April 21st: On this Day
1958, US country music singer Marvin Rainwater was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Whole Lotta Woman’. Rainwater was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, known for wearing Native American-themed outfits on stage.
1962, Elvis Presley started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Good Luck Charm’, his fifth US No.1 of the 60’s. Also an UK No.1 hit.
1967, Working at Abbey Road studios in London, The Beatles completed the sessions for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The final recordings were a short section of gibberish and noise which would follow ‘A Day in the Life’, in the run-out groove. They recorded assorted noises and voices, which engineer Geoff Emerick then cut-up and randomly re-assembled and edits backwards. At John Lennon’s suggestion, they also added a high-pitch 15 kilocycle whistle audible only by dogs. These were omitted from the American version of the album.
1969, Janis Joplin appeared at The Royal Albert Hall, London, (her first London appearance). The opening act was Yes.
1970, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Spooky Tooth, Jackie Lomax, Elton John (making his solo concert debut) and Heavy Jelly all appeared at The Roundhouse, London, tickets cost 25 shillings.
1973, Tony Orlando & Dawn started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree’, (it became the biggest seller of 1973, selling over 6 million copies). The song was based on a true story of a prisoner who wrote to his wife asking her to tie a yellow ribbon around an oak tree in the town square in White Oak, Georgia, if she still loved him.
1976, Women Against Violence Against Women called for a boycott of all Warner Communications albums because of the promotional campaign for The Rolling Stones’ new album Black and Blue. The album was being promoted with a controversial advertising campaign that depicted the model Anita Russell, bruised and bound, under the phrase ‘I’m Black and Blue from the Rolling Stones – and I love it!’
1978, UK folk singer Sandy Denny died aged 31. While on holiday with her parents in Cornwall, England, Denny was injured in a fall down a staircase. A month after the fall she collapsed at a friend’s home; four days later she died in Hospital, her death was ruled to be the result of a traumatic mid-brain hemorrhage. She was a member of Fairport Convention and a solo artist. Her 1967 song ‘Who Knows Where the Time Goes’, was covered by Judy Collins. Denny sang on the Led Zeppelin track ‘Battle Of Evermore’ on the bands fourth album, (the only guest vocalist on a Led Zeppelin album).
1982, Clash frontman Joe Strummer disappeared for three weeks, which resulted in the group cancelling a tour. The singer was found living rough in Paris, France.
1984, Phil Collins started a three week run at No.1 in the US singles chart with the theme from ‘Against All Odds’. It was Phil’s first US No.1, a No. 2 in the UK.
1990, Paul McCartney played in front of 184,000 fans at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Jnaeiro, creating a new world record for the largest crowd attending a rock concert.
1990, Sinead O’Connor started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with her version of the Prince song ‘Nothing Compares To You’. The track was also a No.1 hit in 18 other countries. The video was shot in Paris, and consists almost solely of a close-up on O’Connor’s face as she sings the lyrics. Towards the end of the video, two tears roll down her face. The clip won Best Video at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards – the first video by a female artist to win in this category.
2000, Neal Matthews of The Jordanaires died of a heart attack. Sang on Presley’s ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ and ‘Hound Dog.’ Also worked with Ricky Nelson, Patsy Cline, Red Foley, Johnny Horton, Jim Reeves, George Jones, Marie Osmond, Tom Jones and Merle Haggard.
2001, R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck was charged by police at Heathrow airport with being drunk on an aircraft and assaulting British Airways crew. Buck was taken into custody after landing on a flight from Seattle and questioned by police for 12 hours.
2002, Oasis went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Hindu Times’, the bands sixth UK No.1 and the first single to be released from their fifth album Heathen Chemistry.
2004, Former Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan was attacked in a London pub. The singer was assaulted at the Joiner’s Arms pub in central London and suffered a fractured cheekbone after being kicked, punched and hit with a metal bar. Two men, aged 20 and 21, were arrested and later released on bail.
2007, Doris Richards died of cancer. The 91-year-old mother of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards bought her son his first guitar for his 15th birthday. He learned some chords from her father, Gus Dupree, a musician who instilled him with an early passion for music.
2008, American soul singer and songwriter Al Wilson died of kidney failure at the age of 68. Wilson had a number of US hits, including The ‘Snake’ in 1968 and ‘Show and Tell’ in 1974.
2013, Calvin Harris made chart history by becoming the first artist to have eight top 10 hits from one studio album. His track ‘I Need Your Love’, featuring singer Ellie Goulding, climbed to No.7 on the Official UK Chart. The DJ and producer from Dumfries, Scotland had overtaken Michael Jackson, who previously held the record with seven top 10 hits from both his 1987 album Bad and his 1991 record Dangerous.
2014, Robin Thicke’s controversial hit single Blurred Lines was named the UK’s most-downloaded song of all time. The song had sold 1.54 million copies since it was released in May 2013, despite criticisms of its explicit lyrics. About 20 university student unions banned the track, saying it promoted “date rape culture”, an accusation Thicke consistently denied.
2015, Phil Rudd, drummer of AC/DC, changed his plea to guilty on a charge of a threat to kill, in a court in Tauranga, New Zealand. The court heard Rudd was unhappy about his album’s launch party and asked for a former employee to be “taken out”. He had previously denied the charge. He also pleaded guilty to cannabis and methamphetamine possession. The court heard that he had fired a number of employees last August after the launch of his solo album, Head Job.
2016, Adele was named as Britain’s richest ever female musician, in the latest Sunday Times Rich List. A list of the top 50 music millionaires in the UK and Ireland placed the singer’s £85m fortune in 30th place – an increase of £35m compared to last year.
2016, Prince was found dead at his home in Minnesota at the age of 57, after Police were summoned to his Paisley Park estate and found his body in a lift. The acclaimed and influential musician became a global superstar in the 1980s, with albums such as 1999, Purple Rain and Sign O’ the Times and recorded more than 30 albums.
2016, American rock, blues and country singer-guitarist Lonnie Mack died of natural causes in hospital near his log-cabin home, seventy miles east of Nashville, Tennessee. In the early 1960s, he was a “pioneer” in virtuoso rock guitar soloing whose recordings were pivotal to the emergence of the electric guitar as a lead voice in rock music. For this, it has been said that he launched the era of “modern rock guitar”. He scored the hit single instrumentals, ‘Memphis’ and ‘Wham!’
April 21st: Born on this day
1947, Born on this day, Alan Wagner, The Foundations, (1967 UK No.1 single ‘Baby Now That I’ve Found You’. 1969 US No.3 single ‘Build Me Up A Buttercup’.)
1947, Born on this day, American singer-songwriter, musician and actor James Osterberg, (Iggy Pop). Member of The Stooges and solo artist, Pop is sometimes credited with the invention of stage diving. Hits include: ‘Lust for Life’, ‘The Passenger’, ‘Real Wild Child’, and ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’.
1947, Born on this day, John Weider, guitar, Family, (1971 UK No.4 single ‘In My Own Time’), also member of The New Animals.
1948, Born on this day, Paul Davis, singer, (1982 US No.6 single ’65 Love Affair’).
1951, Born on this day, Nicole Barclay, Fanny, (1975 US No.29 single ‘Butter Boy’).
1958, Born on this day, Mike Barson, keyboards, Madness, (1982 UK No.1 single ‘House Of Fun’ & over 20 other Top 40 UK hit singles).
1959, Born on this day, Michael Timmins, guitar, Cowboy Junkies, (1989 album ‘The Trinity Session’).
1959, Born on this day, Robert Smith, guitar, vocals, The Cure, (1989 US No.2 single ‘Love Song’, 1992 UK No.6 single ‘Friday I’m In Love’, plus over 20 other UK Top 40 singles).
1963, Born on this day, Johnny McElhone, Altered Images, (1981 UK No.2 single ‘Happy Birthday’) then joined Texas, (1997 UK No.3 single ‘Say What You Want’, 1997 UK No.1 album ‘White On Blonde’).