It happened this week

Adriana Lima
Adriana Lima

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1952, Sun Records, the revered label that will first give Elvis a shot and cut dozens of great rockabilly and blues sides, issues its first single, “Selling My Whisky” by Jackie Boy and Little Walter …

1955, Georgia Gibbs’ “Dance With Me Henry” is released … it’s a cleaned-up version of the more licentiously titled “Roll With Me Henry” by Etta James, which in turn was retitled “The Wallflower” to keep censors at bay …

1967, Peter Bergman of Firesign Theatre coins the term “love-in” and throws the first such event in Los Angeles’ Elysian Park, attracting 65,000 people and blocking freeways for miles … Columbia Records producer Gary Usher is so impressed, he offers Firesign Theatre their first record contract … Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” commemorating the 1966 teenage riots on the Sunset Strip, peaks at #7 on the pop chart …

1973, just 12 days after their single “Cover of the Rolling Stone” peaks at #6 on the pop chart, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show appear on the cover of the magazine …

1974, The Ramones play their first live show at the Performance Studio in New York … they will go on to play many more shows there and eat lots of pizza …

1978, 19 years after his death, Buddy Holly scores his first British #1 album with 20 Golden Greats

1989, after 37 years of singing with The Pips, Gladys Knight makes her solo debut in Las Vegas …

2004, Bob Dylan hawks ladies’ underwear for Victoria’s Secret in a TV ad that features the song “Love Sick” and model Adriana Lima, who is barely clothed … Dylan, thankfully, is fully dressed …

2005, the Decemberists opt to release their new music video, “Sixteen Military Wives,” via BitTorrent, an easy way to give the video exposure without fronting a lot of money for bandwidth … Dawn Barger, manager for the Decemberists, says: “For the most part, MTV and VH1 won’t touch video unless bands have sold a huge number of records. It’s impossible to get rotation” … the experimental release is a success, seeing almost 2,000 downloads its first weekend … The White Stripes finish recording their fifth album, Get Behind Me Satan in just under two weeks, averaging about a song a day …

2007, in the midst of a European tour Snoop Dogg and Sean “Diddy” Combs are obliged to cancel plans for the British leg when Snoop is denied a visa by English authorities … the refusal stems from an April 2006 scuffle between the rapper and five members of his entourage and British cops at Heathrow airport after the posse was refused entrance to a British Airways first-class lounge … seven bobbies were injured in the fracas … Apple releases a free software patch for download that permits iPod owners to set a maximum volume level … the action is seemingly in response to articles critical of the device’s potential for hearing damage and a pending class-action lawsuit … SonyBMG announces that henceforth it will no longer accept CDs or tapes from bands hoping to land a contract with the company’s labels … instead, would-be recording acts are directed to post their demos on sites set up for the purpose by Sony’s subsidiaries as well as on blogs … it’s not really as cutting-edge an approach as it sounds … in the old days it was known as, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” … after a six-and-a-half year hiatus, the Smashing Pumpkins announce they’ll launch a European tour in May …

2008, the Raconteurs, led by Jack White and Brendan Benson, release their new album, Consolers of the Lonely after announcing the record just a week earlier … the move is part of a trend in which artists are speeding up the traditional months-long lead times between recording and release that have been the norm in the record industry …

2009, following a five-year touring hiatus, The Dead (no longer Grateful) play three shows on a single day – all in smaller New York venues including the storied Roseland Ballroom and Gramercy Theatre … tensions during their previous tour had kept the band off the road, but according to Bob Weir, “We’ve learned to listen to each other” …

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

March 25: Vivian Carter, The “Vee” in Vee-Jay Records (1921), Tom Wilson, producer for Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, The Mothers of Invention, and John Coltrane (1931), Johnny Burnette (1934), singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton (1938), Aretha Franklin (1942), Jose L. Rodriguez, engineer for Culture Club, Mary J. Blige, and Gloria Gaynor (1944), Elton John, born Reginald Dwight (1947), Nick Lowe (1949)

March 26: Rufus Thomas, best known for “Walkin’ The Dog” (1917), Diana Ross (1944), Steven Tyler of Aerosmith (1948), Teddy Pendergrass (1950), Bill Lyall, keyboardist for Pilot and Bay City Rollers (1953), Eddie Van Halen (1955)

March 27: Leroy Carr, influential blues pianist (1905), blues guitarist Robert Lockwood Jr., who learned from the legendary Robert Johnson (1915), jazz singer Sarah Vaughan (1924), Reprise Records’ mogul Mo Ostin, who signed Jimi Hendrix (1927), Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Houston blues guitarist (1937), Brenda Knight of Gladys Knight and the Pips (1948), Tony Banks of Genesis (1951), Mariah Carey (1970)

March 28: Aaron “T-Bone” Walker, legendary electric blues guitarist (1910), Chuck Portz of The Turtles (1945), Milan Williams of The Commodores (1948)

March 29: Donny Conn of The Playmates (1930), Terry Jacks, singer-songwriter of “Seasons in the Sun” fame (1944)

March 30: Delta-style harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson, born John Lee Williamson (1914), Willie Nelson (1933), Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues (1942), Eric Clapton (1945), Jim Dandy Mangrum of Black Oak Arkansas (1948), Procol Harum’s Dave Ball (1950), rapper Stanley “M.C. Hammer” Burell (1963), songstress Celine Dion (1968), singer-pianist Norah Jones, born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar (1979)

March 31: blues pianist “Big Maceo” Merriweather (1905), influential bluesman Lightning Hopkins (1912), R&B performer and songwriter Chuck Willis (1928), songwriter John D. Loudermilk (1934), trumpeter and the “A” of A&M records, Herb Alpert (1937), Al Nichol of The Turtles (1946), Jon-Jon Poulos, drummer for The Buckinghams (1948), Thijs Van Leer, vocalist/keyboardist/flutist for Dutch group Focus (1948), Angus Young of AC/DC (1959)

Departures:

March 25: country legend Buck Owens (2006), Kenny Moore, keyboardist for Tina Turner (1997), folksinger-songwriter Tom Jans (1984)

March 26: Nikki Sudden of Swell Map (2006), Paul Hester, drummer for Crowded House (2005), Jan Berry, of Jan and Dean (2004), rapper Eazy-E aka Eric Wright (1996), blues singer-musician Duster Bennett (1976), songwriter-playwright Noel Coward (1973), Harold McNair, flautist and saxophonist with Donovan and Ginger Baker (1971)

March 27: Clifford Jordan, jazz saxophonist (1993), R&B singer and Chess Records talent scout Paul Gayten (1991)

March 28: Don Alias, jazz percussionist (2006), actor-jazz pianist Dudley Moore (2002), Freaky Tah, born Raymond Rodgers, of The Lost Boyz (1999), Buddy Red Bow, Lakota country and western singer (1993), father of the blues, songwriter W.C. Handy (1958), Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (1974)

March 29: big band singer Joe Williams, born Joseph Goreed (1999), Howard Wyeth, drummer for Dylan, Roger McGuinn, and Don McLean (1996), controversial music biographer Albert Goldman (1994)

March 30: Elektra Records producer Paul Rothchild (1995)

March 31: R&B singer Sean Levert (2008), jazz alto saxman Jackie McLean (2006), Denmark’s pop king, Tommy Seebach (2003), Gun Club vocalist Jeffrey Lee Pierce (1996), Tejano pop star Selena, born Selena Quintanilla-Perez (1995), Big Dee Irwin, lead singer of The Pastels (1986), Isley Brother Kelly Isley, born O’Kelly Isley Jr. (1986)

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