It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1953, in what will later be considered the golden age of vocal groups, seven of the R&B chart’s Top 10 positions are occupied by doo-wop acts including The Orioles, The Clovers, The Five Royales, The Royals, The Spaniels, The Dominoes, and The Coronets …

1954, Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips secures his place in rock ‘n’ roll history when he spins a test pressing of Elvis Presley’s “That’s All Right” on radio station WHBQ … it’s the first time an Elvis record hits the airwaves …

1956, Elvis Presley’s much-anticipated single “Love Me Tender” notches a music biz record when advance orders for the record top one million …

1963, “She Loves You” is played on the radio by influential DJ Murray “The K” Kaufman on WINS in New York … it is the first time a Beatles song is played on U.S. airwaves … Murray later becomes a staunch Beatles advocate and supporter, helping them to break into New York and America …

1966, The Yardbirds, with lead guitarists Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, embark upon a British tour with The Rolling Stones and Tina Turner …

1975, soul man Jackie Wilson suffers a heart attack in mid-performance at the Latin Casino in Camden, N.J. … the singer, dubbed “Mr. Excitement,” falls off the stage and strikes his head on the concrete floor, causing permanent brain damage … he lapses into a coma and spends the rest of his life hospitalized until death overtakes him in 1984 … the soul group The Spinners donate $60,000 for his medical care but much of that money is consumed in lawyer’s fees due to relatives tussling over control of Wilson’s estate … the singer will be laid to rest in an unmarked grave … the Wilson family is haunted by tragedy … son Jackie Jr. was killed in 1970 during a burglary, daughter Sandra will die of a heart attack in 1977, and daughter Jacqueline will be shot to death in a 1987 drive-by shooting …

X-rated version of “Think Twice” with Lavern Baker.

1976, Jerry Lee Lewis nearly lives up to his nickname while taking a little target practice at a soda bottle with his .357 magnum … The Killer completely misses the bottle and shoots his bass player, Norman “Butch” Owens, twice in the chest … Owens reportedly clutches his chest and staggers out onto the front porch before collapsing … Owens lives to sue Lewis, who is charged with shooting a firearm within city limits … British bobbies take The Runaways into custody following the disappearance of a hair dryer from a hotel room …

1980, David Bowie makes his Broadway debut playing the title character in The Elephant Man

1982, the first compact discs and players hit the market in Japan … a joint venture between Sony and Philips, the CD will become a dominant musical format within five years …

1988, Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” becomes the first a capella song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 … the single will also land George Bush the elder in hot water when he uses it in his presidential campaign without permission … in 2008, Billboard listed the tune in its top ten One Hit Wonders from the last 50 years … McFerrin, a classically trained musician and conductor, later expresses reservations about the single, saying “It’s not that I don’t love the song. My songs are like my children: some you want around and some you want to send off to college as soon as possible.” …

1991, Garth Brooks’ album Ropin’ the Wind debuts at number one on the Billboard Pop chart … it is the first country album to do so …

1993, former Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler settles his lawsuit with his former band and its managers for $2.5 million just before the case goes to the jury, this despite having signed an agreement in 1990 giving up his partnership interest in the band … during the trial guitarist Slash had testified that Adler had signed the agreement while he was “strung out” … Adler had been booted from the band when he couldn’t kick his heroin habit … five years to the day later, Adler is back in court, this time for sentencing on charges of having beaten two women he dated as well as violating probation on an earlier domestic case … he gets 150 days jail time …

1996, Smashing Pumpkins get off to a delayed tour start … the band needed extra time to integrate former Filter drummer Matt Walker and former Frogs’ keyboardist Dennis Flemion … the pair replace former keyboard player Jonathan Melvoin who died three months earlier from a heroin OD and drummer Jimmie Chamberlin who was canned following a drug possession bust … leader Billie Corgan will later acknowledge the replacements were a bad idea that hurt the band’s music and reputation … in 1999 a rehabilitated Chamberlin will rejoin the Pumpkins …

1997, wearing a white cowboy hat, Bob Dylan performs his “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” in Bologna, Italy, with an apparently bored John Paul II looking on … the Audio Engineering Society unveils the new DVD Audio format in New York …

2002, Mike Batt of The Planets settles a lawsuit filed by the John Cage Trust for “an undisclosed six-figure sum” … at issue is one minute of silence on the band’s latest CD Classical Graffitti … the avant-garde composer’s estate had claimed Batt plagiarized Cage’s 1952 composition “4’33″—which was completely silent—when he credited his piece “A One Minute Silence” to “Batt/Cage” …

2004, Cat Stevens is kicked out of the United States after a jet bound for Washington from London is diverted to unload him … the former pop singer now known as Yusuf Islam, born Stephen Georgiou, enjoyed a string of hits in the 1960s and 70s, including “Wild World” and “Morning Has Broken” … he released two songs, including a rerecording of “Peace Train,” to express his opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq … officials say he was refused entry under the Immigration and Naturalization Act “based on national security grounds” … Dolly Parton, who is considering breast-reduction surgery, complains, “My boobs are killing me and I don’t know if I can stand the pain any longer.” …

2005, Wyclef Jean signs a deal with HBO to star in a comedy that the former Fugee describes as “like a hip-hop version of Curb Your Enthusiasm” … he goes on to say that “it’s based on real shit” …

2006, U2 and Green Day join forces by performing at New Orleans’ Superdome at the Saints’ first game in the arena since Hurricane Katrina shredded the venue more than a year earlier … broadcast on ESPN, the game draws 15 million viewers, the second-highest audience ever for a cable broadcast … following a six-month hiatus prompted by Steven Tyler’s surgery for a broken blood vessel in his larynx and bassist Tom Hamilton’s chemo treatments for throat cancer, Aerosmith reunites for a show at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts … it’s been a tough year for the band with Tyler slicing his hand while opening a suitcase and battling hepatitis C …

2007, Van Halen kicks off its first reunion tour since 1984 in Charlotte, North Carolina with David Lee Roth aboard … the band rips through a best-of set list with Eddie Van Halen and Roth bouncing off each other without a hint of the bad blood that has existed between the pair for decades …

Van Halen – “So This Is Love?”

… amazon.com launches its MP3 music download site … it’s expected that Amazon’s variable pricing scheme will put pressure on iTunes to adopt a similar strategy … Bruce Springsteen gives his hometown supporters a thrill when he and the E Street Band play a rehearsal show at the diminutive Asbury Park Convention Hall as warm-up for a world tour … The Boss warns the crowd that “There may be some mistakes. But I doubt it.” …

2008, talking about his forthcoming solo album that’s been in the works for a decade, former Velvet Revolver and Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland says, “It may turn off some STP fans. That’s just the way it is. At my age, I just do what I wanna do. There’s art and there’s commerce, and I’ve already accomplished the commerce part of my career” … working on his next gazillion dollars, Jay-Z launches his new label, StarRoc Records …

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

September 23: R&B and jazz bandleader Tiny Bradshaw (1905), Marion Keisker, assistant to Sun Records’ Sam Phillips who urged him to record Elvis (1917), blues guitarist-harpist Joe Hill Louis (1921), jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane (1926), jazz bassist Jimmy Woode (1928), Wally Whyton, leader of the British skiffle band The Vipers (1929), blues guitarist Fenton Robinson (1935), blues, rock, and jazz guitarist Roy Buchanan (1939), singer-songwriter Charlie Fox (1939), British one-man blues band Duster Bennett (1943), songwriter-producer-session pianist Don Grolnick (1947), Jerry Corbetta of Sugarloaf (1947), Average White Band drummer Robbie McIntosh (1950), John Baker Saunders, bassist for Seattle band Mad Season (1954)

September 24: gospel, blues, and doo-wop singer Allen Bunn (1924), Carl Feaster of The Chords (1930), actor and singer-songwriter Anthony Newley (1931), Ventures drummer Mel Taylor (1933), James “Shep” Sheppard of Shep & The Limelites (1935), session reed player Steve Douglas (1938), Barbara Allbut of The Angels (1940), Phyllis Allbut of The Angels (1942), Linda McCartney (1942), Gerry Marsden of Gerry And The Pacemakers (1942), Cedric Dent of Take 6 (1962), Marty Cintron of No Mercy (1971)

September 25: Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich (1906), Erik Darling of The Rooftop Singers (1933), bluesman Roosevelt “Booba” Barnes (1936), Ian Tyson of folk duo Ian and Sylvia (1933), Joseph Russell of The Persuasions (1939), Wade Flemons of Earth, Wind and Fire (1940), co-founder of Love, Bryan MacLean (1946), Italian rocker Zucchero (1955), actor and hip-hop artist Will Smith (1968), Diana Ortiz of Dream (1985)

September 26: George Gershwin (1898), New Orleans guitarist Rene Hall (1912), country singer Marty Robbins (1925), George Chambers of The Chambers Brothers (1931), Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music (1945), country singer Lynn Anderson (1947), Olivia Newton-John (1948), Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos (1954), Craig Chaquico of Jefferson Starship (1954), country vocalist Carlene Carter (1955), Tracey Thorn of Everything But The Girl (1962), Cindy Herron of En Vogue (1965), Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon (1967), Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men (1972), pop and R&B singer Christina Milian (1981)

September 27: bluesman “Mighty” Joe Young (1927), producer Don Nix (1941), Randy Bachman of BTO (1943), Meat Loaf aka Marvin Lee Aday (1947), Greg Ham of Men At Work (1953), reggae bassist Robbie Shakespeare (1953), teen throb Shaun Cassidy (1958), Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind (1964), Mark Calderon of Color Me Badd (1970), Avril Lavigne (1984)

September 28: Ed Sullivan (1902), bluesman Houston Stackhouse (1910), country singer Tommy Collins (1930), gospel singer Joseph Hutchinson (1931), Chicago blues songstress Koko Taylor (1935), soul singer and former Drifter Ben E. King (1938), bassist Nick St. Nicholas of Steppenwolf (1943), jazz pianist Kenny Kirkland (1955), George Lynch of Dokken (1955), Alannah Currie of The Thompson Twins (1959), pop singer Jennifer Rush (1960), teen popster Hilary Duff (1987)

September 29: Gene Autry (1907), Jerry Lee Lewis (1935), jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty (1942), singer-songwriter Tommy Boyce (1944), Mark Farner of Grand Funk (1948), Mike Pinera of Iron Butterfly (1948), Suzzy Roche of The Roches (1956), Les Claypool of Primus (1963), Barry D of Jesus Jones (1965), Brad Smith of Blind Melon (1968)

Departures:

September 23: blues harmonica player-vocalist-songwriter Gary Primich (2007), Etta Baker, Piedmont blues guitarist prominent in the folk revival of the 1960s (2006), Mississippi blues singer-guitarist Houston Stackhouse (1980), Average White Band drummer Robbie McIntosh (1974)

September 24: British folk singer-songwriter Matthew Jay (2003), folk rocker Tim Rose (2002)

September 25: Jamie Lyons of The Music Explosion (2006), Steve Canaday of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils (1999), Led Zeppelin’s hard-hitting drummer John Bonham (1980)

September 26: eclectic British vocalist Robert Palmer (2003), songwriter Carl Sigman (2000), jazz diva Betty Carter (1998), pianist and writer Arnold Shaw (1989), blues guitarist Auburn “Pat” Hare (1980), “Empress of the Blues” Bessie Smith (1937)

September 27: rockabilly guitarist Paul Burlison (2003), D.O.A. drummer Ken “Dimwit” Montgomery (1994), Wings guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (1979)

September 28: D.J. Scott Muni (2004), country star Bob Gibson (1996), Marcels baritone singer Allen Johnson (1995), jazz titan Miles Davis (1991), Rory Storm born Alan Caldwell (1972), D.J. Dewey Phillips (1968), bandleader Lucky Millinder (1966)

September 29: engineer-producer-label exec Greg Ladanyi (2009)

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