It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1824, one of the world’s best-loved pieces of music, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, is performed for the first time …

1944, Jimmie Davis, country superstar and co-author of the worldwide hit “You Are My Sunshine,” takes over as the governor of Louisiana … the tune will become the state song …

1952, blues harp ace Little Walter records his signature instrumental “Juke,” backed by Muddy Waters and Jimmy Rogers on guitar and Elgin Evans on drums; there’s no bass on the session … it’ll prove to be one of Chess Records big early hits and will be the first of many charting singles for the phenomenally skilled mouth organ virtuoso …

1953, after leaving The Dominoes, Clyde McPhatter is signed by Ahmet Ertegun as lead singer of The Drifters …

1955, on the second night of a back-to-back at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, Elvis Presley sparks the first riot of his burgeoning career with the parting promise, “Girls, I’ll see you backstage” … the female contingent of the 14,000-strong crowd goes into a frenzy and the future King’s clothes and shoes are torn from his body as he tries to escape … after witnessing the event Colonel Tom Parker is convinced of Elvis’ marketability …

1958, Jerry Lee Lewis is granted a divorce from his second wife, this coming six months after marrying his third wife and second cousin, Myra Gale Brown …

1960, Neil Sedaka’s “Stairway to Heaven” peaks at #9 on the Billboard pop chart … the teen-romance ditty has nothing whatever to do with Led Zep’s later hit of the same name …

1963, The Rolling Stones cut their first 45, a cover of a Chuck Berry obscurity “Come On” …

The Rolling Stones – “Come On”

… Bob Dylan blows off his Ed Sullivan Show TV gig when he is told he can’t perform “Talking John Birch Society Blues,” Dylan’s skewering of the far-right political group …

1967, Archie Bell, leader of The Drells, is drafted into the army where he’ll soon be performing for Uncle Sam in Vietnam … exactly a year later his instrumental hit “Tighten Up” rides to the top of the pop chart while Bell languishes in a VA hospital recovering from wounds …

1969, at the invitation of First Daughter Tricia Nixon, the Turtles perform a gig at Tricky Dick’s White House … singer Mark Volman is so happy to be there he reportedly falls off the stage five times … legend has it that the band spent the night smoking spliffs in the Lincoln Bedroom …

1980, despite suffering from a brain tumor, rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Bill Haley sets off on a South African tour …

1983, having blown all the money his 1979 multimillion-selling Bat Out of Hell album had garnered, Marvin Lee Aday, better known to fans as Meatloaf, files for bankruptcy …

1986, Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee and supermodel Heather Locklear tie the knot …

1990, Tom Waits is awarded $2.5 million by a jury in a suit against Frito-Lay, who brazenly ripped off Waits’ vocal and songwriting style for a Doritos ad … the judgment is upheld on an appeal in 1993 and Frito-Lay is finally forced to cough up the money …

1991, Ozzy Osbourne triumphs in court over a couple of Macon, Georgia, parents who blame their son’s suicide on Ozzy’s music … Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys takes a bullet in the face from his girlfriend … the 4-1/2-foot-tall rapper winds up losing an eye after threatening the woman’s 3-month-old son, then handing her a loaded .22, saying he wants to die …

1993, Barry White, Bette Midler, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers all appear as guest voices for their respective cartoon counterparts on the season finale of The Simpsons

1994, Tupac Shakur goes to the slammer for a couple weeks for his 1993 attack on the director of the movie Menace II Society, in which Shakur had a part … Shakur is subsequently cut from the movie …

1998, in the most unlikely pairing since Hendrix and the Monkees, Jimmy Page performs on Saturday Night Live with rapper Sean “Puffy” Combs … the pair perform “Come With Me,” which features a sampled guitar riff from Zep’s “Kashmir” … also this week, tens of thousands of young fans shut down traffic in central Tokyo in an outpouring of grief over the suicide of X-Japan guitarist Hide Matsumoto … one fan follows him in suicide and two others fail in the attempt …

2000, a Federal appeals court gives Michael Bolton the thumbs down when he tries to weasel out of a $5.4-million jury award levied against him for ripping off the Isley Brothers’ “Love is a Wonderful Thing” in his song of the same name …

2002, Dionne Warwick is arrested at Miami International Airport when she attempts to smuggle 11 joints aboard a plane in her carry-on bag …

2003, after a traumatizing mix-up, Pete Townshend is cleared of charges of possessing child pornography … Townshend had been researching child pornography for a book in 1999 when he foolishly used his credit card to sign onto a child porn site … in 2002 he had, in fact, published on his website a long treatise condemning the free accessibility of child porn on the web … a year later, the book he was researching was already at press by the time an investigation of the porn site’s credit card users’ list turned up his name, prompting a media freakout and a raid of his home that turned up no child pornography of any sort …

2006, after holding out for three years, the Red Hot Chili Peppers agree to post their band’s catalog on Apple’s iTunes … former Great White manager Daniel Biechele is sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to 100 counts of manslaughter … the charges stem from the fire caused by pyrotechnics Biechele set off on February 20, 2003, at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, RI, killing 100 … charges are still pending against the club owners, Jeffrey and Michael Derderian … also this week, Keith Richards undergoes surgery in New Zealand for a head injury … The Rolling Stones’ publicity people aren’t talking, but word on the street has it that Richards dinged his noggin while scaling a palm tree in Fiji trying to retrieve coconuts …

2007, Sammy Hagar reaps a cool $80 million when he sells off his majority interest in the Cabo Wabo tequila brand to Campari/Skyy Spirits … that should keep him flush with margaritas for a considerable while … The Rolling Stones request a venue change for their concert at Serbia’s Belgrade Hippodrome after learning that several hundred horses in a nearby stable would have to be sedated during the show or be “traumatized” by the noise …

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

Arrivals:

May 7: Johannes Brahms (1833), Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840), jazz/pop singer Teresa Brewer (1931), Beatles’ publicist Derek Taylor (1932), Motown singer Jimmy Ruffin (1939), Johnny Maestro of The Crests (1939), Jerry Nolan of The New York Dolls (1945), Bill Dannoff of Starland Vocal Band (1946), singer-songwriter Janis Ian (1951), Marty Wilson-Piper of The Church (1959), Motorhead’s Phil Campbell (1961)

May 8: jazz pianist Mary Lou Willams (1910), blues legend Robert Johnson (1911), Top 40 radio format creator Todd Storz (1924), Ricky Nelson (1940), frat party scenemaker John Fred (1941), Paul Samwell-Smith of The Yardbirds (1943), Toni Tennille of the Captain and Tennille (1943), Chris Frantz of Talking Heads (1951), Phillip Bailey of Earth Wind & Fire (1951), Alex Van Halen (1955), Dave Rowntree of Blur (1964), Savage Garden’s Darren Hayes (1972), Enrique Iglesias (1975)

May 9: Hank Snow (1914), Nokie Edwards of The Ventures (1935), Dave Prater of Sam and Dave (1937), Sonny Curtis of The Crickets (1937), Pete Birrell of Freddie and The Dreamers (1941), Tommy Roe (1942), Richie Furay of Buffalo Springfield and Poco (1944), Blood, Sweat and Tears’ Steve Katz (1945), Billy Joel (1949), Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode (1962), Paul Heaton of The Housemartins (1962)

May 10: Fred Astaire (1899), “Mother” Maybelle Carter of the Carter Family (1909), session guitarist Bert Weedon (1920), Cliff Goldsmith (1925), Fats Domino (1929), Larry Williams (1935), Arthur Alexander (1940), “Groovy” Joe Poovey (1941), Danny Rapp of Danny & The Juniors (1941), Donovan born Donovan Phillip Leitch (1946), Graham Goldman of 10cc (1946), Dave Mason (1947), reggae drummer Sly Dunbar of Sly and Robbie (1952), Sid Vicious (1957), Bono born Paul Hewson (1960), Krist Novoselic of Nirvana (1965), Young MC (1967), Jason Dalyrimple of Soul for Real (1980)

May 11: Irving Berlin (1888), British blues diva Beryl Bryden (1920), record exec Ewart Abner (1923), The Who manager Kit Lambert (1935), jazz pianist-composer Carla Bley (1938), Eric Burdon (1941), Les Chadwick of Gerry and the Pacemakers (1943), Arnie Silver of The Dovells (1943), Art of Noise’s Jonathan Jeczalik (1955)

May 12: Burt Bacharach (1928), The Cardinals’ Leon Hardy (1932), Jayotis Washington of The Persuasions (1941), Ian Dury (1942), singer-songwriter Billy Swan (1942), Ian McLagan of Small Faces (1945), Steve Winwood (1948), Billy Squier (1950), Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn (1955), Billy Duffy of The Cult (1959) Black Sabbath singer Ray Gillen (1959), Jason Biggs (1978)

May 13: editor of the Schwann Catalog William Schwann (1913), Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips (1926), The Weavers’ Fred Hellerman (1927), Harold Winley of The Clovers (1933), Ritchie Valens (1941), Mary Wells (1943), Carolyn Franklin (1944), harp player “Magic” Dick Salwitz of The J. Geils Band (1945), bassist Danny Klein of The J.Geils Band (1946), Peter “Overend” Watts of Mott the Hoople (1947), Stevie Wonder born Steveland Morris (1950), Danny Kirwan of Fleetwood Mac (1950), Paul Thompson of Roxy Music (1951), Darius Carlos Rucker of Hootie & The Blowfish (1966)

Departures:

May 7: Eddie Rabbit (1998), Alphonso Howell of The Sensations (1998), Cult drummer Nigel Preston (1992), Pacific Gas and Electric singer Charles Allen (1990)

May 8: country superstar Eddy Arnold (2008), recording engineer Larry Levine (2008), Abbey Road photographer Iain MacMillan (2006), jazz yodeler Leon Thomas (1999), Ronald Koal of Ronald Koal and the Trillionaires (1993), pianist Rudolf Serkin (1991), disco record exec Neil Bogart (1982), Graham Bond (1974)

May 9: lyricist and poet Shel Silverstein (1999), blues harpist-vocalist Lester Butler (1998)

May 10: jazz pianist John Hicks (2006), confidante to the stars and Astral Studios mogul Burnetta “Bunny” Jones (1998)

May 11: original Rush drummer John Rutsey (2008), singer-songwriter John Whitehead (2004), Noel Redding (2003), Chess Records singer-guitarist Danny Overbea (1994), Robert Nesta Marley (1981)

May 12: Perry Como (2001), sax man “Big” John Greer (1972)

May 13: session trumpeter Floyd Arceneaux (1992), Bob Wills (1975)

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1 Comments

  1. I love the “it happened this week” posts, I learn so much! Good thing Ozzy won in 1991. I couldn’t imagine the downfall of what would have happened if he lost, to him.. and to music and other industries… or life for that matter. Or maybe I am just thinking too much about it.

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