Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rock & Roll Trivia

Here is the last installment of Rock & Roll Trivia, I hope you enjoyed these oddities and stories behind the music we love:

The set on which Rick Nelson appeared in the TV show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, was an exact copy of the Nelson's real Hollywood home.

Frank Sinatra once called Rock and Roll "The most brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious form of expression it has been my displeasure to hear."

The musicians who backed The Chiffons on their 1963 #1 hit "He's So Fine" were all members of The Tokens, who had scored their own chart topper with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in 1961.

In the Fall of 1965, while the Four Seasons' "Let's Hang On" was a Billboard #3 smash, they also scored a #12 hit with "Don't Think Twice" under the name of The Wonder Who. At the same time, lead singer Franki Valli reached #39 with a solo release called "You're Gonna Hurt Yourself", giving him three Top 40 hits at the same time, all under different names.

While talking on the phone with his mother, Disc Jockey Murray The K mentioned that he and Bobby Darin were soaking their feet after playing a game of softball in Central Park. A few minutes later, she called back to say that she had an idea for a song - "Splish, Splash, take a bath..." Murray and Bobby began sorting out some lyrics while Murray's mother, Jean, who had been a vaudeville piano player, finished the melody. It became the first of Bobby's 22 US Top 40 hits when it reached #3 in the Summer of 1958.

The Beatles recorded two different versions of the song "Strawberry Fields Forever". One was a half-tone higher and slightly faster than the other. The group couldn't decide which rendition they liked better and finally asked producer George Martin if he could put them together somehow. When one was slowed down, it fit perfectly with the other, resulting in the song we know today.

Apparently, Little Richard was not a real smart child. As a lad, he wanted to give one of his neighbors a "creative gift." But his neighbor, Miz Ola screamed when she opened her present. It seems young Richard thought that defecating in a box and wrapping it up as a present for his elderly friend would be a good gift for her. Little Richard stated in his autobiography: "God bless Miz Ola, she's dead now." No word on if he selected other neighbors to receive his thoughtful gift.

When Malcolm Young and Angus Young named their band AC/DC, they apparently didn't realize that the electrical term was also slang for bisexual. But the ambiguous name helped them out in the beginning as the group was hired to play many gay-themed gigs. Work is work, I guess.

In the early days, the Bee Gees were so desperate to sell their records that they actually gave members of their fan club money to go out and buy their records. Thankfully, there were only six members in the fan club or the trio would be broke.

Ironically, only Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys was the group's only surfer.

When Elvis Presley was inducted into the US Army on March 24th, 1958, Uncle Sam started losing an estimated $500,000 in lost taxes for each year that Private Presley served. Ship him off...makes sense to me...

In a tale of irony, Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead was brought in as a session musician to play steel guitar on Brewer and Shipley's March, 1971 hit, "One Toke Over The Line".

This Date In Music History - December 23


Jorma Kaukonen - Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna (1940)

Ron Bushy - Iron Butterfly (1941)

Ariel Bender - Mott The Hoople, Spooky Tooth (1949)

Dave Murray - Iron Maiden (1958)

Eddie Vedder - Pearl Jam (1964)

Montsho Eshe - Arrested Development (1974)

They Are Missed:

Born today in 1939, Johnny Kidd - Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, (1960 UK #1 single 'Shakin' All Over'). Killed in a car crash while on tour in Manchester, England on October 7, 1966.

Born on this day in 1946, Duster Bennett, singer, guitarist, harmonica player. Worked with Alexis Korner, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood Mac and B.B. King. Killed in a car crash on 26th March 1976.

Born today in 1941, Tim Hardin, US singer, songwriter. Wrote "Reason To Believe" and "If I Were A Carpenter." Died of a heroin overdose on December 29, 1980.

Born on this day in 1935, Esther Phillips, US soul singer. She died on August 7, 1984.

In 1984, 48-year-old Dan Hamilton, of Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds, suffered a stroke and died. The group is most often remembered for their 1971 hit, "Don't Pull Your Love."

Jackie Landry of The Chantels died of cancer in 1997 at the age of 56. The group placed four songs on the Billboard Top 40 between 1958 and 1961, including "Maybe" (#15) and "Look In My Eyes" (#14), as well as an answer to Ray Charles' "Hit The Road Jack" called "Well, I Told You" (#29).

Born today in 1940, Eugene Record, vocals, The Chi-lites, (1972 US #1 single "Oh Girl"). He died of cancer on July 22, 2005.

Clint Ballard Jr. died in 2008. He wrote "Game Of Love," a hit for Wayne Fontana And The Mindbenders and Linda Ronstadt's, "You're No Good." His songs have been recorded by The Hollies, Frankie Avalon, Ricky Nelson, The Zombies and Jan And Dean.


The Champs recorded their signature song "Tequila" in 1957.

In 1957, the title song to his movie 'April Love' becomes Pat Boone's fifth US number one hit.

The Drifters recorded "This Magic Moment" in 1959.

In 1959, Chuck Berry was arrested for transporting a minor across a state line for an immoral purpose. Berry claimed he was only giving a young lady a ride to her job as a hat-check girl at his St. Louis nightclub. Unbeknown to Berry, 14 year old Janice Norine was working as a prostitute. Although he will be convicted and given a five year sentence, the charges are eventually dropped after the judge allegedly made racist remarks.

During his first visit to the UK in 1962, Bob Dylan performed at the King and Queen pub in London’s West End, the singer songwriter’s third UK gig.

The Beatles appeared at the Star-Club, Hamburg, West Germany in 1962.

In 1964, pirate station 'Radio London,' started broadcasting from the former US Minesweeper 'Mv Galaxy.'

Also in 1964, the Beach Boys make their debut appearance on Shindig, a nationally televised pop music program. Because it’s the holidays they perform “Little St. Nick.” Later that evening, the Beach Boys leader and creative force, Brian Wilson, suffers a nervous breakdown as the group flies from L.A. to Houston. This breakdown, plus another two over the next 18 months, forces Wilson to cease performing with the group. Glen Campbell replaced Wilson for the bands live shows.

BBC-TV broadcast Ready, Steady Go! for the last time in 1966 after the Musicians Union enforced a ban on miming. The weekly program was the UK's most popular Pop music television show, helping many of Britain's finest musical acts get their start. The special guests for the farewell show are Mick Jagger, The Who, Eric Burdon, The Spencer Davis Group, Donovan and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich. Music shouldn't be 'mimed,' ever.....

The Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Foxy Lady" was released in 1967.

In 1968, Apple Records hosted a party for employees' children with John Lennon and Yoko Ono acting as Santa and Mrs. Claus. No injuries were reported, as Yoko didn't sing....

In 1969, Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin begin writing songs together. The pair have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date.

In 1972, the former manager of Grand Funk Railroad, Terry Knight, showed up at a benefit concert staged by the group, along with two deputy sheriffs and a moving van. Knight has a court order that gives him the right to seize and hold $1 million in money or assets pending settlement of several lawsuits between the him and the band. However, since the show can't go on without the equipment, Knight is not allowed to touch the amps or drums until after the concert.

Also in 1972 - Little Jimmy Osmond started a five week run at the top of the UK singles chart with "Long Haired Lover From Liverpool." At nine years of age, he was the youngest person to have a UK #1 record.

John Lennon's film "Imagine" premiered on national TV in 1972.

George Harrison released a holiday single in 1974, "Ding Dong, Ding Dong."

Cat Stevens formally changed his name to Yusef Islam in 1977.

Rod Stewart gets in on the Disco craze in 1978 when the insipid cut "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" was released. It would rise to the top of the Billboard chart during an amazing 18 week run.

1979 New records making their first appearance on the US record charts in 1979 included: Rod Stewart's "I Don't Want to Talk About It," Anne Murray's "Daydream Believer," Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker" and Neil Diamond's "September Morn."

During a concert by LL Cool J at a Rollerrink in Baltimore in 1985, a fight broke out, one person was trampled underfoot and three people were shot. Not Cool J....

In 1985, Judas Priest fans Raymond Belknap and James Vance shot themselves after listening to the Judas Priest album ‘Stained Class.’ The two had drunk beer, smoked marijuana and then listened to hours of the album. Afterwards they took a shotgun to a nearby school playground where Belknap shot and killed himself. Vance then blew away his jaw, mouth and nose but lived for more than three years before dying of effects of the shooting.

Phil Collins started a four week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1989 with "Another Day In Paradise," his 7th US solo #1 hit.

In 1991 - James Brown sued the producers of the movie "The Commitments." Brown claimed that one of the characters too closely resembled him. He lost the case.

In 1999, George Harrison's home in Maui was broken into by Cristin Keleher, who cooked a frozen pizza, drank beer from the fridge, started some laundry and phoned her mother in New Jersey. Keleher was arrested and charged with burglary and theft.

In 2002, Sir Paul McCartney was granted his own coat of arms by the College of Arms, the English heraldic body formed in 1484. The crest features a bird that appears to be holding a guitar in its claw. Four curved emblems resembling beetles' backs reflect his career with John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The motto is "Ecce Cor Meum", Latin for "Behold My Heart", which is the title of an oratorio he composed. McCartney applied for the crest in 1997, the year he was knighted for his contribution to British music and society, but the death of his first wife Linda in 1998 delayed its design and approval.

In 2005, Geezer Butler, the bass player with Black Sabbath offered £5,000 ($7,700) for any information leading to the safe return of Toga, the three-month-old penguin that had been stolen from a zoo on the Isle of Wight a few days earlier.

Ciara was at #1 on the US album chart in 2006 with ‘Ciara : The Evolution’ the American singers second album.

In 2007, the Police were named as the highest earning touring group for the past year, bringing in nearly £66.5m, ($132m). The band's 54 date North American tour had generated almost double the total of the second-placed act, Country star Kenny Chesney.

In 2008, a spokesman for Michael Jackson denied reports the singer was suffering from a rare respiratory disease and was in need of a lung transplant. Dr Tohme Tohme said in a statement issued to Reuters that stories claiming the singer was unwell were not true. He added that author Ian Halperin had made the claims to promote his unauthorised biography of the 50-year-old singer.

Also in 2008 - A cassette tape of John Lennon performing Lloyd Price's "Just Because" sold at auction in Los Angeles for $30,000 (£20,200). The song was recorded 'live' with an unknown backing band in the autumn of 1973, during the 18-month period Lennon later called his "lost weekend," when he left his wife Yoko Ono and moved from New York to Los Angeles.

In 2009, Ozzy Osbourne, blasted the Christmas holiday saying the best Christmas he ever had was when he was unconscious after breaking his neck in an ’03 ATV accident. "I hate Christmas, I hate it," humbugs Ozzy. "Everything stops. When I used to drink it was a good excuse to get drunk for two weeks. Now I just hate it. I have to unravel all these presents. What a waste of paper!" I'm with you Ozzie - Bah Humbug!