It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1910, born in White Station in rural Mississippi, Chester Burnett aka Howlin’ Wolf is noted for his huge voice and matching physique … one of the major pioneers of electric blues, Wolf exerted a powerful influence on many British blues musicians, and his songs such as “Spoonful,” “Smoke Stack Lightning,” and “Little Red Rooster” were covered by a generation of rockers including the Stones …

1958, Jerry Lee Lewis’ producer, Sam Phillips, forces the rocker to sign an apologetic letter to his fans … Phillips then runs it as a full-page ad in Billboard trying in vain to bolster Lewis’ plummeting reputation in the fallout from his marriage to 14-year-old second-cousin Myra … the letter doesn’t help much … the Killer’s career will remain in the toilet until he reinvents himself as a country star in the 1960s …

1965, The Yardbirds’ “For Your Love” enters the Billboard Hot 100 at #84 … the song stays on the charts for twelve weeks, peaking at #6 …

1966, The Beatles record “Rain” which employs a reverse-tape effect for the first time in one of their songs … it’s the same technique that later results in the “Paul-is-dead” rumors … this same day, rumors of Roger Daltrey’s death are greatly exaggerated as European radios spew misinformation after Pete Townshend is injured in a car accident …

1969, multi-instrumentalist-turned-druggy and founder of the Rolling Stones Brian Jones announces he’s leaving the band because he doesn’t agree with its musical direction … word is the Stones have had their fill of Jones and probably forced him out since drugging and mental instability have prevented the Stones from touring the U.S. … hot blues guitarist Mick Taylor has already been lined up to fill the position and steps in as soon as Jones steps out … within three weeks Jones will be found dead on the bottom of his pool … years later the Stones will joke about pranks played on him, such as having Jones record overdubs with no tape running …

1971, police overreact when people start climbing over a fence at a Jethro Tull concert in Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver … the cops drop tear gas from helicopters resulting in a riot and injuries … averting disaster, Jethro Tull takes the stage in the middle of the ruckus after the opening act flees … the prog rock act plays their entire show while choking on tear gas fumes … Red Rocks says no more rock concerts will be held there, a decision that doesn’t last …

1974, king of the big keyboard sound Rick Wakeman parts ways with Yes to pursue a solo career … he will rejoin the band for 1977’s Going for the One, setting the pattern for decades of on-again/off-again relations … this same day, the Who sells out a four-night stand at Madison Square Garden in three days, two months before the show … in the innocent world of 1974, that’s a big deal …

1979, Chuck Berry performs for President Jimmy Carter at the White House … just a month later he’ll be sentenced to four months on tax evasion charges …

1986, British Decca A&R man Dick Rowe dies … he will always be remembered as the guy who passed on The Beatles … Rowe ameliorated his error by signing the Rolling Stones later on …

1987, drummer Yogi Horton who worked with everyone from Aretha Franklin to the Rolling Stones jumps to his death from a New York hotel window following a show with Luther Vandross … he is said to have been despondent over the direction of his career and lack of income …

1988, a birthday bash held in London for Nelson Mandela features performers Stevie Wonder, Dire Straits, and Simple Minds …

1990, 25 years to the day after their father Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys owned the top of the pops with “Help Me Rhonda,” Wilson Phillips, the trio composed of Carnie and Wendy Wilson together with Chynna Phillips, owns the same spot on the Top 100 chart with their single, “Hold On” …

1991, Bruce Springsteen weds singer-songwriter Patti Scialfa who has been singing backup vocals with the Boss’ E-Street Band for the past four years …

1992, an L.A. judge dismisses a $25 million palimony suit brought by model Kelly Emberg against Rod Stewart … she charges that they had lived together in a marital-like state between 1985 and 1990 and had a child together … despite their current legal wrangling, sources close to Emberg report that she still thinks Rod is sexy …

1993, country singer Conway Twitty dies of internal bleeding aboard his tour bus following a show in Branson, MO … born Harold Lloyd Jenkins he felt his given name lacked sizzle and came up with his stage name by looking at a road map on which he spotted the towns Conway, Arkansas and Twitty, Texas … remembered today for his 39 Billboard country chart hits (a record only recently surpassed by George Strait), Twitty enjoyed early success as a pop singer, using a voice that was sometimes confused with Elvis Presley’s to cut hits like “It’s Only Make Believe” and “Lonely Blue Boy” …

1994, Falcons wide receiver Andre Rison’s Atlanta mansion burns to the ground … it’s later determined that his girlfriend Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of the R&B girl group TLC committed the arson in a fit of pique …

1998, a judge in the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court hears opening arguments in a suit brought by ’60s girl group The Ronettes against their former producer, Phil Spector, charging him with breaching their 34-year-old contract by failing to pay royalties … in 2002 the reclusive studio guru is finally ordered to pay the girls $2.9 million plus interest … meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Sir Paul McCartney is joined by his former bandmates George Harrison and Ringo Starr as well as Pete Townshend, Elton John, and other rock luminaries to mourn the death of Linda McCartney … attendees at the private service held at St. Martin in the Fields church in London sing “Let it Be” and the Brodsky Quartet performs “The Lovely Linda” and “Calico Skies,” songs Sir Paul wrote for his late wife …

2003, singer-songwriter Barry Manilow, notable for his hook-ridden melodies and outsized proboscis, manages to break that organ when he walks into a bedroom wall at his Palm Springs, California home … evincing a sense of humor in recalling the accident, Manilow says, “I veered to the left instead of the right and slammed right into the wall. I may have to have my nose fixed and, with this nose, it’s going to require major surgery.” …

2004, American music icon Ray Charles succumbs to liver cancer … on this same day lutheir to the stars Dan Armstrong also dies in Los Angeles … remembered for his technically advanced clear Plexiglas guitars, effects, and amps … his name lives on in a line of effects boxes made under license including the Orange Squeezer, Yellow Humper, and Purple Peeker as well as with a re-creation of his Plexi Bass …

And that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

June 5: jazz pianist Pete Jolly (1932), Freddie Stone of Sly & The Family Stone (1946), Badfinger’s Tom Evans (1947), Laurie Anderson (1947), keyboardist Frank Esler-Smith of Air Supply (1948), soul singer Ronnie Dyson (1950), Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden (1952), Peter Erskine (1954), Kenny G (1956), Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs (1956), Mark Wahlberg (1971), Aaron “P-Nut” Wills of 311 (1974), Sebastien Lefebvre of Simple Plan (1981)

June 6: Chess Records session drummer S.P. Leary (1930), Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops (1936), Gary U.S. Bonds (1939), The Byrds’ Clarence White (1944), Tom Araya, lead vocalist/bassist of Slayer (1961), James Schaffer of Korn (1970)

June 7: Welsh crooner Tom Jones (1940), Steve Torbert of New Riders of the Purple Sage (1948), Prince born Prince Roger Nelson (1958), Ecstacy of Whodini (1964), Eric Kretz of Stone Temple Pilots (1966)

June 8: Nancy “Boots” Sinatra (1940), Sherman Garnes of Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers (1940), Jesse Bolian of the Artistics (1941), Three Dog Night’s Chuck Negron (1942), Boz Scaggs (1944), Uriah Heep’s Mick Box (1947), Bonnie Tyler aka Gaynor Hoskins (1953), Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall (1960), Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes (1962), Alex Band of The Calling (1981)

June 9: songwriter Cole Porter (1891), Les Paul born Lester Polfus (1915), R&B singer and Russian roulette-ist Johnny Ace born John Marshall Alexander Jr. (1929), operatic soul singer Jackie Wilson (1934), Wild Jimmy Spruill (1934), Deep Purple’s Jon Lord (1941), Dean Felber of Hootie & The Blowfish (1967), Dean Dinning of Toad the Wet Sprocket (1967)

June 10: Chester Burnett aka Howlin’ Wolf (1910), Judy Garland (1922), The Shirelle’s Shirley Alston (1941), The Move’s Rick Price (1944), Will Shatter of Flipper (1956), Jimmy Chamberlin of Smashing Pumpkins (1964), Darren Robinson of The Fat Boys (1967), Joel “Jo-Jo” Hailey of K-Ci & Jo-Jo (1971), modern country star Faith Evans (1973), Lemisha Grinsted of 702 (1973)

June 11: boogie-woogie pianist Clarence “Pine Top” Smith (1904), Jud Strunk (1936), The Pretty Things’ Skip Allen (1948), Frank Beard of ZZ Top (1949), Donnie Van Zant of .38 Special (1952), Kim and Kelley Deal of The Breeders (1961), Joey Santiago of The Pixies (1965), Dan Lavery of Tonic (1969)

Departures:

June 5: guitarist Robert Quine (2004), Ramones founder and bassist Dee Dee Ramone (2002), singer Mel “The Velvet Fog” Torme (1999), jazz saxophonist and arranger for Count Basie Ernie Wilkins (1999), pop and country singer Conway Twitty born Harold Lloyd Jenkins (1993), Tejano accordionist Narciso Martinez (1992), ex-Steely Dan drummer Jimmy Hodder (1990), bluesman “Sleepy” John Estes (1977)

June 6: Billy Preston (2006), former Animals keyboardist Dave Rowberry (2003), Pariah bassist Sims Ellison (1995), smooth saxophonist Stan Getz (1991), British Decca A&R man Dick Rowe (1986)

June 7: Tommy Perkins of Bob Wills Texas Playboys (2003), James Eugene “Rosy” McHargue, singer and reedman for the Benny Goodman Orchestra (1999), Schwann Recording Catalog editor William Schwann (1998), producer-songwriter Jerry Capehart (1998)

June 8: jazz vocalist Nellie Lutcher (2007), guitar and amp builder to the stars Dan Armstrong (2004), punker Root Boy Slim (1993), session drummer Yogi Horton (1987), blues and jazz shouter Jimmy “Mr. Five-By-Five” Rushing (1972)

June 9: folksinger Walter Pardon (1996), ’60s R&B singer Arthur Alexander (1993), jazz and blues singer Clarence “Big” Miller (1992)

June 10: Ray Charles (2004), Steve Sanders of The Oak Ridge Boys (1998), Alan Blakely of the Tremoloes (1996), Jimmy Weston of the Danleers (1993), The Shirelles’ Addie “Mickey” Harris (1982), organist Earl Grant (1970)

June 11: A.R.E. Weapons guitarist Ryan Noel (2004)

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