It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1938, legendary bluesman Robert Johnson dies in Greenwood, Mississippi … Johnson’s moonshine had been poisoned days earlier … known for his womanizing, the murderer was presumed to be the angered spouse of one of his paramours … it was rumored that Johnson’s talent came at the expense of his soul, the result of a midnight deal struck with Satan at a Mississippi crossroads … probably the most influential bluesman to emerge in the 20th century, his songs and riffs have become a foundation for the genre …

Robert Johnson – “Cross Road Blues”

1939, pioneering electric guitarist Charlie Christian sits in with Benny Goodman’s group at a club in Bevery Hills, CA … Goodman isn’t interested in hearing an electric guitar, but Charlie’s manager John Hammond sneaks him onstage while Goodman is on a break … he proceeded to wow audiences and musicians alike with his seemingly endless single-string virtuosity …

Charlie Christian with the Benny Goodman Orchestra 1941

1962, Ringo Starr joins the Beatles onstage for the first time at the Cavern Club in Liverpool after taking over for Pete Best, who was deemed not fab enough to be one of the four …

1964, The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles is reportedly selling 25,000 copies of John and Paul’s compositions a day … the Fab Four begin their first tour of the U.S. at the Cow Palace in San Francisco … the Righteous Brothers and Jackie DeShannon are also on the bill …

Alvin and the Chipmunks – “All My Loving”

1965, The Jefferson Airplane, finally cleared for take-off, plays their first live show at the Matrix Club in San Francisco … the band will ink a deal with RCA before the year’s end, one of the first rock bands in the Bay Area scene to do so …

1966, John Lennon generates more controversy after his recent “Jesus” comments by publicly expressing his admiration for American draft dodgers while the band is in Toronto …

1968, The Jimi Hendrix Experience performs their instrumental version of the "Star Spangled Banner" for the first time in concert … a year later, Hendrix will perform it at Woodstock …

1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Festival is held on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, New York … nearly half a million gather to celebrate “3 Days of Peace and Music” (and mud, lots of mud) and enjoy performances by a Who’s Who of rock-and-roll, including Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ten Years After, and Jefferson Airplane …

Jimi Hendrix – The Star-Spangled Banner

The Who – “My Generation”

Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Born On The Bayou”

… Mick Jagger is accidentally shot in the hand during the filming of Ned Kelly in Australia … his wound is not serious … Miles Davis goes into the studio in New York for the first sessions of the landmark album, Bitches Brew with Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Benny Maupin, John McLaughlin, Larry Young, Harvey Brooks, Lenny White, Don Alias, and Jumma Santos …

1977, Elvis leaves the building, never to return … the 42-year-old Elvis Presley is found dead in his bathroom by girlfriend, Ginger Alden … according to the autopsy, death resulted from coronary arrhythmia … it’s a black day at Graceland when over 75,000 people gather to lay the King to rest … Presley is entombed near his mother in a marble mausoleum in Memphis at Forest Hill Cemetery … the day before the funeral, Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD) sells more flowers than they have for any other single event … within days his passing becomes a media event of major proportions … it also sparks the debate as to whether his death has been staged and that he is really alive and well … the Police play their first gig as a threesome after guitar man Henri Padovani leaves the band … hard to get happy after that one, eh Henri? …

1980, 1,400 Alice Cooper fans riot in Toronto when the original shock-rocker gets sick and can’t make the show …

1988, Michelle Shocked’s album Short Sharp Shocked is released with an authentic cover shot of the artist being carted off by a pair of L.A. cops … her label, Cooking Vinyl, overprints sunglasses on a policeman’s face and obscures a badge number to protect the innocent …

1990, in a tragic freak accident, part of a lighting rig falls on Curtis Mayfield during a performance in Brooklyn, New York … the incident leaves Mayfield permanently paralyzed from the neck down …

Curtis Mayfield – “Superfly”

1992, Courtney Love has Kurt Cobain’s baby, Frances Bean …

1995, on the last night of the Lollapalooza tour in Mountain View, California, Courtney Love blows her cork when the audience doesn’t get ecstatic over her performance … security guards carry her off the stage when she begins to physically fight with audience members …

1997, promoting their upcoming Bridges to Babylon tour, The Rolling Stones show up for a media event at the Brooklyn Bridge in a red ’55 Cadillac with Mick at the wheel …

1999, The Backstreet Boys break box office records by selling all 765,000 tickets for their North American tour in just one day, taking in a cool $30 million, most of it within just a single hour … perhaps The Beachfront Boys would be a more appropriate name … Spin Doctors lead singer Chris Barron is diagnosed with a rare condition causing paralysis of the vocal chords … he will make a slow recovery in the following months …

2001, Dave Matthews and wife Ashley welcome their twin daughters Stella Busina and Grace Anne into the world …

2002, in keeping with his tradition of audience bashing, Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil storms off the stage during a solo nightclub gig in Steamboat Springs, Colorado … after opening with a few Crüe classics, Neil turns to his solo material and is apparently angered at the lackluster response … a shouting match with the audience ensues, culminating with Neil chucking the mic into the crowd and leaving the stage … the club offers refunds to the 250 attendees …

2004, even though it pheels like the phirst time to their phans, phree-wheeling jam band Phish perphorms its phinal 2-day concert in Coventry, VT, phor a phabulous phinish to a 21-year career … The U.S. Court of Appeals rules that filesharing services such as Grokster and StreamCast do not bear responsibility for users’ illegal activities … the ruling puts a crimp in the RIAA’s attacks on peer-to-peer services that enable the dissemination of MP3s … instead, the recording industry will go after individual violators of copyright laws …

2005, a civil court judge rules that the landmark punk club CBGB’s can’t be evicted from its Bowery location … in her ruling, Judge Joan Kenney praises the club’s impact on the neighborhood, which she said was plagued by “destitution, degradation and substance abuse” when the club opened in 1973 … “CBGB has proven itself worthy of being recognized as a landmark—a rare achievement for any commercial tenant in the ever diverse and competitive real estate market of New York City.” … despite the ruling, in what can only be described as a Bowery bummer, the birthplace of punk will lose its lease a year later and consider moving to Las Vegas, much to the dismay of New York punkers and politicians alike … Eminem cancels a European tour and checks into rehab … a representative says the sojourn is for a "dependency on sleep medication" … in what could be medically termed an Eminenema, the 11-date tour cancellation cleans out the rapper to the tune of $18 million in ticket sales … a reworked version of the musical Lennon opens on Broadway following a debut in San Francisco that met with hostile reviews … the storyline is revamped into a more linear flow when critics and audiences alike are mystified by the original libretto … A tearful Courtney Love is yet again ordered into rehab by a judge after a court-ordered drug test comes up positive … Ozzy Osbourne announces that he won’t be headlining on his annual Ozzfest shows any longer due to voice and other health problems … the singer says he will appear on a few select dates during the 2006 tour … Madonna breaks her collarbone, hand, and three ribs when she’s tossed from a horse in England … the ride was in celebration of her 47th birthday … during an appearance on The Today Show, the performer-producer stuns the nation by announcing that henceforth he will be known as just "Diddy" … previous variations of his appellation include Sean Combs, Puff Daddy, and Puffy … charges by a makeup artist claiming that Snoop Dogg drugged and raped her following a Jimmy Kimmel Live taping in 2003 are dropped … according to a Dogg spokesman, there was no payoff to the plaintiff …

2007, a crazed fan who stalked former Blur guitarist Graham Coxon for over a year is cautioned by police for harassment and criminal damage … Sue Ellingham allegedly met the star after a gig and then started posting abusive messages on his website and wrote false claims about his sex life … as her obsession grew, she allegedly turned up at the school of the singer’s five-year-old daughter and at his London home … Ellingham also trashed Coxon’s farmhouse near Canterbury in Kent … Uncle Kracker, a former disc jockey for Kid Rock, is arrested on a second-degree sex offense charge in Raleigh, North Carolina … police spokesman Jim Sughrue says a 26-year-old woman alleged that a man had committed a sexual act against her at the Ess Lounge, a downtown nightclub … Kracker, 33, is held at the Wake County Jail on a $5 million bond … John Lennon’s solo material is offered on iTunes, making him the third Beatle to have his catalog become available online …

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

Arrivals:

August 13: jazz pianist George Shearing (1919), “Baby Boy” Robert Warren (1919), Don Ho (1930), Dave "Baby" Cortez (1938), Son Seals (1942), Dan Fogelberg (1951), Wings guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (1953), Feargal Sharkey of The Undertones (1958)

August 14: swing and jazz violinist Stuff Smith (1909), R&B singer Jackie Brenston (1927), songwriter Carol Joyner Gourley (1938), Dash Crofts of Seals and Crofts (1940), David Crosby (1941), Tim Bogart of Vanilla Fudge (1944), inventor of the slap bass, Larry Graham (1946), Slim Dunlap of The Replacements (1951), Sharon Bryant of Atlantic Star (1956), Kevin Cadogan of Third Eye Blind (1970)

August 15: blues harp player Buster Brown, born Waymon Glasco (1911), Oscar Peterson (1925), bluegrass-country singer Rose Maddox (1925), Bill Pinkney of The Drifters (1925), R&B singer Bobby Byrd (1934), singer Bobby Helms (1936), Peter York of the Spencer Davis Group (1942), songwriter Jimmy Webb (1946), Tom Johnston of The Doobie Brothers (1948), Tommy Aldridge of Black Oak Arkansas (1950), MCA of The Beastie Boys (1967)

August 16: baritone jazz crooner Al Hibbler (1915), jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans (1929), English country and pop singer Karl Denver (1931), chanteuse Eydie Gormé (1931), lead singer of The Dubs, Richard Blandon (1934), New Orleans R&B singer Bobby Mitchell (1935), R&B singer-songwriter Barbara George (1942), songwriter and touring musician Kin Vassy (1943), Barry Hay of Golden Earring (1948), J.T. Taylor of Kool & The Gang (1953), Tim Farriss of INXS (1957), Madonna (born Louise Ciccone) (1958), Chris Pederson of Camper Van Beethoven (1960), Emily Erwin of Dixie Chicks (1972), singer-songwriter-pianist Vanessa Carlton (1980)

August 17: ’50s pop singer Georgia Gibbs (1919), Sam Butera, tenor sax player with Louis Prima (1927), Mark Dinning of "Teen Angel" fame (1933), bluesman Luther Allison (1939), Sib Hashian of Boston (1949), guitar virtuoso Eric Johnson (1954), XTC’s Colin Moulding (1955), Gilby Clark of Guns N’ Roses (1962), singer-songwriter Maria McKee (1964), Steve Gorman of Black Crowes (1965), Jill Cunniff of Luscious Jackson (1966), Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids on the Block (1969), Posdnuous of De La Soul (1969)

August 18: lyricist Otto Harbach (1873), folk singer Cisco Houston (1918), pop singer Johnny Preston (1939), singer-songwriter-producer-actor-author Nona Hendryx (1945), Dennis Elliot of Foreigner (1950), Ron Stryker of Men at Work (1957), lead vocalist and founder member of The Go-Go’s, Belinda Carlisle (1958), rapper-singer-songwriter Everlast, born Erik Schrody (1969)

August 19: jazz pianist Jimmy Rowles (1918), Cream drummer Ginger Baker (1939), singer Johnny Nash of “I Can See Clearly Now” fame (1940), vocalist Billy J. Kramer of the Dakotas (1943), Ian Gillian of Deep Purple (1945), Queen’s John Deacon (1951), country singer-songwriter Lee Ann Womack (1966)

Departures:

August 13: John Loder, founder of the punk label Southern Records (2005), composer David Tudor (1996), blues drummer Fred Below (1988), soul singer Joe Tex, born Joseph Arrington Jr. (1982), soulful sax man King Curtis (1971), R&B star Joe Hinton (1968)

August 14: Johnny Duncan (2006), Esther Wong, owner of the L.A. punk venue Madame Wong’s (2005), Tony Williams, lead vocalist of The Platters (1992), Hawkwind vocalist Robert Calvert (1989), guitarist Roy Buchanan (1988)

August 15: William Herbert "Lum" York, bass player for Hank Williams (2004), singer-songwriter Joe Seneca (1996), Jamaican singer-songwriter Jackie Edwards (1996), Thomas Wayne (1971), Stick Mcghee, born Granville McGhee, most associated with his song, "Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" (1961), influential bluesman Big Bill Broonzy (1958)

August 16: jazz drummer Max Roach (2007), percussionist Ray Romero (2006), country fiddler Vassar Clements (2005), Bobby DeBarge, member of R&B groups Switch and DeBarge (1995), Christian rock songwriter Mark Heard (1992), Stacy Sutherland, guitarist for The 13th Floor Elevators (1978), The King, Elvis Presley (1977), legendary bluesman Robert Johnson (1938)

August 17: Skatalite trumpeter, Dizzy Moore (2008), Bernard Odum, bassist with James Brown (2004), guitar-maker to the stars, Tony Zemaitis (2002), Chicago soul singer Johnny Sayles (1993), Phil Seymour, guitarist and singer with The Dwight Twilley Band (1993), singer-actress Pearl Bailey (1990), soul singer Lorraine Ellison (1985), Paul Williams, singer and guitarist for The Temptations (1973)

August 18: Pervis Jackson, founding member of the Spinners (2008), film composer Elmer Bernstein (2004), founder of the Country Gentlemen, bluegrass picker Charlie Waller (2004), Leonard "Chick" Carbo, lead singer of The Spiders (1998), Belgian impresario and concert promoter Freddy Cousaert (1998) highly regarded R&B and funk session pianist Richard Tee, born Richjard Ten Ryk (1993), psychedelic concert poster artist Rick Griffin (1991)

August 19: LeRoi Moore, saxophonist with The Dave Matthews Band (2008), Joseph Hill, lead singer and founder of reggae band Culture (2006), Dorsey Burnette, bass player of rockabilly institution The Rock and Roll Trio (1979), 12-string guitarist Blind Willie McTell, composer of "Statesboro Blues" (1959)

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1 Comments

  1. Here is a video about a courthouse in Florida where Elvis filmed the movie Follow That Dream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqZ2mVnJHaY

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