this week

Walter Potter maxdog-blues-l@COMCAST.NET
Fri Apr 18 16:09:49 EDT 2008

 From Musician's Friend:

1941, jazz musician Sidney Bechet records two saxophone parts, clarinet, 
bass, piano, and drums on a recording of “The Sheik of Araby” … the 
multitrack performance is achieved in the days before audio tape was in 
use … Bechet records his first instrument on a wax disc, then plays his 
second instrumental part while the first disc is being replayed … both 
parts are recorded onto a second disc … each successive part requires 
recording onto a new disc … the result is a master disc with the 
original instrumental track six generations down and barely audible …

1956, Elvis Presley’s first gig in Las Vegas is a bust … the young rock 
’n’ roller is sent packing after the first week of what was to have been 
a two-week engagement …

1958, the first Flying Vs are shipped to dealers from Gibson’s factory 
in Kalamazoo …

1959, the second of two recording sessions for Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue 
takes place at Columbia Records 30th Street Studio in New York City … 
the group, which includes Cannonball Adderley on alto sax, John Coltrane 
on tenor, and pianist Bill Evans, records “Flamenco Sketches” and “All 
Blues” … the album goes on to become a classic, the one jazz album 
bought by people who normally aren’t jazz fans …

1961, a raucous quartet of rockers makes its debut at Liverpool’s Cavern 
Club … it’ll be another three years before The Beatles become a 
household name … also on the bill are The Swinging Blue Jeans who will 
later score a hit with “Hippy Hippy Shake” …

1962, “Wipe Out” by The Surfaris is released as the surf subculture 
flowers and its influence is felt far from the waves … in the landlocked 
Midwest, high school boys prove their coolness by pounding out the drum 
solo with their bare hands on the nearest desk or cafeteria table …

1970, Johnny Cash drops in on Richard Nixon at the White House and 
performs “A Boy Named Sue” at the president’s special request …

1976, it’s been more than ten years since Roy Orbison has had a hit when 
he plays before a crowd of less than 100 at the Van-a-Rama auto show in 
Cincinnati, Ohio … adding to his misery, it’s his birthday … his glory 
days with the Traveling Wilburys lie far ahead …

1984, Jerry Lee Lewis gets hitched for the sixth time to a 22-year-old 
named Kerrie McCarver …

1991, proto-punk rocker Johnny Thunders dies of suspicious drug-related 
circumstances at St. Peter House in New Orleans, Louisiana … born John 
Anthony Genzale Jr., the flamboyant future guitarist of glam rock band 
The New York Dolls grew up in Jackson Heights, NY, first performing 
under the name Johnny Volume at his high school … Genzale renamed 
himself Johnny Thunders after a comic book of the same name when he 
formed The New York Dolls with Arthur Kane, Billy Murcia, David 
Johansen, and Syl Sylvain in 1971 … Thunders’ playing and attitude on 
the first two Dolls’ albums and in his post-Doll band The Heartbreakers 
will influence a legion of guitarists, among them Steve Jones, Joan 
Jett, Pat Smear, Izzy Stradlin, and Slash …

2000, annual record sales top out at $38.5 billion, the biggest total 
ever … illegal downloading and music piracy will result in significant 
reductions in that number over the coming years …

2001, Peter Buck runs amuck on a Seattle-to-London flight … after 
quaffing 14 glasses of wine, the R.E.M guitarist overturns a food cart, 
mistakes a stranger for his wife, smashes crockery, and tussles with 
crew members … in the ensuing British trial, Buck testifies that he has 
no memory of the events saying, “All I know is, I woke up and I am 
covered in cream” …

2005, hip-hop star Jay-Z introduces a line of watches, including a 
limited-edition model that will go for $70,000 a pop …

2006, jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk is awarded a posthumous 
Special Citation by The Pulitzer Prize Board for his contributions to 
American music …

2007, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer announce that 
they are reforming their satiric heavy-metal act, the subject of the 
cult favorite mockumentary This is Spinal Tap … the band will play the 
upcoming Live Earth festival in London on July 7 as a part of a 
worldwide effort to combat global warming … the band says it will debut 
its new single “Warmer than Hell” at the festival …


April 17: rock promoter Don Kirshner (1934), British rockabilly artist 
Billy Fury (1941), Jan Hammer (1948), guitarist, songwriter, producer 
Michael Sembello (1954), The Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley (1955), Stephen 
Singleton of ABC (1959), James Keenan of Tool (1964), Liz Phair (1967)

April 18: conductor-arranger of the NBC Orchestra Leopold Stokowski 
(1882), opera singer Sylvia Fisher (1910), bluesman Clarence “Gatemouth” 
Brown (1924), Doors producer Paul Rothschild (1935), Mike Vickers of 
Manfred Mann (1941), Moby Grape founder Skip Spence (1946), Les 
Pattinson of Echo & The Bunnymen (1958), Jim Ellison of Material Issue 
(1964), Everclear’s Greg Eklund (1970), Mark Tremonti (1974)

April 19: music school founder Augustus Juilliard (1836), Dickie “Flying 
Saucer” Goodman (1934), songwriter David Mook (1936), Alexis Korner of 
Blues Incorporated (1928), songwriter Bobby Russell (1940), Alan Price 
of the Animals (1942), Mark Volman of The Turtles (1944)

April 20: Johnny Tillotson (1939), Craig Frost of Grand Funk Railroad 
(1948), Luther Vandross (1951), Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater (1967), 
singer Stephen Marley, son of Bob (1972)

April 21: Eric Maresca, writer of Dion’s hit “The Wanderer” (1939), Iggy 
Pop born James Jewel Osterburg (1947), Robert Smith of The Cure (1959), 
Michael Timmins of Cowboy Junkies (1959), Johnny McElhone of Texas (1963)

April 22: violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916), R’n’B singer Bull Moose 
Jackson (1919), jazz composer and bassist CHARLES MINGUS (1922), Glen 
Campbell (1936), session drummer Howard Wyeth (1944), Frankie Garcia of 
Cannibal and the Headhunters (1946), Peter Frampton (1950), Paul Carrack 
of Squeeze (1951), Silverchair’s Daniel Johns (1979)


April 17: Dixie Hummingbirds founder James B. Davis (2007), New Orleans 
R’n’B singer-guitarist-songwriter Earl King (2003), Linda McCartney 
(1998), lyricist Jack Yellen, famous for “Happy Days Are Here Again” 
(1991), Mountain bassist/Cream producer Felix Pappalardi (1983), Vinnie 
Taylor of Sha Na Na (1974), rock ’n’ roll pioneer Eddie Cochran (1960)

April 18: Bernard Edwards of Chic (1996), producer Mike Leander (1996), 
songwriter Bernie Wayne (1993), Western swing pioneer Milton Brown (1936)

April 19: jazz drummer Stan Levey (2005), jazz bassist Niels-Henning 
Orsted Pederson (2005), metal band guitarist Bryan Ottoson (2005), Layne 
Staley of Alice in Chains (2002), “Texas Flood” songwriter Larry Davis 
(1994), saxophonist Steve Douglas (1993), sax man Clifford Scott (1993), 
R&B singer Willie Mabon (1985), pop/jazz/blues singer Savannah Churchill 

April 20: Andrew Hill (2007), bebop saxist Teddy Edwards (2003), 
trumpeter Walter Fuller (2003), singer Alan Dale (2002), 
composer-conductor Giuseppi Sinopoli (2001), producer Jose Rodriguez 
(1996), bluesman Johnny Shines (1992), Steve Marriott of Humble Pie (1991)

April 21: father of Aussie rock Lobby Loyde (2007), 
singer-arranger-composer-pianist Nina Simone (2003), Neal Matthews, Jr. 
of the Jordanaires (2000), Sandy Denny (1978), ska trombonist Don 
Drummond (1971), slide guitarist Earl Hooker (1970)

April 22: songwriter Felice Bryant (2003), George Lanuid of The 
Crescendos (1996), pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines (1983), Walter Vinson of 
the legendary Mississippi Sheiks (1975), Jerry Lee’s 3-year-old boy 
Steven Allen Lewis (1962)

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