It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1945, The Andrews Sisters’ “Rum & Coca Cola” is the #1 pop hit and will become the biggest seller of the year …

1956, Buddy Holly records for the first time for Decca at a session in Nashville …

1958, in a continuation of the nation’s fascination with tropical hooch, the Champs release “Tequila” which promptly rises to the top of the pop chart … two band members Jim Seals and Dash Crofts will later form the duo Seals & Crofts and score big hits in the ’70s with “Hummingbird” and “Summer Breeze” … Little Richard announces that he is retiring from music at the peak of his popularity to become a minister … the pomaded rocker will flip-flop between his sacred and profane predilections in the coming years …

1960, Jimmie Jones’ hit “Handy Man” enters the pop chart ultimately rising to the #3 slot … 17 years later James Taylor will resuscitate the tune and take it to #4 …

1961, husband-and-wife writing team Carole King and Jerry Goffin score their first of many #1 hits with The Shirelles’ “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” … King plays drum on the session … it’s nearly 10 years later that she scores her own solo #1 hit with “It’s Too Late,” a single from her monster album, Tapestry …

1963, Skeeter Davis makes it to 99 on the Top 100 with “The End of the World” …

1964, Indiana’s governor declares that the party-favorite single “Louie Louie” by The Kingsmen includes pornographic lyrics … the FCC launches an investigation and finds “the record is unintelligible at any speed we played it” …

1965, Brit rocker P.J. Proby splits his pants during a London show … the incident gets a big reaction from the crowd and Proby makes the ripping riff a permanent part of his act …

1967, Aretha Franklin lays down her first tracks for Atlantic at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama … she waxes the steaming ballad “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” … the Muscle Shoals sessions are the first to fully exploit Franklin’s soulful vocal skills … at her former label, Columbia, she had been given syrupy, string-laden ballads to sing … while browsing in a London antique shop, John Lennon comes across a 19th century circus poster that incorporates most of what will become the lyrics of “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” …

1969, The Beatles perform their famous rooftop concert atop the Apple corporate headquarters for the film Let it Be … it turns out to be the band’s last live appearance … after playing a set that includes “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Get Back,” John Lennon announces, “I’d like to say thank you in behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition” …

1970, John Lennon and Phil Spector write and record the single “Instant Karma” in a single day … the record will eventually rise to #3 on the pop chart …

1973, KISS performs their first live show at the Coventry Club in Queens … they have yet to develop their trademark look … Paul Stanley will later characterize the band’s appearance as a “New York Dolls look” …

1977, Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green is dispatched to the funny farm following an incident in which he attacked an accountant attempting to deliver a royalty check for $30,000 … turns out Green didn’t want the green …

1978, workers at the EMI record plant in Britain take offense at the title of a Buzzcocks’ single and refuse to press it … the offending title is “Oh S**t” … the record eventually does get pressed and the flip side, “What Do I Get?” becomes a #1 smash hit in the U.K. …

1979, The Cars are voted the Best New Band of the Year in the Rolling Stone annual reader’s poll …

1980, the original Ants separate from Adam …

1984, Michael Jackson’s hair is ignited by pyrotechnics while filming a commercial for Pepsi … he suffers scalp and neck burns requiring hospitalization … Jackson will recover and the commercial will eventually be aired but sans footage of Michael in flames … the event is later parodied in Neil Young’s video “This Note’s for You” and in Eminem’s clip “Just Lose It” …

1985, the single “We Are The World” is recorded in L.A. by 46 rock stars to raise money for hunger relief worldwide …

1988, The Cars reach the end of the road …

1992, modern blues titan, Willie Dixon, dies of heart failure … he worked as a producer, talent scout, and house bassist for the Chess brothers in Chicago and wrote some of the great songs of the electric-blues era including “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “Little Red Rooster,” his tunes were often covered by British bands such as The Stones and Led Zep who revered his work … Nirvana’s Nevermind ascends for the second time to the top of the Billboard album chart …

1993, Willie Nelson reaches a settlement with the IRS in which the feds keep $3.6 million worth of previously seized assets and the singer agrees to kick in another $5.4 million … that will settle what the government reckons is a $13.1 million tax bill … Warner Brothers announces that rapper Ice-T has been released from his recording contract … this comes in the wake of the furor over his song “Cop Killer” …

1995, Ken Jensen, drummer for the ominously named Vancouver hardcore punk outfit D.O.A., is incinerated in a house fire that also destroys much of the band’s gear … he was D.O.A.’s fifth drummer and had worked on the album 13 Flavors of Doom before his demise …

1998, The Capeman, Paul Simon’s Broadway musical about a 1950s Spanish Harlem murder, opens two weeks late and is universally loathed by the critics … though they like the musical’s mélange of doo-wop and Latin-tinged tunes, they hate the story and the show quickly folds …

1999, Pat Boone announces the formation of his Gold Records label … he will only sign artists 45 and older …

2000, rapper Jay-Z is indicted on two assault charges following the stabbing of Lance “Un” Rivera, a record executive … he is later exonerated and goes on to become a record executive himself …

2001, a 15-year-old girl dies of a heart attack at a Sydney, Australia, concert when Limp Bizkit takes the stage and the crowd surges forward …

2004, James Brown is arrested on charges of domestic violence … this arrest follows a number of scrapes with the law including a 2-1/2-year prison term he served after a 1988 arrest on drug and assault charges and a conviction on a drug-related offense in 1998 for which he received a pardon …

2005, New York hip-hop station Hot 97 fires producer Rick Delgado for creating and airing a parody of the 1985 single “We Are the World” named “The Tsunami Song” … peppered with racially charged lyrics and trivializing the Asian disaster, the song is aired by radio personality Todd Lynn who is also fired while host Miss Jones and two staff members are suspended for two weeks … the station’s corporate parent company announces that it will donate $1 million to tsunami relief …

2006, a letter written by Don Law, the producer of Robert Johnson’s 1936 and 1937 San Antonio recording sessions, is unearthed providing and confirming valuable details of the enigmatic blues pioneer’s sessions …

… and that was the week that was in matters musical.

Arrivals:
January 25: Scottish folk revivalist Ewan McColl (1915), ABBA manager Stig Andersson (1931), Bill Justis Band guitarist Sidney Manker (1932), Chita Rivera (1933), Etta James (1938), Malcolm Cox of Split Enz (1953), Richard Finch of KC & the Sunshine Band (1954), Terry Chimes of The Clash (1955), Andy Cox of Fine Young Cannibals and English Beat (1956), Roxy Music’s Gary Tibbs (1958), Iggy Pop bassist Craig Pike (1963), Alicia Keys (1981)

January 26: Stephane Grapelli (1908), Eartha Kitt (1928 – some sources cite her birthday as January 17), record executive Nat Tarnopol (1931), Huey “Piano” Smith (1934), The Teddy Bears’ Marshall Lieb (1939), Derek Holt of the Climax Blues Band (1949), David Briggs of Little River Band (1951), Andy Hummell of Big Star (1951), Lucinda Williams (1953), Edward Van Halen (1957), Norman Hassan of UB40 (1958), Wham’s Andrew Ridgley (1963), Soul II Soul’s Jazzie B. (1963), gospel star Kirk Franklin (1970)

January 27: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756), Jerome Kern (1885), blues legend Elmore James (1918), David Seville, creator of The Chipmunks (1919), Nick Mason of Pink Floyd (1945), Seth Justman of The J. Geils Band (1951), Brian Downey of Thin Lizzy (1951), Cowboy Junkies’ Margo Timmins (1961), New Order’s Gillian Gilbert (1961), Faith No More’s Mike Patton (1968)

January 28: Arthur Rubenstein (1887), songwriter Irving Gordon (1915), British jazzman and club owner Ronnie Scott (1927), Mr. Acker Bilk (1929), bluesman David “Junior” Kimbrough (1930), dub producer King Tubby (1941), Brian Keenan of the Chambers Brothers (1944), Dick Taylor of The Pretty Things (1944), Nedra Talley of The Ronettes (1946), Rick Allen of The Box Tops (1946), Mountain’s Corky Laing (1948), The Alarm’s Dave Sharp (1959), Sarah McLachlan (1968), rapper Rakim (1968), Cypress Hill’s Muggs (1968), Joey Fatone of *NSYNC (1977), Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys (1980)

January 29: Huddie Ledbetter AKA Leadbelly (1889), Chicago bluesman Eddie Taylor (1923), masterful Motown bassist James Jamerson (1936), jazz pianist Bobby Scott (1937), Peter Cowap of Herman’s Hermits (1944), David Byron of Uriah Heep (1947), Tommy Ramone of the Ramones (1949), Louie Perez of Los Lobos (1953), rapper Mitch McDowell of General Kane (1954), Eddie Jackson of Queensryche (1961)

January 30: Ruth Brown (1928), Mississippi bluesman Big Jack Johnson (1940), Joe Terry of Danny & the Juniors (1941), Marty Balin of The Jefferson Airplane (1942), Sandy Yaguda of Jay & the Americans (1943), Steve Marriott of Small Faces (1947), William King of the Commodores (1949), Mary Ross of Quarterflash (1951), Steve Bartek of Oingo Boingo (1952), Shalamar’s Jody Watley (1959), Jonny Lang (1981)

January 31: Franz Schubert (1797), vaudeville favorite Eddie Cantor (1892), blues pianist Roosevelt Sykes (1906), ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax (1915), Mario Lanza (1921), Carol Channing of “Hello Dolly” fame (1923), Chuck Willis (1928), composer Phillip Glass (1937), harpmeister Charlie Musselwhite (1944), session bassist Jimmy Jones (1944), Chicago’s Terry Kath (1946), Harry Wayne Casey of K.C. & the Sunshine Band (1951), Phil Collins (1951), Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music (1951), John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten (1956), Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman (1964), Al Jaworski of Jesus Jones (1966), Jason Cooper of The Cure (1967), Britney Spears castoff Justin Timberlake of *NSYNC (1981)

Departures:
January 25: singer Ray Peterson (2005), choral conductor Robert Shaw (1999), New Orleans guitarist and singer Alvin “Shine” Robinson (1989), Lamar Williams of The Allman Brothers (1983), R&B singer Chris Kenner (1976)

January 26: blues drummer S. P. Leary (1998), jukebox mogul David Rockola (1993), disco warbler Karen Young (1991), New Orleans singer Donnie Elbert (1989)

January 27: Tin Pan Alley composer Gerald Marks (1997), vocalist Candy Givens of Zephyr (1984), gospel singer Mahalia Jackson (1972)

January 28: Traffic drummer Jim Capaldi (2005), recording pioneer John Mosley (1996), D.O.A. drummer Ken Jensen (1995), “British Elvis” Billy Fury (1983)

January 29: founder of the Quarrymen Eric Griffiths (2005), David Lerchey of The Del-Vikings (2005), seminal blues bassist and songwriter Willie Dixon (1992), Herman “Sunny” Chaney of The Jaguars (1989), Sir Edward Lewis (1980), one-man-band Jesse “Lone Cat” Fuller (1976)

January 30: songwriter Julius Dixon (2004), jazz producer Bob Thiele (1996), bluesman Sam “Lightnin'” Hopkins (1982), influential New Orleans pianist Professor Longhair born Henry Roeland Byrd (1980), rockabilly singer Warren Smith (1980)

January 31: mother-of-the-band Barbara Cowsill (1985), Blood, Sweat & Tears saxophonist Greg Herbert (1978), R&B singer-songwriter Buster Brown (1976), swamp bluesman Slim Harpo (1970)

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