It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1928, a candle starts a fire in a French Gypsy caravan…the left hand of 18-year-old guitarist Django Reinhardt is badly burned, leaving two fingers useless…with his right leg also injured, Django is bedridden for 18 months and uses that time for therapy, rebuilding his guitar chops so that by the mid-1930s he is a master of swing guitar and ultimately one of the best guitarists in any genre…

1956, Delta bluesman Tommy Johnson dies from a heart attack after playing at a party…a contemporary of 1920s Mississippi Delta blues great Charlie Patton, Johnson used a simple-but-effective guitar style to back up his vocals that often employed a haunting falsetto… like Robert Johnson, Tommy was rumored to have sold his soul to the devil to become a great blues performer… the L.A. blues group Canned Heat took its name from Johnson’s “Canned Heat Blues” while his “Big Road Blues” was an inspiration for the group’s hit single “On The Road Again”…

1960, The Twist dance craze swivels on as Joey Dee & The Starlighters go to #1 with “Peppermint Twist”… before long, everyone’s jumping on The Twist bandwagon including Bo DIddley with Bo Diddley’s A Twister

1963, Rufus Thomas reaches #10 in the charts with “Walkin’ The Dog” …the Thomas-written song was covered a year later by The Rolling Stones and again by Aerosmith in 1973 …

… Gerry & The Pacemakers single “You’ll Never Walk Alone” goes to #1 in England, making them the first group in the UK to have #1 hits with their first three singles, the first two being “How Do You Do It,” and “I Like It”..the feat would not be matched until 1984 by Frankie Goes To Hollywood…

1964, “Oh Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison turns gold…it is his ninth and last Top Ten single…

1965, The Doors play one of their first paying gigs at the Pioneer Club Boat Ride in L.A. …

1966, The Monkees hit #1 with their first single “Last Train to Clarksville” just weeks after the debut of their TV show… “drummer” Mickey Dolenz takes the lead vocal accompanied by L.A.’s finest studio pros…although it’s a standard practice to have session musicians record backing tracks for pop groups (e.g. The Byrds’ “Mr. Tamourine Man”), the Monkees are roundly criticized for being ersatz musicians…the following year, as a matter of professional pride, they play every instrument on the Headquarters album with assistance only from their producer Chip Douglas on bass along with a couple of cello and French horn parts…

1967, Monkee Davy Jones opens a clothing store in Manhattan…it’s called Zilch, named after a spoken-word track on Headquarters

1968, the MC5 record their revolutionary live debut album Kick Out The Jams at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom where the group has been playing just about every week for two years … the title song is later covered by Blue Öyster Cult, Rage Against The Machine, Jeff Buckley, and just about any band that wants to get it on…according to MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, the MC5 would scream “kick out the jams” at other bands to get them to stop jamming or get off the stage…

…the first official Beatle solo LP Wonderwall Music by George Harrison is released…the mostly instrumental recording is the soundtrack to the movie Wonderwall…in 1995 Oasis recyles the title for one of their biggest hits …

1969, King Crimson’s debut LP “In The Court Of The Crimson King” features bassist/vocalist Greg Lake, guitarist Robert Fripp, and lots of Mellotron…despite many line-up changes in the coming years, the lead-off song, “21st Century Schizoid Man” will remain a concert staple…an interactive feature of the Deja Voom DVD released in 1998 will let the viewer mix and match singers and soloists from different lineups…Elvis scores his first U.S. #1 since 1962 with “Suspicious Minds”…

1975, Queen releases “Bohemian Rhapsody” as a single…with three and-a-half minutes being the standard limit to the length of a single, the band and producer Roy Thomas Baker have to convince EMI executives to release the six-minute recording without any edits…the single tops the UK chart for nine weeks and goes to number two in the U.S … it will go to #1 again in the UK 1991 after lead singer Freddie Mercury’s AIDS-related death…The Carpenters tour of the UK is cancelled so that singer/drummer Karen Carpenter can begin two months of rest, hoping to recover from anorexia…she weighs just 90 pounds…

1977, Martin Scorsese’s film The Last Waltz, commemorating The Band’s last concert at Winterland in San Francisco, opens to rave reviews in New York…Ozzie Osbourne quits Black Sabbath but returns a few weeks later…

1978, Joe Jackson asks “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” on his debut single…

1980, The Stray Cats release their debut single in the UK … “Runaway Boys” goes to #9…

1981, the intial LP offering from Depeche Mode is Speak and Spell … it includes recent singles “Dreaming of Me” and “Just Can’t Get Enough”…

1982, Paul Weller announces The Jam will break up at the end of the year…Duran Duran’s seventh single is “Rio”… its hook was produced by an arpeggiator playing notes from a chord in a selected pattern.. the enticing music video receives heavy MTV rotation with scenes shot on the Carribean island of Antigua by Russell Mulcahy who later directed the Highlander, Resident Evil: Extinction, and episodes of Queer as Folk

1983, Puerto Rican teen heart-throbs Menudo are signed to RCA records for $30 million…Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon becomes the longest listed album ever on the Billboard chart — 491 continuous weeks…

1986, Roger Waters sues former bandmates David Gilmour and Nick Mason to stop them from using the name Pink Floyd…the suit fails and Floyd shines on …

1991, blues, soul, rock, and country are all well represented when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts Bobby “Blue” Bland, Booker T & The MGs, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, The Isley Brothers, The Yardbirds, and Sam and Dave … the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California is the venue for Neil Young’s fifth Bridge School Concert featuring Don Henley, Willie Nelson, Sonic Youth, John Lee Hooker, and Tracy Chapman…the following day up the peninsula, a crowd of more than 300,000 attend a free show in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park called “A Benefit for Laughter, Love & Music” to commemorate the death of rock promoter Bill Graham…the bill includes The Grateful Dead; Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young; Joan Baez; Santana; and Journey who reunite for the memorial show…Graham died on October 25 when his helicopter hit a utility tower…

1994, Nirvana: Unplugged in New York appears in record stores seven months after Kurt Cobain’s suicide…the album goes to #1 in the U.S. and UK…

1995, Hootie and the Blowfish and Bob Dylan reach an out-of-court settlement over the band’s unauthorized use of Dylan’s lyrics in their song, “Only Want To Be With You”…

1996, the cover of Newsweek features Melissa Etheridge and her partner Julie Cypher to highlight an article on gay parents…

1998, Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain smashes his guitar onstage for the first time at the Evergreen State Dorm Room Party in Olympia, Washington …

1999, Creed’s My Own Prison is certified quadruple platinum while it’s current #1 album Human Clay goes double platinum…

2002, letters and diaries from Kurt Cobain’s last years are released in the book Journals

2005, the pioneer of overdriven distorted guitar tones, Link Wray dies…part Shawnee Indian, Link’s most influential recording, “Rumble” from 1958, was inspired by The Diamonds’ “The Stroll” and was featured in the 1994 movie Pulp Fiction

2007, former co-manager of The Ramones and later self-styled “real estate agent to the stars” Linda Stein is found beaten to death in her New York apartment…

… and that was the week that was in matters musical.

Arrivals:

October 30: trumpeter Clifford Brown (1930), rockabilly star Ray Smith (1934), Grace Slick born Grace Wing (1939), Timothy Schmidt of The Eagles (1947), Jim Messina (1947), David Green of Air Supply (1949), Otis Williams of the Temptations (1949), Joey BellaDonna of Anthrax (1960), Gavin Rossdale of Bush (1967)

October 31:Dale Evans (1912), Bernard Edwards of Chic (1952), South African rocker Johnny Clegg (1953), U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. (1961), Adam Horovitz a.k.a. King Ad Rock of the Beastie Boys (1966), Vanilla Ice born Robert Van Winkle (1967), Linn Berggren of Ace Of Base (1970)

November 1: blues songstress Sippie Wallace (1898), Peacock Records founder Don Robey (1903), Barry “Ballad of Green Berets” Sadler (1940), Rick Grech, bass player for Blind Faith and Traffic (1946), Dan Peek of America (1950), Ronald Bell of Kool and the Gang (1951), Lyle Lovett (1956), Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers (1962), Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen (1963), Willie D of The Geto Boys (1966), LaTavia Roberson of Destiny’s Child (1981)

November 2: trumpet legend Bunny Berigan (1908), Keith Emerson (1944), J.D. Souther (1945), Dave Pegg of Jethro Tull (1947), Maxine Nightingale (1952), Carter Beauford of the Dave Matthews Band (1957), Bobby Dall of Poison (1958), Matt Sorum of Cult, Guns N’ Roses, and Velvet Revolver (1960), k.d. lang born Katherine Dawn Lang (1961), Alex James of Blur (1968), Reginald Arvizu of Korn (1969), John Hampson of Nine Days (1971), Nelly (1978)

November 3: Brian Poole of The Tremeloes (1941), Marie McDonald Lawrie a.k.a. Lulu (1948), Adam Ant born Stuart Leslie Goddard (1954)

November 4: Four Vagabonds singer John Jordan (1913), Delbert McClinton (1940), Dan Hartman has nothing to do with this week, Squeeze singer-guitarist Chris Difford (1954), pianist Yanni born Yiannis Hrysomallis (1954), James Honeyman-Scott, guitarist for the Pretenders (1957), Puff Daddy (1970)

November 5: Roy Rogers born Leonard Slye (1911), blues and R&B innovator Ike Turner (1931), Art Garfunkel (1941), Gram Parsons (1946), Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits (1947), Don McDougall of Guess Who (1948), Mike Score of A Flock Of Seagulls (1957), Bryan Adams (1959), David Bryson of Counting Crows (1961), singer-actress Andrea McArdle (1963), Jon Greenwood of Radiohead (1971), Ryan Adams (1974)

Departures:

October 30: crooner Robert Goulet (2007), Ramones co-manager Linda Stein (2007), Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC (2002), TV host and musician Steve Allen (2000), British blues diva Jo-Ann Kelly (1990), hard swingin’ sax man Chu Berry (1941)

October 31: John Holohan, drummer for Bayside (2005), record exec Lester Sill (1994), A Chorus Line producer Joseph Papp (1991), Procol Harum drummer B.J. Wilson (1990), guitarist Malcolm Hale of Spanky and Our Gang (1968)

November 1: Grand Funk Railroad manager Terry Knight (2004), classic blues singer and pianist Sippie Wallace (1986), pioneer Delta blues singer Tommy Johnson (1956)

November 2: Sammy Kaye Band singer Wandra Merrell (1994), Mississippi John Hurt (1966)

November 3: singer Art Wood (2006), Lonnie Donegan (2002), blues harmonica player William Clarke (1996), songwriter Mort Shuman (1991)

November 4: Mana “China” Nishiura (2005), Bobby Nunn of the Coasters (1987), Hi-Lites singer Ronnie Goodson (1980)

November 5: Link Wray (2005), Robert Lee “Bobby” Hatfield of The Righteous Brothers (2003), saxophonist Eddie Harris (1996), jazz pianist Bobby Scott (1990), Barry Sadler (1989), Vladimir Horowitz (1989), Bobby Nunn (1986), Guy Lombardo (1977), Robert “Nighthawk” McCollum (1967), Johnny Horton (1960), piano magician Art Tatum (1956), Orioles singer Tommy Gaither (1950)

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2 Comments

  1. Geoff's gravatar Geoff

    Dan Hartman was born December 8,1950

  2. Cheers, has been corrected

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