It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1954, the first pocket-sized transistor radio, the Regency TR-1, is mass-marketed…

1960, Patsy Cline waxes the classic country weeper “I Fall to Pieces”…”Stay” by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs holds down the #1 slot on the Billboard Pop Chart…the song is notable for being the shortest single in the rock era running a mere one minute and 37 seconds…a number of covers later reach the chart including Jackson Browne’s 1978 rendition…

1968, the queens of Detroit, The Supremes, perform at the Royal Variety Show in London while Queen Elizabeth looks on…the elegant beaded gowns they wear that night will become a star attraction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 30 years later…

1972, Danny Whitten, guitarist in Crazy Horse, Neil Young’s backup band, dies of a heroin overdose…the talented axeman and songwriter provided a perfect foil for Young, trading licks with him on the extended guitar jams on Young’s long-form rockers “Down by the River” and “Cowgirl in the Sand”…Whitten’s OD will loom large in Young’s dark album Tonight’s The Night as well as in his song “Needle and the Damage Done”…

1974, John Lennon scores his only solo U.S. #1 single with “What Ever Gets You Through the Night”…

1976, Jerry Lee Lewis is busted for drunk driving after plunging his Rolls Royce into a ditch at 9 AM…

1979, Chuck Berry is released from the slammer following a stay on tax evasion charges…

1980, Don Henley of The Eagles is arrested after paramedics are called to treat a nude 16-year-old girl suffering from the effects of illicit drugs at his Los Angeles home…he is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of an array of drugs…

1987, adopting the guise of a country-rock band called The Dalton Brothers, U2 opens for themselves at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum…U2 developed the collective alter ego during the third leg of the Joshua Tree tour…the Daltons consist of Betty Dalton (Adam Clayton), Luke Dalton (Edge), Alton Dalton (Bono), and Duke Dalton (Larry Mullen, Jr.)…they also open for U2 at the Hoosier Dome in Indiana and the Hampton Coliseum in Virginia…they wear wigs, sunglasses, and country-and-western-style clothing, play just a few songs, and go unrecognized by the majority of fans attending…

1988, Stan Love, brother of the Beach Boys’ Mike Love and former manager of the band, is sentenced to five years probation after being convicted of embezzling more than $300,000 from the singing surfers…

1989, during Queen’s performance of their hit “Fat Bottomed Girls” at a Madison Square Garden show, the band is accompanied by semi-nude women riding bicycles…

1990, in the wake of revelations that they had lip-synced their way to fame, the faux pop duo Milli Vanilli is ordered to return their Grammy award…”singer” Fabrice Morvan unrepentantly claims, “We can sing as good as any other pop star in the Top Ten.”…

1993, Nirvana tapes an MTV Unplugged session in one take…the show is aired with warts and all one month later…

1994, David Crosby gets a glistening, fresh liver…

1995, The Ghost of Tom Joad, Bruce Springsteen’s 13th album, is released…the title refers to a character in John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath, about the 1930s Dust Bowl emigration…

1997, rapper Coolio and his appropriately named backup band 40 Thevz are arrested in Boblingen, Germany, on charges of assaulting a boutique clerk and ripping off $2,000 worth of apparel…

1998, discount chain Kmart launches it MusicFavorites.com website offering 100,000 songs for download…despite its early entry into the electronic commerce arena, the site soon is eclipsed by competitors…ska saxman Roland Alphonso of the pioneering Skatalites collapses in mid-performance during a show at the Key Club in West Hollywood and later dies…Motley Crue fans have cause for celebration when the S’Crue, a store stuffed with Crue-related merch, opens on LA’s trendy Melrose Boulevard…

1999, Doug Sahm-who led the The Sir Douglas Quintet in the 1960s and was fluent in many music forms including Texas blues, Tex-Mex, rock, Cajun, and Western Swing-dies in Taos, NM, at 58…late in his career the singer and guitarist was a member of the critically acclaimed Tex-Mex supergroup The Texas Tornados…pop singer Jewel pulls the plug on her planned Anchorage, AK, New Year’s Eve show citing concerns over possible Y2K problems…word has it, however, that the cancellation is due to weak ticket sales…only 1,000 of the 8,000 available seats have been sold…country star Patty Loveless rides a train across Appalachia distributing 15 tons of Christmas gifts to poor families in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia…

2003, Phil Spector is charged with the murder of Hollywood starlet Lana Clarkson…

2004, The New York Post reports former Van Halen vocalist David Lee Roth is training to become an EMT…the story recounts how Roth, while riding with an ambulance crew, saved the life of a Bronx heart-attack victim using a defibrillator…his tutor Linda Reissman says, “You would never know you were dealing with a rock ‘n’ roll guy. His commitment really is touching. He wants to help people.”…The United States Postal Service settles with the group Postal Service following more than a year of legal wrangling over the band’s name…in a creative compromise the duo, comprised of Death Cab for Cutie singer Ben Gibbard and electronic musician Jimmy Tamborello, agree to let the Postal Service use their music to promote the use of snail mail and refer to the USPS deal in Postal Service CDs…the musicians also promise to perform at the Postmaster General’s National Executive Conference in Washington…

2005, Gary Glitter is detained at Ho Chi Minh City Airport for questioning by Vietnamese police about alleged child sex offenses…an immigration official recognizes Glitter’s name-a.k.a. Paul Francis Gadd-from a newspaper article and calls the cops…the police are investigating reports he performed “obscene acts with a minor,” specifically two girls under the age of 18…under Vietnamese law the charge of obscene acts with a minor is worth one to five years jail time…the glam rock star has been living in Vietnam since March 2005 after being expelled from Cambodia…he left the UK after being jailed for possessing child pornography in 1999…

And that was the week that was.

Arrivals:
November 16: W.C. Handy (1873), Atlantic Records veteran Jesse Stone (1901), Toni Brown of Joy of Cooking (1928), folksinger Bob Gibson (1931), long-time Howlin’ Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin (1931), Nashville producer Felton Jarvis (1934), Garnett Mimms (1937), John Ryanes of The Monotones (1940), George “Smitty” Smith of The Manhattans (1943), Winfred “Blue” Lovett of The Manhattans (1943), Will Ackerman (1949), Patti Santos of It’s a Beautiful Day (1949), Mani of The Stone Roses (1962), Diana Krall (1964), Bryan Abrams of Color Me Badd (1969), Trevor Penick of O-Town (1979)

November 17: Gordon Lightfoot (1938), Bob Gaudio of The Four Seasons (1942), Gene Clark of The Byrds (1944), Martin Barre of Jethro Tull (1946), Jim Babjak of The Smithereens (1957), Harry Rushakoff of Concrete Blonde (1959), RuPaul (1960), Jeff Buckley (1966), Ben Wilson of Blues Traveler (1967), Ronnie DeVoe of Bell Biv DeVoe (1967), Isaac Hanson of Hanson (1980)

November 18: Sir William Gilbert of the Gilbert and Sullivan writing team (1836), Eugene Ormandy (1899), Imogene Coca (1908), Hank Ballard (1927), Bob Sanderson of The Royaltones (1935), Herman Rarebell of The Scorpions (1949), Graham Parker (1950), John McFee of The Doobie Brothers (1953), John Parr (1954), Michael Ramos of The BoDeans (1958), Kim Wilde (1960), Kirk Hammett (1962), Duncan Sheik (1969), Fabolous (1979)

November 19: Tommy Dorsey (1905), J.D. Sumner (1914), Ray Collins of The Mothers of Invention (1937), Pete Moore of The Miracles (1939), Graham Parker (1950), Matt Sorum of Guns N’ Roses (1960), Travis McNabb of Better Than Ezra (1969), Tamika Scott of Xscape (1977)

November 20: Dick Smothers (1939), Tony Butala of The Lettermen (1940), Norman Greenbaum (1942), Duane Allman (1946), Joe Walsh (1947), George Grantham of Poco (1947), Jim Brown of UB40 (1957), Todd Nance of Widespread Panic (1962), Mike “D” Diamond of The Beastie Boys (1965), Sen Dog of Cypress Hill (1965), songwriter Kevin Gilbert (1966), Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest (1970)

November 21: Coleman Hawkins (1904), R&B producer-manager Buck Ram (1907), blues and jazz pianist Lloyd Glenn (1909), vocalist-saxophonist “Big” John Greer (1923), Malcolm John Rebennack AKA Dr. John (1941), Lonnie Jordan of War (1948), Steve Ferguson of NRBQ (1949), Livingston Taylor (1950), Peter Koppes of The Church (1955), Stacy Guess of Squirrel Nut Zippers (1964), Bjork (1965), Blur’s Alex James (1968), Pretty Lou of Lost Boyz (1974), Kelsi Osborn of SHeDAISY (1984)

November 22: Hoagy Carmichael (1899), Benjamin Britten (1913), Foghat’s Rod Price (1940), Terry Stafford (1941), Steve Wahrer of The Trashmen (1941), Jamie Troy of The Classics (1942), Steve Caldwell of The Orlons (1942), Floyd Sneed of Three Dog Night (1943), Aston “Family Man” Barrett (1946), E Street Band’s Little Steven Van Zandt (1950), Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads (1950), Craig Hundley (1953), Jason Ringenberg of Jason & the Scorchers (1958), Rasa Don of Arrested Development (1968)

Departures:
November 16: British pop pianist Russ Conway (2000), Kid Rock sideman Joe C. AKA Joseph Calleja (2000), Gospel Music Hall of Fame member J.D. Sumner (1998), Dino Valenti of Quicksilver Messenger Service (1994), Francis Donia of Tavares (1984), raw-voiced soulman O.V. Wright (1980), music journalist Mike Leadbitter (1974)

November 17: Terry Stafford (1996), blues scholar/producer/label owner Pete Welding (1995), co-founder of RPM Records Jules Bihari (1984), John Glascock of Jethro Tull (1979)

November 18: Doug Sahm (1999), Alan Hull of Lindisfarne (1995), Cab Calloway (1994), prolific session drummer Freddie Waites (1989), Tom Evans of Badfinger (1983), Doug Roberts, drummer for Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs (1981), jazz singer Teddi King (1977), Danny Whitten of Crazy Horse (1972), Memphis bluesman “Little” Junior Parker (1971)

November 19: producer Terry Melcher (2004), songwriter Bobby Russell (1992), songwriter Carolyn Leigh (1983), Claude Feaster of The Chords (1975)

November 20: album cover artist Gene Greif (2004), Roland Alphonso of the Skatalites (1998), rock critic and blues producer Robert Palmer (1997), Chess and Vee-Jay Records session drummer Earl Phillips (1990)

November 21: Alvin Cash (1999), Matthew Ashman of Adam & the Ants and Bow Wow Wow (1995), Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant (1995)

November 22: jazz impresario Norman Ganz (2001), Michael Hutchence of INXS (1997), Epick Soundtracks of The Swell Maps (1997), June Abbit of The 5 Royals (1995), Janet Ertel Bleyer of The Chordettes (1988)

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2 Comments

  1. Did Graham Parker’s delivery straddle midnight then? Whether his birthday was yesterday or today, a very underrated musician – love his covers of some of the songs Lennon and McCartney wrote but didn’t release with the Beatles.

    Oh, and a lovely example of hope triumphing over experience in that round-up…
    “David Crosby? You’re my hero!”
    – “You like my music?”
    “You’re a musician…?”

  2. It could’ve done, head was out on 18th but feet didn’t fully exit ’til 19th.

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