March 20th: On this day1960, Elvis Presley started his first recordings since being discharged from the US Army. A 12 hour session in a Nashville recording studio produced his next No.1 single, ‘Stuck On You’. Scotty Moore and Bill Black, who had quit Presley’s touring band in 1957, were in the studio with him for the last time.
1961, Elvis Presley started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Surrender’, his fifth No.1 of the 60’s. It also made No.1 in the UK. The song was based on the 1911 Italian song, ‘Return To Sorrento.’
1964, The Beatles appeared live on the UK television program Ready Steady Go!, miming to ‘It Won’t Be Long’, ‘You Can’t Do That’, and ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’. They were also presented with a special award from US magazine Billboard, in recognition of The Beatles having the top three singles on the chart simultaneously.
1965, The first of a twice-nightly UK package tour kicked of at London’s Finsbury Park Astoria featuring Stevie Wonder, The Miracles, Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes and The Temptations.
1968, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘The Legend Of Xanadu’, the group’s only UK No.1.
1968, Eric Clapton Neil Young, Richie Furay and Jim Mesina, were arrested in Los Angeles for ‘being at a place where it was suspected marijuana was being used.’ Clapton was later found innocent, the others paid small fines.
1969, John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar. They spent their honeymoon in Amsterdam campaigning for an international “Bed-In” for peace. They planned another “Bed-in” in the United States, but were denied entry. The couple then went to Montreal, and during a “Bed-in” at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel recorded ‘Give Peace a Chance’. Lennon also detailed this period in The Beatles ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’, recorded by Lennon and McCartney on April 14, 1969.
1970, David Bowie and Angela Bowie were married at Beckenham Registry Office, London. They were divorced in 1980.
1971, At their own expense The Rolling Stones placed full page advertisements in all the UK’s music papers disclaiming any connection with the release of the Decca album ‘Stone Age’ saying ‘in our opinion the content is below the standard we try to keep.’
1971, Janis Joplin started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with her version of the Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster song “Me And Bobby McGee.” Joplin, who was a lover and a friend of Kristofferson’s from the beginning of her career to her death, changed the sex and a few of the lyrics in her cover. Kristofferson states he did not write this song for her, but the song is associated with her – especially, he has said, in the line “Somewhere near Salinas, Lord, I let her slip away.” Joplin died of a drug overdose the year before on 4th October aged 27.
1973, Slade were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Com On Feel The Noize’, the group’s fourth UK No.1.
1976, Status Quo started a three-week run at No.1 on the UK chart with their third No.1 album ‘Blue For You’. The bands record label set up a deal with Levi Jeans, advertising in over 6,000 clothes shops to help promote the album.
1977, Lou Reed was banned from appearing The London Palladium in England because of his punk image.
1977, T Rex played their final ever gig when they appeared at The Locarno in Portsmouth, England.
1980, 28 year- old Joseph Riviera held up the Asylum Records office in New York and demanded to see either Jackson Browne or The Eagles. Riviera wanted to talk to them to see if they would finance his trucking operation. He gave him-self up when told that neither act was in the office at the time.
1982, Joan Jett And The Blackhearts started a seven week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’, a No.4 hit in the UK. The song had been a B-side from 60’s bands The Arrows.
1990, Gloria Estefan’s tour bus was rammed by a tractor-trailer on the way to a concert. Emilio Estefan and their son Nayib were injured; Gloria suffered a serious back injury, which required an operation two days later.
1991, Eric Clapton’s four year old son, Conor, fell to his death from the 53rd story of a New York City apartment after a housekeeper who was cleaning the room left a window open. The boy was in the custody of his mother, Italian actress, Lori Del Santo and the pair were visiting a friend’s apartment. Clapton was staying in a nearby hotel after taking his son to the circus the previous evening. The tragedy inspired his song ‘Tears in Heaven’.
1991, Michael Jackson signed a $1 billion (£0.6 billion) contract with Sony, the richest deal in recording history.
1993, Shaggy was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Oh Carolina’, the Jamaican singer’s first of four UK No.1’s.
1997, UK police were investigating singer Mark Morrison after they discovered he had sent a friend to carry out his community service, a sentence he was given after being involved in a fight.
2000, Geri Halliwell scored her third UK No.1 single with ‘Bag It Up’. It made the former Spice Girl the first woman in UK chart history to have 10 UK No.1 hits.
2001, Jon, Paul and Bradley from pop group S Club 7 were apprehended by police as they walked through Covent Garden, London, openly smoking a marijuana joint. They were taken to Charring Cross police station where they were held for four hours.
2002, The Daily Mail newspaper reported that Robbie Williams had become a priest. He was ordained via the Internet by the non-denominational Universal Ministries and officiated the wedding of Billy Morrison from rock band The Cult and Jennifer Holliday.
2005, Tony Christie featuring Peter Kay were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Is This The Way To Amarillo’, spending 7 weeks at the top of the charts, it became the best-selling single of 2005. It was a re-release of Christie’s 1971 hit.
2015, American drummer A. J. Pero died from an apparent heart attack. He was a member of Twisted Sister and Adrenaline Mob. Adrenaline Mob’s band members attempted but failed to wake Pero on their tour bus traveling from Baltimore to Poughkeepsie.
March 20th: Born on this day
1917, Born on this day, Vera Lynn, English singer, songwriter and actress whose musical recordings and performances were enormously popular during the Second World War. In 2009 she became the oldest living artist to make it to No. 1 on the British album chart, at the age of 92
1936, Born on this day, Lee “Scratch” Perry (born Rainford Hugh Perry, musician and producer who has been influential in the development and acceptance of reggae and dub music in Jamaica and overseas. He employs numerous pseudonyms, including Pipecock Jackxon and The Upsetter.
1937, Born on this day, Jerry Reed, US country guitarist, (1971 US No. 8 single ‘Amos Moses’). Worked with Chet Atkins, Bobby Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Elvis Presley. Died on 1st Sept 2008.
1949, Born on this day, Jimmie Vaughan, Fabulous Thunderbirds, US R&B band (brother of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan).
1951, Born on this day, Carl Palmer, drummer, Atomic Rooster, (1971 UK No.4 single ‘The Devil’s Answer’). Emerson Lake and Palmer, (1977 UK No.2 single ‘Fanfare For The Common Man’). Asia, (1982 US No.4 single ‘Heat Of The Moment’).
1956, Born on this day, Fonso Martin, Steel Pulse, (1978 UK No.35 ‘Prodigal Son’).
1959, Born on this day, Ian Rossiter, drums, Stereo MC’s, (1992 UK No.12 single ‘Step It Up’).
1959, Born on this day, Richard Drummie, Go West, (1985 UK No.5 single ‘We Close Our Eyes’).
1961, Born on this day, Slim Jim Phantom, drums, The Stray Cats, (1980 UK No.9 single ‘Runaway Boys’, 1983 US No.3 single ‘Stray Cat Strut’).
1967, Born on this day, David Shuttleworth, drums, Terrorvision, (1999 UK No.2 single ‘Tequila’).
1968, Born on this day, Fredrik Schnfeldt, guitar, The Wannadies, (1996 UK No. 18 single, ‘You And Me Song’).
1972, Born on this day, Shelly Poole, singer, songwriter, Alisha’s Attic, daughter of 60’s musician Brian Poole, (1996 UK No.14 ‘I Am I Feel’). Now a solo artist, 2006 album ‘Hard Time For The Dreamer.’
1972, Born on this day, Alex Kapranos, vocals, Franz Ferdinand, (winners of the 2004 Mercury Music Prize for their self-titled debut album).
1976, Born on this day, Chester Bennington, vocals, Linkin Park, (2002 US No.2 & UK No.4 single ‘In The End’, 2002 US No.2 & 2001 UK No.4 album ‘Hybrid Theory’).