites say she was born in Columbus, Georgia.  While there are no credible sources of either city being her birthplace, our best information indicates that she was born in Atlanta.)
1972:  Jeremy Dean, saxophone and keyboard player of Nine Days

1981:  Josh Groban was born in Los Angeles.