February 15th: On this day
1962, Ray Charles recorded ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You’ at United Studios in Hollywood, California. The tune would go on to top both the US and UK charts and would be included on the LP ‘Modern Sounds In Country / Western Music’, which would lead the Billboard album chart for 14 weeks.
1964, The Beatles scored their first US No.1 album with ‘Meet The Beatles!’ The album stayed at No.1 for eleven weeks.
1965, American singer and pianist Nat King Cole died of lung cancer. First hit was the 1943 ‘Straighten Up and Fly Right’, had the 1955 US No.2 single ‘A Blossom Fell’ and 1957 UK No.2 single ‘When I Fall In Love’ plus over 20 other US & UK Top 40 singles. Father of singer Natalie Cole. In 1956 he became the first black American to host a television variety show.
1968, US blues harmonica player Little Walter died from injuries incurred in a fight while taking a break from a performance at a nightclub in Chicago. Joining Muddy Waters’ band in 1948, he was the first harmonica player to amplify his harp giving it a distorted echoing sound.
1968, John and Cynthia Lennon, along with George and Patti Harrison, flew to India to study meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Paul and Ringo joined them a few days later, but Starr would become bored and leave on March 1st, comparing the experience to be like a ‘Butlins holiday camp.’ Much of the Beatles’ The White Album was written during their stay.
1969, Sly and the Family Stone started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Everyday People’, their first No.1.
1975, Linda Ronstadt went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘You’re No Good’, the singers only solo chart topper out of 12 other top 40 hits. Also today Ronstadt went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Heart Like A Wheel.’
1977, Glen Matlock was fired as bass player from the Sex Pistols, being replaced by Sid Vicious. Matlock rejoined in the 90’s when the Pistol’s reformed.
1979, At the 21st Grammy Awards, the ‘Saturday Night Fever’ soundtrack won Album of the Year and The Bee Gees were named Best Pop Group and Best Arrangement for Voices for ‘Staying Alive’. Billy Joel’s ‘Just the Way You Are’ won Record and Song of the Year. Donna Summer’s ‘Last Dance’ won two Grammys: Best Female R&B Vocal and Best R&B Song.
1981, American guitarist Mike Bloomfield was found dead in his car in San Francisco from an accidental heroin overdose. He was a member of the Paul Butterfield band and Electric Flag and had played on Bob Dylan’s album ‘Highway 61 Revisited’. In 2003 he was ranked at number 22 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
1988, After singer Jo Elliot had referred to El Paso as ‘the place with all those greasy Mexicans’, Def Leppard were forced to cancel a concert in El Paso, after they received threats that the gig would be disrupted.
1991, Kelly Emberg the ex-girlfriend of Rod Stewart filed a $25 million (£14.7 million) palimony suit in Los Angeles. The couple lived together from 1985 to 1990. Rod Stewart later said: “Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house.”
1997, U2 went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Discotheque’, the bands third UK No.1 single. The entire track was leaked onto the internet in December 1996, forcing U2 to move the release date.
2000, Sting pulled-out of a concert in Vienna in protest at the inclusion of Jorg Haider’s far right freedom party in Austria’s new government. Lou Reed had also cancelled shows in the country.
2006, Winners at this year’s Brit Awards included, James Blunt who won British male solo artist, British female solo artist went to KT Tunstall. Coldplay won Best British album for X&Y and Best British single for ‘Speed of Sound.’ Kaiser Chiefs won Best British group and Best British Live Act, British urban act went to Lemar, British breakthrough act was Arctic Monkeys, International breakthrough act was won by Jack Johnson. International male solo artist was Kanye West with Madonna winning International female solo artist. Green Day won International group and Best International album with American Idiot and Outstanding contribution to music went to Paul Weller.
2008, A flat once rented by The Beatles in London went up for sale for £1.75m. The band shared the three-bedroom top floor property in Green Street, Mayfair in the autumn of 1963. A publicity photo of the Fab Four peering over a banister, used as the cover for the December 1963 edition of The Beatles Book, was taken at the top of the property’s communal stairwell.
2013, Chubby Checker launched a $500,000 lawsuit against Hewlett-Packard for including an app on its phones and tablets that was not only named after the 71-year-old musician, but measured a man’s manhood based on his shoe size.
2015, Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’ reached the one million sales mark, 10 weeks after it was first released becoming the 158th track to reach the million mark in British charts history. The song, from the soundtrack to the Fifty Shades Of Grey film also became the most-streamed track ever in the UK.
February 15th: Born on this day
1941, Born on this day, Brian Holland, Holland/Dozier/Holland, producer and songwriter who wrote many hits for Motown artists such as The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Four Tops, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Freda Payne and Chairmen Of The Board.
1942, Born on this day, Glyn Johns, UK producer, who worked with Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The Who The Beatles, (‘Let It Be’ sessions), The Eagles, The Faces and Led Zeppelin.
1944, Born on this day, Denny Zager, singer with Zager and Evans who had the 1969 US & UK No.1 single ‘In The Year 2525’.
1944, Born on this day, Mick Avory, drummer with The Kinks who had the 1964 UK No.1 & US No.7 ‘You Really Got Me’, and the 1967 UK No.2 single ‘Waterloo Sunset’ plus 19 other UK Top 40 singles.
1945, Born on this day, John Helliwell, saxophonist with Supertramp, who had the 1979 UK No.7 & US No.6 single ‘The Logical Song’.
1952, Born on this day, Melissa Manchester, US singer, songwriter who had the 1975 US No.6 single ‘Midnight Blue’.
1959, Born on this day, Ali Campbell, singer with UB40, who had the 1983 UK No.1 & 1988 US No.1 single ‘Red Red Wine’ and over 30 other top 40 hits. Had the solo 1995 UK No.5 single ‘That Look In Your Eye’.
1960, Born on this day, Mikey Craig, bassist with Culture Club, who had the 1983 UK No.1 and 1984 US No.12 single ‘Karma Chameleon’ plus 7 other UK Top 10 singles’.
1974, Born on this day, Stuart Richardson, bassist, with Lostprophets, who had the 2004 UK No.8 single ‘Last Train Home’, and the 2006 UK No.1 album ‘Liberation Transmission’.
1974, Born on this day, Tomi Petteri Putaansuu, Mr. Lordi, lead vocalist Lordi. Became Finland’s first ever Eurovision Song Contest winners after their song ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ won the contest held in Athens in 2006.
1976, Born on this day, Brandon Boyd, from Incubus, who had the 2001 US No.9 & UK No.40 single, ‘Drive’, and the 2004 US No.2 and UK No.6 album ‘A Crow Left of the Murder’’, and the 2006 US No.1 album ‘Light Grenades’.
1976, Born on this day, Ronnie Vannucci Jr, drummer, with The Killers, who had the 2005 UK No.1 with their debut album ‘Hot Fuss’.
1981, Born on this day, Olivia Theresa Longott, US R&B singer, and member of G-Unit, who had the 2005 US No.1 & UK No.4 single ‘Candy Shop’ with 50 Cent.