Almanac

Rock 'n' Roll Almanac for Monday, May 20, 2019

75 years ago (1944)Singer Joe Cocker is born.
65 years ago (1954)Bill Haley and the Comets' Rock Around the Clock is released. It doesn't find any success, however, until the following year when it is included on the soundtrack of Blackboard Jungle.
61 years ago (1958)Go-Go's guitarist Jane Wieldin is born.
59 years ago (1960)Deejay Alan Freed is indicted along with seven others for receiving $30,650 in payola from six record companies. Two years later, he receives a suspended sentence and a $300 fine.
58 years ago (1961)Former lead singer of Haircut 100, Nick Heyward, is born.
53 years ago (1966)Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of The Who, tired of waiting for the late John Entwistle and Keith Moon, go on stage at the Ricky Tick Club in Windsor, England. They play a set with the bass player and drummer of the local band that opened the show. When Moon and Entwistle get there in the middle of the set, Townshend smacks Moon on the head with his guitar. Moon quits the band -- for a week.
52 years ago (1967)The BBC bans The Beatles' A Day In The Life from its airwaves claiming it contains explicit drug references. On the same day, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr go to the BBC to record interviews with DJ Kenny Everett for his show Where It's At. The three play all three tracks of the upcoming Sgt. Pepper album with the exception of A Day In The Life.
52 years ago (1967)Jimi Hendrix signs his first American record contract with Reprise Records. He and his band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, have already released records on the Polydor and Track labels in Britain.
52 years ago (1967)Only a week after surrendering the top of the R&B chart to Martha & the Vandellas, Aretha Franklin retakes the top spot with Respect. A tune that will also be #1 on the pop chart. It was originally recorded and written by Otis Redding, who would say he prefers Franklin's version to his own.
51 years ago (1968)Pete Townshend marries Karen Astley, daughter of British composer and producer Edwin Astley.
49 years ago (1970)The Beatles' film Let It Be premieres in the U.K.
48 years ago (1971)Chicago lead singer Peter Cetera is beaten up by four men at a Chicago Cubs-Dodgers baseball game. The men objected to the length of Cetera's hair. Cetera underwent four hours of emergency surgery.
42 years ago (1977)William Powell of the O'Jays dies in Canton, Ohio after a long bout with cancer. He was an original member of the group and sang with them until he was forced to quit last year because of his health. He was 35 years old.
41 years ago (1978)The film The Buddy Holly Story, which stars Gary Busey as Buddy, premiers in Buddy's hometown of Lubbock, Texas.
34 years ago (1985)Daryl Hall and John Oates headline a concert for the grand re-opening of the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem. The show benefits the United Negro College Fund and also features two of the original Temptations, David Ruffin and Eddie Kendrick.
24 years ago (1995)Don Henley marries Sharon Summerall in Malibu. Among those present and who perform are Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Sting, and Tony Bennett.
21 years ago (1998)Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen are among the mourners at the funeral of Frank Sinatra in Beverly Hills. Sinatra died on May 14.
19 years ago (2000)The Guess Who performs at a Winnipeg community center as a prelude to its reunion tour featuring the band's most prolific line-up: Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Jim Kale, Donnie McDougall, and Garry Peterson. Kale drops out of the tour before the first show to tend to family matters.
14 years ago (2005)1,500 fans show up for the unveiling of a 15-foot monument marking the location of the former home of Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys. 3701 West 119th Street in Los Angeles was bulldozed in the mid-Eighties to make way for the Century Freeway. The house was where Brian wrote Surfin’ USA in 1962, and where his brothers and cousins in The Beach Boys practiced. Brian and bandmates Al Jardine and David Marks attend the ceremony at the edge of the freeway.
13 years ago (2006)Pearl Jam’s new headquarters in Seattle could face demolition because of the city’s plans to build a dump. The band is on tour in Cleveland when they find out about it.
7 years ago (2012)Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees dies of cancer at age 62. The surviving Bee Gee is now brother Barry. Maurice, the third Gibb brother, was the first to pass on in 2003.
6 years ago (2013)Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist and founding member of The Doors who had a dramatic impact on rock 'n' roll, dies of cancer at a clinic in Germany at age 74.

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