SBC: The Week That Was
Thu May 19 17:20:45 EDT 2011
Sonny Boy Shuffles Off . Clinton Funks SNL . Head Head Sues Crist .
This is the week that was in matters musical.
1951, "Sixty Minute Man," a risque song by the Dominoes becomes one of the
first up-tempo R&B singles to cross over to the pop chart when it lands at
1954, Bill Haley and the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" is released but
will not be successful until 1955 when it is featured on the soundtrack of
the movie Blackboard Jungle . Robert Allen Zimmerman who will achieve fame
as Bob Dylan celebrates his bar mitzvah .
1955, Ruth Brown's signature song "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean" is
banned in Britain by the BBC on the grounds that it might encourage wife
beaters . Chuck Berry records his first single, "Ida Red" . during the
session Leonard Chess, who is producing, wants a name change . the new name
is "Maybellene," inspired by a Chess secretary's makeup case .
1956, upon his return to England following a U.S. tour, bandleader Ted Heath
observes: "Rock 'n' roll is mainly performed by colored people for colored
people and is therefore unlikely to prove popular in Britain" .
1958, it's a big week for R&B as The Clovers sign with Poplar Records after
seven years with Atlantic, The Drifter's classic "Drip Drop" is released,
and Jerry Butler & the Impressions make their recording debut with "For Your
Precious Love" . Jerry Lee Lewis is in England for a debut tour there, but
it will be canceled after only three performances when the British press
reports that Lewis has just married his 14-year-old cousin .
1960, before launching his solo career Ben E. King cuts his final two
singles with The Drifters . they are "I Count the Tears," which tops out at
#17, and "Save The Last Dance For Me," which will score big by going all the
way to the top of the pop and R&B charts .
1964, a Shreveport, LA, radio station proclaims Elvis Presley Week . they
feature a Presley song every hour and give away Presley albums and singles .
all in a failed attempt to counter all the attention being given to The
Beatles . Jamaican singer Millie Small's "My Boy Lollipop" charts for the
first time . playing harmonica on the recording is an unknown British singer
named Rod Stewart . the tune registers strongly because of its infectious
ska-like rhythm .
1965, blues harp great Sonny Boy Williamson dies in Helena, Arkansas . born
Aleck Ford Miller aka Rice Miller . although an accomplished harp player,
singer, and songwriter in his own right, Aleck appropriated the name of
another harp player, John "Sonny Boy" Williamson of Chicago, who during the
1940s had more visibility due to a series of records issued on Bluebird . in
time, Sonny Boy II (as some would designate him) established his own
reputation both as the host of the long-running King Biscuit Time radio show
out of Helena, Arkanasas, as well as through a series of well-received
records on the Trumpet and Chess record labels . some of Aleck's more
notable songs had sly lyrics punctuated by his laconic vocals and powerful
harp style. These included "Don't Start Me Talkin'," "Your Funeral and My
Trial," "One Way Out," and the suggestively titled "Fattenin' Frogs for
Snakes" . along with Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, he exerted a huge
influence on many blues rockers who followed in his footsteps . in Great
Britain, "You Really Got Me" takes on new meaning for the Kinks . upon
finishing the aforementioned song at Cardiff's Capitol Theater, Dave Davies
insults Mick Avory and kicks over his drum kit as revenge for a drunken
fight the previous night in Taunton, apparently won by Mick . the normally
mild-mannered Avory responds by giving Davies a thorough bashing about the
head and ears with his hi-hat pedal . Davies is knocked unconscious,
requiring 16 stitches to fix the kinks in his melon . Avory flees, hiding
out for days to avoid arrest for Grievous Bodily Harm . to placate the
police, the drummer later claims that it's all part of a new act in which
band members would bludgeon each other with their instruments .
1966, The Byrd's single "Eight Miles High" is banned by some radio stations
because of the lyrics' alleged drug references .
1967, Jimi Hendrix signs with Reprise Records, his first recording deal with
a major American company . from the One Hit Wonders Department, Australia's
Easybeats reach number 16 on the U.S. charts with their fidgety "Friday On
My Mind" . the band is led by founder/guitarist George Young, who must have
greatly influenced his younger brothers Malcolm and Angus . although the
Easybeats had bigger hits Down Under, the success of "Friday" in the States
seemed to signal their downfall due to management hassles, personnel
changes, and yes, dope .
1968, John Lennon and Yoko Ono make a home tape that is later released with
the title Two Virgins . the album has the two of them sans clothing on the
cover . adding to the air of scandal, John's wife Cynthia returns home this
same day to find the pair in bed, Yoko wearing her nightshirt . John and
Yoko will flee to Montreal where they will begin their infamous 10-day
"bed-in" two days later .
1970, The Grateful Dead play at the Hollywood Rock Festival in England . it
is their first concert outside of the United States .
1979, Eric Clapton and Patti Boyd are married . Boyd's marriage to Clapton's
friend George Harrison ended in 1977 . often portrayed as a muse to both
musicians, Boyd inspired Clapton to write "Layla" about his unrequited love
for Boyd, and later "Wonderful Tonight" once they were together . three of
The Beatles-Paul, Ringo, and George-are joined by Mick Jagger for a
performance at the reception . it is the first time since their '69 breakup
that the three have played together . Tom Petty files for bankruptcy
protection . the move in part arises out of a dispute with his record label
1981, George Harrison's "All Those Years Ago," a tribute to John Lennon who
died a year before, charts for the first time . Ringo Starr and Paul and
Linda McCartney are also on the recording .
1986, Funkmeister George Clinton is the musical guest on NBC's Saturday
Night Live . he jams on "Take It To The Stage" and "Do Fries Go With That
Shake" . Clinton's New Orleans revue-meets-Robert Heinlein stage show was
influenced by Sun Ra, who, with his Arkestra, appeared on SNL in 1978
performing "Space is the Place" and "Space-Loneliness" .
1992, bidding a musical adieu to Johnny Carson, Bette Midler appears on the
late-night host's final Tonight Show telecast serenading him with "One for
My Baby (and One More for the Road)"...
2004, during a humanitarian African tour the Canadian band Sum 41 is overrun
by the Congo's ongoing civil war obliging the rockers to hide out in a hotel
bathroom near the Rwandan border . after seven hours they make their escape
in a tank . in a bizarre appearance at a New Hampshire casino,
singer-songwriter Jewel frequently interrupts her set with long diatribes
dissing the audience, her fat fans, and rambling on about the drugs Zoloft
and Paxil . after the show, pissed-off former fans scream obscenities as the
tour bus departs the venue .
2006, Madonna opens her Confessions world tour in Los Angeles . tickets are
sold out in minutes in North America, Europe, and Asia, resulting in new
dates being added . the tour will gross more than $260 million-the biggest
take in history by a female artist .
2007, a reconstituted Smashing Pumpkins plays their first show in seven
years-an epic three-hour affair in Paris that features many songs from the
new album Zeitgeist . after switching to a talk-radio format in 2006, New
York's K-Rock reverts to playing modern rock . the first song played is
Nirvana's "All Apologies"...this move is mirrored across the country with
major stations that had abandoned the rock format switching back . Linkin
Park provides a shot in the arm to what has so far been a dismal year for
record sales . the band moves 623,000 copies of its Minutes to Midnight
album and moves to the head of the Top 40 chart . 79-year-old Fats Domino
plays his first gig since Hurricane Katrina struck the Big Easy . his
30-minute set at Tipitina's reprises all his big hits including "I'm
Walkin'" and "Blueberry Hill" .
2008, Steven Tyler checks into a Pasadena clinic to deal with substance
abuse . The Grateful Dead donate thousands of artifacts to the University of
California at Santa Cruz for a planned Dead research center . at a press
conference announcing the gift, Dead drummer Mickey Hart jokingly warns
curators not to lick any envelopes or touch the stuff without gloves .
2010, David Byrne is suing the governor of Florida, alleging that he used
the Talking Heads' 1985 single "Road to Nowhere" without permission or
proper licenses . Byrne is seeking $1 million in damages from Gov. Charlie
Crist, who's also Florida's former attorney general, and his senatorial
campaign for use of the song earlier this year in a website and YouTube ad
attacking his then-Republican primary opponent, Marco Rubio . Crist has
since changed his campaign and is running as an independent candidate .
. and that was the week that was .
[Compiled by the Musician's Friend copywriting staff]
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