Sunday, May 3, 2009

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Bird & Animal Names In Rock & Roll History- Part eleven

Let’s continue our series about “bird” and “animal” groups and artists in rock and roll history, let’s start with an iconic 60’s vocal group.

A clean-cut vocal group from Brooklyn, New York called “Jay & the Americans” scored several Billboard Top 40 hits throughout the sixties. Interestingly, neither lead singers’ John Traynor nor David Blatt was named Jay, but their names were changed to fit the band billing.

The initial lineup consisted of John "Jay" Traynor, Howard Kane, Kenny Vance and Sandy Deanne, though their greatest success on the charts came after Traynor had been replaced as lead singer by Jay Black (David Blatt).

The group scored a Top 40 hit in 1962 called “She Cried,” with John “Jay” Traynor as the lead vocalist. Produced by the team of Leiber and Stroller, the song was full of booming percussion and lush string arrangements and peaked at number five on the Billboard Top 40 charts.

In 1963, a song called “Only In America” (Jay Black’s first with his new group) hit the charts, peaking at number twenty-five on the Billboard Top 40. Interestingly, the song was originally recorded by the Drifters, but when their record label decided not to release the song, their vocals were erased and Jay and the American’s vocals were added to it.

With the upper-register vocals of Jay Black, the group had their biggest hit in 1964 with a song called “Just A Little Bit Closer.” In 1965, the vocal group peaked at number four on the charts with the Mexican-flavored “Cara Mia,” with Jay Black’s impeccable and legendary high vocals shining with authority.

The group went on to score several more Billboard Top 40 hits including “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Sunday And Me” (a 1965 song that was Neil Diamond’s first hit as a song writer) and “Crying” (1966). After a long break from the Top 40, Jay and the Americans hit pay dirt again with a million-selling cover of the Drifters’ 1960 hit single called “This Magic Moment.” Their last hit was a remake of the Ronette’s tune called “Walkin’ In The Rain.”

Mired in a contractual dispute with United Artists over publishing rights stopped the group from recording for several years. But Jay Black kept the name alive by touring on the “oldie’s circuit” well into the 90's. The legendary group reunited in the 90’s for special performances and in 2001, Jay was featured in the PBS doo wop series as “Jay Black and the Americans.” They were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002.

A relentless touring band hailing from Austin, Texas called the “Fabulous Thunderbirds” helped popularize “roadhouse Texas-blues” and released several critically acclaimed albums in the 1980's. During the group’s heyday in the early 80's, the Fabulous Thunderbirds were star attractions on the blues bar circuit, playing compelling blues-rock blended with smart rhythms and genre defining guitars.

Formed in 1974 by guitarist Jimmy Vaughan (older brother of the legendary blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan), bassist Keith Ferguson (who had declined an invitation to join up with the stalwart rockers ZZ Top), drummer Mike Buck and singer/harmonica player Kim Wilson, the band built up a strong fan base and gained notoriety as the house band at Antone’s (a popular Austin nightclub/bar). They soon attracted the attention of a local record label named Takoma Records. After their self-titled album was released in 1979, they gained overseas exposure and a new fan base by opening for the new-wave rocker’s Rockpile (member Nick Lowe would go on and produce the group’s forth album). The release proved popular enough to attract attention from major record labels and the group signed on with Chrysalis Records in 1980.

The band’s debut release on their new label called “What’s The Word” was filled with powerful, zesty guitar rock. They followed this album with two more, 1981's “Butt Rockin’” and 1982's album called “T Bird Rhythm” (with Fran Christina now on drums). Although the albums were very well-received by the critics, they did not sell very well. But, the group gained the respect and admiration of fellow musicians, even opening for the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton. However, with sluggish album sales, Chrysalis dropped the band and they were without a recording contract until they were signed by Epic Records in 1985.

With Dave Edmunds (band mate of Nick Lowe) producing the band, the Fabulous Thunderbirds cut their breakthrough fifth album, entitled “Tuff Enuff.” The album became a crossover success and the title track was released as a single, and buoyed by repetitive MTV air play, the song broke into the Billboard Top 40, peaking at number ten. The subsequent success of the single propelled the album to number thirteen on the album charts, eventually going platinum. The group also relied on covers of soul music, with cuts like “Wrap It Up,” which is a cover of an old Sam and Dave song and it was released as the second single.

But, success was fleeting, the next album “Hot Number” (1987), did very well at first, even producing the Top Ten Album Rock hit “Stand Back,” but the album quickly fell off the charts. The commercialism and radio-ready sound alienated long time fans. A single called “Powerful Stuff” was included in the soundtrack for the Tom Cruise movie “Cocktail” and it is also included on the disappointing album release of the same name (1989). This particular release spent only seven weeks on the charts.

Jimmy Vaughan left the band after the “Powerful Stuff” LP to team up with his now famous sibling and was replaced by Duke Robillard and Kid Bangham. With a new line up, the band released the album “Walk That Walk, Talk That Talk” in the winter of 1991. Though the band returns to their roots, playing straightforward blues rock; it was bland in comparison to the band’s sound when Jimmy Vaughan was playing with the band. They were dropped by their record label, shortly after its release.

With the group in limbo in the nineties, Wilson released a couple of solo efforts (1993 and 1994) before reassembling the group in late 1994 for the album “Roll The Dice.” It was certainly a much better album that its predecessor, and the group followed the release with the album “High Water” in 1997 and a “live” album in 2001, but the magic that was the Fabulous Thunderbirds was gone. However, through many personnel changes, the Fabulous Thunderbirds have maintained their intense touring schedule throughout the United States and Europe since the early 1990s. The band toured Europe during the spring and summer of 2008 and will also perform at many blues festivals throughout the US; keeping their rabid fans satisfied.

Hot Tuna was formed as an offshoot band led by Jefferson Airplane member’s guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Cassidy. As Jefferson Airplane slowly wound down in the early 1970s, Hot Tuna -- for whom live performance was always of prime importance -- became an independent group. Although not a huge commercial success, Hot Tuna entertained fans with a superb acoustic sound, reflective and smart lyrical content and some of the best unheard music of the 1970's. Their early repertoire was derived mainly from American country blues artists such as Rev. Gary Davis, Jelly Roll Morton, Bo Carter and Arthur Blake (Blind Blake).

In 1974, the group broke off from their primarily bluesy, acoustic style and Hot Tuna morphed into a heavy rock band. The albums “America's Choice” (1975), “Yellow Fever” (1975), and “Hoppkorv” (1976), showcased a power trio with the addition of new drummer Bob Steeler. This three album series is referred to by the group as their "rampage years. Hot Tuna live performances during this period were often free-flow improvisational jams and long sets (up to six hours uninterrupted) with extended versions of their studio material. Because of this trait, they are often considered a forerunner of modern jam bands, such as Phish.

As adept as they were acoustically, it is Hot Tuna’s jam sessions, with extended blues-rock and ambitious boogie improvisations that have made them a popular concert draw for many years and helped fuel sales of live albums to satisfy their cult of fans.

Jay & the Americans Tidbits:

Did you know that future founding members of “Steely Dan,” Donald Fagen and Walter Becker played in the back up band for Jay & the American’s for a time in the early 1970's?

Black still tours under his stage name, "Jay Black.” Kenny Vance is currently the lead singer of Kenny Vance and the Planotones, a neo-doo wop band that he formed in the 1970s.

In 2006, Jay Black filed for bankruptcy due to gambling debts, and his ownership of the name "Jay & The Americans" was sold by the bankruptcy trustee to Sandy Deanne, Black's former band mate and an original member of Jay & The Americans for $100,000 to pay Black's debts. With the name purchase, former members Deanne, Howard Kane, and Marty Sanders reunited, and recruited a sound-alike singer from Chicago, coincidentally nicknamed "Jay." Thus, John "Jay" Reincke became the third "Jay" and the band returned to playing the North American oldies circuit.

Fabulous Thunderbirds Tidbits:

In the early 1990s, Kim Wilson recorded a pair of solo albums while continuing to tour with The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

The single, "Tuff Enuff" was featured in the 1986 film Gung Ho. It was also featured in the film Tough Guys, as was the follow-up single "Wrap It Up".

Jimmie Vaughan left the band to play in a duo with his brother Stevie Ray Vaughan; and following Stevie Ray's death in 1990, Jimmie pursued a full-time solo career.

On February 16, 2000, The Fabulous Thunderbirds made history, becoming the first band ever to be broadcast on the internet using high-definition cameras. The companion DVD, "Invitation Only," is one of the first high-resolution multi-track recordings of a live concert event.

Hot Tuna Tidbits:

The band name Hot Tuna came from someone Kaukonen refers to as a "witty wag" who called out, "hot tuna" after hearing the line 'What's that smell like fish, oh baby,' from the Blind Boy Fuller song "Keep on Truckin." Kaukonen decided it was a good band name and it stuck ever since

Throughout the 1990s, Tuna again alternated between acoustic and electric styles. The two live Sweetwater albums are predominantly acoustic sets with guests Bob Weir from the Grateful Dead, singer Maria Muldaur, and ex-Rod Stewart, Jefferson Starship keyboards player Pete Sears.

Like many jam bands, the group garnered much fan support based on their pro-taping policy that allowed fans to record their live shows. In July 2006, Hot Tuna changed their stance and no longer permit taping.

From 2004-2006, the band have toured with multi-instrumentalist Barry Mitterhoff and drummer Erik Diaz and in April of 2006, Hot Tuna appeared at Merlefest, America's largest folk music festival. In 2007, they played at Bonnaroo.

As former members of Jefferson Airplane, Kaukonen and Cassidy are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They became members in 1996.

Look for part twelve of this ongoing series on Wednesday!

Still playing

Yes, Vinyl is popular all over the world, check out this story from India:

Written By Alokparna Das

From rare ghazals to old classical renditions, Balwant Singh stocks a treasure of records

Squeezed in between a row of commercial establishments opposite Gurdwara Shishganj is a shop with MP3s, CDs, VCDs, and DVDs on display. There’s nothing extraordinary about it, that’s until you step in and find hundreds of rare LP and EP records. In this age of Ipods, the owner of this 50-year-old shop, Balwant Singh, says hardly a week goes by without someone popping in, looking for a particular record.

From rare ghazals to classical renditions by Pandit Ravi Shankar in his younger days to collections of verses rendered by well-known poets to Pakistani records, Singh’s collection goes beyond old Hindi films. Originally priced at Rs 14, EPs sell for Rs 40 upwards and a rare LP of Malika Pukhraj can cost you anything between Rs 300 and Rs 500. Singh knows his prices are cheaper than those quoted by Shahs at Meena Bazaar or those on eBay but he’s happy to leave them at that.

“There are customers who buy even damaged LPs and EPs. A photographer with a leading media house, who is also a collector, is a regular customer here, as are several foreigners. There are customers who are building their own museums or auction houses. I also have an Australian clientele, they still make vinyl records in Australia,” says 85-year-old Singh, who is a collector himself and owns at least 20,000 records. “Time was when I used to stock the entire collection in the shop but my sons demanded their share of the property and as a result my shop shrunk in size,” he says.

Singh’s tiny shop stands close to Maharaja Lal and Sons, the oldest dealer of HMV in Delhi, founded in 1895. Initially, they sold cylinder records—vinyl records came later and were around till about 15 to 20 years ago. Even after they vanished from shelves in music stores, big players like Maharaja Lal and Sons and Radio and Gramophone Company in Connaught Place continued selling records. Now, of course, these shops, too, have stopped stocking them. As the salesman at the counter at Radio and Gramophone Company says, with HMV not making vinyl records any more, it was increasingly difficult to maintain a decent stock and shop owners were dependent on people who wished to sell off their collection of old records.

“When HMV decided to stop making records in the late ’80s and early ’90s, I bargained and bought a large number of records from the company. That added to my existing collection,” says Singh.

Originally from Kashmir, Singh says his family tried its hand at all kinds of ventures until he plunged into the music business about 50 years ago, beginning as a sub-dealer for Maharaja Lal and Sons. He went on to become a ‘big’ dealer himself, often visiting HMV’s office in Kolkata to buy records in bulk.

Singh remembers the time when LPs were much in demand and boasts of having photographs clicked with leading singers of yesteryears. He still idolises Maharaja Lal and Sons for the huge collection it had and also for salesmanship, and praises Syed Zafar Shah, whose family owns a records shop in Meena Bazar for the last three generations, for his knowledge of the trade. “Imagine a time when whether it was a wealthy collector or a baiji from G B Road, the shop owner would play records for everyone to help them select LPs of their choice; a time when hotels and restaurants sourced music for their Saturday nights from shops in Chandni Chowk; or when not only All India Radio but also radio stations of England and Australia recorded songs from collections like ours,” he says.

He breaks off as a customer comes asking for an LP record of Ustad Amir Khan’s rendition of Jogiya mere ghar aaye in Raag Lalit. Singh nods and within a couple of minutes puts the record on the counter. Next, there’s a demand for an old recording of Faiz’s ghazals, and Singh again disappears behind a column of records.

This Week In Music History- May 3 – May 9

Sunday May 3


1919- Pete Seeger- US folk singer, wrote “Turn Turn Turn,” for The Byrds among many others.

1933- James Brown- King of Soul Music (Brown died on Dec 25 2006 died at the age of 73)

1937- Frankie Valli- The Four Seasons

1944- Pete Staples- The Troggs (“Wild Thing”)

1950- Mary Hopkin (1968 UK #1 and US #2 single “Those Were The Days,” released on The Beatles Apple label and produced by Paul McCartney)

1951- Christopher Cross- singer, songwriter

1953- Bruce Hall- REO Speedwagon

1955- Steve Jones- Sex Pistols guitarist

1959-David Ball- Soft Cell (“Tainted Love”)


The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded “Voodoo Child” in 1968. It was featured on the “Electric Ladyland'” double album.

In 1980, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band started a six week run at #1 on the US album chart with “Against The Wind.”

Robert Palmer went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1986 with “Addicted To Love,” (it made #5 in the UK). Palmer originally recorded the song as a duet with Chaka Khan but due to contractual problems her voice was removed.

The first Bob Dylan radio program was aired on XM Satellite Radio in 2006. Tracks played on his show included Blur, Prince, Billy Bragg, Wilco, Mary Gauthier, L.L. Cool J and The Streets.

The Hollies recorded "Carrie-Anne" in 1967.

In 1971 - New York City's Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center announced that it would begin presenting rock, pop and jazz concerts as well as classical.

In 1969, Canadian police busted Jimi Hendrix for narcotics possession at Toronto International Airport. He's later released after posting $10,000 bail.

The Beach Boys go on tour with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as a support act in 1968. Half the dates are eventually canceled. I wonder why…Ohmmmmm

In 1971, Grand Funk Railroad held their first press conference at New York's Gotham Hotel. However, only six reporters showed up, despite Grand Funk's multi-platinum success.

Monday May 4


1959- Randy Travis

1923- Ed Cassidy- Spirit

1942- Nicholas Ashford- Ashford and Simpson

1972- Mike Dirnt- Green Day

1979- Lance Bass- NSYNC

Dick Dale is 72

1949- Zal Cleminson- Sensational Alex Harvey Band

1951- Bruce Day- Santana

1951- Jackie Jackson- The Jackson Five (his real first name is Sigmund)

1951-Mick Mars- Motley Crue

Nick Fortuna of the Buckinghams ("Kind Of A Drag") is 63

Peggy Santiglia of the Angels ("My Boyfriend's Back") turns 65


Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps recorded “Be Bop A Lula” in 1956. The track was written three days before the session.

Andy Williams started a 16-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1963 with “Days Of Wine And Roses.”

The Moody Blues formed in 1964.

Alan Freed's "Rock 'n' Roll Revue" TV show premiered on ABC in 1957 with the Dell-Vikings, the Clovers, Guy Mitchell, Sal Mineo and "Screamin'" Jay Hawkins).

KISS performed their first concert in 1976 in their hometown of New York City.

Paul Butterfield died of complications of a drug overdose at the age of 44 in 1987.

At the first Grammy Awards ceremony in 1959, most of the prizes went to Ross Bagdasarian for his work with the Chipmunks, although "Volare" was Record of the Year.

In 1970, four students at Kent University were killed and eleven wounded by National Guard troops at a campus demonstration protesting the escalation of the Vietnam War. The incident inspired Neil Young to compose 'Ohio' which became a hit for Crosby Stills Nash & Young.

Grand Funk Railroad started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1974 with their version of the Little Eva hit #1 with “The Loco- Motion.” It was only the second time that a cover version of a song has been #1 as well as the original.

In 1989, Stevie Ray Vaughan set out on what would be his last ever tour at the Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, British Columbia. The guitarist was killed in a helicopter crash on Aug 27, 1999 after a concert at Alpine Valley Music Theater in Wisconsin, after playing 107 of the 110 dates.

Clement Seymour Dodd died in 2004 at the age of 72. Producer and major force in the development of ska and reggae, made the first recordings of Bob Marley.

Tuesday May 5


1937- Johnnie Taylor- US soul singer (“Disco Lady”). Died of a heart attack on May 31, 2000, shortly after his 62nd birthday.

1942- Tammy Wynette- Country singer (She died on April 6, 1998- aged 55)

1948- Bill Ward- Black Sabbath

1959- Ian McCulloch- Echo And The Bunnymen

The legendary blues guitarist Blind Willie McTell was born in Thomson, Georgia in 1901.

1989- Chris Brown 2005 (#1 with his debut release “Run It” in 2005)


In 1990, the John Lennon tribute concert was held at the Pier Head Arena in Merseyside, featuring Lenny Kravitz, Al Green, Joe Cocker, The Christians, Kylie Minogue, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Deacon Blue, Lou Reed, Joe Walsh and Wet Wet Wet.

In 1956, Elvis Presley scored his first US #1 single and album when 'Heartbreak Hotel' went to the top of the charts. It became the first rock record to top the albums chart.

Blind blues guitarist Reverend Gary Davis died of a heart attack in 1972(age 76). His unique finger-picking style influenced many other artists. Although considered a legendary guitarist, he spent most of his time preaching and playing on Harlem, N.Y., street corners.

Cleveland was named as the site for the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame Museum in 1986.

Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising" was released in 1968.

The soundtrack to West Side Story went to #1 on the US album chart in 1962 and it went on to spend a total of 54 weeks at the #1 position.

In 1963, on a recommendation by George Harrison, Dick Rowe Head of A&R at Decca records, (and the man who turned down The Beatles), went to see The Rolling Stones play at Crawdaddy Club, London. The band was signed to the label within a week.

Buffalo Springfield split up in 1968. Richie Fury formed Poco and Stephen Stills teamed up with David Crosby and Graham Nash in Crosby Stills & Nash.

Bruce Springsteen topped the U.S. album charts in 2005 with Devils & Dust, a largely acoustic offering not featuring his E Street Band.

The Beatles single 'Get Back' was released in the US in 1969.

Scott McKenzie released the come-one, come-all hippie anthem, "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" in 1967.

Wednesday May 6


1920- Peggy Lee- American singer, actress She was nominated for 12 Grammy Awards (She died on January 21, 2002)

1967- Mark Bryan- Hootie & The Blowfish

1971- Chris Shiflett- Foo Fighters

1945- Bob Seger

1948- Mary MacGregor (1977 US #1 and UK #4 single “Torn Between Two Lovers”)

1950- Robbie McIntosh- Average White Band (died on August 23, 1974)

1960-John Flansburgh- They Might Be Giants


In 1972, the Tyrannosaurus Rex double album “Prophets, Seers And Sages And The Angels Of The Ages / My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair But Now Their Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows” went to #1 in the UK. The longest title of an album ever at the time!

The Boomtown Rats played their first gig in England in 1977 when they appeared at Studio 51, London.

In 1978, the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever started an 18 week run at #1 on the UK album chart, also #1 in the US. The album, which features seven Bee Gee songs, went on to sell over 30 million copies worldwide.

Fictional group Spinal Tap played a gig at New York's CBGB's in 1984.

Otis Blackwell (writer of such songs as "Don't Be Cruel", "Great Balls Of Fire" and "Handy Man") died of a heart attack in 2002.

Keith Richards began writing the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" in a Clearwater, Florida hotel room in 1965.

Elton John's "Rocket Man" was released in 1972.

In 2002, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen was voted the UK's favourite single of all time in a poll by the Guinness Hit Singles book. 'Imagine' by John Lennon was voted in at #2 and 'Hey Jude', The Beatles #3, 'Dancing Queen' by Abba was fourth and Madonna 'Like A Prayer' was in fifth place. Dancing Queen?

In 2005, Audioslave became the first American rock group to perform a free outdoor concert in Cuba.

The Go-Betweens singer, songwriter Grant McLennan died in his sleep at his home in Brisbane, Australia, in 2006 (age 48). The Australasian Performing Right Association named his 1983 song 'Cattle and Cane' as one of the 30 greatest Australian songs of all time.

In 1937, the Hindenburg airship crashed in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 36 people. A photograph of the disaster was later used as the cover art for Led Zeppelin's first album.

The first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held in Cleveland in 1997. Among those inducted are Crosby, Stills & Nash, the Jackson 5, the Bee Gees, Buffalo Springfield, Joni Mitchell, the Young Rascals, and Parliament-Funkadelic (meaning George Clinton).

Thursday May 7


1939- Jimmy Ruffin

1939- Johnny Maestro- Brooklyn Bridge

1943- Thelma Houston

1946- Bill Danoff - Starland Vocal Band

1946- Nolan, drums - New York Dolls

1986- Matt Helders - Arctic Monkeys

1949- Keith (James Keefer) ('98.6')

1950- Prairie Prince- The Tubes

1961- Phil Campbell- Motorhead


The Mamas and the Papas started a three week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1966 with “Monday Monday” (#3 in the UK). The group was reported as saying they all hated the song except for its writer John Phillips.

In 1967, Jimi Hendrix played two shows at London's Saville Theatre. Ringo Starr, Brian Jones and members of The Beach Boys and The Moody Blues were in the audience.

Nigel Preston drummer with The Cult died in London, England in 1992 (age 32).

Steve Perry left Journey in 1998.

Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was performed for the first time in 1824.

In 1941, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra recorded "Chattanooga Choo Choo."

"Rock Around The Clock" was released by Bill Haley & His Comets in 1955.

The Eagles went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1977 with 'Hotel California', the group’s fourth US #1.

Ron Wilson, drummer with US Surf group The Surfaris died in 1989. (1963 US #2 & UK #3 single 'Wipe Out').

In 1998, Eddie Rabbitt, US singer, songwriter died of lung cancer in 1998 (age 56). During his career, he scored over 20 #1's on Billboard's country singles chart including 1981 “I Love A Rainy Night.” Elvis Presley, Dr Hook, Tom Jones, Kenny Rogers, Crystal Gayle and Lynn Anderson all recorded his songs.

In 2003, Pete Townshend was cleared of possessing pornographic images of children. He was placed on a national register of sex offenders for five years. Police determined that he did not possess images of child abuse but that he was guilty of accessing a child pornography Internet site in 1999.

Friday May 8


Born on this day in 1911, Robert Johnson, blues singer, guitarist. Influenced Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Eric Clapton, (Cream covered 'Crossroads) The Rolling Stones, ('Love In Vain'). Johnson died on 16th August 1938.

1940- Gary Glitter

1940- Ricky Nelson (died on December 31, 1985).

1941- John Fred Gourrier, from John Fred and His Playboy Band (Died on April 15 2005 after a long battle with kidney disease aged 63).

1943- Paul Samwell-Smith- The Yardbirds

1945- pianist Keith Jarrett

1943- Toni Tennille- The Captain and Tennille

1975- Enrique Iglesias

1947- Rick Derringer- The McCoys

1951- Chris Frantz- Talking Heads

1951- Philip Bailey- Earth Wind and Fire

1955- Alex Van Halen- Van Halen

1964- Dave Rowntree- Blur

1976- Martha Wainwright- singer-songwriter


In 1993, Aerosmith entered the US album chart at #1 with “Get A Grip.” a #2 hit in the UK. The album went on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide as well as winning the band two Grammy awards.

BBC Radio 1 DJ Johnny Walker announced he was quitting the station in 1976 after being told he must pretend to like The Bay City Rollers.

Former lead singer of the Lovin Spoonful John Sebastian went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1976 with “Welcome Back,” taken from the US TV show “Welcome Back Kotter.”

Neil Bogart died of cancer in 1982 at the age of 39. Bogart was the founder of Casablanca Records, with Peter Guber, home of Donna Summer, The Village People, Kiss, T.Rex and Joan Jett.

The Beatles had held the #1 position on the US singles chart in 1964 for fourteen weeks with three #1's in succession. “I Want To Hold Your Hand” for seven weeks, “She Loves You” for two weeks and “Can't Buy Me Love,” for five weeks.

In 1965, shooting of the promotional film for Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues took place at the side of the Savoy Hotel in London. Actors in the background were Allen Ginsberg and Bob Neuwirth. The cards that Dylan held up to the camera were painted by Alan Price and Joan Baez.

Eddy Arnold ("Make The World Go Away") died in 2008.

The Beatles' "Let It Be" album was released in England in 1970.

Major Lance recorded "Monkey Time" in 1963.

In 1972, Billy Preston became the first rock performer to headline at Radio City Music Hall.

In 1998, the Beatles and Yoko Ono win their suit against a label that was going to release a live album of the group performing at Hamburg's Star Club in the early '60s. The group is awarded custody of the original tape, as well as damages and legal costs.

Saturday May 9


1914- Hank Snow-Canadian Country singer ( 'The Singing Ranger' released over 100 albums- Died on December 20 1999)

1937- Dave Prater- Sam & Dave (Killed April 9, 1988 when his car left the road and hit a tree in Syracuse, Georgia)

1937-Sonny Curtis- The Crickets

1939- Nokie Edwards- The Ventures

1941- Danny and the Juniors- (“At The Hop”) Rapp shot himself dead in a hotel in Arizona on April 5, 1983.

1943- Tommy Roe (“Dizzy” plus 10 other US Top 40 hits)

1944- Richie Furay- Buffalo Springfield

1944- Don Dannemann, Cyrkle (“Red Rubber Ball”) signed by Brian Epstein and supported The Beatles on their 1966 US tour.

1945- Steve Katz- Blood Sweat & Tears

Lou Reed was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1945

1949- Billy Joel

1950- Tom Petersson- Cheap Trick

1953- Edwards- Status Quo

1962- Dave Gahan- Depeche Mode

1962- Paul Heaton- Housemartins

1971- Paul 'Guigsy' McGuigan- Oasis

1975- Ryan 'Nik' Vikedal- Nickelback


In 1964, Louis Armstrong went to #1 on the US singles chart with “Hello Dolly” making him the oldest artist to hit #1 one at the age of 62. The cut also knocked the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" off the top of the American singles chart.

In 1968, George Dewey Hay, the radio announcer who created the Grand Ole Opry, died in Virginia Beach, Va., at age 72.

In 1974, Bonnie Raitt played two shows at Harvard Square Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts; opening act was Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Rolling Stone critic John Landau saw Springsteen and wrote 'I have seen rock & roll's future and his name is Bruce Springsteen'. (Landau later produces and manages Bruce).

Brian Epstein met with EMI producer George Martin in 1962. Martin signed the Beatles to record demos on June 4, 1962. It was their first recording contract.

The Blues Images "Ride Captain Ride" was released in 1970.

Brian Wilson held his first-ever solo concert, in St. Charles, Illinois in 1998.

Prince's 10th album, "Lovesexy" was released in 1988. Some stores refused to sell the album due to the nude portrait that was on the cover.

In 1990, Sinead O'Connor refused to perform on "Saturday Night Live" after Andrew Dice Clay was named as host. That’s right, Sinead, fight the real enemy…

There's a Beatles reunion of sorts in 1979 as Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr all attended the wedding of Eric Clapton to Harrison's ex-wife, Patti.

Afghan pop star Nasrat Parsa was killed in 2005 after being assaulted by three men outside his hotel in Vancouver. The 36-year-old, who had released 10 albums, was in the middle of a Canadian tour.