It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1954, bluesman Joe Turner cuts “Shake, Rattle & Roll” six months before Bill Haley’s version is released … the cover blows up into a giant hit …

1955, Richard Wayne Penniman, soon to be famous as Little Richard, sends his first audition tape to Specialty Records …

1965, The Who audition for the BBC’s Light Programme … though they ultimately make the show by a vote of four to three, one of the judges intones that they are “Overall not very original and below standard” … another judge deems them “ponderous and unentertaining” … and you thought American Idol was brutal! …

1966, The Beach Boys’ mastermind Brian Wilson enters Gold Star Studios on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood to lay down the first tracks of “Good Vibrations” using the best session players available … the tracks weren’t used … it takes 16 more sessions between April 9 and September 1 at Gold Star, Sunset Sound, Western, and Columbia studios before Wilson achieves his master recording at a reported cost of between $50,000 and $75,000 … at the time an astronomical sum for a single record but worth it given the result …

1967, The Beatles release the single “Penny Lane”/”Strawberry Fields Forever” in the United States … working on a tip, British police raid a party at Redlands, the English estate of Keith Richards, searching for illegal drugs … police find amphetamine pills in singer Mick Jagger’s coat and charge him with possession … Richards is charged with allowing his home to be used for drug-taking and a third guest is charged with heroin possession … Richards spends one night in jail, Jagger gets two … at trial four months later, both Stones are found guilty and given stiff sentences … the London Times gets behind the two rockers, questioning the severity of the sentences in a series of editorials … due to the media pressure, Richard’s conviction is quashed on appeal, and Jagger’s prison sentence is reduced to a conditional discharge … Aretha Franklin records her hit single “Respect” at New York’s Atlantic Studios … written by Otis Redding, the record will sell over a million copies and top the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks on its way to becoming both an American classic and Aretha’s biggest hit …

… John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers go into Decca Recording Studios without John Mayall … guitarist Peter Green was given the studio time as a birthday present by Mayall, he bassist John McVie, and drummer Aynsley Dunbar record four tracks and—inspired by Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience—briefly consider going out on their own as a power trio …

1968, the final chorus for Little Walter … he was an innovative blues harp player who modernized the sound of the amplified harmonica and used jazzy, horn-like phrasing … a hot-tempered, hard-drinking guy, he died as the result of a street fight in Chicago …

1969, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan enter a Nashville recording studio together for a session that yields the duet “Girl from the North Country” …

1972, upon arriving in Singapore to kick off their first Pacific tour, the members of Led Zeppelin are denied entry into the country because of their long hair … the hairstyles are viewed as a threat to the conservative government’s campaign to reduce the influence of Western culture on its citizens … the band is not permitted to exit the plane, and is forced to return to London immediately … the tour begins later in the week in Perth, Australia … Pink Floyd premieres Dark Side of the Moon live in London during a four-day gig a full year prior to the album’s release …

1976, Fleetwood Mac begin recording Rumours in Sausalito, California … beset by relationship problems between John and Christine as well as between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, the group manages to funnel their personal angst into song and onto tape … one year later, between the alleged instances of drug abuse, navel-gazing, and general mucking about—for example, taking a whole month to record a bass drum track—the group finally releases the album a year later in February 1977 … it eventually goes platinum 20 times over … at the Marquee Club, The Sex Pistols play their first London gig … it’s a destructive affair as Johnny Rotten smashes a mic stand through an onstage monitor that’s not turned on … he also jumps into the audience to join the fighting already in progress … not much gear is left for the headliners Eddie and the Hot Rods … no punk poseurs these Pistols …

1977, Valentine’s Day gives birth to a bunch of musical misfits gathered at a house party in Athens, Georgia … over backing tapes recorded by the drummer and guitarist, two sisters, sporting shaggy wigs and kitschy ’60s styles, sing, cavort, and generally raise the roof of that love shack … tunes such as “Rock Lobster” and “Planet Claire” will appear two years later on their first album The B-52s

1978, The Residents, from San Francisco, release a limited-edition EP Duck Stab … the group members’ identities are kept secret as they appear only in costume and do not list credits on their albums …

1981, bluesman Mike Bloomfield dies at age 37 from a drug overdose in San Francisco … he joined The Paul Butterfield Blues Band in 1965 … his stinging—and sometimes frenetic—lead guitar playing combined elements of blues, jazz, and Indian raga to help advance the popularity of the blues among white audiences at such venues as The Fillmore in San Francisco … Bloomfield also played on Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited that included the huge hit “Like A Rolling Stone” … he also played the Monterey Pop Festival with the self-described “all-American music band” The Electric Flag featuring drummer Buddy Miles … in 1968 Bloomfield recorded a series of blues-based jams in the studio with organist Al Kooper … the resulting album Super Session reached the Top 20 and won a gold record … Bloomfield continued performing as a solo artist and with various groups … in 2003, Rolling Stone placed him number 22 on their ranking of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” …

1982, the 300-pound marble slab that marks the grave of former Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant is stolen in Orange Park, Florida … it is recovered by police two weeks later in a dried-up river bed nearby …

1988, a 12-year-old Mötley Crüe fan in Florida sets his legs on fire while emulating a stunt seen in the group’s “Live Wire” video … Mötley Crüe issues a statement saying the stunt should not be tried at home …

1990, Aerosmith appear as themselves on SNL’s “Wayne’s World” … they play the “Wayne’s World” theme with Garth (Dana Carvey) sitting in on drums … host Tom Hanks plays the roadie making a mic check: “sibilance, sibilance” …

1992, Vince Neil is fired as Mötley Crüe’s lead singer after recording sessions for a new album turn ugly … he is replaced by John Corabi, formerly of The Scream … the resulting album, Mötley Crüe, goes on to be a commercial disappointment for the band … Neil will reunite with the Crüe in 1997 …

1997, the “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson, and his wife Debbie Rowe, welcome their first child at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles … the child is fittingly named Prince Michael Joseph Jackson II …

1998, a bucket-wielding Danber Nobacon of Chumbawamba leaps onto Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott’s table at the Brit Awards in London … in an effort to defend the honor of his wife and others at the table, Prescott shoves Nobacon to the ground, getting himself drenched in the process … Nobacon later claims he was making a political statement, but nobody is quite able to decipher what the statement is …

2000, during a performance by the Isley Brothers dubbed the Valentine’s Super Love Jam at the L.A. Sports Arena, an LAPD officer shoots and kills a 24-year-old man who has allegedly wounded three people near a concession stand … though the performers and audience have no idea what has transpired, the show concludes one hour before it is scheduled to end …

2005, Janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 47th Grammy awards … Kid Rock is arrested for punching a DJ at a Nashville strip club and released on $3,000 bail … “Everything is wonderful. It was a beautiful night,” is his response as he leaves the lockup … Jerry Campos, the DJ at Christie’s Cabaret, reported the assault after Rock punched him twice in the face and broke his glasses … the singer-rapper-songwriter was in town to perform “I Saw the Light” during a memorial service for songwriter Merle Kilgore at the legendary Ryman Auditorium … The Grammy Awards broadcast on CBS pulls its smallest TV audience since 1995 … the show is thoroughly trounced in the ratings by ABC’s Desperate Housewives

2006, former Great White tour manager Dan Biechele pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the February 20, 2003, fire that killed 100 including guitarist Ty Longley at the Station nightclub in West Warwick, RI … Biechele triggered the pyrotechnic display that caused the conflagration … he gets a four-year sentence for his role in the disaster … owners of the club, Michael and Jeffrey Derderian, are still awaiting trial on separate charges that they OK’d use of the pyrotechnics … Alice in Chains regroups with vocalist William DuVall replacing Layne Stayley who died of an OD in 2002 …

2007, guitarist Mary Kaye, known by many as the “first lady of rock ’n’ roll” and widely credited as an originator of the Las Vegas “lounge” phenomenon, dies in Las Vegas … she was 83 … in 1956, Mary appeared in an ad with her trio for the then-new Fender Stratocaster … in 1987, Fender introduced the limited-run Mary Kaye Stratocaster in her honor … in a radio interview Madonna says she wants to be like Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and John Lennon … but adds that she wants to stay alive … while Madonna has role models, Beyonce has a model role, the bikini-clad R&B singer Beyonce is chosen by Sports Illustrated to grace its annual swimsuit issue … in other fashion news, MTV Networks adorns 250 of its employees with a Valentine’s Day pink slip …

2008, Emmylou Harris is named to the Country Music Hall of Fame … she first became known for her duet work with Gram Parsons in the 1970s … after Parsons’ death in 1973, she embarked on a solo career that included pop, country-rock, and Americana … she’s been honored with 12 Grammy Awards … Lenny Kravitz postpones his European tour after being hospitalized for bronchitis … a spokesperson says he is suffering from exhaustion and dehydration …

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

Arrivals:

February 12: jazz and rock record producer Bob Shad (1920), singer-songwriter Gene McDaniels (1935), Ray Manzarek of The Doors (1935), Rick Frank of Elephant’s Memory (1942), Stan Knight of Black Oak Arkansas (1949), Steve Hackett of Genesis (1950), Michael McDonald (1952), Chynna Phillips of Wilson-Phillips (1968), Barenaked Lady Jim Creeggan (1970)

February 13: country-pop singer Tennessee Ernie Ford (1919), songwriter Boudleaux Bryant (1920), Gene Ames of The Ames Brothers (1925), Peter Tork of The Monkees (1942), Peter Gabriel (1950), New Order’s Peter Hook (1956), agit-rocker Henry Rollins (1961), The Cult’s Les Warner (1961)

February 14: Beatles-supporting DJ Murray The K, born Murray Kaufman (1922), keyboardist Merl Saunders (1934), bluesman Magic Sam born Sam Maghett (1937), folk singer Eric Anderson (1937), Vic Briggs of The Animals (1945), folk-rock/blues/jazz/R&B singer Tim Buckley (1947), Roger Fisher of Heart (1950), Ice-T, born Tracy Lauren Marrow (1959), Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas (1972)

February 15: blues guitarist Kokomo Arnold (1901), Brian Holland of the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team (1941), Mick Avory of The Kinks (1944), Denny Zager of Zager & Evans (1944), John Helliwell of Supertramp (1945), David Brown of Santana (1947), pop singer Melissa Manchester (1951), UB40 singer Ali Campbell (1959), Mikey Craig of Culture Club (1960), Brandon Boyd of Incubus (1976)

February 16: R&B keyboard player Bill Doggett (1916), gospel and doo-wop singer Ted Taylor (1934), singer-songwriter-producer Sonny Bono (1935), Mississippi bluesman James “Super Chikan” Johnson (1951), soul singer James Ingram (1956), Pete Willis of Def Leppard (1960), Andy Taylor of Duran Duran (1961)

February 17: ’50s pop crooner Tommy Edwards (1922), Bobby “Tossin’ and Turnin’” Lewis (1933), singer-songwriter Gene Pitney (1941), Packy Axton, leader and sax player for the Mar-Keys (1941), Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day (1972)

February 18: Yoko Ono (1933), folk singer David Blue (1941), Herman Santiago of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers (1941), Dennis DeYoung of Styx (1947), Mark Andes of Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne, and Heart (1948), pop singer Juice Newton (1952), Robbie Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive (1953), Dr. Dre, known to his mother as Andre Romelle Young (1965)

Departures:

February 12: trumpeter John Brunious, leader of New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band (2008), the original shock rocker Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, born Jalacy Hawkins (2000), Gerald “Bounce” Gregory of the Spaniels (1999), Philip Taylor Kramer, bassist with Iron Butterfly in the ’70s (1995), pianist Eubie Blake (1983), Mississippi Delta bluesman Ishmon Bracey (1970)

February 13: country outlaw Waylon Jennings (2002)

February 14: Sweet drummer Mick Tucker (2002), Buddy Knox of “Party Doll” fame (1999), Doug Weston, operator of The Troubadour club in L.A. (1999), Roy Lanham of Sons of the Pioneers (1991)

February 15: guitarist-Fender consultant Bill Carson (2007), songwriter Ray Evans (2007), rapper Big L, born Lamont Coleman (1999), George Suranovich, drummer for L.A. rock band Love (1990), Jimmy Holiday, singer and songwriter for Ray Charles (1987), Broadway belter Ethel Merman (1984), bluesman Mike Bloomfield (1981), blues harp player Little Walter (1968), vocalist-pianist Nat “King” Cole (1965)

February 16: Sid Feller, producer-arranger with Ray Charles (2006), soul singer Doris Troy (2004), folk-blues guitarist Walter “Brownie” McGhee (1996), Hombres drummer John Hunter (1976)

February 17: guitarist Mary Kaye (2007), percussionist and bandleader Ray Barretto (2006), Bill Cowsill, lead singer of the Cowsills (2005), Louisiana rockabilly star Jackie Lee Cochran (1998), Thelonious Sphere Monk (1982), Zenon DeFleur, guitarist with punk group Count Bishops (1979), Hollywood film composer Alfred Newman, uncle to Randy Newman (1970)

February 18: Pere Ubu guitarist Jim Jones (2008), pop singer Miss Toni Fisher (1999), Eddie Williams, bassist for Johnny Moore and The Three Blazers (1995), Bob Stinson of The Replacements (1995), rockabilly artist Johnny Carroll (1995), Musical Youth bassist Patrick Waite (1993), Ollie McLaughlin, producer for Del Shannon (1984)

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