It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1963, “She Loves You” is played on the radio by influential DJ Murray “The K” Kaufman on WINS in New York … it is the first time a Beatles song is played on U.S. airwaves … Murray later becomes a staunch Beatles advocate and supporter, helping to break them in New York and America …

1966, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers go into Decca studios in London to record with their new guitarist Peter Green, who replaced Eric Clapton in July … Clapton had left to form Cream with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce just before the release of the John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers Featuring Eric Clapton album … because of Clapton’s emerging guitar-god standing, Green is forced to endure shouts of “Where’s Eric?” from Clapton acolytes during his early Bluesbreakers performances … he eventually wins fans over with his own vibrant blues guitar playing, realising how much better than Clapton he is … newly arrived in London, American guitarist Jimi Hendrix begins a whirlwind series of jam sessions with England’s who’s who of pop/rock musicians culminating with his joining Cream onstage at a college gig in central London … Jimi proceeds to blow away Clapton with his frenetic rendition of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor”—an apt title …

1967, the previously sedate British Broadcasting Company discovers rock and launches its new BBC Radio 1 service … the first record played is The Move’s “Flowers in the Rain” …

1969, The Beatles Abbey Road named after EMI’s studios in London’s St. Johns Wood is released … although it’s the last album they will record, the album Let It Be recorded at the beginning of 1969 will not be released until May of 1970 … having left all that Beatle business behind, John Lennon asks Eric Clapton to sit in on the Plastic Ono Band single “Cold Turkey” at Abbey Road studios … in addition to Clapton and Lennon on guitars, Klaus Voorman plays bass and Ringo is on drums … The Rolling Stones continue recording their new album, dubbed Let It Bleed by Keith Richards … the name Sticky Fingers is shelved for now and another title, Automatic Changer, is also considered and rejected …

1970, Jimi Hendrix is buried at Greenwood Memorial Cemetery in Renton, Washington … the planned memorial service is canceled because of lack of time and concerns with crowd control … Eric Clapton cancels some Derek & The Dominos gigs in England so he can attend the funeral but has a change of heart and instead goes to Criteria Studios in Miami to work on the song “Layla” with the Dominos …

1975, soulman Jackie Wilson suffers a heart attack in mid-performance at the Latin Casino in Camden, N.J. … the singer, dubbed “Mr. Excitement,” falls off the stage and strikes his head on the concrete floor, causing permanent brain damage … he lapses into a coma and spends the rest of his life hospitalized until death overtakes him in 1984 … the soul group The Spinners donate $60,000 for his medical care but much of that money is consumed in lawyer’s fees due to relatives tussling over control of Wilson’s estate … the singer will be laid to rest in an unmarked grave … the Wilson family is haunted by tragedy … son Jackie Jr. was killed in 1970 during a burglary; daughter Sandra will die of a heart attack in 1977; and daughter Jacqueline will be shot to death in a 1987 drive-by shooting … drummer Al Jackson Jr. is shot to death in his Memphis home … the pulse of Booker T. & The MGs—the Stax Records house band—Jackson played on dozens of soul hits … police initially suspect Jackson’s wife who had shot him the previous July … the case remains unsolved and Memphis police refuse to discuss it …

1977, Mary Ford dies in Los Angeles from cancer after spending 54 days in a diabetic coma … in 1954, she was working as a country singer using her given name of Iris Colleen Summer when guitarist Les Paul asked her to perform with him … Les changed her name first to Mary Lou and then settled on Mary Ford … as Les Paul and Mary Ford they scored many pop hits starting with “Tennessee Waltz” in 1950, featuring Mary’s double-tracked vocal harmonies … the hits continued through the late ’50s, then came the ’60s—they stopped recording together, their network TV show was canceled, Les threw himself into his work, and Mary threw in the marital towel, divorcing Les in 1964 … Mary wedded a high school friend and continued performing in Los Angeles …

1980, electric blues guitarist Pat Hare dies of cancer in prison … an impassioned player with a fiery temper, he worked with some of the biggest names in blues including Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf … one of his records, “Gonna Murder My Baby” proved prophetic … he was doing a life sentence for murdering his girlfriend and a policeman when he died … this same week David Bowie makes his Broadway debut playing the title character in The Elephant Man … and this same week Led Zep drummer John Bonham is found dead in his bed at the home of Jimmy Page after a night of prodigious drinking … LZ promptly disbands … the third Police album Zenyatta Mondatta yields hit singles “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” and “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” …

1982, the first compact discs and players hit the market in Japan … a joint venture between Sony and Philips, the CD will become a dominant musical format within five years …

2002, folk-rocker Tim Rose, whose slowed-down version of “Hey Joe” prompted Jimi Hendrix to record the song, dies the day after his birthday of a heart attack following surgery for colon cancer … Rose, whose gravely voice was often compared to Ray Charles and Joe Cocker, recorded a couple of albums in the early 1960s with future Mama Cass Elliot, but the partnership foundered over artistic differences … recalling their frequent battles years later, Rose says that she always won, “because, you know, a big woman is never wrong!” …

2004, Buffalo Springfield bassist Bruce Palmer dies of a heart attack in Ontario … in 1966 he and fellow Canadian Neil Young were in Young’s hearse stuck in a Los Angeles traffic jam when they crossed paths with Steve Stills and Richie Furay, leading to the formation of Buffalo Springfield … the back liner notes to the first Springfield LP describe Bruce as “deep,” “zen,” and “inscrutable,” but his bandmates praised his bass playing and agreed he was the glue that held the group together … his bad luck, illegal immigration status, and drug busts forced him to leave the band … he returned and left again with the Springfield ultimately breaking up in 1968 without achieving the stardom the band believed they deserved … Bruce joined Neil Young for several other projects over the years including the Trans Band in 1982 … in 1996, he and the other Springfields were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame …

2006, Choreographer Twyla Tharp’s musical, The Times They Are A-Changin’, previews on Broadway … the show features 25 Dylan songs including some obscurites … Dylan was reportedly impressed with the show when he attended a dress rehearsal earlier in San Diego … the show’s band includes J.J. Jackson who played guitar for Dylan during the ’90s … the musical will fold after just 28 performances and deadly reviews … a move that worked for Dylan also works for veteran soul man Solomon Burke … he releases Nashville, a collection of rootsy country tunes recorded in producer Buddy Miller’s Nashville home … the record gets rave reviews and features Dolly Parton, Gillian Welch, Patty Griffin, and Patty Loveless backing up the “The Bishop of Soul” and his weathered yet still resonant voice … following a six-month hiatus prompted by Steven Tyler’s surgery for a broken blood vessel in his larynx and bassman Tom Hamilton’s chemo treatments for throat cancer, Aerosmith reunites for a show at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts … it’s been a tough year for the band with Tyler slicing his hand while opening a suitcase as well as announcing that he is battling hepatitis C …

2007, Van Halen kicks off its first reunion tour since 1984 with David Lee Roth aboard in Charlotte, North Carolina … the band rips through a best-of set list with Eddie Van Halen and Roth bouncing off each other without a hint of the bad blood that has existed between the pair for decades … Eric Clapton’s Clapton: the Autobiography is released … the guitar maestro candidly addresses the highs and lows of his career and life including marital troubles, drug and alcohol problems, and the death of his son … Bruce Springsteen gives his hometown supporters a thrill when he and the E Street Band play a rehearsal show at the diminutive Asbury Park Convention Hall as warm-up for a world tour … The Boss warns the crowd that “There may be some mistakes. But I doubt it.” … Amazon.com launches its MP3 music download site … it’s expected that Amazon’s variable pricing scheme will put pressure on iTunes to adopt a similar strategy … Congress summons rappers Master P and David Banner along with a lineup of media execs in its investigation of potty-mouth lyrics and their impact on society … Universal Music Group CEO Doug Morris points to hip-hop sales being off 44% since 2000 in claiming the genre doesn’t have that much influence … Master P apologizes for his past use of offensive lyrics while David Banner maintains that “Hip-hop is sick because America is sick” … Village Music in Mill Valley, California, closes its doors after a run of nearly 60 years … beloved by record collectors for its inventory of hard-to-find rock, jazz, blues, and country records and memorabilia the store has fallen victim to the changing face of music retailing … in its final days, B.B. King, an avid collector, makes a tour detour in order to visit the shop one last time … in 1995 Elvis Costello called Village Music “the greatest record collecting store in the world” in the liner notes to his 1995 album, Kojak Variety

and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

September 25: Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich (1906), Erik Darling of The Rooftop Singers (1933), bluesman Roosevelt “Booba” Barnes (1936), Ian Tyson of folk duo Ian and Sylvia (1933), Joseph Russell of The Persuasions (1939), Wade Flemons of Earth, Wind and Fire (1940), co-founder of Love, Bryan MacLean (1946), Italian rocker Zucchero (1955), actor and hip-hop artist Will Smith (1968), Diana Ortiz of Dream (1985)

September 26: George Gershwin (1898), New Orleans guitarist Rene Hall (1912), country singer Marty Robbins (1925), George Chambers of The Chambers Brothers (1931), Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music (1945), country singer Lynn Anderson (1947), Olivia Newton-John (1948), Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos (1954), Craig Chaquico of Jefferson Starship (1954), country vocalist Carlene Carter (1955), Tracey Thorn of Everything But The Girl (1962), Cindy Herron of En Vogue (1965), Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon (1967), Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men (1972), pop and R&B singer Christina Milian (1981)

September 27: bluesman “Mighty” Joe Young (1927), producer Don Nix (1941), Randy Bachman of BTO (1943), Meat Loaf aka Marvin Lee Aday (1947), Greg Ham of Men At Work (1953), reggae bassist Robbie Shakespeare (1953), teen throb Shaun Cassidy (1958), Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind (1966), Mark Calderon of Color Me Badd (1970), Avril Lavigne (1984)

September 28: Ed Sullivan (1902), bluesman Houston Stackhouse (1910), country singer Tommy Collins (1930), gospel singer Joseph Hutchinson (1931), Chicago blues songstress Koko Taylor (1935), soul singer and former Drifter Ben E. King (1938), bassist Nick St. Nicholas of Steppenwolf (1943), jazz pianist Kenny Kirkland (1955), George Lynch of Dokken (1955), Alannah Currie of The Thompson Twins (1959), pop singer Jennifer Rush (1960), teen popster Hilary Duff (1987)

September 29: Gene Autry (1907), Jerry Lee Lewis (1935), Jean-Luc Ponty (1942), singer-songwriter Tommy Boyce (1944), Mark Farner of Grand Funk (1948), Mike Pinera of Iron Butterfly (1948), Suzzy Roche of The Roches (1956), Les Claypool of Primus (1963), Barry D of Jesus Jones (1965), Brad Smith of Blind Melon (1968)

September 30: jazz drummer Buddy Rich (1917), New Orleans soul man Chris Kenner (1929), soul and gospel singer Cissy Houston (1933), crooner Johnny Mathis (1935), soul singer Z.Z. Hill (1935), Frankie Lymon (1942), Dewey Martin of Buffalo Springfield (1942), producer Gus Dudgeon (1942), Marilyn McCoo of The 5th Dimension (1943), Sylvia Peterson of The Chiffons (1946), Mark Bolan of T. Rex (1947), Patrice Rushen (1954), Basia (1956), Trey Anastasio of Phish (1964), Robby Takac of The Goo Goo Dolls (1964)

October 1: piano maestro Vladimir Horowitz (1904), Texas bluesman Albert Collins (1932), Julie Andrews (1935), Capitols singer/drummer Samuel George (1942), saxist Jerry Martini of Sly & the Family Stone (1943), pop singer Scott McKenzie (1944), Herbert Rhoad of The Persuasions (1944), Barbara Paritt of The Toys (1944), R&B singer-songwriter Donnie Hathaway (1945), bassist-vocalist Martin Turner of Wishbone Ash (1947), Tubes singer Jane Dornacker (1947), Senegalese vocalist Youssou N’Dour (1959), Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra (1968), Xscape’s LaTocha Scott (1974)

Departures:

September 25: Jamie Lyons of The Music Explosion (2006), Steve Canaday of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils (1999), Led Zeppelin’s hard-hitting drummer John Bonham (1980)

September 26: eclectic British vocalist Robert Palmer (2003), songwriter Carl Sigman (2000), jazz diva Betty Carter (1998), pianist and writer Arnold Shaw (1989), Auburn “Pat” Hare (1980), “Empress of the Blues” Bessie Smith (1937)

September 27: rockabilly guitarist Paul Burlison (2003), Wings guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (1979)

September 28: country star Bob Gibson (1996), Marcels baritone singer Allen Johnson (1995), D.O.A. drummer Ken “Dimwit” Montgomery (1994), jazz titan Miles Davis (1991), Rory Storm born Alan Caldwell (1972), D.J. Dewey Phillips (1968), bandleader Lucky Millinder (1966)

September 29: D.J. Scott Muni (2004)

September 30: Moonglows singer Prentiss Barnes (2006), Jacques Levy (2004), Texas rockabilly pioneer Ronnie Dawson (2003), disco-era songwriter Paul Jabara (1992), pop singer Mary Ford (1977)

October 1: Richard Avedon (2004), bassist Bruce Palmer of Buffalo Springfield (2004), Booker T. & The MGs drummer Al Jackson Jr. (1975)

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