Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This Date In Music History- May 21

Birthdays Today:

Chicago's William "Bill" Bradford Champlin (keyboards, guitar and vocals)-1947.

Hilton Valentine, guitarist for the Animals- 1943.

Marcie Blane ("Bobby's Girl") is 64.

Ronald Isley of the Isley Brothers ("Shout") is 67.

Leo Sayer ("When I Need You") is 60.


Elton John became the first western act to tour the U.S.S.R. in 1979.

"Little" Stevie Wonder recorded "Fingertips" live at Chicago's Regal Theatre in 1962.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono began a ten-day "bed-in" in Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hotel in 1969.

The Drifters recorded "Under The Boardwalk" (Johnny Moore is forced to sing lead after Rudy Lewis' death the night before) in 1964.

"Sir Duke," Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Jazz great Duke Ellington, is the #1 song in the U.S. in 1977.

Notorious record exec Morris Levy died in 1990. He owned the Birdland club, copyrighted the phrase "rock & roll" after making friends with Alan Freed, and even sued John Lennon because he thought "Come Together" sounded too much like a Chuck Berry song.

In 1981, Bob Marley was given a state funeral in Jamaica and buried at Nine Miles in St. Ann’s Parish, beside the house in which he was born.

'Call Me,' the quintessential Al Green album, was released in 1973. It yielded three hits: “You Ought to Be With Me” (#1 R&B, #3 pop), “Call Me (Come Back Home)” (#2 R&B, #10 pop), “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” (#2 R&B, #10 pop).

In 1966, the Byrd's "Eight Miles High" was banned by some radio stations because of the lyrics' alleged drug references.

In 1955, Chuck Berry recorded "Maybellene" – an up-tempo rewrite of the country-flavored "Ida Red" – with pianist Johnnie Johnson, bass player Willie Dixon and drummer Jasper Thomas. It is the first of Berry's many hits for Chess Records.

Brenda Lee signed with Decca Records in 1956.

In 1980, Joe Strummer (Clash) was arrested at a Hamburg, West Germany, show after smashing his guitar over the head of an audience member.

Marvin Gaye's "Dream of a Lifetime" was released in 1985. It was his last album.

16 year-old Paul Anka recorded "Diana" at the ABC-Paramount studios in New York in 1957. The song would reach #1 in the US the following September and became the first of his 33 US Top 40 hits.

The Mamas And The Papas ("California Dreamin'" and "Monday, Monday") went to #1 on the Billboard album chart in 1966 with the classic LP,"If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears.” Its 105-week tenure on the album chart surpasses that of any Beatles album save “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Paul McCartney released "Ram" in 1971, which, unlike his first solo LP, is not a one-man show. His wife Linda is on vocals and he enlists session men David Spinozza, Hugh McCracken on guitar and bass along with drummer Denny Seiwell.

In 1980, a thief broke into Electric Lady Studios in New York City, the recording studio built by Jimi Hendrix and stole five Hendrix gold records. They are for the albums "Are You Experienced?", "Axis: Bold as Love", "Cry of Love", "Rainbow Bridge" and "Live at Monterey".