The Tune Doctors
October 4 1978, Country singer Tammy Wynette was abducted, beaten and held in her car for two hours by a kidnapper wearing a ski mask. He held a gun on her and forced her to drive 90 miles from Nashville, Tennessee. She was later released and the kidnapper escaped.
- 1962, The Tornadoes were at No.1 on the singles charts with the instrumental, 'Telstar', (named after a communication satellite). The track went on to be the first major hit from a UK act on the American chart, also reaching No.1.
October 2 1951, Born on this day, Sting, (Gordon Sumner), singer, songwriter, The Police, (1983 No.1 single 'Every Breath You Take', plus 4 other No.1 singles). Solo, (1990 No.15 single 'Englishman In New York' plus over 15 other Top 40 singles). As a solo musician and a member of the Police, he received 16 Grammy Awards and has sold over 100 million records.
October 1 1930, Born on this day, Actor, singer, Richard Harris (1968 No.4 single 'MacArthur Park'). Died 25th Oct 2002.
September 29 1976, Enjoying his own birthday celebrations, singer Jerry Lee Lewis accidentally shot his bass player Norman Owens in the chest. Lewis had been blasting holes in an office door. Owens survived but sued his boss. It's believed the claim was denied as Owens was only a bass player.
September 28 1974, Canadian singer Andy Kim went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Rock Me Gently', it made No.2 in the UK. Kim was the co-writer of The Archies 'Sugar Sugar'.
1991, Bryan Adams was awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia. Other Canadian musicians who have been given the award include Leonard Cohen and the members of Rush.
September 21 1980, During a North American tour, Bob Marley collapsed while jogging in New York's Central Park. After hospital tests he was diagnosed as having cancer. Marley played his last ever concert two nights later at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
September 18 1970, Jimi Hendrix died in London England at the age of 27. Hendrix left the message 'I need help bad man', on his manager's answer phone earlier that night. Rumors and conspiracy theories grew up around Hendrix’s death. Eric Burdon claimed Jimi had committed suicide, but that’s contradicted by reports that he was in a good frame of mind. In 2009, a former Animals roadie published a book claiming that Jimi’s manager had admitted to him that he arranged the murder of Hendrix, since the guitarist wanted out of his contract.
September 17 1923, Born on this day in Mount Olive, Alabama, Hank Williams (born Hiram King Williams). Regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time. Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked No.1. During his last years, Williams's consumption of alcohol, morphine and painkillers severely compromised his professional life. Williams died aged 29 on January 1, 1953.
September 13 1969, John Lennon & Yoko Ono flew to Canada to perform at the Rock & Roll Revival Show in Toronto. The band members Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann and drummer Alan White were put together so late that they had to rehearse on the plane from England. Also making an appearance at the concert were Chuck Berry,Gene Vincent, Bo Diddley, The Doors and Alice Cooper. Lennon later released his performance as the Live Peace in Toronto 1969 album.
September 9 1956, Elvis Presley made his first appearance on 'The Ed Sullivan show', performing 'Don't Be Cruel', 'Love Me Tender' and 'Ready Teddy' from the CBS TV Studios in Los Angeles.
September 7 1936, Born on this day, Buddy Holly, singer, songwriter, The Crickets, (1957 No.1 'That'll Be The Day', 1959 No.1 single 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore', plus over 15 other Top 40 singles). Influenced The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Holly was killed in a plane crash on 3rd February 1959. The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valans were also killed in the crash.
September 5 1999, After spending 58 weeks on the album charts, Canada's Shania Twain went to No.1 with 'Come On Over'. It became the best-selling country music album, and the second best-selling studio album by a female act. To date, the album has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.
September 4 1981, Born on this day, Beyonce, American singer, songwriter, dancer and actress. With Destiny’s Child she had the 2000 US No.1 single with ‘Say My Name’ and the 2001 No.1 single and album 'Survivor'. Beyonce scored the 2003 No.1 single ‘Crazy In Love’ from the world-wide No.1 album 'Dangerously In Love'. Throughout her career, she has sold an estimated 100 million records as a solo artist and a further 60 million records with the group Destiny's Child. She has won 22 Grammy Awards and is the most nominated woman in the award's history.
September 2 1964, On tour in the USA The Beatles appeared at The Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Days before the concert, Philadelphia had experienced race-riots. The Beatles, who were civil rights supporters, were shocked to see that their audience of 13,000 is completely white.
- 1972, The Erie Canal Soda Pop Festival was held over three days on Bull Island, near Griffin, Indiana. The promoters expected over 50,000 music fans, and over 200,000 attended the festival. Many bands pulled out as the festival drifted steadily into anarchy. Bands that did appear included Flash Cadillac & the Continental Kids, Black Oak Arkansas, Cheech and Chong, Foghat, Albert King, Brownsville Station, Canned Heat, Flash, Ravi Shankar, Rory Gallagher, The Eagles, The Amboy Dukes, and Gentle Giant. Three concert goers drowned in the Wabash River and as the festival ended, the remnants of the crowd burned down the stage.
August 31 1957, Elvis Presley appeared at the Empire Stadium in Vancouver, Canada. This was only the third time ever Presley had performed outside of the U.S. and for Elvis it would be the last. 26,000 fans attended the show with tickets costing $1.50, $2.50 and $3.50.
August 29 1958, Born on this day, Michael Jackson, singer, songwriter, The Jackson Five, The Jacksons, and solo. Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. The music videos for 'Beat It', 'Billie Jean', and Thriller are credited with breaking down racial barriers and transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. His 1982 album Thriller, is the best-selling album of all time. Jackson died on 25th June 2009 at the age of 50, after suffering heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills. Prior to his death, Jackson had been scheduled to perform 50 sold-out concerts to over one million people.
- 2000, Slipknot caused chaos at this years Kerrang! Awards, after smashing glasses, setting fire to their table, throwing a monitor off the stage and destroying a microphone. The band picked up 3 awards including best single and best live act.
August 24 1974, Ottawa's Paul Anka with Odia Coates started a three week run at No.1 on the singles charts with 'You're Having My Baby', Anka's 24th US top 40 hit.
- 1975, Queen started recording 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at Rockfield studios in Monmouth, Wales. The song was recorded over three weeks. Freddie Mercury directed the band throughout the sessions. May, Mercury, and Taylor sang their vocal parts continually for ten to twelve hours a day, resulting in 180 separate overdubs.
August 22 1956, Elvis Presley began working on his first movie, Love Me Tender. In the drama that was set during and just after the Civil War, Elvis played Clint Reno, the youngest of four brothers. The original title for the movie was The Reno Brothers, but was changed to take advantage of the 'Love Me Tender' song recorded for the film.
August 17 1960, The Beatles began their first Hamburg engagement at the Indra Club, Hamburg, West Germany, playing the first of 48 nights at the Club. The owner asked The Beatles to "Mach Shau", or really put on a show, which led to the band screaming, shouting, and leaping about the stage and sometimes playing lying on the floor. John Lennon once appeared wearing only his underwear and on another occasion, wearing a toilet seat around his neck. The Beatles lodged in a single room behind the screen of a nearby movie house.
August 14 1985, Michael Jackson won a bid over Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney to secure the ATV Music Publishing catalogue. At $47.5 million, he gained the rights to more than 250 songs written by Lennon and McCartney. McCartney had been negotiating with Yoko Ono, who had decided to withdraw her side of the deal because of 'astrological' reasons.
August 13 2009, Guitarist Les Paul died in hospital in White Plains, New York at the age of 94. Paul is credited with developing one of the first solid-body electric guitars, which went on sale in 1952 and contributed to the birth of rock. He also developed other influential recording innovations such as multi-track recording and overdubbing. In the early 50s, Paul and his wife Mary Ford had a string of hits including 'Mockin' Bird Hill', 'How High the Moon', and 'Vaya Con Dios'.
August 9 2007, Jennifer Lopez won $545,000 US in a case against her first husband, who planned to publish a book claiming she had several affairs. The star claimed Mr Ojani Noa offered not to publish the book in return for $5 million (US).
August 6 1973, Stevie Wonder was seriously injured when the car he was riding in crashed into a truck on I-85 near Winston-Salem, North Carolina leaving him in a coma for four days. The accident also left him without any sense of smell.
August 4 1901, Born on this day, Louis Armstrong, singer, bandleader, trumpeter. Had many hits including the 1964 No.1 'Hello Dolly!', 1968 No.1 'What A Wonderful World’ plus ‘When The Saints Go Marching In’, ‘Ain't Misbehavin’, and ‘We Have All the Time in the World.’ Died 6th July 1971.
- 1958, Billboard introduced 'The Hot 100 Singles Chart'. Ricky Nelson was at No.1 with 'Poor Little Fool'.
August 2 1937, Born on this day, Garth Hudson, Organ, The Band, (1969 No.25 single 'Up On Cripple Creek', 1970 No.16 single 'Rag Mama Rag').
- 1939, Born on this day, Edward Patten, vocals, The Pips, (1973 No.1 single 'Midnight Train To Georgia', 1975 No.4 single with Gladys Knight 'The Way We Were').
July 30 1936, Born on this day, George "Buddy" Guy, American blues guitarist and singer. Critically acclaimed, he is a pioneer of the Chicago blues sound.
- 1941, Born on this day, Paul Anka, singer, (1957 No.1 single 'Diana'. The single sold over 9 million copies world- wide). Wrote many classic songs including: 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore', 'Puppy Love' and the lyrics to 'My Way.'
- 1954, Slim Whitman, Billy Walker, Sugarfoot Collins, Sonny Harvelle, Tinker Fry, Curly Harris and a young Elvis Presley, all appeared at the Hillbilly Hoedown, Overton Park Shell, in Memphis Tennessee. Elvis was so nervous he stood up on the balls of his feet and shook his leg in time with the music. When he came offstage he asked why people were yelling at him. Someone told him it was because he was shaking his leg which, with the baggy pleated pants, created a wild gyrating effect in time with the music.
July 29 2011, Gene McDaniels, who scored the 1961 No.3 hit 'A Hundred Pounds Of Clay' died at the age of 76 after a short illness. Gene also wrote Roberta Flack's 1974 No.1 hit 'Feel Like Makin' Love' which won a Grammy Award.
- 1956, Carl Perkins was on the singles charts with his debut hit 'Blue Suede Shoes'. Johnny Cash planted the seed for the song in the fall of 1955, while Perkins, Cash and Elvis Presley toured throughout the South. Cash told Perkins of a black airman whom he had met when serving in the military in Germany. He had referred to his military regulation air shoes as "blue suede shoes." Cash suggested that Carl write a song about the shoes.
July 28 1960, Roy Orbison entered the charts with 'Only The Lonely', which went on to give Roy his first of 20 consecutive Top 40 hits between 1960 and 1965. As an operatic rock ballad, it was a sound unheard of at the time, and is seen as a seminal event in the evolution of Rock and Roll. Released as a 45 rpm single by Monument Records in May, 1960, 'Only The Lonely' went to No. 2 on the Top Ten charts. The song was turned down by The Everly Brothers and Elvis Presley, so Orbison decided to record the song himself.
July 22 1944, Born on this day, Rick Davies, vocalist and keyboardist with Supertramp, who had the 1979 No.6 single with 'The Logical Song' and the No.1 album Breakfast In America. Davies is the only member of Supertramp to have been with the group for their entire history, and composed many of their most well-known songs, including 'Goodbye Stranger', and 'Bloody Well Right'.
- 1947, Born on this day, Don Henley, singer, songwriter, and drummer with The Eagles,who had the 1977 No.1 single 'Hotel California', plus 5 No.1 albums. The Eagles 'Greatest Hits 1971-1975' is the second biggest selling album in the world with sales over 30m. Henley had the 1985 solo No.5 single 'The Boys of Summer'.
July 21 1973, Jim Croce started a two week run at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Bad, Bad Leroy Brown'. Croce died in a plane crash three months later.
- 1973, Canned Heat, Chuck Berry, Nazareth, Edgar Broughton Band, Groundhogs, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Medicine Head, all appeared at this year's Buxton Festival in Derbyshire, England. Hell's Angels arrived in force and proceeded to drink the site dry. Initially they paid for the booze, but when the money ran out a deputation was sent into the audience to collect donations of 10p per person. About 20 minutes into his set Chuck Berry was showing one of the Angels how to do his duck-walk properly. He did a magnificent one from one end of the stage to the other and disappeared into the wings. The band played on, the Angels bopped, and Chuck legged it to his car and drove off at high speed, never to return.
- 2005, Research by a car insurance company showed that listening to the wrong sort of music when driving can lead to aggression and distraction. Dr Nicola Dibben a music psychologist said ‘singing while driving stimulates the mind.’ Songs recommended included Pulp’s ‘Disco 2000’ and ‘Hey Ya’ by Outcast, but, said the doctor, songs like The Prodigy’s 'Firestarter' should be avoided.
July 18 1953, Truck driver Elvis Presley made his first ever recording when he paid $3.98 at the Memphis recording service singing two songs, 'My Happiness' and 'That's When Your Heartaches Begin'. The so-called vanity disc, was a gift for his mother. It would surface 37 years later as part of an RCA compilation called 'Elvis - the Great Performances'.
- 1960, Brenda Lee went to No.1 on the singles charts with 'I'm Sorry'. Seeking publicity, the 4' 11 tall singer was once billed as a 32-year- old midget and had the nickname Little Miss Dynamite.
July 14 1912, Born on this day, Woodrow Wilson ‘Woody’ Guthrie in Okemah, Oklahoma. Folk singer and songwriter, famous for his ‘Dust Bowl Ballads’ and protest songs in the 1930’s and 1940’s. His work was a major influence on the young Bob Dylan, providing inspiration and mentorship. Guthrie was married three times and fathered eight children, including American folk musician Arlo Guthrie. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his guitar. Guthrie died of complications resulting from Huntingdon’s disease on October 3rd 1967.
July 8 2006, Queen guitarist Brian May made a "substantial" donation to save hedgehogs from slaughter in the Outer Hebrides. Although the exact amount was not revealed, it was said to be enough to pay for the rescue of hundreds of hedgehogs from the Uists, where Scottish Natural Heritage had been culling the animals. May's money would go towards funding cash rewards for islanders, so hundreds more hedgehogs could be saved.
July 5 2003, Johnny Cash made his last ever live performance when he appeared at the Carter Ranch. Before singing "Ring of Fire", Cash read a statement about his late wife that he had written shortly before taking the stage: “The spirit of June Carter overshadows me tonight with the love she had for me and the love I have for her. We connect somewhere between here and heaven. She came down for a short visit, I guess, from heaven to visit with me tonight to give me courage and inspiration like she always has.” Cash died on Sept 12th 2003.
June 29 2016, Mack Rice, composer of ``Mustang Sally'' and co-writer of ``Respect Yourself'' died in Detroit at the age of 82 of complications from Alzheimer's disease. ``Sir'' Mack Rice was best known for writing ``Mustang Sally,'' which was popularized by Wilson Pickett. They had been in a group together called the Falcons. Rice became a songwriter for Memphis, Tennessee-based Stax Records and split his time between there and Detroit. He wrote ``Respect Yourself'' with late singer-songwriter Luther Ingram for the Staple Singers, which became Stax's biggest hit.
June 28 1975, The Eagles started a five-week run at No.1 on the album charts with their fourth studio album 'One of These Nights'. The album became their breakthrough album, with three Top 10 singles, 'Lyin' Eyes' (which won a Grammy), 'Take It to The Limit' and the title track.
- 1959, Bobby Darin was at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Dream Lover'. It was the singer's first No.1 and the song featured Neil Sedaka on piano.
June 19 2013, Slim Whitman, country music singer/ songwriter and instrumentalist died aged 90. Known for his yodeling abilities and his smooth high octave falsetto, he sold in excess of 120 million records during his career. Whitman was inspirational for Michael Jackson and George Harrison. Paul McCartney credited Whitman with giving him the idea of playing his guitar left-handed.
- 2014, Gerry Goffin, who penned chart-topping songs with his then-wife Carole King died at the age of 75 in Los Angeles. They wrote 'The Loco-Motion', 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow' and '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman'. Goffin also wrote Whitney Houston's 'Saving All My Love for You' in 1985.
June 17 1971, Carole King went to No.1 on the album charts with ‘Tapestry’ for the first of 15 consecutive weeks. The album contained ‘It's Too Late’, ‘I Feel the Earth Move’, ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’’ and ‘You've Got a Friend’. The cover photograph taken at King's Laurel Canyon home shows her sitting in a window frame, holding a tapestry she hand-stitched herself, with her cat Telemachus at her feet.
June 10 2004, singer, songwriter Ray Charles died aged 73. Glaucoma rendered Charles blind at the age of six. He scored the 1962 No.1 single 'I Can't Stop Loving You' plus over 30 other Top 40 singles and the 2005 No.1 album 'Genius Loves Company.' Charles appeared in the 1980 hit movie, The Blues Brothers and was the winner of 17 Grammy Awards.
June 5 1993, Country singer Conway Twitty died. He had the 1958 US & UK No.1 single 'It's Only Make Believe'. Until 2000, he held the record for the most Number One singles of any country act, with 45 No.1's. He lived in Hendersonville, Tennessee, just north of Nashville, where he built a country music entertainment complex called Twitty City.
June 4 1937, Born on this day, Freddy Fender, (Baldemar Huerta), 1975 No.1 single 'Before The Next Teardrop Falls'. Died on 14th Oct 2006.
June 1 1974, Born on this day, Alanis Morissette, Canadian singer, songwriter, (1996 No.4 single 'Ironic' from Jagged Little Pill album which has sold more then 30 million copies, making it the best ever selling record by a female performer). Morissette appeared on the Canadian children's television show You Can't Do That for five episodes when she was in elementary school and has now sold more than 60 million albums worldwide
May 30 1964, The Beatles went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Love Me Do', the group's fourth US No.1 in five months. The version released in America had Andy White playing drums while Ringo played the tambourine. The British single was a take on which Ringo Starr played the drums.
- 1970, Ray Stevens went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Everything Is Beautiful'. The former DJ had a string of novelty hits, including 'Jeremiah Peabody's Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green & Purple Pill'.
May 29 1942, Bing Crosby recorded the Irving Berlin song 'White Christmas'. Crosby recorded the song with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers in just 18 minutes. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.
May 28 1961, Ricky Nelson started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Travellin' Man'. Sam Cooke had turned the song down. The B-side was the Gene Pitney song 'Hello Mary Lou'. The record became a double A side No.1 for Nelson.
May 27 1957, Buddy Holly and the Crickets released their first record, 'That'll Be The Day.' A No.1 hit. The song had its genesis in a trip to the movies by Holly in June 1956. The John Wayne film The Searchers was playing. Wayne's frequently-used, world-weary catchphrase, "that'll be the day" was the Inspiration behind the song. It was also the first song to be recorded by The Quarrymen, the skiffle group that subsequently became The Beatles.
May 24 1941, Born on this day, Robert Zimmerman, (Bob Dylan) folk singer, songwriter. Released over 40 albums since 1964, a major influence on The Beatles and The Rolling Stones during the 60's. Biggest hit is 1965 No.2 single 'Like A Rolling Stone', 1969 No.5 single 'Lay Lady Lay', 1964 No.1 album 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan'. 2006 album 'Modern Times' entered the US chart at No.1. Also a member of The Traveling Wilburys.
May 23 1928, Born on this day, Rosemary Clooney, American singer who came to prominence in the early 1950s with the novelty hit 'Come On-a My House', which was followed by other pop numbers such as 'Botch-a-Me', 'Mambo Italiano' and 'This Ole House'. She died on 29th June 2002.
May 21 1983, David Bowie went to No.1 on the singles charts with 'Let's Dance', featuring blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was Bowie's first single to reach number one on both sides of the Atlantic. The music video was made on location in Australia and featured Bowie playing with his band while impassively watching an Aboriginal couple’s struggles against metaphors of Western cultural imperialism.
May 18 1952, Born on this day, George Strait, country singer, songwriter, (1992 album 'Pure Country' spent 40 weeks on the US chart). He has the second most number one country hits among any artist in any musical genre in history, totalling 53 number one hit songs. Only Conway Twitty has more, with 55.
- 1975, Five times married country singer, Tammy Wynette was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Stand By Your Man,' originally released as a single in 1968 in the USA. It proved to be the most successful record of Wynette's career and is one of the most covered songs in the history of country music.
May 15 1918, Born on this day, Eddy Arnold, country singer, (1965 No.6 single, 'Make The World Go Away').
- 1937, Born on this day, Trini Lopez, singer, songwriter, (1963 No.3 single 'If I Had A Hammer').
May 11 1981, Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley died, aged 36. Had the 1981 single 'No Woman No Cry', plus over ten other Top 40 singles. In 1990, the 6th February was proclaimed a national holiday in Jamaica to commemorate his birth. The compilation album, Legend, released in 1984, is the best-selling reggae album ever with sales of more than 20 million copies. Time magazine chose Bob Marley & The Wailers' Exodus as the greatest album of the 20th century.
- 1888, Born on this day, Irving Berlin, composer of many pop, stage show and film hits. He emigrated from Siberia to New York as a child. Composed ‘White Christmas’ and ‘Let’s Face The Music and Dance’. Died on September 22nd 1989.
May 4 1973, Led Zeppelin opened their 1973 North American tour, which was billed as the 'biggest and most profitable rock & roll tour in the history of the United States'. The group would gross over $4 million from the dates, flying between gigs in 'The Starship,' a Boeing 720 passenger jet, complete with bar, shower room, TV and video in a 30' lounge and a white fur bedroom.May 1 1962, The Beatles started a month long residency at The Star Club, Hamburg, Germany. American musicians including Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, Everly Brothers, Bill Haley, Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Lee Lewis also all appeared here.
- 1965, Herman's Hermits started a three week run at No.1 in the US singles chart with 'Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter'.
- 1966, The Beatles played live for the last time in the UK when they appeared at the NME Poll Winners concert at Wembley Empire Pool. The Beatles set included; 'I Feel Fine', 'Nowhere Man', 'Day Tripper', 'If I Needed Someone' and 'I'm Down'. Also on the bill, The Spencer Davis Group, The Fortunes, Herman's Hermits, Roy Orbison, The Rolling Stones, The Seekers, The Small Faces, Dusty Springfield, The Walker Brothers, The Who and The Yardbirds.
April 28 1973, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of The Moon went to No.1 in the US. The album went on to enjoy a record-breaking 741 discontinuous weeks on the Billboard chart, and has now sold over 45 million copies world-wide. After moving to the Billboard Top Pop Catalog Chart, the album notched up a further 759 weeks there, and had reached a total of over 1,500 weeks on the combined charts by May 2006.
April 24 1959, Buddy Holly was at No.1 on the singles charts with the Paul Anka song 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore,' a No.1 hit six weeks after Holly's death.
- 1961, Bob Dylan appeared on Harry Belafonte's album 'The Midnight Special' playing harmonica on the track 'Calypso King'. Dylan was paid a $50 session fee for this, his first ever recording.
April 23 1936, Born on this day, Roy Orbison singer, songwriter, who had a 1964 No.1 single with ‘Pretty Woman’ plus over 20 Top 40 singles. With the Traveling Wilburys, he had a 1988 No.21 single with ‘Handle With Care’. Orbison died on December 6th 1988. Nicknamed the Big O, he was known for his distinctive, impassioned voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads. The combination led many to refer to his music as operatic, giving him the sobriquet "the Caruso of Rock". Between 1960 and 1964, 22 of his songs placed on the Billboard Top 40, including "Only the Lonely" (1960), "Crying" (1961), and "Oh, Pretty Woman" (1964).
April 21 1990, Sinead O'Connor started a four week run at No.1 on the singles charts with her version of the Prince song 'Nothing Compares To You'. The track was a No.1 hit in 19 countries. The video was shot in Paris, and consists almost solely of a close-up on O'Connor's face as she sings the lyrics. Towards the end of the video, two tears roll down her face. The clip won Best Video at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards - the first video by a female artist to win in this category.
April 19 2012, Levon Helm, died, aged 71. A drummer, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Helm formed his own high school band, the Jungle Bush Beaters, at 17, he later joined The Hawks (who became Bob Dylan's backing group) who then became known as The Band. He sang on Band classics like 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,' 'Up on Cripple Creek,' 'Ophelia,' and 'The Weight.'
April 18 1987, Aretha Franklin and George Michael started a two week run at No.1 on the singles charts with 'I Knew You Were Waiting.' Aretha set a record for the artist with the longest gap between US No.1 singles. It had been 19 years, 10 months from her last No. 1 hit, 'Respect,' in June 1967.
April 16 1947, Born on this day, Gerry Rafferty, UK singer songwriter, Stealers Wheel, 1973 No.3 single 'Stuck In The Middle With You'. The song was used in Quentin Tarantino's 1992 movie Reservoir Dogs, during the famous "ear" scene. Solo, 1978 No.2 single 'Baker Street.' Died on 4th Jan 2011.
April 13 1967, Nancy and Frank Sinatra were at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Somethin' Stupid', the only father and daughter to have a US No.1 single as a team. The song was written by folk singer C. Carson Parks and originally recorded in 1966 by Parks and his wife Gaile Foote, as "Carson and Gaile".
April 7 1915, Born on this day, Billie Holiday, (Elinore Harris), considered the greatest female jazz singer of all time. Made over 100 records, worked with Count Basie and Duke Ellington, but had numerous arrests for drugs possession. Died on 17th July 1959.
April 5 2006, Gene Pitney was found dead aged 65 in his bed in a Cardiff hotel. The American singer was on a UK tour and had shown no signs of illness. Pitney helped The Rolling Stones break the American market with his endorsement of the band. Jagger and Richards wrote his hit 'That Girl Belongs to Yesterday' which became the Stones duo's first composition to reach the American charts. He scored the 1962 US No.4 single 'Only Love Can Break A Heart' plus over 15 other Top 40 hits.
April 3 1924, Born on this day, Doris Day, singer, actress, (1956 No.1 single 'Whatever Will Be, Will Be, (Que Sera, Sera, plus 17 other Top 40 singles).
- 1928, Born on this day, Don Gibson, country singer songwriter, (1958 No.7 single 'Oh Lonesome Me', 1961 No.14 single 'Sea Of Heartbreak'). Died on 17th November 2003.
March 31 1967, Jimi Hendrix set fire to his guitar live on stage for the first time when he was appearing at The Astoria in London, England. It was the first night of a 24-date tour with The Walker Brothers, Cat Stevens and Engelbert Humperdink. The Fender Stratocaster burned on stage by Hendrix sold for £280,000 at a 2008 London auction of rock memorabilia.
March 25 1947, Born on this day, Sir Elton John (Reginald Dwight), singer, songwriter, pianist (1971 No.7 single 'Your Song', 1973 No.1 single 'Crocodile Rock' and seven other No.1's. Biggest selling single of all time with 1997 'Candle In The Wind 97', plus over 50 Top 40 hit singles. Has sold over 150m records worldwide. Some of the aliases Sir Elton has used checking into hotels include, Prince Fooboo, Sir Humphrey Handbag, Lillian Lollipop, Lord Choc Ice, Lord Elpus, Binky Poodleclip and Sir Henry Poodle. Elton John's official nickname is Rocket Man.
March 21 2006, Three South African women whose father, Solomon Linda, wrote ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ in 1939, won a six-year court battle that gave them 25 per cent of all past and future royalties from the song. Linda who was a cleaner at a Johannesburg record company when he wrote the song, received virtually nothing for his work and died in 1962 with $25 in his bank account. The song had been recorded by Pete Seeger (as ‘Wimoweh’), The Kingston Trio, The Tokens, Karl Denver and R.E.M. and was featured in the Disney film The Lion King. It was estimated that the song had earned $15 million for its use in The Lion King alone.
March 18 1938, Born on this day Charley Pride, who has had thirty-nine No.1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country charts. His greatest success came in the 1970s, when he became the best-selling performer for RCA Records since Elvis Presley. Pride became the first Black country musician to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.
March 10 1996, Alanis Morissette won Best Album for Jagged Little Pill, Best Female singer, Best Rock Album, Best songwriter and best single at the 25th Juno Awards.
March 4 2003, A noisy neighbour was banned from playing her music and had her stereo system impounded, after she had played Cliff Richard music too loudly. 23 year-old Sian Davies was fined £1,000 ($1,700) plus court costs after environmental protection officers raided her flat in Porth, Rhondda, Wales and seized 15 amplifiers and speakers, plus 135 CDs and cassette tapes. The disc found in her CD player was the Cliff Richard single, 'Peace in Our Time'. A spokesman for the Cliff Richard Organization said he was delighted to hear of somebody in their early 20s owning so many of his records, but added that Cliff would not want anyone to play his music so that it caused a nuisance.
March 1 1927, Born on this day, Harry Belafonte, who had the 1957 No.1 single with ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ and a 1957 No.2 with ‘Banana Boat Song’. He also scored over 15 Top 40 albums, including the 1956 Calypso.
February 24 2000, Carlos Santana won eight awards at this year's Grammy Awards. Before the 'Supernatural' album, the guitarist had not had a Top 10 album since 1981. Sting won two awards, one for best pop album and another for best male pop vocalist. Sir Elton John won the legend award and Phil Collins the best soundtrack award for 'Tarzan'.
February 19 1958, Billed as 'The Big Gold Record Stars' Bill Haley and his Comets, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmie Rodgers all appeared on the first date of a six day tour of Florida.
- 1941, Born on this day, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Canadian singer, songwriter who had the 1971 No.7 single 'Soldier Blue'. She wrote 'Up Where We Belong' the 1982 No.1 for Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes.
February 17 1905, Born on this day, Orville ‘Hoppy’ Jones, bassist, singer and cello player with the Ink Spots, who had a 1955 No.10 single with ‘Melody Of Love’. He Died 18th October 1944. The Ink Spots joined Paul's family for a sing-along in 1955 when they toured Newfoundland, that year.
- 1941, Born on this day, Gene Pitney, singer, who had the 1962 No.4 single 'Only Love Can Break A Heart', plus over 15 other Top 40 hits. Pitney was found dead aged 65 in his bed in a Cardiff hotel on 5th April 2006. The American singer was on a UK tour and had shown no signs of illness.
February 13 2002, American country singer, songwriter Waylon Jennings died. Was bassist for Buddy Holly following the break-up of The Crickets. Released a series of duet albums with Willie Nelson in the late 1970s. Scored the 1980 No.21 single 'Theme From The Dukes Of Hazzard' and was the narrator on the television series. Member of The Highwaymen with Willie Nelson,Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson.
February 12 2000, Blues singer Screamin' Jay Hawkins died aged 70. A Golden Gloves boxing champion at 16, he was married nine times, spent two years in jail, was temporary blinded by one of his flaming props on stage in 1976. He recorded 'I Put A Spell On You' in 1956, covered by The Animals and Nina Simone.
February 9 1981, American singer Bill Haley was found dead, fully clothed on his bed at his home in Harlingen, Texas from a heart attack. Haley sold over 60 million records during his career. Scored the 1955 No.1 single 'Rock Around the Clock' and became known as the first Rock 'n' Roll star. Haley was blinded in his left eye as a child due to a botched operation and later adopted his distinctive spit-curl hairstyle to distract attention from his blind eye.
February 7 1962, Born on this day, Garth Brooks, country singer. His albums sales up to May 2013 are over 68 million, which makes him the best-selling albums artist since 1991, over 5 million ahead of his nearest rival, the Beatles. Brooks is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records.
February 4 2013, Lead singer with the 1960s rock and roll band The Troggs, Reg Presley died aged 71. Hit singles, included 'Wild Thing', 'I Can't Control Myself' and the UK No.1 'With a Girl Like You'. He also wrote the song 'Love Is All Around', which featured in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral and was a No.1 hit for Wet Wet Wet in 1994. Presley used his royalties from that cover to fund research subjects such as alien spacecraft, lost civilizations, alchemy, and crop circles, and outlined his findings in the book Wild Things They Don't Tell Us, published in October 2002.
January 31 1969, Tommy James and the Shondells started a two week run at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Crimson And Clover', the group's second and last No.1. Billy Idol had a 1987 No.1 with 'Mony Mony', a No.3 hit for Tommy James in 1968.
- 1972, Chuck Berry had his first No.1 single with a live recording of a song he'd been playing live for over 20 years, 'My Ding-a-Ling'. UK public morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse attempted to have the song banned due to its innuendo-laden lyrics.
January 27 2014, Folk singer and activist Pete Seegar died at the age of 94. He had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of the Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead Belly's 'Goodnight, Irene', which topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950. Members of the Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era. In the 1960s. Seegar re-emerged on the public scene as a prominent singer of protest music in support of international disarmament, civil rights, counterculture and environmental causes.
January 24 1941, Born on this day, Aaron Neville, singer with The Neville Brothers who had the 1966 No.2 single 'Tell It Like It Is', and the 1989 No.2 single with Linda Ronstadt 'Don't Know Much'.
1941, Born on this day, Neil Diamond, singer, songwriter. Had the 1970 No.1 single 'Cracklin' Rose' plus over 30 other Top 40 singles. Wrote 'I'm A Believer', the No.1 for The Monkees. With his 2008 album ‘Home Before Dark’ Diamond became the oldest artist to have a US number one; the record was previously held by Bob Dylan in 2006 with ‘Modern Times’.
January 19 1978, Johnny Rotten was fired from the Sex Pistols for 'not being weird enough anymore.'
January 16 1964, The Beatles played two shows at the Olympia Theatre, Paris, France, the first of an 18-night engagement. This first show was attended mostly by Paris' 'top society' members (all dressed in formal evening attire). The French press had little good to say about The Beatles in the next day's papers, but The Beatles didn't care, because they'd just received news that their single
'I Want to Hold Your Hand' had hit No.1 in the US, selling 10,000 copies an hour in New York City alone.
January 5 1973, Bruce Springsteen released his debut album 'Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.' Recorded in a single week the album only sold about 25,000 copies in the first year of its release. Both 'Blinded By The Light' and 'Spirit In The Night' were released as singles but neither made a dent in the charts. Manfred Mann's Earth Band later released a version of 'Blinded By The Light' on their album 'The Roaring Silence,' which reached No.1 on the US charts in 1977.
January 12 1926, Born on this day Ray Price, singer, songwriter and guitarist. His wide-ranging baritone has often been praised as among the best male voices of country music. Died on 16th Dec 2013 aged 87 at his ranch outside Mount Pleasant, Texas.
January 8 1935, Born on this day, Elvis Aaron Presley, the King of rock 'n' roll. He had his first No.1 in 1956 with 'Heartbreak Hotel'. Presley went on to have over 100 Top 40 singles from 1956 - 2006. Presley is one of the most celebrated and influential musicians of the 20th century, with estimated record sales of around 600 million units worldwide. Died on August 16th 1977.
December 31 1967, American songwriter and producer Bert Berns died of heart failure aged 38. He wrote many classic songs including 'Twist And Shout', 'Hang On Sloopy', ‘Here Comes the Night’, ‘I Want Candy’, ‘Under the Boardwalk’, ‘Everybody Needs Somebody to Love’ and 'Brown Eyed Girl'.
December 29 1999, Three ferrets were used to lay power cables for a rock concert being held in London, England (workers were not allowed to dig up the turf at the Royal Park). The ferrets were eased into tiny nylon harnesses with wires which were then attached to a rope. The animals ran into a series of ducts under the stage, leading the cables with them. The ferrets were enticed to the end of the ducts by slabs of smelly meat. The New Years Eve concert featured Simply Red, Eurythmics and Bryan Ferry.
December 25 1954, Bing Crosby's ‘White Christmas’ entered the Billboard Pop chart for the eleventh time. Bing's rendition has sold over 100 million copies around the world, with at least 50 million sales as singles. It was the largest selling single in music history until it was surpassed by Elton John's ‘Candle in the Wind 1997’.
December 23 1964, During a US tour, Beach Boy Brian Wilson had a nervous breakdown during a flight from Los Angeles to Houston. Glen Campbell replaced Wilson for the band's live shows before Bruce Johnston replaced him.
- 1999, George Harrison's home in Hawaii was broken into by Cristin Keleher, who cooked a frozen pizza, drank beer from the fridge, started some laundry and phoned her mother in New Jersey. She was arrested and charged with burglary and theft.
December 19 1979, Elvis Presley's personal physician, George Nichopoulos, was charged with 'illegally and indiscriminately' prescribing over 12,000 tablets of uppers, downers, and painkillers for the star during the 20 months preceding his untimely death. Although he was acquitted, he was charged again in 1980 and again in 1992 and was stripped of his medical license in July 1995.
December 15 1943, American jazz musician, singer and composer, Fats Waller died on a train trip near Kansas City, Missouri. Wrote many songs including 'Ain't Misbehavin', 'Your Feet's Too Big' and 'The Reefer Song'. In 1926 Waller was kidnapped at gunpoint in Chicago and driven to a club owned by gangster Al Capone. Inside the club he was ordered to perform at what turned out to be a surprise birthday party for the gangster.
December 14 1932, Born on this day Charlie Rich singer and musician. Rich, who acquired the nickname The Silver Fox, is best remembered for his 1973 hits, 'Behind Closed Doors' and 'The Most Beautiful Girl'. Died in his sleep on July 25, 1995 aged 62.
December 12 1915, Born on this day, Frank Sinatra, singer, actor, made his first record in 1939. First singer to encounter 'pop hysteria'. 'My Way' holds the longevity record of 136 weeks on the charts. Died on 14th May 1998.
- 1938, Born on this day, Connie Francis, singer, (1958 No.1 single 'Who's Sorry Now', 1960 No.1 single 'Everybody's Fool', plus over & 20 Top 40 hits.
- 1940, Born on this day, Dionne Warwick, singer, (1964 No.9 single 'Walk On By', 1974 No.1 single 'Then Came You', plus over 25 Top 40 hits).
December 10 1966, The Beach Boys went to No.1 on the singles charts with 'Good Vibrations', the group's third No.1. As a child, composer Brian Wilson's mother would tell him that dogs could pick up "vibrations" from people, so that the dog would bark at "bad vibrations". Wilson turned this into the general idea for the song.
December 7 1967, Otis Redding went into the studio to record '(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay'. The song went on to be his biggest hit. Redding didn't see its release; he was killed three days later in a plane crash. Redding wrote the song on a houseboat at Waldo Point in Sausalito, California a short time after his appearance at The Monterey pop festival. Redding's familiar whistling, heard before the song's fade was the singer fooling around; he had intended to return to the studio at a later date to add words in place of the whistling.
December 4 1964, The Beatles released their fourth album 'Beatles For Sale'. The album featured: ‘No Reply’, ‘I'm a Loser’, ‘Baby's in Black’, ‘Rock and Roll Music’, ‘I'll Follow the Sun’, ‘Mr. Moonlight’, ‘Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey’, ‘Eight Days a Week’, ‘Words of Love’, ‘Honey Don't’, ‘Every Little Thing’, ‘I Don't Want to Spoil the Party’, ‘What You're Doing’, and ‘Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby’.
December 1 1944, Born on this day, Bette Midler, singer, songwriter (1989 No.1 single 'Wind Beneath my Wings'), actress, comedienne, film producer. Grammy winner (3), Golden Globes (4), Emmy Awards (3), and a special Tony Award. She has sold over 35 million records worldwide.
November 30 1968, Glen Campbell started a five-week run at No.1 on the album charts with 'Wichita Lineman.' Jimmy Webb's inspiration for the lyrics came while driving through an endless line of telephone poles. Then, in the distance, he noticed a solitary lineman atop a pole. Webb began to think what the lineman was saying into the receiver and the lyrics came to him.
November 29 1917, Born on this day, country singer, songwriter Merle Travis, who invented the first solid body electric guitar. He wrote 'Sixteen Tons' a 1955 US No.1 for Ernie Ford. Died October 20 1983 (see below).
- 1941, Born on this day, Denny Doherty, Canadian singer, songwriter with The Mamas And The Papas, (1966 US No.1 single 'Monday Monday'). Doherty died in 2007.
November 25 1976, The Band, a Canadian-American roots rock group that began with members Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson, made their final performance, 'The Last Waltz', at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The show, featuring guests Joni Mitchell, Dr John, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton and others, was filmed by director Martin Scorsese and made into a documentary of the same name. The Band had toured for many years with Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan.
November 23 1962, Canada's Clarence Eugene "Hank" Snow, celebrated Canadian country music artist, was at No. 1 on the Billboard country chart with 'I've Been Everywhere'. Other number one hits include the self-penned songs 'I'm Moving On', 'The Golden Rocket' and famous versions of 'I Don't Hurt Anymore', 'Let Me Go, Lover', and 'Hello Love'.
November 22 1998, Canada's Alanis Morissette was at No.1 on the US album chart with her fourth album ‘Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie.’ The first single from album 'Thank You' received a Grammy Award nomination for "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance".
November 17 1938, Born on this day, Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian singer, (1971 No.30 single 'If You Could Read My Mind', 1974 US No.1 single 'Sundown'). Achieved international success in folk, folk-rock and country music, and has been credited for helping define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s.
November 16 1964, Born on this day in Nanaimo, B.C., Diana Krall, Canadian singer, songwriter, one of the best selling jazz artists of all-time. Krall is the only jazz singer to have eight albums debuting at the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. To date, she has won five Grammy Awards and eight Juno Awards. She has also earned nine gold, three platinum, and seven multi-platinum albums.
November 13 1976, Rod Stewart started an 8 week run at No.1 on the charts with 'Tonight's The Night'. It was his second US No.1. It made No.5 in the UK after being banned by many radio stations due to lyrics about the seduction of a virgin. The song features whispers from actress Britt Ekland, Stewart's girlfriend at the time.
- 1990, Patricia Boughton filed a lawsuit against Rod Stewart claiming that a football he kicked into the crowd during a concert had injured her middle finger, making sex between her and her husband difficult.
November 10 1955, Elvis Presley attended the fourth Country Music Disc Jockey Convention in Nashville Tennessee. Back at his hotel, Mae Boren Axton played him a demo of a new song she had written with Tommy Durden called 'Heartbreak Hotel'. Presley released the track as a single on January 27, 1956, his first on his new record label RCA Victor. The song gave him his first No.1 one pop record.
November 8 1949, Born on this day, Bonnie Raitt, blues singer songwriter, slide guitarist, (1990 No.1 album 'Nick Of Time’ and hit singles, 'Something to Talk About', 'Love Sneakin' Up on You' and 'I Can't Make You Love Me' (with Bruce Hornsby on piano). Raitt has received 10 Grammy Awards.
November 5 1959, Born on this day, Bryan Adams, OC, OBC, Canadian guitarist, singer, songwriter, musician, producer, actor, social activist, and photographer. 1984 album Reckless and 1985 hit single 'Run To You'. 1991 No.1 single '(Everything I Do) I Do It For You', plus over 15 other Top 40 singles and 3 No.1 albums.
November 2 1957, Sun Records released 'Great Balls Of Fire', by Jerry Lee Lewis. The single went on to sell over five million copies worldwide, a No.1 hit in the UK and No.2 in the US.
October 31 1963, The Beatles returned to London from Sweden and were greeted by hundreds of screaming fans and a mob of photographers and journalists. American television host Ed Sullivan was at Heathrow as The Beatles arrived, and was struck by the sight of Beatlemania in full swing. He decided to look into getting this group to appear on his US television program.
October 28 1957, After a show at the Pan Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles, local police told Elvis Presley that he was not allowed to wiggle his hips onstage. The local press also ran headlines saying Elvis would have to clean up his act. The next night, the Los Angeles Vice Squad filmed his entire concert, to study his performance.
October 24 1979, Paul McCartney received a medallion cast in rhodium after being declared the most successful composer of all time. From 1962 to 1978, McCartney had written or co-written 43 songs that had sold over a million copies each.
October 20 1983, American country and western singer, songwriter, Merle Travis died, aged 65. Acknowledged as one of the most influential American guitarist's of the twentieth century. Wrote 'Sixteen Tons' a 1955 No.1 hit for 'Tennessee' Ernie Ford. Travis appeared in the 1953 movie From Here to Eternity singing ‘Reenlistment Blues’.
October 19 1944, Born on this day, Peter Tosh, guitar, vocals, The Wailers, left in 1974, (1978 UK No.43 single 'You Gotta Walk, Don't Look Back' feat. Mick Jagger). Tosh was murdered by burglars at his home on 11th September 1987
October 18 1926, Born on this day, Chuck Berry singer, songwriter and guitarist, who wrote the 1963 No. 6 single 'Let It Rock' plus many other classic songs. He also had surprise hit in 1972 with the No.1 single 'My Ding A Ling'. A major influence on The Beatles and Rolling Stones, Berry's 'Johnny B. Goode' was one of the examples of music from Earth sent out to space. Berry was one of the pioneers of rock and roll music, who helped developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive; his lyrics, focusing on teen life and consumerism, plus his own brand of showmanship became a major influence on subsequent rock music.
October 15 1955, Buddy & Bob (Buddy Holly) opened for Elvis Presley at the ‘Big D Jamboree’, held at Lubbock’s Cotton Club, Texas. Nashville talent scout Eddie Crandall was in the audience and arranged for Holly to audition and record demos for the Decca label.
October 12 1997, John Denver was killed when the handmade, experimental airplane he was flying ran out of gas and crashed off the coast of Monterey Bay, California. The 53 year old star had scored 15 songs on Billboard's Top 40 Pop chart, ten of which reached number one on either Billboard's Adult Contemporary or Country chart.
October 8 1964, Roy Orbison was at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Oh Pretty Woman', his third No.1. The title was inspired by Orbison's wife Claudette interrupting a conversation to announce she was going out; when Orbison asked if she was okay for cash, his co-writer Bill Dees interjected "A pretty woman never needs any money."
October 7 1927, Born on this day, American singer Al Martino, (1952 No.1 single 'Here In My Heart'. 1963 No.3 'I Love You Because'). Martino played Johnny Fontane in 1972 film The Godfather. Died on 13th Oct 2009 aged 82.
September 30 1977, Mary Ford died. One-half of the husband-and-wife musical team, Les Paul and Mary Ford. Between 1950 and 1954, the couple had 16 top-ten hits; in 1951 alone, they sold six million records.
September 27 2011, Tony Bennett became the oldest living person to top the US album chart when the 85-year-old's 'Duets II' album went to No.1. The record, which featured collaborations with Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga, was also his first US No.1 in his 60 year career. The previous oldest performer to top the chart was Bob Dylan in 2009 with 'Together Through Life'. At the time he was 67-years old.
September 24 1957, The Elvis Presley classic, ‘Jailhouse Rock’ was released. It became his ninth US number one single and stayed on the Billboard chart for nineteen weeks. The film clip from the movie where he sang the song is considered by many historians to be the first rock video.
September 20 1997, Elton John started a six week run at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Something About The Way You Look Tonight', and 'Candle In The Wind 97,' a re-write of his 1974 hit about Marilyn Monroe. This version was released to raise funds for the Diana, Princess of Wales charity, following her death in Paris. It went on to become the biggest selling single in the world ever.
September 19 1960, Former chicken plucker Chubby Checker went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'The Twist'.
- 1960, Hank Ballard and The Midnighters had the honour of being the first group to have three songs in the US Top 100 at the same time. ‘Finger Poppin’ Time,’ ‘Let’s Go Let’s Go Let’s Go’ and ‘The Twist’ all made the Top 30. Ballard refused to perform ‘The Twist’ on a highly rated US TV show, so Chubby Checker picked it up at the insistence of Dick Clark, and Checker’s version of the song was number 1 this week in 1960.
September 15 1956, Elvis Presley started a five-week run at No.1 on the charts with 'Don't Be Cruel'. 'Don't Be Cruel' went on to become Presley's biggest selling single, with sales over six million by 1961. This “double-sided hit” which had 'Hound Dog' on the B side, became the most successful on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. One side reached No.1 on the chart, the other No.2. The two titles spent a combined 55 weeks in the Top 100 in 1956-1957.
September 11 1956, Police were called to break up a crowd of rowdy teenagers following the showing of the film Rock Around The Clock at the Trocadero Cinema in London, England. The following day, The Times printed a reader's letter that said: "The hypnotic rhythm and the wild gestures have a maddening effect on a rhythm loving age group and the result of its impact is the relaxing of all self control." The film was quickly banned in several English cities.
September 8 1932, Born on this day, Patsy Cline. Her hits began in 1957 with Donn Hecht's and Alan Block's 'Walkin' After Midnight', Hank Cochran's and Harlan Howard's 'I Fall to Pieces', Willie Nelson's 'Crazy' and ended in 1963 with Don Gibson's 'Sweet Dreams'. She died aged 30 on 5 March 1963 at the height of her career in a plane crash. She was one of the most influential, successful and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th century. Ten years after her death, in 1973, she became the first female solo artist inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
September 6 1997, Elton John recorded a new version of 'Candle In The Wind' after performing the song live at the Diana Princess of Wales funeral. An estimated 2.5 billion people around the world watched Elton play the special tribute to Diana. The track went on to become the biggest selling single of all-time.
September 4 1954, To coincide with the release of his second Sun single, 'Good Rockin' Tonight',Elvis Presley along with Bill Black and Scotty Moore made their first appearance at The Grand Old Opry. The audience reaction was so poor, the Opry's manager, Jim Denny told Elvis that he should go back to driving a truck.
September 3 2010, Mike Edwards a founding member of ELO was killed in a freak accident when a giant bale of hay tumbled down a hill and crashed into his van. The 62 year-old cellist died after the 600 kg (1,323 lb) bale rolled down a steep field in Devon, southern England, smashed through a hedge and careered on to the road. Edwards played cello with ELO, the seven-piece band led by Jeff Lynne, from their first live gig in 1972 until he left in January 1975. He quit the band in 1975 to become a Buddhist, changing his name to Deva Pramada and making his living by teaching the cello.
September 1 1946, Born on this day, Barry Gibb, singer, songwriter, producer, The Bee Gees, (1967 No.1 single 'Massachusetts', 1978 No.1 single 'Night Fever', plus over 30 other Top 40 singles & 9 No.1's over 4 decades). In 1994, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame with his brothers. In 1997, as a member of the Bee Gees, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.
- 1966, The Byrds played the first of an 11-night run at the Whisky-a-go-go, Hollywood, California. The Whisky a Go-Go opened in 1964 with a live band led by Johnny Rivers and a short-skirted female DJ spinning records between sets from a suspended cage. When the girl began to dance during River's sets, the audience thought it was part of the act – and the concept of Go-Go dancers in cages was born.
August 31 2006, The Times ran a story on the demands of rock stars when on tour. Ozzy Osbourne insists on an eye, ear, nose and throat doctor at each venue. The Beach Boys require a licensed masseur, Meat Loaf a mask and one small tank of oxygen. David Bowie would request that the dressing room temperature be between 14c and 18c and Paul McCartney must have a large arrangement of white Casablanca lilies in his dressing room. Mick Jagger must have an onstage autocue with the lyrics to all the songs; it also tells him the name of the city in which they are performing.
August 30 1949, Hank Williams went into Herzog Studio in Cincinnati to record 'I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry'.
Williams wrote the song originally intending that the words be spoken, rather than sung. The song about loneliness was largely inspired by his troubled relationship with wife Audrey Sheppard.
August 25 1957, Ottawa singer, songwriter Paul Anka, OC (Order of Canada), was at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Diana' (written about his brother's baby-sitter). Anka's hits include tunes like 'Lonely Boy', 'Put Your Head on My Shoulder' and 'Having My Baby', the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and one of Tom Jones's biggest hits, "She's a Lady", as well as the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra's signature song, 'My Way'. One of the biggest teen idols of the time, Anka toured Britain, then Australia with Buddy Holly. Anka also wrote 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore', which Holly recorded just before he died in 1959. Anka was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2005.
August 26 1981, Ottawa City Council named 'Paul Anka Day' to celebrate his 25th anniversary in show-business. The council also named a street in Ottawa 'Paul Anka Drive' in his honour.
August 24 2009, The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled Michael Jackson's death a homicide caused by a mix of drugs meant to treat insomnia. On February 8, 2010, Dr. Conrad Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter by prosecutors in Los Angeles. Dr. Murray pleaded not guilty and was released after posting $75,000 bail, but would be found guilty in November, 2011 and was sentenced to four years in a Los Angeles County jail.
August 23 1969, Johnny Cash started a four-week run at No.1 on the album charts with 'Johnny Cash At San Quentin'. The album was a recording of a live concert given to the inmates of San Quentin State Prison and was the follow-up to Cash's previous live album, the critically acclaimed and commercially successful 'At Folsom Prison'.
August 21 1961, Patsy Cline recorded the classic Willie Nelson song, ‘Crazy’. Cline was still on crutches after going through a car windshield in a head-on collision two months earlier and had difficulty reaching the high notes of the song at first, due to her broken ribs. 'Crazy' spent 21 weeks on the charts, eventually becoming one of her signature tunes.
August 17 2012, Three members of the Russian feminist punk rock protest group Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years imprisonment after they had staged a performance in the sanctuary of Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior in a protest directed at the Orthodox Church leader's support for President Putin during his election campaign.
August 16 1977, Elvis Presley was found dead lying on the floor in his bathroom by his girlfriend Ginger Alden. He had been seated on the toilet reading 'The Scientific Search For Jesus'. He died of heart failure at the age of 42. His first record for RCA, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, was also his first No.1. He starred in 31 films. Elvis holds the record for the most entries on the US Hot 100 chart with 154.
August 13 1952, The original version of 'Hound Dog' was recorded by Willie Mae (Big Mama) Thornton. It would become the first hit for the song-writing team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and went on to top the Billboard R&B chart for seven weeks, selling nearly two million copies.
August 12 1985, Kyu Sakamoto was killed in a plane crash when JAL Flight 123, a 747, crashed and burned on a thickly wooded mountain about 60 miles northwest of Tokyo. He was 43. He had the 1963 No.1 single 'Sukiyaki', the first Japanese artist to hit the top of the North American singles charts.
August 9 1958, Britain's answer to Elvis, 17 year old Cliff Richard, signed a record deal with EMI records. Also on this day Cliff Richard started a four-week residency at Butlins Holiday Camp in Clacton-On-Sea, Essex (our Paul's home town) as Cliff Richard and the Drifters.
Aug 8 2002, The UK's biggest undertakers Co-Op funeral services reported that bereaved families preferred pop songs to hymns at funerals. Top of the list was 'Wind Beneath My Wings' by Bette Midler. Other songs included 'Angels' by Robbie Williams and 'My Heart Will Go On' by Celine Dion. They also reported some unusual choices including 'Another One Bites The Dust' by Queen and 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go' by Wham!
August 7 1957, The Quarry Men played at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, (without Paul McCartney who was away at Boy Scout summer camp). The Cavern was still a jazz club, but skiffle was tolerated. However, when John Lennon dared to play ‘Hound Dog’ and ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, the club owner sent a note to the stage saying, "Cut out the bloody rock!"
August 5 1956, Doris Day was at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Whatever Will Be Will Be' (Que Sera Sera), the singer actress's second No.1 single. The Oscar-winning song was featured in Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 film, The Man Who Knew Too Much, with Doris Day and James Stewart in the lead roles.
August 2 1974, Anne Murray appeared at The Schaefer Festival in New York as the headlining act. The opening act was Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.
August 1 2002, A new book 'Show the Girl the Door' written by a former tour manager disclosed some strange demands by female acts. It revealed that Shania Twain would travel with a sniffer dog in case of bombs. Jennifer Lopez liked her dressing room to be all white, including carpets flowers and furniture. Cher would have high security rooms for her wigs. Janet Jackson would have a full medical team on standby including a doctor, nurse and throat specialist and Britney Spears would demand her favourite Gummie Bear soft sweets.
July 27 1958, Fans of rock & roll music were warned that tuning into their music on the car radio could cost more money. Researchers from the Esso gas company said the rhythm of rock & roll could cause drivers to be foot-heavy on the pedal, making them waste fuel.
July 27 1958, Fans of rock & roll music were warned that tuning into their music on the car radio could cost more money. Researchers from the Esso gas company said the rhythm of rock & roll could cause drivers to be foot-heavy on the pedal, making them waste fuel.
- 1944, Born on this day, Bobbie Gentry, singer, songwriter, notable as one of the first female country artists to compose and produce her own material. Gentry rose to international fame with her intriguing Southern Gothic narrative 'Ode to Billie Joe' in 1967. The track spent four weeks at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold over three million copies all over the world. Her album Fancy brought her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
July 26 1968, The Jackson Five signed a one-year contract with Motown Records. They made history in 1970 as the first recording act to have their first four singles to reach No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100, with the songs being 'I Want You Back', 'ABC', 'The Love You Save' and 'I'll Be There'.
- 1943, Born on this day, Mick Jagger, vocals, The Rolling Stones, (1969 No.1 single 'Honky Tonk Women', and over 35 Top 40 singles and albums). Solo (1985 No.1 single with David Bowie 'Dancing In The Street'). In 2003 he was knighted for his services to popular music and in early 2009 he joined the electric supergroup SuperHeavy.
July 23 1966, Frank Sinatra went to No.1 on the album charts with 'Strangers In The Night'. The LP would be the most successful of his career, being certified Platinum for 1 million copies sold. The title track would earn him two Grammy awards for Record Of The Year and Best Male Vocal Performance.
- 2013, Beyonce soldiered through a concert in Montreal, Canada after her hair got tangled in the blades of a fan. The singer was performing 'Halo' from an audience pit when the incident happened. She continued to sing her encore while security guards tried to extract her from the fan, which was mounted on the edge of the stage.
July 20 1947, Born on this day, Carlos Santana, guitarist. In the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band, Santana, he pioneered a fusion of rock and Latin American music featuring his melodic, blues-based guitar lines and percussion instruments such as timbales and congas, not generally heard in rock music. Had a resurgence of popularity and critical acclaim in the late 1990s. In 2003 Rolling Stone magazine listed Santana at number 20 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He has won 10 Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards.
July 17 1959, Billie Holiday died in a New York City hospital aged 43. In the final years of her life, she had been progressively swindled out of her earnings, and she died with $0.70 in the bank.
- 1965, King Records released 'Papa's Got a Brand New Bag' by James Brown, which went on to sell over 2 million copies and receive the Grammy Award for best for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording. 'Papa's Got a Brand New Bag' is considered seminal in the emergence of funk music as a distinct style.
July 15 1956, The Teenagers featuring Frankie Lymon were at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Why Do Fools Fall In Love'. At 13, Lymon was the youngest performer to make No.1.
July 13 1991, Bryan Adams went to No.1 on the singles charts with 'Everything I Do I Do It For You' which featured on the soundtrack for the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It stayed at No.1 for a record-breaking 16 weeks (breaking a record held since 1955) a No.1 in the US (for 7 weeks) and a hit in 16 other countries. Won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture in 1992.
July 7 1928, Born on this day, Mary Ford, singer, (1953 No.7 single with Les Paul, 'Vaya Con Dios'). Ford died on 30th September 1977.
- 1940, Born on this day, Richard Starkey, ( Ringo Starr, ) drums, vocals, The Beatles. Sang lead vocals on one track on most Beatles albums (The Beatles scored 21 No.1 singles). Solo (1974 No.1 single 'You're Sixteen' plus 9 other Top 40 hits). Currently, Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band features former solo artists, such as Howard Jones, Ian Hunter, Peter Frampton and Greg Lake.
July 5 1925, Born on this day, Bill Haley, (William John Clifton Haley), singer, guitarist, 'The first Rock 'n' Roll star.' As Bill Haley and his Comets he had the 1955 No.1 single 'Rock Around the Clock'. Haley was one of the earliest acts to bring rock and roll to the attention of white America and the rest of the world. He sold over 60 million records during his career. Died on 9th February 1981.
June 30 2001, American guitarist and producer Chet Atkins died in Nashville aged 77. Recorded over 100 albums during his career, produced records for Perry Como, Elvis Presley, Don Gibson, Jim Reeves and Waylon Jennings. He was a major influence on George Harrison and Mark Knopfler.
June 29 1969, American soul singer Shorty Long drowned aged 29 after his boat capsized on the Detroit River in Michigan. Had the 1968 No.8 single 'Here Comes The Judge.' He acted as an MC for many of the Motown Revue shows and tours.
- 1945, Born on this day, Little Eva, singer. She was babysitting for Carole King and Gerry Goffin who asked her to record a song they had written. It gave her the 1962 No.1 single 'The Loco-Motion'. She died on April 10th 2003.
June 27 1964, Peter and Gordon went to No.1 on the singles charts with the John Lennon and Paul McCartney song 'A World Without Love'. Peter Asher went on to become James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt's manager.
June 24 2004, A Fender Stratocaster that Eric Clapton nicknamed 'Blackie' sold at a Christie's auction for $959,500 (£564,412) in New York, making it the most expensive guitar in the world. The proceeds of the sale went towards Clapton's Crossroads addiction clinic, which he founded in 1998.
June 20, 1948, Toast Of The Town, which would later be called The Ed Sullivan Show, premiered on CBS-TV. The first show was produced on a budget of $1,375. Only $375 was allocated for talent and $200 of that was shared by the young stars of that night's program, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
- 1924, Born on this day, Chet Atkins, guitarist, 1960 No.46 single 'Teensville'. Recorded over 100 albums during his career and was a major influence on George Harrison and Mark Knopfler. Atkins died on June 30th 2001, aged 77.
June 18 1942, Born on this day, Paul McCartney, The Beatles, Wings, solo. The most successful rock composer of all time. McCartney first met John Lennon on July 6th 1957, who was impressed that Paul could tune a guitar. With The Beatles he scored 21 No.1 singles plus McCartney has scored over 30 solo Top 40 hit singles. He has written and co-written 188 charted records, of which 91 reached the Top 10 and 33 made it to No.1.
June 14 1994, Composer Henry Mancini died aged 70. Wrote the music to 'Moon River, which was originally sung in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's by Audrey Hepburn, also the theme song for the Andy Williams television show. Had the 1969 No.1 single 'Love Theme from Romeo And Juliet.' Recorded over 90 albums, contributed music to over 100 movies, including 'Theme From The Pink Panther.'
June 11 1995, Alanis Morissette released her studio album, Jagged Little Pill. The album went on to sell over 30 million copies world-wide, and made Morissette the first female Canadian to score a US No.1 album. 'Jagged Little Pill' featured the massive hits, 'You Oughta Know', 'Hand in My Pocket', 'Ironic', and 'You Learn'.
June 7 2006, Billy Preston died. The Grammy-winning keyboard player collaborated with some of the greatest names in the music industry, including The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Nat King Cole, Little Richard, Ray Charles, George Harrison,Elton John, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan.
- 1986, A&R man Dick Rowe died. Rowe became famous for not signing The Beatles to Decca records and made the classic quote, 'Nobody cares about guitar groups anymore.' He did however sign The Rolling Stones to Decca.
June 3 1954, Born on this day, Dan Hill, singer, (1978 US No.3 & UK No. 13 single 'Sometimes When We Touch'). A Canadian pop singer and songwriter, Hill had another major international hit with his song "Can't We Try", a duet with Vonda Shepard, as well as a number of other charting singles in Canada and the United States.
May 31 1938, Born on this day, Peter Yarrow, of the folk trio Peter Paul and Mary, (1969 No.1 single 'Leaving On A Jet Plane). Their debut album, Peter, Paul and Mary, in 1962, included "Lemon Tree", "500 Miles", and the Pete Seeger hit tunes "If I Had a Hammer" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" The album was listed in the Billboard Magazine Top Ten for seven weeks in the No. 1 position.
- 1962, Born on this day, Canadian singer Corey Hart, best known for his hit singles 'Sunglasses at Night' and 'Never Surrender'. He has sold over 16 million records worldwide and scored nine US Billboard Top 40 hits.
May 28 1966, Percy Sledge started a two week run at No.1 on the singles charts with 'When A Man Loves A Woman'. Before the recording session, the song had no title or lyrics. The session proceeded with the expectation that Sledge would produce them for the vocal takes. When it came time to record the vocals, Sledge improvised the lyrics with minimal pre-planning, using the melody as a guide for rhythm and phrasing. The performance was so convincing that others working on the session assumed Sledge had the lyrics written down.
May 25 1904, Born on this day, George Formby OBE, UK singing comedian and ukulele player. He made over 20 films and his best-known song is 'Leaning On A Lamp Post'. Died on March 6th 1961. Formby was a major influence on George Harrison. He was also a contemporary of Paul's grandfather, Thomas Gilder, starring banjoist on the vaudeville stages of Windsor-Detroit and London, England.
- 1920, Born on this day, singer, actress, Peggy Lee, real name: Norma Dolores Egstrom, (1958 No. 5 single 'Fever'), Worked with Benny Goodman, Randy Newman, Quincy Jones. Nominated for 12 Grammy Awards, winning Best Contemporary Vocal Performance for her 1969 hit ‘Is That All There Is’’. Died on 21st January 2002.
- 1926, Born on this day, Miles Davis, jazz trumpeter and composer who had a 1959 album with Kind of Blue. A major influence on jazz music. Died on September 28th 1991.
May 22 2012, British newspaper The Sun, reported that Mick Jagger's lavish Caribbean holiday home on Mustique was available for hire, at $18,050 (Can.) per week, but added that Mick demanded full details of applicants’ backgrounds, including professions, before they were considered. Bandmate Keith Richards' beach-front Caribbean holiday home at Parrot Cay Resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands was also available for rent, at $66,500 (Can.) per week. ed.: No questions asked!
May 20 1944, Born on this day Joe Cocker, English singer and musician who had the 1968 No.1 single with his cover of The Beatles' 'With A Little Help From My Friends', plus 8 other Top 40 singles. Scored the 1982 US No.1 single with Jennifer Warnes 'Up Where We Belong'. In 2008 he received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music. Cocker died of lung cancer 22 Dec 2014.
- 1946, Born on this day Cherilyn Sarkasian, (Cher), singer and actress, of the folk rock husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher, (1965 No.1 single 'I Got You Babe'). She became a television personality in the 1970s with The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, watched by over 30 million viewers weekly during its three-year run. Solo hits include the 1991 No.1 single 'The Shoop Shoop Song', 1999 No.1 single 'Believe', plus over 15 other Top 40 singles).
May 17 2012, Donna Summer (Sudano), the 1970s pop singer known as the Queen of Disco, died of lung cancer, an illness she believed she contracted from inhaling toxic particles released after the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York. She won five Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, and had three multi-platinum albums, including the hits 'Hot Stuff', 'Love to Love You, and 'Baby' and 'I Feel Love'.
May 13 1950, Born on this day, Stevie Wonder singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. A child prodigy who developed into one of the most creative musical figures of the late 20th century. Wonder who has been blind from shortly after birth, signed with Motown's Tamla label at the age of eleven and continues to perform and record for Motown to this day. He has scored over 40 Top 40 singles.
- 1978, Boney M were at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Rivers of Babylon'. The single stayed at the top of the charts for five weeks and was originally by the Jamaican reggae group The Melodians, whose version of the song appeared in the sound track to the 1972 movie The Harder They Come.
May 8 2008, American Country artist Eddy Arnold died, one week before his 90th birthday. He sold more than 85 million records and had 147 songs on the US charts, including 28 number one hits on Billboard's Country Singles chart. He was once managed by Colonel Tom Parker (who later managed Elvis Presley). Arnold had the 1965 No.4 hit, ‘Make The World Go Away’.
May 2 1936, Born this day, Engelbert Humperdinck (Arnold George Dorsey) best known for his songs "Release Me" and "The Last Waltz", both singles topping the UK music charts in 1967 and selling in large enough numbers to help the singer achieve the rare feat of scoring two million sellers in one year. In North America, he is also known for his 1976 hit single "After the Lovin'." Humperdinck is regarded by music critics to be "one of the finest middle-of-the-road balladeers around." He has sold more than 150 million records worldwide.
April 30 1960, The Everly Brothers started a seven week run at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Cathy's Clown', giving Warner Bros a No.1 with their first release.
April 29 2007, Ottawa's Avril Lavigne was at No.1 on the US album chart with her third album 'The Best Damn Thing', also a No.1 on the UK chart.
- 1933, Born on this day, Willie Nelson, country music singer-songwriter, (He was born on April 29, 1933, but his birth was recorded on April 30). Nelson has acted in over 30 films, co-authored several books, and has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana.
- 1899, Born on this day, Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, American composer, pianist, and bandleader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death in a career spanning over fifty years. Widely considered one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music, Ellington was and is one of the twentieth century's best known band leaders and composers. Died May 24, 1974.
April 27 1932, Casey Kasem (Kemal Amin Kasem) was born. Created the music radio program "American Top 40" and provided the voice of Shaggy on the cartoon "Scooby-Doo". Died on June 15, 2014.
April 26 1982, Rod Stewart is mugged. A gunman steals his $50,000 Porsche.
April 25 1954, Johnnie Ray was at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Such A Night.' The singer's first of three No.1's. He became deaf in his right ear aged 13 after an accident and would later perform wearing a hearing aid. Dexys Midnight Runners' 1982 music video for 'Come On Eileen', used footage of Ray from 1954. The lyrics of the song say, "Poor old Johnnie Ray sounded sad upon the radio / he moved a million hearts in mono".
- 1965, During a North American tour, The Rolling Stones appeared at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto to over 16,000 fans.
April 22 1964, The President of The British National Federation Of Hairdressers offered a free haircut to the next No.1 group on the UK pop charts. He said, 'The Rolling Stones are the worst, one of them looks as if he's got a feather duster on his head.'
- 1936, Born on this day, Glen Campbell, country singer, songwriter, actor, TV presenter. Hits include ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix’, ‘Wichita Lineman’, and ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’. As a session musician in the 1960s he worked with Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, The Monkees, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Mamas & the Papas. He was a touring member of The Beach Boys, filling in for an ailing Brian Wilson in 1964/65. His guitar playing can be heard on ‘Strangers in the Night’ by Frank Sinatra, ‘You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'‘ by The Righteous Brothers and ‘I'm a Believer’ by The Monkees. Died August 8, 2017, age 81.
April 17 1967, Born on this day, Matt Chamberlain one of the world's most widely-heard session drummers. Worked with, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Pearl Jam, Tori Amos, Morrissey, Fiona Apple, Christina Aguilera, Dido, David Bowie, Elton John, Peter Gabriel, The Wallflowers, Natalie Merchant, Robbie Williams, Kanye West, Garbage, John Mayer and William Shatner.
April 15 1972, Roberta Flack started a six week run at No.1 on the singles charts with 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'. Written in 1957 by political singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger, who was later to become his wife. At the time the couple were lovers, although MacColl was married to someone else. The song was featured in the Clint Eastwood film 'Play Misty For Me.'
April 10 1956, Nat King Cole was attacked on stage by a group of five racial segregationists during a show at the Municipal Hall in Birmingham, Alabama. The attackers were arrested by police and Cole returned later that night for a second show.
April 6 2016, Merle Haggard, one of country's most revered voices with an impressive catalog of standards like 'Okie from Muskogee', 'Fightin' Side of Me', 'Mama Tried', and dozens more, died aged 79.
April 4 1956, Elvis Presley played the first of two nights in San Diego Arena in San Diego, California. The local police chief issued a statement saying if Elvis ever returned to the city and performed like he did, he would be arrested for disorderly conduct.
April 2 1939, Born on this day, Marvin Gaye, singer, songwriter who had a 1968 No.1 single with ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ and a 1982 No.3 single with ‘Sexual Healing’. Gaye was a member of the doo-wop group The Moonglows in the late 1950s, and then signed with Motown Records subsidiary, Tamla. He started off as a session drummer, but later ranked as the label's top-selling solo artist during the 1960s. He was crowned "The Prince of Motown" and "The Prince of Soul". He was shot dead by his father on April 1st 1984.
March 29 1985, Jeanine Deckers, The Singing Nun, died aged 52 after taking an overdose of sleeping pills in a suicide pact with a friend. Her 1963 No.1 single 'Dominique' sold over 1.5 million copies, winning a Grammy Award for the year's best Gospel song. Deckers wrote about her financial difficulties in a suicide note, and in a great irony, the very day of her suicide and unknown to her, the Belgian association that collects royalties for songwriters awarded her $300,000 (571,658 Belgian francs).
March 24 1966, Simon and Garfunkel made their UK singles chart debut with 'Homeward Bound.' Simon is said to have written the song at Farnworth railway station, Widnes, England, while stranded overnight waiting for a train. A plaque is displayed in the station to commemorate this, although memorabilia hunters have stolen it many times. The song describes his longing to return home, both to his then girlfriend, Kathy Chitty in Brentwood, Essex, England, and to return to the United States. The song was also a No.5 hit in the US.
March 23 1968, The Irish Rovers, a band of Irish immigrants then centred in Calgary, recorded a Shel Silverstein children's tune called 'The Unicorn' and entered the US charts on this day. It would go on to become a superhit. The group eventually got into the bar business and named their chain of pubs, The Unicorn.
March 20 1917, Born on this day, Vera Lynn, English singer, songwriter and actress whose musical recordings and performances were enormously popular during the Second World War. In 2009 she became the oldest living artist to make it to No. 1 on the British album chart, at age 92.
- 1969, John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar. The couple then went to Montreal, and during a "Bed-in" at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel recorded ‘Give Peace a Chance’.
March 16 1968, The posthumously released Otis Redding single '(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay' started a five week run at No.1 on the singles charts. Otis was killed in a plane crash on 10th December 1967 three days after recording the song. 'Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay'. It became the first posthumous No.1 single in US chart history and sold over four million copies worldwide.
March 13 1991, American songwriter Doc Pomus died. With Mort Shuman he wrote many early 60's hits, including ‘A Teenager in Love’, ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’, ‘Sweets For My Sweet’, ‘Can't Get Used to Losing You’, ‘Little Sister’, ‘Suspicion’, ‘Surrender’ and ‘Viva Las Vegas’.
March 8 1946, Born on this day, Carole Bayer Sager, singer, songwriter. Wrote 'Groovy Kind Of Love', hit for The Mindbenders and Phil Collins. Frank Sinatra, Gene Pitney and Dolly Parton have all recorded her songs. Married Burt Bacharach in 1982.
March 7 1973, A song from the movie Deliverance called 'Dueling Banjos' by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandel became one of the few 1970s instrumentals to be awarded a Gold record. The record had topped the Cash Box Magazine Best Sellers list and reached No.2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
March 2 2008, Canadian guitarist, singer Jeff Healey died. Healey lost his sight when he was 8 months old. Healey released over 12 albums, presented a long running radio show and worked with many artists, incuding Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, ZZ Top & Eric Clapton.
February 28 1970, Simon and Garfunkel started a six week run at the top of the singles charts with 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'.
- 1976, Paul Simon's 'Still Crazy After All These Years' was named Best Pop Vocal Performance and Album Of The Year at the 18th annual Grammy Awards. In his acceptance speech, Simon told the audience "I'd like to thank Stevie Wonder for not releasing an album this year."
February 18 1954, Born on this day, John Travolta, actor, singer. Had the 1978 No.1 single with Olivia Newton John, 'You're The One That I Want'. The track topped the Singles Chart for nine weeks in the summer of 1978 and as of 2008, is still the sixth best-selling single ever (over 2,015,000 copies). His mother and his sister Ann appeared as extras in Saturday Night Fever and his sister Ellen appeared as a waitress in Grease.
February 15 1965, Singer and pianist Nat King Cole died. First hit was the 1943 'Straighten Up and Fly Right'. Had the 1955 No.2 single 'A Blossom Fell' and 1957 No.2 single 'When I Fall In Love' plus over 20 other Top 40 singles. Father of singer Natalie Cole. In 1956 he became the first black American to host a television variety show.
February 11 1964, The Beatles made their live concert debut in the US at the Washington Coliseum. Over 350 police surrounded the stage to keep the 8,000 plus screaming fans in control. One police officer who found the noise so loud stuck a bullet in each ear as ear plugs. The Beatles had to stop three times and turn Ringo's drum kit around and re-position their microphones so that they faced a different part of the audience. The set list: ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘From Me to You’, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘This Boy’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, ‘Please Please Me’, ‘She Loves You’, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’, ‘Twist and Shout’, and ‘Long Tall Sally’.
February 8, 1990, Suffering from depression American singer songwriter Del Shannon died of self inflicted gunshot wounds. He scored the 1961 No.1 single 'Runaway', plus 12 other Top 40 singles. Shannon had been working with Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne and was rumoured to be replacing Roy Orbison who had recently died, in the Traveling Wilburys supergroup, with George Harrison and Bob Dylan.
February 5 1972, Paul Simon released his first new song without Art Garfunkel, 'Mother and Child Reunion', which peaked at No.4 in the US. Simon got the idea for the song's title from a chicken-and-egg dish called Mother and Child Reunion that he saw on a Chinese restaurant's menu.
February 3, 1959, 22 year old Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, aged 17, died in a crash shortly after take-off from Clear Lake, Iowa. The pilot of the single-engined Beechcraft Bonanza plane was also killed. Holly hired the plane after heating problems developed on his tour bus. All three were travelling to Fargo, North Dakota, for the next show on their Winter Dance Party Tour which Holly had set - covering 24 cities in three weeks, to make money after the break-up of his band, The Crickets, last year.
- 1967, Producer Joe Meek shot his landlady Violet Shenton and then shot himself at his flat in London. Meek produced The Tornadoes hit 'Telstar', the first No.1 in the US by a British group. Meek was interested in spirituality and often attended séances . At one such meeting in 1958 he was warned that Buddy Holly would die on February 3. Meek tried his best to find Holly when he was in London to warn him but failed in his mission (see above).
February 2 2004, TV network CBS apologized for its broadcast of the American Super Bowl after Janet Jackson was left exposed when Justin Timberlake ripped her top. CBS quickly cut away from the scene but was still flooded with calls from angry viewers about the half-time entertainment. Timberlake insisted it had been an accident saying "I am sorry that anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction."
January 31 1987, Paul Simon went back to No.1 on the album charts with Graceland. The album stayed on the chart for a total 101 weeks. 'Graceland' later won the 1987 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, while the title song won the 1988 Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
January 25 1961, Bob Dylan achieved his dream of meeting his idol Woody Guthrie when Guthrie was on weekend release from hospital where he was being treated for Huntington's Chorea. Dylan told him; ‘I was a Woody Guthrie jukebox’. Guthrie gave Dylan a card which said: ‘I ain't dead yet’.
January 25 1964, The Beatles scored their first number one best seller in the US when "I Want To Hold Your Hand" reached the top of the Cash Box Magazine music chart. The Fab Four would eventually rack up 25 number ones in America.
- 2011, A former Miss Canada finalist became the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in The Beatles. Canadian singer Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy, 53, was a student at Liverpool Hope University. The ground-breaking course looked at the studio sound and compositions of The Beatles and how Liverpool helped to shape their music as well as examining the significance of the music of The Beatles and their impact on Western culture.
January 21 2002, Singer and actress Peggy Lee died at the age of 81 (1958 No. 8 single 'Fever'). Worked with Benny Goodman, Randy Newman, Quincy Jones and was nominated for 12 Grammy Awards, winning Best Contemporary Vocal Performance for her 1969 hit 'Is That All There Is.'
January 15 1961, The Supremes signed a recording contract with Motown Records. Originally founded as the Primettes, they became the most commercially successful of Motown's acts and are, to date, America's most successful vocal group with 12 No.1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100.
January 6 1956, Elvis Presley performed in the gym at Randolph High School, Mississippi. This was the last time he ever appeared in a small auditorium.
January 9, 1944, Born on this day, Jimmy Page guitarist and producer, member of the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin. The band's fourth album released in 1971 featuring the rock classic Stairway To Heaven has sold over 37 million copies. Formed The Honeydrippers, (with Robert Plant, Jeff Beck & Nile Rodgers) who had the 1984 US No.3 single Sea Of Love.
- 1955, Rosemary Clooney was at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Mambo Italiano' . The song was banned by all ABC owned stations in the US because it "did not reach standards of good taste".
December 30 1999, George Harrison and his wife Olivia were attacked when an intruder broke into their home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Olivia beat off the attacker with a poker and heavy lamp. Harrison who was stabbed in the chest was admitted to hospital and treated for a collapsed lung and various minor stab wounds. Olivia, was treated for cuts and bruises she had suffered in the struggle with the intruder. Police later arrested Michael Abram from Liverpool.
December 27 1981, Composer, pianist, singer, actor, and bandleader Hoagy Carmichael died aged 82 (wrote 'Georgia On My Mind', 'Star Dust' and 'Lazy River').
- 1931, Born on this day, Scotty Moore, guitarist. Had a lengthy career with Elvis Presley, playing on many of his most famous recordings including 'Baby Let's Play House', 'Heartbreak Hotel','Mystery Train', 'That's All Right', 'Hound Dog' and 'Jailhouse Rock'.
December 24 1965, The Beatles had the No.1 album in the US for the third Christmas in a row. Rubber Soul was at the top of the LP chart, following Beatles For Sale in 1964 and With The Beatles in 1963. The Fab Four would repeat this feat again in 1968 with The Beatles (The White Album) and again in 1969, with Abbey Road.
December 22 2014, Joe Cocker died, aged 70. The Sheffield-born singer had a career lasting more than 40 years, with hits including his cover of The Beatles' 'With A Little Help From My Friends', 'You Are So Beautiful' and 'Up Where We Belong'. He was made an OBE in 2011.
December 16 1997, American singer songwriter Nicolette Larson died aged 45. Worked with Neil Young, (Comes a Time and Harvest Moon albums), Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Michael McDonald, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, The Beach Boys and The Doobie Brothers. Best known for her 1978 cover of Neil Young's '(It's Gonna Take a) Lotta Love’.
December 13 2002, Canadian guitarist and singer Zal Yanovsky of The Lovin Spoonful died of a heart attack. Was a member of The Mugwumps with Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot. Formed Lovin Spoonful with John Sebastian in 1964; they scored the 1966 No.1 single 'Summer In The City'.
December 11 1964, Soul singer Sam Cooke was shot dead at the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California. Bertha Franklin, manager of the motel, told police that she shot and killed Cooke in self-defence. The shooting was ultimately ruled a justifiable homicide.
December 9 1955, Johnny Cash played two shows at Arkansas High School, in Swifton. Elvis Presley opened the show.
- 1961, The Beatles played at the Palais Ballroom in Aldershot to a crowd of just 18 people. The date had not been advertised, owing to the local newspaper's refusal to accept the promoter's cheque. After the show The Beatles became rowdy, getting themselves ordered out of town by the local police. However, the band and friends had their own fun after the show, including a mock funeral of Paul McCartney.
- 1978, Boney M had their second No.1 single with their version of the Harry Belafonte 1957 hit 'Mary's Boy Child'. The single sold almost 1.8 million copies.
December 6 1969, One-hit wonder Steam started a two week run at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye'. The song was actually recorded by Gary De Carlo, who intended it to be the "B" side of his first single. Gary didn't like the song and when record executives wanted to issue it as the "A" side, he insisted it be released under an assumed name. The song became a No.5 single for girl group Bananarama in 1983.
December 5 1964, Canada's Lorne Greene star of the NBC TV show 'Bonanza' was at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Ringo', making him the second Canadian (after Paul Anka) to have a US No.1 single.
- 1952, Born on this day, Andy Kim, singer, (1974 US No.1 & UK No.2 single 'Rock Me Gently'). Born Andrew Youakim, he is the son of Lebanese expatriates who had settled in Montreal to run a grocery store.
December 3 1928, Born on this day, Andy Williams, singer, (1957 No.1 single 'Butterfly', 1963 No.2 single ''Can't Get Used To Losing You'', plus over 25 other Top 40 singles). Presented the long running Andy Williams TV show. Died in 2012 at the age of 84.
- 2001, Session guitarist Grady Martin died aged 72. He was a member of the legendary Nashville A-Team, playing guitar on hits ranging from Roy Orbison's ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’, Marty Robbins' ‘El Paso’ and Loretta Lynn's ‘Coal Miner's Daughter’.
December 2 1979, Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand's ‘You Don't Bring Me Flowers’ was at No.1 on the singles charts. A radio station engineer had spliced together Neil's version with Barbra's version and got such good response, the station added it to their play list. When Neil Diamond was told about it, he decided to re-record the song with Streisand herself, and within weeks of its release, the single went to No.1.
November 28 1943, Born on this day, Randy Newman, singer, songwriter, Composer of 'Mama Told Me Not To Come', 'Simon Smith And The Amazing Dancing Bear', 1977 US No.2 single 'Short People.' Film soundtracks including 'Ragtime.' Once hailed as the greatest songwriter alive by Paul McCartney.
November 24 1973, Ringo Starr went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Photograph', written by Starr and George Harrison, his first of two US chart toppers as a solo artist. The promotional film shot for the single showed Starr walking around his new house at the time, Tittenhurst Park, which had been previously the home of John Lennon and Yoko Ono (and where the 'Imagine' promo film was shot).
November 21 1983, Michael Jackson's 14-minute video for Thriller was premiered in Los Angeles. Directed by John Landis and co-starring former Playboy centerfold Ola Ray. The video (like the song) contains a spoken word performance by horror film veteran Vincent Price.
November 19 2004, Record producer Terry Melcher, who was behind hits by the Byrds, Ry Cooder and the Beach Boys, died aged 62 after a long battle with skin cancer. The son of actress Doris Day, he co-wrote ‘Kokomo’ for The Beach Boys, produced 'Mr Tambourine Man' for the Byrds, as well as hits for The Mamas and the Papas.
November 18 1956, Fats Domino appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show performing 'Blueberry Hill.' Before the song became a rock and roll standard it had been recorded by various artists including Louis Armstrong, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Gene Autry and Jimmy Dorsey. The version by Fats Domino was ranked No.82 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song is even recorded as a vocal by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
November 17 2003, country music legend Don Gibson died, aged 75. Scored the 1958 No.7 single 'Oh Lonesome Me' (covered by Neil Young on his After The Gold Rush album) and the 1961 No.14 single 'Sea Of Heartbreak'. His song ‘I Can't Stop Loving You’, has been recorded by over 700 artists, most notably by Ray Charles in 1962.
November 16 1974, John Lennon was at No.1 in the US singles chart with 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night', the last of the Beatles to have a solo No 1 US hit. Elton John played on the session and made a deal with Lennon that if the song reached No.1, Lennon would have to appear on stage live with Elton. Lennon kept his side of the deal and appeared live with Elton. They played three songs together: ‘I Saw Her Standing There,’ ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’ and ‘Whatever Gets You Through the Night.’ Backstage after the concert, Lennon got back with Yoko Ono after a temporary split.
November 12 1945, Born on this day, Neil Young, Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist who as a member of Buffalo Springfield had the 1967 No.17 single 'For What It's Worth'. Joined Crosby Stills Nash and Young who had the 1970 No.1 album 'DejVu'. As a solo artist Young scored the 1972 No.1 single Heart Of Gold, and his 1972 No.7 album Harvest spent 66 weeks on the charts.
November 11 1954, Bill Haley scored his first Top ten single with 'Shake Rattle And Roll'. He had dropped his cowboy image about a year and a half earlier, renaming The Saddlemen as Bill Haley and His Comets. ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’ was originally made popular by Big Joe Turner.
November 9 1955, The Everly Brothers made their first studio recordings cutting four tracks in 22 minutes, at Nashville's Old Tulane Hotel studios. Family friend Chet Atkins engineered a chance for The Everly Brothers to record for Columbia Records in early 1956. However, their first and only single for the label, 'Keep A' Lovin' Me', was a flop, and they were quickly dropped from Columbia.
November 7 1943, Born on this day, Joni Mitchell (Roberta Anderson), singer, songwriter, 1970 No.11 single 'Big Yellow Taxi', 1974 No.7 single ‘Help Me’. Wrote 'Both Sides Now' a hit for Judy Collins and 'Woodstock' a hit for Crosby Stills Nash and Young and Matthews Southern Comfort.
November 6 1961, Jimmy Dean started a five week run at No.1 on the singles charts with 'Big Bad John'. Dean went on to present a prime time variety show on US TV.
November 4 1966, The Beach Boys 'Good Vibrations', entered the charts. It went on to be a No.1 hit single. The song was eventually inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994 and is on the list of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
November 1 1956, Elvis Presley bought a new Harley Davidson motorbike and spent the day riding around Memphis on his new bike with actress Natalie Wood.
October 27 1957, The Crickets started a three-week run at No.1 on the singles chart with 'That'll Be The Day'. The song was inspired by a trip to the movies by Holly, Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis in June 1956. The John Wayne film The Searchers was playing and Wayne's frequently-used, world-weary catchphrase, "that'll be the day" inspired the young musicians.
October 25 1969, 'Sugar Sugar' by The Archies was at No.1 on the singles charts. It stayed at the top for eight weeks, selling over six million copies worldwide. The Archies were a rock group based on comic book characters.
1970, Speaking at a US radio conference, President Nixon asked programmers to ban all songs containing drug references.
October 18 1956, 21-year-old Elvis Presley pulled into a Memphis gas station where he started to attract a small crowd of autograph seekers. After repeatedly asking Elvis to move on so he could resume normal business, station manager Ed Hopper slapped Presley on the head and found himself on the receiving end of a punch in the face from Elvis. Station employee Aubrey Brown tried to help his boss, but was no match for Presley. After police are called, Hopper and Brown were charged with assault and were fined $25 and $15 respectively.
October 17 1964, Manfred Mann started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Do Wah Diddy Diddy', possibly the first No.1 with a Nonsense Song Title. Also a No.1 in the UK, the song was first released by the US group The Exciters.
- 2017, Canadian rock musician Gord Downie died of glioblastoma aged 53. He was the lead singer and lyricist for the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip as well as releasing six solo albums. The bands final concert was held at the Rogers K-Rock Centre in Kingston, Ontario, on August 20 2016 and was broadcast and streamed live by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on television, radio and internet. It was viewed by an estimated 11.7 million people.
October 16 1976, Stevie Wonder's 'Songs In The Key Of Life', went to No.1 on the album charts, featuring the tracks 'Sir Duke', 'I Wish', 'Pastime Paradise' and 'Isn't She Lovely'. It was Wonder's third US No.1.
October 14 1957, Although it was banned by some US radio stations for its suggestive lyrics, The Everly Brothers had their first No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Wake Up Little Susie'.
The Elvis Presley classic, ‘Jailhouse Rock’ was released. It became his ninth US number one single and stayed on the Billboard chart for nineteen weeks. The film clip from the movie where he sang the song is considered by many historians to be the first rock video.
October 11 2009, Barbra Streisand went to No.1 on the US album charts with 'Love Is the Answer', Streisand's ninth No.1 album, making her the only artist to have a number one album in America in five different decades.
October 9 1964, The Beach Boys recorded ‘Dance Dance Dance’, with Glen Campbell playing the lead guitar intro. It would go on to become their twelfth US Top 40 hit.
1965, The Beatles started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with the Paul McCartney ballad 'Yesterday' giving the group their tenth US No.1.
October 8 1966, Cream drummer Ginger Baker collapsed during a gig at Sussex University, England after playing a 20 minute drum solo. He later recovered in a local hospital.
October 7 1995, Ottawa's Alanis Morissette went to No.1 on the US album chart with Jagged Little Pill. The album went on to become the biggest selling album ever by a female artist with sales of over 30m. She has won 16 Juno Awards and seven Grammys.
October 3 1992, Sinead O'Connor ripped up a photograph of Pope John Paul II, on the US TV show 'Saturday Night Live', as a protest. The incident happened as Sinead ended her live performance. There was stunned silence in the studio and the station went to a commercial. NBC was fined $2.5 million dollars by the Federal Communications Commission.