It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1926, Miles Dewey Davis is born in Alton, Illinois … he will go on to become one of the most influential figures in 20th-century American music presiding over major developments in jazz and fusion…

1951, “Sixty Minute Man,” a risque song by the Dominoes becomes one of the first up-tempo R&B singles to cross over to the pop chart when it lands at #17…

1956, upon his return to England following a US tour, bandleader Ted Heath observes: “Rock ‘n’ roll is mainly performed by colored people for colored people and is therefore unlikely to prove popular in Britain”… 🙄

1958, a doo-wop group dubbed The Chesters record the chestnut “Tears on My Pillow” … they emerge from the studio renamed The Imperials … when DJ Alan Freed begins airing the 45 he refers to the group as “Little Anthony & the Imperials” … their record label, End, goes along with the program and later pressings of the record bear that name…

1959, Johnny Horton’s “Battle of New Orleans” rides the top of the Billboard pop chart … the song celebrates Andrew Jackson’s defeat of the British during the War of 1812 … the tune proves to be a durable one with covers by Vaughn Monroe, Harpers Bizarre, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band all charting in later years … the original also spawns a comedic spinoff by Homer & Jethro called “Battle of Kookamonga”…

1961, ever the astute businessman, Chuck Berry opens an amusement park near St. Louis dubbed Berry Park…

1963, Del Shannon’s version of the Lennon-McCartney song “From Me to You” becomes the first Beatles song to make an appearance on the US pop chart…

1965, Dave Davies of The Kinks knocks himself out after crashing into drummer Mick Avory’s cymbals … the band has to scratch the rest of its tour…

1966, Bob Dylan, accompanied by members of what will later become The Band, rocks Royal Albert Hall … the show later turns up on white-jacketed bootleg LPs and becomes a hot item among Dylan fans…

1973, record mogul Clive Davis is canned by Columbia Records for misusing company money for personal expenses…

1974, more than a thousand people receive medical care and a 14-year-old girl dies when fans run amok at a London concert starring teen idol David Cassidy…

1975, “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple is released … its signature guitar riff becomes an essential repertoire item for garage-band pickers worldwide…

1976, the Allman Brothers Band calls it quits … the breakup occurs in the wake of Gregg Allman’s testimony at the drug trial of a former band road manager … the band reforms two years later … The Who make the Guinness Book of World Records as the loudest rock band ever when their show at the Charlton Athletic Grounds in England employs a 76,000-watt PA and is measured at a tympanic membrane-destroying 120 decibels…

1977, Virgin Records releases the Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen on the occasion of the monarch’s Silver Jubilee … though the song receives no British airplay, it becomes a UK #1 hit…

1986, viewers of Dick Clark’s America Picks the #1 Songs select Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock,” “Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” as the top three greatest hits of the rock era…

1987, U2’s massive PA sets off earthquake alarms during a show at Rome’s Flaminio Stadio…

1989, the late Roy Orbison’s estate is sued by his music publisher for failing to produce songs under a 1985 contract…

1990, Aussie band Midnight Oil shuts down New York’s 6th Avenue when they play a street concert in front of Exxon corporate headquarters protesting the environmental havoc wreaked by the grounding of the company’s tanker, the Exxon Valdez…

1992, tour manager for Boyz II Men Khalil Rountree is shot and killed in a Chicago hotel…

1993, eccentric avantgarde bandleader, composer, and keyboardist Sun Ra dies following a stroke … the large band he ran for decades named The Arkestra featured brilliant soloists and played a repertoire that ranged from oblique space music to Fletcher Henderson-style swing tunes … his colorful shows often included elaborate costuming, plate-twirlers, and fire-eaters…

1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley are secretly married in the Dominican Republic … she sues for divorce 20 months later citing irreconcilable differences…

1997, two rock icons are forced to scratch pending European tours when health problems arise … Bob Dylan is admitted to a New York hospital complaining of chest pains and Neil Young cancels his trip after slicing a finger while making a ham sandwich … charismatic singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley drowns after jumping into the Mississippi River in Memphis for an impromptu late-night swim … country singer Lee Ann Womack, suffering from a big-time case of stage fright, makes her Grand Ole Opry debut … she remains largely rooted in one spot at center stage during her set … commenting later on her performance, the singer confesses, “If I’d moved, I would have peed in my pants”…

1999, SoundScan reports that the album Millennium by Backstreet Boys has sold 1.13 million copies during its first week in release, establishing a new record … British punk band Manic Street Preachers turns down an opportunity to play a concert commemorating the opening of Wales’ parliament when they learn that Queen Elizabeth II will be on hand … the band has sworn to never play for the monarchy, considering it an anachronism…

1999, the remains of Philip Kramer formerly, of Iron Butterfly, are found in a remote Malibu, California, canyon … he had been missing since 1995 … after a kinetic 40-minute New Jersey performance wearing a heavy fur coat, Lenny Kravitz collapses in the wings from heat exhaustion…

2000, Tito Puente AKA The King of the Mambo succumbs to heart disease and heads off to that big salsa ballroom in the sky … the bandleader and masterful percussionist was a major force behind the Latin jazz movement…

2001, country diva Loretta Lynn opens her Coal Miner’s Daughter Museum in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee … it’s packed with 18,000 square feet of memorabilia gathered by the singer during her four-decade career…

2004, after copping a plea to being under the influence of a controlled substance, Courtney Love is ordered to enter a drug-rehab program…singer Cyndi Lauper suffers the indignity of having a gob of bird poop land in her wide-open mouth while singing during a Mansfield, Massachusetts, show … it’s unclear if the offending bird was making a statement about ’80s pop music…

And that was the week that was.

Arrivals
May 25: record store mogul “Waxie Maxie” Silverman (1910), Hal David (1921), Miles Davis (1926), producer Norman Petty (1927), Tom T. Hall (1936), Donnie Elbert (1936), Jessi Colter born Miriam Johnson Eddy (1943), Klaus Meine of The Scorpions (1948), Paul Weller (1958), Lauryn Hill (1975)

May 26: blues diva Mamie Smith (1883), Al Jolson (1886), Louis Hardin (1916), Peggy Lee (1920), Levon Helm of The Band (1942), Ray Innes of The Swinging Blue Jeans (1942), Garry Peterson of The Guess Who (1945), Mick Ronson of Bowie’s band (1946), Stevie Nicks (1948), Hank Williams Jr. (1949), Verden Allen of Mott the Hoople (1949), Lenny Kravitz (1964), Kristen Pfaff of Hole (1967)

May 27: Junior Parker (1932), Ramsey Lewis (1935), pop singer Cilla Black born Priscilla White (1943), Bruce Cockburn (1945), Pete Sears of Jefferson Starship (1948), Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie & the Banshees (1957), Neil Finn of Crowded House and Split Enz (1957), Eddie Harsch of The Black Crowes (1957), Sean Kinney of Alice in Chains (1966), Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of TLC (1967), Dre of OutKast (1975)

May 28: T-Bone Walker born Aaron Thibeaux Walker (1910), “Papa” John Creach (1917), songwriter Wally Gold (1928), Prince Buster (1938), Gladys Knight (1944), Billy Vera (1944), John Fogerty (1945), Stacy Sutherland of The 13th Floor Elevators (1946), Larry Gatlin of The Gatlin Brothers (1948), Ray Laidlaw of Lindisfarne (1948), Wendy O. Williams of The Plasmatics (1949), Roland Gift of Fine Young Cannibals (1952), Kylie Minogue (1968)

May 29: Gary Brooker of Procol Harum (1945), Roy Crewsdon of Freddie & The Dreamers (1949), Larry Blackmon of Cameo (1956), LaToya Jackson (1956), The Time’s Jesse Johnson (1960), Mel Gaynor of Simple Minds (1960), Melissa Etheridge (1961), Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher (1967), Chad Kinchla of Blues Traveler (1969)

May 30: Benny Goodman (1909), Johnny Gimble (1926), Lenny Davidson of The Dave Clark Five (1944), Nicky “Topper” Headon of The Clash (1955), Roxette’s Marie Fredericksson (1958), Wynonna Judd (1964), Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello (1964), Patrick Dalheimer of Live (1971)

May 31: E.T. “King of Highlife” Mensah (1919), Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary (1938), Charles Miller of War (1939), Mick Ralphs of Mott The Hoople and Bad Company (1944), Junior Campbell of Marmalade (1947), John “Bonzo” Bonham (1948), Jimmy Silva (1952), Corey Hart (1962), Darryl McDaniel of Run-D.M.C (1964)

Departures
May 25: Bradley Nowell of Sublime (1996), funk guitarist Eric Gale (1994), Khalil Rountree (1992), producer Gary Usher (1990), R&B shouter Roy Brown (1981), Sonny Boy Williamson II AKA Aleck Ford “Rice” Miller (1965)

May 26: Matima Kinuani Mpiosso (1996), Sonny Sharrock (1994), William Powell of The O’Jays (1977), Little Willie John (1968), Jimmie Rodgers (1933)

May 27: producer Bobby Herne (1998), Willie Woods of Junior Walker and the Allstars (1997), concert promoter Ivan Sutton (1996)

May 28: Mary Lou Williams (1981), Nervous Norvus (1968)

May 29: manager Jo Lustig (1999), Jeff Buckley (1997), jazz pianist Jimmy Rowles (1996), Ollie Halsall of Patto (1992), John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service (1989)

May 30: producer Mickie Most (2003), bandleader Tex Beneke (2000), West Arkeen (1997), bassist John Kahn (1996), trombonist Bob Stroup (1996), jazz composer and orchestra leader Sun Ra (1993), songwriter-musician Leon Rene (1982), bassist Carl Radle (1980), John Ryanes of The Monotones (1972)

May 31: Latin jazz king Tito Puente (2000), gospel/soul singer Johnnie Taylor (2000), songwriter Dave Dixon (1999), singer Elsbeary Hobbs (1996)

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