It happened this week

Four big losses in the world of guitar in this week in history.
Three great players T-Bone Walker, Paul Kossoff & Randy Rhoads and one of the great innovators Leo Fender.

1969, John and Yoko are married in Gibraltar…two days later they begin their famous “bed-in for peace”…

1975, electric guitar pioneer and bluesman Aaron “T-Bone” Walker dies after complications from a stroke…he was one of the first to take advantage of the electric guitar in blues…artists from B.B. King to the Allman Brothers cite him as an influence, the latter having a hit with a cover of his song “Stormy Monday”…

1976, the New Jersey Supreme Court overturns the conviction of boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, who had been convicted of murdering three white men in 1967 during a robbery…Carter had garnered the support of Bob Dylan during his incarceration, and Dylan had penned the song “Hurricane” in support of Carter’s claims…the song and subsequent benefit concert are credited with helping Carter’s cause…

1982, Randy Rhoads, lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne’s band, is killed when a plane he is flying in crashes into a home and explodes…the band is stopped at the Leesburg, FL. home of its bus driver, Andrew Aycock, a licensed pilot…Aycock “borrows” a plane from a nearby airfield and invites Rhoads and costume designer Rachel Younglood to take a quick flight…as Ozzy and the rest of the band sleep on the bus, Aycock circles and buzzes it three times without incident…on the fourth pass, the aircraft bumps the bus, clips a wing, and crashes into a nearby house, erupting in flames…all three onboard are killed…a postmortem finds cocaine in Aycock’s system…

1991, seven members of Reba McEntire’s touring band and her road manager are killed when their plane crashes into a mountainous area near the California/Mexico border…McEntire was traveling in a separate plane…

1991, guitar legend Eddie Van Halen and his wife, actress Valerie Bertinelli, celebrate the birth of their son…they name the boy Wolfgang…

1991, Eric Clapton’s 4-year-old son, Conor, falls 56 floors out the window of a New York apartment building in a freak accident…the little boy is in the custody of his mother, Italian actress, Lori Del Santo…they are visiting New York and staying in a friend’s apartment…the housekeeper has just cleaned a room and opened the window to air it out when young Conor comes dashing by and falls out the window…Clapton is in his hotel nearby…he has just taken Conor to the circus the previous evening…”Tears in Heaven,” “The Circus Left Town,” and “Lonely Stranger” are all inspired by the deep impact the accident has on Conor’s aggrieved father…

1994, The Foo Fighters announce that former Alanis Morissette drummer Taylor Hawkins will be hitting the skins for the band…their former drummer William Goldsmith departed a few weeks earlier “to pursue a variety of other musical interests”…

1994, Bruce Springsteen wins the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Streets of Philadelphia”…the song is from the film Philadelphia and is the first ever written by Springsteen specifically for a film…

1999, Lillian McMurry, the co-founder of Trumpet Records in Jackson, Mississippi, dies of a heart attack at age 78…the label, which she ran out of the back of her furniture store, released sides by the masterful harp player Sonny Boy Williamson II as well as Elmore James, B.B. King, Big Joe Williams, and Little Milton…McMurry enjoyed a sterling reputation as someone who treated blues artists fairly…

1999, Radiohead debuts its behind-the-scenes film, Meeting People is Easy, at the South By Southwest Music and Film Festival in Austin, Texas…

1999, rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard is arrested yet again, this time in New York City after police claim to have found crack cocaine in his vehicle after pulling him over for not having license plates on his vehicle…ODB will be charged with a misdemeanor drug possession charge and for driving with a suspended license…he will be arrested again five days later after police pull him over because once again the vehicle he is driving has no license plates…

2000, the Recording Industry Association of America certifies 17 million copies sold of Shania Twain’s album Come On Over, making it the best-selling album by a solo female artist…

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals
March 16: Jerry Jeff Walker born Paul Crosby (1942), Heart’s Nancy Wilson (1954), Flavor Flav of Public Enemy (1959), Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen (1991)

March 17: Nat King Cole (1917), Clarence Collins of Little Anthony & The Imperials (1939), Paul Kantner of The Jefferson Airplane (1941), John Sebastian (1944), Harold Brown of War (1946), Ian Gomm of Brinsley Schwartz (1947), Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham (1951), Mike Lindup of Level 42 (1959), Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan (1967), Melissa Auf der Maur of Hole (1972)

March 18: Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844), Robert Lee Smith of The Tams (1936), Charley Pride (1938), Wilson Pickett (1941), dub-style reggae pioneer Keith Hudson (1946), B.J. Wilson of Procol Harum (1947), John Hartman of The Doobie Brothers (1950), Bill Frisell (1951), Irene Cara (1959), Vanessa Williams (1963), Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains (1966), Queen Latifah born Dana Owens (1970), Jamiroquai’s Stuart Zender (1974)

March 19: Moms Mabley (1894), Clarence “Frogman” Henry (1937), R&B artist Walter Jackson (1938), The Monkees’ Mickey Dolenz (1945), The Zombies’ Paul Atkinson (1946), Ruth Pointer of The Pointer Sisters (1946), The B-52s’ Ricky Wilson (1953), Bay City Rollers’ Derek Longmuir (1955), Terry Hall of The Specials (1959)

March 20: Jerry Reed (1937), Carl Palmer (1951), Jimmy Vaughan (1951), Slim Jim Phantom of Stray Cats (1961), Tracy Chapman (1964), Chester Bennington of Linkin Park (1976)

March 21: Delta blues legend Son House (1902), blues pianist Otis Span (1930), Rosemary Stone of Sly and the Family Stone born Rosemary Stewart (1945), Eddie Money (1949), Roger Hodgson of Supertramp (1950), Conrad Lozano of Los Lobos (1951), Prodigy’s MC Maxim (1967), Ace of Base’s Jonas Berggren (1967), Andrew Copeland of Sister Hazel (1968), rapper Notorious B.I.G. born Christopher Wallace (1972)

March 22: Keith Relf of the Yardbirds (1943), George Benson (1943), Jeremy Clyde of Chad & Jeremy (1944), Tony McPhee of The Groundhogs (1944), Harry Janda of The Easybeats (1947), Patrick Olive of Hot Chocolate (1947), Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948), Stephanie Mills (1957), Richard Ploog of The Church (1962)

Departures
March 16: pop and country singer-songwriter Johnny Cymbal (1993), legendary electric bluesman Aaron “T-Bone” Walker (1975), Tammi Terrell (1970)

March 17: MTV VJ J.J. Jackson (2004), Trumpet Records co-founder Lillian McMurry (1999), Chantels member and James Brown backup vocalist Yvonne Fair (1994), Rick Grech (1990), New Orleans R&B singer Bobby Mitchell (1989), Samuel George Jr. of The Capitols (1982), James “Jimmie” Davis, bassist for Fats Domino (1920)

March 18: The Mamas & the Papas co-founder John Phillips (2001)

March 19: drummer Jeff Ward of Revolting Cocks (1993), Mother Love Bone’s Andrew Wood (1990), Randy Rhoads (1982), Paul Kossoff of Free (1976)

March 20: Eric’s son Conor Clapton (1991), jazz and R&B guitarist Billy Butler (1991), Cadence Records founder Archie Bleyer (1989)

March 21: songwriter Fred Spielman (1997), electric guitar revolutionary Leo Fender (1991)

March 22: saxophone player George Howard of Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes (1998), former Turtles drummer Don Murray (1996), singer-songwriter Dan Hartman (1994), Mark Dinning of “Teen Angel” fame (1986)

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