August 15th: On this day
1955, Elvis Presley attended a meeting in Memphis with his manager Bob Neal, Colonel Tom Parker and Vernon Presley, at which a new contract was signed that named Colonel Parker as “special advisor” with control of virtually every aspect of Elvis’ career. Parker was not really a Colonel at all, but a Dutch immigrant named Andreas Cornelius van Kujik, whose honorary title was given to him in 1948 by Governor Jimmie Davis of Louisiana. He was a flamboyant promoter whose pre-Elvis experience included shows called The Great Parker Pony Circus and Tom Parker And His Dancing Turkeys and was a veteran of carnivals, medicine shows and various other entertainment enterprises.
1960, Elvis Presley started a five week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘It’s Now Or Never’, also No.1 in the UK. The song which was based on the Italian song, ‘O Sole Mio’, gave Presley his first post-army No.1.
1965, The Beatles set a new world record for the largest attendance at a pop concert when they played in front of 55,600 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City. The Beatles were paid $160,000 for the show, the set list included: ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘She’s a Woman’, ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzie’, ‘Ticket to Ride’, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, ‘Baby’s In Black’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, ‘Help!’, and ‘I’m Down’. Two of the Rolling Stones were among the audience, Mick Jagger and Keith Richard and later that evening; Bob Dylan visited The Beatles at their hotel.
1966, During a US tour The Beatles appeared at the D.C. Stadium in Washington DC to over 32,000 fans. Tickets cost $3. Five members of the Ku Klux Klan, led by the Imperial Wizard of Maryland, picketed the concert.
1967, The Jimi Hendrix Experience played a one night only show at The Fifth Dimension club, Ann Arbor, Michigan. The club is now demolished.
1969, During a North American tour Led Zeppelin appeared at the Hemisfair Arena in San Antonio. Jethro Tull and Sweet Smoke were also on the bill. During the show Zeppelin received abuse from locals due to the length of their hair.
1969, Woodstock Festival was held on Max Yasgur’s 600 acre farm in Bethel outside New York. Attended by over 400,000 people, the event featured, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Santana, The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, Canned Heat, Joan Baez, Melanie, Ten Years After, Sly and the Family Stone, Johnny Winter, Jefferson Airplane, Ravi Shanker, Country Joe and the Fish, Blood Sweat and Tears, Arlo Guthrie, and Joe Cocker. During the three days there were three deaths, two births and four miscarriages.
1979, The futuristic satire film ‘Americathon’ premiered in Los Angeles featuring Meat Loaf. The soundtrack included songs by The Beach Boys, Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello.
1981, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie started a nine week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Endless Love’, a No.7 in the UK. The song was the title from a film starring Brooke Shields.
1987, Michael Jackson had his third UK No.1 with the single ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’, a duet with Siedah Garrett. It was originally intended to be a duet between Jackson and either Barbra Streisand or Whitney Houston. Session singer Siedah Garrett also worked with Madonna.
1991, Paul Simon played a free concert in New York’s Central Park before an audience of three quarters of a million people.
1992, Jamaican singer-song writer Jackie Edwards died. Edwards worked as a singer, songwriter for Island Records. He wrote both ‘Keep On Running’ and ‘Somebody Help Me’, that became No.1 singles for The Spencer Davis Group as well as releasing his own albums.
1992, Boyz II Men started a 13 week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘End Of The Road’ the group’s first US No.1. Taken from the Eddie Murphy film ‘Boomerang’, it broke the 36-year-old record held by Elvis for the longest run at No.1
1992, INXS went to No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘Welcome To Whoever You Are’, their first UK No.1 album.
1995, The Dublin hotel owned by U2 ‘The Clarence’ was damaged by a fire which took over three hours to control. Also ‘The Kitchen’ nightclub in the same building was affected by the fire and was evacuated.
1998, Boyzone scored their fourth UK No.1 single with ‘No Matter What’, making them the first Irish group to have four No.1 singles. Also Boyzone became the first act in history to reach the Top 5 with their first 12 single releases. The song came from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical ‘Whistle Down The Wind’.
2000, David Bowie and his wife Iman celebrated the birth of their first child a baby girl named Alexandria Zahra Jones.
2002, A memorial to John Lennon was unveiled in the remote Scottish village of Durness where Lennon had spent his holidays from age seven to fifteen. The lyrics from ‘In My Life’ had been inscribed on three stones.
2004, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts was being treated for throat cancer after being diagnosed with the disease in June.
2007, Sixteen solo John Lennon albums were made available to download on iTunes for the first time. A deal was approved by the late Beatle’s widow Yoko Ono following a lengthy legal battle between the band’s label Apple Corps and Apple Inc, which owned Tunes.
2008, US record producer Jerry Wexler, who influenced the careers of singers including Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Bob Dylan died at his home in Sarasota, Florida aged 91. Wexler produced the Aretha Franklin hit Respect, the Wilson Pickett song, In the Midnight Hour and helped Bob Dylan win his first Grammy award by producing the 1979 album, Slow Train Coming. He also coined the term ‘rhythm and blues’ while writing for Billboard magazine in the late 1940s.
2009, U2’s first UK gig on their current tour broke the attendance record for a Wembley Stadium concert. Over 88,000 people attended the show.
2012, American musician Bob Birch died from an self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Los Angeles home, aged 56. Birch was badly injured in a car accident in 1995 and since then struggled with constant headaches, dizziness, vertigo, and severe pain throughout his body. He worked with Doobie Brothers, Bryan Adams, Lionel Richie, George Michael, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Phil Collins, Keith Emerson,Barry Manilow and Elton John.
August 15th: Born on this day
1896, Born on this day, Leon Theremin, Russian inventor. Most famous for his invention of the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments. He first performed the theremin with the New York Philharmonic in 1928. He died on 3rd November 1993.
1933, Born on this day, Bill Pinkney, The Drifters, (1960 US No.1 & UK No.2 single ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’).
1933, Born on this day, Floyd Ashman, The Tams, (1971 UK No.1 single ‘Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me’.)
1933, Born on this day, Bobby Helms, American country music singer best known for his 1957 hit, ‘Jingle Bell Rock’. Died of emphysema at his home in Martinsville, Indiana. He was 63.
1938, Born on this day, Stix Nesbert Hooper, The Crusaders, (1979 UK No.5 & US No.36 single ‘Street Life’).
1941, Born on this day, Don Rich, country musician who helped develop the Bakersfield sound in the early 1960s. He was a noted guitarist and fiddler, and a member of the Buckaroos, the backing band of country singer Buck Owens. Rich died on July 17, 1974.
1942, Born on this day, Pete York, Spencer Davis Group (1966 UK No.1 single ‘Keep On Running’).
1946, Born on this day, Jimmy Webb American singer, songwriter who wrote the 1968 hit for Richard Harris ‘MacArthur Park’, plus ‘Galveston’, for Glen Campbell (and other hits for Campbell), and ‘Up Up and Away’, a hit for 5th Dimension. According to BMI, his song ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix’ was the third most performed song in the fifty years between 1940 and 1990. Webb is the only artist ever to have received Grammy Awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration.
1950, Born on this day, Tommy Aldridge, drums, Whitesnake, (1987 US No.1 & UK No.9 single ‘Here I Go Again’).
1961, Born on this day, Matt Johnson, singer, songwriter, The The, (1993 UK No.35 single ‘Slow Emotion Replay’).
1962, Born on this day, Marshall Schofield, The Fall, (1987 UK No.30 single ‘There’s A Ghost In My House’).
1972, Born on this day, Mike Graham, vocals, Boyzone, who have had 21 UK hit singles, including 6 UK No.1 singles. Their breakthrough hit was their second single and cover version of the classic Osmonds hit, ‘Love Me for a Reason’, which peaked at No.2 on the UK Singles Chart.
1974, Born on this day, Simon Dawbarn, vocals, 911, (1998 UK No.2 single ‘More Than A Woman’).
1978, Born on this day, Tim Foreman bassist for Switchfoot. Their 2014 album Fading West reached No.6 on the US album chart.
1984, Born on this day, David Welsh, guitarist, The Fray. 2009 US No.1 self titled album.
1984, Born on this day, Ted Dwane, bassist of the Grammy Award winning British folk rock band Mumford & Sons.
1989, Born on this day, Joe Jonas, American singer and actor, Jonas Brothers, 2009 US No.1 album ‘Lines, Vines and Trying Times’.