The Week That Was
Fri Sep 24 11:21:23 EDT 2010
Elvis & The Beatles Hit The Airwaves . Bowie Hits Broadway . Roth & Van
Halen Hit The Stage (Again) .
This is the week that was in matters musical.
1953, in what will later be considered the golden age of vocal groups, seven
of the R&B chart's Top 10 positions are occupied by doo-wop acts including
The Orioles, The Clovers, The Five Royales, The Royals, The Spaniels, The
Dominoes, and The Coronets .
1954, Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips secures his place in rock 'n' roll history
when he spins a test pressing of Elvis Presley's "That's All Right" on radio
station WHBQ . it's the first time an Elvis record hits the airwaves .
1956, Elvis Presley's much-anticipated single "Love Me Tender" notches a
music biz record when advance orders for the record top one million .
1963, "She Loves You" is played on the radio by influential DJ Murray "The
K" Kaufman on WINS in New York . it is the first time a Beatles song is
played on U.S. airwaves . Murray later becomes a staunch Beatles advocate
and supporter, helping them to break into New York and America .
1966, The Yardbirds, with lead guitarists Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, embark
upon a British tour with The Rolling Stones and Tina Turner .
1975, soul man Jackie Wilson suffers a heart attack in mid-performance at
the Latin Casino in Camden, N.J. . the singer, dubbed "Mr. Excitement,"
falls off the stage and strikes his head on the concrete floor, causing
permanent brain damage . he lapses into a coma and spends the rest of his
life hospitalized until death overtakes him in 1984 . the soul group The
Spinners donate $60,000 for his medical care but much of that money is
consumed in lawyer's fees due to relatives tussling over control of Wilson's
estate . the singer will be laid to rest in an unmarked grave . the Wilson
family is haunted by tragedy . son Jackie Jr. was killed in 1970 during a
burglary, daughter Sandra will die of a heart attack in 1977, and daughter
Jacqueline will be shot to death in a 1987 drive-by shooting .
1976, Jerry Lee Lewis nearly lives up to his nickname while taking a little
target practice at a soda bottle with his .357 magnum . The Killer
completely misses the bottle and shoots his bass player, Norman "Butch"
Owens, twice in the chest . Owens reportedly clutches his chest and staggers
out onto the front porch before collapsing . Owens lives to sue Lewis, who
is charged with shooting a firearm within city limits . British bobbies take
The Runaways into custody following the disappearance of a hair dryer from a
hotel room .
1980, David Bowie makes his Broadway debut playing the title character in
The Elephant Man .
1982, the first compact discs and players hit the market in Japan . a joint
venture between Sony and Philips, the CD will become a dominant musical
format within five years .
1988, Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" becomes the first a capella
song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 . the single will also land
George Bush the elder in hot water when he uses it in his presidential
campaign without permission . in 2008, Billboard listed the tune in its top
ten One Hit Wonders from the last 50 years . McFerrin, a classically trained
musician and conductor, later expresses reservations about the single,
saying "It's not that I don't love the song. My songs are like my children:
some you want around and some you want to send off to college as soon as
1991, Garth Brooks' album Ropin' the Wind debuts at number one on the
Billboard Pop chart . it is the first country album to do so .
1993, former Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler settles his lawsuit with his
former band and its managers for $2.5 million just before the case goes to
the jury, this despite having signed an agreement in 1990 giving up his
partnership interest in the band . during the trial guitarist Slash had
testified that Adler had signed the agreement while he was "strung out" .
Adler had been booted from the band when he couldn't kick his heroin habit .
five years to the day later, Adler is back in court, this time for
sentencing on charges of having beaten two women he dated as well as
violating probation on an earlier domestic case . he gets 150 days jail time
1996, Smashing Pumpkins get off to a delayed tour start . the band needed
extra time to integrate former Filter drummer Matt Walker and former Frogs'
keyboardist Dennis Flemion . the pair replace former keyboard player
Jonathan Melvoin who died three months earlier from a heroin OD and drummer
Jimmie Chamberlin who was canned following a drug possession bust . leader
Billie Corgan will later acknowledge the replacements were a bad idea that
hurt the band's music and reputation . in 1999 a rehabilitated Chamberlin
will rejoin the Pumpkins .
1997, wearing a white cowboy hat, Bob Dylan performs his "Knockin' on
Heaven's Door" in Bologna, Italy, with an apparently bored John Paul II
looking on . the Audio Engineering Society unveils the new DVD Audio format
in New York .
2002, Mike Batt of The Planets settles a lawsuit filed by the John Cage
Trust for "an undisclosed six-figure sum" . at issue is one minute of
silence on the band's latest CD Classical Graffitti . the avant-garde
composer's estate had claimed Batt plagiarized Cage's 1952 composition
"4'33"-which was completely silent-when he credited his piece "A One Minute
Silence" to "Batt/Cage" .
2004, Cat Stevens is kicked out of the United States after a jet bound for
Washington from London is diverted to unload him . the former pop singer now
known as Yusuf Islam, born Stephen Georgiou, enjoyed a string of hits in the
1960s and 70s, including "Wild World" and "Morning Has Broken" . he released
two songs, including a rerecording of "Peace Train," to express his
opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq . officials say he was refused entry
under the Immigration and Naturalization Act "based on national security
grounds" . Dolly Parton, who is considering breast-reduction surgery,
complains, "My boobs are killing me and I don't know if I can stand the pain
any longer." .
2005, Wyclef Jean signs a deal with HBO to star in a comedy that the former
Fugee describes as "like a hip-hop version of Curb Your Enthusiasm" . he
goes on to say that "it's based on real s**t" .
2006, U2 and Green Day join forces by performing at New Orleans' Superdome
at the Saints' first game in the arena since Hurricane Katrina shredded the
venue more than a year earlier . broadcast on ESPN, the game draws 15
million viewers, the second-highest audience ever for a cable broadcast .
following a six-month hiatus prompted by Steven Tyler's surgery for a broken
blood vessel in his larynx and bassist Tom Hamilton's chemo treatments for
throat cancer, Aerosmith reunites for a show at the Tweeter Center in
Mansfield, Massachusetts . it's been a tough year for the band with Tyler
slicing his hand while opening a suitcase and battling hepatitis C .
2007, Van Halen kicks off its first reunion tour since 1984 in Charlotte,
North Carolina with David Lee Roth aboard . the band rips through a best-of
set list with Eddie Van Halen and Roth bouncing off each other without a
hint of the bad blood that has existed between the pair for decades .
amazon.com launches its MP3 music download site . it's expected that
Amazon's variable pricing scheme will put pressure on iTunes to adopt a
similar strategy . Bruce Springsteen gives his hometown supporters a thrill
when he and the E Street Band play a rehearsal show at the diminutive Asbury
Park Convention Hall as warm-up for a world tour . The Boss warns the crowd
that "There may be some mistakes. But I doubt it." .
2008, talking about his forthcoming solo album that's been in the works for
a decade, former Velvet Revolver and Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott
Weiland says, "It may turn off some STP fans. That's just the way it is. At
my age, I just do what I wanna do. There's art and there's commerce, and
I've already accomplished the commerce part of my career" . working on his
next gazillion dollars, Jay-Z launches his new label, StarRoc Records .
.and that was the week that was.
[Compiled by the Musician's Friend copywriting staff]
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