It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1937, the legendary Golden Gate Quartet cuts a mind-blowing 14 gospel tracks in two hours during a Charlotte, North Carolina, recording session … are you listening, Axl Rose? … that same week Bunny Berrigan and his orchestra record the jazz standard “I Can’t Get Started” … the chord changes from this oft-covered tune become a staple for bebop musicians a decade later…

1957, ABC TV’s American Bandstand with its forever-young DJ Dick Clark makes its national TV debut … meanwhile across the Atlantic, John Lennon and his band The Quarrymen play their debut date at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, a venue devoted to jazz and skiffle … after the band performs “Come Go With Me,” Hound Dog,” and “Blue Suede Shoes,” irate club owner Alan Sytner sends a note up to the stage reading, “Cut out the bloody rock!”…

1958, Billboard publishes its first Hot 100 chart … Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool” nails the top spot…

1960, 25,000 copies of the death-rock single “Tell Laura I Love Her” by Ray Peterson are destroyed by Decca Records after a critic deems the song “too tasteless and vulgar for English sensibility” … it is interesting to speculate what that critic may have made of Ozzy Osbourne or the Sex Pistols a little later on…

1965, Herman’s Hermits command the top of the pop chart with their “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” … the novelty tune is a British music hall favorite written in 1911 … that same week Mike Smith of The Dave Clark Five suffers two fractured ribs when he’s pulled off the stage by an enthusiastic fan…

1969, Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys is indicted for draft-dodging after he fails to show up for work as a hospital orderly in lieu of military service … meanwhile in London, photographer Ian Macmillan catches four lads from Liverpool in mid-stride as they traverse a crosswalk … the photo will famously become the cover for Abbey Road…

1970, Janis Joplin springs for a headstone to mark Bessie Smith’s grave … the blues singer was one of her idols…

1973, Stevie Wonder is seriously injured in North Carolina when the auto in which he’s riding is hit by logs rolling off a truck … he emerges from a coma after four days sans his sense of smell…

1975, Stevie Wonder inks a $13 million, seven-year contract, a record-setter for its time … Robert Plant and his family are injured in an auto wreck on the Mediterranean island of Rhodes … meanwhile Hank Williams Jr. tumbles 500 feet down a Montana mountain … after two year’s worth of surgeries, he resumes his career…

1978, Muddy Waters plays for President Jimmy Carter at the White House…

1984, “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. is the Billboard #1 pop hit … Parker is later sued by Huey Lewis who claims the tune is a ripoff of his “I Want a New Drug” … the case is settled out of court with the proviso neither party talks about the deal … in 2001, during an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music, Lewis reveals that Parker paid up to settle the case … Parker then sues Lewis for violating the settlement terms…

1986, David Crosby is released from prison after doing time on drug and weapon charges…

1992, Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro dies from cardiac arrest triggered by an allergic reaction to an insecticide he is spraying in his garden … meanwhile at a Montreal concert, citing a sore throat, Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses cuts short the band’s set causing many of the 55,000 fans in attendance to riot … this is a fitting end to a concert in which Metallica had also cut short their set after singer James Hetfield suffered third-degree burns from a pyro effect…

1996, former Motley Crue singer Vince Neil runs into trouble at an Indiana club date … after starting the show four hours late, Neal pulls the plug after just three songs saying he is feeling ill and suggesting that the audience of “rednecks” doesn’t appreciate his talent … a riot by 500 surly ticket holders is narrowly averted by the prompt arrival of the cops…

1999, after running into legal roadblocks, the leading record labels drop their suit against Diamond Multimedia, makers of the Rio MP3 music player … they had charged that the device would encourage online piracy…

2000, the Jimi Hendrix estate successfully evicts the holder of the web domain jimihendrix.com…

2001, rap group D12 executes a brutal attack on Detroit rap rivals Esham and T.N.T. during a Warped Tour stop in Camden, New Jersey, … T.N.T. is bruised and cut while Esham suffers a broken nose, ruptured eyeball, concussion, and hearing damage … D12 is promptly kicked off the tour … that same day in L.A., 300 fortunate Foo Fighters fans are treated to a rare club gig when the band plays the legendary Troubador … attendees are chosen from entries emailed to the Fighters’ website…

2004, the Illinois Attorney General’s office files suit against the Dave Matthews Band for dumping human waste from a tour bus into the Chicago River and onto a tour boat passing below … it’s later determined that the band wasn’t directly involved, the foul act having been committed by a tour bus driver…

And that was the week that was.

Arrivals
August 3: Bahamian guitarist Joseph Spence (1910), Tony Bennett (1926), blues harp player Alex Randall (1934), Gordon Stoker of The Jordanaires (1935), Roscoe Mitchell of The Art Ensemble of Chicago (1940), Beverly Lee of The Shirelles (1941), B. B. Dickerson of War (1949), John Graham of Earth, Wind & Fire (1951) Steve Hillage (1951), Andrew Gold (1951), James Hetfield of Metallica (1963), Ed Roland of Collective Soul (1963), Shirley Manson of Garbage (1966)

August 4: Louis Armstrong (1901), singer Elsbeary Hobbs (1936), Frankie Ford (1939), David Carr of The Fortunes (1940), Timi Yuro (1940), Klaus Schultze of Tangerine Dream (1947), Paul Layton of The New Seekers (1947), Clannad’s Maire Ni Bhraonian (1952), Mark O’Connor (1962), Paul Reynolds of A Flock of Seagulls (1962), Immature’s Marques Houston (1981)

August 5: jazz singer Jeri Southern (1926), Vern Gosdin (1934), R&B vocalist Damita Jo (1940), guitarist Lenny Breau (1941), percussionist Airto Moreira (1941), Rick Huxley of The Dave Clark Five (1942), country star Sammi Smith (1943) Rick Derringer of The McCoys (1947), Gregory Leskew of Guess Who (1947), Eddie Ojeda of Twisted Sister (1954), Pat Smear of Foo Fighters (1959), Pete Burns of Dead Or Alive (1959), Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys (1964)

August 6: The Ravens’ Jimmy Ricks (1924), jazz bassist Charlie Haden (1937), Isaac Hayes (1938), Judy Craig of The Chiffons (1946), Allan Holdsworth (1948), Pat McDonald of Timbuk 3 (1951), Randy DeBarge (1958), Geri Halliwell a.k.a. Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls (1972)

August 7: Benny Carter (1907), swing bandleader Freddie Slack (1910), pianist Mose Vinson (1917), lyricist Felice Bryant (1925), The Platters’ Herb Reed (1931), multi-instrumentalist jazz titan Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1936), Magic Slim born Morris Holt (1937), pop vocalist Ron Holden (1939), B.J. Thomas (1942), Rodney Crowell (1950), Free’s Andy Fraser (1952), Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden (1958), Jacqui O’Sullivan of Bananarama (1960), Ian Dench of EMF (1964), Kristen Hersh of Throwing Muses (1964)

August 8: bandleader Lucky Millender (1900), Webb Pierce (1921), Jimmy Witherspoon (1923), blues singer Al King (1923), Sonny Til of The Orioles (1925), Mel Tillis (1932), pedal steel player extraordinaire Pete Drake (1932), Joe Tex (1933), Connie Stevens (1938), Philip E. Balsley of the Statler Brothers (1939), John “Jay” David of Dr. Hook (1942), The Grateful Dead’s Ron “Pig Pen” McKernan (1946), Airrion Love of The Stylistics (1949), Ali Score of Flock of Seagulls (1956), Dennis Drew of 10,000 Maniacs (1957), Chris Foreman of Madness (1958), Ricki Rockett of Poison (1959), U2’s The Edge a.k.a. David Evans (1961), Kool Moe Dee (1962), JC Chasez of *NSYNC (1976), Drew Lachey of 98 Degrees (1976)

August 9: barrelhouse pianist Robert Shaw (1908), Odell Thompson (1911), Harry Mills of the Mills Brothers (1913), Bill Henderson of The Spinners (1939), Jack DeJohnette (1942), Rinus Gerritsen of Golden Earring (1946), Barbara Mason (1947), Cars bassist Benjamin Orr (1955), rap pioneer Kurtis Blow (1959), Aimee Mann (1960), Whitney Houston (1963), Arion Salazar of Third Eye Blind (1972)

Departures

August 3: reedman Bob Tate (1993), Don Lang of The Frantic Five (1992), Richard Nickens of The Eldorados (1991)

August 4: jazz singer Jeri Southern (1991), pop impresario Larry Parnes (1989)

August 5: Randy Hobbs of The McCoys (1993), Jeff Porcaro of Toto (1992), N’awlins bluesman Isidore “Tuts” Washington (1984), avant-garde bassist George Scott (1980), The Who’s first manager Pete Meadon (1978), country guitarist Luther Perkins (1968), one-man blues band Joe Hill Louis (1957)

August 6: Rick James (2004), the U.K.’s answer to Louis Armstrong, Nat Gonella (1998), new wave singer Klaus Nomi (1983), Memphis Minnie (1973), trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke (1931)

August 7th: country guitarist William “Billy” Byrd (2001), harmonica virtuoso Larry Adler (2001), record store mogul Sam Goody (1991), R&B chantreuse Esther Phillips (1984), Homer a.k.a. Henry Haynes of Homer & Jethro (1971)

August 8th: Julian “Cannonball” Adderley (1975)

August 9th: producer Bob Herbert (1999), Jerry Garcia (1995), session saxman Clarence Ford (1994), reggae singer Wilfred “Jackie” Edwards (1992), Brandon Mitchell of Wreckx-N-Effects (1990), rock journalist Lillian Roxon (1973), Eddie Brown and Joe Gilbert of Joe and Eddie (1966)

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