It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1919, Benjamin Clarence Jackson, who will be professionally known as Bull Moose Jackson is born … his nickname is the result of a disproportionately large head and looks that only a mother could love … starting out with the Lucky Millinder orchestra as a sax player, Jackson replaced singer Wynonie Harris when he left to pursue a solo career … Bull Moose enjoyed a series of hits on the King label during the 1940s and ’50s, most notably with racy jump blues titles such as “Big Ten Inch Record” …

“Bull Moose” Jackson – “Big Ten Inch Record”

1941, jazz musician Sidney Bechet records two saxophone parts, clarinet, bass, piano, and drums on a recording of “The Sheik of Araby” … the multitrack performance is achieved in the days before audio tape by having Bechet record his first instrument on a wax disc, then play his second instrumental part while the first disc is being replayed … both parts are then recorded onto a second disc … each successive part requires recording onto a new disc … the result is a master disc with the original instrumental track six generations down and barely audible …

1945, Joe Liggins—jump blues singer, multi-instrumentalist, and leader of The Honeydrippers—records what will be his biggest hit, the instrumental “The Honeydripper” …

1956, following Elvis’ show at the Memorial Coliseum in Corpus Christi, Texas, the venue’s manager vows that’ll be the last rock ’n’ roll show to besmirch his stage … he is reacting to complaints from fans and parents who condemn the performance as “vulgar” … Buddy Holly’s first single, “Blue Days, Black Nights” is released and fails to register …

1958, the first Flying Vs are shipped to dealers from Gibson’s factory in Kalamazoo …

1959, the second of two recording sessions for Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue takes place at Columbia Records 30th Street Studio in New York City … the group, which includes Cannonball Adderly on alto sax, John Coltrane on tenor, and pianist Bill Evans, records “Flamenco Sketches” and “All Blues” … the album goes on to become a classic, the one jazz album bought by people who normally aren’t jazz fans …

1960, Eddie Cochran breathes his last after a brutal Bath, England car crash in which the chauffeur-driven Ford Consul Cochran is riding in blows a tire and slams into a lamp post … Cochran is thrown out of the car and smashes his head on the pavement … fellow rocker Gene Vincent and Cochran’s girlfriend, Sharon Sheeley are badly injured … Cochran’s Top 40 hit at the time is “Three Steps from Heaven” …

1961, a raucous quartet of rockers makes its debut at Liverpool’s Cavern Club … it’ll be another three years before The Beatles become a household name … also on the bill are The Swinging Blue Jeans who will later score a hit with “Hippy Hippy Shake”

1962, “Wipe Out” by The Surfaris is released as the surf subculture flowers and its influence is felt far from the waves … in the landlocked Midwest, high school boys pound out the drum solo on cafeteria tables …

The Surfaris – “Wipeout”

1964, The Beatles are shooting exterior scenes for their first feature film in various locations in London … the movie now has a title … after a long day of shooting Ringo comments “it’s been a hard day’s … (pauses, noticing it’s dark) … night” … John and Paul quickly write a song based on the movie’s title A Hard Day’s Night … the song is recorded a couple of days later …

1962, on Easter Sunday, Jerry Lee Lewis’ three-year-old son, Steve Allen Lewis, accidentally drowns in the swimming pool at the family home in Hernando, Mississippi …

1968, John Lennon and George Harrison along with their wives leave Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Indian ashram two weeks before their studies were due to be completed … Paul and Ringo had already split … word later leaks that the Fab Four had grown disenchanted with the roly-poly spiritual advisor …

1969, John Winston Lennon changes his middle name to Ono … Desmond Dekker & The Aces move into the #1 spot on the UK singles chart with “The Israelites” … he’s the first Jamaican act to enjoy that role … The Who perform Tommy live for the first time at the Institute of Technology in Bolton, England …

1970, Joe Cocker nails the #7 spot on the pop chart with his cover of “The Letter” … the Boxtop’s original had risen to the top chart slot just three years earlier … Johnny Cash drops in on Richard Nixon at the White House and performs “A Boy Named Sue” at the president’s special request … The New York Times reports that Catholic and Protestant youth groups have adopted The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine as a religious symbol …

1972, Electric Light Orchestra plays live for the first time at the Greyhound Club in Surrey, England … they will go on to have seven top 10 hits … Elvis Presley’s LP He Touched Me is released … it reaches #79 on the Top 100 album chart … no small feat for a gospel record …

1973, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon goes gold in the U.S. … the album will stay on the charts for more than 10 years, setting a record …

1975, four Bay City Rollers fans are taken to the hospital following an icy swim in London’s Mallory Park … they were attempting to meet their heroes …

1978, Sid Vicious records his rendition of the crooners’ staple “My Way” for the Sex Pistols’ movie The Great Rock ’N’ Roll Swindle … there is no word from composer Paul Anka on the brutal treatment given his song … lead singer of British folk rockers Fairport Convention, Sandy Denny, dies after falling down a flight of stairs at a friend’s home …

1979, lighting director Billy Duffy is killed at a Kate Bush concert when he falls 20 feet through an open trap door onstage …

1980, Bob Marley and The Wailers play in Salisbury, Zimbabwe for Independence Day festivities … vocalist Brian Johnson joins AC/DC after the alcohol-triggered death of Bon Scott … for the first time ever, the first five spots in the country chart are occupied by women … they are in order: Crystal Gayle, Dottie West, Debbie Boone, Emmylou Harris, and Tammy Wynette …

1981, “This Little Girl” by Gary U.S. Bonds is released … the song was written and co-produced by Bruce Springsteen who has long been a Bonds fan … it will reach number eleven and become Bond’s first chart hit in 19 years … though Elvis is known as “The King of Rock ’n’ Roll,” his “Lovin’ Arms” lands on the country chart this week in 1981, marking the 84th time Elvis scored in that genre … John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas receives a five-year sentence on drug charges … all but 30 days will be suspended as Phillips embarks on a lecture tour warning school kids about the dangers of drugs …

1982, The Clash cancels a tour when guitarist Joe Strummer goes missing … he’s found three weeks later living rough in Paris …

1983, Mountain bassist and Cream producer Felix Pappalardi is shot to death by his wife Gail Collins who claims the gun accidentally fired … she will be convicted of criminally negligent homicide and sentenced to four years in prison …

1984, Jerry Lee Lewis gets hitched for the sixth time to 22-year-old Kerrie McCarver … the marriage will end in 2003 …

1991, former Humble Pie and Faces guitarist Steve Marriot dies from smoke inhalation caused by a fire in his Essex, England home touched off by an unattended cigarette …

1993, David Lee Roth is popped in New York’s Washington Square Park after allegedly buying a $10 bag of pot …

1995, The Beatles score their 70th chart hit on the U.S. Top 100 with “Baby It’s You” … the song was recorded 26 years earlier for a live BBC program called Pop Goes The Beatles

1998, a tornado roars through downtown Nashville, forcing a video shoot for country singer David Kersh to halt as everyone runs for cover … Faith No More announces that it is no more …

1999, merengue star Elvis Crespo cleans up at the Latin Music Awards with four trophies, tying Selena’s record for the most wins at a single show …

2000, annual record sales top out at $38.5 billion … illegal downloading and piracy will result in significant reductions to that number over the coming years …

2001, after quaffing 14 glasses of wine, Peter Buck runs amok on a Seattle-to-London flight … the R.E.M guitarist overturns a food cart, mistakes a stranger for his wife, smashes crockery, and tussles with crew members … in the ensuing British trial, Buck testifies that he has no memory of the events saying, “All I know is, I woke up and I am covered in cream” …

2002, in a suit over the rights to Nirvana’s recordings, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic charge in a Seattle court that Courtney Love is mentally unstable … in court papers, they describe Kurt Cobain’s widow as “irrational, mercurial, self-centered, unmanageable, inconsistent and unpredictable” …

2005, hip-hop star Jay-Z introduces a line of watches including a limited-edition model that will go for $70,000 a pop … Elton John announces he will marry partner David Furnish … the UK legalized civil partnerships the previous December … meanwhile, Reebok pulls a TV ad featuring 50 Cent after a mother whose son was murdered complains that the rapper’s music glamorizes gun crimes …

2006, jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk is awarded a posthumous Special Citation by The Pulitzer Prize Board for his contributions to American music … just three months after remarrying his former wife Kim in January 2006, Eminem sues for divorce again …

2007, Madonna makes a return trip to the impoverished African nation of Malawi to continue her charitable efforts there … she is accompanied by David Banda, the one-year-old Malawian orphan she is in the process of adopting …
singer Bryan Ferry, apologizes for remarks he made in which he praised the Nazis’ iconography as “just amazing” and “really beautiful” in an interview with the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag … in the interview he reveals his studio is named “Fuhrerbunker”, after Adolf Hitler’s HQ … in a later statement Ferry clarifies, “I apologize unreservedly for any offence caused by my comments on Nazi iconography, which were solely made from an art history perspective. I, like every right-minded individual, find the Nazi regime, and all it stood for, evil and abhorrent.” … free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman wins the music Pulitzer for his Sound Grammar album, and John Coltrane is awarded a Pulitzer Special Citation “for his masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship, and iconic centrality to the history of jazz,” … Win Butler of the Arcade Fire undergoes surgery for bronchial problems that caused the band to scrub some earlier dates … more than 1,000 musicians, friends, and family turn out for a star-studded remembrance of Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records who died the previous December … among the performers are Eric Clapton, Solomon Burke, Steve Stills, and Neil Young …

2008, Starbucks downsizes its Hear Music division cutting the payroll from 40 to less than a dozen employees and scaling back new releases … the chain enjoyed initial success with hits like Ray Charles’ Genius Loves Company, but more recent mainstream releases from James Blunt and Rascal Flatts have not fared as well … after a 17-year hiatus, Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, and bassist Eric Avery, who in the past has declined to be involved in Jane’s Addiction reunions, treat fans to an intimate four-song set in L.A. … to help faltering indie record dealers, Metallica, Björk, Vampire Weekend, and many other acts perform and sign autographs at 700 participating stores across the U.S. … according to industry analysts at The Almighty Institute, 190 record stores have shut down in the U.S. during the past year, part of 1,500 closings since 2003 …

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

Arrivals:

April 16: composer Henry Mancini (1924), Rudy Pompilli of Bill Haley’s Comets (1924), big-voiced baritone pop singer Roy Hamilton (1929), jazz flautist Herbie Mann (1930), slide guitarist Johnny Littlejohn (1931), pop singer Bobby Vinton (1935), highly regarded pop singer Dusty Springfield born Mary Elizabeth Catherine Bernadette O’Brien (1939), guitarist Stefan Grossman (1945), Gerry Rafferty of Stealer’s Wheel (1947), Jimmy Osmond (1963), Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum (1964), Tejano star Selena (1971)

April 17: rock promoter Don Kirshner (1934), Brit rocker Billy Fury (1941), prog rock keyboardist and composer Jan Hammer (1948), Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton (1948), studio guitarist Michael Sembello (1954), The Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley (1955), Stephen Singleton of ABC (1959), James Keenan of Tool (1964), singer-songwriter Liz Phair (1967), Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth (1974)

April 18: composer Leopold Stokowski (1882), opera singer Sylvia Fisher (1910), bluesman Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown (1924), Doors producer Paul Rothchild (1935), Mike Vickers of Manfred Mann (1941), Skip Spence of the Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape (1946), Les Pattinson of Echo & The Bunnymen (1958), Jim Ellison of Material Issue (1964), Bez of Happy Mondays born Mark Berry (1964), Everclear’s Greg Eklund (1970), Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti (1974)

April 19: music school founder Augustus Juilliard (1836), Dickie “Flying Saucer” Goodman (1934), songwriter David Mook (1936), Alexis Korner of Blues Incorporated (1928), songwriter Bobby Russell (1940), Alan Price of the Animals (1942), funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell (1944), Mark Volman of The Turtles (1947)

April 20: pop singer Johnny Tillotson (1939), Craig Frost of Grand Funk Railroad (1948), smoove soul man Luther Vandross (1951), Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater (1967), bassist Mikey Welsh of Weezer (1971), singer Stephen Marley, son of Bob (1972)

April 21: Eric Maresca, writer of Dion’s hit “The Wanderer” (1939), Iggy Pop born James Newell Osterburg (1947), Alan Warner of The Foundations (1947), guitarist John Weider of Family (1947), Robert Smith of The Cure (1959), Michael Timmins of Cowboy Junkies (1959), Johnny McElhone of Texas (1963)

April 22: violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916), R&B saxman Bull Moose Jackson (1919), jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus (1922), Glen Campbell (1936), producer-songwriter Jack Nitzche (1937), session drummer Howard Wyeth (1944), Frankie Garcia of Cannibal and the Headhunters (1946), Peter Frampton (1950), Paul Carrack of Squeeze (1951), bassist Craig Logan of Bros (1969), Silverchair’s Daniel Johns (1979)

Departures:

April 16: Skip Spence (1999), smoky-voiced pop singer Brook Benton (1988), Eugene Church of The Clovers (1973)

April 17: E Street Band keyboardist Danny Federici (2008), founder of the Dixie Hummingbirds James B. Davis (2007), New Orleans singer, guitarist, and songwriter Earl King (2003), Linda McCartney (1998), lyricist Jack Yellen, famous for “Happy Days Are Here Again” (1991), bassist and producer Felix Pappalardi (1983), Vinnie Taylor of Sha Na Na (1974), Eddie Cochran (1960)

April 18: Bernard Edwards of Chic (1996), producer Mike Leander (1996), songwriter Bernie Wayne (1993), Western swing pioneer Milton Brown (1936)

April 19: jazz drummer Stan Levey (2005), jazz bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson (2005), American Head Charge guitarist Bryan Ottoson (2005), Layne Staley of Alice in Chains (2002), “Texas Flood” songwriter Larry Davis (1994), Duane Eddy saxophonist Steve Douglas (1993), sax man Clifford Scott (1993), R&B singer Willie Mabon (1985), blues-jazz-pop singer Savannah Churchill (1974)

April 20: bebop sax man Teddy Edwards (2003), trumpeter Walter Fuller (2003), singer Alan Dale (2002), composer-conductor Giuseppi Sinopoli (2001), producer Jose Rodriguez (1996), bluesman Johnny Shines (1992), Humble Pie guitarist and singer Steve Marriott (1991)

April 21: soul singer Al Wilson (2008), Australian rocker Lobby Loyde (2007), Nina Simone (2003), Neal Matthews, Jr. of the Jordanaires (2000), George Lanuis of The Crescendos (1996), singer Sandy Denny (1978), ska trombonist Don Drummond (1971), slide guitarist Earl Hooker (1970)

April 22: soft rock singer Paul Davis (2008), songwriter Felice Bryant (2003), pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines (1983), bluesman Walter Vinson (1975)

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3 Comments

  1. That ‘s James Newell Osterberg (Iggy Pop — 62 on April 21)

  2. Its always interesting to find out who did what this week. I wonder… not to give away any big secrets of yours and what not… but how do you research all of this? I’d imagine it must take a long time to come up with such an extensive list such as this.

  3. JLF – Now that would be telling ;)
    Thanks CBB tis now corrected.

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