It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1944, a plane carrying bandleader Glenn Miller vanishes over the English Channel … the fate of the aircraft and its passengers remains a mystery…

1955, Carl Perkins writes “Blue Suede Shoes” and records the song less than 48 hours later … Elvis covers the tune later that year…

1957, Elvis gets his draft notice…

1960, German authorities deport 17-year-old George Harrison because he is too young to perform with the Beatles in the raucous Hamburg nightclubs…

1961, EMI passes on The Beatles … the British label has second thoughts later on and signs the lads from Liverpool…

1967, The Beach Boys are given transcendental meditation instruction by the guru to the Beatles, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi…

1977, Saturday Night Fever premieres in New York … the movie will spread the disco craze across the country and the soundtrack album will become one of the biggest sellers of all time…

1979, saxman Jackie Brenston dies today at age 52 … he becomes a footnote in music history when in 1951 Ike Turner’s band that included Brenston records “Rocket 88” at Sun Studios … when the record comes out, it is misidentified as being by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats instead of Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm, denying Turner credit for what is considered by many to be the first rock-and-roll recording…

1983, The Who disbands … they will reunite three years later to play the Live Aid Concert…

1988, James Brown draws a prison sentence of six years for fleeing cops during an interstate car chase … he is paroled in February 1991…

1996, Elton John and Luciano Pavarotti team up to record “Live Like Horses” … the odd couple’s duet reaches nine on the British pop chart…

1998, two of Charlie Daniels’ backup players demonstrate extraordinary work ethics when they schedule surgeries to coincide with their boss’s appointment for knee surgery … all three go under the knife on the same day in the same hospital in order to minimize show cancellations … bassist Jerry Charlie Hayward has a tonsillectomy while drummer Jack Gavin has shoulder surgery … also this week a court finds that songwriter Andrew Lloyd Webber did not plagiarize a liturgical writer’s song in composing the theme for his smash musical The Phantom of the Opera…

1999, announcing that he’ll run for mayor of London, former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren enumerates the novel planks of his political platform: legalize boozing in public libraries, legalize pot, legalize all-night pubs, and last but not least, install brothels outside the houses of Parliament … he drops out of the race a couple of months later…

2000, the British music journal Melody Maker prints its final issue after continuous publication since 1926 … Pop Staples, the patriarch of the Staple Singers, the first family of R&B, dies at age 84…

2004, Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan of The Turtles file suit against Applebees Restaurants for their use of “Happy Together,” the group’s 1960s hit … Applebees had changed the lyrics in a commercial pitching steak and lobster, and The Turtles took offense, asserting that the commercial was a case of celebrity impersonation and damaged their reputation…

And that was the week that was.

Arrivals
December 14: Spike Jones (1911), country star Charlie Rich (1932), Warren Ryanes of The Monotones (1937), Don Addrisi (1938), surf music producer Gary Usher (1938), Cliff Williams of AC/DC (1949), singer Tamara Daanz (1952), The Waterboys’ Mike Scott (1958), Peter Stacy of The Pogues (1958), Brian Dalyrimple of Soul for Real (1975)

December 15: guitarist Oscar Moore of the Nat “King” Cole Trio (1912), DJ Alan Freed (1922), country singer-songwriter Ernie Ashworth (1928), R&B balladeer Jesse Belvin (1933), Johnny Moore of The Drifters (1934), Cindy Birdsong of The Supremes (1939), Dave Clark of the Dave Clark 5 (1942), Carmine Appice of Vanilla Fudge (1946), Harry Ray of The Moments (1946), Paul Simonon of The Clash (1955)

December 16: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770), Ernie Freeman (1922), New Orleans saxman Clarence Ford (1922), Tony Hicks of The Hollies (1943), John Abercrombie (1944), Benny Andersson of ABBA (1946), ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons (1950), guitarist Robben Ford (1951), Christopher Thorn of Blind Melon (1968), Michael McCary of Boyz II Men (1971)

December 17: Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler (1894), Tommy Steele (1936), Art Neville (1938), New Orleans R&B pianist James Booker (1939), Eddie Kendricks of The Temptations (1939), Paul Butterfield (1942), Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers (1949), Carlton Barrett of The Wailers (1950), Mike Mills of R.E.M. (1956), Bob Stinson of The Replacements (1959), Sarah Dallin of Bananarama (1961), Craig “DJ Homicide” Bullock of Sugar Ray (1972)

December 18: bandleader Fletcher Henderson (1897), blues guitarist Pee Wee Crayton (1914), Hendrix manager Chas Chandler (1938), Keith Richards (1943), Elliot Easton of The Cars (1953), DMX (1970), DJ Lethal of Limp Bizkit (1972), Christina Aguilera (1980)

December 19: Edith Piaf (1915), alto saxophonist Eddie “Cleanhead” Vincent (1974), Professor Longhair AKA Henry Roeland (Roy) Byrd (1918), activist-folky Phil Ochs (1940), Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White (1941), Alvin Lee (1944), The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Zal Yanofsky (1944), John McEuen of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1945), Doug Johnson of Loverboy (1957), Australian bassist Tracy Pew (1957), Kajagoogoo’s Limahl (1958), lead rapper-singer for Force MD’s Mercury Nelson (1964), Kevin Shepard of Zoo Story (1968)

December 20: New Orleans pianist Cousin Joe (1907), blues guitarist Auburn “Pat” Hare (1930), Blood, Sweat and Tears’ Bobby Colomby (1944), Peter Criss of Kiss (1947), The Easybeats’ Stevie Wright (1948), Billy Bragg (1957), Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes (1966), JoJo (1990)

Departures
December 14: Zal Yanovsky of the Lovin’ Spoonful (2002), jazz trumpeter Conte Condoli (2001), Kurt Winter of The Guess Who? (1997), Pattie Santos of Beautiful Day (1989), Dinah Washington (1963)

December 15: Rufus “Walkin The Dog” (2001), Will Shatter of Flipper (1983), Jackie Brenston (1979), Uriah Heep bassist Gary Thain (1975), Glenn Miller (1944), Fats Waller (1943)

December 16: country singer Gary Stewart (2003), Stuart Adamson of Big Country (2001), Nicolette Larson (1997), androgynous disco star Sylvester James (1988)

December 17: opera diva Martha Moedl (2001), saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. (1999), producer Andy Wiswell (1999), singing cowboy Rex Allen Sr. (1999), Irish singer Ruby Murray (1996), Pilot keyboardist Billy Lyall (1989), Big Joe Williams (1982), Theodore “Hound Dog” Taylor (1975)

December 18: English singer-songwriter Clifford T. Ward (2001), singer Kirsty MacColl (2000), reggae singer and Marley mentor Joe Higgs (1999), guitarist Jimmy Nolen ((1983), Blind Lemon Jefferson (1929), master lutheir Antonio Stradivari (1737)

December 19: Roebuck “Pop” Staples (2000), jazz bassist and photographer Milt Hinton (2000), 10,000 Maniacs guitarist Robert Buck (2000), Sony founder Masaru Ibuka (1997), Muddy Waters sideman Jimmy Rogers (1997), The Byrds’ Michael Clarke (1993)

December 20: Spanish singer Carlos Cano (2000), Hank Snow (1999), drummer Nicky Hammerhead (1992), Bobby Darin (1973)

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