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 be the first to give Elvis a shot and go on to 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 that in turn was re-titled “The Wallflower” to keep censors at bay …

… Coral Records hires original rock DJ Alan Freed as their A&R man …

1958, Elvis Presley is inducted into the U.S. Army as Private Presley, serial number U-S-53310761 …

1962, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards first perform together as Little Boy Blue & the Blue Boys …

1963, teen idol Dion finally takes his “Runaround Sue” out of the marketplace when he marries Sue Butterfield …

1964, everyone’s favorite high-strung diva, Barbara “Babs” Streisand, opens on Broadway in Funny Girl … she wins a Best Actress Oscar for her role in the movie version …

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 … the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album is staged and photographed at Chelsea Manor Studios in London using collage and wax figures from Madame Tussaud’s famous wax museum … among the likenesses featured on the cover are Mae West, Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire, Bob Dylan, Tony Curtis, Marlon Brando, Oscar Wilde, Marlene Dietrich, and W.C. Fields … album artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth will be awarded a Grammy for Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts in 1968 …

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 … wonder what Sylvia’s mother has to say about The Hook now … Lou Reed is bitten at a concert in Buffalo, New York … the “rabid” fan, unable to contain his affection, leaps onstage and bites Reed on the bum as he is about to perform “Waitin’ for the Man” … screaming “leather,” the fan gets past security as he assaults Reed … the fan is ejected and Reed later comments that the U.S. “seems to breed real animals” …

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 …

1975, Barry Manilow makes his first appearance on American Bandstand … No. 1 on the Billboard charts is Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti … No. 3 is Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks … No. 2 is Olivia Newton-John’s Have You Never Been Mellow … go figure …

1978, the Police sign with A&M records …

1985, Prince wins an Oscar for Best Original Score for the film Purple Rain … rumor has it that the movie’s title song actually was written by Prince’s backup musicians, Wendy and Lisa … the movie seems to acknowledge this, however the credits don’t … they are credited as co-writers of “Computer Blue,” a song Wendy and Lisa claim in an interview that they had nothing to do with …

1991, New Kid Donnie Wahlberg narrowly escapes becoming a new kid on the cell block when he is arrested and charged with first degree arson … he apparently was trying to set the historic Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, KY, on fire with a Molotov cocktail … the charges are later reduced and then dropped in exchange for public service commercials …

1995, while in jail, Tupac’s Me Against the World hits number one … he becomes the first rapper to top the charts and get married while incarcerated for sexual assault against a female fan … an opera based on the life of tennis ace Martina Navratilova premieres at New York’s Carnegie Hall … apparently, it took a lot of balls to pull this one off … Duran Duran release Thank You, a collection of cover versions generally considered to be one of the worst albums ever recorded …

1998, Chuck Negron files suit against his former Three Dog Night bandmates … Negron alleges that a breach of a 1990 settlement put a crimp in the crooner’s career … years later in an odd twist, Negron’s management licenses the rights to use the name of the ’60s horn band Blood, Sweat & Tears from BS&T drummer Bobby Colomby … Negron now appears as Blood, Sweat & Tears Featuring Chuck Negron … nothing to say about stopping David Clayton Thomas’ career … nothing? … anything? … nothing …

1999, rap mogul Master P donates $500,000 to keep his old grammar school from closing …

2004, Bob Dylan starts hawking lady’s underwear in a television ad for Victoria’s Secret which also features the song “Love Sick” from Dylan’s 1997 album Time Out of Mind … the commercial features Dylan and model Adriana Lima, who is barely clothed while Dylan, thankfully, is fully dressed … music critics, columnists, and Dylan fans immediately erupt on the internet after the first spot airs, all asking “Why?” … well, the answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind … but we suspect that same wind has been blowing up ladies’ skirts in Bob’s imagination since 1965, when he was asked what might tempt him to sell out … his reply: “Ladies’ undergarments.” … as far as we’re concerned, Dylan didn’t sell out, he bought in … and now when people ask about Dylan’s career whereabouts, our response is, “He’s in ladies’ underwear …”

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 … apparently, like Robert Johnson, they had hellhounds on their tail … perhaps it’s a better idea to get Satan in front of you, where you can keep an eye on him … American Idol is forced to have a re-vote after they display incorrect phone numbers for each of the 11 contestants during the voting stage of the Fox TV talent show …

2006, in the midst of a European tour Snoop Dogg and Sean “Diddy” Combs are obliged to cancel plans for the British leg of the tour 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 with British cops at Heathrow airport after the posse is refused entrance to a British Airways first-class lounge … seven bobbies were injured in the fracas … if we’re not mistaken, one Diddy equals ten bobbies … 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 … so much for self-determination … as Rene Descartes might have said, “iPod therefore I am” …

2007, Sony BMG 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.” …

… and that was the week that was in matters musical.

Arrivals:

March 24: Ollie McLaughlin, producer with Del Shannon (1925), George Lee, singer with Ruby and the Romantics (1936), soul singer Billy “Fat Boy” Stewart (1937), songwriter Peggy Sue, sister of Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle (1947)

March 25: Vivian Carter, the “Vee” in Vee-Jay Records (1921), Tom Wilson, producer for Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, and John Coltrane (1931), Johnny Burnette (1934), Jose L. Rodriguez, engineer for Culture Club, Mary J. Blige, and Gloria Gaynor (1944), 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), Milan Williams of The Commodores (1948), Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (1974)

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 of Eric Clapton fame (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)

Departures:

March 24: Foghat’s founding guitarist Rod Price (2005), Harold Melvin, leader of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (1997)

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), Duster Bennett, member of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (1976), songwriter-playwright Noel Coward (1973), Harold McNair, flutist and saxophonist with Donovan and Ginger Baker (1971)

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

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

March 30: Elektra Records producer Paul Rothchild (1995)

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