It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1946, Freddie Slack and Ella Mae Morse record “House of Blue Lights” … the song will later be recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, the Flamin’ Groovies, and George Thorogood & The Destroyers …

1954, bluesman Joe Turner cuts “Shake, Rattle & Roll” six months before Bill Haley’s version is released … the cover blows up into a giant hit …

1963, The Beatles cut their first album at Abbey Road Studios in a single 10-hour session that cost $600 … the lads are all suffering from colds and John is losing his voice by the time they track “Twist and Shout” … all the tunes are from their set list at the Cavern Club as producer George Martin is intent on capturing the Fab Four with a live vibe … the resulting tracks will be released in the U.S. as Introducing … The Beatles

1965, The Who audition for the BBC’s Light Programme … though they ultimately make the show by a vote of four to three, one of the judges intones that they are “Overall not very original and below standard” … another judge deems them “ponderous and unentertaining” … and you thought American Idol was brutal! …

1967, working on a tip, British police raid a party at Redlands, the English estate of Keith Richards, searching for illegal drugs … police find amphetamine pills in singer Mick Jagger’s coat and charge him with possession … Richards is charged with allowing his home to be used for drug-taking and a third guest is charged with heroin possession … Richards spends one night in jail, Jagger gets two … at trial four months later, both Stones are found guilty and given stiff sentences … The London Times gets behind the two rockers, questioning the severity of the sentences in a series of editorials … due to the media pressure, Richard’s conviction is quashed on appeal and Jagger’s prison sentence is reduced to a conditional discharge … Aretha Franklin records her hit single “Respect” at New York’s Atlantic Studios … written by Otis Redding, the record will sell over a million copies and top the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks on its way to becoming both an American classic and Aretha’s biggest hit …

1972, upon arriving in Singapore to kick off their first Pacific tour, the members of Led Zeppelin are denied entry because of their long hair … the hairstyles are viewed as a threat to the conservative government’s campaign to reduce the influence of Western culture on its citizens … the band is not permitted to exit the plane and is forced to return to London immediately … the tour begins later in the week in Perth, Australia …

1975, Cher’s eponymous TV show debuts a year after her divorce from Sonny Bono … the premiere episode’s guests include Elton John, Bette Midler and comedian Flip Wilson … Cher’s exposed navel generates much press … the show will last only one season …

1976, Fleetwood Mac begin recording Rumours in Sausalito, California … beset by relationship problems between John and Christine McVie as well as between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, the group manages to funnel their personal angst into song and onto tape … one year later, between the alleged instances of drug abuse, navel-gazing, and general mucking about—for example, taking a whole month to record a bass drum track—the group finally releases the album in February 1977 …

1981, Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd’s eighth LP, becomes the longest-charting album ever at 402 consecutive weeks in the Top 200 Albums chart … the album will stay on the charts for another 189 weeks, for a total of nearly 11 consecutive years in the Top 200 … rumor has it that at one point one Capitol Records plant presses nothing but DSOTM discs …

1982, the 300-pound marble slab that marks the grave of former Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant is stolen in Orange Park, Florida … it is recovered by police two weeks later in a dry riverbed nearby …

1984, Jerry Lee Lewis surrenders to the feds to answer charges of tax evasion … he will later be acquitted …

1986, in an odd pop-culture pairing, Culture Club singer Boy George guest stars on an episode of the popular TV show The A-Team … in the episode, Boy is mistakenly booked as country singer Cowboy George at one of the toughest dance halls in the West … Culture Club performs …

1990, Ike Turner is given a four-year prison sentence for a number of cocaine-possession offenses …

1992, Vince Neil is fired as Mötley Crüe’s lead singer after recording sessions for a new album turn ugly … he is replaced by John Corabi, formerly of The Scream … the resulting album, Mötley Crüe, goes on to be a commercial disappointment for the band … Neil will reunite with the Crüe in 1997 …

1997, U2 announces its upcoming Popmart Tour from where else? K-Mart, of course … the band’s press conference, held in the lingerie department of a Manhattan K-Mart, is a raucous affair, including a performance of the B-side “Holy Joe” as well as the lowdown on the high-tech tour, which will include a giant lemon mirrorball, a 12-foot stuffed olive on a 100-foot toothpick, a towering 100-foot golden arch, and the world’s largest-ever LED screen … guitarist The Edge tells reporters “We believe in kitsch. That’s what we are up to at the moment.” … on the subject of pop, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and his wife Debbie Rowe welcome their first child at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles … the child is fittingly named Prince Michael Joseph Jackson II …

1998, a bucket-wielding Danbert Nobacon of Chumbawamba leaps onto Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott’s table at the Brit Awards in London … in an effort to defend the honor of his wife and others at the table, Prescott shoves Nobacon to the ground, getting himself drenched in the process … Nobacon later claims he was making a political statement, but nobody is quite able to decipher what the statement is …

2000, during a performance by the Isley Brothers dubbed the Valentine’s Super Love Jam at the L.A. Sports Arena, an LAPD officer shoots and kills a 24-year-old man who has allegedly wounded three people near a concession stand … though the performers and audience have no idea what has transpired, the show concludes an hour early …

2004, though the band has always had an ever-changing lineup, singer-guitarist Josh Homme and bassman Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age have been the constant Queens with a longstanding partnership going back to their days in Kyuss in the early 1990s … that relationship comes to a sudden end when the band’s website announces Oliveri has split, tersely noting “A number of incidents occurring over the last 18 months have led to the decision that the two can no longer maintain a working partnership in the band” …

… Norah Jones’ sophomore album Feels Like Home moves over a million units in its first week, keeping the sultry singer’s mojo going on the charts …

2005, Led Zeppelin, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Janis Joplin receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards … Kid Rock is arrested for punching a DJ at a Nashville strip club and released on $3,000 bail … “Everything is wonderful. It was a beautiful night,” is his comment as he leaves the lockup …

2006, Les Paul is released from a New Jersey hospital after a nine-day stay resulting from a bout of pneumonia … the illness caused the 90-year-old electric-guitar guru to miss the Grammies where his album Les Paul and Friends won two awards … former Creed frontman Scott Stapp is arrested for public drunkenness at Los Angeles International Airport where he’s about to embark on a honeymoon flight to Hawaii with his new bride, the former Miss New York, Jaclyn Nesheiwat … police describe Stapp’s demeanor as “antagonistic, boisterous and pissed off” … he’s booked by the cops after failing a beathalyzer test … Alice in Chains reforms with vocalist William DuVall replacing Layne Stayley who died of an OD in 2002 …

2007, despite being boycotted by country music fans and radio stations after making critical remarks about President George W. Bush’s policies in the run-up to the Iraq War in 2003, the Dixie Chicks nail five Grammys for their unrepentant album Not Ready to Make Nice … other winners include Mary J. Blige who takes home three phonographs for her The Breakthrough album and The Red Hot Chili Peppers whose double-disc Stadium Arcadium scores four awards …

2008, Emmylou Harris is named to the Country Music Hall of Fame … she first became known for her duet work with Gram Parsons in the 1970s … after Parsons’ death in 1973, she embarked on a solo career that included pop, country-rock, and Americana … she’s been honored with 12 Grammy Awards … Lenny Kravitz postpones his European tour after being hospitalized for bronchitis … a spokesperson says he is suffering from exhaustion and dehydration …

2009, with the U.S. economy still headed south, longtime purveyor of elevator music Muzak files for bankruptcy … they’re not alone, the newly amalgamated Sirius XM Radio combine is said to be preparing its own Chapter 11 filing while Clear Channel, the nation’s biggest radio station operator, is in the red to the tune of $19 billion with its credit line close to being tapped out …

2010, struggling with ever diminishing CD sales, EMI puts its legendary Abbey Road Studios up for sale at £30 million … in an interview, Paul McCartney, referring to a consortium of people trying to buy the studio says, “I sympathize with them. I hope they can do something. It’d be great.” … apparently Sir Paul isn’t up for cutting a check himself, something he could readily do …

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

February 10: singer Jimmy Durante (1893), zydeco accordionist Rockin’ Dopsie, born Alton Jay Rubin (1932), Don Wilson of The Ventures (1933), singer-songwriter Roberta Flack (1939), James Merchant of Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers (1940), noted Elvis impersonator Ral Donner (1943), folksinger-songwriter Tom Jans (1949), pop singer Robbie Nevil (1960), Cliff Burton of Metallica (1962)

February 11: Glenn Miller Orchestra sax man Tex Beneke (1914), singer-songwriter, actor, activist Josh White (1915), rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Gene Vincent born Eugene Vincent Craddock (1935), songwriter Gerry Goffin (1939), novelty songster Bobby “Boris” Pickett (1940), Sergio Mendes (1941), keyboard man Stan Szelest (1943), blues singer Little Johnny Taylor (1943), Sheryl Crow (1962), D’Angelo (1974), Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park (1977), “Brandy” Norwood (1979), Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child (1981)

February 12: jazz and rock record producer Bob Shad (1920), singer-songwriter Gene McDaniels (1935), Ray Manzarek of The Doors (1935), Rick Frank of Elephant’s Memory (1942), Stan Knight of Black Oak Arkansas (1949), Steve Hackett of Genesis (1950), Michael McDonald (1952), Chynna Phillips of Wilson Phillips (1968), Barenaked Lady Jim Creeggan (1970)

February 13: country-pop singer Tennessee Ernie Ford (1919), songwriter Boudleaux Bryant (1920), Gene Ames of The Ames Brothers (1925), Peter Tork of The Monkees (1942), Peter Gabriel (1950), New Order’s Peter Hook (1956), agit-rocker Henry Rollins (1961), The Cult’s Les Warner (1961)

February 14: Beatles-supporting DJ Murray The K, born Murray Kaufman (1922), keyboardist Merl Saunders (1934), bluesman Magic Sam born Sam Maghett (1937), folk singer Eric Anderson (1937), Vic Briggs of The Animals (1945), folk-rock/blues/jazz/R&B singer Tim Buckley (1947), Roger Fisher of Heart (1950), Ice-T, born Tracy Lauren Marrow (1958), Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas (1972)

February 15: blues guitarist Kokomo Arnold (1901), Brian Holland of the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team (1941), Mick Avory of The Kinks (1944), Denny Zager of Zager & Evans (1944), John Helliwell of Supertramp (1945), David Brown of Santana (1947), pop singer Melissa Manchester (1951), UB40 singer Ali Campbell (1959), Mikey Craig of Culture Club (1960), Brandon Boyd of Incubus (1976)

February 16: R&B keyboard player Bill Doggett (1916), gospel and doo-wop singer Ted Taylor (1934), singer-songwriter-producer Sonny Bono (1935), Mississippi bluesman James “Super Chikan” Johnson (1951), soul singer James Ingram (1956), Pete Willis of Def Leppard (1960), Andy Taylor of Duran Duran (1961)

Departures:

February 10: rock ‘n’ roll singer Freddie Bell (2008), ’60s NY folkie and Dylan mentor Dave Van Ronk (2002), saxophonist Buddy Tate (2001), Brian Connolly of Sweet (1997), Stooges bassist Dave Alexander (1975)

February 11: Estelle Bennett of The Ronettes (2009), Jockey Shabala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo (2006), stride pianist Jaki Byard (1999), New Orleans guitarist and composer Rene Hall (1988)

February 12: jazz great Jake Hanna (2010), Chuck Mangione Band guitarist Coleman Mellett (2009), Chuck Mangione Band saxophonist Gerry Niewood (2009), trumpeter John Brunious, leader of New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band (2008), the original shock rocker Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, born Jalacy Hawkins (2000), Gerald “Bounce” Gregory of the Spaniels (1999), Philip Taylor Kramer, bassist with Iron Butterfly in the ’70s (1995), British music promoter Tony Secunda (1995), pianist Eubie Blake (1983), Mississippi Delta bluesman Ishmon Bracey (1970)

February 13: Strawberry Alarm Clock guitarist-songwriter Lee Freeman (2010), rockabilly pioneer Dale Hawkins (2010), country outlaw Waylon Jennings (2002)

February 14: The Knack founder-guitarist-vocalist Doug Feiger (2010), big band drummer Louie Bellson (2009), Sweet drummer Mick Tucker (2002), Buddy Knox of “Party Doll” fame (1999), Doug Weston, operator of the Troubadour club in L.A. (1999), Roy Lanham of Sons of the Pioneers (1991)

February 15: guitarist/Fender consultant Bill Carson (2007), songwriter Ray Evans (2007), rapper Big L, born Lamont Coleman (1999), George Suranovich, drummer for L.A. rock band Love (1990), Jimmy Holiday, singer and songwriter for Ray Charles (1987), Broadway belter Ethel Merman (1984), bluesman Mike Bloomfield (1981), blues harp player Little Walter (1968), vocalist-pianist Nat “King” Cole (1965)

February 16: producer-arranger Sid Feller (2006), soul singer Doris Troy (2004), folk-blues guitarist Walter “Brownie” McGhee (1996), Hombres drummer John Hunter (1976)

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