It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1956, Buddy Holly records his first Decca singles at a session in Nashville …

1959, armed with just an acoustic guitar and tape recorder, Buddy Holly holes up in his New York City apartment to lay down the last tracks he will record … tunes include “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” and “Peggy Sue Got Married” … Coral Records will mix in backing instrumentation later and release the songs posthumously …

1966, Nancy Sinatra, the most famous fruit of Frank’s loins, enters the Hot 100 for the second time with the timeless cheek and brassy cool of “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” …

1967, Aretha Franklin lays down her first tracks for Atlantic at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, including the steaming ballad “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” … the Muscle Shoals sessions are the first to fully exploit Franklin’s soulful vocal skills … at her former label, Columbia, she had been given syrupy, string-laden ballads to sing …

1970, Dr. Robert Moog introduces the Minimoog …

1971, China, the daughter of Jefferson Airplane bandmates Grace Slick and Paul Kantner, is born at French Hospital in San Francisco … a joke Slick makes at a nurse’s expense spawns a decades-long urban myth that the baby was named God … the little girl appears on the cover of the 1972 Slick/Kantner album Sunfighter, which includes a song about her, creatively titled “China” …

1974, Neil Young halts a New York performance to read a message handed to him on stage … “Peace has come,” he announces, referring to the signing of the Paris Peace Accords signifying the formal end of the Vietnam War … the crowd spontaneously celebrates with bouts of hugging and kissing as Young fires up a particularly incendiary version of “Southern Man” …

1980, Saturday Night Live comedian John Belushi busts out his rawest Blues Brothers chops in a post-birthday jam with The Dead Boys at The Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles …

The Dead Boys – “Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth” & “Hey Little Girl” (w/John Belushi on drums) 1978

1982, as record collectors everywhere drool, the University of Mississippi receives the entire record collection of bluesman and ex-disc jockey B.B. King … the veritable audio treasure trove is B.B.’s effort to enrich the university’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture and includes about 20,000 blues records …

1984, Michael Jackson’s hair is ignited by pyrotechnics while filming a commercial for Pepsi … he suffers scalp and neck burns requiring hospitalization … Jackson will recover and the commercial will eventually air sans footage of Michael in flames … the event is later parodied in Neil Young’s video, “This Note’s for You” and in Eminem’s clip “Just Lose It” …

1986, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame holds its first induction ceremony in New York City … started just three years prior, it will be nine more years before the Hall has a proper building …

1995, Courtney Love is tried on charges of abusing a flight attendant on a Qantas flight after she is asked to remove her feet from a cabin wall … Love is sentenced to a month’s good behavior … apparently Australian courts have no concept of cruel and unusual punishment … Alan Jackson’s single “Gone Country” settles in at the top of the Billboard country chart 23 weeks after it entered the countdown … it’s the longest stretch any hit has taken on its way to the top slot …

2005, New York hip-hop station Hot 97 fires producer Rick Delgado for creating and airing a parody of the 1985 single “We Are the World” named “The Tsunami Song” … peppered with racially charged lyrics and trivializing the Asian disaster, the song is aired by radio personality Todd Lynn who is also fired while host Miss Jones and two staff members are suspended for two weeks … the station’s corporate parent company announces that it will donate $1 million to tsunami relief …

2007, Jimi Hendrix fans react with indignation to the launch of a canned beverage dubbed Liquid Experience bearing a likeness of the guitar master … this isn’t the first time his image has been used to peddle non-music products … it’s turned up on baby clothes, an air freshener, lava lamp, and even a Christmas ornament … Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea who sports a prominent Jimi tatoo is especially contemptuous: “To see his image and the beautiful feelings it has created during my lifetime cheapened by base advertising … is very disappointing to me” … in Chicago, Buddy Guy’s blues club, Legends, loses its lease and the bluesman, who opened the night spot in 1989 ruefully observes, “They don’t get any good until they turn 60. The club is just now getting a little successful, and now I gotta move it” …

2008, Ringo Starr walks off the set of TV’s Live With Regis and Kelly, rather than cut short a song he was scheduled to play … the snafu results from miscommunication between the show’s producers and Starr’s people … Starr offers to cut short his chat time with the hosts to accommodate the four-minute song, but when the producers insist the performance be cut to two-and-a-half minutes, the drummer takes a hike … in London, bad-girl singer Amy Winehouse enters rehab after a string of arrests and confrontations involving drugs and drink …

2009, the musician formerly known as Cat Stevens releases a song to benefit the children of Gaza … Yusuf Islam’s rendition of the George Harrison song “The Day the World Gets Round” features German bassist and former Beatles collaborator Klaus Voorman … all proceeds from the song will be donated to the U.N. agency in charge of Palestinian refugees … this same week, director John Landis sues Michael Jackson charging that he is still owed his share of the profits from the “Thriller” video Landis directed …

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

January 21: Wolfman Jack (1939), Richie Havens (1941), opera tenor Placido Domingo (1941), singer Billy Ocean born Leslie Sebastian Charles (1950), Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC (1965)

January 22: Sam Cooke (1931), The Shirelles’ Addie Harris (1941), Nolan Strong of The Diablos (1934), punk impresario Malcolm McLaren (1946), Meat Loaf aka Marvin Lee Aday (1946), Steve Perry of Journey (1949), Michael Hutchence of INXS (1960), Steven Adler of Guns N’ Roses (1965), DJ Jazzy Jeff (1965), songwriter-producer Willa Ford (1981)

January 23: jukebox builder David Rockola (1897), gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt (1910), Eugene Church of The Clovers (1938), Jerry Lawson of The Persuasions (1944), Anita Pointer of The Pointer Sisters (1948), Patrick Simmons of the Doobie Brothers (1950), Danny Federici of the E Street Band (1950), Bill Cunningham of The Box Tops (1950), Robin Zander of Cheap Trick (1953), Anita Baker (1958), UB40’s Earl Falconer (1959)

January 24: Gene Mumford, lead singer of Billy Ward & The Dominos (1925), Doug Kershaw (1936), novelty country singer Ray Stevens (1939), Aaron Neville (1941), Neil Diamond (1941), Warren Zevon (1947), Jools Holland (1958)

January 25: blues guitarist Dan Sane (1904), Scottish folk revivalist Ewan McColl (1915), ABBA manager Stig Andersson (1931), Bill Justis Band guitarist Sidney Manker (1932), singer-dancer Chita Rivera (1933), Etta James (1938), Malcolm Green of Split Enz (1953), Richard Finch of KC & the Sunshine Band (1954), Terry Chimes of The Clash (1955), Andy Cox of Fine Young Cannibals and English Beat (1956), Roxy Music’s Gary Tibbs (1958), Iggy Pop bassist Craig Pike (1963), Alicia Keys (1981)

January 26: jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli (1908), record executive Nat Tarnopol (1931), New Orleans keyboardist Huey “Piano” Smith (1934), The Teddy Bears’ Marshall Lieb (1939), Derek Holt of the Climax Blues Band (1949), David Briggs of Little River Band (1951), Andy Hummell of Big Star (1951), Lucinda Williams (1953), Edward Van Halen (1957), Norman Hassan of UB40 (1958), Wham’s Andrew Ridgley (1963), Soul II Soul’s Jazzie B. (1963), gospel star Kirk Franklin (1970)

January 27: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756), composer Jerome Kern (1885), blues legend Elmore James (1918), Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., AKA David Seville, creator of The Chipmunks (1919), Nick Mason of Pink Floyd (1945), Seth Justman of The J. Geils Band (1951), Brian Downey of Thin Lizzy (1951), Cowboy Junkies’ Margo Timmins (1961), New Order’s Gillian Gilbert (1961), Faith No More’s Mike Patton (1968)

Departures:

January 21: glam-rock star Les Gray (2004), Peggy Lee (2002), blues pianist and singer Charles Brown (1999), Elvis manager “Colonel” Tom Parker (1997), bluesman Champion Jack Dupree (1992), mid-’80s rapper Mitch McDowell (1992), Steve Wahrer of The Trashmen (1989), soul singer Jackie Wilson (1984)

January 22: bandleader Billy May (2004), songwriter Irwin Levine of “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” fame (1997), Billy MacKenzie of The Associates (1997), Wally Whyton of The Vipers (1997), Riot’s Rhett Forrester (1994), Tommy Tucker of “High Heel Sneakers” fame (1982)

January 23: Johnny Funches of The Dells (1998), “Louie Louie” composer Richard Berry (1997), gospel songwriter Thomas A. Dorsey (1993), blues guitarist James “Thunderbird” Davis (1992), Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Allen Collins (1990), Carl Feaster of The Chords (1981), Terry Kath of Chicago (1978), Vic Ames of the Ames Brothers (1978), jazz trombonist Edward “Kid” Ory (1973), blues songstress Big Maybelle Smith (1972)

January 24: James “Shep” Sheppard of Shep & the Limelites (1997), The Association founder Brian Cole (1995), producer and half of C&C Music Factory David Cole (1994), film composer Ken Darby (1992), Bill Horton of The Silhouettes (1955)

January 25: pop singer Ray Peterson (2005), choral conductor Robert Shaw (1999), New Orleans guitarist and singer Alvin “Shine” Robinson (1989), Lamar Williams of The Allman Brothers (1983), R&B singer Chris Kenner (1976)

January 26: blues drummer S. P. Leary (1998), jukebox mogul David Rockola (1993), disco warbler Karen Young (1991), New Orleans singer Donnie Elbert (1989)

January 27: Tin Pan Alley composer Gerald Marks (1997), vocalist Candy Givens of Zephyr (1984), gospel singer Mahalia Jackson (1972)

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