It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1937, the legendary Golden Gate Quartet cuts a mind-blowing 14 gospel tracks in two hours during a Charlotte, North Carolina, recording session … that same week Bunny Berrigan and his orchestra record the jazz standard “I Can’t Get Started” … the chord changes from this oft-covered tune become a staple for bebop musicians a decade later …

1957, ABC TV’s American Bandstand with its forever-young DJ Dick Clark makes its national TV debut … meanwhile across the Atlantic, John Lennon and his band The Quarrymen play their debut date at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, a venue devoted to jazz and skiffle … after the band performs “Come Go With Me, “Hound Dog,” and “Blue Suede Shoes,” irate club owner Alan Sytner sends a note up to the stage reading, “Cut out the bloody rock!” … Paul McCartney, who might have offered a softer side to John’s rockers, did not make the gig … he was at scout camp …

1958, Billboard publishes its first Hot 100 chart … Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool” nails the top spot …

1960, 25,000 copies of the death-rock single “Tell Laura I Love Her” by Ray Peterson are destroyed by Decca Records after a critic deems the song “too tasteless and vulgar for English sensibility” … it is interesting to speculate what that critic may have made of Ozzy Osbourne or The Sex Pistols a little later on …

1965, Herman’s Hermits command the top of the pop chart with their “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” … the novelty tune is a British music hall favorite written in 1911 … no one could remember anything other than the chorus (Herman calls it a verse on the recording), so they just keep repeating it … that same week Mike Smith of The Dave Clark Five suffers two fractured ribs when he’s pulled off the stage by an enthusiastic fan …

1968, from the One Hit Wonders Department, Mason Williams reaches #2 on the pop chart with his guitar instrumental “Classical Gas” … a well-traveled folksinger from the Southwest, Williams becomes a back-up musician and later Emmy-winning comedy writer for The Smothers Brothers … Williams describes “Classical Gas” as “half flamenco, half Flatt & Scruggs, and half classical” … one TV performance of his hit has Williams playing a see-through Plexiglass guitar with goldfish swimming in it … The Doors hit #1 with “Hello, I Love You” which causes critics to accuse Morrison & Co. of selling out … not only that, but the tune sounds a lot like The Kinks “All Day and All of the Night” …

1969, Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys is indicted for draft-dodging after he fails to show up for work as a hospital orderly in lieu of military service … meanwhile in London, photographer Ian Macmillan gets on a stepladder in the middle of Abbey Road to snap The Beatles as they stride across the zebra crossing … several crossings and six pictures later, the session is over … Paul picks the best one which ends up as the cover for Abbey Road which, because The Fabs (as George called them) are so famous, has no other graphics … The Newport Pop Festival features The Byrds, Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly, The Chambers Brothers, and two acts from the previous year’s Monterey International Pop Festival - The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Quicksilver Messenger Service …

1970, Janis Joplin springs for a headstone to mark Bessie Smith’s grave … the blues singer was one of her idols …

1972, Derek & The Dominos reach #10 on the charts with “Layla” … their only hit, it qualifies Eric Clapton (in his guise as Derek) as a bonafide member of the One Hit Wonders club … co-written by Clapton, “Layla” is one of the all-time classic rock favorites and features the slide guitar playing of Duane Allman and a wonderful piano-led coda written by Dominos drummer Jim Gordon … the group was ill-fated: Clapton slides into heroin addiction, bassist Carl Radle dies from a drug overdose, and Gordon is serving a life prison sentence for murdering his mother … keyboardist/vocalist Bobby Whitlock came through relatively unscathed, although he had to watch a terrific group fall apart while recording an unfinished second album …

1973, Stevie Wonder is seriously injured in North Carolina when the auto in which he’s riding is hit by logs rolling off a truck … he emerges from a coma after four days sans his sense of smell …

1975, Robert Plant and his family are injured in an auto wreck on the Mediterranean island of Rhodes … meanwhile Hank Williams Jr. tumbles 500 feet down a Montana mountain … after two year’s worth of surgeries, he resumes his career …

1984, “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. is the Billboard #1 pop hit … Parker is later sued by Huey Lewis who claims the tune is a ripoff of his “I Want a New Drug” … the case is settled out of court with the proviso neither party talks about the deal … in 2001, during an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music, Lewis reveals that Parker paid up to settle the case … Parker then sues Lewis for violating the settlement terms …

1986, David Crosby is released from prison after doing time on drug and weapon charges …

1992, Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro dies from cardiac arrest triggered by an allergic reaction to an insecticide he is spraying in his garden … meanwhile at a Montreal concert, citing a sore throat, Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses cuts short the band’s set causing many of the 55,000 fans in attendance to riot … this is a fitting end to a concert in which Metallica had also cut short their set after singer James Hetfield suffered third-degree burns from a pyro effect …

1996, former Motley Crue singer Vince Neil runs into trouble at an Indiana club date … after starting the show four hours late, Neil pulls the plug after just three songs saying he is feeling ill and suggesting that the audience of “rednecks” doesn’t appreciate his talent … a riot by 500 surly ticket holders is narrowly averted by the prompt arrival of the cops …

1999, after running into legal roadblocks, the leading record labels drop their suit against Diamond Multimedia, makers of the Rio MP3 music player … they had charged that the device would encourage online piracy …

2000, the Jimi Hendrix estate successfully evicts the holder of the web domain jimihendrix.com …

2001, rap group D12 executes a brutal attack on Detroit rap rivals Esham and T.N.T. during a Warped Tour stop in Camden, New Jersey, … T.N.T. is bruised and cut while Esham suffers a broken nose, ruptured eyeball, concussion, and hearing damage … D12 is promptly kicked off the tour … that same day in L.A., 300 fortunate Foo Fighters fans are treated to a rare club gig when the band plays the legendary Troubador … attendees are chosen from entries emailed to the Fighters’ website …

2004, the Illinois Attorney General’s office files suit against the Dave Matthews Band for dumping human waste from a tour bus into the Chicago River and onto a tour boat passing below … it’s later determined that the band wasn’t directly involved, the foul act having been committed by a tour bus driver … “Super Freak” singer Rick James dies of a heart attack in his sleep … an autopsy reveals that there were at least nine drugs in his system including cocaine, valium, vicodin, and methamphetamine … because none of the substances were found in lethal quantities, his death is ruled as accidental …

2006, former Love guitarist-leader Arthur Lee dies from leukemia … The Love album Forever Changes from 1967 is consistently voted one of the 100 best rock albums of all time in surveys of critics and listeners … though much respected by fellow musicians, his career never flourished largely due to personal eccentricities … following his release from prison in 2001 after serving six years on weapons charge, Lee began touring to much acclaim … a CD and DVD of the complete performance of Forever Changes was released in 2003 … current artists such as Yo La Tengo and Brian Jonestown Massacre point to Arthur Lee’s music as being a significant influence …

And that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

August 2: big band singer Helen Morgan (1900), “Big” Walter Price (1917), country singer Hank Walters (1933), country star Hank Cochran (1935), Garth Hudson of The Band (1937), Edward Patten of Gladys Knight & The Pips (1939), Doris Coley Kenner of The Shirelles (1941), guitarist Larry Coryell (1943), steel guitarist Hank DeVito (1948), guitarist Andy Fairweather-Low (1948) Fat Larry (1949), Ted Turner of Wishbone Ash (1950), Clive Wright of Cock Robin (1953), Apollonia born Patricia Kotero (1961), Pete De Freitas of Echo and the Bunnymen (1961), Zelma Davis of C+C Music Factory (1970)

August 3: Bahamian guitarist Joseph Spence (1910), Tony Bennett (1926), blues harp player Alex Randall (1934), Gordon Stoker of The Jordanaires (1935), Roscoe Mitchell of The Art Ensemble of Chicago (1940), Beverly Lee of The Shirelles (1941), B. B. Dickerson of War (1949), John Graham of Earth, Wind & Fire (1951) guitarist Steve Hillage (1951), Andrew Gold (1951), James Hetfield of Metallica (1963), Ed Roland of Collective Soul (1963), Shirley Manson of Garbage (1966)

August 4: Louis Armstrong (1901), Frankie Ford (1939), David Carr of The Fortunes (1940), Timi Yuro (1940), Klaus Schultze of Tangerine Dream (1947), Paul Layton of The New Seekers (1947), Clannad’s Maire Ni Bhraonian (1952), Mark O’Connor (1962), Paul Reynolds of A Flock of Seagulls (1962), Jody Turner of Rock Goddess (1963), Immature’s Marques Houston (1981)

August 5: jazz singer Jeri Southern (1926), Vern Gosdin (1934), R&B vocalist Damita Jo (1940), guitarist Lenny Breau (1941), percussionist Airto Moreira (1941), sax player Rick Huxley of The Dave Clark Five (1942), country star Sammi Smith (1943) Rick Derringer of The McCoys (1947), Gregory Leskew of Guess Who (1947), Eddie Ojeda of Twisted Sister (1954), Pat Smear of Foo Fighters (1959), Pete Burns of Dead Or Alive (1959), Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys (1964)

August 6: The Ravens’ Jimmy Ricks (1924), jazz bassist Charlie Haden (1937), Isaac Hayes (1938), Judy Craig of The Chiffons (1946), guitarist Allan Holdsworth (1948), Pat McDonald of Timbuk 3 (1951), Randy DeBarge (1958), Geri Halliwell a.k.a. Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls (1972)

August 7: Benny Carter (1907), swing bandleader Freddie Slack (1910), pianist Mose Vinson (1917), lyricist Felice Bryant (1925), The Platters’ Herb Reed (1931), multi-instrumentalist jazz titan Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1936), Magic Slim born Morris Holt (1937), pop vocalist Ron Holden (1939), B.J. Thomas (1942), Rodney Crowell (1950), bassist/songwriter Andy Fraser of Free (1952), Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden - not the Bruce Dickinson (1958), Toxic (19??), Jacqui O’Sullivan of Bananarama (1960), Ian Dench of EMF (1964), Kristen Hersh of Throwing Muses (1964)

August 8: bandleader Lucky Millender (1900), Webb Pierce (1921), Jimmy Witherspoon (1923), blues singer Al King (1923), Sonny Til of The Orioles (1925), Mel Tillis (1932), pedal steel player extraordinaire Pete Drake (1932), Joe Tex (1933), Connie Stevens (1938), Philip E. Balsley of the Statler Brothers (1939), John “Jay” David of Dr. Hook (1942), The Grateful Dead’s Ron “Pig Pen” McKernan (1946), Airrion Love of The Stylistics (1949), Ali Score of Flock of Seagulls (1956), Dennis Drew of 10,000 Maniacs (1957), Chris Foreman of Madness (1958), Ricki Rockett of Poison (1959), U2’s The Edge a.k.a. David Evans (1961), Kool Moe Dee (1962), JC Chasez of *NSYNC (1976), Drew Lachey of 98 Degrees (1976)

Departures:

August 2: Ron Towson of The 5th Dimension (2001), Afrobeat star Fela Anikulapo-Kuti (1997), Motown bassist James Jamerson (1983), former Pink Floyd road manager Peter “Puddy” Watts (1976), Brian Cole of The Association (1972)

August 3: Arthur Lee (2006), reedman Bob Tate (1993), Don Lang of The Frantic Five (1992), Richard Nickens of The Eldorados (1991)

August 4: classical and rock violinist Monroe Clark (2006), R&B/blues singer/guitarist “Little” Milton Campbell (2005), jazz singer Jeri Southern (1991), pop impresario Larry Parnes (1989)

August 5: bassist Randy Hobbs of The McCoys and Johnny Winter (1993), drummer Jeff Porcaro of Toto (1992), N’awlins bluesman Isidore “Tuts” Washington (1984), avant-garde bassist George Scott (1980), The Who’s first manager Pete Meadon (1978), country guitarist Luther Perkins (1968), one-man blues band Joe Hill Louis (1957)

August 6: jazz bassist Keter Betts (2005), Cuban legend Ibrahim Ferrer (2005), Rick James (2004), the U.K.’s answer to Louis Armstrong, Nat Gonella (1998), new wave singer Klaus Nomi (1983), Memphis Minnie (1973), trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke (1931)

August 7: country guitarist William “Billy” Byrd (2001), harmonica virtuoso Larry Adler (2001), record store mogul Sam Goody (1991), R&B chantreuse Esther Phillips (1984), Homer a.k.a. Henry Haynes of Homer & Jethro (1971)

August 8th: pianist Irving Sidney “Duke” Jordan (2006), Julian “Cannonball” Adderley (1975)

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2 Comments

  1. Up early today Toxie? ;)
    I do like these posts of yours. I especially like your Google text ad for “The Mooncup Menstrual Cup – no more tampons, reduce dryness, stop toxic shock”

  2. Up early? What are the chances of that happening?

    Nice thing WP has where you can set the time a post is published, just like to spread things about ;)
    Site domain name does bring up a few ads that don’t quite fit the post content :D

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