It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1945, The Andrews Sisters’ “Rum & Coca Cola” is the #1 pop hit and will become the biggest seller of the year …

1956, The Coasters are signed to Atlantic records … the doo-wop act goes on to score 19 hits in the ensuing 15 years including such novelty smashes as “Charlie Brown” and “Poison Ivy” …

1958, The Champs release “Tequila” which will become one of the more successful one-word songs … two band members, Jim Seals and Dash Crofts will later form their own duo Seals & Crofts and score big hits in the ’70s with “Hummingbird” and “Summer Breeze” … Little Richard announces that he is retiring from music at the peak of his popularity to become a minister … the pomaded rocker will flip-flop between his sacred and profane predilections in the coming years …

1960, Elvis Presley makes his national television debut on The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show singing “Heartbreak Hotel” … Jimmy Jones’ hit “Handy Man” enters the pop chart ultimately rising to the #3 slot … in 1977 James Taylor resuscitates the tune taking it to #4 …

1961, husband-and-wife writing team Carole King and Jerry Goffin score their first of many #1 hits with The Shirelles’ “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” … King plays drums on the hit … it’s nearly 10 years later that she scores her own solo #1 hit with “It’s Too Late” a single from her monster album Tapestry

1965, Brit rocker P.J. Proby splits his pants his during a London show … the incident gets a big reaction from the crowd and Proby makes the ripping riff a permanent part of his act …

1967, Jimi Hendrix and The Who perform at London’s Saville Theatre … while browsing in a London antique shop, John Lennon comes across a 19th century circus poster that incorporates most of what will become the lyrics of “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” …

1969, The Beatles, with Billy Preston joining them on organ, perform in public as a group for the last time on the roof of the Apple Studios building … the performance is filmed for all to see later, but the famous roof-top jam ends after four songs when police show up to enforce a noise complaint from the neighbors …

1972, more than 40,000 file past Mahalia Jackson’s coffin to pay final respects to the renowned gospel singer who died four days earlier … at her funeral the next day, Sammy Davis Jr. reads a letter from President Nixon and Aretha Franklin sings “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” …

1973, KISS performs their first show at the Coventry club in Queens … they have yet to develop their trademark look … Paul Stanley will later characterize the band’s appearance as a New York Dolls look … keyboardist Keith Emerson’s hands are injured when a piano that’s been rigged with pyrotechnics explodes prematurely during an Emerson, Lake and Palmer concert in San Francisco … NBC debuts TV’s first rock concert series, Midnight Special … the show’s announcer is gravel-throated DJ Wolfman Jack and each episode features a guest host … the show will air through 1981 …

1975, Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green is dispatched to the funny farm following an incident in which he attacked an accountant attempting to deliver a royalty check for $30,00 … turns out Green didn’t want the green …

1980, commemorating the first anniversary of Sid Vicious’ death, 1,000 punks stage a march in London … the dead Sex Pistol’s mother, Ann Beverly, had been slated to head the parade, but she’s in hospital recovering from a drug overdose …

1985, the single “We Are The World” is recorded in L.A. by 46 rock/pop stars to raise money for charity …

1988, The Cars reach the end of the road … at least the original version … the group would reform as The New Cars with Todd Rundgren and without Ric Ocasek and the late Benjamin Orr …

1993, Willie Nelson reaches a settlement with the IRS in which the feds keep $3.6 million worth of previously seized assets and the singer agrees to kick in another $5.4 million … that will settle what the government reckons is a $13.1 million tax bill …

1994, former Supreme Mary Wilson flips her jeep on a freeway outside of Los Angeles … her 14-year old son dies in the accident and Wilson is injured …

1998, The Dixie Chicks release their breakthrough album Wide Open Spaces eventually selling 12 million copies worldwide … The Capeman, Paul Simon’s Broadway musical about a 1950s Spanish Harlem murder, opens two weeks late and is universally loathed by the critics … though they like the musical’s mélange of doo-wop- and Latino-tinged tunes, they hate the story and the show quickly folds …

1999, 16,000 attend a benefit concert held in East Rutherford, New Jersey for Mumia Abu-Jamal, a convicted cop killer … Jamal’s insistence on his innocence, as well as questions of fairness at his trial, have garnered him the support of numerous actors and musicians since he was convicted in 1982 of the death of police officer Daniel Faulkner and sentenced to death … Rage Against the Machine, the Beastie Boys, Chumbawamba, Public Enemy’s Chuck D, and Bad Religion perform …

2002, Pat Boone announces the formation of his Gold Records label … he will only sign artists 45 and older …

2004, James Brown is arrested on charges of domestic violence … he pleads no contest in June …

2005, New York hip-hop station Hot 97 fires producer Rick Delgado for creating and airing a parody of the 1985 single “We Are the World” named “The Tsunami Song” … peppered with racially-charged lyrics and trivializing the Asian disaster, the song is aired by radio personality Todd Lynn who is also fired while host Miss Jones and two staff members are suspended for two weeks … the station’s corporate parent company announces that it will donate $1 million to tsunami relief … An Emmy-winning makeup artist, Kylie Bell, files suit against Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and ABC-TV owner Walt Disney seeking $25 million in damages stemming from an alleged rape by the rapper and four members of his entourage following the taping of the talk show in 2003 … the case will later be settled “amicably” out of court …

2006, A letter written by Don Law, the producer of Robert Johnson’s 1936 and 1937 San Antonio recording sessions is unearthed providing and confirming valuable details of the enigmatic blues pioneer’s sessions … The management firm representing singer Avril Lavigne provides defense money for an Arlington, TX man who has been sued by the recording industry for sharing downloaded music … among the songs involved in what the industry considers illegal sharing is Lavigne’s own “Sk8er Boi” …

2007, Reuters reports that the Church of England has begun staging “U2-charist” communion services in which traditional hymns are replaced with songs from the Irish supergroup … a live band plays U2 songs such as “Mysterious Ways” and “Beautiful Day” while lyrics are displayed on a giant screen so the congregation can sing along … seating is also rearranged to accommodate dancing and handwaving … there’s no word on whether Bic-flicking will be part of the ceremony … church members wonder what might be next … a “Who-charist” featuring the music of Pete Townshend? …

2009, veteran Hollywood director John Landis sues Michael Jackson because he has not been paid for several years for his share of the profits from the Thriller video … Landis co-wrote and directed the 14-minute video in 1983 …

2010, the ABBA museum—ABBA World—opens in West London … 25 rooms contain costumes, photos, interactive displays, memorabilia, and computer recreations of the Swedish band on stage …

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

January 27: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756), composer Jerome Kern (1885), blues legend Elmore James (1918), Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., better known as David Seville, creator of The Chipmunks (1919), Nick Mason of Pink Floyd (1945), Seth Justman of The J. Geils Band (1951), Brian Downey of Thin Lizzy (1951), Cowboy Junkies’ Margo Timmins (1961), New Order’s Gillian Gilbert (1961), Faith No More’s Mike Patton (1968)

January 28: piano virtuoso Arthur Rubenstein (1887), songwriter Irving Gordon (1915), British jazzman and club owner Ronnie Scott (1927), Mr. Acker Bilk (1929), bluesman David “Junior” Kimbrough (1930), dub producer King Tubby (1941), Brian Keenan of the Chambers Brothers (1944), Dick Taylor of The Pretty Things (1944), Nedra Talley of The Ronettes (1946), Rick Allen of The Box Tops (1946), Mountain’s Corky Laing (1948), The Alarm’s Dave Sharp (1959), Sarah McLachlan (1968), rapper Rakim (1968), Cypress Hill’s Muggs (1968), Joey Fatone of *NSYNC (1977), Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys (1980)

January 29: Huddie Ledbetter AKA Lead Belly (1889), Chicago bluesman Eddie Taylor (1923), masterful Motown bassist James Jamerson (1936), jazz pianist Bobby Scott (1937), Peter Cowap of Herman’s Hermits (1944), David Byron of Uriah Heep (1947), Tommy Ramone of the Ramones (1949), Louie Perez of Los Lobos (1953), rapper Mitch McDowell of General Kane (1954), Eddie Jackson of Queensryche (1961)

January 30: R&B singer Ruth Brown (1928), Mississippi bluesman Big Jack Johnson (1940), Joe Terry of Danny & the Juniors (1941), Marty Balin of The Jefferson Airplane (1942), Sandy Yaguda of Jay & the Americans (1943), Steve Marriott of Small Faces and Humble Pie (1947), William King of the Commodores (1949), Mary Ross of Quarterflash (1951), Steve Bartek of OingoBoingo (1952), Shalamar’s Jody Watley (1959), Jonny Lang (1981)

January 31: Chuck Willis, R&B and rock singer-songwriter (1928), Paul deLay, Portland-based blues harp player and singer (1952), Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman (1964), Al Jaworski of Jesus Jones (1966), Jason Cooper of The Cure (1967)

February 1: rock music critic Lillian Roxon (1932), Bob Shane of The Kingston Trio (1934), Don Everly of The Everly Brothers (1937), Dr. Hook’s Ray Sawyer (1937), Jimmy Carl Black of The Mothers of Invention (1938), Rick James (1952), Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1954), Lisa Marie Presley (1968), Patrick Wilson of Weezer (1969), Outkast’s Big Boi (1975)

February 2: bluesman Walter Vinson (1901), saxophonist Red Prysock (1926), Stan Getz (1927), Skip Battin of The Byrds (1934), Clarence Quick of the Dell Vikings (1937), Graham Nash (1942), Ronnie Goodson, who became lead singer of Ronnie and the Hi-Lites at age 12 (1945), Howard Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers (1946), Peter Lucia of Tommy James and The Shondells (1947), Alan McKay of Earth, Wind & Fire (1948), Journey’s Ross Valory (1949), jazz bassist Alphonso Johnson (1951), Jeff Healy Band drummer Tom Stephen (1955), Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots (1966), Ben Mize of Counting Crows (1971), Shakira (1977)

Departures:

January 27: Tin Pan Alley composer Gerald Marks (1997), vocalist Candy Givens of Zephyr (1984), gospel singer Mahalia Jackson (1972)

January 28: Traffic drummer Jim Capaldi (2005), recording pioneer John Mosley (1996), D.O.A. drummer Ken Jensen (1995), Uriah Heep’s David Byron (1985), “British Elvis” Billy Fury (1983)

January 29: founder of the Quarrymen Eric Griffiths (2005), David Lerchey of The Dell-Vikings (2005), seminal blues bassist and songwriter Willie Dixon (1992), Herman “Sunny” Chaney of The Jaguars (1989), Sir Edward Lewis (1980), one-man-band Jesse “Lone Cat” Fuller (1976)

January 30: songwriter Julius Dixon (2004), jazz producer Bob Thiele (1996), bluesman Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins (1982), influential New Orleans pianist Professor Longhair, born Henry Roeland Byrd (1980), rockabilly singer Warren Smith (1980), songster Mance Lipscomb (1976)

January 31: Barbara Cowsill, mother of The Cowsills (1985), saxophonist Gregory Herbert, member of the 1978 incarnation of Blood, Sweat & Tears (1978), R&B singer-songwriter Buster Brown (1976), swamp bluesman Slim Harpo (1970)

February 1: songwriter John Jarrad (2001), Julius Wechter of Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass and The Baja Marimba Band (1999), Delta slide-guitarist Johnny Littlejohn (1994), Paul Robi, baritone singer with The Platters (1989), Dick James, publisher of Lennon and McCartney and Elton John (1986), Ulysses “Ronnie” Hicks, member of The Five Keys (1955)

February 2: Billy Henderson of the Spinners (2007), Eric von Schmidt, blues and folk singer who influenced Bob Dylan (2007), Joe Hunter, pianist with The Funk Brothers, Motown’s in-house studio band (2007), James Blackwood, known as the “Frank Sinatra of Gospel,” released more than 200 albums and won nine Grammys (2002), songwriter Hal Blair (2001), David McComb of The Triffids (1999), jazz drummer and bandleader Mel Lewis (1990), Blue Note Records founder Alfred Lion (1987), bluesman Sam Chatmon (1983), Sex Pistol Sid Vicious (1979)

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