August 16th: On this day
1938, American blues musician Robert Johnson died (probably poisoned by a jealous husband) at the age of 27 at a country crossroads near Greenwood, Mississippi. His recordings from 1936 -1937 have influenced generations of musicians including Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Winter, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.
1962, Little Stevie Wonder (aged 12), released his first single, ‘I Call It Pretty Music, (But The Old People Call It The Blues)’, the single featured Marvin Gaye on drums.
1962, Brian Epstein told Pete Best that the other Beatles wanted him out of the group, and that he was being replaced. Epstein then asked Best to perform with The Beatles that night at the Riverpark Ballroom in Chester, Cheshire. Pete Best does not show up, drummer Johnny Hutchinson of The Big Three filled in the temporary vacancy.
1968, The Jackson Five made their formal debut with Diana Ross and The Supremes at the Great Western Forum, California.
1968, Working at Abbey Road studios on The White Album, The Beatles recorded 14 takes of the new George Harrison song ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, taking the song from its early acoustic version into an electric version.
1968, Bruce Springsteen’s new band Earth made their live debut at the Off Broad Street Coffee House in Red Bank, New Jersey, admission was 75c. The lineup of the group consisted of Springsteen (guitars & vocals), John Graham (bass), Michael Burke (drums) and ‘Flash Craig’ (organ). The group only had a 6-month existence.
1969, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young supported by Joni Mitchell appeared at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago, Illinois.
1969, During a North American tour Led Zeppelin appeared at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park with Joe Cocker as support. Zeppelin had been asked to perform at Woodstock but due to this gig commitment were unable to attend. And down the road Bruce Springsteen’s band Child played the first of two shows over two days at the Student Prince, Ashbury Park. Springsteen was also unable to attend Woodstock due to these gigs.
1969, Hippie leader Abbie Hoffman was knocked offstage by Pete Townshend while attempting to make a political statement during The Who’s set at Woodstock. Later, Townshend said he didn’t know it was Hoffman at the time.
1970, This week’s UK Top 5 singles: No.5, Free, ‘All Right Now’, No.4, Shirley Bassey, ‘Something’, No.3, Hotlegs, ‘Neanderthal Man’, No.2, The Kinks, ‘Lola’ and No.1, Elvis Presley, ‘The Wonder Of You’, (his 16th UK No.1).
1970, The final day of the three day UK Yorkshire Folk, Blues & Jazz Festival at Krumlin, Yorkshire took place featuring The Kinks, Mungo Jerry, Yes, Ginger Bakers Air Force and Edgar Winter. Weekend tickets, £3.
1975, The Stylistics were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love)’, the Philadelphian soul group’s only UK No.1.
1975, Peter Gabriel announced that he was leaving Genesis. The group auditioned more than 400 singers during the next 18 months before deciding that Phil Collins, who had been the drummer for Genesis since 1970, could front the band.
1977, Elvis Presley was found dead lying on the floor in his bathroom by his girlfriend Ginger Alden, he had been seated on the toilet reading ‘The Scientific Search For Jesus’. He died of heart failure at the age of 42. His first record for RCA, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ was also his first US No.1. He starred in 31 films. Elvis holds the record for the most entries on the US Hot 100 chart with 154. Elvis became the first rock ‘n’ roll artist to be honoured by the US Postal Service with a stamp.
1979, The biggest single of the summer in the US, The Knack’s ‘My Sharona’ was awarded a Gold record for selling one million copies. The Knack’s Doug Fieger wrote the song for his girlfriend, Sharona Alperin, whose picture appeared on the single’s cover.
1983, After dating for six years, Paul Simon married actress Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in the first Star Wars trilogy. The marriage would last less than two years, but the two continued to date off and on after they split.
1986, Madonna started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Papa Don’t Preach.’ The singers fourth US No.1, & No.1 in the UK. Also on this day Madonna went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘True Blue’.
1988, KISS played at The Marquee Club in London, England on their current 129-date Crazy Nights world tour.
1997, On the 20th anniversary of Elvis Presley death over 30,000 fans descended on Memphis Tennessee for a 10-minute mourning circuit circling his grave. A poll found that almost a third of the fans were keeping an eye out for him in the crowd.
1997, Will Smith started a four-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Men In Black’ taken from the film of the same name. The song won Smith a Grammy in 1997 for Best Rap Solo Performance.
1997, Blur, Prodigy, Beck, Kula Shaker, Dodgy, Foo Fighters, Placebo, James, Ash, Dodgy and Gene all appeared at the two day V97 UK festival in Chelmsford and Leeds, weekend tickets, £50.
2000, Alan Caddy guitarist with The Tornadoes died. He had the 1962 UK & US No.1 single ‘Telstar’ which became the first major hit from a UK act on the American chart. Caddy also played on sessions and worked on arrangements for Spencer Davis Group, Kiki Dee, Pretty Things and Dusty Springfield.
2005, Madonna suffered three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a broken hand in a horse-riding accident on her country estate. The accident happened when she fell off a new horse in the grounds of her Ashcombe House on the border of Wiltshire and Dorset on her 47th birthday. The singer was treated at hospital in Salisbury, 90 miles (150 kilometres) south-west of London.
2005, P Diddy appeared on the US TV Today Show and announced that he was altering his stage name again, dropping the “P.” and referring to himself simply as “Diddy.” The name change to Diddy upset Richard “Diddy” Dearlove, a London based DJ who took out court proceedings against P Diddy over the use of the name. He won when an out of court settlement of £110,000 was agreed and as a result, Combs is no longer be able to use the name Diddy in the UK.
2007, A fan of the 1980s pop band Wham! was silenced after becoming the first noise nuisance to be prosecuted by Newcastle city council’s night watch team. Brian Turner had tormented neighbours by playing their hit song ‘Last Christmas’ all night at full volume from 1am onwards. Magistrates fined Turner, of Sandyford, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, £200 and ordered him to pay £215 costs.
August 16th: Born on this day
1915, Born on this day, singer, Al Hibbler, (1955 UK No.2 & US No.3 single ‘Unchained Melody’). The American baritone vocalist, sang with Duke Ellington’s orchestra before having several pop hits as a solo artist.
1945, Born on this day, Kevin Ayers, singer, songwriter, and founder member of Soft Machine, who had the 1970 UK No.18 album, ‘Third’. Ayers who was a major influential force in the English psychedelic movement died on 18th February 2013.
1945, Born on this day, Gary Loizzo, American Breed, (1967 US No.5 & UK No. 24 single ‘Bend Me, Shape Me’).
1946, Born on this day, Gordon Fleet, The Easybeats, (1966 UK No.6 & 1967 US No. 16 single ‘Friday On My Mind’).
1948, Born on this day, Barry Hay, Golden Earring, (1974 UK No.7 & US 13 single ‘Radar Love’).
1949, Born on this day, Scott Asheton, drums, Iggy Pop And The Stooges, (1973 album ‘Raw Power’).
1953, Born on this day, James Taylor, Kool & The Gang, (1981 US No.1 & UK No.7 single, Celebration. 1984 UK No.2 single ‘Joanna’, and over 15 other top 40 hits).
1957, Born on this day, Tim Farriss, guitar, INXS, (1988 UK No.2 & US No.1 single ‘Need You Tonight’). 1987 album ‘Kick’ has sold over 10m copies in the US alone and features four Top 10 singles; ‘Need You Tonight,’ ‘Devil Inside’, ‘New Sensation,’ and ‘Never Tear Us Apart.’
1958, Born on this day, Madonna, (Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone), singer, actress, (first hit 1984 UK No.6 single ‘Holiday’, 1984 US No.1 ‘Like A Virgin’, first UK No.1 1985 ‘Into The Groove’, plus 6 other UK No.1’s & over 10 US No.1 singles and over 30 other top 40 hits).
1964, Born on this day, Matt Lukin, bass, Mudhoney, (1991 UK No.60 single ‘Let It Slide’).
1967, Born on this day, MC. Remedee, Cookie Crew, (1988 UK No.5 single ‘Rock Da House’).
1968, Born on this day, LL Cool J, (1995 US No.3 single ‘Hey Lover’, 1997 UK No.1 single ‘Ain’t Nobody’ and 2000 US No.1 album ‘G.O.A.T.).
1972, Born on this day, Emily Robison, singer songwriter with Dixie Chicks, With sales of 27.2 million albums in the US alone, they have become the top selling all-female band and biggest selling country group in the US during the Nielsen SoundScan era (1991–present). Robinson formed Court Yard Hounds with her sister and fellow Dixie Chick Martie Maguire.
1980, Born on this day, Venessa Carlton, (2002 UK No.6 single ‘A Thousand Miles’).
1980, Born on this day, Bob Hardy, bass, Franz Ferdinand, (winners of the 2004 Mercury Music Prize for their self-titled debut album).