It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1927, bluesman Crying Sam Collins records “Jail House Blues” for Paramount Records in Richmond, Indiana …

1934, Laurens Hammond patents the pipeless organ … he uses a piano keyboard to activate the electronic circuits of devices called tone wheels … by the 1950s, a descendent of Hammond’s invention, the famous B-3 organ, weighing about 400 pounds, ensures that Hammond’s name is cursed by musicians forced to lug the heavy piece of furniture up staircases to gigs … by then, Hammond, who is tone deaf, has grown to hate the sound of Leslie speakers so much he refuses service to any B-3 owner’s organ …

1956, Elvis Presley’s first gig in Las Vegas is a bust … the young rock ‘n’ roller is sent packing after the first week of what was to have been a two-week engagement …

1957, RCA Records signs Harry Belafonte for the unprecedented sum of $1 million … although dubbed the “King of Calypso,” the singer is from The Bronx …

1959, the second of two recording sessions for Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue takes place at Columbia Records 30th Street Studio in New York City … the group, which includes Cannonball Adderly on alto sax, John Coltrane on tenor, and pianist Bill Evans, records “Flamenco Sketches” and “All Blues” … the album goes on to become a classic, the one jazz album bought by people who normally aren’t jazz fans …

1961, Bob Dylan earns $50 playing harmonica for a Harry Belafonte recording session …

1966, British proto-punks The Troggs release “Wild Thing” … the song is later covered to spectacular effect by Jimi Hendrix … and to less-than-spectacular effect by comedian Sam Kinison …

1967, Janis Ian’s single “Society’s Child” languishes because of its controversial lyrics about an interracial relationship … that changes when conductor Leonard Bernstein features the song on his CBS-TV special about pop music … the record then climbs to #14 on the pop chart …

1969, John Winston Lennon changes his middle name to Ono … a fire claims the ironically named Ash Grove, a Los Angeles folk-blues club … such performers as Ry Cooder, Canned Heat, the Chambers Brothers, and Taj Mahal played their first gigs there … a who’s who of blues performers also were regulars … the Melrose Avenue club re-opens after a series of benefits …

1970, Fleetwood Mac’s founder and leader Peter Green makes his last concert appearance as a member of the group in London … the singer-guitarist will embark on a low-key solo endeavor before being sidelined for a number of years with mental health problems …

1972, Elvis Presley’s LP He Touched Me is released … it reaches #79 on the Top 100 album chart … no small feat for a gospel record …

1974, Jim Morrison’s widow Pam succumbs to a heroin overdose …

1975, leader and chief songwriter of Badfinger, Pete Ham, who had just quit the band a week earlier and is despondent over his career, hangs himself in the garage/recording studio of his London home three days before his 28th birthday …

1976, it’s been more than ten years since Roy Orbison has had a hit when he plays before a crowd of less than 100 at the Van-a-Rama auto show in Cincinnati, Ohio … adding to his misery, it’s his birthday … his glory days with the Traveling Wilburys lie far ahead … The Ramones release their first album …

… while Paul McCartney and John Lennon watch in John’s Manhattan apartment, SNL creator Lorne Michaels offers The Beatles $3,000 to perform a couple of songs on the show … the two almost hop in a cab to take up the offer but call it off because it’s late and they’re too tired … customs officers at the Polish-Russian border confiscate a collection of Nazi memorabilia from David Bowie …

1978, Sid Vicious records his rendition of the crooners’ staple “My Way” for the Sex Pistols’ movie The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle … there is no word from composer Paul Anka on the brutal treatment given his song …

1981, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis play a show in West Germany that’s later released on the LP The Survivors

1982, The Clash cancel a tour when guitarist Joe Strummer goes missing … he is eventually tracked down in Paris by a private detective, saying he “wanted a break” … Rod Stewart is robbed on Hollywood Boulevard standing next to his Porsche … Sony and Phillips unveil their compact disc to recording industry executives in Athens, Greece … they are surprised at the overwhelming negative, even vehement, reaction to the CD which is seen as providing a better master tape for pirates …

1984, Jerry Lee Lewis gets hitched for the sixth time to 22-year-old Kerrie McCarver … the marriage will end in 2003 …

1990, Roger Waters’ road crew discovers an unexploded WWII-era bomb while erecting the set for his Berlin “The Wall” concert …

1993, Prince announces that he will no longer make records … six weeks later he will change his name to an unpronounceable glyph that turns out to be a modified version of the ancient symbol for soapstone used in alchemy …

1994, former Jefferson Airplane/Starship singer Grace Slick enters a guilty plea to the charge of menacing police officers with a shotgun … the singer explains that she was under stress due to the recent loss of her Mill Valley, California, home in a fire, along with memorabilia that she alleges was stolen by Corte Madera firefighters …

1995, The Beatles score their 70th chart hit on the U.S. Top 100 with “Baby It’s You” … the song was recorded 26 years earlier for a live BBC program called Pop Goes The Beatles

1998, Faith No More announces that it is no more …

1999, Irish singer and hell-raiser Sinead O’Connor becomes the first female priest in the Latin Tridentine Church, a breakaway segment of the Roman Catholic church … her priestly name will be Mother Bernadette Mary … in a murder-suicide, Larry Troutman shoots his brother Roger to death in the alley behind their family-owned Dayton, Ohio, studio and then turns the gun on himself … the two musicians along with brothers Lester and Terry had founded a funk band in the mid-1970s that evolved into Zapp … the band scored a series of 1980s dance hits … with their salad days far behind them, the brothers had argued about the direction of the family’s struggling business affairs leading up to the shootings …

2000, Eric Clapton reunites with keyboard player Bobby Whitlock of Derek and the Dominos for a BBC appearance … it’s the first time the two have worked together in 29 years …

2001, Peter Buck runs amuck on a Seattle-to-London flight … after quaffing 14 glasses of wine, the R.E.M guitarist overturns a food cart, mistakes a stranger for his wife, smashes crockery, and tussles with crew members … in the ensuing British trial, Buck testifies that he has no memory of the events saying, “All I know is, I woke up and I am covered in cream.” …

2004, “finding a crash pad” takes on new meaning when Billy Joel plows into a Long Island house while on a pizza run … this is the third wreck in three years for the embarrassed piano man who sends the homeowner a note of apology and flowers … diva Deborah Voigt, who was previously canned by the Royal Opera House for being too fat for a role, makes her recital debut at Carnegie Hall to a rapturous response …

2005, Elton John announces he will marry partner David Furnish … the U.K. legalized civil partnerships the previous December …

2006, CNN.com publishes the results of a reader’s poll naming the worst songs of all time … counting down from five to one, they are: 5. “Seasons in the Sun” (Terry Jacks), 4. “I’ve Never Been to Me” (Charlene), 3. “You Light Up My Life” (Debby Boone), 2. “Muskrat Love” (The Captain and Tennille), and the No. 1 worst song of all time as voted on by CNN.com users is “(You’re) Having My Baby” by Paul Anka … The Dave Matthews Band pledges a $1.5 million challenge grant to help build the New Orleans Habitat Musicians’ Village, a part of the Gulf Coast’s recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina … record labels pressure Apple’s iTunes to adopt a variable-pricing scheme for single downloads … the labels are frustrated by their original deal with Apple calling for a flat 99-cents charge per song … they want to charge more for current hits and less for back-catalog tunes … Apple resists the pressure … Jersey Boys, a Broadway musical that’s based on Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, is doing great business … other recent rock and pop-based shows about John Lennon, The Beach Boys, and Elvis have not been nearly as well received, closing shop after short runs in the face of a lot of empty seats … in a feverish two-week creative process, Neil Young creates the album Living with War then initially posts it as a free stream online … the album includes the bluntly titled anti-Bush song, “Let’s Impeach the President” … rapper Snoop Dogg and his entourage land in the doghouse after a scuffle with British cops at London’s Heathrow Airport … the melee occurs when Snoop and his pals are told to vacate a business-class lounge and put up a fight … seven cops are injured in the tussle and Snoop is locked up in a West London jail …

2007, pop singer Avril Lavigne scores her first No. 1 single on the U.S. charts a day after her latest album debuts in the top spot … “Girlfriend” moves up two places to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, fueled by 156,000 digital downloads … her prior best showing was with “Complicated,” which peaked at No. 2 in 2002 … her album, The Best Damn Thing, opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 286,000 units in the week ending April 22 … also this week, John Mellencamp plays a one-hour show at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. … the performer, who has been a critic of the Iraq war in the past, keeps his appearance non-political saying, “I kept my opinions to myself tonight. This was for the people who were there” … Joan Baez, also scheduled to perform, is reportedly banned—no surprise given her long-standing pacifist convictions and repeated refusal to pay that portion of her taxes that goes to the military … as a sign of New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is held over two successive weekends in late April and May and draws 375,000, nearly 50,000 more than in 2006 …

2008, Roger Waters’ closing set at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival climaxes when the two-story inflatable pig sent aloft during the song “Pigs on the Wing” breaks free of its tethers and floats away … the floating pig broke free once before in 1977 at London’s Battersea Power Station during a cover shoot for the Pink Floyd album Animals … Coachella organizers offer a $10,000 reward for the missing pig … two days later, pieces of the white spray-painted vinyl pig are found draped over two homes in a gated community in nearby La Quinta … two families split the reward and receive lifetime tickets to Coachella …

2009, Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament is mugged in the parking lot of an Atlanta studio where the band is cutting a record … Ament attempts to flee and is chased by three masked assailants wielding knives who knock him to the ground causing head lacerations … the crooks trash Ament’s rented Jeep and make off with over $7,000 in cash and goods …

2010, in spite of an Icelandic volcano that’s been spewing ash and wreaking havoc for travelers across Europe, Metallica continues its European tour by bus and boat and doesn’t miss a single show … guitarist Kirk Hammett notes that the band had not toured by bus since bassist Cliff Burton was killed when the band’s bus crashed during their 1986 European tour … “When we boarded the bus again this week and had to travel overnight, I realized that those bad memories are still here. I still haven’t overcome the fear of buses,” Hammett said. “But the show must go on.” …

… and that was the week that was …

Arrivals:

April 21: Eric Maresca, writer of Dion’s hit “The Wanderer” (1939), punk rocker Iggy Pop, born James Jewel Osterburg (1947), guitarist Alan Warner of The Foundations (1947), guitarist John Weider of Family (1947), Robert Smith of The Cure (1959), Michael Timmins of Cowboy Junkies (1959), guitarist-songwriter Johnny McElhone of the band Texas (1963)

April 22: violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916), R&B saxman Bull Moose Jackson (1919), jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus (1922), Glen Campbell (1936), producer-songwriter Jack Nitzche (1937), session drummer Howard Wyeth (1944), Frankie Garcia of Cannibal and the Headhunters (1946), Peter Frampton (1950), Paul Carrack of Squeeze (1951), bassist Craig Logan of Bros (1969), Silverchair’s Daniel Johns (1979)

April 23: composer Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873), singer-songwriter Roy Orbison (1936), pop singer Ray Peterson (1939), King Crimson violinist David Cross (1949), fusion drummer Narada Michael Walden (1952), Ray Burns, better known as singer-guitarist Captain Sensible of The Damned (1955), Steve Clark of Def Leppard (1960), Stan Frazier of Sugar Ray (1969), rapper Lil Eazy-E (1984)

April 24: Ed Roberts of Ruby and the Romantics (1936), tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson (1937), Barbra Streisand (1942), Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys (1943), Doug Clifford (1945), Jethro Tull bassist Glen Cornick (1947), Preston Ritter of The Electric Prunes (1949), David J. Haskins of Love and Rockets (1957), Boris Williams of The Cure (1958), Billy Gould of Faith No More (1963), Hole’s Patty Schemel (1967), Aaron Comess of Spin Doctors (1968), first American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson (1982), Tyson Ritter, lead singer-bassist with All-American Rejects (1984)

April 25: radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi (1874), R&B sax honker Earl Bostic (1913), Ella Fitzgerald (1918), Chess records session drummer Earl Phillips (1920), electric blues guitar great Albert King (1923), fiddler Vassar Clements (1928), jazz saxophonist Willis “Gator” Jackson (1932), songwriter Jerry Leiber (1933), CCR’s Stu Cook (1945), Björn Ulveas of ABBA (1945), Gary “Dream Weaver” Wright (1945), drummer Steve Ferrone of Average White Band (1950), Roger Taylor of Duran Duran (1960), Chris Mars of The Replacements (1961), Erasure’s Andy Bell (1964), Eric Avery of Jane’s Addiction (1965), T-Boz of TLC (1970), Jose Pasillas of Incubus (1976), Jacob Underwood of O-Town (1980)

April 26: Ma Rainey, “The Mother of the Blues,” born Gertrude Melissa Nix Pridgett (1886), blues guitarist Johnny Shines who worked with Robert Johnson (1915), guitarist Duane Eddy (1938), Maurice Williams of the Zodiacs (1938), record producer Giorgio Moroder (1940), pop singer Bobby Rydell, born Robert Ridarelli (1942), Troggs bassist Tony Murray (1945), Eddie Jobson of Curved Air, Roxy Music, King Crimson, and Jethro Tull (1955), Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison (1975)

April 27: countdown DJ Casey Kasem (1932), Main Ingredient’s Cuba Gooding Sr. (1944), Badfinger’s Pete Ham (1947), soul songstress Ann Peebles (1947), Kate Pierson of The B-52’s (1947), Gordon Haskell of King Crimson (1947), Herb Murrell of The Stylistics (1949), KISS guitarist Ace Frehley (1951), pop songstress Sheena Easton (1959), Marco Pirroni of Siouxsie and the Banshees (1959)

Departures:

April 21: soul singer-songwriter Al Wilson (2008), singer-songwriter-pianist-arranger Nina Simone (2003), George Lanuis, lead singer of The Crescendos (1996), singer-songwriter Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention (1978), ska trombonist Don Drummond (1971), Chicago slide guitarist Earl Hooker (1970)

April 22: soft rock singer Paul Davis (2008), songwriter Felice Bryant (2003), pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines (1983), bluesman Walter Vinson (1975)

April 23: gospel singer Rev. Timothy Wright (2009), Capricorn Records co-founder Phil Walden (2006), jazz bassist Jimmy Woode (2005), New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders, born John Genzale, Jr. (1991), flamboyant R&B pianist Esquerita (1986), pianist Red Garland (1984), Pete Ham of Badfinger (1975), Motown drummer William “Benny” Benjamin (1969)

April 24: Swedish rock and jazz organist-guitarist Bo Hansson (2010), singer Al Hibbler (2001)

April 25: Bobby “Boris” Pickett of “Monster Mash” fame (2007), rockabilly pioneer Hasil Adkins (2005), Roger Troutman and Larry Troutman (1999), R&B singer Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes (2002), Brian McLeod of Chilliwack (1992), saxophonist Dexter Gordon (1990), gospel singer Carolyn Franklin, sister of Aretha (1988), masterful blues pianist Otis Spann (1970)

April 26: avante-garde composer Henry Brant (2008), Daniel McKenna, former guitarist in Toby Beau (2006), Ernest “Snuffy” Stewart of KC and the Sunshine Band (1997)

April 27: master cellist Mstislav Rostropovich (2007), hit-making trumpeter Al Hirt (1999), soul singer Z.Z. Hill, born Arzel Hill (1984), Phil King of Blue öyster Cult (1972)

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