It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1902, the Gibson Mandolin Guitar Company is formed …

1957, rock and roll wild man Jerry Lee Lewis records "Great Balls of Fire"…

…this same day, while touring Australia, another one of rock’s wild men, Little Richard, announces he’s giving up music for the ministry … his decision was made when a flight he’s on develops engine trouble and Richard hears God direct him to this new work … Richard will stick to the new path for five years before resuming his musical career …

1958, an article in Billboard reports that Phil Spector, the writer and arranger of the Teddy Bears’ hit "To Know Him is to Love Him," is studying to be a court reporter … though the reclusive producer, famed for creating wall-of-sound recordings in the 1960s, never takes up that profession, his indictment, two trials, and subsequent conviction for the murder of starlet Lana Clarkson in 2003 presumably gave him lots of courtroom experience … Eddie Cochran records the rockabilly anthem "C’mon Everybody" … the Sex Pistols will also enjoy a hit with their cover in 1979 …

1961, the Beatle haircut is born when Paul and John celebrate John’s 21st birthday in Paris … they meet up with Jurgen Vollmer, a friend from Hamburg who wears his hair brushed forward in a style popular with French teens … Paul and John like the look and have Jurgen give them haircuts in their hotel room … the rest is history …

1966, Grace Slick replaces expectant mom Signe Anderson in The Jefferson Airplane … she leaves her current band Great Society bringing along two songs that will be at the forefront of the San Francisco music scene: "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit"…

1969, blues giant Muddy Waters is severely injured in a car crash that kills three others …

1970, the musical Jesus Christ Superstar opens on Broadway … meanwhile The Carpenters occupy the No. 2 pop chart position with their hit "We’ve Only Just Begun" … the tune was originally created by dwarfish songwriter Paul Williams as a jingle used in United California Bank TV ads …

1971, Creedence Clearwater Revival is sued by a music publisher claiming that John Fogerty’s song "Travelin’ Band" is a ripoff of "Good Golly, Miss Molly"… the suit is later dropped …

1973, Elvis and Priscilla Presley are splitsville after six years of hip-shakin’ matrimony …

1975, Neil Young undergoes surgery on his vocal chords … his recovery is slow and he is obliged to quit midway through a tour with Stephen Stills the following year due to the strain on his voice …

1976, Joe Perry and Steven Tyler are injured during an Aerosmith concert in Philadelphia when a fan throws a cherry bomb onto the stage …

1980, Bob Marley collapses in New York while preparing for a tour … he is diagnosed with cancer and will die seven months later …

1986, Janet Jackson’s "When I Think of You" reaches No. 1, thus making her and brother Michael the first siblings to each have a number-one hit in the rock era …

1990, members of the British alt-rock band Stone Roses are fined $5,100 each after being convicted of trashing their former record label’s offices …

1993, Peter Gabriel’s "Sledgehammer" video is ranked No. 1 in video history by Rolling Stone … it had also racked up a record-setting nine MTV awards … Nirvana’s In Utero debuts in the top slot on the U.S. album chart …

1996, former Smashing Pumpkin Jimmy Chamberlain pleads guilty to disorderly conduct … the charges relate to fellow band member Jonathan Melvoin’s death from a heroin O.D. …

1997, Sir Paul McCartney receives six curtain calls at the Royal Albert Hall for the world premiere of his symphonic poem Standing Stone performed by the London Symphony … despite the acclaim, critics give the composition low marks saying it’s forgettable and dull … a continent away this same day, singer-songwriter John Denver dies when the ultralight aircraft he is piloting crashes into California’s Monterey Bay …

1998, UB40’s "Red Red Wine" is the Billboard No. 1 Pop Hit … the British reggae group is getting double mileage out of the Neil Diamond-penned song that they previously released in 1984 when it rose to No. 34 … meanwhile in the Caribbean, the Crossroads Centre of Antigua opens … the treatment facility for drug addicts is bankrolled by Eric Clapton, a former junkie himself …

1999, Deborah Rowe files for divorce from Michael Jackson after a three-year marriage … they met when she was a nurse at Jackson’s plastic surgeon’s office …

2000, British scandal sheet, the Mirror, reports that singer Toni Braxton will skip England’s MOBO Awards ceremonies celebrating black singers after one of her breast implants explodes …

2004, five Vote for Change concerts in support of presidential candidate John Kerry are mounted across the U.S. on the same night … on the bill in Clearwater, Florida are George W. Bush’s nemeses Dixie Chicks along with James Taylor … Taylor tells the crowd he’s a "big old yellow-dog Democrat" and reveals that his songs "Line ‘Em Up" and "Slap Leather" were composed to celebrate the end of the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan respectively … this same week Melissa Etheridge undergoes breast cancer surgery …

2005, a recently discovered live recording of the Thelonious Monk Quartet featuring John Coltrane debuts in the #2 spot on the Billboard jazz chart … the tape of the 1957 Carnegie Hall performance was discovered in a dusty Library of Congress archive the previous January by a researcher … following protests by anti-violence groups, some billboards promoting 50 Cents’ movie Get Rich or Die Tryin’ are removed … they had depicted the rapper with a mic in one hand and a gun in the other … meanwhile at Coventry Cathedral in England, Yoko Ono observes what would have been John Lennon’s 65th birthday by planting a tree … schoolchildren sing "Imagine" …

2006, Weezer files suit against Miller Brewing Co. after the beer monolith airs ads that include images of ticket stubs for the band’s shows along with those of Audioslave, Devo, and Incubus … Incubus also filed suit in 2005 charging misappropriation of its name … the Weezer action seeks millions in damages for "dilution of the value of the Weezer name and good will"… meanwhile in Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame mounts an exhibit titled Revolution Rock: The Story of the Clash, featuring 150 artifacts including lyric sheets and Joe Strummer’s well-worn Tele … meanwhile in California, Grace Slick is on hand to help "Gubernator" Arnold Schwarzenegger christen the first of a new fleet of Virgin Airlines planes with the moniker "Jefferson Airplane" … while the pair do the champagne bottle thing, "White Rabbit" plays … commenting on the name choice, Slick observes dryly that, "The Grateful Dead would’ve been a bad name so they picked us"…

2007, Radiohead releases its newest album, In Rainbows exclusively via online download, allowing fans to decide how much they’d like to pay for the music … a conventional CD release with added material is planned for the end of the year … this, coupled with news that Madonna is leaving her label, Warner Music, to cut a novel deal with concert promoter Live Nation that includes records and tours, leaves the beleaguered record industry reeling …

2008, Robert Plant squashes rumors of a Led Zep reunion tour when he posts a statement on his website saying, ""It’s both frustrating and ridiculous for this story to continue to rear its ugly head when all the musicians that surround the story are keen to get on with their individual projects and move on." … apparently Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Jason Bonham, who have been reported to be continuing rehearsals without Plant at the mic, didn’t get the memo … Eminem releases his memoir The Way I Am … in it the rapper reveals that his blonde hair was the result of an Ecstacy trip and his 2003 song "Superman" was the outcome of a romance with Mariah Carey …

And that was the week that was in matters musical.

Arrivals

October 8: composer Toru Takemitsu (1930), Doc Green, baritone with The Drifters (1934), Tornados guitarist George Bellamy (1940), Redbone drummer Butch Rillera (1945), Ray Royer of Procol Harum (1945), Toni Wilson of Hot Chocolate (1947), Johnny Ramone born John Cummings (1948), Hamish Stewart of Average White Band (1949), Robert “Kool” Bell of Kool & The Gang (1950), Cliff Adams of Kool & The Gang (1952), roots blues revivalist Lonnie Pirchford (1955), Steve Perry of Cherry Poppin’ Daddies (1963), C.J. Ramone, aka Christopher James Ward of the Ramones (1965), R&B singer Teddy Riley (1967)

October 9: John Lennon (1940), John Entwistle of The Who (1944), Jackson Browne (1948), P. J. Harvey (1969), Sean Ono Lennon (1975)

October 10: composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813), Ivory Joe Hunter, R&B singer, songwriter, and pianist, best known for his hit recording “Since I Met You, Baby” (1914), inventive pianist-composer Thelonious Sphere Monk (1917), “The Big Bopper,” born Jiles Perry Richardson Jr. (1932), country singer Dottie West (1932), soul singer O.V. Wright (1939), singer-songwriter John Prine (1946), Edward Freche of the Neville Brothers band (1947), singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Midge Ure (1953), David Lee Roth (1955), Tanya Tucker (1958), singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl (1959), Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet (1961), Mike Malinin of Goo Goo Dolls (1967), Michael Bivens of Bel Biv Devoe (1968), Nine Days drummer Vinnie Tattanelli (1972), pop and R&B singer Mya Harrison (1979)

October 11: hard-hitting jazz drummer Art Blakey (1919), bluesman Little Willie Littlefield (1931), jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie (1941), Gary Mallaber of The Steve Miller Band (1946), blue-eyed soul singer Daryl Hall (1949), Andrew Woolfolk of Earth, Wind & Fire (1950), Haircut 100 drummer Blair Cunningham (1957), Scott Johnson of The Gin Blossoms (1962), MC Lyte (1971)

October 12: composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872), Guitar Gabriel AKA Robert Lewis Jones (1925), Sam Moore of soul duo Sam and Dave (1935), Luciano Pavarotti (1935), Melvin Franklin of The Temptations (1942), Status Quo guitarist and vocalist Rick Parfitt (1948), Irish singer-songwriter Brian Kennedy (1948), Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens (1955), Bob Mould (1960), Garfield Bright of Shai (1969), Dixie Chicks singer Martie Seidel (1969),

October 13: Paul Simon (1941), Robert Lamm of Chicago (1944), Sammy Hagar (1947), Simon Nicol of Fairport Convention (1950), Marie Osmond (1959) R&B vocalist Ashanti (1980)

October 14: R&B guitarist and bandleader Jimmy Liggins (1922), monster picker Mickey “Guitar” Baker of Mickey & Sylvia (1925), rockabilly pioneer Bill Justis (1926), Robert “Barefootin” Parker (1930), Barry McGuire of The New Christy Minstrels (1935), pop vocalist Marv Johnson (1938), British rocker and leader of The Shadows Cliff Richard (1940), Colin Hodgkinson of Whitesnake (1945), Moody Blues vocalist Justin Hayward (1946), Detroit Emeralds guitarist and vocalist Ivory Tilmon (1948), Danish pop king Tommy Seebach (1949), English musician-producer Thomas Dolby (1958), A.J. Pero of Twisted Sister (1959), Karyn White (1965), Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks (1974), Shaznay Lewis of All Saints (1975), R&B smoovie Usher (1978)

Departures

October 8: singer-songwriter Nicky James (2007), Nat “King” Cole Trio guitarist Oscar Moore (1991), country singer Harold Dorman (1988), Cliff Gallup of Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps (1988), Dr. Demento favorite Jimmy Cross (1978)

October 9: founder of The Modern Jazz Quartet, Milt Jackson (1999), New Orleans R&B artist Joseph “Mr. Google Eyes” August (1992), Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel (1978), R&B and gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1973) R&B sax honker Earl Bostic (1965)

October 10: Darren Robinson, 400-pound member of The Fat Boys known as The Human Beat Box (1995), Lenny Peters of British pop duo Peters and Lee (1992)

October 11: reggae star Alton Ellis (2008), composer Neal Hefti (2008), Werner von Trapp, member of the singing family (2007), BBC star and pop singer Andy Stewart (1993), Edith Piaf (1963)

October 12: songwriter Baker Knight (2005), bluesman Frank Frost (1999), John Denver (1997), Ricky Wilson of the B-52’s (1985), rockabilly pioneer Gene Vincent (1971)

October 13: Ralph “Pee Wee” Middlebrooks of The Ohio Players (1996), Shirley Brickley of The Orlons (1977), Ed Sullivan (1974)

October 14: Tex-Mex star Freddie Fender (2006), conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein (1990), Bing Crosby (1977)

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