This Week in Music History
 Print 

This Week in Music History: Drifters Dismissed…Everlys Evaporate…Ronstadt Reviled…Spinner Stilled

Posted on .

The Events That Rocked Music—The Week of July 14

1939: "Cherokee" is recorded for the first time by Charlie Barnet and his orchestra...the tune will be recorded by scores of jazz greats and often played at a breakneck pace to humble neophytes…

1953: A young sideburned truck driver—last name of Presley—drops in at the Memphis Recording Service studio, plunks down his four bucks, and records "My Happiness" as a gift to his mother…

1954: Elvis is back at what’s now Sun Studios to record the first commercially available single, a rock-ified version of Big Boy Arthur Crudup’s blues "That's Alright Mama"…the same week, Presley turns up at the grand opening of a Memphis drugstore where he performs on the back of a flatbed truck…

1958: Following a backstage fight between a member of The Drifters and the manager of New York’s Apollo Theater, the group’s manager, George Treadwell, fires the entire lineup, then recruits the members of the opening act, The Five Crowns, to become a new incarnation of The Drifters with Ben E. King handling lead vocals…this is one more chapter in a bewildering history during which rival groups billed as The Drifters will tour simultaneously and band rosters will change dozens of times…

1959: jazz and blues vocal great Billie Holiday dies in a New York City hospital from cirrhosis of the liver at age 44…

1960: Duane Eddy appears on Dick Clark’s primetime TV show and performs a work in progress, “Ramrod” . . . the appearance spurs orders for 150,000 copies, but there’s no way to fill them since the record hasn’t been finished…producer Lee Hazlewood hits the studio and adds sax and vocal overdubs so the single can be rushed to the pressing plant…it later turns out that the remix probably doesn’t include Eddy on guitar…the twangalicious guitar work having been played by studio vet Al Casey…

1963: The Essex score a #1 R&B hit with “Easier Said Than Done”...it’ll later clinch the top spot on the pop chart too...the members of the group are active Marines and they have to get the Corps’ approval to tour behind their hit…

1964: The Rolling Stones’ cover of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" makes it to number 48 on the U.S. chart...it is the first in their long line of hits…meanwhile on the British chart, their cover of the Bobby Womack song “It’s All Over Now” owns the top spot…

1965, Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” is released…it turns out to be his biggest hit ever, climbing to number two on the U.S. pop chart…

1966: Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker get together to form one of rock's most celebrated trios, Cream…this same week, the leader of the Bobby Fuller Four that recorded the immortal “I Fought The Law” dies of asphyxiation under suspicious circumstances…Bobby Fuller’s found bruised and smelling of gasoline in his car…a lengthy investigation uncovers no suspects…rumors circulate that Fuller’s death resulted from an affair with a mobster’s wife…

1968: The album In-a-Gadda-da-Vida by Iron Butterfly debuts on the U.S. charts…the title track, clocking in at a whopping 17 minutes, features one of the longest drum solos in rock history…according to producer Jim Hilton, the song’s title results from singer Doug Ingle’s slurred pronunciation of “In Our Garden of Eden” when he was asked for the name of a new song the band was rehearsing…the producer jotted the title down phonetically . . . Hilton recollects, “I felt it was more interesting and a lot more mystical than the straight title…the band thought I had lost my mind, but it was too late to change it, I had already given my OK on the cover for printing”…

1970: British pop star Arthur Brown is held overnight in a Sicilian jail and faces a prison sentence of up to five years after being charged with committing obscene acts in a public place …performing at the Palermo Pop Festival the singer inexplicably stripped naked on stage in front of 15,000 people…the crowd throws things at him and he is arrested and put in solitary confinement for four days… while in solitary, he receives a petition signed by 200 locals demanding that he leave Italy and never return…

1972: A bomb explodes near a Rolling Stones equipment truck in Montreal blowing the cones out of a lot of PA cabs… nobody is hurt and it's never determined who placed the bomb…and the show goes on as planned…two days later, Boston mayor Kevin White helps get Mick Jagger and Keith Richards out of jail in Warwick, R.I. following their arrest for roughing up a photographer...he wants to ensure the Stones make their gig at the Boston Garden…

1973: The Everly Brothers reach a career low when the sweet-harmonizing siblings' set at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, is stopped by the theme park's entertainment director who feels Don is doing a poor job...brother Phil sees red, smashes his guitar, and stalks offstage...Don performs the third set as a solo and announces that the Everly Brothers are history…this same week, Byrds singer and guitarist Clarence White is run down and killed by a drunk driver while loading equipment after a gig in Palmdale, California…

1974: John Lennon is given two months to leave the United States by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, who have denied him an extension on his visa, supposedly because he pled guilty to a pot charge in England in 1968...it will be revealed later that he was under surveillance by the FBI…

1979: Donna Summer’s third No. 1 single, “Bad Girls” begins a five-week run atop the chart…she wrote the song after an assistant was hassled by cops who thought she was a prostitute…

1982: Teenaged Moon Unit Zappa makes her debut with dad, Frank, recording "Valley Girl," which becomes FZ's highest-charting single at #32 and wins Grammy nominations for both father and daughter…

1984, Spinners lead vocalist Philippe Wynne dies with his funk on in mid-performance during a show at Ivey’s, an Oakland, California club after jumping into the crowd…a heart attack stopped the show…

1986: After 28 years of collaboration, Columbia Records drops Johnny Cash, who then signs with Mercury…this same week the film Sid and Nancy premieres in London…the movie relates the mostly true biographical tale of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen…the raw, dark film culminates in the stabbing death of Nancy, Sid’s arrest on suspicion of murder, and his fatal heroin OD soon after…

1987: The Ozzy Osbourne Band launches a 16-week tour of U.S. prisons…

1988, a California appeals court upholds a lower court's decision dismissing a suit against Ozzy Osbourne and CBS charging their responsibility for the death of a teen who committed suicide after listening to Osbourne's "Suicide Solution"…

1989: Tom Jones is ordered to pay $200 per week in child support to a New York woman who filed a paternity suit against the Welsh singer…presiding over the case is judge Judy Sheindlin who will soon be moving to a much more prominent court on TV…this same week, James Brown, who’s doing a six-year stretch for a smorgasbord of crimes, gets moved from a minimum security prison to a medium security lockup after $40,000 in cash and checks are discovered in his cell…

1991: Former Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler files suit against the band, claiming they peer-pressured him into heroin addiction, then ousted him from the band when he entered a rehab program…eventually Adler will accept an out-of-court settlement to the tune of 2.5 million bucks…

1995: A bear-bone flute is found in an archaeological dig in the Idrijca River Valley in Slovenia…at an estimated 45,000 years old, it is the oldest musical instrument ever found…

1996: Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin loses his gig with the Smashing Pumpkins after he ODs on heroin with touring percussionist-keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin in a New York hotel room…Melvoin dies and Chamberlin is told to take a hike…he will rejoin the band in 1999…Chamberlin had already been booted for a short time on this tour after having overdosed in Thailand and again in Portugal…

1999: A new Paul McCartney single is bootlegged from a BBC broadcast and becomes widely available on the web…ironically the song is titled “I Got Stung”…

2001: The ever-enterprising Kiss franchise introduces the Kiss Kasket,…the coffin is emblazoned with the faces of all four founding members and the words “Kiss Forever”…in 2004 Dimebag Darrell will be buried in one following his fatal onstage shooting…

2002: Bob Seger wins the Port Huron to Mackinac Island Sailboat Race, his second sailing title in two years…

2003: Influential Northwest punk rock band The Exploding Hearts comes to an abrupt end when its tour van rolls over on the way back from a San Francisco gig killing band members Adam Cox, Matt Fitzgerald, and Jeremy Gage…this same week, residents of Tuscany object to an announcement that Sting will be writing an anthem for the Italian region saying the gig should go to an Italian…the Police frontman has a home there…

2004: Linda Ronstadt is booed and her set is cut short at the Aladdin Hotel in Vegas after she calls documentary maker Michael Moore Moore a "great American patriot" and "someone who is spreading the truth" in talking up his Fahrenheit 9/11…hotel management, angered by the political rap, escorts Ronstadt off the property, not allowing her to return to her luxury suite…

2006: Rolling Stone Keith Richards receives a pardon from the state of Arkansas over a 31-year-old conviction for reckless driving…this same week, after a contentious history with the Internet and downloading generally, and Apple’s iTunes in particular, Metallica relents and agrees that iTunes may sell individual band tracks instead of entire albums…

2007: Tommy Dunbar and James Gangwer of 1970s new-wave band The Rubinoos sue Avril Lavigne and Dr. Luke, the co-writer of her hit “Girlfriend,” claiming the pair illegally copped the hook from Rubinoos 1979 song “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”...the case is settled out of court in January 2008 with Gangwer and Dunbar saying that the similarities between the songs were based on "certain common and widely used lyrics" and that they "completely exonerate Lavigne from any wrongdoing of any kind in connection with the claims made by us in our lawsuit.”…

2008: Shakira and Nickelback both sign multimillion-dollar deals with concert promoter Live Nation...termed “360-degree deals” Live Nation gets a piece of all revenues generated by recording, touring, merch sales, and endorsements...the signings come on the heels of Madonna and Jay-Z inking similar deals with Live Nation…

2009: In an upbeat video, Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch announces via the group's website that he has a "very treatable" cancerous tumor in his salivary gland and a nearby lymph node…he will die in May May, 2012…

2011: A set of photos of The Beatles at their very first U.S. gig in Washington DC snapped by then 18-year-old Mike Mitchell are auctioned for $362,000 at Christie’s auction house…the biggest price is paid for a backlit shot he captured standing behind the Fab Four that pulls in $68,000…

This Week’s Births

July 14: folk singer Woody Guthrie (1912), influential DJ Zenas Sears (1913), Cliff Trenier of the doo-woppin’ Treniers (1919), Lowman Pauling of the "5" Royales (1926), Bob Scholl of The Mello-Kings (1938), Brit rocker and Ziggy Stardust inspiration Vince Taylor (1939), soul singer Ty Hunter (1940), session drummer Jim Gordon (1945), record exec Tommy Mottola (1948), Trevor Horn of The Buggles and Yes (1949), Ultravox bassist Chris Cross (1952), Devo guitarist Bob Casale (1952), Tanya Donelly of Belly (1966), keyboardist Ellen Reid of Crash Test Dummies (1966), Tameka Cottle of Xscape (1975), rapper Taboo of Black Eyed Peas (1975)

July 15: country singer Cowboy Copas (1913), Motown house drummer William “Benny” Benjamin (1925), singer/actress NIna Van Pallandt (1932), potty-mouth soul star Millie Jackson(1944), Peter Lewis of Moby Grape (1945), Linda Ronstadt (1946), Yes guitarist Peter Banks (1947), Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle (1948), prolific reggae vocalist Gregory Isaacs (1951), Johnny Thunders of The New York Dolls (1952), guitarist for .38 Special Jeff Carlisi (1952), singer Ian Curtis of Joy Division (1956), guitarist Joe Satriani (1956), drummer Jason Bonham (1966), Deftones bassist Chi Cheng (1970), System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan (1973) My Chemical Romance guitarist Ray Toro (1977)

July 16: Sollie McElroy of the Flamingos (1934), R&B singer Denise LaSalle (1939), organist Brian Auger (1939), ska pioneer Desmond Dekker (1941), Latin music star Ruben Blades (1948), Stewart Copeland of The Police (1952), British DJ Fatboy Slim born Norman Cook (1963), Ed Kowalczyk of Live (1971)

July 17: R&B singer Peppermint Harris (1925), British guitarist Spencer Davis (1941), electronic drummer Wolfgang Flur of Kraftwerk (1947), Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton (1948), Terence "Geezer" Butler of Black Sabbath (1949), bassist Mike Vale of Tommy James and the Shondells (1949), Damon Harris of The Temptations (1950), singer Nicolette Larson (1952), Doobie Brother Chet McCracken (1952), singer Phoebe Snow (1952), singer Regina Belle (1963), JC of PM Dawn (1973), genre-spanning British songwriter and vocalist M.I.A. born Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam (1977), singer and guitarist Tom Fletcher of McFly (1985)

July 18: flamboyant R&B singer Screamin' Jay Hawkins (1929), Papa Dee Allen of War (1931), Johnny Funches of The Dells (1935), singer Dion DiMucci (1937), early Stones pianist Ian Stewart (1938), Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas guitarist Robin McDonald (1943), Tim Lynch of The Flamin' Groovies (1946), Mick Tucker of The Sweet (1948), Golden Earring's Cesar Zuiderwijk (1950), Glenn Hughes of The Village People (1950), bluegrass phenom Ricky Skaggs (1954), drummer Terry Chambers of XTC (1955), Pearl Jam's Jack Irons (1962), Tony Fagenson of Eve 6 (1962), guitarist Daron Malakian of System of a Down (1975)

July 19: ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax (1902), blues guitarist and singer Buster Benton(1932), Bo Diddley’s rhythm guitarist Lady Bo born Peggy Jones (1940), Motown singer Martha Reeves (1941), pop singer Vikki Carr (1941), country rocker Commander Cody, (George Frayne) (1944), Alan Gorrie of Average White Band (1946), Bobby Neal of The Stone Canyon Band (1947), Queen guitarist Brian May (1947), Bernie Leadon of The Eagles (1947), Grateful Dead keyboardist Keith Godchaux (1948), guitarist Allen Collins of Lynyrd Skynyrd (1952), Kevin Haskins of Love & Rockets (1960)

July 20: rockabilly singer Buddy Knox (1933), singer Kim Carnes (1945), The Moody Blues' John Lodge (1945), Carlos Santana (1947), Twisted Sister's Jay Jay French (1954), Simple Minds' Mick McNeil (1958), Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell (1964), Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam (1966)

This Week’s Deaths

July 14: Malcolm Owen of the Rutts (1980), Phillipe Wynne of The Spinners (1984), British blues singer Beryl Bryden (1998)

July 15: Bizarros drummer Rick Garberson (1979, Sun Records music director Bill Justis (1982), singer Bobby Day (1990), Teddy Bears keyboardist Ary Groenhuijzen (1997), Sad Cafe singer Paul Young (2000), rapper Too Poetic aka Anthony Berkeley (2001), country songwriter Hank Cochran (2010)

July 16: songer Peter Cowap of Herman's Hermits (1977), singer-songwriter Harry Chapin (1981), Styx drummer John Panozzo (1996), salsa queen Celia Cruz (2003), singer Jo Stafford (2008), Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord (2012), country singer Kitty Wells (2012)

July 17: Chicago blue harp player Henry Strong (1954), hugely influential jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane (1967), blues pianist and singer Roosevelt Sykes (1983), Animals bassist and Jimi Hendrix manager Chas Chandler (1996), Marc Hunter of Dragon (1998), Paul Young of Mike and the Mechanics (2000), Jamaican ska star Laurel Aitken (2005), opera singer Teresa Stich-Randall (2007), Peter Waller of vocal duo Peter and Gordon (2009)

July 18: Hi Records owner Joe Cuoghi (1970), West Coast bluesman Jimmy Liggins (1983), The Velvet Underground singer Nico (1988), Haroon Shamsher of Joi (2001), singer Jerry Hadley (2007)

July 19: R&B tenor saxophonist Red Prysock (1993), highlife bandleader Emmanuel Tettey "E.T." Mensah (1996), soul and gospel singer Judy Clay (2001), Big Star bassist Andy Hummel (2010)

July 20: pop singer Roy Hamilton (1969), studio engineer Gary Kellgren (1977), singer and music exec Jim Tyrrell (1998), singer, guitarist , and producer Artie Traum (2008)

Tags: This Week in Music History

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

The Hub Musician's Friend Logo

DON'T MISS THE LATEST UPDATES!
CONNECT WITH US.

FIND GREAT DEALS NOW
ON MUSICIANSFRIEND.COM

Stupid Deal of the Day (SDOTD) Musicians Friend Hot Deals Open Box Musical Instruments at Musician's Friend

SHOPPING TOOLS

  • Guitar Case Finder
  • Cable Finder -- Every Cable, Adapter, & Connector You Need

SHOP BY CATEGORY

  • Open Box Gear
  • Hot Deals
  • Private Reserve
  • On Sale

SUBSCRIBE

  • Newsletter
  • Digital Catalog
  • Order the Print Catalog -- It's Free!