March 31st: On this day
1949, RCA Victor introduced the 45rpm single record, which had been in development since 1940. The 7-inch disc was designed to compete with the Long Playing record introduced by Columbia a year earlier. Both formats offered better fidelity and longer playing time than the 78rpm record that was currently in use. Advertisements for new record players boasted that with 45rpm records, the listener could hear up to ten records with speedy, silent, hardly noticeable changes.
1957, Billed as the nation’s only atomic powered singer, Elvis Presley played two shows (2pm and 6pm), at the Olympia in Detroit, Michigan in front of 24,000 fans.
1958, Chuck Berry’s rock ‘n’ roll classic ‘Johnny B. Goode’ single was released. It entered the US charts six weeks later and peaked at No.8 on the chart. The song’s original lyrics referred to Johnny as a “colored boy”, but Berry later acknowledged that he changed it to “country boy” to ensure radio play.
1960, Lonnie Donegan was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘My Old Man’s A Dustman’, his third No.1. Donegan became the first British artist to enter the UK chart at No.1, the only other artist to achieve this feat at this time was Elvis Presley. The song which was recorded live at the Bristol Hippodrome was a music hall novelty song.
1962, The Beatles played their first gig in the South of England when they appeared at The Subscription Rooms, Stroud, on the same bill as The Rebel Rousers, tickets cost 5 shillings, ($0.70).
1964, Filming for A Hard Day’s Night, The Beatles played a “live television performance” in front of a studio of screaming fans (one of those fans was Phil Collins). The four songs used in the film were ‘Tell Me Why’, ‘I Should Have Known Better’, ‘And I Love Her’, and ‘She Loves You’.
1967, Jimi Hendrix set fire to his guitar live on stage for the first time when he was appearing at The Astoria in London, England. It was the first night of a 24-date tour with The Walker Brothers, Cat Stevens and Engelbert Humperdink. The Fender Stratocaster burned on stage by Hendrix sold for £280,000 at a 2008 London auction of rock memorabilia.
1972, The Beatles Official Fan Club closed. The Beatles Monthly magazine had ceased three years previously.
1973, Donny Osmond was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with his version of ‘The Twelfth Of Never’ a hit single for Johnny Mathis in 1957.
1976, The Brotherhood Of Man were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1976, ‘Save Your Kisses For Me.’ The group’s first of three UK No.1’s.
1976, Led Zeppelin released Presence, their seventh studio album, on their own Swan Song Records in the UK. Presence has now been certified 3 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 3 million copies.
1984, Kenny Loggins started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Footloose’, the theme from the film with the same name, a No.6 hit in the UK.
1986, O’Kelly Isley of The Isley Brothers died of a heart attack, aged 48. Had a hit in 1962 original version of ‘Twist and Shout’, (later covered by The Beatles) and the 1968 UK No.3 single ‘This Old Heart Of Mine’ and 1969 US No.2 single ‘It’s Your Thing’.
1990, German and Italian production team Snap! had their first UK No.1 single with ‘The Power.’ The track has been featured in many films including Coyote Ugly, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Bruce Almighty soundtrack and The Fisher King.
1992, Def Leppard released their fifth studio album ‘Adrenalize’, the first by the band following the 1991 death of guitarist Steve Clark. Former Dio and Whitesnake guitarist Vivian Campbell, was brought in as the newest member in April 1992. He appears in all promotional videos for the album’s singles (except ‘Let’s Get Rocked’), despite not playing on the album.
1994, Madonna appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman from New York City. The network had to delete 13 offending words from the interview before the show aired. Madonna also handed Letterman a pair of her panties and told him to sniff them. He declined and stuffed them into his desk drawer.
1995, Jimmy Page escaped being knifed when a fan rushed the stage at a Page and Plant gig at Auburn Hills, Michigan. The fan was stopped by two security guards, who he knifes instead. After his arrest, he told police that he wanted to kill Jimmy Page because of the Satanic music he was playing.
1995, Mexican American singer Selena was murdered aged 23 by the president of her fan club Yolanda Sald’var. Warner Brothers made a film based on her life starring Jennifer Lopez in 1997.
2001, Whitney Houston and husband Bobby Brown were banned for life from Hollywood’s Bel Air hotel after wrecking their room. Hotel workers said a TV was smashed, two doors were ripped of their hinges and the walls and carpets were stained by alcohol. It was reported that Whitney called in her lawyers to plead with the hotel management not to call the police. The suite was so badly damaged it had to be shut for five days for repairs.
2002, Bee Gee Barry Gibb bought his childhood home in Keppel Road, Chorlton, Manchester. Gibb said he was going to clean the house up, rent it out and put a plaque on the wall.
2005, Rap record company boss Marion “Suge” Knight was ordered to pay $107m (£57m) to a woman who claimed she helped found Death Row label in 1989, one of hip-hop’s top labels with artists including Tupac Shakur, Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg. Lydia Harris said she invested in Death Row but was pushed out by Mr Knight.
2007, A new world record for the longest non-stop concert was set by hundreds of musicians in Japan. The performance began on the evening of 23 March in the city of Omi, with musicians aged between six and 96 taking turns with over 2,000 tunes being performed over 182 hours. Organisers praised the musicians, one of whom carried on despite a major earthquake during her piano piece. The previous world record was set in Canada in 2001 with 181 hours.
2010, Cher’s first child, Chaz Bono, asked a judge to formally change his name and gender following the sex change surgery he had last year. The 41-year-old, who was born Chastity Sun Bono, now wanted to be known as Chaz Salvatore according to a petition filed in Los Angeles. Salvatore was his father Sonny Bono’s real first name.
2011, Australian band Men at Work lost an appeal against a ruling which found their 1983 hit single ‘Down Under’ was partly copied from a folk song. Australia’s Federal Court upheld the decision which stated part of the song’s melody came from the tune Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree. Record label EMI argued the writers did not plagiarise because the inclusion of two bars from the tune was a tribute.
2013, TV hosts Ant and Dec scored their first British No.1 single, with their 1994 hit ‘Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble’. The song made it to No.1 after the duo performed the track on their ITV1 show Saturday Night Takeaway the previous weekend, prompting fans to download it. The duo were also giving all the money they made from sales to the ChildLine charity.
2015, Joni Mitchell was rushed to hospital after being found unconscious at her Los Angeles home. The singer songwriter was admitted to intensive care where she underwent tests. Los Angeles fire officials said paramedics had answered a 911 call in Bel Air, where Mitchell lives, and had taken a patient whom they did not identify to hospital.
March 31st: Born on this day
1934, Born on this day, Shirley Jones, singer, actress, The Partridge Family, (1970 US No.1 single ‘I Think I Love You’, 1972 UK No.3 single ‘Breaking Up Is Hard To Do’).
1937, Born on this day, Herb Alpert, trumpet, vocals, (1968 US No.1 & UK No.3 single ‘This Guy’s In Love With You’). Formed A&M Records with Jerry Moss, at first operating from his garage at home.
1944, Born on this day, Rodney Bainbridge, bass, The Fortunes, (1965 UK No.2 & US No.7 single ‘You’ve Got Your Troubles’).
1946, Born on this day, Al Nichol, The Turtles, (1967 US No.1 single ‘Happy Together’, 1967 UK No.4 single ‘She’d Rather Be With Me’).
1947, Born on this day, Al Goodman, The Moments, (1970 US No.3 single ‘Love On A Two- Way Street’, 1975 UK No.3 single ‘Girls’).
1947, Born on this day, Jon Poulos, drums, The Buckinghams, (1967 US No.1 single ‘Kind Of A Drag’).
1948, Born on this day, Mick Ralphs, guitarist, Mott The Hoople, (1972 UK No.3 & US No.37 single ‘All The Young Dudes’), Bad Company, (1974 UK No.15 & US No.5 single ‘Can’t Get Enough’).
1948, Born on this day, Thiis Van Leer, organ, flute, Focus, (1973 US No 9 single ‘Hocus Pocus’, 1973 UK No.4 single ‘Sylvia’).
1953, Born on this day, Sean Hooper, Huey Lewis and the News, (1985 US No.1 & UK No.11 single ‘The Power Of Love’).
1954, Born on this day, Tony Brock, The Babys, (1977 US No.13 & UK No.45 single ‘Isn’t It Time’).
1955, Born on this day, Angus Young, Scottish-born Australian guitarist with AC/DC, known for his energetic performances and schoolboy-uniform stage outfits. 1980 UK No.36 single ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ and 1980 UK No.1 & US No.14 album Back In Black. AC/DC are the fifth-best-selling band in US history with over 70 million albums sold.
1958, Born on this day, Pat McGlynn, Bay City Rollers, (1975 UK No.1 single ‘Bye Bye Baby’, plus 11 other UK Top 20 singles’, 1976 US No.1 single ‘Saturday Night’).
1958, Born on this day, Paul Ferguson, Killing Joke, (1985 UK No.16 single ‘Love Like Blood’).
1971, Born on this day, Julian Deane, Toploader, (2000 UK No.7 single ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’).
1974, Born on this day, Stefan Olsdal, bass, Placebo, (1997 UK No. 6 single ‘Nancy Boy’).
1978, Tony Yayo, (Marvin Bernard), rapper with G-Unit and solo, (2005 single ‘So Seductive’ feat. 50 Cent’).
1984, Born on this day, American guitarist Jack Antonoff from Fun. Fun’s second album, ‘Some Nights’ saw the band score their first No.1 hit single, ‘We Are Young’.