It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1954, Elvis Presley’s career comes to a crashing end—his career as a truck driver that is … he signs his first contract with Sun Records …

1955, “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets becomes the first rock-and-roll record to hit #1 on the national pop charts …

1958, silky-voiced jazz vocalist Norma Jean Egstrom, better known as Peggy Lee, soars up the charts to the #8 spot with her definitive version of “Fever.” The tune is destined to become her signature song … The piece is covered by many others, including Elvis, Madonna, and Beyoncé …

1962, The Rolling Stones play out for the first time at the Marquee Club in London … Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, Mick Avory, and Dick Taylor constitute the lineup …

1967, in one of the strangest rock-and-roll pairings ever, the Jimi Hendrix Experience joins The Monkees’ North American tour in Jacksonville, FL … the teenybopper crowds don’t know what to make of Hendrix’s wild  performances, resulting in the Experience leaving the tour after only a  few dates … the persistent rumor that Hendrix is kicked off the tour after protests by Daughters of the American Revolution that his show was “too erotic,” is false …

1968, Steppenwolf releases the ultimate biker anthem—”Born To Be Wild” …

1969, Blind Faith makes their American concert debut at Madison Square Garden in New York City … Elvis Presley’s cool comes to a crashing end as the heavily sequined King plays to a packed house at the International Hotel in Vegas … not being one to let an opportunity pass, manager Colonel Parker works out a multi-year, multimillion-dollar contract covering return engagements … the terms are  jotted down on a tablecloth in the hotel’s coffee shop …

1974, Crosby, Stills, and Nash start their reunion tour in Seattle …

1977, just like his namesake, Elvis Costello’s career comes to a sudden stop—his career as a computer operator at a cosmetic factory, that is … ignoring the advice given to all rock star hopefuls, Elvis quits his day job to enter rock history …

1985, more than 50 acts perform to raise money for starving Africans in two simultaneous events named Live Aid … one is broadcast from Philadelphia, the other from London … the lineup includes such luminaries as Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Ozzy Osbourne, Elton John, David Bowie, The Who, Queen, Joan Baez, Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, The Pretenders, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Black Sabbath, and many more …

1995, Jerry Garcia plays his final show with The Grateful Dead … the guitarist, vocalist, and founder of the band will die of a heart attack a month later while in a California rehab center …

1998, a Los Angeles judge issues a bench warrant for Scott Weiland when the Stone Temple Pilots singer fails to appear in court for a second time on drug possession charges … in what’s becoming a bad week for Weiland, he’s sentenced to three years’ probation and a stint in rehab this same week in 2004 for a DUI arrest the previous October …

1999, Limp Bizkit leader Fred Durst is arrested in St. Paul, MN, for suspicion of aggravated assault following the band’s show at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium … during the performance, Durst’s bodyguard attempts to remove a fan who had jumped onstage … venue security mistook the bodyguard for an unruly fan and attempted to remove him from the stage … at this point Durst allegedly kicked one of the guards in the head …

2002, the surviving members of The Doors announce that they will be joined by The Cult singer Ian Astbury at an upcoming concert at the California Motor Speedway … It’s announced at the band’s first concert that John Densmore will not be the drummer as he is suffering from tinnitus … Densmore will later fight a legal battle with Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger over the use of the band’s name … Stewart Copeland plays several dates with The Doors of the 21st Century before leaving the tour after breaking his arm in a bike wreck, precipitating more lawsuits …

2003, Jack White of The White Stripes breaks his finger in a car wreck in his hometown of Detroit … as a result of the injury, the band must cancel two European performances and reschedule their North American tour … White spends his recuperation time producing an album for country star Loretta Lynn and posts a video clip of his finger surgery on the band’s website to prove the injury’s not a publicity stunt …

2006, in a sorry commentary on the state of pop music sales and the vapidity of the product being crammed down the throats of the music-buying public, the soundtrack to Disney’s High School Musical scores top-seller status through the first half of 2006 with 2.6 million discs sold, while the industry continues to struggle with overall CD sales down four percent … rap and rock are the biggest losers while digital downloads offer a ray of hope with a 77-percent increase …  but the online business consists mostly of sales of singles and the profit margins for the record companies and artists are much slimmer …  country music is an exception posting a 17-percent increase in disc sales … The Grateful Dead cut a long-term deal with Rhino Records to handle the band’s vast archive of live-show recordings and market Dead-related merch … Rhino executive vice president Gregg Goldman promises the label will be selective in the deals it makes with potential advertisers, averring that, “We are sensitive to the legacy. We would never pitch to The Grateful Dead that they should do a deal with a fast food company or a soda company.” …

2008, Bon Jovi treats a crowd of 60,000 to a two-hour set of hits on Central Park’s Great Lawn … three days later, the Jersey band wraps up its Lost Highway tour after grossing $56 million, making it the biggest money-maker of the festival season … the drumhead from the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band brings in $1.1 million at an auction in London … other items at Christie’s include the guitar on which Pete Townshend composed “Behind Blue Eyes” that fetches $27,000; some multicolored pants worn by Jimi Hendrix go for $40,000; and John Lennon’s tinted prescription sunglasses fetch $78,000 …

… and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

July 7: Gustav Mahler (1860), blues pianist Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins (1913), Tiny Grimes (1916), Doc Severinsen (1927), Mary Ford (1928), Joe Zawinul (1932), Ringo Starr (1940), David Hodo of the Village People (1947), Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt of Iron Butterfly (1948), Mark White of Spin Doctors (1962)

July 8: Louis Jordan (1908), Billy Eckstein (1914), pioneering rock ‘n’ roll pianist Johnnie Jones (1924), Earl Van Dyke (1930), Jai Johnny Johanson of the Allman Brothers Band (1944), Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode (1961), Toby Keith (1961), Joan Osborne (1962), Beck (1970)

July 9: jump blues singer Joe Liggins (1916), producer Lee Hazelwood (1929), Phil Leavitt of The Diamonds (1935), Donald McPherson of the Main Ingredient (1941), drummer Mitch Mitchell of The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1946), Bon Scott of AC/DC (1946), Debbie Sledge of Sister Sledge (1954), Soft Cell’s Marc Almond (1959), Jim Kerr of Simple Minds (1959), singer-songwriter Courtney Love (1965)

July 10: composer-music educator Carl Orff (1895), Arkansas blues slide guitarist Casey Bill Weldon (1909), heavy metal shrieker Ronnie James Dio (1942), Jerry Miller of Moby Grape (1943), Arlo Guthrie of “Alice’s Restaurant” fame and son of Woody Guthrie (1947), Dave Smalley of The Raspberries (1949), Greg Kihn, singer-songwriter-guitarist and frontman of the Greg Kihn Band (1950), Neil Tennant of The Pet Shop Boys (1954), banjo-meister Béla Fleck of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones (1958), Peter DiStefano of Porno for Pyros (1965), pop singer Jessica Simpson (1980)

July 11: blues guitarist Blind Lemon Jefferson (1897), actor-singer Tab Hunter (1931), R&B singer Thurston Harris (1931), Jeff Hanna of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1947), Bonnie Pointer of The Pointer Sisters (1950), Benny DeFranco of The DeFranco Family (1954), singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega (1959), Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi (1960), rapper Li’l Kim (1975)

July 12: lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II (1895), Barbara Cowsill, mother and member of The Cowsills (1928), concert pianist Van Cliburn (1934), KISS drummer Eric Carr (1950), Chicago electric blues guitarist Sammy Lawhorne (1935), singer-keyboardist Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac (1943), Liz Mitchell of Boney M (1952), Phillip Taylor Kramer, bassist with Iron Butterfly (1952), singer Sandi Patti (1956), Soul Asylum’s Dan Murphy (1962), UB40′s Alan Duval (1963), John Petrucci of Dream Theater (1967)

July 13: Cajun artist Joe Berry, born Joseph Barrios (1939), drummer Steven Jo Bladd of the J. Geils Band (1942), Roger McGuinn of The Byrds (1942), comedian Cheech Marin (how’d he get in here?), who sang on the hidden track of Korn’s Follow the Leader (oh, that’s how) (1946), country singer and multi-instrumentalist, Louise Mandrell (1954), Mark Mendoza of Twisted Sister (1956), rock journalist and movie maker Cameron Crowe (1957), R&B singer Gerald Levert, son of O’Jays lead singer Eddie Levert (1966)

Departures:

July 7: Syd Barrett, founder of Pink Floyd, born Roger Keith Barrett (2006), folk singer Fred Neil (2001), Mia Zapata of The Gits (1993)

July 8: drummer Chaino (1999)

July 9: for one day in rock history, everybody lives!

July 10: music journalist, producer, and talent scout who discovered Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Hammond Sr. (1987), Boston Pops Orchestra conductor Arthur Fiedler (1979), “Jelly Roll” Morton, born Ferdinand Joseph Lemott (1941)

July 11: Helen Forrest, popular big band jazz vocalist who worked with Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, and Harry James (1999), Louis Gottlieb, bassist and lofty comic spokesman for The Limeliters (1996), Afro-Cuban jazz maestro Mario Bauza (1993), Hubert Johnson of The Contours (1981), composer George Gershwin (1937)

July 12: rapper Luis “Papo” Deschamps of Sandy Y Papo (1999), Jimmie Driftwood, born James Corbett Morris, the “Father of Arkansas Folk Music” (1998), Jonathan Melvoin of the Smashing Pumpkins (1996), Chris Wood of Traffic (1983), singer-songwriter Minnie Riperton, known for her 5-1/2 octave range (1979)

July 13: Arthur “Killer” Kane, New York Dolls bassist (2004), Compay Segundo, Cuban musician featured on the Buena Vista Social Club CD (2003), Chicago blues pianist Eddie Boyd (1994)

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