It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1956, the Platters become the first black group to score a number-one pop hit when “My Prayer” reaches the top spot on the Billboard pop chart …

1957, ABC TV’s American Bandstand with its forever-young DJ, Dick Clark, makes its national TV debut … the teen dance show had originally aired locally on a Philadelphia affiliate … after going nationwide, the show will play an important role in shaping teen dances, clothing, and the careers of the performers whose singles will be aired on the program …

1958, the aching teen ballad “To Know Him is to Love Him” is released … it will go the top of the pops and mark Phil Spector’s coming-out party as a producer … the title is a lift from the inscription on his father’s tombstone … this same week, Billboard publishes its first Hot 100 chart … Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool” nails the top spot …

1960, a band of teenagers called The Beatles is relegated to playing backup for strippers at a sub rosa Hamburg club … remembering the gig and a certain dancer named Janice years later, Paul McCartney reminisced, “At the end of her act she would turn around and … well, we were all young lads, we’d never seen anything like it before, and all blushed … four blushing, red-faced lads” … meanwhile across the Atlantic, Ike Turner is producing the propulsive R&B single “A Fool in Love” … he had planned to use a male vocal by one of his backup musicians, but when the guy fails to show, Ike presses seven-month-pregnant Annie Mae Bullock who’s carrying his child into service to sing a demo … Turner’s blown away by her intense vocal reading … the resulting single blows up on both the R&B and pop charts … Turner changes the name of his vocalist from Little Ann to Tina and the Ike and Tina Turner Revue is born … the newly christened Tina will perform the song the following October on ABC’s American Bandstand, a full nine months pregnant …

Ike & Tina Turner – “Fool In Love”

1963, in their typically productive fashion, The Beatles enter Abbey Road Studios and emerge a few hours later with five tracks under their belts … in the can are: “All My Loving,” “It Won’t Be Long,” “Please Mister Postman,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” and “Till There Was You” … but the lads would have been hard pressed to match the performance of gospel icons, the Golden Gate Quartet, who in this same week in 1937, cut 14 songs in two hours in Charlotte, North Carolina …

The Beatles – “Roll Over Beethoven”

1964, at one of their earliest gigs, The Who share the bill at the Goldhawk Social Club in Shepherds Bush with Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Nashville Teens … the promoter cajoles a reluctant Townshend and company into backing unknown vocalist Valerie McCullam in order to get their own set … rockabilly pioneer Johnny Burnette is killed when his unlit fishing boat is plowed into at dusk by a cabin cruiser zooming across a California lake … country singer Jim Reeves dies along with keyboardist-manager Dale Manuel when their plane goes down in thick fog en route to Nashville …

Johnny Burnette – “The Train Kept A-Rollin’”

1965, Bob Dylan records the 11-minute epic “Desolation Row” for his album Highway 61 Revisited … it’s the only acoustic tune on the otherwise electrified record …

1966, The Troggs’ “Wild Thing” owns the top spot on the pop chart … Hendrix will later tear it up with his incendiary cover … and speaking of incendiary, Beatles record burnings flare up around the world after John Lennon’s comment, “We’re bigger than Jesus now” is published …

1967, Pandora’s Box, a teen nightspot on L.A.’s Sunset Strip, feels the wrath of the wrecking ball in the wake of teenage riots the previous year … local politicos say the club played a big role in turning West Hollywood into a teenage wasteland … a fan stows away on The Monkees’ tour plane … the girl’s father vows to have charges brought against the band for transporting a minor across state lines …

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 …

1971, George Harrison organizes the Concert for Bangladesh to help war victims of the South Asian country … the stellar lineup includes Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton, Ravi Shankar, and members of Badfinger …

1972, Simon and Garfunkel perform for 600,000 Romans at a free concert …

1975, Stevie Wonder inks a $13 million, seven-year contract, a record-setter for its day …

1979, a benefit is held this week for the widow and children of the late Little Feat singer-guitarist Lowell George … former members of Little Feat, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Nicolette Larson, Emmylou Harris, and Bonnie Raitt are among the performers …

1980, the FBI arrests John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas on cocaine charges … he is later sentenced to five years hard time but dodges prison by delivering 250 hours of anti-drug lectures as an alternative sentence …

1981, MTV bursts onto the airwaves broadcasting The Buggles’ somewhat prophetic “Video Killed the Radio Star” … this same week in 1987 MTV Europe is launched with the Dire Straits “Money for Nothing” video that includes the line, “I want my MTV” …

1983, legendary Motown bassist James Jamerson succumbs to liver disease in L.A. … his propulsive bass lines drove all the big ’60s hits of the Detroit label … Jamerson was the only member of the vaunted Motown house band to make the move to California when Berry Gordy relocated his operation there, but left the label in 1973 after refusing to meet the demands of new producers … the man behind some of the most memorable bass lines in pop dies in poverty … meanwhile down in Texas, David Crosby gets a wakeup-call when he is sentenced to five years in prison on cocaine and firearms charges … he had dozed through much of the trial …

1984, Prince’s album Purple Rain begins a 24-week run at the top of the album charts … the album will sell 10 million copies …

1990, during a New Kids on the Block concert in Montreal, armed robbers make off with souvenir stand proceeds totaling $260,000 …

1992, 38-year-old Toto drummer Jef Porcaro is felled by a heart attack triggered by inhalation of an insecticide he’s spraying in his garden … an autopsy reveals an undiagnosed heart problem …

1993, sax player Donald Myrick, who worked with Bobby Bland and Diana Ross, is shot and killed by a policeman searching for drugs in his Santa Monica, California, apartment … the cop mistakes a long pencil-style butane lighter Myrick is holding for a gun … crack pipes and other drug paraphernalia are found … his family will settle their wrongful death suit with the police for $400,000 …

1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley announce they were secretly married in the Dominican Republic 11 weeks earlier … the union will last 21 months…

1996, Aerosmith cans their manager Tim Collins saying they’re tired of constant pressure to get involved in social causes he’s promoting … Oasis roadie James Hunter is crushed to death when he’s caught between a forklift and truck …

1998, in San Fernando, California, Grammy-winning gospel singer Sandra Crouch is ordained as a minister of the Christ Memorial Church … the ceremony is led by her twin brother Andrae, also a gospel star … the pair defy Church of God in Christ rules that forbid female ministers …

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 …

2005, gifted chitlin circuit guitarist-singer “Little” Milton Campbell suffers a fatal stroke … he had labored for years in the shadow of B.B. King, largely failing to make a crossover to white audiences …

“Little Milton” – “The Blues Is Alright” w/The Allman Brothers

2006, the Los Angeles Times reports that in the face of criticism and a civil suit, the LAPD is reopening its investigation into the 1997 murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G. … there are persistent charges that cops were involved in the shooting … meanwhile in Atlanta, a 30-year-old man is beaten to death during the ironically titled Family Values tour led by Korn … the victim was attempting to protect a pregnant friend from two unruly fans … a suspect is arrested a week later …

2007, when a ballsy female concertgoer reaches out and grabs Tim McGraw’s, ahem, nether regions at the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana, his missus, Faith Hill, who is also performing, tells the errant fan in no uncertain terms that that sort of behavior is frowned upon in them there parts … this same day on a more political note, during Pearl Jam’s set at Lollapalooza, Eddie Vedder sings “George Bush, leave this world alone” to rousing cheers from the crowd … however, the audience viewing the show at home on AT&T’s Blue Room website are treated to 16 seconds of silence when the company providing AT&T’s feed pulls the plug on the audio stream … later AT&T is apologetic … commenting on the censorship, PJ guitarist Mike McReady writes, “When one person or company decides what others can hear, that is totalitarian thinking” …

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

Arrivals:

July 30: blues guitarist Buddy Guy (1936), singer-songwriter Paul “Havin’ My Baby” Anka (1941), saxophonist David Sanborn (1945), Jethro Tull bassist Jeffrey Hammond (1946), Marc Bolan of T. Rex (1947), The Sweet’s Andy Scott (1949), Hugh Nicholson of Marmalade (1949), Stewart Copeland of The Police (1952), Rat Scabies – born Chris Miller of The Damned (1957), singer-songwriter-producer Kate Bush (1958), Aztec Camera and Smiths guitarist Craig Gannon (1966), Manic Street Preachers drummer Sean Moore (1968), Brad Hargraves of Third Eye Blind (1972)

July 31: R&B and jump blues singer Roy Milton (1907), Bob Welch of Fleetwood Mac (1946), Karl Green of Herman’s Hermits (1946), singer Gary Lewis (1946), bassist Carlo Karges (1947), ELO’s Hugh MacDowell (1953), Daniel Ash of Love and Rockets (1957), Bill Berry of R.E.M. (1958), Jim Corr, vocalist and guitarist with The Corrs (1964), guitarist John 5 – born John William Lowery (1971), Coldplay’s Will Champion (1978)

August 1: “Star Spangled Banner” writer Francis Scott Key (1778), Piano Slim aka Robert T. Smith (1928), Ramblin’ Jack Elliot – born Elliott Charles Adnopoz (1931), Jerry Garcia (1942), producer Denny Cordell (1943), Geoff Britton of Wings (1943), Boz Burrell of Bad Company (1946), Flash Cadillac guitarist Linn Phillips (1947), Rick Anderson of The Tubes (1947), Rick Coonce of The Grass Roots (1947), rock guitarist Tommy Bolin (1951), BTO’s Tim Bachman (1951), bluesman Robert Cray (1953), Joe Elliott of Def Leppard (1960), Public Enemy’s Chuck D (1960), rapper Coolio (1963), Adam Duritz of Counting Crows (1964), Ashley Angel of O-Town (1981)

August 2: big band singer Helen Morgan (1900), blues singer-pianist “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 and The Pips (1939), Doris Coley Kenner of The Shirelles (1941), guitarist Larry Coryell (1943), steel guitarist Hank DeVito (1948), guitarist Andy Fairweather-Low (1948) funk band leader “Fat” Larry James (1949), Ted Turner of Wishbone Ash (1950), singer-songwriter-session musician Andrew Gold (1951) 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), crooner 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), Byrds bassist John York (1946), B. B. Dickerson of War (1949), John Graham of Earth, Wind and Fire (1951) guitarist Steve Hillage (1951), Spear of Destiny guitarist-vocalist Kirk Brandon (1956), James Hetfield of Metallica (1963), Ed Roland of Collective Soul (1963), South African reggae star Lucky Dube (1964), Shirley Manson of Garbage (1966), Lonestar keyboard man Dean Sams (1966)

August 4: Louis Armstrong (1901), Elsbeary Hobbs of The Drifters (1936), singer Frankie Ford (1939), Big Dee Irwin of The Pastels (1939), David Carr of The Fortunes (1940), Larry Knechtel of Bread (1940), big-voiced vocalist 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), country singer Vern Gosdin (1934), R&B vocalist Damita Jo (1940), guitarist Lenny Breau (1941), percussionist Airto Moreira (1941), Dave Clark Five bassman Rick Huxley (1942), country star Sammi Smith (1943), Rick Derringer of The McCoys (1947), Greg Leskew of Guess Who (1947), soul singer Phillip Bailey (1951), 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)

Departures:

July 30: swing and bebop saxophonist Eli “Lucky” Thompson (2005), Sun Studios founder Sam Phillips (2003), Brit bassist Rob Jones (1993), saxophonist Donald Myrick (1993), Glenn Goins, guitarist and vocalist with George Clinton (1978)

July 31: R&B sax honker Bull Moose Jackson (1989), original American Bandstand host Bob Horn (1966), Jim Reeves (1964), Jim Reeves’ pianist-manager Dean Manuel (1964)

August 1: Irish singer Tommy Makem of The Clancy Brothers (2007), pianist Svyatoslav Richter (1997), jump blues singer, multi-instrumentalist, and leader of The Honeydrippers, Joe Liggins (1987), rockabilly pioneer Johnny Burnette (1964)

August 2: Ron Townson of The 5th Dimension (2001), guitarist Jerome Smith of KC and the Sunshine Company (2000), Afrobeat star Fela Anikulapo-Kuti (1997), Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs bassist David Martin (1987), legendary Motown bassist James Jamerson (1983), former Pink Floyd road manager Peter “Puddy” Watts (1976), Brian Cole of The Association (1972)

August 3: Lou Teicher of the piano duo Ferrante and Teicher (2008), folk singer Eric Darling (2008), John Mayall guitarist Roger Dean (2008), Arthur Lee of Love (2006), jazz bassist Leroy Vinnegar (1999), reedman Bob Tate (1993), Don Lang of The Frantic Five (1992), Richard Nickens of The El Dorados (1991)

August 4: singer-songwriter-producer Lee Hazlewood (2007), 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: singer-songwriter Robert Hazard (2008), bassist Randy Hobbs of The McCoys and Johnny Winter And (1993), drummer Jeff Porcaro of Toto (1992), N’awlins pianist 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)

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1 Comments

  1. wow..I just came across this blog today, looks like I have been missing out. This is quite the elaborate list of important things that happened this week in the past years..very cool

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