It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1877, Thomas Edison finishes the prototype of his new invention, the phonograph, and hands it over to his master mechanic John Kreusi to build … Kreusi bets Edison two dollars that the contraption will never work …

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 the devil 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 …

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 proceeds to wow audiences and musicians alike with his seemingly endless single-string virtuosity …

1958, Italian singer Domenico Modugno joins the One-Hit-Wonders club with his chart-topping classic "Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Del Blu)” … Gladys Presley, mother of Elvis, dies at age 46 from a heart attack brought on by hepatitis … Gladys’ body is transported to Graceland and will lie in state there for two days …

1962, Ringo Starr replaces Pete Best as The Beatles’ drummer … rumor has it Lennon and McCartney are frustrated by Best’s good looks, which attract the most groupies, leading them to hire the less attractive Starr … just kiddin’ …

1964, The Kinks’ first hit “You Really Got Me,” written by Ray Davies on his mother’s piano, enters the British charts …

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 … in London, Cream begin recording their first single "Wrapping Paper” … not representative of their later power trio sound, the tune features lots of piano playing and crooning from Jack Bruce, but no blueswailing lead guitar from Eric Clapton, or pugnacious drumming from Ginger Baker …

1967, Fleetwood Mac plays their first gig at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival a month before John McVie joins the band and despite the fact that the band’s name is derived from Mick Fleetwood’s and McVie’s last names …

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 …

… Mick Jagger is accidentally shot in the hand during the filming of Ned Kelly in Australia … even though his wound is not serious, he decides not to let it bleed …

1970, Jim Morrison’s trial for allegedly exposing himself during a 1969 concert begins in Miami … Morrison will be found guilty on one count of profanity and one count of indecent exposure but will appeal the convictions …

1976, The Clash play their second gig, performing for friends at a rehearsal studio near London …

1977, 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 is booted from the band …

1978, The Police release their second single on A&M Records "Can’t Stand Losing You” …

1979, XTC release their Drums & Wires album containing the single "Making Plans for Nigel” …

1982, Australia’s Men At Work release their debut album Business As Usual featuring the single "Who Can It Be Now?” …

1980, performances are being filmed in the Santa Monica Civic Center for the concert movie Urgh! A Music War … caught on film are Wall of Voodoo, The Members, Pere Ubu, and Magazine …

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 …

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 …

1998, Pete Townshend plays to an SRO crowd at Chicago’s House of Blues and raises $300,000 for Marysille Academy, a home for abused and neglected children …

2002, in an interview with Spin magazine, Motorhead leader Lemmy says he is thinking of having his notorious facial warts removed … Lemmy adds, “Yeah, I could sell them on the internet” … thankfully, he later clarifies he’s not serious about the latter statement …

2005, 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 … 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 … 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 known variously as Sean Combs, Puff Daddy, and Puffy stuns the nation by announcing that henceforth he will be known as just “Diddy” …

2007, 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 … 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 … Fats Domino is honored as an “American Music Legend” by the Recording Industry Association of America …

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

August 12: R&B singer-songwriter Percy Mayfield (1920), singer-songwriter Joe Jones (1926), Porter Wagoner (1927), Buck Owens, creator of “The Bakersfield Sound” (1929), pop songstress Jennifer Warren (1941), Mark Knopfler (1949), August Darnell of Kid Creole and the Coconuts (1950), jazz guitarist Pat Metheny (1954), Suzanne Vega (1959), Roy Hay of Culture Club (1961)

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)

Departures:

August 12: free jazz drummer Rashied Ali (2009), singer-talk show host Merv Griffin (2007), Luther Allison (1997), John Cage (1992), Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto (1985), Buddy Holly producer Norman Petty (1984)

August 13: guitar legend Les Paul (2009), 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: record producer-pianist Jim Dickinson (2009), 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)

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