Almanac

Rock 'n' Roll Almanac for Thursday, July 29, 2021

88 years ago (1933)Randy Sparks of The New Christie Minstrels is born in Leavenworth, Kansas.
75 years ago (1946)Jazz great Charlie Parker falls asleep while smoking and sets his hotel bed on fire. He is arrested after wandering through the hotel lobby wearing nothing but socks. The incident leads to a stay at the Camarillo State Hospital (a mental institution), which inspires his song Relaxin’ at Camarillo.
75 years ago (1946)Neal Doughty, keyboardist for REO Speedwagon is born. He'll end up being the original member who stays longest with the band.
75 years ago (1946)REO Speedwagon keyboardist Neal Doughty is born.
74 years ago (1947)Carlo Paul Santanna of Paper Lace is born.
68 years ago (1953)Rush’s bassist and keyboardist, Geddy Lee, is born. So is Bruce Springsteen's wife, E Street Band guitarist and vocalist Patty Scialia.
62 years ago (1959)The Isley Brothers record Shout.
62 years ago (1959)John Sykes of Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, and Blue Murder is born.
60 years ago (1961)Dick Clark premieres his summer stage show, the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars, at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City.
58 years ago (1963)Peter, Paul and Mary's Blowin' In The Wind is released.
58 years ago (1963)Capitol Records sends disc jockeys around the US a list of hot rod terms to assist DJs when talking about the latest music trend.
58 years ago (1963)After a four year hiatus, the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island reopens. Those getting thumbs-up from the crowd include Joan Baez, Peter, Paul & Mary, and Bob Dylan.
56 years ago (1965)The Beatles film Help! debuts at London's Pavilion Theatre. Another sell-out crowd attends while critics are bemused.
55 years ago (1966)Bob Dylan crashes his Triumph 55 motorcycle while riding near Woodstock, New York. He is sent to Middletown Hospital with several broken neck vertebrae, a concussion and cuts on his face and scalp. He remains in serious condition for a week suffering mild amnesia, paralysis and internal injuries for about a month. The rumor mill begins with Dylan in a coma, becoming a vegetable, never performing again, dodging the draft, passing on or lost his mind due to drug use.
55 years ago (1966)Martina McBride, the “Celine Dion of Country Music,” is born.
55 years ago (1966)A U.S. magazine targeted to teenagers called Datebook causes an uproar when it reprints some of John Lennon’s interview 4 months earlier in the London Evening Standard, in which Lennon said, “We're more popular than Jesus now.” The American media jumps on the quote and turns it into a major story.
55 years ago (1966)Cream make their stage debut, playing at Manchester, England's Twisted Wheel club.
54 years ago (1967)The Temptations' You're My Everything is released.
54 years ago (1967)Chris Gorman of Belly is born.
54 years ago (1967)The Doors’ Light My Fire starts its three-week run at the top of the Hot 100.
53 years ago (1968)The Byrds leave on their tour of South Africa without Gram Parsons. He refuses to set foot in a country where apartheid is official policy.
51 years ago (1970)The Rolling Stones' contract with Decca Records has expired and they're talking about starting their own label. They inform their business manager, Allen Klein, that “neither he nor ABKCO Industries have any authority to negotiate recording contracts on their behalf.”
49 years ago (1972)Alone Again (Naturally) by Gilbert O'Sullivan starts a 4-week stay at #1 on the charts.
48 years ago (1973)Led Zeppelin, in the middle of a very successful U.S. tour, are the victims of one of the largest cash thefts in New York City. $180,000 is taken from the band's deposit box at the Drake Hotel. The money is mostly cash receipts from the first of two nights at Madison Square Garden.
48 years ago (1973)Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men is born.
47 years ago (1974)Mama Cass Elliot, a one-time member of the Mama's & Papa's, dies in London. A postmortem the following day shows she died as a result of choking on a sandwich and from inhaling her own vomit. It's later revealed that she suffered a heart attack. She was 32.
45 years ago (1976)Eric Clapton begins his first tour of Britain in five years. He stays three weeks, starting off at Hempstead's Pavilion Theatre.
43 years ago (1978)The Village People’s Macho Man enters the charts.
43 years ago (1978)Kenny Loggins Whenever I Call You Friend is released.
43 years ago (1978)Earth, Wind & Fire enter the soul chart with their version of The Beatles Got to Get You into My Life, from the Sgt. Pepper soundtrack. It makes it to #1 for a week in September.
41 years ago (1980)David Bowie makes his theatrical debut as the title role in The Elephant Man. Bowie will leave the Denver production and take the lead role in the New York production on Broadway. The critical reaction is favorable.
35 years ago (1986)Seventies soft-rocker Paul Davis is gutshot during an attempted robbery at a Nashville hotel. He eventually recovers.
34 years ago (1987)Michigan governor James Blanchard declares today “Four Tops Day” in honor of the Motown legends.
34 years ago (1987)Ben and Jerry's introduces a new flavor: Cherry Garcia, named after the Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia.
33 years ago (1988)Pedal steel guitarist Pete Drake dies. He played on hits such as Lynn Anderson's Rose Garden, Charlie Rich's Behind Closed Doors, Bob Dylan's Lay Lady Lay, and possibly Tammy Wynette's Stand by Your Man.
31 years ago (1990)Elton John checks into a hospital in Chicago, IL, for bulimia and substance abuse.
28 years ago (1993)Ed Guzman of Rare Earth dies.
23 years ago (1998)Miramax studios announces their purchase of the rights to The Beatles' 1964 film A Hard Day's Night, intending to remaster it in time for the film’s 35th anniversary.
22 years ago (1999)Anita Carter of The Carter Family dies.
16 years ago (2005)An anonymous bidder plays one million dollars for the original handwritten lyrics to The Beatles’ All You Need Is Love at the Hippodrome nightclub in London.
15 years ago (2006)Two British newspapers report that Paul McCartney has filed for divorce from Heather Mills McCartney. There's no pre-nup, and a $1.5 billion fortune is up for grabs. The former Beatle blames his estranged wife for the split, say she is being unreasonable and argumentative. She takes issue and her spokesman says she'll be filing counterclaims. They have a two-year-old daughter, Beatrice, and were married in June, 2002, four years after the death of Linda McCartney from breast cancer.
15 years ago (2006)Baywatch star Pamela Anderson marries Kid Rock (Robert Ritchie) aboard a yacht in St. Tropez. The two had been engageg in Las Vegas in 2002 but split up the following year. Pamela has two sons, Brandon,10, and Dylan, 8, from her previous mariage to Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee. They divorced in 1998 after three years of marriage. Kid Rock has a 13-year-old son named Bob, Jr.
10 years ago (2011)At a Dallas concert, Kings Of Leon frontman Caleb Followill leaves the stage after complaining about the heat. He never returns, and the band cancels the rest of their tour. The incident is officially blamed on “dehydration,” but Caleb's brother (and bass player) Jared later Tweets: “There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade.”
10 years ago (2011)Chuck Berry throws out the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game on the same day his statue is unveiled on Delmar Boulevard in the city.

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