It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1958, Billie Holiday is sentenced to a year’s probation after pleading guilty to narcotics possession … Perry Como’s “Catch a Falling Star” becomes the first certified gold record …

1963, Gerry Marsden of the Merseybeat group Gerry & The Pacemakers is fined £50 for trying to slip a German guitar past British customs … imported instruments are subject to high duties …

1965, Eric Clapton splits from The Yardbirds to join John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers …

1967, Dick James, the Beatles’ music publisher, says 446 versions of “Yesterday” have been recorded to date, making it the most covered song ever … The Grateful Dead release their first album … Jerry Garcia reveals that it was recorded on “dietwatcher’s speed and pot” and that “the tempo was way too fast” … The Velvet Underground’s debut album is released sporting Andy Warhol’s banana-peel cover …

1972, country music star and reformed burglar Merle Haggard is given a pardon by California governor Ronald Reagan … it’s been 12 years since Merle did his singing behind bars at San Quentin …

1974, John Lennon and his drinking buddy Harry Nilsson are booted out of West L.A.’s Troubadour Club after razzing comic Tom Smothers … apparently, like Smother’s mother, John and Harry like Dickie best …

1976, former porn star Andrea True scores with her #4 disco single “More, More, More” …

1979, singer Bonnie Bramlett slugs a highly inebriated Elvis Costello when he utters a racial slur about Ray Charles … Costello has publicly apologized on many occasions for this gaffe …

1991, Janet Jackson reveals … we know what you’re thinking … that she is moving from A&M Records to Virgin in a deal worth about $40 million … seven members of Reba McEntire’s touring band and her road manager are killed when their plane crashes into a mountainous area near the California/Mexico border … McEntire was traveling in a separate plane … guitar legend Eddie Van Halen and his wife, actress Valerie Bertinelli, celebrate the birth of their son … they name the boy Wolfgang …

1992, 40,000 people show up for Farm Aid in Irving, Texas … the star-studded show is organized by Willie Nelson to help failing family farms …

1997, Paul McCartney is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II …

1998, Cathay Pacific Airways announces that Oasis singer Liam Gallagher has been banned from flying with the airline following a flight during which he is reported to have screamed obscenities and smoked in the cabin … lawyers representing Korn serve Assistant Principal Gretchen Plewes of Zeeland High School in Michigan … the papers demand that she stop making “defamatory comments about Korn and its products” … the action stems from the suspension of a student who wore a Korn T-shirt to school …

2000, the Recording Industry Association of America certifies 17 million copies sold of Shania Twain’s album Come On Over, making it the best-selling album by a solo female artist …

2002, R.E.M. is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 22nd annual dinner …

2003, the Chinese government orders the Rolling Stones to axe four songs from the set lists of their Shanghai and Beijing shows … the banned tunes are “Brown Sugar,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Beast of Burden,” and “Let’s Spend the Night Together” …

2004, Courtney Love repeatedly flashes her breasts during an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman … later that night she plays an unannounced gig at the New York club, Plaid, where she throws a mic stand into the audience and is arrested for reckless endangerment … the next night she turns up at the Bowery Ballroom with the legend “EAT MY F**K” emblazoned in 10-inch high letters on her tank top, then tops off the night with a Kodak moment in which she is photographed breast-feeding a fan at a local Wendys … like the man said, “All you need is Love” … Starbucks announces it’s partnering with Hewlett-Packard to offer customers digital music downloads via HP tablet computers … Axl Rose is denied a restraining order that would prevent Universal Music Group from releasing a Guns N’ Roses greatest hits album … the label argues that it has every right to release the record since Rose has failed to deliver on his contract to produce the long-threatened Chinese Democracy album

2005, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame celebrates its 20th anniversary—and the 50th anniversary of rock music—in a ceremony that peaks with Bruce Springsteen inducting U2; Neil Young ushering in the Pretenders; Justin Timberlake welcoming the O’Jays into the Hall; B.B. King and Eric Clapton joining forces to pay tribute to bluesman Buddy Guy; and Rod Stewart inducting soul singer Percy Sledge … legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti will lend his voice to a new version of Deep Purple’s classic “Smoke on the Water” for a new retrospective album covering the 40-year career of rocker Ian Gillan … a London audience is treated to an unannounced appearance by Mick Jagger during a Ron Wood concert; Jagger handles vocals on the Stones song “Dance (Pt. 1)” … Coldplay gives L.A. fans a thrill by playing a one-off gig at The Troubador … rapper Lil’ Kim is convicted of perjury for lying to a federal grand jury in connection with a 2001 shooting involving her manager and a former member of her posse …

2006, Isaac Hayes quits South Park, the animated show where he voiced the character of Chef for nine years … Hayes cites the show’s take on religion as his reason for leaving: “There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs of others begins.” … Matt Stone, the show’s co-creator, cites a recent episode that targeted Hayes’ religion, Scientology … “He has no problem—and he’s cashed plenty of checks—with our show making fun of Christians.” … Leonard Cohen wins a $9.5 million judgment against former manager Kelley Lynch, charging that he extorted more than $5 million from the singer-songwriter … outlook for compensation is dim, since the defendant apparently took a powder right after the suit was filed … Hasidic reggae star Matisyahu fires his management team at JDub with three years left to go on their contract … the sacking comes as Matisyahu enjoys having two albums in the top 40 album chart … the JDub crew, who were the artist’s buddies in college, are reported to be considering suit …

2007, Sony BMG Music Entertainment announces that it’s shutting down Sony Wonder, its kids’ label that was once home to Sesame Street … it’s not easy being BMG … Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five become the first hip-hop act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame …

2008, it’s announced that Snoop Dogg will guest star on the long-running soap One Life to Live … he’ll perform a couple of tracks from his newest CD, Ego Trippin’, and mashup the show’s theme music … a judge awards Heather Mills nearly $50 million in her divorce from Paul McCartney … the Allman Brothers are forced to postpone their annual May engagement at New York’s Beacon Theater while Gregg Allman recuperates from hepatitis C …

2009, Capitol Records executive Alan Livingston dies … after the U.S.-based label rejected the first four Beatles singles, he gave the go-ahead to release “I Want to Hold Your Hand” … Neil Young releases his video for “Johnny Magic” on the Internet … it’s Neil in his car lip-synching to the song with his dog in the back seat, one camera, no edits … Neil explains the “economy look” goes with the times …

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

March 11: bandleader Lawrence Welk (1903), Mike Hugg of Manfred Mann (1940), Golden Earring’s George Kooymans (1948), singer Bobby McFerrin (1950), singer Nina Hagen (1955), Bruce Watson of Big Country (1961), drummer and Pantera co-founder Vinnie Paul, born Vincent Paul Abbott (1964), singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb (1968), Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte (1979)

March 12: one-man-band Jesse “Lone Cat” Fuller (1896), R&B bandleader Red Saunders (1912), Leonard Chess, co-founder of Chess Records (1917), L.C. Williams, Houston bluesman who worked with Lightnin’ Hopkins (1930), singer Al Jarreau (1940), Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane (1942), singer-actress Liza Minelli (1946), singer-songwriter James Taylor (1948), Bill Payne of Little Feat (1949), Mike Gibbons of Badfinger (1949), Marlon Jackson of The Jackson 5 (1957), Steve Harris of Iron Maiden (1957), Graham Coxon of Blur (1969)

March 13: bluesman Lightnin’ Slim (1913), Willie Williams, drummer with Howlin’ Wolf (1922), songwriter Mike Stoller (1933), singer-songwriter-pianist Neil Sedaka (1939), Mississippi-born electric guitarist Melvin Taylor (1959), U2’s Adam Clayton (1960)

March 14: baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann (1681), Austrian romantic composer Johann Strauss Sr. (1804), bandleader Les Brown (1912), singer-songwriter Phil Phillips, who penned “Sea of Love” (1931), trumpeter-arranger-composer-producer Quincy Jones (1933), “Queen of Country Music” Loretta Lynn (1940), Jim Pons of The Turtles (1943), Chicago’s Walt Parazaider (1945), Boon Gould of Level 42 (1955)

March 15: bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins (1912), Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh (1940), Mike Love, co-lead singer of The Beach Boys (1944), Sly Stone, born Sylvester Stewart (1944), War’s Howard Scott (1946), slide guitarist-singer-composer Ry Cooder (1947), Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider (1955), singer-songwriter Terence Trent D’Arby (1962), Brett Michaels of Poison (1963), Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray (1970), Mark Hoppus of blink-182 (1972), Joseph Hahn of Linkin Park (1977)

March 16: country singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker, born Ronald Clyde Crosby (1942), Heart’s Nancy Wilson (1954), Flavor Flav of Public Enemy (1959), rock and metal guitarist Marcus Henderson, lead guitar for Guitar Hero video game (1973), bassist and son of Eddie, Wolfgang Van Halen (1991)

March 17: singer-songwriter-pianist Nat “King” Cole, born Nathaniel Adams Coles (1917), Clarence Collins of Little Anthony & The Imperials (1939), Vito Picone of The Elegants (1940), Paul Kantner of The Jefferson Airplane (1941), singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist John Sebastian of The Lovin’ Spoonful (1944), Harold Brown of War (1946), Ian Gomm of Brinsley Schwartz (1947), Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham (1951), Mike Lindup of Level 42 (1959), Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan (1967), Melissa Auf der Maur of Hole (1972)

Departures:

March 11: Stacy Guess of The Squirrel Nut Zippers (1998), South African saxophonist Basil “Manenberg” Coetzee (1998), blues harmonica player Sonny Terry (1986)

March 12: Marc Moreland, guitarist for Wall of Voodoo (2002), violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin (1999), singer-songwriter Alex Taylor, older brother of James Taylor (1993), alto sax innovator Charlie “Yardbird” Parker (1955)

March 13: Capitol records executive Alan Livingston (2009), soul singer Lyn Collins (2005), reggae singer Judge Dread, born Alex Hughes (1998), rock and jazz producer Bob Shad (1985), Jerry Blaine, jazz bandleader and founder of Jubilee Records (1973)

March 14: country singer-songwriter Tommy Collins, born Leonard Raymond Sipes (2000), songwriter Jerome “Doc” Pomus (1991), R&B bandleader Larry “Big Twist” Nolan (1990), Keith Relf of The Yardbirds (1976), ’60s soul singer Linda Jones (1972)

March 15: rapper Harold “Whiz Kid” McGuire (1996), violinist Olga Rudge (1996), Electric Flag bassist Roger “Jelly Roll” Troy (1991), tenor sax giant Lester “Prez” Young (1959), boogie-woogie pianist Clarence “Pine Top” Smith (1929)

March 16: Ola Brunkert, drummer for ABBA (2008), singer Carol Richards, who teamed with Bing Crosby on “Silver Bells” (2007), ska pioneer Justin Hinds (2005), Jakson Spires, drummer, co-founder, and songwriter for Blackfoot (2005), Joseph Pope, lead singer of The Tams (1996), singer-songwriter Johnny Cymbal (1993), John Simmons of The Reflections (1990), bluesman and electric guitar pioneer Aaron “T-Bone” Walker (1975), soul singer Tammi Terrell (1970)

March 17: Narvin Campbell of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (2006), Lumumba Nelson aka Professor X of the ’90s rap posse X-Clan (2006), MTV VJ J.J. Jackson (2004), Lillian McMurry, co-founder of Trumpet Records (1999), ’80s R&B and pop singer Jermaine Stewart (1997), Elvis sound-alike Terry Safford (1996), Chicago blues pianist Sunnyland Slim, born Albert Luandrew (1995), singer Yvonne Fair of The Chantels (1994), Ric Grech, bass player for Blind Faith and Traffic (1990), New Orleans R&B singer Bobby Mitchell (1989), Samuel George, singer-drummer with The Capitols (1982)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.