It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1956, Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally” climbs to number one on the pop charts …

1963, The Beatles attend The Rolling Stones gig at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, England, sporting identical long leather jackets and matching hats … Mick Jagger classifies their look as that of a “four-headed monster” …

1968, Pink Floyd rolls out their ‘Azimuth-coordinator,’ a mechanism for projecting sounds to anyplace in the concert hall … the device is promptly dubbed “more furious madness from the massed gadgets of Auzimine’s” …

1969, Desmond Dekker and The Aces rise to #1 on the UK singles chart with “The Israelites” … this makes Dekker the first Jamaican artist to achieve this status …

1970, Johnny Cash plays at the White House for Richard Nixon … Nixon requests “A Boy Named Sue” …

1972, Roberta Flack tops the charts with “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” and will remain there for six weeks … it’s the longest-running #1 hit by a female solo artist since Gogi Grant’s 1956 hit “The Wayward Wind” …

1978, pianist Alice Coltrane records Transfiguration, her last jazz album until her 2004 comeback album in the genre, Translinear Light … the widow of the great jazz saxophonist John Coltrane recorded a number of trance and modal albums in the intervening years, reflecting her intense interest in Indian spirituality … over 40 musicians, including Carly Simon, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, and John Hall, petition Jimmy Carter to halt the USA’s commitment to nuclear energy …

1980, Bob Marley and the Wailers give a triumphant performance to honor Zimbabwe’s newly declared independence … the previous day saw the Wailer’s performance cut short by riots and tear gas …

1993, guitarist Billy Burnette announces he’s leaving Fleetwood Mac, continuing the rotating cast of musicians occupying the band’s guitar chair … some of these players include Lindsey Buckingham, Bob Welch, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, and Peter Green …

1996, the remainder of Jerry Garcia’s ashes are scattered near San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge … some of the much-loved Grateful Dead guitarist’s ashes previously had been dispersed into the Ganges River in India …

1999, Tammy Wynette’s body is exhumed for autopsy at the request of Wynette’s widower George Richey … this follows a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by her daughters … the autopsy finds that Wynette died of heart failure, possibly brought on by complications from a chronic blood-clotting condition … Skip Spence, an early member of Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service as well as a founding member of Moby Grape, dies of lung cancer and congestive heart failure in a San Francisco hospital … the 52-year-old Spence had battled schizophrenia and alcoholism for years … Spence’s album Oar, recorded in Nashville in 1969, features Spence on all the instruments and is considered a cult classic … Spence’s album spawns an Oar tribute album titled More Oar, including performances from Beck, Tom Waits, Robert Plant, and other admirers …

2002, in a dispute over the ownership rights to Nirvana’s recordings, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic ask a Seattle court to prove that Courtney Love is mentally unstable … they tell the court that Love is “irrational, mercurial, self-centered, unmanageable, inconsistent, and unpredictable” … they also claim a contract is invalid because Love was stoned at the time …

2004, Kurt Cobain’s Mark IV-style Mosrite Gospel guitar sells for $100,000 at the Icons of 20th Century Music auction in Dallas, Texas … Other notable sales include Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s songwriting piano that sells for $140,000, and a 1966 Rickenbaker guitar owned by the Byrds Roger McGuinn goes for $99,000 …

2005, sports company Reebok pulls a TV ad featuring 50 Cent after a mother whose son was shot dead complains the spot glamorizes gun crime … there have been 54 other complaints over the ad’s reference to the rapper having been shot nine times …

2007, Foot in Mouth dept. … Bryan Ferry apologizes after statements he made to a German magazine praising Nazi iconography, saying the Nazis “knew how to put themselves in the limelight and present themselves … I’m talking about the films of Leni Riefenstahl and the buildings of Albert Speer and the mass marches and the flags. Just amazing – really beautiful.” … British MPs ask Ferry be dropped as the face of the M&S Autograph menswear collection and asks shoppers to reconsider shopping the brand … Ferry says he is “deeply upset” by the publicity generated by the interview …

2009, Former Beatle George Harrison is posthumously honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles … among the attendees are Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, actors Tom Hanks and Eric Idle, and Harrison’s widow Olivia and son Dhani … Morrissey walks off the stage at the Coachella festival in California, claiming he could smell “smell burning flesh” … the staunch vegetarian takes offense from the smell wafting from nearby barbecues …

… and that was the week that was …

Arrivals:

April 14: Loretta Lynn (1935), Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore (1944), Clovers guitarist Willie Harris (1925), Joey Pesce of ‘Til Tuesday (1962), UFO guitarist Vinnie Moore (1964), Carl Hunter of The Farm (1965)

April 15: blues singer Bessie Smith (1894), songwriter Eden Ahbez, who penned the Nat “King” Cole hit, “Nature Boy” (1908), biographer Albert Goldman, who slagged Elvis and Lennon (1927), country music artist Roy Clark (1932), Led Zeppelin manager and former wrestler, Peter Grant (1934), songwriter-music publisher David Mook (1936), ’50s rockabilly artist Bob Luman (1937), Clarence G. Satchell, horn player with The Ohio Players (1940), Allan Clarke of The Hollies (1942), singer-guitarist-producer Dave Edmunds (1944), Marc Conners, singer with The Nylons (1949), ’80s dance-pop singer Samantha Fox (1966), Ed O’Brien of Radiohead (1968)

April 16: Grammy-winning jazz and film composer, Henry Mancini (1924), sax player and bandleader of Bill Haley’s Comets, Rudy Pompilli (1924), pop singer Roy Hamilton (1929), jazz flautist Herbie Mann, born Herbert Jay Solomon (1930), Delta slide guitarist Johnny Littlejohn (1931), pop crooner Bobby Vinton (1935), singer Dusty Springfield, born Mary Elizabeth Catherine Bernadette O’Brien (1939), fingerstyle guitarist Stefan Grossman (1945), singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty (1947), singer Jimmy Osmond, the youngest of The Osmond Family (1963), Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum (1964), Tejano pop star Selena (1971)

April 17: British pop singer Billy Fury (1941), composer-keyboardist Jan Hammer (1948), Ron Asheton, guitarist for The Stooges (1948), guitarist-songwriter-producer Michael Sembello (1954), The Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley (1955), Stephen Singleton of ABC (1959), James Keenan of Tool (1964), singer-songwriter Liz Phair (1967), Opeth guitarist-vocalist Mikael Akerfeldt (1974)

April 18: conductor Leopold Stokowski (1882), opera singer Sylvia Fisher (1910), bluesman Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown (1924), Doors producer Paul Rothchild (1935), Mike Vickers of Manfred Mann (1941), Skip Spence of Jefferson Airplane, co-founder of Moby Grape (1946), Les Pattinson of Echo & The Bunnymen (1958), Jim Ellison, lead singer-guitarist with Material Issue (1964), Happy Mondays dancer and maracas player Bez, born Mark Berry (1964), Everclear’s Greg Eklund (1970), guitarist Mark Tremonti of Creed (1974)

April 19: Augustus Juilliard, founder of The Juilliard School (1836), Brit blues pioneer Alexis Korner of Blues Incorporated (1928), rock promoter Don Kirshner (1934), pop songwriter Bobby Russell (1940), Alan Price of the Animals (1942), funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell of Parliament and Funkadelic (1944), Mark “Flo” Volman of The Turtles and Frank Zappa’s Flo & Eddie (1947)

April 20: country/pop singer-songwriter Johnny Tillotson (1939), Craig Frost of Grand Funk Railroad (1948), R&B singer Luther Vandross (1951), Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater (1967), bassist Mikey Welsh of Weezer (1971)

Departures:

April 14: crooner and bandleader Don Ho (2007), actor and crooner Anthony Newley (1999), folk singer Burl Ives (1995), R&B singer Thurston Harris (1990), Pete Farndon of The Pretenders (1983)

April 15: Kelly Johnson, guitarist-vocalist for Girlschool (2007), singer John Fred Gourrier of “Judy in Disguise” fame (2005), Canadian rockabilly artist Ray Condo (2004), punk rock guitarist Joey Ramone (2001), country singer Rose Maddox (1998), Bobby Del Din, first tenor with The Earls (1992), music-industry mogul George Goldner (1970)

April 16: Alexander “Skip” Spence of Jefferson Airplane, co-founder of Moby Grape (1999), soul singer Brook Benton (1988), singer Eugene Church of The Clovers (1973)

April 17: James B. Davis, founder of The Dixie Hummingbirds (2007), New Orleans singer-guitarist-songwriter Earl King (2003), Linda McCartney (1998), lyricist Jack Yellen (1991), Mountain bassist Felix Pappalardi (1983), Vinnie Taylor of Sha Na Na (1974), rock-and-roll pioneer Eddie Cochran (1960)

April 18: Bernard Edwards, producer and founder of Chic (1996), songwriter-producer Mike Leander (1996), Milton Brown, leading figure in Western swing (1936)

April 19: American Head Charge guitarist Bryan Ottoson (2005), jazz bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen (2005), Kansas City blues guitarist Larry Davis (1994), session sax player Steve Douglas (1993), 1950s R&B singer-pianist Willie Mabon (1985), big- band singer Savannah Churchill (1974)

April 20: jazz pianist Andrew Hill (2007), pop singer Alan Dale (2002), conductor-composer Giuseppe Sinopoli (2001), producer Jose L. Rodriguez, who worked with Culture Club, Mary J. Blige, and Gloria Gaynor (1996), vocalist-guitarist Steve Marriott of Small Faces and Humble Pie (1991)

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