Thursday, December 10, 2009

Vinyl’s comeback makes musicians want to sing

TORONTO -- As music lovers approach a new decade in this still-young century, a recording technology once considered old and obsolete -- vinyl -- has been making a strong comeback. Vinyl albums, which began to be replaced by CDs in the mid-1980s, have rebounded in recent years as enthusiasts young and old turned sentimental for the old pops, cracks and warm sounds emitting from grooves on a record.

And as sales have rebounded, music makers ranging from big acts like Jack White and the Flaming Lips to local bands in major cities have been cranking out vinyl and treating fans with added material like old-style liner notes or posters. If bands can keep costs low, they may even be able to make extra money in the financially strapped music business where cheap digital downloads are replacing once-lucrative CD sales.

"It’s hard to say how long it’ll last, but even if you’re 16 years old, your parents probably have vinyl somewhere," said Wayne Coyne, lead singer of the Flaming Lips. "So there’s probably some trigger of another time, an exotic world where this was the way you bought music."

While vinyl records never truly became extinct from record store shelves, the current resurgence seems to have picked up pace starting around 2007. Last year, 1.9 million vinyl records sold, roughly double 2007. Industry tracker Nielsen SoundScan projects that 2.8 million units will be purchased in 2009.

A wide range of bands, from Radiohead and the Beatles to Bob Dylan and Metallica, have been shipping albums on vinyl. Radiohead, for instance, sold 61,000 vinyl records in 2008. Turntable sales are increasing, too, suggesting vinyl is reaching new customers and not just collectors and purists.

Seeing is believing

Vinyl’s renaissance springs from both musicians and fans longing for something more tangible than just listening to music on a digital file, said Paul Simcoe, co-owner of Toronto’s Criminal Records.

"I’ll support an artist to the end of time," he said. "But I still have a huge problem buying something I can’t see."

The Flaming Lips’ Coyne said vinyl appeals to fans’ senses in ways digital downloads can’t by providing colorful notes, posters or other visual items that downloads just don’t have. In fact, his band has even packaged DVDs with vinyl albums.

Trevor Larocque, co-founder of Toronto’s Paper Bag Records, said vinyl gives artists the chance to offer fans distinct products. His label’s records are made in limited amounts of 200 or 300, and the record sleeves are silk-screened with exclusive artwork.

Another technique to lure online listeners is offering memberships in fan clubs that include shipments of unreleased, vinyl recordings, which is what Nashville-based Third Man Records, founded by the White Stripes’ Jack White, is doing.

"That, for us, is a really strong way of reaching out to a digital generation," said label executive Ben Swank.

In the case of Toronto-based band the Diableros, they released a new EP, Old Story, Fresh Road, digitally and on vinyl, forgoing CDs which they felt were unnecessary.

But releasing an album on vinyl presents musicians with challenges that don’t exist for CDs or digital files, said David Read of Vinyl Record Guru, a manufacturing outfit on Vancouver Island, Canada.

Costs vs. benefits

Listeners can download files and/or copy digital songs onto CDs and DVDs from their home computer but vinyl presses aren’t easy to find -- there are only a handful in North America. And to produce a vinyl album, first the lacquer on which to press each vinyl album must be made. Then, a test pressing needs to be done and sound problems must be fixed before mass quantities are produced.

Also, many bands want to release just a few hundred copies on vinyl, yet custom vinyl jackets must be ordered in minimum quantities of 500. To get around that problem, Paper Bag Records ships its albums in, aptly so, paper -- recycled cardboard jackets that are customized for each band.

Diableros drummer Mike Duffield said his band borrowed money to finance their vinyl EP, but it was worth it.

"When you’ve worked a year and a half on something and you want to see it done, you take risks," he explained. "I think you have to invest in yourself and your product."

Vinyl records also cost fans more than CDs, said Criminal Record’s Simcoe.

CDs generally range from $10 to $14, but a vinyl record is usually at least $15. A price of $20 is more normal and a double-disc, for instance, can cost upward of $35.

Some major and independent labels have increased vinyl prices to account for higher costs and increased demand, but Simcoe worries that tactic may end the positive sales trend. "These guys are in danger of killing this industry," he said.

But for some artists, vinyl’s downsides are worth working around. Third Man Records, for instance, sidesteps higher costs and inconvenience by doing all their work in Nashville. The music is recorded in a studio behind their storefront and records are pressed at a facility just down the road.

"We can have it on the shelves in about a month, which is about as long as it takes to get it on iTunes these days," Swank said. "What we’re trying to do is make vinyl as immediate as a digital track can be." -- Reuters


How vinyl record sales stack up

CD SALES are off 13% in 2009 heading into the lucrative holiday shopping season, after a 20% annual drop in 2008 from the year before, but sales of vinyl records are bucking that trend.

Vinyl record sales reached 1.9 million units in 2008 and are on track to sell nearly 2.8 million units in 2009, according to industry tracker Nielsen SoundScan. Those numbers account only for stores that report to Nielsen and not smaller record shops or albums sold at concerts.

Though vinyl record sales have momentum, they still make up only 1% of total album sales tracked by Nielsen SoundScan. Following are some facts about vinyl records. Sales for individual albums and artists in 2009 are incomplete, so data covers 2008.

Vinyl by genre

Rock and alternative albums account for the most vinyl record sales, but other genres have shown growth, too.

Rock and alternative are each up just under 60% this year over last, while electronic (31%), rap (23%) and R&B (18%) are showing more modest gains.

Sales of LPs in country and gospel in 2009 are each up 200% from this time last year.

Jazz and hard rock are up 150% and 106% year-to-date, respectively.

Sales of Latin vinyl records are flat compared to this point last year, while soundtrack sales are down 7%.
Best-selling albums of 2008

In 2008, slightly fewer than 13,000 vinyl records sold at least one copy, while nearly 400 sold at least 1,000 copies and accounted for 50% of total vinyl sales. Here are the five best-selling vinyl records in 2008:

1. Radiohead -- In Rainbows: 25,800 copies sold
2. The Beatles -- Abbey Road: 16,500 copies sold
3. Guns N’ Roses -- Chinese Democracy: 13,600 copies sold
4. The B-52s -- Funplex: 12,800 copies sold
5. Portishead -- Third: 12,300 copies sold

Best-selling artists of 2008

The top five best-selling artists on vinyl in 2008 were a mix of those who released new albums that year, like Radiohead and Guns N’ Roses, and catalog artists like the Beatles with popular older releases. These artists sold 225,000 LPs in 2008, or 13% of all vinyl sold that year.

1. Radiohead: 61,000 copies sold
2. Metallica: 40,000 copies sold
3. Beatles: 20,000 copies sold
4. Elliot Smith: 18,000 copies sold
5. Bob Dylan: 15,000 copies sold -- Reuters


2009 results will be available next month, but one important element of the story is that the 'counters' of these figures do not count some independent dealers and record shops where vinyl sells the best.  Go figure.....

New Music For 2010

This from, lots of great music on the way!

2010 Jan, Feb, March - New Releases (With Dates)

Courtney Love – “Nobody’s Daughter” (01/01/10)*
Findlay Brown – “Love Will Find You” (01/05/10) Verve
Ringo Starr – “Y Not” (01/12/10) Hip-O/UMe
Laura Veirs – “July Flame” (01/12/10) Raven Marching Band
Final Fantasy – “Heartland” (01/12/10) Domino
OK Go – “Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky” (01/12/10) EMI
Editors – “In This Light And On this Evening” (01/19/10) Fader
Surfer Blood – Astro Coast (01/19/10) Kanine
Lindstrøm & Christabelle – “Real Life Is No Cool” (01/19/10)
Vampire Weekend – “Contra” (01/12/09) XL
The Paperbacks – “Lit From Within” (01/12/10) Parliament Of Trees
Woodpigeon – “Die Stadt Muzikanten” (01/12/10) Boompa
Hawksley Workman – “Meat” (01/19/10) Six Shooter
Alberta Cross – “The Broken Side Of Time” (01/19/10)
Spoon – “Transference” (01/19/10) Merge
Eels – “End Times” (01/19/10) Vagrant
RJD2 – “The Colossus” (01/19/10) Electrical Connections
Daniel Merriweather – “Love & War” (01/19/10) Sony/BMG
Cold War Kids – “Behave Yourself EP” (01/19/10) Downtown
Moonface (Spencer Krug) “Dreamland EP: Marimba and Shit-Drums” (01/26/10) Jagjaguwar
Jaga Jazzist – “One-Armed Bandit” (01/26/10)
Beck & Charlotte Gainsbourg – “IRM” (01/26/10) Because
Various Artists – “Casual Victim Pile” (01/26/10) Matador
Los Campesinos! – “Romance Is Boring” (01/26/10) Arts & Crafts
Magnetic Fields – “Realism” (01/26/10) Nonesuch
Slow Six – “Tomorrow Becomes You” (01/26/10) Western Vinyl
Beach House – “Teen Dream” (01/26/10) Sub Pop
Citay – “Dream Get Together” (01/26/10) Dead Oceans
Locksley – “Be In Love” (01/26/10)
The Silent League – “…But You’ve Always Been The Caretaker” (01/26/10)
Corrine Bailey Rae – “The Sea” (01/26/10) EMI
Basia Bulat – “Heart Of My Own” (01/26/10) Rough Trade
Four Tet – “There Is Love In You” (01/26/10) Domino
Pit Er Pat – “The Flexible Entertainer” (01/26/10) Thrill Jockey
Patrick & Eugene – Altogether Now (Birds Bees Flowers Trees) (01/26/10)
Thavius Beck – “Dialogue ” (01/26/10) Mush
Midlake – “The Courage of Others” (02/02/10) Bella Union
Lifehouse – “Smoke and Mirrors” (02/02/10)
Chamillionaire – “Venom” (02/02/10) Chamillitary/Universal Republic
Martha and The Muffins – “Delicate” (02/02/10) Muffin Music
Groove Amanda- “Black Light” (02/02/10)
Pantha Du Prince – “Black Noise” (02/09/10) Rough Trade
Massive Attack – “Heligoland” (02/09/10) Virgin
Hot Chip – “One Life Stand” (02/09/10) DFA/EMI
Yeasayer – “Odd Blood” (02/09/10) Secretly Canadian
Reckless Kelly – “Somewhere in Time” (02/09/10) Yep Roc
Galactic – “Ya-Ka-May” (02/09/10) ANTI-
You Say Party! We Say Die! – “XXXX” (02/09/10) Paper Bag
The Watson Twins – “Talking To You, Talking To Me” (02/09/10) Vanguard
Drake – “Thank Me Later” (02/14/10) Cash Money
Angels & Airwaves – “Love” (02/14/10)
Lightspeed Champion – “Life Is Sweet! Nice to Meet You” (02/16/10)
Tindersticks – “Falling Down a Mountain” (02/16/10)
Field Music – “(Measure)” (02/16/10) Memphis Industries
Efterklang – “Magical Chairs” (02/23/10) The Leaf
Zeus – “Say Us” – (02/23/10) Arts & Crafts
Wolf People – “Tidings” (02/23/10) Jagjaguwar
Toro Y Moi – “Causers Of This” (02/23/10) Carpark
Quasi – “American Gong” (02/23/10) Kill Rock Stars
Shout Out Louds – “Work” (02/23/10) Merge
Shearwater – “The Golden Archipelago” (02/23/10) Matador
The Streets – “Computers and Blues” (02/23/10)
Xiu Xiu – “Dear God, I Hate Myself” (02/23/10) Kill Rock Stars
Holly Miranda – “The Magician’s Private Library” (02/23/10) XL
Frightened Rabbit – “The Winter of Our Mixed Drinks” (03/01/10) FatCat
Rogue Wave – “Permalight” (03/02/10) Brushfire
The Ruby Suns – “Fight Softly” (03/02/10) Sub Pop
The Whigs – “In The Dark” (03/02/10) ATO
BRMC – “Beat The Devil’s Tattoo” (03/09/10) Abstract Dragon
Ted Leo – “The Brutalist Bricks” (03/09/10) Matador
Josh Rouse – “El Turista” (03/09/10) Yep Roc #
Liars – “Sisterworld” (03/09/10) Mute
Jason Collett – “Rat A Tat Tat” (03/09/10) Arts & Crafts
Goldfrapp – “Head First” (03/23/10) Mute
Jonsi – “Go” (03/23/10) XL
Mose Allison – “The Way of The World: (03/23/10) ANTI-
Dillenger Escape Plan – “Option Paralysis” (03/23/10) Party Smasher Inc. / Season of Mist
She & Him – “Volume 2″ (03/23/10) Merge
The Apples in Stereo – “Travelers in Space and Time” (04/06/10) Yep Roc
Peggy Sue – “Fossils and Other Phantoms” (04/20/10) Yep Roc

* Speculative
# Tentative

All dates are subject to change.


Found a very interest read, 45 rpm records are still in the news and sought after.


People like Harold Ott are indispensable to a community's culture—to a community's legacy. What's a community? That's us! Through his music work, Harold Ott provides reminders of who "we" were and thus, of course, who we are—not an irrelevant consideration. Harold's weapon of choice is Arkansas garage & psychedelic rock circa the 1960s/early 1970s. There are clues to our current identity in this music. Also: this music reminds us that anything is possible; "art" is not a genre; it's a door. You might think the study of Arkansas garage & psych rock is constraining but the fun-filled truth is that it's not. Arkansas garage & psych rock is a worthy puzzle: how can something so "small" be so big? Harold Ott grew up in Jacksonville, Arkansas, becoming a garage music fan around the age of sixteen. After a stint in the band Lollygadget and finishing school at the University of Arkansas in 1998, Ott began collecting records. His Psych of the South website project was founded in 2007 (visit: Since then, Ott has been an avid collector and historian of Arkansas garage rock, duly transforming into a dedicated crate-digger and audiophile. He is roundly considered the state's resident expert concerning the garage scene of the 1960s.

THE OA: You've now released two LOST SOULS compilations, both of which present garage and psychedelic rock music from Arkansas from the mid-'60s to early '70s. Why should other people care about this music?

HAROLD OTT: For me, the '60s and early '70s were the greatest time for rock. I'm just casting a light on the happenings in my own backyard, forty years ago. In spite of the obscurity of most of the recordings presented here, Arkansas produced garage and psychedelic rock on par with any other part of the country. This is the recorded legacy of Arkansas and I care about preserving it for the future. Many of the stories, pictures, and music I present are on the utter edge of extinction. Once the guys who have the material are gone, that's pretty much it. I'm making it my mission to discover local music and present the very best of what I find. I hope people can relate to the quest and the thrill of discovering something forty years old that can be appreciated by people around the world now.

Read the rest of this interesting interview here:

Music News & Notes

VF Manufacturing

In the short time since its inception in 2001, Vinyl Factory Manufacturing (Ex Portal Space Records) has established itself as a leading manufacturer of quality record pressings. Everything and everyone in the plant is dedicated to the provision of a fast, consistent and reliable supply to meet the needs of the customer.

As the inheritors of EMI’s equipment, knowledge and experience our roots go back to the very origins of record discs as a carrier of sound.
This heritage includes EMI’s Type 1400 press. All our records are made on these machines which are the result of many years of design and development and are widely recognised as the best in the world.

The Vinyl Factory’s manufacturing philosophy recognises the vital role of people and to this end it has retained key staff from the former EMI Records plant to form the basis of a team who are proud to carry on the historic traditions associated with the best in the music industry.

Located in Hayes, Middlesex, The Vinyl Factory Manufacturing has excellent transport links. Heathrow Airport is on its doorstep and there is easy access to the motorway network via the M4, M25 and M40. Within the M25 The Vinyl Factory Manufacturing is able to offer a twice-daily service at reasonable cost.


Susan Boyle At #1 On Billboard For Second Straight Week

Susan Boyle couldn't have dreamed up selling over a million copies in just two weeks in stores. Her "I Dreamed A Dream" sells 527,000 copies in its second week, bringing her total to 1.23 million copies and earning her the #1 spot for a second week on the Billboard Albums chart. The album, which features covers of "Wild Horses" and "Silent Night," is already the #10 best-selling album of 2009.

Joining her near the top (and what a duet that would be) is Andrea Bocelli, who spends a fourth week at #2 with "My Christmas." The holiday album, which continues to increase in sales each week, sells 428,000 copies, bringing his total to 1.12 million copies.

At #3 this week is Taylor Swift, who rises all the way to #3 from #8 last week, selling another 127,000 copies of her album "Fearless," and inching that much closer to selling 5 million copies in the U.S.

R. Kelly debuts at #4 with "Untitled," his latest studio album selling 114,000 in its first week. This is R. Kelly's ninth album to reach the top 4 on Billboard. Lady Gaga follows at #5 with "The Fame," which moves up one spot selling 84,000 copies. "The Fame" now includes "The Fame Monster" EP, which features "Bad Romance" and her Beyonce duet "Telephone."

Carrie Underwood moves up to #6 with "Play On," selling 81,000 copies this week. Norah Jones follows at #7 with "The Fall" selling 80,000 copies. Michael Jackson's "This Is It" compilation moves up to #8 this week with 75,000 copies.

The "New Moon" soundtrack is #9 this week, moving 72,000 copies and climbing up three spots. Up from #18 last week and at #10 this week is Michael Buble. His "Crazy Love" album sells 72,000 this week.

Billboard Top 200 Albums Week Ending December 19th, 2009

1. I Dreamed a Dream, Susan Boyle

2. My Christmas, Andrea Bocelli

3. Fearless, Taylor Swift

4. Untitled, R. Kelly

5. The Fame, Lady Gaga

6. Play On, Carrie Underwood

7. The Fall, Norah Jones

8. This Is It, Michael Jackson

9. The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Soundtrack

10. Crazy Love, Michael Buble


Flaming Lips hail resurgence of vinyl

Guitar player Wayne Coyne has welcomed the surge of interest in vinyl records among music fans. The emergence of CDs and internet downloads had led to traditional 33s and 45s falling by the wayside, but they seem to be coming back into favour.

Coyne, who fronts US-based rock group The Flaming Lips, has hailed this as a positive development.

Speaking to Reuters, he said vinyl records offer music lovers things that digital downloads can not, such as posters and colourful packaging.

"Even if you're 16 years old, your parents probably have vinyl somewhere," Coyle commented.

"There's probably some trigger of another time, an exotic world where this was the way you bought music."

However, Coyle admitted that it is hard to predict how long the renewed interest in vinyl will last.

Jim Penistan, owner of a record shop in Lincoln, has credited artists such as The White Stripes for driving demand for vinyl records and turntables.

He told the Lincolnshire Echo that the band have been among those to put out their new releases in this format, along with The Strokes.


Sonic Youth Going Back To Studio

Guitarist Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth has told the BBC6 that the group will be going in the studio next year to record their 17th album and the followup to this year's The Eternal. Also on tap is a DVD of their 2007/08 Daydream Nations tour and the digitizing of 30 years worth of the group's music.

"We're doing a big archival house clean right now. We've got a massive archive of audio and video that's sitting in our studio in Hoboken. We've got somebody in there who's noting every single thing down and making a massive database, and then we're going to start digitizing it because some of the tapes are 30 years old now."


Nickelback Single Tops Decade

Nickelback's first single, 2001's "How You Remind Me," ranks #1 in USA Today's list of the most popular radio songs of the '00s.

According to Nielsen, the hit single racked up 1.2 million spins since 2000. Also exceeding 1 million spins are these popular radio songs listed in descending order:

1. Nickelback, How You Remind Me

2. Train, Drops of Jupiter

3. Lifehouse, Hanging By a Moment

4. Faith Hill, Breathe

5. 3 Doors Down, Kryptonite


Blues Nominees

The Blues Foundation has announced their nominees for the 2010 Blues Music Awards, to be held on May 6 at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Leading the nominees is Joe Lewis Walker with five followed by Tommy Castro, Rick Estrin, Super Chikan, Louisiana Red and Duke Robillard (right) who each have four.

B.B. King Entertainer of the Year
•Candye Kane
•Magic Slim
•Rick Estrin
•Super Chikan
•Taj Mahal
•Tommy Castro

•Stomp! the Blues Tonight - Duke Robillard's Jumpin’ Blues Revue
•Tear This World Up - Eddie C. Campbell
•Between a Rock and the Blues - Joe Louis Walker
•Juke Joint Back to the Black Bayou - Louisiana Red & Little Victor
•Chicago Blues A Living History - Various Artists

•Duke Robillard's Jumpin' Blues Revue
•Nick Moss & the Flip Tops
•Rick Estrin and the Nightcats
•The Mannish Boys
•Tommy Castro Band

New Artist Debut
•Walk That Fine Thin Line - Greg Nagy
•White Sugar - Joanne Shaw Taylor
•Man Child - Marquise Knox
•Tiger in your Tank - Monkey Junk
•Soul Tub! - The California Honeydrops

•Pearl River - Cyril Neville & Mike Zito
•Fred's Dollar Store - James “Super Chikan” Johnson
•I'm Tide - Joe Louis Walker
•Never Going Back to Memphis - John Hahn & Oliver Wood
•At Least I'm Not With You - Vyasa Dodson

Acoustic Album
•You Got to Move - David Maxwell & Louisiana Red
•Good Time Music for Hard Times - Maria Muldaur & her Garden of Joy
•Havin' The Last Word - Saffire-the Uppity Blues Women
•For Rosa, Maeve and Noreen - Samuel James
•Things About Comin' My Way - A Tribute to the music of the Mississippi Sheiks - Various Artists

Acoustic Artist
•Annie Raines & Paul Rishell
•Doug MacLeod
•Guy Davis
•Louisiana Red
•Samuel James

Contemporary Blues Album
•Superhero - Candye Kane
•Between a Rock and the Blues - Joe Louis Walker
•Twisted - Rick Estrin and the Nightcats
•Living in the Light - Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters
•Hard Believer - Tommy Castro

Contemporary Blues Female Artist
•Bettye LaVette
•Candye Kane
•Janiva Magness
•Ruthie Foster
•Shemekia Copeland

Contemporary Blues Male Artist
•Derek Trucks
•Joe Louis Walker
•John Nemeth
•Michael Burks
•Tommy Castro

Rock Blues Album
•Already Free - Derek Trucks Band
•Done with the Devil - Jason Ricci & New Blood
•Tijuana Bible - Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat
•Pearl River - Mike Zito
•Speak No Evil - Tinsley Ellis

Soul Blues Album
•Troubled Child - Charles Wilson
•Just for You - Darrell Nulisch
•Ace of Spades - Johnny Rawls
•All About the Rhythm and the Blues - Latimore
•Betcha Didn't Know - Mighty Sam McClain

Soul Blues Female Artist

•Barbara Carr
•Denise LaSalle
•Irma Thomas
•Shirley Brown
•Sista Monica Parker

Soul Blues Male Artist
•Curtis Salgado
•Darrell Nulisch
•Jackie Payne
•Johnny Rawls

Traditional Blues Album
•All Original - John Primer
•The Gentleman is Back - Johnnie Bassett
•Back to the Black Bayou - Louisiana Red & Little Victor's Juke Joint
•Chikadelic - Super Chikan
•Chicago Blues A Living History - Various Artists

Traditional Blues Female Artist
•Ann Rabson
•Debbie Davies
•Fiona Boyes
•Shirley Johnson
•Zora Young

Traditional Blues Male Artist
•Duke Robillard
•John Primer
•Johnnie Bassett
•Louisiana Red
•Super Chikan

Historical Album
•Taking Care of Business (1956-1973) - Freddie King
•Authorized Bootleg - Muddy Waters
•Essential Montreux - Gary Moore
•The Complete Chess Masters (1950-1967) - Little Walter
•Sean's Blues - Sean Costello

This Date In Music History-December 10


Chad Stuart of Chad & Jeremy is 66

Susan Dey of the Partridge Family (though she never actually sang) turns 57

Ace Kefford - Move (1946)

Walter Orange - Commodores (1946)

Ralph Tavares - Tavares (1948)

Jessica Cleaves - The Friends Of Distinction (1948)

Joseph Mascis - Dinosaur Jr. (1965)

Meg White - White Stripes (1974)

They Are Missed:

The flamboyant blues guitarist Guitar Slim was born in Greenwood, MS in 1926. Armed with an estimated 350 feet of cord between his axe and his amp, Slim would confidently stride onstage wearing a garishly hued suit of red, blue, or green ? with his hair usually dyed to match. best known for the million-selling song ‘The Things That I Used to Do’, a song that is listed in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. He died on February 7, 1959

In 1967, soul singer, songwriter Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash at the age of 26. Redding and his band had made an appearance in Cleveland, Ohio on the local ‘Upbeat’ television show the previous day. The plane carrying Otis Redding and his band crashed at into icy waters of Lake Monoma near Madison, Wisconsin. Redding was killed in the crash along with members from the The Bar-Kays, Jimmy King, Ron Caldwell, Phalin Jones and Carl Cunningham. Trumpet player Ben Cauley was the only person to survive the crash.

Born today in 1910, John Hammond, producer, A&R scout. Worked with Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, George Benson and Janis Joplin. Hammond died on 10th July 1987.

Rick Danko died in his sleep at his home near Woodstock, New York in 1999. The Canadian guitarist and singer joined The Hawks in 1963 who went on to work as Bob Dylan’s backing band, (with Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson). Renamed The Band who released their 1968 debut Music from Big Pink (featuring the single ‘The Weight’). The Band released the 1978 concert film-documentary triple-LP soundtrack ‘The Last Waltz.’

Bill Harris of the Clovers died of cancer in 1988 at the age of 63.

Faron Young died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound Country star Faron Young, known as both the Hillbilly Heartthrob and the Singing Sheriff, died in 1996 (age 64). He shot himself the day before, after being diagnosed with debilitating emphysema.

2005 Richard Pryor, the profane comedian whose monologues inspired rappers like Ice T and N.W.A., died in 2005 (age 65).


The Grand Old Opry made its first radio broadcast from Nashville, TN in 1927.

Having signed to the Imperial label, Fats Domino cuts eight tracks during his first recording session at Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studios. in 1949. They included "The Fat Man" (adapted from a song called "Junkers Blues"), which reached #2 on the R&B chart and reportedly sold a million copies. Some regard it as the first rock and roll record.

In 1955, Johnny Cash makes his first appearance on the "Louisiana Hayride" program in Shreveport (and meets future wife June Carter).

In 1959, the four male members of the Platters were acquitted of charges of aiding and abetting prostitution, lewdness and assignation stemming from their August 10 arrest in Cincinnati. Municipal Court judge Gilbert Bettman, in handing down the decision, tells the black singers: "You have lost an opportunity to be an example to your people . . . You have taken that which can be the core of reproductive life and turned it into a socially abhorrant, tawdry indulgence in lust . . . For these transgressions you will be accountable in that highest court before which you must, in the end, stand final judgement."

Donny Osmond made his debut with the Osmonds in 1963 on NBC's "Andy Williams Show."

The Grateful Dead played their first concert in 1965. The show took place at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, CA.

The Electric Prunes' "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" was released in 1966.

The Beach Boys went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1966 with 'Good Vibrations', the group's third US #1. Also #1 in the UK.

In 1967, the Byrds played the first of an 8 night run at the Whisky-a-go-go, Hollywood, California.

The Steve Miller Blues Band, an unrecorded San Francisco group via Texas and Chicago, signed with Capitol Records for an unheard of $750,000 in 1967. In doing so, the group drops the "Blues" from its name. Good move.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono announced plans to make a film called A6 in 1969. The film, they say, will focus on the case of James Hanratty, who was hanged in 1962 after being convicted of murdering a man on the A6 motorway in England. Many believe that Hanratty was innocent and capital punishment in Britain was later abolished as a result.

In 1971, Frank Zappa breaks his leg and ankle and fractures his skull when he is pushed from a London stage by the jealous boyfriend of a Zappa fan. Zappa will spend months in a wheelchair recovering.

The CBGB Club opened in the lower eastside of New York City in 1973; where it became the home of new bands such as Blondie, Television, Patti Smith and The Ramones.

A three-record set of live performances from the U.S. Wings tour, Wings over America, summarized Paul McCartney's post-Beatles career with its 30-song selection, was released in 1976. The compilation which included "My Love," "Silly Love Songs," "Titanium Man" and "Maybe I'm Amazed," reached #1.

Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson started a six week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1983 with "Say Say Say." It was Jackson's 10th #1 (solo & The Jackson's) and McCartney's 29th, (solo and The Beatles).

Band-Aid, the group assembled by the Boomtown Rats' frontman Bob Geldof, released the single "Do They Know It's Christmas" in 1984. The proceeds of the song went to famine relief. Bob Geldof was eventually knighted on behalf of his efforts.

Chicago started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1988 with "Look Away."

In 1998, a recording of a 1963 Beatles concert was sold at auction at Christies in London for $41,500. The tape of The Beatles' 10-song concert was recorded by the chief technician at the Gaumont Theatre in Bournemouth during one of six consecutive nights which The Beatles had played. Also sold for $8,500, was a set of autographs of five Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best, and Stuart Sutcliffe. The autographs had been obtained by a fan in Liverpool in 1961.

Legendary rock & roll deejay, and in fact the man who coined the phrase "Rock & Roll," Alan Freed was posthumously awarded a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in 1991.

Alicia Keys sells 618,000 copies of "The Diary of Alicia Keys" to top the album charts in 2003.

In 2004, one of three RCA microphones used by radio station KWKH for the historic Elvis Presley appearance at the Louisiana Hayride was sold for $37,500. The microphone was one of three used during 50 performances by Elvis Presley when he performed for the radio show in Shreveport from 1954 to 1956.

Led Zeppelin played their first concert in 19 years, at London's 02 arena in 2007. Original band members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were joined on stage by Jason Bonham, the son of their late drummer John Bonham. More than one million people had taken part in a ballot for the 9,000 pairs of tickets available for the show.