Birthdays, Deaths and the News In Between [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-17-2005, 05:17 AM

February 12
1935: Ray Manzarek
1935: Gene McDaniels
1950: Steve Hackett

February 13
1944: Peter Tork
1950: Peter Gabriel

February 14
1935: Rob McConnell
1947: Tim Buckley

February 15
1945: John Helliwell
1951: Melissa Manchester

February 16
1916: Bill Doggett
1935: Sonny Bono

February 17
1922: Tommy Edwards
1933: Bobby Lewis
1941: Gene Pitney

February 18
1933: Yoko Ono
1947: Dennis DeYoung
1952: Juice Newton
1954: John Travolta


Surely you remember the tri-color label… dontcha?
Reprise Records, future home to Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Chicago, Gordon Lightfoot, Fleetwood Mac, Chris Isaak, The Kinks and other rock artists, was created by Frank Sinatra in 1961. At the time it was formed, Ol' Blue Eyes said that he would never sign any “rock and roll bands” to HIS label, but the almighty dollar proved to be very persuasive. Later on, an attempt was made by the company to transfer all rock acts to the mother ship, Warner Brothers Records, but Neil Young refused. Other, more recent artists releasing material on Reprise Records include Alanis Morissette and The Barenaked Ladies. Three and a half years after the formation of the label, it had its very first U.S. number 1 hit in Dean Martin's, Everybody Loves Somebody, for a single week in 1964.

He keeps going and going and….
The Dick Clark Show was launched on U.S. television this week in 1958. Jerry Lee Lewis, Connie Francis, The Royal Teens, Pat Boone and Johnnie Ray made guest appearances on the weekly Saturday night show. It debuted 6 months after the huge success of American Bandstand, and stayed on the air for a little over 2½ years. Clark was a very busy man in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with Bandstand and his weekend show, as well as financial interests in record companies, record manufacturing and artist management. “The world's oldest teenager” had to slow down though, when the payola scandal hit.

Where was Trump when they needed him
Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd was fired from the band in 1968, and permanently replaced with David Gilmour. Roger Waters later wrote and dedicated the song, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, to the increasingly unstable, Barrett. It was included on the Wish You Were Here album in nine parts.

And then
Pink Floyd tried out some Dark Side of the Moon material, including the song Eclipse, at three performances at the Rainbow Theatre in London, in 1972. This practice of playing live versions of songs yet to be released would soon be stopped by the band, as bootleg copies of their material often appeared before the studio releases.

I don't even know what to say about this one……
Led Zeppelin was in their prime in 1972 when a concert in Singapore was cancelled. After officials noticed the long hair that group members were sporting, the band wasn't allowed to leave their plane, and so the concert got canned. Led Zeppelin IV had been released a couple months earlier, and Black Dog was burning up the singles chart.

Zeppelin had their last U.S. 'hit' when Fool in the Rain peaked at number 21 in 1980. The song was from their final studio album of new material, In Through the Out Door. It was definitely a change in direction for the group, emphasizing a keyboard sound instead of the guitar-riff rock that made them famous. The album had already hit number 1 all over the world, and was their first studio record since 1976's, Presence.

We weren't doing anything this week anyway…
John and Yoko hosted The Mike Douglas Show this week in 1972 while Douglas had a week's holiday. Chuck Berry was one of their guests. John Lennon's, Rock 'N' Roll album was released exactly three years later, in 1975. It contained a couple of Chuck Berry songs so that Berry would receive royalties from sales of the album. As a Beatle, Lennon had ripped off several lines of Berry's, You Can't Catch Me, and included them in Come Together. As a settlement, Lennon agreed to record and release the songs. An unauthorized version of the album, titled, Roots - John Lennon Sings the Great Rock and Roll Hits, was released in early February, which Lennon had stopped. A single from the album, Stand By Me, hit number 20 in the U.S.

And he never got to use it
Jimi Hendrix was presented with a key to the city of Seattle in 1968. He also played a free show for students at Garfield High School. Later in the year Hendrix would release his only top 40 U.S. single, a remake of Bob Dylan's, All Along the Watchtower. Jimi left Seattle when he was 14, to become a musician, but wasn't accepted on American soil until he toured the U.K. in 1966 and 1967.

A really big shoe…
The Rolling Stones made another appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, in 1966.

Yes I I won't…yes I will…no
While on tour in the U.K., Joni Mitchell announced in 1970 that she would no longer make any live appearances. She was back on stage by the end of the year. The Who turned the same about face into a routine in the 1980s. In the spring of 1970, she released Ladies of the Canyon, one of her best albums. It included a couple of classic Mitchell tracks, Woodstock and Big Yellow Taxi.

Yes I……….
Yes played the first of two nights at New York's Madison Square Garden in 1974. The concert that night had sold out within days of tickets going on sale, and the gig hadn't even been advertised! Yes had just released the overblown Tales from Topographic Oceans double album.

A million bucks…
The Everly Brothers recorded their last top 10 hit for the Cadence label in 1960, when they finished off When Will I Be Loved. Warner Brothers Records lured them away with a $1 million contract, and soon had a huge hit with Cathy's Clown. Cadence took advantage of the duo's momentum and released When Will I Be Loved shortly after, making it another top 10 smash. All the biggest Cadence and Warner hits became available on the same disc for the first time in 1999, when Rhino released their All-Time Original Hits. Many of the tracks on The Very Best of The Everly Brothers from 1964 contained re-recordings.

It wasn't until 1960 that Elvis Presley earned his first gold award for an album. The self-titled release included songs like Rip It Up and Ready Teddy and was released several years previously.

Wish You Were Here….
Stevie Wonder jammed with Johnny Winter and Dr. John in 1974. The trio was opening the Bottom Line club in New York. Also appearing were James Taylor, Carly Simon and Mick Jagger.

Other stuff…
In 1954, Big Joe Turner recorded the original version of the 1950s hit, Shake, Rattle and Roll. Bill Haley and His Comets would have the most success with the song, but Turner had a much bluesier feel on his single, which was also more influential at the time. Big Joe's powerful voice couldn't be ignored once he was backed by Atlantic Records around 1951.

Screamin' Jay Hawkins recorded “I Put a Spell on You” in 1956. It was also covered by such bands as CCR, Manfred Mann and The Animals. Hawkins originally tried opera, but didn't have any luck. Later on, his solo stage shows became quite theatrical, with Screamin' Jay arising from a coffin, thanks to Alan Freed and the $300 that went along with the suggestion during one of Freed's Rock and Roll Shows. Hawkins would return to the coffin permanently exactly 44 years later when he died from complications following surgery. Shortly after his death, a web site at went up in hopes of tracking down his 57 offspring, only one of whom was in regular contact with Hawkins.

The Who recorded their Live at Leeds album in 1970, at Leeds University in Yorkshire. It was released a few months later and made the top 5 in both the U.K. and America. A single from the LP, Summertime Blues, also did reasonably well, crawling into the top 40. In 1995, the album was reissued on CD with eight other songs recorded at the concert, but not included on the original album.

Al Green ruled the pop charts in the U.S. this week in 1972 when Let's Stay Together was at number 1. It began a string of top 10 hits, and soon included Look What You Done for Me, I'm Still in Love With You, You Ought to Be With Me, Call Me, Here I Am and Sha-La-La. All were produced by Willie Mitchell, bandleader and vice president of Hi Records, who signed Green in 1969. But when the soul singer broke with Mitchell, the hits dried up pretty fast. By 1979, Green dedicated his time to being minister of the church he bought a few years before. In 1989, he squeaked back into the top 10 one more time, with a duet with Annie Lennox, Put a Little Love in Your Heart (off the Scrooged soundtrack).

Rick Nelson began his first U.K. tour in 1972, long after the hits had dried up. He took his music very seriously, and refused to play the oldies circuit. With his Stone Canyon Band, Nelson preferred the sounds of country-rock, even though it wasn't what his long-time fans wanted to hear. However, later in the year Nelson returned to the top 10 with Garden Party, his last major hit and the first in over eight years.

Billy Idol left punk band, Generation X, in 1981 to begin a solo career. He took with him the track, Dancing With Myself, and turned it into a minor hit. A year later, songs like Hot in the City and White Wedding were getting enormous airplay. Several more hits followed throughout the 1980s, including Eyes Without a Face, To Be a Lover and Mony Mony (live). His last album was 1993's, Cyberpunk, after which he contributed the title track to the 1994 movie, Speed.

In 1984, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford saw Aerosmith backstage in Boston and agreed to re-join the group. Three years later they would mount one of the biggest comebacks in rock and roll with the release of the Permanent Vacation album, and its singles, Dude (Looks Like a Lady), Angel and Rag Doll. In 1990 this same week, Janie's Got a Gun hit number 4 on the U.S. singles chart.


February 12
2000: Screamin' Jay Hawkins

February 13
2002: Waylon Jennings

February 14
1999: Buddy Knox
2002: Mick Tucker

February 15
1965: Nat King Cole
1981: Mike Bloomfield

February 16
2002: Billy Ward
2004: Doris Troy

02-18-2005, 08:26 AM
A very good read. Seriously, I'd read this every month if you were so inclined.

02-18-2005, 08:30 AM

I'll do my best.

02-18-2005, 05:17 PM
Fascinating. Very interesting read. I would also become a regular reader. Thanks for taking the time....Jack