It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical…

Looks like it’s a day of Elmore James – King Of The Slide Guitar, might stick in a bit of “Louie Louie” don’t know whether to go with John Belusie’s version or Motorhead’s

1954, Bill Haley and the Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock” is released but will not be successful until 1955 when it is featured on the soundtrack of the movie Blackboard Jungle…

1955, Ruth Brown’s signature song “Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean” is banned in Britain by the BBC on the grounds that it might encourage wife beaters…

1955, Chuck Berry records his first single, “Ida Red” … during the session Leonard Chess, who is producing, wants a name change … the new name is “Maybellene,” inspired by a Chess secretary’s makeup case…

1958, upon arrival in London for a British tour, Jerry Lee Lewis announces his marriage to 14-year-old second cousin Myra … the resulting uproar causes all but three of the dates on the 37-stop schedule to be canceled … it takes years for The Killer’s career to recover…

1963, The Beatles begin their first tour as a headliner at the Grenada Theatre in Slough, England…

1964, a new teen dance called “The Swim,” spawned in San Francisco’s Galaxy Club, begins to spread throughout California…

1964, a Shreveport, LA, radio station proclaims Elvis Presley Week … they feature a Presley song every hour and give away Presley albums and singles … it is all part of a hopeless attempt to counter all the attention being given to The Beatles…

1965, FBI agents drop in on Wand Records … they are investigating the song “Louie Louie” as recorded by The Kingsmen to determine just what the lyrics really are … the FBI’s ultimate report concludes that no obscene lyrics can be distinguished and that much of the song is unintelligible gibberish…

1967, Jimi Hendrix signs with Reprise Records, his first recording deal with an American company…

1968, John Lennon and Yoko Ono make a home tape that is later released as Two Virgins … the album has the two of them sans clothing on the cover … adding to the air of scandal, John’s wife Cynthia returns home this same day to find the pair in bed, Yoko wearing her nightshirt … John and Yoko flee to Montreal where they will begin their infamous 10-day “bed-in” two days later…

1970, The Grateful Dead play at the Hollywood Rock Festival in England … it is their first concert outside of the United States…

1979, Eric Clapton and Patti Boyd are married … Boyd’s marriage to Clapton’s friend George Harrison ended in 1977…often painted as a muse to both musicians, Boyd inspired Clapton to write “Layla” about his unrequited love for Boyd, and later “Wonderful Tonight” once they were together … three of The Beatles-Paul, Ringo, and George-are joined by Mick Jagger for a performance at the reception … it is the first time since their ’69 breakup that the three have played together…

1979, Tom Petty files for bankruptcy over a dispute with his record label…

1981, George Harrison’s “All Those Years Ago,” a tribute to John Lennon who died a year before, charts for the first time … Ringo Starr and Paul and Linda McCartney are also on the recording…

1990, Elton John plays at the Taj Mahal … that is, the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City … the occasion is the Donald Trump-owned casino’s grand opening…

1998, Elton John ditches his manager of 28 years, John Reid … Sir Elton forms his own management company, Elton John Management, Ltd…

2000, Chuck D testifies before the U.S. Congress in support of Napster and online music distribution…

2003, Les Miserables closes on Broadway after 16 years and 6,680 shows…

2004, a 320-year-old, $3.5 million cello made by Antonio Stradivari is recovered days after being stolen from principal cellist Peter Stumpf of the Los Angeles Philharmonic … the cello was discovered by a nurse near a trash bin on her way to see a patient … the nurse had asked her husband, a cabinetmaker, to fashion the instrument into a CD case … fortunately she saw a news report on the instrument before he got started…

2004, in Fairless, Pennsylvania, Pennsbury High School’s graduating class is blown away when rocker John Mayer shows up to play a three-song concert at the senior class prom … the appearance was the result of a two-year lobbying effort by the class president…

2004, during a humanitarian African tour, Canadian band Sum 41 is overrun by the Congo’s ongoing civil war … the rockers are forced to hide out in a hotel bathroom near the Rwandan border … after seven hours they make their escape in a tank…

2004, officials in South Carolina grant Godfather of Soul James Brown a pardon for several crimes … Brown had argued his case before the state’s Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services…

2004, in a bizzare appearance at a New Hampshire casino, singer-songwriter Jewel frequently interrupts her set with long diatribes dissing the audience, her fat fans, and ramblings about the drugs Zoloft and Paxil … after the show angry fans scream obscenities as the tour bus departs the venue … the show was later described by Jewel’s management as “a unique combination of music and conversation”…

2005, rapper 50 Cent agrees to take anger-management classes and stay drug- and crime-free in a plea bargain over charges that he stomped on two female fans and punched a third during a 2004 show in Massachusetts…

2005, sporting a giant Afro, Phil Spector appears in L.A. Superior Court for a pretrial hearing regarding the murder of actress Lana Clarkson … the judge rules that four alleged earlier incidents in which the producer had pointed guns at women could be admitted into evidence…

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals

May 18: Big Joe Turner (1911), Perry Como (1918), Joe Bonsall of The Oak Ridge Boys (1948), Rick Wakeman of Yes (1949), Bill Wallace of The Guess Who (1949), George Strait (1952)

May 19: Alma Cogan (1932), Pete Townshend born Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend (1945), Phil Rudd of AC/DC (1946), Gregory Herbert (1947), ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill (1949), Joey Ramone (1951), Grace Jones (1952), Heaven 17’s Martyn Ware (1956), Ian Harvie of Del Amitri (1962), Jenny Berggren of Ace of Base (1972)

May 20: Vic Ames of the Ames Brothers (1926), Shorty Long (1940), Jill Jackson aka Paula of Paul and Paula (1942), Joe Cocker (1944), Cher born Cherilyn Sarkisian La Pier (1946), Jimmie Henderson of Black Oak Arkansas (1954), The Go-Go’s Jane Weidlin (1958), Susan Cowsill of the Cowsills (1960), Haircut 100’s Nick Heyward (1961), Tom Garman of Belly (1966), Busta Rhymes (1972), Naturi Naughton of 3LW (1984)

May 21: Thomas “Fats” Waller (1904), Henry Glover (1921), Ronald Isley (1941), Hilton Valentine of The Animals (1943), Bill Champlin of Chicago (1947), Leo Sayer (1948)

May 22: Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813), Sun Ra born Sonny Blount (1914), Jimmy Keyes (1930), Jackie Landry (1941), Bernie Taupin (1950), Morrissey (1959), Jesse Valenzuela of The Gin Blossoms (1962), Johnny Gill (1966), Dan Roberts of Crash Test Dummies (1967)

May 23: Jimmy Bracken (1908), Scatman Crothers (1910), Artie Shaw (1910), Billy Wright (1918), Arthur Gunter (1926), Rosemary Clooney (1928), Robert Moog (1934), Jim Mankey of Concrete Blond (1955), Phil Selway of Radiohead (1967), Noel Gallagher of Oasis (1968), Maxwell (1972), Jewel (1974)

May 24: Nervous Norvus born James Drake (1912), Bob Dylan born Robert Allen Zimmerman (1941), Derek Quinn of Freddie & the Dreamers (1942), Patti LaBelle (1944), Steve Upton of Wishbone Ash (1946), Albert Bouchard of Blue Oyster Cult (1947), Rosanne Cash (1955), Heavy D (1967), Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes (1969), country wunderkind Billy Gilman (1988)

Departures

May 18: Elvin Jones (2004), Augusto Pablo (1999), Robert Carr (1993), John Fenton of The Diamonds (1982), Ian Curtis of Joy Division (1980)

May 19: Arnold “Gatemouth” Moore (2004), Freyda Epstein (2003), Susannah McCorkle (2001), Odia Coates (1991), Ron Wilson of The Surfaris (1989), Gene Mumford (1977), tenor sax master Coleman Hawkins (1969), Charles Ives (1954)

May 20: Renato Carosone (2001), harp player Willie Foster (2001), David Platz (1994), The O’Jays’ William Powell (1977), Rudy Lewis of The Drifters (1964)

May 21: Nicholas Dante co-author of A Chorus Line (1991), Morris Levy (1990)

May 23: session guitarist Mike Farrell (2000), Jimmy Fernandez (1994), Joe Pass (1993), bassist Craig Pike (1993), Will Sin (1991), Lloyd Glenn (1985), Chitlin’ Circuit comedienne Jackie “Moms” Mabley (1975)

May 24: Franco-American bebopper Barney Wilen (1996), Gene Clark of The Byrds (1991), Duke Ellington (1974), slide guitar ace Elmore James (1967)

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1 Comments

  1. May I be one of the first to day… Unhappy 15th death-day Gene Clark, one of the greatest, most-underrated songwriters of rock music… Or, folk-rock music, country-rock music, simply intelligent and always melodic-music…

    As for birthdays – never heard of that Zimmerman fella, who he?

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