It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1958, 14-year-old George Harrison demonstrates his guitar prowess by playing the Bill Justus instrumental “Raunchy” for an impressed John Lennon and Paul McCartney while the three are riding a Liverpool bus … he’s invited to join their group, The Quarry Men, thus forming the front line of what will become The Beatles … 30 years to the day later, Harrison’s last American chart single, “When We Was Fab,” a remembrance of the Beatles era, enters the Top 100 …

1959, Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones dies of pneumonia in New York … noted for his intense, gospel-like vocals and stinging, distorted single-note leads, Jones was a real showman often wandering out into the crowd trailing his 350-foot guitar cable … his single, “The Things I Used To Do,” is a staple of the blues canon …

1960, Motown Records’ first hit, “Money (That’s What I Want),” by Barrett Strong enters the Billboard pop chart and ultimately rises to #23 … the song will be covered successfully by legions of performers including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, The Miracles, Led Zep, The Kingsmen, Junior Walker and the All Stars, The Flying Lizards, Cheap Trick, Smashing Pumpkins, and badly by drunk people in countless karaoke clubs worldwide …

… this same day Mark Dinning’s lugubrious “Teen Angel” owns the top spot on the chart … he isn’t the first member of his family to ascend to the pop heights; three of Dinning’s siblings billed as The Dinning Sisters had a top-ten hit with “Buttons and Bows” that also won an Oscar … his babysitter, Patti Page, may also have had an impact on his career …

1963, The Beatles cut their first album at Abbey Road Studios in a single 10-hour session that cost $600 … the lads are all suffering from colds and John is losing his voice by the time they track “Twist and Shout” … all the tunes are from their set list at the Cavern Club as producer George Martin is intent on capturing the Fab Four with a live vibe … the resulting tracks will be released in the U.S. as Introducing … The Beatles

1964, Beatlemania reaches a feverish pitch when the Fab Four deplane in New York and are greeted by thousands of screaming teenyboppers … that same day Baskin-Robbins unleashes its newest flavor—Beatle-Nut …

1966, Crawdaddy, the first magazine devoted to the serious discussion of rock and roll, is published by Paul Williams, who wrote, edited, and mimeographed the first issue, then hit the streets looking for businesses to sell it … famous rock writers who got their start at the magazine include Jon Landau, Richard Meltzer, Gene Sculatti, and Peter Guralnick …

1969, George Harrison’s tonsils are removed at University College Hospital in London … it is reported that they have been destroyed to prevent the glands from turning up in the memorabilia market … Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker formerly of Cream, together with ex-Traffic singer-keyboardist-guitarist Stevie Winwood, announce they’re auditioning for a bass player to join them in a new quartet … with Rick Grech recruited, the band will become the short-lived supergroup, Blind Faith …

1972, former Beatle Paul McCartney’s new band Wings, featuring his wife Linda and former Moody Blues singer Denny Laine among others, plays its first concert at Nottingham University in the UK …

1979, Stephen Stills is the first rock act to record on digital gear at L.A.’s Record Plant … the tracks are never released, however, and guitarist Ry Cooder’s rockabilly-inflected album Bop ‘Til You Drop becomes the first ones-and-zeroes pop record …

1981, Joni Mitchell is inducted by Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau into the Juneau Hall of Fame …

1986, in an odd pop-culture pairing, Culture Club singer Boy George guest stars on an episode of the popular TV show The A-Team … in the episode, Boy is mistakenly booked as country singer Cowboy George at one of the toughest dance halls in the West … Culture Club performs …

1990, Billy Idol fractures an arm and leg in a Hollywood motorcycle wreck … the mishap dashes his plans to play a major role in Oliver Stone’s film, The Doors

1995, The I-Threes, Bob Marley’s backup singing group that includes his widow Rita, stage a 50th birthday concert for the late reggae star at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, Jamaica … son Ziggy Marley also performs …

1999, Foo Fighter Dave Grohl and his music publisher sue movie distribution outfit Miramax for unauthorized use of the Fighters’ hit “Big Me” in the trailer for the film Rounders

2004, though the band has always had an ever-changing lineup, singer-guitarist Josh Homme and bassman Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age have been the constant Queens with a longstanding partnership going back to their days in Kyuss in the early 1990s … that relationship comes to a sudden end when the band’s website announces Oliveri has split, tersely noting ” A number of incidents occurring over the last 18 months have led to the decision that the two can no longer maintain a working partnership in the band” … Norah Jones’ sophomore album Feels Like Home moves over a million units in its first week keeping the sultry singer’s mojo going on the charts …

2005, Courtney Love pleads no contest to charges of an alleged assault on musician Kristin King … she is ordered by a Los Angeles court to take anger-management classes, pay a $1,000 fine, and perform 100 hours of community service … Love then travels across town to a Beverly Hills court where a judge reduces her two felony charges of illegal possession of prescription drugs to one misdemeanor … she is ordered to continue a rehab program she is already enrolled in and avoid alcohol and drugs …

2006, former Creed frontman Scott Stapp is arrested for public drunkenness at Los Angeles International Airport where he’s about to embark on a honeymoon flight to Hawaii with his new bride, the former Miss New York, Jaclyn Nesheiwat … police describe Stapp’s demeanor as “antagonistic, boisterous and pissed off” … he’s booked by the cops after failing a beathalyzer test … Israel Ramirez, a Busta Rhymes bodyguard, is shot dead outside a Brooklyn studio where his boss is recording a video … word on the street is the shooting resulted from rapper Tony Yayo’s ejection from the session for being disruptive … Les Paul is released from a New Jersey hospital after a nine-day stay for pneumonia … the illness caused the 90-year-old electric-guitar guru to miss the Grammys where his album Les Paul and Friends won two awards … emo band Hawthorne Heights is about to release its album If Only You Were Lonely … fearing competition for chart position from Ne-Yo whose album will drop the same day, they email the band’s fans urging them to visit record stores and make sure the HH disc is in stock while sabotaging sales of Ne-Yo’s In My Own Words … the message in part reads, “As for Ne-Yo, the name of the game is to decrease the chances of a sale here. If you were to pick up handful of Ne-Yo CDs, as if you were about to buy them, but then changed your mind and didn’t bother to put them back in the same place, that would work. Even though this record will be heavily stocked and you might not be able to move all the stock, just relocating a handful creates issues: Even though the store will appear to be out of stock, the computer will see it as in stock and not re-order the title once it sells down and then Ne-Yo will lose a few sales later in the week.” …

2007, A Los Angeles court grants producer Phil Spector a $900,000 judgment against a former assistant whom he claimed had embezzled the money from his pension fund … Spector may need all that moolah and more to defend against pending murder charges involving the death of starlet Lana Clarkson … the trial is set to commence in March and Spector is free on $1 million bail … the case will end in a mistrial, but the DA will file charges again leading to a second trial … in a convoluted deal between Apple (which recently removed “Computer” from its name) and Apple Corps, the company founded by The Beatles, the computer maker acquires rights to all Apple logos used by both companies and will license the green apple logo back to Apple Corps … no financial details are revealed in press accounts … country singer Keith Urban files suit against New Jersey painter Keith D. Urban claiming the latter’s website, keithurban.net, misleads people into believing the site is related to the performer … the suit does not specify any monetary damages and asks the court to transfer the URL to the country star … the painter countersues … despite being boycotted by country music fans and radio stations after making critical remarks about President George W. Bush’s policies in the run-up to Iraq War in 2003, the Dixie Chicks nail five Grammys for their unrepentant album Not Ready to Make Nice … other winners include Mary J. Blige who takes home three phonographs for her The Breakthrough album and The Red Hot Chili Peppers whose double-disc Stadium Arcadium scores four awards …

2008, two months after resigning as president of Def Jam Records, Jay-Z announces the launch of his ad agency Translation Advertising that will target the multicultural demographic … there’s also talk that Jigga is negotiating with Warner Music Group to launch a new label, Carter Music Group … hours after a Velvet Revolver show in L.A., vocalist Scott Weiland checks himself into rehab … the following April it’s official—Weiland has left the band and Velvet Revolver is shopping for a new singer … AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” has become one of the most requested funeral songs in Australia … London’s Daily Telegraph reports that according to an Australian mortuary, AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” has replaced traditional hymns such as “Amazing Grace” to become one of the most-requested songs played at funerals … also topping the funeral charts are Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” and Louis Armstrong’s cover of “It’s A Wonderful World” …

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

Arrivals:

February 5: country blues harp man Will Shade (1898), session drummer Samie “Sticks” Evans (1923), Louisiana rockabilly star Jackie Lee Cochran (1934), Scots blues and jazz bandleader Alex Harvey (1935), soul singer-songwriter Barrett Strong (1941), country singer Henson Cargill (1941), Cory Wells of Three Dog Night (1942), Chuck Winfield of Blood, Sweat & Tears (1943), Al Kooper (1944), J.R. Cobb of Atlanta Rhythm Section (1944), Dave Denny of the Steve Miller Band (1948), Elton John drummer Nigel Olsson (1949), Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver (1964), Chris Barron of Spin Doctors (1968), Bobby Brown (1969)

February 6: songwriter Leon Rene (1902), sax honker Bill Doggett (1916), teen idol Fabiano Forte AKA Fabian (1943), Wilson “Willie Tee” Turbinton, New Orleans funk and soul keyboardist, songwriter, and singer (1944), Bob Marley (1945), Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward (1946), Natalie Cole (1950), Axl Rose born William Bruce Rose (1962), Rick Astley (1966)

February 7: jazz pianist Eubie Blake (1883), bluegrass singer Wilma Lee Cooper (1921), Sun Records artist and Roy Orbison protégé Warren Smith (1932), king of soul sax King Curtis born Curtis Ousley (1934), Donna Stoneman of the Blue Grass Champs (1934), blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Earl King (1934), singer Walter Scott of Bob Kuban and the In Men (1943), singer Sammy Johns (1946), Jimmy Greenspoon of Three Dog Night (1948), Alan Lancaster of Status Quo (1949), Steppenwolf bassist Andy Chapin (1952), Brian Travers of UB40 (1959), Steve Bronski of Bronski Beat (1960), David Bryan of Bon Jovi (1962), Garth Brooks (1962)

February 8: blues, R&B, and jazz singer-guitarist Lonnie Johnson (1889), film composer John Williams (1932), rockabilly artist Donnie Owens (1932), Tom Rush (1941), Creed Bratton II of The Grass Roots (1943), Jim Capaldi of Traffic (1944), Canned Heat drummer Adolfo “Fito” De La Parra (1946), Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe (1961), Sam Llanas of The BoDeans (1961), Collective Soul’s Will Turpin (1971), Darren “Phoenix” Farrell of Linkin Park (1977)

February 9: country music pioneer Ernest Tubb (1914), Canadian folk singer “Stompin’” Tom Connors (1936), Chicago soul singer Johnny Sayles (1937), songwriter Barry Mann (1939), Carole King born Carole Klein (1942), Major Harris of The Delfonics (1947), rockabilly artist Joe Ely (1947), folkie Tom Jans (1949), Dennis Thomas of Kool & the Gang (1951), Travis Tritt (1963)

February 10: Jimmy Durante (1893), classical/jazz harmonica player Larry Adler (1914), zydeco squeezebox man Rockin’ Dopsie (1932), Don Wilson of The Ventures (1933), Roberta Flack (1939), James Merchant of Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers (1940), Elvis impersonator Ral Donner (1943), Aussie songwriter Peter Allen (1944), Donovan born Donovan Phillip Leitch (1946), Robbie Neville (1961), Metallica bassist Cliff Burton (1962)

February 11: Glen Miller Orchestra sax man Tex Beneke (1914), singer-songwriter, actor, activist Josh White (1915), rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Gene Vincent born Eugene Vincent Craddock (1935), songwriter Gerry Goffin (1939), novelty songster Bobby “Boris” Pickett (1940), Sergio Mendes (1941), keyboard man Stan Szelest (1942), blues singer Little Johnny Taylor (1943), Sheryl Crow (1962), D’Angelo (1974), Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park (1977), “Brandy” Norwood (1979), Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child (1981)

Departures:

February 5: Beatles guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (2008), guitarist Tim Kelly of Slaughter (1998), Rudy Pompilli, sax player and bandleader of Bill Haley’s Comets (1976)

February 6: singer Mitsumi Fukuhara of Super Junky Monkey (1999), Carl Wilson, founding member of The Beach Boys (1998), Austrian pop musician Falco (1998), composer-conductor Hugo Montenegro (1981), ’50s R&B balladeer Jesse Belvin (1960)

February 7: crooner Frankie Laine (2007), Brit reed player Elton Dean (2006), Real Kids bassist Allen “Alpo” Paulino (2006), “Ring of Fire” co-writer Merle Kilgore (2005), Dale Evans (2001), Dave Peverett of Foghat (2000), songwriter Bobby Troup of “(Get Your Kicks) On Route 66” fame (1999), Brit crooner Matt Munro (1985), Chicago blues bassist and producer Al Smith (1974), Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones (1959)

February 8: Keith Knudsen of the Doobie Brothers (2005), jazz organist Jimmy Smith (2005), pop singer Del Shannon (1990)

February 9: soul singer Tyrone Davis (2005), Outlaws guitarist Billy Jones (1995), gospel pioneer Reverend James Cleveland (1991), Bill Haley (1981), jump blues bandleader Buddy Johnson (1977)

February 10: singer Freddie Bell (2008), ’60s NY folkie and Dylan influence Dave Van Ronk (2002), saxophonist Buddy Tate (2001), Brian Connolly of Sweet (1997), British promoter Tony Secunda (1995), Stooges’ bassist Dave Alexander (1975)

February 11: Jockey Shabala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo (2006), stride pianist Jaki Byard (1999), New Orleans guitarist and composer Rene Hall (1988)

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