PCPB Presents On This Day in Music History
Welcome back to this week’s edition of On This Day in Music History! This week we kick of our music history tour on 25th May in 1961 with The Temperance Seven.
On This Day…
Blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, Sonny Boy Williamson died in his sleep. Van Morrison, Aerosmith, The Who, The Animals, Yardbirds and Moody Blues have all covered his songs. According to the Led Zeppelin biography Hammer of the Gods, touring the UK in the 60’s, Sonny Boy set his hotel room on fire while trying to cook a rabbit in a coffee percolator.
Procol Harum’s single ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale ‘ entered the UK chart for the first time, where it went on to become a No.1 hit. ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale ‘ became the most played song in the last 75 years in public places in the UK as of 2009. The first video for the song was shot in the ruins of Witley Court in Worcestershire, England. Directed by Peter Clifton whose insertion of Vietnam War newsreel footage caused it to be banned from airplay on the Top Of The Pops TV show. The band subsequently made another video.
Pink Floyd appeared at the Gwent Constabulary ‘A’ Division Spring Holiday Barn Dance, held at The Barn, Grosmont Wood Farm in Cross Ash, Wales, UK.
A benefit concert was held for Fairport Convention at The Roundhouse, London to raise money for the families of the band’s drummer Martin Lamble, Richard Thompson’s girlfriend and clothes designer Jeannie Franklyn who were all killed in an accident driving back from a gig. Family, Pretty Things, Soft Machine and John Peel, were also on the bill.
The Who and Led Zeppelin appeared at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Maryland, USA. It was the only time the two group’s ever performed together, with Zeppelin opening the show. On the tickets, Led Zeppelin was spelt Lead Zeppelin.
Carole King played a concert in New York’s Central Park, which attracted an audience of 100,000.
After seeing The Hype soon to become U2 appearing at the Project Arts Centre, in Dublin, Paul McGuinness became their manager.
Dire Straits scored their second UK No.1 Album with ‘Brothers In Arms‘, the album also hit No.1 in the US and 24 other countries. ‘Brothers In Arms‘ was one of the first albums to be directed at the CD market, and was a full digital recording (DDD) at a time when most popular music was recorded on analogue equipment. The album won two Grammy Awards at the 28th Grammy Awards, and also won Best British Album at the 1987 Brit Awards, and has gone on to sell over 30 million copies worldwide.
Khalil Roundtree, the tour manager of Boyz II Men, was killed by gunfire after a scuffle in an elevator on the 26th floor of a hotel in Chicago, their assistant tour manager also was injured in the incident.
A report showed that Elvis Presley was now the world’s bestselling posthumous entertainer with worldwide sales of over one billion, over 480 active fan clubs and an estimated 250,000 UK fans who still buy his records but ironically Presley died owing $3 million (£1.76 million).
Bob Dylan was diagnosed as suffering from histoplasmosis pericarditis, a fungal infection of the lung, and was admitted to hospital he stayed until June 2nd. Having just turned 56, Dylan later admitted: “I really thought I’d be seeing Elvis soon“. Treated by drugs and rest, Bob was back on the road only ten weeks later, for 22 American and Canadian shows.
Coldplay released they’re first ever recording, an EP called ‘Safety‘, which featured three tracks; ‘Bigger Stronger ‘, ‘No More Keeping My Feet on the Ground ‘, and ‘Such a Rush ‘. The EP was intended as a demo for record companies and is now such a rarity that it is known to fetch more than £2000 on eBay.
Jemini, the UK entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, failed to get a single point, the first time a UK entry had ended up with nul points. The first nul pointers came in 1962, six years after the contest started when four countries Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain all failed to register.
Madonna cancelled three shows in Israel after terrorists threatened to kill her and her kids. A spokesperson said she was targeted because she symbolises the West and not because she practises the Jewish faith Kabbalah.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office in California announced that it was officially closing the stabbing case of Meredith Hunter, the 18-year-old American who was killed at the 1969 Rolling Stones Altamont Free Concert. Investigators, concluding a renewed two-year investigation, dismissed the theory that a second Hell’s Angel took part in the stabbing.
Sixties pop star Wayne Fontana was remanded in custody after admitting pouring petrol over a bailiff’s car and setting fire to it. The judge criticised the former lead singer of the Mindbenders, for arriving at Derby Crown Court dressed as the “Lady of Justice”. He had to hand a sword and scales to guards but still wore a crown, cape and dark glasses, claiming “justice is blind”.
A former member of Wilco, who was suing the band over royalties claim, died at his home in Illinois at the age of 45. Jay Bennett worked as a sound engineer and played instruments for the band between 1994 and 2001. Bennett filed his legal action against Wilco lead singer Jeff Tweedy at the beginning of May, claiming $50,000 (£33,160) for five albums he made with the group.
American rock and roll bassist Marshall Lytle, died aged 79. He was best known for his work with the groups Bill Haley & His Comets and The Jodimars in the 1950s. He played upright slap bass on the iconic 1950s rock and roll records ‘Crazy Man, Crazy ‘, ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll ‘, and ‘Rock Around the Clock ‘.
That brings us to the end of yet another music history tour. Join me the same time next week as we delve back in history but until Keep It Turned On and Turned Up and remember “Good music doesn’t have and expiration date “.
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