It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1958, in an effort to revitalize the plummeting reputation of Jerry Lee Lewis, producer Sam Phillips forces Lewis to sign an apologetic letter which Phillips posts as a full-page ad in Billboard … during his catastrophic tour of England, the British press discovers that Lewis had married his 13-year-old second cousin Myra Brown, and hounds him out of the country … Lewis returns to the States to find his career in ruins, with most DJs refusing to play his records … though the country audience is the first to forgive the Killer and welcome him back, his continued “rock and roll” behavior kept him on the outs with the Nashville establishment … decades later, 52-year-old Rolling Stone Bill Wyman will follow in the Killer’s footsteps with Mandy Smith, a Catholic school girl he began a relationship with at 13, married at 18, and then divorced at an over-the-hill 19 …

1966, The Beatles record the song “Rain,” which employs a reverse tape … it’s the same technique that later results in the “Paul is dead” rumors surrounding Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band … daed ton s’luaP … daed ton s’luaP … daed ton s’luaP … oh, sorry, let’s play that backward: Paul’s not dead, Paul’s not dead, Paul’s not dead …

… multi-instrumentalist-turned-junkie and founder of The Rolling Stones, Brian Jones, announces he’s leaving the band because he doesn’t agree with their musical direction—which is straight to the top of the charts … sadly Jones’s career is headed in exactly the opposite direction … within three weeks he is found dead at the bottom of his pool …

1969, Blind Faith makes its live debut at a free concert in London’s Hyde Park … an estimated 150,000 people attend the show … the group consists of Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech …

1970, The Who performs its rock opera Tommy at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House …

1971, police panic when people start climbing over the fence at a Jethro Tull concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver … they drop tear gas from helicopters resulting in a general riot with lots of injuries … in hopes of averting total disaster, Jethro Tull comes onstage in the middle of the ruckus—after the opening act flees—and plays their entire show while choking from tear gas fumes … Red Rocks says no more rock concerts will be held there … a real pity, since it’s generally agreed that playing there is such a gas … however, Red Rocks will eventually relent and rock on …

1972, Grand Funk Railroad sells out its concert at Shea Stadium within 72 hours of the on-sale, breaking the previous box-office record held by The Beatles …

1974, Rick Wakeman parts ways with Yes to pursue a solo career … he will rejoin the band for 1977’s Going for the One, setting the pattern for decades of on-again/off-again relations …

1980, The Grateful Dead celebrate life, commemorating 15 years together at an anniversary concert in Phoenix, AZ …

1987, Michael Jackson enters the Jehovah’s Witness protection program after severing ties with the religious organization …

1990, 25 years to the day after their father Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys owned the top of the pops with “Help Me Rhonda,” Wilson Phillips, the trio composed of Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson, and Chynna Phillips, own the same spot on the Top 100 chart with their single “Hold On” …

1991, singer-songwriter Patti Scialfa has Bruce Springsteen’s back … the four-year E Street Band backup singer and The Boss tie the knot with three Baby Bosses in their future …

1992, the government’s effort to stamp out Elvis—on a commemorative stamp, that is—culminates in a vote … Priscilla Presley announces from the Graceland lawn that fans voted in favor of depicting the ’50s-era King over the portly, mutton chop-bearing Vegas King … young Elvis took home 851,200 votes while the Vegas King garnered 277,723 … David Bowie marries model and actress Iman in a church ceremony in Florence, Italy … the couple wed in a civil ceremony in May … an L.A. judge dismisses a $25 million palimony suit brought by model Kelly Emberg against Rod Stewart … she charges that they had lived together in a marital-like state between 1985 and 1990 and had a child together … despite their current contretemps, sources close to Emberg report that she still thinks Rod is sexy … perhaps a rewrite of Stewart’s dicso hit is in order: “If you want my money and you think I’m sexy …”

1994, Atlanta Falcon’s wide receiver Andre Rison’s Atlanta mansion burns to the ground … much to the dismay of paranormal investigators, the “Firestarter” was an angry Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes who claims “I was just trying to barbecue his tennis shoes” as retribution for infidelity and abuse … the fire got out of control and ultimately burned down the entire mansion …

1997, the drowned body of singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley turns up in a harbor on the Mississippi River … Buckley had disappeared days earlier after wading into the river fully clothed while a friend swam nearby …

1998, a judge in the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court hears opening arguments in a suit brought by the Ronettes against their former producer, Phil Spector … charged with breaching a 34-year-old contract by failing to pay royalties, the reclusive studio guru is ordered to pay the girls $2.9 million plus interest … but an appeals court overturns that decision … as time will tell, Spector doesn’t always get away with murder … Sir Paul McCartney is joined by his former bandmates, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, as well as Pete Townshend, Elton John, and other rock luminaries to mourn the death of Linda McCartney … attendees at the private service held at St. Martin in the Fields church in London sing “Let it Be” and the Brodsky Quartet performs “The Lovely Linda” and “Calico Skies,” songs Sir Paul wrote for his late wife …

1999, Tim McGraw and 400 attendees of his charity concert are forced to evacuate the 7th House in Pontiac, MI, after a female fan pepper sprays a man she claims groped her … McGraw collapses mid-song from the spray as the exodus begins … must have been the industrial-sized can …

2000, obviously not getting habbed right the first time, Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood enters a rehab center in London to deal with his alcohol addiction … Sinead O’Connor outs herself in an article that appears in Curve magazine … (she’s not really bald … sshhhh …)

2003, hip-hop star R. Kelly is charged with 21 counts of child porn after an Internet-broadcast clip shows him cavorting with an allegedly underage girl …

2006, multi-platinum songstress Norah Jones, daughter of sitar master Ravi Shankar, is signed to appear in the movie My Blueberry Nights

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

Arrivals:

June 4: country singer Freddy Fender, born Baldemar Huerta (1937), Roger Ball of Average White Band (1944), Gordon Waller of Peter & Gordon (1945), Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas (1945), Eldra Patrick “El” DeBarge of The DeBarge Family (1961), R&B singer-songwriter Brian McKnight (1969), Stefan Lessard of The Dave Matthews Band (1974)

June 5: jazz pianist Pete Jolly (1932), Freddie Stone of Sly & The Family Stone (1946), Badfinger’s Tom Evans (1947), performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson (1947), keyboardist Frank Esler-Smith of Air Supply (1948), soul singer Ronnie Dyson (1950), Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden (1952), jazz drummer-composer Peter Erskine (1954), saxophonist Kenny G (1956), Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs (1956), rapper, actor, and underwear model extraordinaire, Mark Wahlberg (1971), Aaron “P-Nut” Wills of 311 (1974), Sebastien Lefebvre of Simple Plan (1981)

June 6: Chess Records session drummer S.P. Leary (1930), Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops (1936), R&B and rock-and-roll singer Gary U.S. Bonds (1939), The Byrds’ Clarence White (1944), Tom Araya, lead vocalist-bassist of Slayer (1961), James Schaffer of Korn (1970)

June 7: jazz guitarist Tal Farlow (1921), Welsh crooner Tom Jones (1940), Steve Torbert of New Riders of the Purple Sage (1948), the artist once again known as Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson (1958), Ecstacy of Whodini (1964), Eric Kretz of Stone Temple Pilots (1966)

June 8: songstress Nancy “Boots” Sinatra (1940), Sherman Garnes of Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers (1940), Jesse Bolian of the Artistics (1941), Three Dog Night’s Chuck Negron (1942), singer-songwriter-guitarist Boz Scaggs (1944), Uriah Heep’s Mick Box (1947), Welsh rock singer Bonnie Tyler, born Gaynor Hopkins (1953), Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall (1960), Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes (1962), Alex Band of The Calling (1981)

June 9: songwriter Cole Porter (1891), guitar player/builder Les Paul, born Lester Polfus (1915), R&B singer Johnny Ace, born John Marshall Alexander Jr. (1929), operatic soul singer Jackie Wilson (1934), Wild Jimmy Spruill (1934), Deep Purple’s Jon Lord (1941), Dean Felber of Hootie & The Blowfish (1967), Dean Dinning of Toad the Wet Sprocket (1967)

June 10: influential bluesman Chester Burnett, aka Howlin’ Wolf (1910), singer-actress Judy Garland (1922), The Shirelle’s Shirley Alston (1941), The Move’s Rick Price (1944), Will Shatter of Flipper (1956), Jimmy Chamberlin of Smashing Pumpkins (1964), Darren Robinson of The Fat Boys (1967), Joel “Jo-Jo” Hailey of K-Ci & Jo-Jo (1971), modern country star Faith Evans (1973), Lemisha Grinsted of 702 (1973)

Departures:

June 4: American folk, country, and bluegrass composer John Hartford (2001), Ronnie Lane of The Small Faces (1997), Herman’s Hermits guitarist Derek “Lek” Leckenby (1994), jazz/blues pianist Todd Rhodes (1965)

June 5: guitarist Robert Quine of Richard Hell & the Voidoids (2004), Ramones founder and bassist Dee Dee Ramone (2002), singer Mel “The Velvet Fog” Torme (1999), Ernie Wilkins, jazz saxophonist and arranger for Count Basie (1999), pop and country singer Conway Twitty, born Harold Lloyd Jenkins (1993), Tejano accordionist Narciso Martinez (1992), ex-Steely Dan drummer Jimmy Hodder (1990), bluesman “Sleepy” John Estes (1977)

June 6: keyboardist Billy Preston, the only musician to play live with both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones (2006), former Animals keyboardist Dave Rowberry (2003), founding Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby (2002), Pariah bassist Sims Ellison (1995), smooth saxophonist Stan Getz (1991), British Decca A&R man Dick Rowe (1986)

June 7: Tommy Perkins of Bob Wills Texas Playboys (2003), James Eugene “Rosy” McHargue, singer and reedman for the Benny Goodman Orchestra (1999), Schwann Recording Catalog editor William Schwann (1998), producer-songwriter Jerry Capehart, co-writer of “Summertime Blues” (1998)

June 8: jazz vocalist Nellie Lutcher (2007), guitar and amp builder to the stars Dan Armstrong (2004), punker Root Boy Slim (1993), session drummer Yogi Horton (1987), blues and jazz shouter Jimmy “Mr. Five-By-Five” Rushing (1972)

June 9: folksinger Walter Pardon (1996), ’60s R&B singer Arthur Alexander (1993), jazz and blues singer Clarence “Big” Miller (1992)

June 10: Ray Charles (2004), Steve Sanders of The Oak Ridge Boys (1998), Alan Blakely of the Tremoloes (1996), Jimmy Weston of the Danleers (1993), The Shirelles’ Addie “Mickey” Harris (1982), organist Earl Grant (1970)

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