It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1956, in the wake of Johnny Ray’s success with “Just Walking in the Rain,” Sun Records releases a cover by The Prisonaires, a smooth-singing doo-wop outfit composed of Tennessee State Penitentiary inmates…

1958, the first stereo records and phonographs hit the marketplace … demo records simulating planes taking off and ping-pong balls caroming between the left and right speakers quickly become all the rage…

1960, Nancy Sinatra weds pop singer Tommy Sands … five years later she finds her walking boots and the marriage dissolves … the FCC bans payola outlawing the pervasive practice of record companies making payments to radio DJs to spin their releases … the practice resurges four decades later and New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer collects hefty fines from all the major labels for engaging in the pay-to-play game…

1964, a pair of enterprising Beatles fans pack themselves into a carton marked “Beatles Fan Mail” and arrange to have it delivered to the Baltimore Civic Center where the Fab Four are appearing … their plot is foiled when the girls are discovered by guards checking deliveries … Rod Stewart cuts his first single–the blues chestnut “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”…

1965, an ad in Variety announces auditions for the new TV show The Monkees … would-be Monkees who fail to make the cut include Stephen Stills, Danny Hutton later of Three Dog Night, songwriter Paul Williams, and Charles Manson … The Toys, a New York-based girl group, scores a #2 pop hit with “Lover’s Concerto” … the song is based on a Bach minuet…

1966, after notching hits in the guise of a crooner and rock ‘n’ roller, Bobby Darin reinvents himself as a folk singer with the release of “If I Were a Carpenter” … the Tim Hardin tune reinvigorates his flagging career…

1969, during Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s set at the Big Sur Festival, a yahoo in the crowd starts heckling the band for being rich rock stars … Steven Stills, wearing a flamboyant fur coat, leaps off the stage, chases the heckler down, and administers a pounding while from the stage David Crosby pleads for “Peace and love, peace and love” … Stills gets back onstage and reflects, “Y’know, we think about what that guy was saying, and we look at these coats and these pretty guitars and fancy cars and say, ‘Wow man, what am I doin’?'”…

1973, porn star Linda Lovelace introduces Elton John in his first Hollywood Bowl engagement…

1975, Steve Anderson notches a new endurance record for guitar picking by going at it without a break for 114 hours, 7 minutes…

1977, Bing Crosby and David Bowie form an unlikely duo when they record “The Little Drummer Boy” for a Christmas TV special…

1978, Who drummer Keith Moon succumbs to an overdose of the drug Heminevrin prescribed to combat his alcoholism … an autopsy reveals that he’d washed down 32 of the pills with champagne … his death occurs in the same apartment in which Mama Cass of The Mamas & The Papas met her demise in 1974…

1982, the gospel musical Your Arms are Too Short to Box with God opens on Broadway … co-starring Al Green and Patti LaBelle, the show is scheduled to run for 30 performances but is extended to 80 after garnering rave reviews and doing great box office…

1987, former Wailer Peter Tosh is shot to death in his Jamaican home during a robbery … an article in Rolling Stone suggests the killing was actually the result of a feud … Tosh’s previous home had been burned down by an arsonist a year earlier … brilliant but mentally troubled bassist Jaco Pastorius comes to an ignominious end in a tussle with a nightclub bouncer…

1991, in a publicity stunt, Alice Cooper sells copies of his new album Hey Stoopid in New York’s Times Square for 99 cents a pop…

1993, the movie What’s Love Got to Do With It opens to solid box office … the biopic is based on Tina Turner’s tell-all biography I Tina that details her stormy relationship with ex-husband Ike Turner … an anticipated counter-biography, I Ike , never materializes…

1996, David Bowie’s “Telling Lies” becomes the first song to be released exclusively on the Internet … Tupac Shakur, the frequently-shot rapper, expires in a Las Vegas intensive care ward following a drive-by shooting six days earlier … Wal-Mart refuses to carry Sheryl Crow’s eponymous second album because the song “Love is a Good Thing” includes the lyrics, “Watch out sister/Watch out brother/Watch our children as they kill each other/With a gun they bought at the Wal-Mart discount stores.” …

1998, Bushwick Bill, formerly of the rap ensemble Geto Boys, sues the act’s label, Rap-A-Lot Records, alleging that three of the company’s employees held him at gunpoint, then beat and kicked him in order to dissuade the three-foot, eight-inch rapper from breaking his recording contract … British glam-rock star Gary Glitter makes a court appearance on charges of producing child porn and sexual assault … he is later convicted and imprisoned…

1999, record mogul Sean “Puffy” Combs is ordered to attend an anger management class after being convicted of attacking the president of Interscope Records, Steve Stoute…

2000, Timothy Commerford, bassist for Rage Against The Machine, is sentenced to time served by a New York court after pleading guilty to assault and disorderly conduct … the charges stem from Commerford’s antics at the MTV Video Music Awards during which he scaled a large stage set from which he was forcibly removed by the cops … the soundtrack for Almost Famous is released … it’s notable for including four vintage Led Zeppelin tracks-a first for any soundtrack … Robert Plant and Jimmy Page agree to the tunes’ inclusion after being won over by Cameron Crowe’s filmed semi-autobiographical remembrance of a rock journalist-groupie in the ’70s…

2002, Kurt Cobain’s childhood home sells on eBay for $210,000 …the house had been appraised at $52,660 in 2000 …

2003, an American legend passes from the scene when Johnny Cash succumbs to complications of diabetes … the Pixies announce that band members have buried the hatchet and will embark on a reunion tour in 2004 … the influential ’80s rockers go on to huge success in the face of a lackluster touring season…

2004, a jet-lagged Elton John, set upon by Taiwanese paparazzi, has a hissy fit calling them “rude, vile pigs!” … it’s been over 20 years since Aretha Franklin has performed on the West Coast due to her pronounced fear of flying … the Queen of Soul announces that she and her entourage will travel in a three-bus caravan to Las Vegas and L.A. for a handful of shows … a source close to the singer is quoted as saying, “Her albums don’t sell like they used to-she’s got to tour”…

2005, singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen sues his longtime business manager Kelley Lynch charging that she embezzled more than $5 million set aside for the singing poet’s retirement … Sony, BMG, and EMI manage to further alienate music buyers by incorporating copy-protection software on their releases that is incompatible with the iPod … some of the releases affected are by artists such as The Dave Matthews Band, Switchfoot, and Foo Fighters…

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals

September 7: Hank Williams (1923), Sonny Rollins (1930), bluesman Little Milton (Campbell) (1934), Buddy Holly born Charles Hardin Holley (1936), Joe Negroni of Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers (1940), Continental Drift’s Jim Gault (1943), Alfa Anderson of Chic (1946), disco diva Gloria Gaynor (1949), Chrissie Hynde (1951), session guitarist Chuck Beattie (1954), Brad Houser of Edie Brickell & New Bohemians (1960), Charles Acland of Lush (1966), Chad Sexton of 311 (1970), Eazy-E of N.W.A. (1973)

September 8: Antonin Dvorak (1841), “The Singing Brakeman” Jimmie Rodgers (1897), Western swing pioneer Milton Brown (1903), Modern Records co-founder Jules Bihari (1913), Patsy Cline AKA Virginia Patterson Hensley (1932), Joe Tex (1933), Dante Drowty of Dante & The Evergreens (1941), Brian Cole of The Association (1944), Cathy Jean (1945), Kelly Groucutt of E.L.O. (1945), Ron “Pigpen” McKernan of The Grateful Dead (1945), Atlanta Rhythm Section’s Dean Daughtry (1946), David Steele of Fine Young Cannibals (1960)

September 9: Jacob Carey of The Flamingos (1926), jazz drummer Elvin Jones (1927), Otis Redding (1941), Inez Foxx (1944), Billy Preston (1946), Iron Butterfly’s Doug Ingle (1947), Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics (1952)

September 10: R&B shouter Roy Brown (1925), vibist Roy Ayers (1940), Danny Hutton of Three Dog Night (1942), Jose Feliciano (1945), Barrymore Barlow of Jethro Tull (1949), Aerosmith’s Joe Perry (1950), Don Powell of Slade (1950), Johnny Fingers of Boomtown Rats (1956), Siobhan Fahey of Bananarama (1957), Cracker’s Dave Lowrey (1960), Bush drummer Robin Goodridge (1966), Big Daddy Kane (1968)

September 11: tenor saxman Bobby Fields (1928), Bernard Dwyer of Freddie And The Dreamers (1940), Leo Kottke (1945), Mickey Hart (1950), Tommy Shaw of STYX (1953), Jon Moss of Culture Club (1957), bassist Victor Wooten (1964), Moby born Richard Melville Hall (1965), Harry Connick, Jr. (1967), Ludacris (1977)

September 12: Maurice Chevalier (1888), blues singer Alger “Texas” Alexander (1900), Mel “The Velvet Fog” Torme (1925), George Jones (1931), Warren Corbin of The Cleftones (1943), Maria Muldaur (1943), Barry White (1944), Gerry Beckley of America (1952), Rush drummer Neil Peart (1952), Barry Andrews of XTC (1956), Larry LaLonde of Primus (1968), Liam Gallagher of Oasis (1972)

September 13: swing sax player Chu Berry (1910), Bill Monroe (1911), Charles Brown (1922), Joseph “Mr. Google Eyes” August (1931), producer Gene Page (1938), Dave Quincy of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (1939), David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & Tears (1941), Peter Cetera of Chicago (1944), Fred “Sonic” Smith (1949), Randy Jones of The Village People (1952), producer Don Was (1952), Dave Mustaine of Megadeth and Metallica (1961), Steve Perkins of Jane’s Addiction (1967), Fiona Apple (1977)

Departures

September 7: Erma Franklin, sister of Aretha (2002), composer Niccolo Castiglioni (1996), Keith Moon (1978)

September 8: songwriter Dick Heard (1998), Beatle publicist Derek Taylor (1997), Jack Vigliatura and Bill White of For Squirrels (1996), rapper Cowboy AKA Keith Wiggins of The Furious Five (1989)

September 9: singer-songwriter Lucio Battisti (1998), bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe (1996), Sandra Tilley of Martha Reeves & The Vandellas (1983)

September 10: zydeco accordionist Beau Jocque (1999)

September 11: Raybeez AKA Raymond Barbieri of Warzone (1997), Peter Tosh (1987)

September 12: Nashville session drummer Kenny Buttrey (2004), Johnny Cash (2003), Stanley Turrentine (2000), Abba producer Stig “Stikkan” Anderson (1997), Jaco Pastorius (1987)

September 13: rapper Tupac Shakur (1996), singer Helen Humes (1981), Leopold Stokowski (1977)

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1 Comments

  1. John's gravatar John

    Can you be so kind to tell me where I can find a copy of “Just walking in the rain” I just mentioned that record this morning.Thank you, John

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