It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1933, knowing he will soon die of tuberculosis and wanting to provide for his family, Jimmie Rodgers, aka the Singing Brakeman and the Blue Yodeler, begins his final recording sessions with Peer records … Rodgers is accompanied by a nurse throughout the sessions and rests on a cot between songs … he dies two days after laying down his last tracks …

1945, the first album chart debuts in the U.S. … albums consist of collections of 78rpm discs that usually come in a box or sleeved binder …

1955, on the second night of a back-to-back engagement at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, Elvis Presley sparks the first riot of his burgeoning career with the phrase, “Girls, I’ll see you backstage” … the female portion of the 14,000-strong audience goes into such a frenzy that the once-and-future King’s clothes and shoes are torn from his body as he tries to escape … after witnessing the event Colonel Tom Parker is convinced of Elvis’ marketability …

1956, Buddy Holly gets fitted for his first pair of contact lenses … as fate would have it, the creator of the Elvis Costello look can’t stand the eye irritation and sticks with his trademark spectacles …

1958, Jerry Lee Lewis is granted a divorce from his second wife … six months after marrying his third wife and second cousin, Myra Gale Brown …

1960, instead of touring as the backup band for Billy Fury, the job they had been offered, The Silver Beatles wind up on tour in Scotland this week with Johnny Gentle, a Liverpool pop singer … feeling it beneath their dignity, the members use fake names for the tour … Paul becomes Paul Ramone (a surname later appropriated by four Forest Hills, Queens, punks in the mid-70s), George becomes Carl Harrison (a nod to Carl Perkins), and Stu Sutcliffe temporarily becomes Stu deStael …

1967, Brian Wilson shelves his opus magnum album Smile that he’s previously referred to as his “teenage symphony to God” … its non-release spurs decades of speculation over what tracks would have been released, in what order, and how great the album may or may not have been … a newly recorded version will appear in 2004 … Archie Bell, leader of The Drells, is drafted into the army where he’ll soon be performing for Uncle Sam in Vietnam … exactly a year later, while his infectious hit “Tighten Up” rides the top of the pop chart, Bell languishes in a VA hospital recovering from his wounds …

1968, disavowing the Beatles’ discipleship at the feet of Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, John Lennon says, “We made a mistake. He’s human like the rest of us.” …

1969, a fire breaks out in a grocery store next to the Fillmore East while The Who are playing there … one of New York’s finest in plain clothes mounts the stage with the intent of grabbing the mike to warn the crowd of the fire … Pete Townshend mistakes the cop for an over-enthusiastic fan and aggressively ejects him from the stage … when the word finally gets out over the PA, the crowd thinks it’s a hoax until the cops forcibly remove Townshend from the stage … he spends the night in the Big Apple pokey for his mistake …

1978, Philips announces it will launch the Compact Disc with digital recording and playback systems … in 1982 Japan receives the first CDs … a year later in Europe and the U.S., CD players are selling for $1,000 …

1979, Patti Smith tells the New York Daily News that she’s relocating her base of musical operations from NYC to Detroit where she’ll live with her new beau (and future husband) Fred Smith, former guitarist with MC5 … her frank appraisal of what she’s leaving behind: I really have no patience at all for so much of the crap in the punk rock scene … all this shit sticking safety pins in cheeks and all the fucking violence, I feel, is just a style and fad.

1980, a Memphis court indicts Dr. George C. Nichopoulos on 14 counts of overprescribing drugs to Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, plus nine other patients … in 1977, Dr. Nick prescribed 10,000 hits of amphetamines, barbiturates, narcotics, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, laxatives, and hormones for Presley … the indictment results in 22 years of legal wrangling and, ultimately, the end of Dr. Nick’s medical career …

1983, having blown all the money his 1979 million-selling Bat Out of Hell album had garnered, Marvin Lee Aday, better known to fans as Meat Loaf, files for bankruptcy …

1986, Elvis Costello and Pogues singer-bassist Cait O’Riordan take the matrimonial plunge … their marriage comes on the heels of Rum, Sodomy & the Lash, the Pogues’ latest release …

1990, Elton John plays at the Taj Mahal … that is, the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City … the occasion is the Donald Trump-owned casino’s grand opening …

1993, Barry White, Bette Midler, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers all appear as guest voices for their respective cartoon counterparts on the season finale of The Simpsons …

2000, The Artist announces that he will reclaim the name Prince, ending a seven-year period during which his legal name was an unpronounceable symbol … he originally changed his name June 7, 1993 … the symbol, which is an amalgam of the male, female, and soapstone alchemy symbols, is retained as a logo …

2002, Dionne Warwick is arrested at Miami International Airport when she attempts to smuggle 11 joints aboard a plane in her carry-on bag …

2004, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco completes a stint in rehab to kick an addiction to painkillers he developed while battling migraines … Tweedy’s stay had forced the band to cancel a handful of tour dates, including a stop at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California … two weeks after he checks out of the Chicago-area treatment center the band will hit the road to tour behind the group’s fifth album, A Ghost Is Born …

2006, Paul McCartney and Heather Mills announce that their four-year marriage is splitsville and they will separate … in an announcement, the couple states, Having tried exceptionally hard to make our relationship work given the daily pressures surrounding us, it is with sadness that we have decided to go our separate ways

2007, While rounding up film footage of The Who for a planned documentary about the seminal band, filmmaker Murray Lerner turns up film shot at their legendary Live at Leeds show … a former Leeds University student found it literally at the bottom of a barrel … the movie, Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who is released in the fall …

2009, after a three-decade performance hiatus in the U.S., Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, plays a show at the El Rey Theatre in L.A. … White Stripes drummer Meg White is engaged to marry Jackson Smith, son of Patti Smith and the late Fred “Sonic” Smith of MC5 … Bob Dylan’s 33rd studio album, Together Through Life, debuts in the top slot on the Billboard album chart … in doing so, Dylan unseats Neil Diamond as the oldest artist to accomplish this feat …

… and that was the week that was …

Arrivals:

May 12: Burt Bacharach (1928), The Cardinals’ Leon Hardy (1932), Jayotis Washington of The Persuasions (1941), New Wave singer Ian Dury (1942), singer-songwriter Billy Swan (1942), Ian McLagan of Small Faces (1945), Steve Winwood (1948), Billy Squier (1950), Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn (1955), Black Sabbath singer Ray Gillen (1959), Billy Duffy of The Cult (1961)

May 13: editor of the Schwann Catalog William Schwann (1913), Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips (1926), The Weavers’ Fred Hellerman (1927), Harold Winley of The Clovers (1933), Ritchie Valens born Richard Valenzuela (1941), Mary Wells (1943), Carolyn Franklin (1944), harp player “Magic” Dick Salwitz of The J. Geils Band (1945), bassist Danny Klein of The J.Geils Band (1946), Peter “Overend” Watts of Mott the Hoople (1947), Stevie Wonder born Steveland Morris (1950), Danny Kirwan of Fleetwood Mac (1950), Paul Thompson of Roxy Music (1951), Darius Carlos Rucker of Hootie & The Blowfish (1966)

May 14: Bobby Darin born Walden Robert Cassotto (1936), songwriter Ed Labunski (1937), Jack Bruce of Cream (1943), Derek Leckenby of Herman’s Hermits (1943), Gene Cornish of The Rascals (1944), David Byrne (1952), Ian Astbury of The Cult (1962), C.C. DeVille of Poison (1962), Mike Inez of Alice in Chains (1966), Fabrice “Fab” Morvan of Milli Vanilli (1966), Danny Wood of New Kids on the Block (1969), Freaky Tah of The Lost Boyz (1971), Natalie Appleton of All Saints (1973), R&B singer Shanice (1973)

May 15: country singer Eddy Arnold (1918), Joe Cuoghi, owner of Hi Records (1922), folk singer Utah Phillips (1935), singer-guitarist Trini Lopez (1937), country singer K.T. Oslin (1941), Graham Goble of the Little River Band (1947), Brian Eno (1948), Dennis Fredericksen of Toto (1951), Dwight Twilly Band drummer-singer Phil Seymour (1952), Mike Oldfield of Tubular Bells fame (1953), Prince Be of PM Dawn (1970), Ahmet Zappa (1974)

May 16: flamboyant pianist Liberace (1919), jazz singer Betty Carter (1929), The Diamonds’ Ted Kowalski (1931), singer Kripp Johnson of The Del-Vikings (1936), jazz drummer Billy Cobham (1944), guitarist Robert Fripp (1946), Darrell Sweet, drummer with Nazareth (1947), The Chiffons’ Barbara Lee (1947), Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic (1965), Janet Jackson (1966), New Edition’s Ralph Tresvant (1968)

May 17: composer Erik Satie (1866), guitarist Malcolm Hale of Spanky And Our Gang (1941), R&B pianist-vocalist-author Sonny Knight (1934), roots musician Taj Mahal (1942), singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester (1944), drummer Bill Bruford (1949), George Johnson of The Brothers Johnson (1953), Iron Maiden’s Paul Di’anno (1958), singer-songwriter Enya, born Eithne N’ Bhraonáin (1961), Page McConnell of Phish (1963), Pearl Jam drummer Dave Abbruzzese (1968), Trent Reznor (1965), Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block (1970), Kandi Burruss of R&B girl group Xscape (1976)

May 18: Kansas City blues shouter “Big” Joe Turner (1911), crooner Perry Como (1912), Glenn Hardin of The Crickets (1939), T Rex bass player Bobby Del Din (1942), Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys (1948), Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman (1949), country singer George Strait (1952)

Departures:

May 12: jazz clarinetist John LaPorta (2004), MOR star Perry Como (2001), sax man “Big” John Greer (1972)

May 13: session trumpeter Floyd Arceneaux (1992), Bob Wills (1975)

May 14: jazz musician Charles “Buddy” Montgomery, brother of Monk and Wes Montgomery (2009), bluegrass singer-guitarist Jimmy Martin (2005), Frank Sinatra (1998), Rudy West of The Five Keys (1998), Keith Relf of the Yardbirds (1976)

May 15: smooth bassist and NBA basketball star Wayman Tisdale (2009), Star Trek TV theme composer Alexander “Sandy” Courage (2008), Rob Gretton, manager of Joy Division and New Order (1999), Frederick Van Pallandt, half of the Danish duo Nina and Frederick (1994), Barbara Alston of The Crystals (1992), Paul Wilson, baritone singer with The Flamingoes (1988)

May 16: respected jazz pianist Hank Jones (2010), Ronnie James Dio, singer for Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (2010), ’60s soul singer Marv Johnson (1993), song and dance man Sammy Davis Jr. (1990), pianist, arranger, and producer Ernie Freeman (1981)

May 17: Dr. Fritz Sennheiser (2010), Lawrence “Ramrod” Shurtliff, longtime Grateful Dead roadie (2006), Bon Jovi producer Bruce Fairbairn (1999), Johnny “Guitar” Watson (1996), bandleader Lawrence Welk (1992)

May 18: jazz drum titan Elvin Jones (2004), influential reggae producer Augusto Pablo (1999), Robert Carr of the duo Robert & Johnny (1993), John Fenton, singer with The Diamonds (1982), Joy Division vocalist Ian Curtis (1980), composer Gustav Mahler (1911)

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