It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1757, playing clavier for an awestruck Salzburg salon, 11-month old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart stuns listeners with his flawless virtuosity … the performance is interrupted in the final movement by Wolfgang’s own little movement …

1979, wearing disguises, The Rolling Stones appear on TVs The Gong Show as the group named Gross Tone, Then Ill (an anagram of The Rolling Stones) … the group gets the highest combined score and walks off with the prize of $516.32 …

1977, RCA releases the latest Elvis album, The King Requests, which consists of taped phone calls Elvis made to a Memphis deli over the years to order sandwiches, pizza, and other snacks for delivery to Graceland … the calls were recorded over a span of 12 years on 37 cassettes by the enterprising deli owner who sold them to RCA for $385,000 … and yes, every call ended with Elvis saying “thang-you-very-much” … the remastered CD version from 1983 contains some hilarious outtakes including the time Elvis called and couldn’t remember what he wanted, or the time he called three times in five minutes with the exact same order …

1984, William Shatner releases an album of all-original songs inspired by his experiences playing a police officer on the popular TV program T.J. Hooker … song titles include “Book ‘Em Hooker,” “The Sergeant and the Lady,” “Flashing Lights,” and “Hot Pursuit” …

1987, sultry country songstress Crystal Gayle marries maker of premium guitar strings, Ernie Ball … music industry officials refuse to prognosticate on the singer’s future were she to tour under her married name, Crystal Ball …

1988, during a show in Throckmorton, Vermont, guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen suffers second- and third-degree burns to his fingers in the midst of an extended solo when his fretboard bursts into flames …

1989, Miles Davis gets his name into the Guinness Book of Records … his autobiography sets the all-time world record for the number of times the word “motherfucker” is repeated in a single work …

2004, ex-Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighter Dave Grohl sets a new record by playing on every single album released in the past year …

2005, pop music sustains a stunning setback when Antares, maker of the pitch-correcting wunderware AutoTune, announces they are closing their doors … panicking pop performers flood therapists’ offices suffering from what is coined “Milli Vanilli Syndrome” …

2010, after Scream—his 2009 collaboration with hip-hop producer Timbaland—tanks commercially and critically, former Soundgarden/Audioslave singer Chris Cornell decides on yet another genre change … he steps into the studio to record a lively collection of polka favorites … jealous of the rabid success of Chickenfoot—a supergroup consisting of ex-Van Halen members Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar along with Joe Satriani and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers—dejected rockers Flea, David Lee Roth, Alex Van Halen, and John Frusciante form a supergroup of their own, the mighty Chickenbutt …

2012, Ted Nugent shows up at a re-election rally for President Barack Obama to show his support …

… and that was the rather late foolish week that was in matters musical.


April 1: jazz singer Alberta Hunter (1895), ’50s crooner Frankie Laine (1913), boogie-woogie pianist Amos Milburn, who transformed jump blues into R&B (1927), singer-actress Debbie Reynolds (1932), Rudolph Isley of The Isley Brothers (1939), Alan Blakely, guitarist and keyboard player with The Tremeloes, one of the longest surviving British bands (1942), John Barbata of Jefferson Starship (1945), Small Faces bassist Ronnie Lane (1948), ska and reggae musician Jimmy Cliff, born James Chambers (1948), session drummer and TOTO cofounder Jeff Porcaro (1951), Dennis Boon, guitarist with The Minutemen (1958)

April 2: blues sax man J.T. Brown (1910), French pop star Serge Gainsbourg (1928), Marvin Gaye (1939), Leon Russell (1941), Kurt Winter of The Guess Who? (1946), Emmylou Harris (1947)

April 3: country musician-songwriter Don Gibson (1928), country singer Johnny Horton (1929), R&B/funk guitarist Jimmy Nolen (1934), jazz organist Jimmy McGriff (1936), bassist Scot LeFaro (1936), Phillipe Wynne of The Spinners (1938), songwriter Jeff Barry, born Joel Adelberg (1939), Jan Berry of Jan & Dean (1941), The Duprees’ Joe Canzano (1941), Joey Vann of The Duprees (1943), Tony Orlando (1944), The Band’s Richard Manuel (1945), Elton John bassist Dee Murray (1946), Grand Funk’s Mel Schacher (1951), Mike Ness of Social Distortion (1962), Criss Oliva of Savatage (1963)

April 4: Cecil Gant (1913), Muddy Waters, born McKinley Morganfield (1915), writer/actor/dancer/singer/poet laureate Maya Angelou (1928), Tiny Tim, born Herbert Khaury (1930), Margo Sylvia of The Tune Weavers (1936), trumpeter Hugh Masekela (1939), soulman Major Lance (1941), Tangerine Dream’s Christophe Franke (1942), Allman Brothers’ bassist Berry Oakley (1948), Dire Straits’ Pick Withers (1948), Peter Haycock of Climax Blues Band (1952), Humble Pie’s Jerry Shirley (1952), Mick Mars of Motley Crue (1956)

April 5: jazz drummer Stan Levy (1926), The Platters’ Tony Williams (1928), Leroy Griffin of The Nutmegs (1934), fiddler Dave Swarbrick of Fairport Convention (1941), violinist David LaFlamme of It’s a Beautiful Day (1941), Eric Burdon (1941), Allan Clarke of the Hollies (1942), Crispin St. Peters (1944), Agnetha Faltskog of ABBA (1948), Everett Morton of The English Beat (1951), Dream Theater’s James LaBrie (1963), Michael McCready of Pearl Jam (1964)

April 6: blues harpist Walter “Shakey” Horton (1917), Burnetta “Bunny” Jones (1917), Merle Haggard (1937), Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and The Papas (1944)

April 7: Billie Holiday (1915), bandleader/composer Percy Faith (1918), Ravi Shankar (1920), Bobby Bare (1935), Charlie Thomas of The Drifters (1937), Don Julian of The Meadowlarks (1937), Spencer Dryden of The Jefferson Airplane (1938), trumpeter Freddie Hubbard (1938), Mick Abrahams of Jethro Tull (1943), Bill Kreutzmann of The Grateful Dead (1946), Pat Bennett of The Chiffons (1947), John Oates (1949), Janis Ian (1951), tenor saxophonist Bob Berg (1951), Bruce Gary of The Knack (1952), Victoria Addams of Spice Girls (1976)

April 8: Carmen McRae (1922), Jimmy Witherspoon (1923), Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel (1929), Steve Howe (1947), Izzy Stradlin of Guns N’ Roses (1962), Julian Lennon (1963), Biz Markie born Marcel Hall (1964)


April 1: Denny Barcelona, drummer with Louis Armstrong (2007), Zombies guitarist Paul Atkinson (2004), Gibson guitar designer-inventor Ted McCarty (2001), songwriter, jazz musician, and A&R man, Jesse Stone (1999), deathrock vocalist Rozz Williams of Christian Death (1998), soul singer Jimmy Hughes (1997), Sister Luc-Gabrielle, born Jeanine Deckers, The Singing Nun (1985), ragtime pianist Scott Joplin (1917)

April 2: session guitarist Cliff White (1998), organist Joe Madison (1995), Buddy Rich (1987)

April 3: Lester “Big Daddy” Kinsey of The Kinsey Report (2001), session sax man Alvin “Red” Tyler (1998), Rob Pilatus of the disgraced Milli Vanilli (1998), Roosevelt “Booba” Barnes (1996), Sarah Vaughan (1990)

April 4: songwriter Kurt Weil (1950)

April 5: Gene Pitney (2006), Layne Staley of Alice in Chains (2002), drummer Colin “Cozy” Powell (1998), Kurt Cobain (1994), Nesuhi Ertegun, cofounder of Atlanta Records (1989), Danny Rapp of Danny & The Juniors (1983), soul singer Joe Hinton (1981), Memphis session guitarist Rick Harvey (1981), Bob Hite of Canned Heat (1981)

April 6: Niki Sullivan of The Crickets (2004), vibes maestro Red Norvo (1999), Tammy Wynette (1998), Wendy O. Williams (1998), session guitarist Edward Freche (1995), Elvis soundalike Ral Donner (1984)

April 7: L.A. session drummer Carlos Vega (1998), Harold “Sonny” Wright of The Diamonds (1996), Lee Brilleaux aka Dr. Feelgood (1994), King Records producer Henry Glover (1991), Who manager Kit Lambert (1981), rockabilly legend Charlie Shivers (1961)

April 8: DJ and “Heartbreak Hotel” writer Mae Axton (1997), Laura Nyro (1997), drummer Billy Gayles (1993)

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  1. LOL @ 1984.. I now have a morbid curiosity. :?:

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