Friday, January 1, 2010

This Date In Music History-January 1st


Joe McDonald - Country Joe and the Fish (1942)

Born on this day in 1945, Jim Gordon, American drummer, one of the most requested session drummers in the late 1960s and 1970s. Gordon co-wrote Layla with Eric Clapton, worked with The Everly Brothers, The Monkees, The Beach Boys, (Pet Sounds) The Byrds, George Harrison, (All Things Must Pass), John Lennon, (Imagine), The Carpenters, Traffic, Glen Campbell, (Wichita Lineman), Steely Dan, Jackson Browne, Frank Zappa and many others. A diagnosed schizophrenic, Gordon murdered his mother on June 3, 1983, by pounding her head with a hammer. He was sentenced to sixteen years-to-life in prison in 1984.

Morgan Fisher - Mott The Hopple (1950)

Diane Warren - US songwriter (1956) Warren has written over 80 US Top 20 hits.

Joseph Saddler (Grandmaster Flash)(1958)

They Are Missed:

Country singer Hank Williams died of a heart attack in 1953 brought on by a lethal cocktail of pills and alcohol (age 29). Made his first record in 1946, scored 36 Top 10 US country hits, his best Known being "Your Cheatin Heart." Over 20,000 mourners attended his funeral.

Alexis Korner died of lung cancer in 1984 (age 55). Known as "the Founding Father of British Blues", he was a major force behind the UK early 60's R&B scene. Formed Blues Incorporated; members at various times included Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond and Charlie Watts. Had hits with CCS, including a version of Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' which was used as the theme for BBC's Top Of The Pops for several years. Became a radio presenter in the 70's.


In 1912, the first song with the term "blues" in the title was released, "Memphis Blues" by W.C.Handy.

Jelly Roll Morton published his first composition, "The Jelly Roll Blues" in 1915.

In 1939, Billie Holiday was among the first artists to perform at Cafe Society, a new jazz club in Manhattan. Two classic songs introduced in this propitious year, "Strange Fruit" and "God Bless the Child," remain her masterworks.

In 1950, Sam Phillips opened Memphis Recording Service at 706 Union Avenue. He begins recording several local blues artists, including B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf and James Cotton.

Elvis Presley appeared at The Eagles Hall in Houston Texas in 1955. Presley went on to play over 250 shows in 1955.

The Kingston Trio hit #1 in 1958 with "Tom Dooley".

In 1959, "Baby Talk," by Jan and Dean, became the first of more than 150 singles featuring Hal Blaine on drums to reach the Top Ten.

Johnny Cash played a free concert for the inmates of San Quentin Prison, California in 1960.

Etta James made her Chess Records debut in 1960.

In 1960, RCA signed Sam Cooke to a recording contract that payed him a $100,000 advance.

Joan Baez' self-titled first album released in 1960.

In 1961, Motown signed the Primettes, a girl group just out of high school. They change their name to the Supremes.

The Beatles make their debut at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in 1961.

Robert Johnson's 'King of the Delta Blues' was released in 1961.

In 1962, the Beatles and the Tremeloes auditioned for Decca Records. Decca passed on The Beatles and signed the Tremeloes. Ooops....

Also in 1962-Bob Dylan's eponymous debut album released; as is Peter, Paul & Mary's self-titled debut.

'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan' was released in 1963, containing "Blowin' In the Wind", "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" and "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright".

The Beach Boys recorded "Fun Fun Fun" in 1964.

Top Of The Pops premieres on British TV in 1964. Over the years, this landmark weekly music program presented nearly all the major British Rock groups. The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Dave Clark Five appear on the opener.

In 1966, Simon and Garfunkel started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart with "The Sounds Of Silence."

The Doors made their first live television appearance lip-synching their first single ‘Break on Through’ on Shebang, KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles in 1967.

In 1968, Billboard magazine reported that for the first time albums had outsold singles in the US with album sales reaching over 192 million units.

Carole King started a three week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1972 with 'Music', her second US chart topper.

In 1977, The Clash played the opening night at punk's first real venue, The Roxy Club in London.

London Calling, by the Clash, was released in 1980. Critics hail it as the best album of the Eighties.

Abba made their final live appearance as a group in 1982 when they played in Stockholm, Sweden.

VH1 makes its debut in 1985. It’s initially designed to appeal aging baby-boomers, leaving MTV to the teen audience.

Metallica release their classic “Master Of Puppets” in 1986. "I think there's still an innocence about it and just a ‘real world' attitude to it still," says Metallica’s James Hetfield, twenty years later. "And we weren't, I think, very influenced by all of the 'bigness' of Metallica [yet]."

Breakdancers Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan signed a contract with Boney M producer Frank Farian in 1988. Milli Vanilli were born.

Nirvana signed a one-year recording contract with Sub Pop records in 1989.

In 1990, a new American radio station WKRL in Florida played the Led Zeppelin track 'Stairway To Heaven' for 24 hours, as a prelude to an all Zeppelin format.

Garth Brooks started a six week run at #1 on the US album charts in 1995 with 'The Hits.'

Dixie Chicks release their major label debut, "Wide Open Spaces" in 1998.


Anonymous said...

London Calling by The Clash was actually released in december 1979.

Robert Benson said...

London Calling by The Clash, was released December 14, 1979, on CBS Records in the UK and in January 1980 on Epic Records in the United States. I will try and make that clearer in future posts, thanks for your comment!

Robert Benson