It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1891, Tchaikovsky rocks New York City’s Music Hall … the Music Hall, later to be known as Carnegie Hall, throws its grand opening with a performance by Tchaikovsky just two days before the composer’s 51st birthday …

1937, blues legend John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson cuts his first tracks at the Aurora Studios in Aurora, Illinois, including “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” …

1958, the world’s first Grammy awards are handed out to Domenico Modugno for “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu, popularly known as “Volare” (Record of the Year and Song of the Year), the Champs for “Tequila” (Best Rhythm & Blues Performance), and The Kingston Trio for “Tom Dooley” (Best Country & Western Performance) …

1960, Jeannie Black charts with her single "He’ll Have to Stay" … it’s an answer song in the form of a retort to Jim Reeves’ hit "He’ll Have to Go" … either way, whether he stays or goes, he’s probably going to wind up paying alimony … Cathy Jean & the Roommates cut the single "Please Love Me Forever," which will rise to #12 on the pop chart … but the lead singer and her backup group never share a room, vocal booth, or even meet … the Roommates arrive to do their vocal backing track after Cathy’s left the studio … perhaps "Cathy and the Boarders" or "Cathy and the Unwanted Guests" might have been more appropriate names for the pop ensemble …

1961, Tony Orlando makes his TV debut on American Bandstand singing his hit "Halfway to Paradise" with his fly open …

1963, when producer Quincy Jones learns that Phil Spector is planning to cover Lesley Gore’s teen-angst single "It’s My Party" with a version by the Crystals, he rushes the Gore 45 to stores just two days after cutting the track …

1964, Keith Moon takes the bandstand for the first time with The Detours, who will later rename themselves The Who … 15 years later to the day, Kenney Jones takes over the Who’s drum throne after Keith has gone on to trash that big hotel room in the sky …

… The Beatles’ "Can’t Buy Me Love" enjoys its fifth and final week at the top of the pop chart … Louis Armstrong’s "Hello Dolly" will knock it out of that spot a week later …

1965, while toying with a newly acquired fuzz box (Gibson Maestro Fuzz-Tone) in a Florida hotel room, Keith Richards comes up with the riff that will later become the hook in “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” …

1968, proto-supergroup Buffalo Springfield, whose lineup includes Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Jim Messina, and Richie Furay calls it quits … quickly rising from the ashes of The Springfield, Stills goes on to form super group Crosby, Stills & Nash; Richie Furay becomes the voice of country rock band Poco along with guitarist Jim Messina, who will later join forces with Kenny Loggins; and Neil Young will keep on rockin’ in the free world long after the rest have fallen by the wayside …

1969, the savvy agent for Tommy James and the Shondells blows off a chance for the band to play Woodstock, dismissing it as "a stupid gig on a pig farm" … The Beatles record "You Never Give Me Your Money" at London’s Olympic Sound Studios … it’s one of the rare occasions on which they cut a track away from Abbey Road …

1972, Warren Beatty brings together 30 artists, including Michelle Phillips, Mama Cass, Judy Collins, Goldie Hawn, and Jack Nicholson for a series of 12 benefits underwriting George McGovern’s bid for the presidency … despite their best efforts, the nation reelects Nixon only to have him resign in shame while facing impeachment halfway through his term …

1973, Paul Simon starts his first solo tour following his divorce from Art Garfunkel … it’s fairly obvious who got custody of the songwriting talent …

1988, Madonna begins her starring role on Broadway in Speed the Plow … though the title suggests a possible cry for help from the Material Girl in her post "Virgin" days, the title actually means work; having to plow under and start over again …

1996, Pamela Anderson Lee and Tommy Lee fail in their legal attempt to stop Penthouse from publishing stills from a homemade porno flick featuring the famous couple … this despite their claim that the film was stolen from their house … that’s right, burglars looking for the big score, when tossing a rock star’s mansion for saleable memorabilia, take a cue from sportscasting: "Let’s head straight to the videotape" …

2000, Lars Ulrich of Metallica goes to Napster headquarters in San Mateo, California and presents a list of 300,000 Napsters he claims were using the software to illegally share the group’s music … ironic, coming from the band that encouraged its fans to record its music for free in order to climb out of obscurity into the limelight … just another case of do as we pay, not as we do …

2005, Cream comes together after 37 years to perform the first of four sold-out concerts … the two-hour set encompasses all of Cream’s biggest hits including: "Sunshine of Your Love," "Spoonful," and "White Room" … Bruce Springsteen’s new album Devils & Dust debuts at #1 on the Billboard Pop Chart … Audioslave plays a free outdoor concert in Cuba … they’re the first non-Cuban rock group to ever do so …

2006, Jersey Boys, a Broadway musical that’s based on vocal group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is doing great business … however, other recent rock and pop-based shows about John Lennon, The Beach Boys, and Elvis closed shop after short runs in the face of a lot of empty seats … breaking a Guinness world record, 1,572 guitarists gather in the town square of Wrocław, Poland to simultaneously play the Jimi Hendrix song, “Hey Joe” … if this doesn’t get Joe’s attention, nothing will …

2007, rap star Busta Rhymes, or Trevor Smith as he is known to his parents, is arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in New York … police stopped Mr. Rhymes because his car windows are a little too tinted … apparently, so is Busta … officers smell alcohol on the rapper’s breath and take him into custody … fully earning the name Busta, Mr. Rhymes is currently facing two separate assault charges … keeping the rap/DUI connection alive, rapper Eve is charged with a drunk driving accident in Hollywood … the Grammy-winning artist, whose real name is Eve Jihan Jeffers, is arrested on the scene after she crashes her gold Maserati into a center divider … she is freed after posting $30,000 bail … which is probably what it’s going to cost her to just get the Maserati’s front end straightened out … getting Eve straightened out is another story … friends and relatives gather on what would have been James Brown’s 74th birthday to remember the soul singer and question the direction of the music industry … “How did we get from ‘Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud,’ to where we are today?” asks his daughter Deanna Brown Thomas, referring to her father’s famous lyrics …

2008, Neil Young is building a musical archive based on Java technology that he hopes both his fans as well as future generations will buy to learn of his work … taking the stage with Java founders and developers, Young demonstrates that new material can be added to the Blu-ray discs after purchase through Internet download …

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

Arrivals:

April 30: jazz bassist Percy Heath (1923), country icon Willie Nelson (1933), British solo act and songwriter Jerry Lordan of "Apache" fame (1934), pop singer Bobby Vee (1943), Chris “Choc” Dalyrimple of Soul For Real (1971), J.R. Richards of Dishwalla (1972), Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees (1973)

May 1: pioneering Delta blues singer Charley Patton (1891), big-voiced blues shouter Big Maybelle, born Mabel Louis Smith (1924), the "King of Calypso," Harry Belafonte (1927), innovative blues harp player Little Walter, born Marion Walter Jacobs (1930), songwriter Titus Turner (1933), jazz vocalist and pianist Shirley Horn (1934), singer-songwriter Judy Collins (1939), singer Rita Coolidge (1944), singer-songwriter Mimi Fariña (1945), guitarist, songwriter, producer, Ray Parker Jr. (1954), Johnny Colt of the Black Crowes (1966), country singer and actor Tim McGraw (1967), D’Arcy Wretsky-Brown of Smashing Pumpkins (1968), Nick Traina, member of punk bands Link 80 and Knowledge (1978)

May 2: Link Wray born Frederick Lincoln Wray, Jr., progenitor of the power chord (1929), jazz-blues organist Richard "Groove" Holmes (1931), John Lee "Bunk" Gardner of The Mothers of Invention (1933), Mr. Romance, crooner Zingelbert Bembledack … Tringelbert Wangledack … Yingibert Dambleban … Klingybun Fistelvase … Steviebuns Bottrittrundle … Kringelbert Fishtybuns … Dindlebert Zindledack … Slut Bunwalla … Gerry Dorsey … Wingelbert Humptyback … Zengelbert Bingledack … Engelbert Humperdinck … Vingelbert Wingledanck … no, no, go back one, go back one. “Engelbert Humperdinck” that’s it! (1936), Hilton Valentine of The Animals (1943), Goldy McJohn of Steppenwolf (1945), singer-songwriter Lesley Gore (1946), country singer Larry Gatlin (1948), Lou Gramm of Foreigner (1950), Bruce Hall of REO Speedwagon (1953), Prescott Niles of The Knack (1954), Joe Callis of Human League (1955)

May 3: singer and actor Bing Crosby (1903), folk singer Pete Seeger (1919), country singer and truck-drivin’ son-of-gun, Dave Dudley, born David Darwin Pedriska, (1928), the godfather of soul and the hardest working man in show business, James Brown (1933), Dick Dale, king of the surf guitar (1937), jazz bassist Ron Carter (1937), lead singer of The Four Seasons, Frankie Valli, born Frank Castelluccio (1937), singer-songwriter Nick Ashford of Ashford and Simpson (1942), Welsh folk singer Mary Hopkin of “Those Were the Days” fame (1950), singer-songwriter Christopher Cross (1951)

May 4: drummer Ed "Cass" Cassidy of Spirit (1923), jazz trumpeter and bandleader Maynard Ferguson (1928), soul singer Tyrone Davis (1938), gospel, blues, soul, and pop singer Johnnie Taylor (1938), Ronnie Bond, member of The Troggs (1942), Peggy Santiglia of The Angels (1944), guitarist George Wadenius of Blood Sweat & Tears (1945), Bill Ward of Black Sabbath (1948), Jackie Jackson of The Jackson Five (1951), country artist Randy Travis (1959), Mike Dirnt of Green Day (1972), Lance Bass of ‘N Sync (1979)

May 5: 12-string blues guitarist, Blind Willie McTell, composer of "Statesboro Blues" (1901), country singer Tammy Wynette (1942), acoustic guitarist Martin Simpson (1953), Kevin Mooney of Adam and the Ants (1962), Kevin James LaBrie of Dream Theater (1963)

May 6: singer, songwriter, actress Peggy Lee (1920), Chicago bluesman Eddie C. Campbell (1939), Herb Cox of The Cleftones (1939) Mungo Jerry keyboardist Colin Earl (1942), rock musician, singer-songwriter Bob Seger (1945), Davey Johnstone of Elton John’s band (1951), Billy Burnette of Fleetwood Mac (1954), John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants (1960), Mark Ryan of Hootie and the Blowfish (1967)

Departures:

April 23: Capricorn Records co-founder Phil Walden (2006), jazz bassist Jimmy Woode (2005), New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders, born John Genzale, Jr. (1991), flamboyant R&B pianist Esquerita (1986), pianist Red Garland (1984), Pete Ham of Badfinger (1975), Motown drummer William “Benny” Benjamin (1969)

April 24: singer Al Hibbler (2001)

April 30: Zola Taylor, the only female member of The Platters (2007), "The Duchess", Norma-Jean Richardson nee Wofford, touring guitarist with Bo Diddley (2005), Nazareth drummer Darrell Sweet (1999), Body Count drummer Beatmaster V born Victor Ray Wilson (1996), influential bluesman Muddy Waters, born McKinley Morganfield (1983), rock writer Lester Bangs (1982), singer-songwriter Richard Fariña (1966)

May 1: singer Jim Hager of Hager Twins (2008), sax player John Pocisk of Johnny and the Hurricanes (2006), Italian tenor Sergio Franchi (1990), musician, bandleader, satirical arranger, Spike Jones (1965)

May 2: jazz drummer Billy Higgins (2001)

May 3: Peter Falcaglia, member of Dion’s touring band (1995), Helmut Kollen, bassist and guitarist for Triumvirat (1977), Les Harvey, guitarist for rock group Stone The Crows (1972)

May 4: Dudu Zulu, born Dudu Mntowaziwayo Ndlovu, percussionist for Johnny Clegg & Savuka (1992), Chicago blues harp player Paul Butterfield (1984)

May 5: reggae producer and record label owner Clement "Coxsone" Dodd (2004), zydeco pioneer Boozoo Chavis (2001), Ralph Garnone, singer with The Bob Knight Four (1986), singer Clarence Quick of The Del-Vikings (1983), blues and gospel singer-guitarist Reverend Gary Davis (1972)

May 6: Chicago blues harpist Carey Bell, who worked with Muddy Waters (2007), jazz pianist Hilton Ruiz (2006), Aussie singer-songwriter Grant McLennan of The Go-Betweens (2006), jazz guitarist Barney Kessel (2004), songwriter Otis Blackwell, who penned hits for Elvis (2002), Motown songwriter Clarence Paul of The "5" Royales (1995), Billy Johnson, guitarist for The Moonglows (1987), Don Drummond, leader of early ska band the Skatalites (1969)

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