It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1954, singing “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” Elvis makes his debut at the Grand Ole Opry … he elicits an unenthusiastic response from the hard-core country crowd…

1956, Elvis Presley’s much-anticipated single, “Love Me Tender,” notches a music biz record when advance orders for the platter top one million…

1963, “She Loves You” is given a spin by influential DJ Murray “The K” Kaufman on WINS in New York … it’s the first time a Beatles song is played on U.S. airwaves…

1965, The Billboard #1 Pop Hit is The Beatles’ “Yesterday” … the song, which was given the working title “Scrambled Eggs” by Paul McCartney, will go on to become the single most broadcast and covered tune of all time…

1967, Woody Guthrie dies of Huntington’s disease … he is a major influence on the work of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen…British urban folk troubadour Billy Bragg together with Wilco will later issue two CDs of songs based on lyrics Guthrie wrote before his death that were given to Bragg by Guthrie’s widow Nora … across the water, the previously sedate British Broadcasting Company discovers rock and launches its new BBC Radio 1 service … the first record played is The Move’s “Flowers in the Rain”…

1970, Jimi Hendrix is buried on October 1, 1970, at Greenwood Memorial Cemetery in Renton, Washington … the planned memorial service is canceled because of concerns over crowd control … three days later Janis Joplin is found dead in her room at Hollywood’s Landmark Hotel, the victim of a heroin overdose … she had just finished recording her second solo album, titled Pearl… she was only 27 years old…

1975, drummer Al Jackson Jr. is shot to death in his Memphis home … the pulse of Booker T. & The MGs-the Stax Records house band-Jackson played on dozens of soul hits … police initially suspect Jackson’s wife who had shot him the previous July … the case remains unsolved and Memphis police refuse to discuss it…

1976, Jerry Lee Lewis nearly lives up to his nickname while taking potshots at a soda bottle with his .357 magnum … The Killer misses the bottle and shoots his bass player, Norman “Butch” Owens, twice in the chest … Owens lives to sue Lewis, who is also charged with shooting a firearm within city limits … it is Jerry Lee’s 41st birthday…

1982, the first compact discs and players hit the market in Japan … a joint venture between Sony and Philips, the CD will become the dominant musical format within five years…

1986, CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather is attacked while walking down Park Avenue in New York City about 11 PM … he is knocked to the ground and kicked repeatedly by a mentally unstable citizen who asks over and over, “Kenneth, what’s the frequency?” … his assailant is William Tager, a diagnosed psychotic who suspects the media of beaming hostile messages at him and wants Rather to tell him the frequency being used in this nefarious plot … 10 years later R.E.M. will cut a song loosely based on the incident titled “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?”…

1989, Neil Young appears on Saturday Night Live and delivers an incendiary version of “Rockin’ In The Free World”… the performance makes the 25th SNL anniversary list of all-time best musical guest appearances … it is so focused, raw, and electric, critics hail it as one of the most intense live television performances ever, and proclaim Young to be “back” … from where, no one knows…

1990, record-store owner Charles Freeman of Fort Lauderdale, FL, is convicted on obscenity charges for selling the 2 Live Crew rap album Nasty As They Wanna Be…he is fined $2,000…

1991, Garth Brooks’ album Ropin’ the Wind debuts at number one on the Billboard Pop chart … it is the first country album to do so… following the theft of Michael Jackson’s crystal-beaded glove from the Motown Museum in Detroit, rapper M.C. Hammer offers a $50,000 reward for the relic’s return…

1992, Sinead O’Connor puts a serious crimp in her career when she appears on Saturday Night Live … after singing an a capella version of Bob Marley’s “War” in which she inserts a verse about sexual abuse in the Catholic church, the Irish singer tears up a photo of the Pope and says, “Fight the real enemy” … the following week, guest host Joe Pesci holds up the photo, taped back together … during Madonna’s next SNL appearance, she holds up a photo of Joey Buttafuoco saying, “Fight the real enemy” … nowadays, when Comedy Central airs the original episode, the incident is replaced with O’Connor holding up a picture of a black child taken from a rehearsal tape…

1993, George Harrison and David Crosby make guest appearances on the fifth-season premiere of The Simpsons …

1994, living up to his nickname, D.O.A. drummer Ken “Dimwit” Montgomery exits this mortal coil, the victim of a heroin OD …

1995, respected Washington, DC-based guitar slinger Danny Gatton, depressed over financial worries and being dropped by Elektra Records, commits suicide at his Maryland farm … known as “The World’s Greatest Unknown Guitarist,” Gatton was a Telecaster master adept in country, blues, and rock …

1997, a Wu-Tang fan files suit after Method Man leaps off the stage and lands on her, knocking her unconscious … the suit targets band members Method Man, RZA, and Redman… the fan, Juanita L. Evans, says she was distracted by Redman and therefore didn’t see the flying Method Man…meanwhile in Bologna, Italy, Bob Dylan performs his “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” with an apparently bored John Paul II looking on … that same day in New York, the Audio Engineering Society unveils the new DVD Audio format … and on this same eventful day, Blues Traveler bassist Bobby Sheehan is popped at the airport by Winnipeg cops for possession of nose candy … he will die 23 months later of a lethal blend of heroin, cocaine, and Valium…

1998, rock fan Drew Carey hosts a truckload of big-name musicians on The Drew Carey Show in an episode titled “La Ramada Vida” … they all appear as themselves to try out for lead guitarist of Carey’s band … the roster includes Joey Ramone, Slash, Dusty Hill, Roy Clark, Jonny Lang, Lisa Loeb, Matthew Sweet, Dave Mustaine, Rick Nielsen, and Joe Walsh…

2004, a consortium of more than 20 music artists take to the road in a series of concerts across the US to support John Kerry’s presidential bid … they include Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Keb’ Mo’, John Mellencamp, The Dixie Chicks, James Taylor, and Pearl Jam … though a majority of rock, pop, and hip-hop artists are firmly in the Democratic challenger’s camp, Jessica Simpson, Ted Nugent, and Gene Simmons weigh in for incumbent George W. Bush … pontificating on the differences between the candidates, Simmons says, “If you have cockroaches in the kitchen, you don’t want somebody to have a conversation with them. You need an exterminator” … meanwhile in Ireland, Sinead O’Connor places an ad in the Irish Examiner pleading for privacy … the singer writes, “I have been the whipping post for Ireland’s media for 20 years. And what have I done to deserve these lashings? I have not behaved the way a woman is supposed to behave”…

2005, Wyclef Jean signs a deal with HBO to star in a comedy that the former Fugee describes as “like a hip-hop version of Curb Your Enthusiasm…he goes on to say that “it’s based on real s**t”…

And that was the week that was.

Arrivals

September 28: Ed Sullivan (1902), Houston Stackhouse (1910), Tommy Collins (1930), Joseph Hutchinson (1931), Chicago blues belter Koko Taylor (1935), soul singer and former Drifter Ben E. King (1938), Nick St. Nicholas of Steppenwolf (1943), Kenny Kirkland (1955), George Lynch of Dokken (1955), Alannah Currie of The Thompson Twins (1959), Jennifer Rush (1960), teen popster Hilary Duff (1987)

September 29: Gene Autry (1907), Jerry Lee Lewis (1935), Jean-Luc Ponty (1942), Tommy Boyce (1944), Mark Farner of Grand Funk (1948), Mike Pinera of Iron Butterfly (1948), Suzzy Roche of The Roches (1956), George Lynch of Dokken (1955), Les Claypool of Primus (1963), Barry D of Jesus Jones (1965), Brad Smith of Blind Melon (1968)

September 30: Buddy Rich (1917), Chris Kenner (1929), Cissy Houston (1933), crooner Johnny Mathis (1935), chitlins-circuit singer Z.Z. Hill (1935), Frankie Lymon (1942), Dewey Martin of Buffalo Springfield (1942), producer Gus Dudgeon (1942), Marilyn McCoo of The 5th Dimension (1943), Sylvia Peterson of The Chiffons (1946), Mark Bolan of T. Rex (1947), Patrice Rushen (1954), Basia (1956), Trey Anastasio of Phish (1964), Robby Takac of The Goo Goo Dolls (1964)

October 1: Vladimir Horowitz (1904), blues guitarist Albert Collins (1932), Julie Andrews (1935), Samuel George of The Capitols (1942), Jerry Martini of Sly & the Family Stone (1943), Scott McKenzie (1944), Barbara Parritt of The Toys (1944), Herbert Rhoad of The Persuasions (1944), Donnie Hathaway (1945), Martin Turner of Wishbone Ash (1947), Jane Dornacker of The Tubes (1947), Howard Hewett of Shalamar (1957), Senegalese vocalist Youssou N’Dour (1959), Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra (1968), Xscape’s LaTocha Scott (1974)

October 2: The Diamonds’ David Somerville (1933), Don McLean (1945), Ron Griffiths of Badfinger (1946), Michael Rutherford of Genesis (1950), Sting (1951), Phillip Oakey of Human League (1955), R&B smoothie Freddie Jackson (1956), Robbie Neville (1960), Siggi Baldursson of The Sugarcubes (1962), Claude McKnight of Take 6 (1962), Sean McDonald (1965), Bud Graugh of Sublime (1967), Tiffany (1971)

October 3: Monk Higgins born Milton Bland (1930), Felix Pappalardi (1938), Eddie Cochran (1938), Chubby Checker (1941), Lindsey Buckingham (1948), Stevie Ray Vaughan (1954), Tommy Lee (1961), Gwen Stefani (1969), Kevin Richardson of Backstreet Boys (1971), India.Arie (1975)

October 4: jazz yodeler Leon Thomas (1937), Orlons member Marlena Easley (1944), Patti Labelle (1944), Jim Fielder of the Mothers Of Invention (1947), Keb’ Mo’ AKA Kevin Moore (1951), Barbara K. MacDonald of Timbuk 3 (1958), Chris Lowe of Pet Shop Boys (1959), Jon Secada (1961), Lena Katina of tATu (1984), Ashlee Simpson (1984)

Departures

September 28: Bob Gibson (1996), Allen Johnson of The Marcels (1995), Ken “Dimwit” Montgomery (1994), Miles Davis (1991), Rory Storm born Alan Caldwell (1972), Jimmy McCulloch of Wings (1979), Dewey Phillips (1968), Lucky Millinder (1966)

September 29: influential New York DJ Scott Muni (2004)

September 30: Jacques Levy (2004), Texas rockabilly pioneer Ronnie Dawson (2003), disco-era songwriter Paul Jabara (1992), pop vocalist and former Mrs. Les Paul, Mary Ford (1977)

October 1: Richard Avedon (2004), Bruce Palmer (2004), Al Jackson Jr. (1975)

October 2: Gene Autry (1998), Memphis sax player Evelyn Young (1990), New Orleans bluesman Cousin Joe (1989)

October 3: Cars bassist Benjamin Orr (2000), blues singer Victoria Spivey (1976), Nehemiah “Skip” James (1969), Woodrow “Woody” Guthrie (1967)

October 4: bebop trumpeter Art Farmer (1998), Atlanta DJ and tastemaker Zenas “Daddy” Sears (1998), country fiddler Jerry Rivers (1996), Danny Gatton (1995), Varetta Dillard (1993), J. Frank Wilson (1991), Ray Stephens of The Village People (1990), Jimmy Springs (1987), Janis Joplin (1970)

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