It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1954, Elvis Presley auditions for The Songfellows, a country vocal group … they pass on the future king saying he can’t sing harmony …

1955, Bo Diddley cuts his first records for Chess including “I’m a Man,” a tune that will influence generations of rockers to follow …

1956, Gale Storm’s cover of the Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers #6 hit “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” rises to #9 on the pop chart … it is notable for being the first white-artist cover that fails to beat the black-artist original on the chart …

1957, the British music mag New Musical Express predicts that pop star Tommy Sands will soon eclipse Elvis in the teen heartthrob category …

1959, recording begins in New York City for the Miles Davis classic Kind of Blue – it will prove so popular that people who normally don’t buy jazz albums buy this one …

1963, golden-voiced country/pop great Patsy Cline never makes it back to Nashville when her plane goes down en route from St. Louis … she, Cowboy Copas, and Hawkshaw Hawkins are returning from a benefit concert for the widow of DJ Cactus Jack Call, who was recently killed in a car crash … ironically, country singer Jack Anglin dies two days later in an auto accident on his way to Cline’s funeral … meanwhile in pre-hippie San Francisco, a concert at the Cow Palace dubbed “The Limbo Party” has an eclectic lineup that includes Chubby Checker as host … performers include Marvin Gaye, The Crystals, Lou Christie, The Four Seasons, Dick & Dee Dee, Paul & Paula, and Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass …

1966, Steve Stills and Neil Young form Buffalo Springfield in Los Angeles … the band is named for a piece of road construction equipment … meanwhile across town Phil Spector produces the monumental Tina Turner track “River Deep, Mountain High” … it’s rumored that he spent more than $22,000 creating the orchestral backing track-an unprecedented sum in its day-word has it that Spector also paid Ike Turner, Tina’s spouse and Svengali, $20,000 to stay the hell out of the studio … meanwhile in England, John Lennon stirs up an international furor when during a newspaper interview he remarks that the Beatles “are probably bigger than Jesus right now” …

1967, Steve and Muff Winwood announce that they are leaving the Spencer Davis Group … Steve later forms the critically acclaimed band Traffic …

1968, Johnny Cash and June Carter marry at the First United Methodist Church in Franklin, Kentucky … a motorcade of Cadillacs carry Johnny, June, and the families to the small, private ceremony … Johnny’s best man is Merle Kilgore, who shares co-writing credits with June on “Ring of Fire,” the tune generally credited as a musical documentation of Johnny and June’s love affair …

1971, Radio Hanoi plays Jimi Hendrix’s “Star Spangled Banner” … the tape was sent by activist Abbie Hoffman …

1973, Paul McCartney pleads guilty and pays a fine of $240 after marijuana plants are found growing at his farm in Scotland … in his defense McCartney claims that a fan gave him some seeds, which he planted, not knowing what would grow from them … this same week in 1975, Linda and Paul are pulled over for running a red light in Los Angeles … police sniff pot and find six to eight ounces in Linda’s purse and charge her with possession … since it isn’t his purse, Paul goes free …

1978, Van Halen launches its first tour at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom … the rockers’ contract requires that M&Ms with the brown candies removed be supplied backstage … it is later revealed in David Lee Roth’s autobiography that the provision was not the result of rock-star whims, but instead served to monitor whether promoters had thoroughly read the band’s technical specifications for shows … Roth writes, “So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl … well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error. They didn’t read the contract. Guaranteed you’d run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening” …

1982, Blues Brother John Belushi dies at age 33 of a drug overdose … according to fellow Blues Brother Dan Akroyd, Belushi had taken to hanging out with a group of sleazy sycophants who had anything but Belushi’s best interests in mind …

1984, Gold Star Recording Studios where Phil Spector cut most of his monster hits is demolished to make way for a mini-mall that features a Del Taco stand …

1985, Sheena Easton sets a crossover record when her Prince-written song “Sugar Walls” hits the top ten in the R&B, Country, Dance, and Adult Contemporary charts …

1994, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana washes down a handful of Valiums with champagne and winds up in a coma in a Rome hospital … he revives after about 20 hours … though officially labeled accidental, the overdose is quietly considered to be a suicide attempt by those close to Cobain … a second try with a shotgun will prove fatal nearly two months later …

1995, R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry undergoes successful brain surgery for an aneurysm after collapsing during a concert in Switzerland …

1998, rapper C-BO is arrested for song lyrics urging violence against the police … the DA says that the lyrics in his recently released album, ‘Til My Casket Drops violate the terms of the rapper’s parole … meanwhile in Brisbane, Australia, Liam Gallagher of Oasis is charged with assault after headbutting and breaking a fan’s nose …

1999, British singer Dusty Springfield dies of breast cancer on the day she was scheduled to receive her OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth … she was 59 … this same day, fired Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll settles his suit against the band for $880,000 … lawyers had predicted a much bigger payday … country singer George Jones is seriously hurt when he slams his Lexus into a bridge … a bottle was to blame …

2000, at the Annual Brit Awards in the U.K., Macy Gray takes the honors for Best International Female Artist and Best Newcomer …

2002, Nashville songwriter Howard Harlan, who was known as “Mr. Songwriter,” dies … he penned more than 4,000 songs, including massive country hits such as Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces” …

2003, Hank Ballard, leader of the Midnighters dies … notable for having written “The Twist” and enjoying a hit with it before Chubby Checker’s cover, he and his swinging band charted with 22 R&B hits in the 1950s and ’60s, many of which crossed over onto the pop chart … these included the suggestive “Work With Me Annie” and its sequel “Annie Had a Baby” … their double-entendre-laden lyrics resulted in the songs being banned on many radio stations …

2005, Queen’s Brian May, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck are all guests at a Buckingham Palace party to honor the British music industry … when Queen Elizabeth II meets the four famous guitarists she asks them: “And what do you do?” …

2006, Yanni is arrested at his home in Manalapan, FL after an alleged domestic dispute with his girlfriend … he is charged with domestic battery … word on the street says that the battery consisted of Yanni strapping the girl down and playing his CDs for hours on end …

And that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

March 1: Glenn Miller (1904), barrel house pianist Walter Davis (1912), Harry Belafonte (1927), Jim Ed Brown of The Browns (1934), Roger Daltrey (1942), Jerry Fisher of Blood, Sweat & Tears (1943), Mike D’Abo of Manfred Mann (1944), Nik Kershaw (1958)

March 2: Desi Arnaz (1917), Doc Watson (1923), Lawrence Payton of The Four Tops (1938), Lou Reed born Louis Firbank (1942), George Benson (1943), Eddie Money (1949), Rory Gallagher (1949), Karen Carpenter (1950), Jay Osmond of The Osmonds (1955), Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons (1955), Mark Evans of AC/DC (1956), Jon Bon Jovi born John Bongiovi (1962), rapper and DJ Scott LaRock (1962), Coldplay’s Chris Martin (1977)

March 3: Junior Parker (1927), jazz bassist Pierre Michelot (1928), Willie Chambers of The Chambers Brothers (1938), Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane (1942), Mike Pender of The Searchers (1942), Jance Garfat of Dr. Hook (1944), Jennifer Warnes (1947), Robyn Hitchcock (1953), Tone-Loc (1966), John Bigham of Fishbone (1969), Ronan Keating of Boyzone (1977)

March 4: Miriam Makeba (1932), Bobby Womack (1944), Shakin’ Stevens (1948), Billy Gibbons (1948), Chris Squire of Yes (1948), Emilio Estefan of Miami Sound Machine (1950), Jason Newsted of Metallica (1963), Patrick Hannan of The Sundays (1966), Fergal Lawlor of The Cranberries (1971)

March 5: blues great J.B. Lenoir (1929), R&B star Tommy “High Heel Sneakers” Tucker (1939), Electric Prune James Lowe (1945), Eddy Grant (1948), Alan Clark of Dire Straits (1952), Teena Marie (1956), Bobby DeBarge (1956), Mark Smith of The Fall (1957), Andy Gibb (1958), Craig Reid and Charlie Reid of The Proclaimers (1962), John Frusciante of The Red Hot Chili Peppers (1971)

March 6: bottleneck guitarist Furry Lewis (1893), Western Swing pioneer Bob Wills (1905), composer Bernie Wayne (1919), Wes Montgomery (1925), Sylvia Robinson of Mickey and Sylvia (1936), Doug Dillard (1937), Mary Wilson of the Supremes (1944), Hugh Grundy of The Zombies (1945), David Gilmour (1947), singer Kiki Dee (1947)

March 7: Maurice Ravel (1875), producer and ex-Zombie Chris White (1943), singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt (1944), J. Geils Band vocalist Peter Wolf (1946), Procol Harum keyboardist Matthew Fisher (1946), Little Peggy March (1948), Taylor Dayne born Leslie Wonderman (1962)

Departures:

March 1: Jackson 5 drummer Johnny Jackson (2006), Dennis Danell of Social Distortion (2000), Air Supply’s Frank Esler-Smith (1991)

March 2: Hank Ballard (2003), Dusty Springfield (1999), singer-songwriter David Ackles (1999), French pop singer Serge Gainsbourg (1991), rockabilly pianist Roy Hall (1984), Charlie Christian (1942)

March 3: Ivor Cutler (2006), Harlan “Mr. Songwriter” Howard (2002)

March 4: songwriter-pianist Marvin Jenkins (2005), guitarist John McGeoch (2004), country artist Eddie Dean of “I Dreamed Of a Hillbilly Heaven” fame (1999), Minnie Pearl (1996), songwriter Eden Ahbez (1995), jazz guitarist Mary Osborne (1992), founder of the doo-wop Herald and Ember labels Al Silver (1992), bebop guitarist Tiny Grimes (1989), Richard Manuel of The Band (1986), R&B bandleader Red Saunders (1981), Brit rocker Mike Patto (1979), Raymond Edwards of The Silhouettes (1977)

March 5: Vivian Stanshall of The Bonzo Dog Band (1995), blues brother John Belushi (1982), Patsy Cline (1963), Cowboy Copas (1963), Hawkshaw Hawkins (1963)

March 6: producer Mickey Most (2003)

March 7: conductor Margaret Harris (2000), country bandleader-songwriter Pee Wee King (2000), producer Dave Jordan (1995), Jack Anglin (1963)

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2 Comments

  1. Blimey, bit of a dull, unimportant week in ’66, eh…

  2. Just a normal week in rock and or roll :wink:

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