It happened last week

This is last week that was in matters musical (that should have been put up last week)…

1900, Len Spencer, believed to be the first nationally known recording star, releases his biggest hit “Arkansaw Traveler” … his other hits include “Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom De Ay,” “A Hot Time In The Old Town,” and “Hello! Ma Baby” …

1928, a candle starts a fire in a French Gypsy caravan … the left hand of 18-year-old guitarist Django Reinhardt is badly burned, leaving two fingers useless … with his right leg also injured, Django is bedridden for 18 months and uses that time for therapy, rebuilding his guitar chops so that by the mid-1930s he is a master of swing guitar and ultimately one of the best guitarists in any genre …

1964, “Oh Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison turns gold … it is his ninth and last Top Ten single …

1970, Jim Morrison gets six months in the slammer for exposing his privates in Miami … Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas marries actor Dennis Hopper … proving wrong those who said the marriage wouldn’t last a week, they divorce eight days later … Bob Dylan records “George Jackson,” a tribute to the black militant leader killed in a California prison shootout …

1971, while The Allman Brothers are on a break from touring and recording, guitarist Duane Allman loses control of his Harley-Davidson and is killed … Allman was trying to avoid a construction vehicle that abruptly stopped midway through a turn …

1972, James Taylor and Carly Simon tie the knot in her Manhattan apartment … they will separate ten years later …

1975, Queen releases “Bohemian Rhapsody” as a single … with three and-a-half minutes being the standard time limit for a single, the band and producer Roy Thomas Baker have to convince EMI executives to release the six-minute recording without any edits … the single tops the U.K. chart for nine weeks and goes to #2 in the U.S … it will go to #1 again in the U.K. in 1991 after lead singer Freddie Mercury’s AIDS-related death …

1977, during a London concert Elton John announces that he is retiring from live performance … as with most rock ‘n’ roll retirements this one is short-lived … The Bitch is back by February of 1979 … Martin Scorsese’s film The Last Waltz, commemorating The Band’s last concert at Winterland in San Francisco, opens to rave reviews in New York … Ozzy Osbourne quits Black Sabbath but returns a few weeks later …

1983, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon becomes the longest-running album ever on the Billboard chart at 491 continuous weeks …

1986, The Beastie Boys release their debut License To Ill … it will become the first rap album to reach #1 …

1988, Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain smashes his guitar onstage for the first time at the Evergreen State Dorm Room Party in Olympia, Washington …

1991, a crowd of more than 300,000 attend a free show in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park called “A Benefit for Laughter, Love & Music” to commemorate the death of rock promoter Bill Graham … the bill includes The Grateful Dead; Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young; Joan Baez; Santana; and Journey who reunite for the memorial show … Graham died on October 25 when his helicopter hit a utility tower … blues, soul, rock, and country are all well represented when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts Bobby “Blue” Bland, Booker T & The MGs, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, The Isley Brothers, The Yardbirds, and Sam and Dave …

1992, Elton John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin sign a $39 million publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music …

1995, Hootie and the Blowfish and Bob Dylan reach an out-of-court settlement over the band’s unauthorized use of Dylan’s lyrics in their song, “Only Want To Be With You” …

1996, Michael Jackson announces that he and friend Debbie Rowe are expecting a child … the King of Pop denies tabloid reports that the baby had been conceived using artificial insemination and that Rowe was paid to bear the child … the pair will marry two weeks later …

1998, Kiss launches its Psycho Circus tour on Halloween in Los Angeles … thousands attend in costume and The Smashing Pumpkins are the opener … Ol’ Dirty Bastard of Wu Tang Clan is arrested for threatening to kill his former girlfriend … he is apprehended while climbing over a security gate at the woman’s place of employment …

1999, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, and John Entwistle, the surviving members of The Who, reunite for the first time in two years for a concert in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand … KISS, Tony Bennett, and the Dixie Chicks also are on the bill … the webcast concert marks the launch of Internet video company Pixelon …

2002, hip-hop giant Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC is shot dead in his Jamaica, Queens recording studio … police pursue many leads and theories as to motive: unpaid drug bills, rival rappers, armed robbery, insurance scams, a rivalry with Murder, Inc. over 50 Cent, and more … the crime remains unsolved …

2004, Eric Clapton is made a commander of the Order of the British Empire in a Buckingham palace ceremony … Commander Clapton also announces that he and his wife Melia McEnery are expecting a child in January …

2006, a mere five months after settling to the tune of $12 million with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer over payola charges, Universal Music Group is back in hot water on charges that two of its labels engaged in pay-to-play practices that boosted the chart positions of CDs by JoJo and Nickelback … L.A.-area boy scout troops have begun offering a patch to scouts who learn about copyright laws and pledge not to pirate movies and music … scout’s honor …

… and that was last week that was.

Arrivals:

October 29: composer Vivian Ellis (1904), jazz arranger-composer Neal Hefti (1922), The Big Bopper J.P. Richardson (1930), Mickey Gallagher of Frampton’s Camel (1940), Denny Laine of the Moody Blues and Wings (1944), Peter Green, founder of Fleetwood Mac (1946), Roger O’Donnell of The Cure (1955), Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot (1955), Randy Jackson of the Jackson 5 (1961), Einar Orn Benediktsson of The Sugarcubes (1962), Peter Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies (1965), Douglas “SA” Vincent Martinez of 311 (1970), Toby Smith of Jamiroquai (1970)

October 30: trumpeter Clifford Brown (1930), rockabilly star Ray Smith (1934), Grace Slick born Grace Wing (1939), Timothy Schmidt of The Eagles (1947), Jim Messina (1947), David Green of Air Supply (1949), Otis Williams of the Temptations (1949), Joey BellaDonna of Anthrax (1960), Gavin Rossdale of Bush (1967)

October 31: Dale Evans (1912), Bernard Edwards of Chic (1952), South African rocker Johnny Clegg (1953), U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. (1961), Adam Horovitz a.k.a. King Ad Rock of the Beastie Boys (1966), Vanilla Ice born Robert Van Winkle (1967), Linn Berggren of Ace Of Base (1970)

November 1: blues songstress Sippie Wallace (1898), Peacock Records founder Don Robey (1903), Barry “Ballad of Green Berets” Sadler (1940), Rick Grech, bass player for Blind Faith and Traffic (1946), Dan Peek of America (1950), Ronald Bell of Kool and the Gang (1951), Lyle Lovett (1956), Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers (1962), Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen (1963), Willie D of The Geto Boys (1966), LaTavia Roberson of Destiny’s Child (1981)

November 2: trumpet legend Bunny Berigan (1908), Keith Emerson (1944), J.D. Souther (1945), Dave Pegg of Jethro Tull (1947), Maxine Nightingale (1952), Carter Beauford of the Dave Matthews Band (1957), Bobby Dall of Poison (1958), Matt Sorum of Cult, Guns N’ Roses, and Velvet Revolver (1960), k.d. lang born Katherine Dawn Lang (1961), Alex James of Blur (1968), Reginald Arvizu of Korn (1969), John Hampson of Nine Days (1971), Nelly (1978)

November 3: Brian Poole of The Tremeloes (1941), Marie McDonald Lawrie a.k.a. Lulu (1948), Adam Ant born Stuart Leslie Goddard (1954)

November 4: Four Vagabonds singer John Jordan (1913), Delbert McClinton (1940), Dan Hartman (1951), Squeeze singer-guitarist Chris Difford (1954), pianist Yanni born Yiannis Hrysomallis (1954), James Honeyman-Scott, guitarist for the Pretenders (1957), Puff Daddy (1970)

Departures:

October 29: saxophonist Henry Berthold “Spike” Robinson (2001), jazz bandleader Woody Herman (1987), King Harvest drummer Wells Kelly (1984), guitar master Duane Allman (1971)

October 30: crooner Robert Goulet (2007), Ramones co-manager Linda Stein (2007), Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC (2002), TV host and musician Steve Allen (2000), British blues diva Jo-Ann Kelly (1990), hard swingin’ sax man Chu Berry (1941)

October 31: John Holohan, drummer for Bayside (2005), record exec Lester Sill (1994), A Chorus Line producer Joseph Papp (1991), Procol Harum drummer B.J. Wilson (1990), guitarist Malcolm Hale of Spanky and Our Gang (1968)

November 1: Mothers of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl Black (2008), hip-hop record exec Shakir Sweet (2008), Peruvian soprano Yma Sumac (2008), Grand Funk Railroad manager Terry Knight (2004), classic blues singer and pianist Sippie Wallace (1986), pioneer Delta blues singer Tommy Johnson (1956)

November 2: Sammy Kaye Band singer Wandra Merrell (1994), Mississippi John Hurt (1966)

November 3: singer Art Wood (2006), Lonnie Donegan (2002), blues harmonica player William Clarke (1996), songwriter Mort Shuman (1991)

November 4: Shonen Knife drummer Mana “China” Nishiura (2005), Bobby Nunn of the Coasters (1987), Hi-Lites singer Ronnie Goodson (1980)

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