It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1910, Chester Burnett is born in rural White Station, Mississippi … later known as Howlin’ Wolf, he’ll become legendary for his huge, raw voice and matching physique … one of the pioneers of electric blues, Wolf will exert a powerful influence on many British blues musicians and his songs such as “Spoonful,” “Smoke Stack Lightning,” and “Little Red Rooster” will be covered by a generation of rockers including The Stones …

1949, Hank Williams makes a big impression at his Grand Ole Opry debut, earning an unprecedented six encores from the Nashville crowd …

1957, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” hits the C&W charts for Jerry Lee Lewis … the record will ease over onto the pop chart within a week to become a crossover hit …

1964, in the midst of an American tour, The Rolling Stones spend $2,500 in airfares to get back to England in order to play a date at Oxford’s Magdalen College that was committed to a year earlier … the gig pays $170 …

1965, it is announced that The Beatles will receive MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) medals from Queen Elizabeth in October … in the controversy that ensues, some previous recipients return their awards … in 1969 John Lennon will return his medal, symbolizing his opposition to Britain’s support of the U.S. in Vietnam …

1963, Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki” hits number one on the U.S. pop chart … it is the first and last Japanese song to do so …

1966, The Beatles record “Rain,” using a reversed-tape effect for the first time … it’s the same technique that will later incite “Paul-is-dead” rumors … this same week, rumors of Roger Daltrey’s death are greatly exaggerated as European radios spew misinformation after Pete Townshend is injured in a car wreck … also this week, The Beatles album Yesterday … And Today is released by Capitol with a cover showing the Fab Four in butcher’s smocks amidst bloody cuts of meat and dismembered baby dolls … assembled from B-sides and album leftovers, it is the last American LP created without the group’s direct consent … after a wave of negative reaction, Capitol scrambles to replace the cover with a tamer one … a new band photo is pasted over the original on thousands of already manufactured copies … the only U.S. Beatles album to show a loss on Capitol’s books, it makes lots of money for record collectors over the years while lots of fans will ruin their album jackets attempting to peel off the replacement picture …

1970, one of America’s most important roots-music figures dies from his injuries a year after being struck by a car … New Orleans jazz and blues singer and guitarist Lonnie Johnson was among the earliest players to use an electric guitar … he worked with some of the biggest names in popular music including Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong but had dropped out of sight by the 1960s when he enjoyed a revival after being discovered working as a hotel janitor … Johnson was recruited to tour Europe with the American Folk Blues Festival where he would win over a new generation of fans in the late 1960s …

1971, police panic when gate crashers start climbing over fences at a Jethro Tull concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver … they drop tear gas from helicopters resulting in a general riot with lots of injuries … averting disaster, Jethro Tull comes onstage in the middle of the ruckus after the opening act has fled and plays their entire show while choking on tear-gas fumes … Red Rocks says there’ll be no more rock concerts held there, a decision that is later reversed …

1972, one of America’s most lilting pop voices is silenced when singer Clyde McPhatter dies of a heart attack at 39 after years of hard living … McPhatter was signed by Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records after leaving Billy Ward and the Dominoes to become the lead singer of the newly formed Drifters … this lineup (there would be many) enjoys several big hits including a doo-wop version of “White Christmas” that prominently features his tenor … after leaving the Drifters in the mid-’50s, McPhatter will have sporadic success as a solo act, but his career is undermined by alcoholism …

1977, Alice Cooper’s boa constrictor, a major component of the shock-rocker’s stage schtick, dies after being bitten by a rat intended as the snake’s snack … Joe Strummer and Topper Headon of The Clash are each fined $8 by a London judge for spray-painting the band’s name on a wall … a couple of days later they’re back in front of another London magistrate, this time for having pinched a pillow case from a Holiday Inn … the fine is stiffer: $170 apiece …

1982, James Honeyman-Scott of the Pretenders dies in his sleep of a cocaine and heroin overdose in London at the age of 25 … ironically, the guitarist was among band members who had voted out bass player Pete Farndon for drug abuse a mere two days earlier … after Honeyman-Scott’s death, frontwoman Chrissie Hynde pens the tune “Back on the Chain Gang” as a tribute to him … the song will go on to be one of the band’s biggest hits … a year later Farndon will also die from drug-related causes … Mick Jagger is knighted by Queen Elizabeth … no romantic entanglements are reported …

1986, Jerry Garcia goes into a five-day diabetic coma requiring the Dead to cancel shows … three Ozzie Osbourne fans die when they plunge from a balcony at a Long Beach, California, concert …

1988, Nirvana’s debut album, Bleach, is released … the name comes from ubiquitous street posters warning junkies to bleach their works … this same week, in a marriage of mud and metal, Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe weds mud-pit wrassler Sharisse Rudell … now there’s a honeymoon we all would have liked to get in on …

1992, a judge in L.A. dismisses a $25 million palimony suit brought by model Kelly Emberg against Rod Stewart … she charges that they had lived together in a marital-like state between 1985 and 1990 and had a child together … despite their current contretemps, sources close to Emberg report that she still thinks Rod is sexy …

1991, Temptations singer Eddie Kendricks is arrested on a bench warrant for $26,000 in overdue child support while attending the funeral of his former bandmate David Ruffin … Kendricks will die the following year …

1994, Hole bassist Kristen Pfaff is found slumped over her bathtub, dead of a heroin overdose … next to her body is a cosmetic bag with more than just lipstick inside … tragically, this occurs on the eve of her move back to Minneapolis to escape Seattle’s too-easy-to-cop drug scene … Pfaff dies just two months after Kurt Cobain ended his life … it’s been a swell couple of months for Courtney Love …

1995, 90 minutes before he’s to perform at a Texas police convention, country star Ty Herndon is busted by an undercover cop for drug possession … he will plead guilty … in other concert news, Pearl Jam begins its Ticketmaster Monopoly tour … the band will, with mixed results, use a mail-order ticket service instead of Ticketmaster distribution … PJ is frustrated by Ticketmaster’s attempts to raise prices above their mandated $20 price tag … the band accuses the ticket giant of monopolizing the concert ticket industry and the U.S. Justice Department later investigates … guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament testify before a House subcommittee to no avail …

2003, Adam Ant is busted for stripping off his clothes in a London café after smashing his neighbors’ windows with stones …

2004, following a layoff of 1,000 employees in March, Warner Music Group announces that it’s cutting its artist roster by nearly one-half in the face of a continuing soft market for music … Iggy Pop and The Stooges are reported to be working on songs for their first new studio record in 31 years … Pop speculates that they may record the album in Los Angeles noting, “That will torture me deeply” … after complaining about what he believes to be a pinched nerve in his shoulder, David Bowie receives an emergency angioplasty to deal with a severely blocked artery …

2005, after deliberating for 32 hours, a California jury finds Michael Jackson not guilty of child molestation charges …

2006, Despite having a #1 album with Taking the Long Way Home, The Dixie Chicks are having trouble selling seats in some venues for their summer tour … it is believed anger over Chicks singer Natalie Maines’ criticism of George W. Bush in 2003 is behind the sluggish box office … Jacob the Jeweler aka Jacob Abarov, purveyor of bling to hip-hop’s glitterati, is busted by the Feds on charges of money laundering in a case that also includes drug peddling by the Black Mafia Family of Detroit … he will be sentenced to 30 months in federal slam and ordered to pay a $2 million fine …

2008, while touring Europe, Bob Dylan tells The London Times he supports Barack Obama’s run for the White House … the historically apolitical Dylan says, “Right now, America is in a state of upheaval. Poverty is demoralizing. You can’t expect people to have the virtue of purity when they are poor. But we’ve got this guy out there now who is redefining what a politician is, so we’ll have to see how things play out. Am I hopeful? Yes, I’m hopeful that things might change. Some things are going to have to.” … Rolling Stone names Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” the all-time greatest guitar record … Jimi’s “Purple Haze” and Cream’s “Crossroads” place second and third respectively …

2009, Green Day’s album, 21st Century Breakdown, sells more than 450,000 copies in its first three weeks making it one of the few bright spots in the midst of declining CD sales … notably, the stellar sales do not arise from an exclusive big-box store deal as have other recent hits whose distribution was limited to stores like Wal-Mart or Target …

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

June 10: Chester Burnett aka Howlin’ Wolf (1910), Judy Garland (1922), The Shirelle’s Shirley Alston (1941), Skyliners vocalist Janet Vogel (1942), The Move’s Rick Price (1944), Will Shatter of Flipper (1956), Kim and Kelley Deal of The Breeders (1961), Jimmy Chamberlin of Smashing Pumpkins (1964), Darren Robinson of The Fat Boys (1967), Joel “Jo-Jo” Hailey of K-Ci & Jo-Jo (1971), country star Faith Evans (1973), Lemisha Grinsted of 702 (1973)

June 11: boogie-woogie pianist Clarence “Pine Top” Smith (1904), country vocalist Jud Strunk (1936), Joe DiNicola of Joey Dee and the Starlighters (1940), The Pretty Things’ Skip Allen (1948), Frank Beard of ZZ Top (1949), Donnie Van Zant of .38 Special (1952), Joey Santiago of The Pixies (1965), Dan Lavery of Tonic (1969)

June 12: bandleader Archie Bleyer (1909), R&B bassist Eddie Williams of Johnny Moore and The Three Blazers (1912), pioneer rockabilly Charlie Feathers (1932), keyboardist Chick Corea (1941), British folksinger-songwriter Roy Harper (1941), Reg Presley of The Troggs (1943), Brad Delp of Boston (1951), Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick (1951), bassist Pete Farndon of The Pretenders (1952), John Linnell of They Might Be Giants (1959), Michael Hausman of ’til tuesday (1960), Grandmaster Dee of Whodini (1962), Bobby Sheehan of Blues Traveler (1968), Bardi Martin of Candlebox (1969), blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd (1977), Robyn (1979)

June 13: Bobby Freeman of “Do You Wanna Dance” fame (1940), Arlester “Dyke” Christian of Dyke and the Blazers (1943), John Kahn of the Jerry Garcia Band (1947), troubled British singer-songwriter Nick Drake (1948), Dennis Locorriere of Dr. Hook (1949), Howard Leese of Heart (1951), James Smith of The Stylistics (1951), Bo Donaldson (1954), Godsmack’s Robbie Merrill (1963), Paul DeLisle of Smash Mouth (1963), Soren Rasted of Aqua (1969), Rivers Cuomo of Wheezer (1970), Raz B of B2K (1985)

June 14: folk singer and actor Burl Ives (1909), pianist Cy Coleman (1929), Motown sax man Junior Walker (1931), Muff Winwood, bassist for The Spencer Davis Group (1943), Rod Argent of the Zombies (1945), Alan White of Yes (1949), gender-bending popster Boy George (1961), Chris DeGarmo of Queensryche (1963), British pop diva Billie Myers (1971)

June 15: jazz pianist Jaki Byard (1922), Nigel Pickering of Spanky & Our Gang (1929), Waylon Jennings (1937), singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson (1941), Doug Roberts of Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs (1941), French pop singer Johnny Halliday (1943), Muscle Shoals session guitarist Eddie Hinton (1944), British folk singer Ian Matthews (1946), Noddy Holder of Slade (1946), Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply (1949), Steve Walsh of Kansas (1951), country-pop singer Terri Gibbs (1954), Garry Roberts of Boomtown Rats (1954), drummer Scott Rockenfield of Queensryche (1963), Michael Britt of Lonestar (1966), Ice Cube (1969), Dryden Mitchell of Alien Ant Farm (1976) guitarist Billy Martin of Good Charlotte (1981)

June 16: lyricist Ben Raleigh (1913), honkin’ saxophonist Lucky Thompson (1924), jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd (1925), Motown songwriter-producer Lamont Dozier (1941), Eddie Levert of the O’Jays (1942), Pete Rivera of Rare Earth (1945), James Smith of the Stylistics (1950), pop singer Gino Vanelli (1952), Tupac Shakur (1971)

Departures:

June 10: Ray Charles (2004), Steve Sanders of The Oak Ridge Boys (1998), Alan Blakely of the Tremoloes (1996), Jimmy Weston of the Danleers (1993), The Shirelles’ Addie “Mickey” Harris (1982), organist Earl Grant (1970)

June 11: A.R.E. Weapons guitarist Ryan Noel (2004)

June 12: Danny Davis of The Nashville Brass (2008), drummer Matthew Fletcher of Heavenly (1996), the “Vee” in Vee-Jay Records, Vivian Carter (1989), jazz legend Jimmy Dorsey (1957)

June 13: Southern blues guitarist John Campbell (1993), bandleader and clarinetist Benny Goodman (1986), reedman Charles Miller of War (1980), Clyde McPhatter (1972)

June 14: Ventures bassist Bob Bogle (2009), flamenco singer Delores Alcantara (1999), bluesman Rory Gallagher (1995), composer Henry Mancini (1994), Brenda Payton of Brenda and the Tabulations (1992), songwriter-producer Cliff Goldsmith (1991), drummer Pete DeFreitas of Echo and the Bunnymen (1989), jump blues singer Wynonie Harris (1969)

June 15: Lew Chudd, founder of Imperial Records (1998), Ella Fitzgerald (1996), tour musician Kin Vassy (1994), jazz guitar great Wes Montgomery (1968)

June 16: Ben Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo (2004), The Savages singer Screaming Lord Sutch born David Edward Sutch (1999), Dr. Hook drummer John Wolters (1997), Kristen Pfaff of Hole (1994), John Jordan of The Four Vagabonds (1988), James Honeyman-Scott (1982), Warren Ryanes of The Monotones (1982), Don Robey, founder of Peacock Records (1975), pioneer electric guitarist Lonnie Johnson (1970), Jack McFadden, Nashville manager of Buck Owens (1968)

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