It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1966, the last episode of ABC-TV’s Shindig! airs featuring The Kinks and The Who … the show, which was broadcast on Thursday and Saturday nights, was among the first prime-time programs to feature rock acts … from the One Hit Wonders Department, country harmony group The Statler Brothers peaks at number four on the Billboard pop chart with “Flowers On The Wall” … founding member Lew DeWitt writes the nonsensical song and the group records it at Columbia studios when Johnny Cash sneaks them in on a recording session … none of the group is named Statler and only two of them are brothers … the name Statler comes from a box of tissues they spot in their hotel room while they are searching for a new name … the group is still going strong, but DeWitt retires in 1982 and dies in 1990 … LSD experimenter/proselytizer Ken Kesey brings his Acid Test to San Francisco’s Fillmore … 2,400 hipsters take part in a multimedia event that includes music from the The Grateful Dead and lots of LSD … police call an end to the test at two in the morning after curfew …

1967, the Polo Grounds at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco is the setting for The Human Be-In “A Gathering of the Tribes” … called the pivotal event of the hippie generation, 20,000 attendees listen to speeches from Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, poetry from Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and music from The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Big Brother & The Holding Company in addition to soaking up the peace, love, and good vibes …

1968, David Gilmour’s first gig as a permanent member of Pink Floyd takes place in Birmingham, England … the five-piece band ostensibly includes founder Syd Barrett who has become increasingly unreliable as a performer—for example, strumming the same chord all evening—prompting the addition of Gilmour … eight days later, Barrett is dropped from the lineup and Gilmour assumes his vocal/guitar duties …

1970, also from the One Hit Wonders Department … Midwest rockers Crow peak at number 19 with “Evil Woman (Don’t You Play Your Games With Me)” … their first single flopped, so the producer wants to add horns to “Evil Woman” … the group opposes that at first, finally caves and—waddayaknow—Top 40 hit … the group still hates the horns and refuses to play with them live …

Much prefer the Sabbath version myself…

1976, one of the icons of Chicago blues, Howlin’ Wolf, dies of complications from kidney disease and a heart condition … born Chester Arthur Burnett on a plantation in the Mississippi Delta in 1910, the Wolf records a number of blues standards for Chess Records including “Smokestack Lightning,” “Back Door Man,” “Spoonful,” “Little Red Rooster,” and “Killing Floor” … these songs and many others are recorded and made popular by such white artists as The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Cream, and The Doors … however, Wolf receives little income, if any, from those recordings …

1978, the Sex Pistols play their swan-song show at San Francisco’s Winterland …

1981, the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) donates a batch of rock albums to the Library of Congress … titles include Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, Kiss Alive!, and Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols

1999, claiming that Victoria’s Secret’s Metallica lip pencils constitute trademark infringement, the band Metallica files suit against the lingerie company …

2000, the renowned Chicago club Lounge Axe goes out in a blaze of glory with a surprise appearance by Wilco … the alt-country quartet plays a two-and-a-half-hour set before an SRO crowd … fans had queued up for over seven hours to catch the band …

2003, as part of a sting on users of an internet child porn site, Pete Townshend is arrested at his home and his computer is seized … the irony is that Townshend is an activist against child pornography and foolishly used his credit card to access the site merely to see how bad it was … no child porn is found on Townshend’s computer or in his house … he is given a reprimand and released …

2005, Strawberry Field, the Liverpool orphanage commemorated in the 1967 Beatles song (made plural in the title) closes as a children’s center … John Lennon played on the grounds of the Salvation Army facility during his childhood … Strawberry Field is now a church and prayer center … Kid Rock, who had been slated to play a show that’s part of George W. Bush’s inauguration festivities dubbed America’s Future Rocks Today is kicked off the lineup … Kid’s canning comes in the wake of 100,000 protest emails sent to organizers by Christian groups … Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, whose organization spearheaded the effort to get Rock off the bill says, “Kid Rock’s whole thing is get drunk, party, free sex” …

2006, Apple introduces its new iPhone … tightly integrated with Apple’s iTunes software, the new device dispenses with micro touch buttons in favor of a large touch screen that simplifies all the phone’s music, camera, messaging, and web-surfing capabilities … Apple’s stock shoots up in anticipation of the iPhone becoming a category killer …

2007, singer Toni Braxton splits with her new record label Blackground/Universal Motown after releasing just one record, Libra, that sold a modest 431,000 copies … in a Rolling Stone interview, Mary J. Blige reveals that she wishes she could play piano like Thelonious Monk and when asked what singers she thinks have perfect voices, names Chakha Khan and Whitney Houston … Rudy Martinez, better known as Question Mark, singer with ? and the Mysterians, the legendary garage band that cut “99 Tears,” suffers the loss of his Clio, Michigan, home when it burns to the ground destroying more than four decades of memorabilia … Whitney Houston auctions off a collection of clothes and instruments belonging to herself and estranged husband Bobby Brown in order to pay off the warehouse storing them …

2008, Eddie Vedder nails a Golden Globe award for his “Guaranteed,” a song he wrote for Sean Penn’s film, Into the Wild … Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” is No. 1 on the charts with sales of 122,000 copies the group declines to announce how many digital copies it sold, with fans paying whatever price they choose for the download … many in the music industry wonder how that’s affected the sales of the physical CD … Ron Wood undergoes surgery to repair a hernia he suffered in 2007 on the Bigger Bang tour …

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

Arrivals:

January 8: Johnny Cash guitarist Luther Perkins (1928), legendary rock concert promoter Bill Graham (1931), Elvis Presley (1935), Shirley Bassey (1937), Little Anthony (1940), Robbie Krieger of The Doors (1946), David Bowie, born David Jones (1947), Terry Sylvester of The Hollies (1947), Mike Reno of Loverboy (1955), Wall of Voodoo guitarist Marc Moreland (1958), R. Kelly (1967), Jeff Abercrombie of Fuel (1969), reggae singer Sean Paul (1975)

January 9: Delta bluesman Ishman Bracey (1901), Joan Baez (1941), Roy Head (1943), Jimmy Page (1944), Scott Engel of The Walker Brothers (1944), Steeleye Span’s Tim Hart (1948), Lynyrd Skynyrd backup vocalist Cassie Gaines (1948), David Johansen of New York Dolls and Buster Poindexter (1950), country singer Crystal Gayle (1951), Eric Erlandson of Hole (1963), Carl Bell of Fuel (1967), Dave Matthews (1967), Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth (1967)

January 10: bluesman Sam Chatmon (1897), Buddy Johnson (1915), Aretha Franklin producer Jerry Wexler (1918), Johnnie Ray (1927), Domenico Modugno of “Volare” fame (1928), Ronnie Hawkins (1935), Scott “If You’re Going To San Francisco, Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair” McKenzie (1939), Jim Croce (1943), Rod Stewart (1945), journeyman drummer Aynsley Dunbar (1946), Donald Fagen of Steely Dan (1948), Cyrill Neville of the Neville Brothers (1948), Pat Benatar (1953), guitarist Michael Schenker of UFO and The Scorpions (1955), Shawn Colvin (1956), Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies (1964), Aerle Taree of Arrested Development (1973), Chris Smith aka Kris Kross (1979)

January 11: bluesman Slim Harpo, born James Moore (1924), trumpet great Don Cherry (1924), Chuck Barksdale of The Dells (1935), pop singer Bobby Goldsboro (1941), sax man Clarence Clemons (1942), Janice Pought of The Bobettes (1945), Naomi Judd (1946), Lee Ritenour (1952), Vicki Peterson of The Bangles (1960), Tom Dumont of No Doubt (1968), Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands (1971), Mary J Blige (1971)

January 12: Mississippi Fred McDowell (1904), Tex Ritter (1907), country singer Ray Price (1926), folk singer Glenn Yarbrough (1930), Oak Ridge Boys’ William Lee Golden (1939), British bluesman Long John Baldry, who launched the career of Rod Stewart (1941), Sly & The Family Stone trumpeter Cynthia Robinson (1946), Chris Bell of Big Star (1951), Charlie Gillingham of Counting Crows (1960), Rob Zombie, born Roberty Bartleh Cummings (1966), Raekwon of Wu Tang Clan (1968), Melanie Chisholm of the Spice Girls (1974)

January 13: singer-comedian Sophie Tucker (1888), record label founder Lester Sill (1918), The Moonglows vocalist Bobby Lester (1932), The Dells’ original lead singer Johnny Funches (1935), Trevor Rabin of Yes (1954), Earth, Wind, and Fire drummer Fred White (1955), Slaughter guitarist Tim Kelly (1963), Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against The Machine (1970)

January 14: big band vocalist Russ Columbo (1908), doo-wop/R&B record label owner Al Silver (1914), soul man Clarence Carter (1936), songwriter-producer Alain Toussaint (1938), Contours’ singer Hubert Johnson (1941), soul singer Linda Jones (1944), Allman Brothers bassist Lamar Williams (1949), Jim Croce guitarist Maury Muehlelsen (1949), jazz guitarist/trumpeter Mark Egan (1951), Geoff Tate of Queensryche (1959), Chas Smash, born Cathal Joseph Patrick Smyth of Madness (1959), Patricia Morrison of Sisters of Mercy (1962), LL Cool J, born James Todd Smith (1968), Dave Grohl (1969)

Departures:

January 8: Grinderswitch bassist Joe Dan Petty (2000), Louisiana bluesman Silas Hogan (1994), Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark (1991), Archibald, born Leon Gross, New Orleans pianist

January 9: Lou Rawls (2006), Lynne Denicker of The Aquatones (2001), Howie Johnson, original drummer for The Ventures (1998)

January 10: Jefferson Airplane drummer Spencer Dryden (2005), guitarist Bryan Gregory of The Cramps (2001), Kenny Pickett, singer with Creation (1997), Beach Blanket Bingo lyricist Guy Bonson Hemric (1993), Addie (Micki) McFadden of the Shirelles (1982), blues giant Chester Burnett, better known as Howlin’ Wolf (1976), organist Earl Grant (1970)

January 11: Jimmy Griffin, co-founder of Bread (2005), Sean McDonald, singer and guitar player with Surgery (1995), Barry Kramer, founder of Creem Magazine (1981)

January 12: harpist-pianist, wife of John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane (2007), Michael Brecker (2007), singer Randy VanWarmer (2004), Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees (2003), Brazilian composer-guitarist Luis Bonfa (2001), Robert Peterson, Grateful Dead songwriter (1987)

January 13: Brian Keenan, drummer with the Chambers Brothers (1985), soul singer-songwriter-keyboardist Donny Hathaway (1979), Stephen Foster (1864)

January 14: Jerry Nolan, drummer, New York Dolls (1992), bluesman Rube Lacey (1969)

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