It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1928, blues singer Ma Rainey records “Deep Moaning Blues” for Paramount Records in Chicago, Illinois …

1954, guitarist Danny Cedrone dies … he recorded the jazzy guitar solo on “Rock Around The Clock” with Bill Haley & His Comets … tragically Cedrone broke his neck falling down a flight of stairs before he could enjoy the acclaim of generations of rock guitarists … eight months after his death, the song became a huge hit …

1956, Paul McCartney receives a trumpet for his birthday and promptly trades it in on a Zenith acoustic guitar …

1963, Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki” hits number one on the U.S. pop charts … it is the first and last Japanese song to do so … the song, about a man trying to hold back his heartbroken tears, was originally recorded for the Japanese market as “Ue o Muite Aruko” (Looking Up As I Walk) … the UK group Kenny Ball and the Jazzmen recorded a version of it and re-titled it “Sukiyaki” after a type of Japanese cuisine … American DJ Richard Osbourne of the Pasco, Washington, radio station KORD started playing Sakamoto’s original version, with the anglicized “Sukiyaki” title … the song remains at number one for three weeks and sells over a million copies in the States … on August 12, 1985, at the age of 43 Sakamoto will be killed along with 519 other passengers in the worst airline accident in Japan’s history …

1965, Phil Lesh becomes bass player for The Warlocks (later to become The Grateful Dead) replacing Dana Morgan, Jr. who only played a few gigs … the band had formed as Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions at Dana Morgan’s Music Store in Palo Alto, California, with Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, and Pigpen …

1966, Jimmy Page joins The Yardbirds, replacing bassist Paul Samwell-Smith … session guitarist Page had originally been asked to join when Eric Clapton quit The Yardbirds in 1964 but demurred and recommended Jeff Beck … eventually rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja would swap duties with Page creating the devastating twin-guitar attack of Page-Beck that, alas, only lasted a few weeks until Beck dropped out … they did manage to record a few tunes such as the legendary “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago” and appear in Michelangelo Antonioni’s swinging London flick Blow Up performing (miming) “Stroll On,” a re-write of “Train Kept A-Rollin’,” culminating with Jeff smashing a cheapo prop guitar into his speaker cab and the stage … Beck said later he was embarrassed because his too-tight pants emphasized his um … equipment …

1967, the “love crowd” takes center stage at The Monterey Pop Festival in California with a convergence of the music scenes from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London … the stellar lineup includes a guitar-burning Jimi Hendrix, equipment-smashing The Who, The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield (both with David Crosby), Janis Joplin, Moby Grape, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Canned Heat, Country Joe & The Fish, Simon & Garfunkel, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Ravi Shankar, and Otis Redding … the three-day event is a precursor to Woodstock and many more giant outdoor rock festivals … although he’s on the festival’s board of directors, Paul McCartney doesn’t make the trip to Monterey … apparently he’s been taking some other trips … in the cover story of the current issue of Life magazine, the Beatle admits to using LSD …

1969, Pink Floyd release the soundtrack to the movie More

1970, The Grateful Dead release Workingman’s Dead with the leadoff cut “Uncle John’s Band” showing off their new harmony skills inspired by Crosby, Stills & Nash … New Orleans jazz and R&B singer and guitarist Lonnie Johnson passes on … one of the earliest players to use an electric guitar, he worked with some of the biggest names in popular music including Duke Ellington and Louis Johnson … by the late 1950s, he had dropped out of sight but enjoyed a revival in the 1960s when he was discovered working as a hotel janitor and was recruited to tour Europe with the American Folk Blues Festival (out on DVD by the way) … he was struck by an auto in Toronto in 1969 and died a year later from the effects … Derek and the Dominos hit the stage for the first time in Britain … Clapton’s much-feted collaboration with other former Delaney & Bonnie & and Friends members (with a guest appearance by Duane Allman on their only album) will play itself out by December …

1978, The Rolling Stones release Some Girls … the album appears during England’s romance with New Wave and punk bands … it shows the Stones are not BOFs (Boring Old Farts), including songs like the big disco-influenced hit “Miss You,” “When The Whip Comes Down,” “Respectable,” “Shattered,” and “Beast of Burden” … the album cover features a catalog page for wigs and lingerie with the faces of band members and female celebrities inserted … after threats of legal action from Farrah Fawcett, Raquel Welch, Lucille Ball, and the estates of Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe, their images were removed on subsequent printings, making the original cover a collector’s item …

1979, L.A.’s The Knack release their debut single “My Sharona” … it will go on to lead the hit parade for five solid weeks … featuring a driving, octave riff in G, the song is later covered live by Nirvana with Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters calling it a fave … Weird Al Yankovic parodied it as “My Bologna” …

1980, The Blues Brothers, starring Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi, premieres in New York City … musicians appearing in cameos include James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Aretha Franklin, Willie “Too Big” Hall, Chaka Khan, Tom Malone, “Blue” Lou Marini, Pinetop Perkins, and Joe Walsh … lasting just a few seconds in theatrical release, the DVD version offers an extended John Lee Hooker performance of “Boom Boom” on Chicago’s Maxwell Street accompanied by legendary harp player Big Walter Horton …

1982, James Honeyman-Scott of the Pretenders dies of a cocaine and heroin overdose in his sleep in London at the age of 25 … ironically the guitarist was among the band members who voted out bass player Pete Farndon for drug abuse a mere two days earlier … after Honeyman-Scott’s death, frontwoman Chrissie Hynde pens the tune “Back on the Chain Gang” as a tribute to him … the song will go on to be one of the band’s biggest hits … guitarist Robbie McIntosh, whom Honeyman-Scott was trying to talk into joining the band just before his untimely death, is enlisted to replace him … a year later Pete Farndon will also die from drug-related causes …

1993, blues guitarist Luther Tucker dies … working mostly for Chess Records, the hard-edged Chicago blues guitarist backed Little Walter, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf …

1995, he was a blues-rock guitarist who rolled up his plaid flannel shirtsleeves, strapped on his battle-scarred 1961 Stratocaster, and gave his all at every show … Rory Gallagher dies from complications following a liver transplant … Rory specialized in a no-nonsense, no-holds-barred, two-fisted style of blues-tinged rock … excelling at flatpicking, fingerpicking, and slide guitar, Rory avoided using special effects, content to wring exciting solo after solo from the classic setup of his faithful Strat run through a Dallas Rangemaster treble booster into a Vox AC-30 … some of the ways his memory is revered: in his native Ireland, a pub is named after him, a sculpture and bronze statue have been created in his likeness, and the Rory Gallagher Music Library was opened in Cork in 2004 …

1999, Screaming Lord Sutch dies … born David Sutch, he conferred the title upon himself … his stage show was inspired by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins … of interest to record collectors was his album Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends, recorded in 1968 with Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, John Bonham, Noel Redding, and Nicky Hopkins … despite the inane lyrics and singing, there is actually some hot playing on the LP …

2001, bassman Jason Newsted splits with Metallica … the breakup will figure large in Some Kind of Monster, the 2003 documentary film in which the band tries to get in touch with its inner children …

2004, following a layoff of 1,000 employees in March, Warner Music Group announces that it’s cutting its artist roster by nearly one-half in the face of a continuing soft market for music … Iggy Pop and The Stooges are reported to be working on songs for their first new studio record in 31 years … Pop speculates that they may record the album in Los Angeles noting, “That will torture me deeply.” …

2005, after 24 years of bitterness and disputes with his former band, Roger Waters has agreed to rejoin Pink Floyd for a performance at Bob Geldof’s Live 8 concert in Hyde Park, London, on July 2 … long considered impossible among Floyd fans, the reunion will be the first time the band has performed with Waters since a 1981 show at London’s Earl’s Court … guitarist David Gilmour said, “Like most people I want to do everything I can to persuade the G8 leaders to make huge commitments to the relief of poverty and increased aid to the third world. Any squabbles Roger and the band have had in the past are so petty in this context, and if reforming for this concert will help focus attention, then it’s got to be worthwhile.” …

2006, EMI is the latest record company to cough up a fine for engaging in pay-to-play tactics with radio stations … the $3.75 million penalty marks the final settlement in New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s legal assault on the four record majors … less than two years later, Spitzer, now governor of New York, will be caught up in his own “pay-to-play” scandal …

And that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

June 12: bandleader Archie Bleyer (1909), R&B bassist Eddie Williams (1912), pioneer rockabilly Charlie Feathers (1932), Chick Corea (1941), Reg Presley of The Troggs (1943), Brad Delp of Boston (1951), Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick (1951), John Linnell of They Might Be Giants (1959), Michael Hausman of ’til tuesday (1960), Grandmaster Dee of Whodini (1962), Bobby Sheehan of Blues Traveler (1968), Bardi Martin of Candlebox (1969), Kenny Wayne Shepherd (1977), Robyn (1979)

June 13: Bobby Freeman of “Do You Wanna Dance” fame (1940), Arlester “Dyke” Christian of Dyke and the Blazers (1943), John Kahn of the Jerry Garcia Band (1947), Nick Drake (1948), Dennis Locorriere of Dr. Hook (1949), Howard Leese of Heart (1951), James Smith of The Stylistics (1951), Bo Donaldson (1954), Godsmack’s Robbie Merrill (1963), Paul DeLisle of Smash Mouth (1963), Soren Rasted of Aqua (1969), Rivers Cuomo of Wheezer (1970), Raz B of B2K (1985)

June 14: Burl Ives (1909), pianist Cy Coleman (1929), Junior Walker (1931), Muff Winwood, bassist for The Spencer Davis Group (1943), Rod Argent of the Zombies (1945), Alan White of Yes (1949), Boy George (1961), Chris DeGarmo of Queensryche (1963), British pop diva Billie Myers (1971)

June 15: Jaki Byard (1921), Nigel Pickering of Spanky & Our Gang (1929), Waylon Jennings (1937), Harry Nilsson (1941), Doug Roberts (1941), Muscle Shoals session guitarist Eddie Hinton (1944), Ian Matthews (1946), Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply (1949), Steve Walsh of Kansas (1951), country-pop singer Terri Gibbs (1954), Garry Roberts of Boomtown Rats (1954), Scott Rockenfield of Queensryche (1963), Michael Britt (1966), Ice Cube (1969), Dryden Mitchell of Alien Ant Farm (1976)

June 16: lyricist Ben Raleigh (1913), saxophonist Lucky Thompson (1924), Charlie Byrd (1925), Motown songwriter-producer Lamont Dozier (1941), Eddie Levert of the O’Jays (1942), Pete Rivera of Rare Earth (1945), James Smith of the Stylistics (1950), Gino Vanelli (1952), Tupac Shakur (1971)

June 17: Igor Stravinsky (1882), guitarist Cliff Gallup of Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps (1930), Norman Kuhlke of The Swinging Blue Jeans (1942), Chris Spedding (1944), Barry Manilow born Barry Alan Pinkus (1946), Paul Young (1956), Kevin Thornton of Color Me Badd (1969)

June 18: Jeanette MacDonald (1907), lyricist Sammy Cahn (1913), Paul McCartney (1942), Carl Radle (1942), pop singer Sandy Posey (1944), Jerome Smith of KC and The Sunshine Band (1953), Tom Bailey of The Thompson Twins (1957), West Arkeen (1960), Alison Moyet (1961), Dizzy Reed (1963), Nathan Morris of Boyz II Men (1971)

Departures:

June 12: Matthew Fletcher of Heavenly (1996), the “Vee” in Vee-Jay Records, Vivian Carter (1989), Jimmy Dorsey (1957)

June 13: Southern blues guitarist John Campbell (1993), Benny Goodman (1986), reedman Charles Miller of War (1980), Clyde McPhatter (1972)

June 14: blind flamenco singer Delores Alcantara (1999), Rory Gallagher (1995), Henry Mancini (1994), Brenda Payton of Brenda and the Tabulations (1992), songwriter-producer Cliff Goldsmith (1991), Pete DeFreitas of Echo and the Bunnymen (1989), singer Wynonie Harris (1969)

June 15: Lew Chudd, founder of Imperial Records (1998), Ella Fitzgerald (1996), Kin Vassy (1994), Wes Montgomery (1968)

June 16: Ben Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo (2004), The Savages singer Screaming Lord Sutch born David Edward Sutch (1999), John Wolters (1997), Kristen Pfaff of Hole (1994), John Jordan (1988), James Honeyman-Scott (1982), Warren Ryanes (1982), Don Robey, founder of Peacock Records (1975), Lonnie Johnson (1970), Jack McFadden, Nashville manager of Buck Owens (1968)

June 17: songwriter Mark Cherron (1994)

June 18: Luther Tucker (1993), Danny Cedrone (1954)

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