April 20th: On this day
1957, Elvis Presley started an eight week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘All Shook Up.’ It went on to be the biggest single of 1957 selling over 2 million copies.
1959, Goldband Records released ‘Puppy Love’ by a 13-year old Dolly Parton in the US, a song that was recorded two years earlier when she was just eleven years old. The song didn’t chart, (later to be a hit for Donny Osmond ).
1966, During a 12 hour session at Abbey Road studios in London The Beatles worked on a new John Lennon song ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’, and a new George Harrison song ‘Taxman’.
1968, Deep Purple made their live debut at a gig in Tastrup, Denmark. Formally known as Roundabout, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore suggested a new name: Deep Purple, named after his grandmother’s favourite song (which had been a hit for Peter De Rose), after his grandmother had repeatedly asked if they would be performing the song.
1968, Apple Music ran advertisements soliciting tapes from unknown artists, offering financial grants as part of a deal to release records on the Apple label. Artists such as Badfinger, James Taylor, Mary Hopkin, Jackie Lomax, David Peel and Elephant’s Memory were signed up.
1969, Session drummer Benny Benjamin died. One of ‘The Funk Brothers’ played on many Tamla Motown hits including, The Four Tops, Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes and Stevie Wonder. The film ‘Standing In The Shadows Of Motown’ released in 2003 features his work.
1970, The New York Times reported that Catholic and Protestant youth group’s had adopted The Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’ as a religious symbol.
1974, MFSB and the Three Degrees started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘TSOP, (The Sound Of Philadelphia), a No.22 hit in the UK.
1979, Lighting director Billy Duffy was killed in an accident during a Kate Bush concert in Southampton, England. 21-year old Duffy fell twenty feet through an open trap door on the stage. Kate Bush held a benefit concert on 12th May with Peter Gabriel and Steve Harley at London’s Hammersmith Odeon for his family.
1980, 84 year old George Burns, who starred in the movie Oh God with John Denver, became the oldest person to have a hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when ‘I Wish I Was 18 Again’ peaked at No.49. When asked if he wished he were 18 again, Burns replied “I wish I was 80 again.” Before this, his most recent charting record had been a spoken word comedy routine with his wife and partner Gracie Allen in the summer of 1933.
1981, John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to drug possession charges; the sentence was suspended after 30 days. Phillips started touring the US lecturing against the dangers of taking drugs.
1985, The charity record ‘We Are The World’ by USA For Africa was at No.1 on the UK singles chart. The US artists’ answer to Band Aid had an all-star cast including Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon plus the composer’s of the track, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
1987, A record store in Callaway, Florida was forced to closed down and a part-time clerk was arrested after selling a copy of ‘2 Live Is What We Are’ by 2 Live Crew to a 14 year old boy. Officials had deemed the recording “obscene” because of its pornographic lyrics.
1990, Janet Jackson was bestowed with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame at the start of ‘Janet Jackson week’ in Los Angeles.
1991, Steve Marriott leader of the Small Faces and Humble Pie, died in a fire at his home in Essex. His work became a major influence for many 90’s bands. Small Faces had the 1967 UK No.3 & US No.16 single ‘Itchycoo Park’, plus 1968 No.1 UK album ‘Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake’, Humble Pie, 1969 UK No.4 single ‘Natural Born Bugie’. As a child actor he played parts in Dixon of Dock Green and The Artful Dodger in Oliver.
1992, ‘A Concert For Life’ took place at Wembley Stadium as a tribute to Queen singer Freddie Mercury and for aids awareness. Acts appearing included; Elton John, Roger Daltrey, Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), David Bowie, Mick Ronson, James Hetfield, George Michael, Seal, Paul Young, Annie Lennox, Lisa Stansfield, Robert Plant, Joe Elliott and Phil Collen, Axl Rose and Slash.
1993, Aerosmith released ‘Get A Grip’ their 11th studio album which became their best selling album to date with sales over 20m. The album which featured the hits: ‘Livin’ On The Edge’ and ‘Crazy’ also featured guests Don Henley and Lenny Kravitz.
1996, English R&B singer Mark Morrison had his first UK No.1 single when ‘Return Of The Mack’ started a two-week run at the top of the charts. A No.2 hit in the US, the beat was sampled from Tom Tom Club’s ‘Genius of Love.’
2000, Robert Plant appeared at Disney’s Theatre of the Stars in Orlando, Florida to leave his handprints outside the theatre.
2001, A memorial concert for former Small Faces and Humble Pie front man Steve Marriott took place at the London Astoria with Peter Frampton, Midge Ure, Chris Farlowe and Humble Pie.
2002, American singer Alan Dale died. During the 50’s he had his own US TV & radio show, had the 1955 US No.7 single ‘Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White.’
2002, In the dispute over who owned the rights to Nirvana’s recordings former members Dave Grohl and Kirst Novoselic asked a Seattle Court to prove that Courtney Love was mentally stable. They told the court that Love was ‘irrational, mercurial, self-centred, unmanageable, inconsistent and unpredictable.’ They also claimed a contract was invalid because Love was ‘stoned’ at the time.
2006, Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty was arrested in east London on suspicion of drugs possession only hours after a court appearance. Doherty had earlier admitted to seven charges of possessing drugs when he appeared before magistrates in east London. He was given a community order with two years supervision and 18 months drug rehabilitation and was also banned from driving for six months.
2012, Bert Weedon, whose Play in a Day guitar guide set some of the biggest names in rock and roll on the road to greatness, died, aged 91. Play in a Day, released in 1957, sold over two million copies and helped inspire a generation of budding musicians including Eric Clapton, Brian May of Queen and the late John Lennon.
April 20th: Born on this day
1939, Born on this day, Johnny Tillotson, singer, (1960 US No.2 and 1961 UK No.1 single ‘Poetry In Motion’).
1945, Born on this day, Jimmy Winston, organ, Small Faces, (left in Nov 1965).
1948, Born on this day, Craig Frost, Grand Funk Railroad, (1974 US No.1 single ‘The Locomotion’).
1951, Born on this day, Luther Vandross, soul singer, (1989 UK No.13 single ‘Never Too Much’, first released 1983, US N0.10 and UK No.2 single with Janet Jackson ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’). Also worked with David Bowie, Mariah Carey. Vandross died on 1st July 2005 aged 54 two years after suffering a major stroke.
1971, Born on this day, Mikey Welsh, bass, Weezer, 1995 UK No.12 single, ‘Buddy Holly’.
1972, Born on this day, Stephen Marley, Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, (1988 UK No.22 single ‘Tomorrow People’).
1972, Born on this day Carmen Electra, The Pussycat Dolls, (2005, US No.2 & UK No.1 with their debut single ‘Don’t Cha’ featuring Busta Rhymes). The Pussycat Dolls became only the fourth ever girl band to enter the UK charts at No.1 with their debut single. (The other’s being the Spice Girls, B*Witched and Girls Aloud). Carmen has appeared in Playboy magazine and Baywatch and MTV’s Singled Out.