It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical …

It’s a quarter of a century since Randy Rhoads died in that plane crash, amazing to think it’s that long ago.

1929, pianist Clarence “Pine Top” Smith, who helped start the boogie-woogie craze the year before with “Pine Top’s Boogie Woogie” is shot dead in a Chicago night club while dancing with a young lady … the errant slug is fired by a waiter trying to break up a fight … Pine Top was only 25 …

1954, The Chords record “Sh-Boom,” which becomes the first top 10 pop hit by a rhythm and blues group … a white group, The Crew Cuts (from Canada), releases a less hip cover version that goes to #1 …

1958, Chess Records releases the LP One Dozen Berrys by Chuck Berry … songs include “Rock And Roll Music,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” and “Reelin’ And Rockin'” … Chuck records the tunes between concert dates where he’s now using a pick-up band of local musicians in each town … the savings from not have a touring band mean Chuck flies to gigs and has enough time to rehearse with the musicians … which would be nice if Chuck didn’t have the habit of changing the song keys and arrangements while onstage …

1964, touted as “America’s answer to The Beatles,” the one-hit wonders The Pyramids sport shaved bald heads and are known as “the crazies of the surf scene” … their lone hit, “Penetration” punctures its way to #18 on the charts … the group appears on American Bandstand and Hullabaloo … they even manage a brief appearance in Frankie and Annette’s third beach movie Bikini Beach …

1965, from the Building-A-Rebel-Image Workbook: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones are arrested and fined five pounds after urinating on a London gas station wall when they are refused access to the men’s room … they’re told it was out of order … but we know it’s because of their long hair and scruffy appearance … fun and games compared to the Stones’ drug bust of 1967 …

1968, Eric Clapton and the Buffalo Springfield’s Neil Young, Richie Furay, and Jim Messina are arrested on drug charges in Los Angeles …

1970, Tammi Terrell, who had 10 chart hit duets with Marvin Gaye, dies of a brain tumor while onstage … she was 24 …

1971, a hard-to-believe entry from the One Hit Wonders Department is Janis Joplin … her recording of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobbie McGee” graces #1 on the pop charts … Janis isn’t around to enjoy the hit … she died of a heroin overdose the previous October … Marvin Gaye finishes recording the basic tracks for What’s Going On, the album that revitalizes his career after the death of Tammi Terrell … along with other serious topics, the album deals with the Vietnam war and the toll it is taking on Marvin’s brother Frankie and the many thousands of others serving there … the LP also marks the first time that Motown’s Funk Brothers, including legendary bassist James Jamerson, get credits on the sleeve …

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 Youngblood 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…

1989, America’s oldest teenager, Dick Clark, announces that he will no longer be hosting the show American Bandstand … he had been the host for 33 years …

1990, Gloria Estefan is badly injured when her group’s tour bus is rammed by a tractor-trailer near Scranton, Pennsylvania … though suffering a fractured and dislocated vertebra in her spine, she is back onstage performing at the American Music Awards less than 11 months later …

1991, Leo Fender, who revolutionized the electric guitar by inventing the Telecaster in 1950 and the Stratocaster in 1954, dies at home in Fullerton, California, of Parkinson’s disease … although he studied piano and saxophone as a youth, Leo never played guitar …

2003, protesters in Louisiana destroy Dixie Chicks CDs with a 33,000-pound tractor, in protest over singer Natalie Maines’ comments about President George W. Bush … Maines, who like the President is from Texas, said between songs during a concert in London: “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas” … the South Carolina House of Representatives passes a resolution urging the Dixie Chicks to make a public apology … which Maines does, but the damage is done as the group is boycotted and fans are split over whether the comment should have been made or the apology issued …

2004, a restraining order sought by Axl Rose that would prevent Universal Music Group from releasing a Guns N’ Roses greatest hits album is denied by a federal judge … the label argues that it has every right to release the record since Rose has failed to deliver on his contract to produce the long-threatened Chinese Democracy album … after four years, many canceled gigs, and no new material, Buckethead leaves Guns N’ Roses … his manager tells MTV that the avant-garde guitarist became fed up with the band’s “inertia” …

2006, Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer withdraws a civil suit he filed against Prince resulting from the Purple One’s redecoration of the mansion he rents from the basketballer … among Prince’s “improvements”: lavender stripes painted on various surfaces, installation of purple-and-black carpets, and modifications to the plumbing system to accommodate several beauty-salon chairs … Aerosmith is obliged to cancel the rest of its tour dates when Steven Tyler is operated on for unspecified throat problems …

And that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

March 15: Lightnin’ Hopkins (1912), Phil Lesh (1940), Beach Boy Mike Love (1944), Sly Stone aka Sylvester Stewart (1944), War’s Howard Scott (1946), Ry Cooder (1947), Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider (1955), Terence Trent D’Arby (1962), Brett Michaels of Poison (1963), Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray (1970), Mark Hoppus of blink-182 (1972), Joseph Hahn of Linkin Park (1977)

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 Jefferson Airplane (1941), John Sebastian (1944), Harold Brown of War (1946), Ian Gomm of Brinsley Schwartz (1947), Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham (1951), Los Lobos Conrad Lozano (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), Lester “Big Daddy” Kinsey (1927), 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), Chicago blues singer Sam Myers (1936), 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: Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1921), Jerry Reed (1937), blues saxist Eddie Shaw (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), Chicago bluesman Otis “Big Smokey” Smothers (1929), blues pianist Otis Spann (1930), Vivian Stanshall of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band (1943), 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)

Departures:

March 15: violinist Olga Rudge (1996), Lester “Pres” Young (1959)

March 16: ska pioneer Justin Hinds (2005), drummer and cofounder of Blackfoot – Jakson Spires (2005), pop and country singer-songwriter Johnny Cymbal (1993), Reflections member John Simmons (1990), 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), ’80s R&B pop figure Jermaine Stewart (1997), Chicago blues pianist Sunnyland Slim (1995), Chantels member and James Brown backup vocalist Yvonne Fair (1994), Ric Grech bassist for Blind Faith and Traffic (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: session bassist Wayne Pedzwater (2005), The Mamas & the Papas co-founder John Phillips (2001)

March 19: drummer Jeff Ward of Nine Inch Nails and Ministry (1993), Mother Love Bone’s Andrew Wood (1990), Randy Rhoads (1982), Chicago’s first big blues star, bottleneck slide man Tampa Red (1981), 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), Leo Fender (1991)

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