portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Sunday, June 23, 2019


1957 - Lonnie Donegan
Lonnie Donegan was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Gamblin' Man / Putting On The Style', the singers second UK No.1. It was the last UK No.1 to be released as a 78rpm as well as a 7' vinyl record. I still have the 78 of this and recall it well, playing it on the windup gramophone {ask your grandparents} the first significant pop song I recall having a marked effect upon me. I was four.

1966 - The Beatles
The Beatles had their tenth consecutive UK No.1 single with 'Paperback Writer' / 'Rain.' The track is marked by the boosted bass guitar sound throughout, partly in response to John Lennon demanding to know why the bass on a certain Wilson Pickett record far exceeded the bass on any Beatles records. It was also cut louder than any other Beatles record, due to a new piece of equipment used in the mastering process. I LOVED this single and still do . . . . a pop classic, quiet unlike any piece of music then or since. 'Rain' was part of the reason I loved the rain, I recall feeling sad it was raining feeling maudlin and taking a sturdy coat and going out splashing in the puddles. Not long after I would have started my paper round and loved that it dragged me out in all weathers really early in the morning, snow, sleet or rain. 

1973 - George Harrison
George Harrison started a five-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with 'Living In The Material World', his second US No.1. His third studio solo album was the follow-up to 1970s acclaimed All Things Must Pass and his massive charity project, The Concert For Bangladesh

1976 - Paul McCartney and Wings
Paul McCartney and Wings played the last date on their Wings Over America tour at the Forum in Los Angeles.

2003 - Diana Ross
Diana Ross appeared in court and testified that she was coerced and felt intimidated into taking a breath test that showed her blood alcohol level was 0.2 (well over the 0.08 limit). The singer said, "If I didn’t take the breath tests, I was either going to go to the hospital or to jail". After the hearing, Ross asked the judge if it would be possible to have court paperwork processed using her married name of Diana Naess. The City Magistrate said he thought it was "a little late" for that now.

2004 - Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan was awarded an honorary degree by the University of St. Andrews Scotland's oldest University and made a "Doctor of Music."
Bob's Highland home

Only the second degree he has acknowledged 

2009 - Chris Brown
Chris Brown pleaded guilty to one count of assault on his former girlfriend, Rihanna. The 19 year-old R&B singer was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to do six months community service. Brown had faced charges of assaulting Rihanna, 21, during a row in February. The last-minute plea deal came before a hearing at a Los Angeles court at which Rihanna was due to give evidence. The Los Angeles County Superior Court judge also ordered Brown and Rihanna to stay at least 50 yards from each other, except at entertainment industry events when the distance is reduced to 10 yards.

Brown and Rihanna

2016 - Ralph Stanley
American bluegrass artist Ralph Stanley who was known for his distinctive singing and banjo playing, died aged 89. With his brother Carter, he helped popularise the bluegrass genre. Stanley won new fans when his work featured in the Coen brothers film O Brother, Where Art Thou?


1975 - KT Tunstall
Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall, who had the 2005, UK No.3 album, Eye To The Telescope. Her hit 'Suddenly I See' won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song in 2006 and was used as a campaign song of the US presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton in 2008.

1966 - Mark Chadwick
Mark Chadwick, guitarist, singer with English folk rock band The Levellers who had the 1995 UK No.12 single 'Just The One'.
1941 - Robert Hunter
Robert Hunter, American lyricist, singer-songwriter and poet, best known for his work with the Grateful Dead and for collaborating with singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. An early friend of Jerry Garcia, they played together in bluegrass bands (such as the Tub Thumpers).
1940 - Adam Faith
British teen idol, singer, actor and financial journalist Adam Faith, who had the 1959 UK No.1 single 'What Do You Want', plus over 20 other UK Top 40 singles. Acting roles include the TV series Love Hurts. Faith died of a heart attack on March 8th 2003.
Everybody loved Adam Faith and even when he acted and became 'Budgie'!
theme by Ray Davies [yes THAT Ray Davies!]

1940 - Stuart Sutcliffe
Stuart Sutcliffe, original bassist of The Beatles for eighteen months (January 1960 - June 1961). Sutcliffe was living in Hamburg, Germany at the time of his death, he died of a brain haemorrhage in an ambulance on the way to hospital on April 10th 1962, aged 22.
1929 - June Carter
American singer, songwriter, actress June Carter Cash, wife of Johnny Cash and part of the legendary folk roots dynasty The Carter Family performing with the family from the age of 10. She had hits with Johnny, like 'Ring Of Fire', 'Jackson', 'If I Were A Carpenter' and won five Grammy Awards, Carter Cash also won the 2000 Grammy Award, for Best Traditional Folk Album, for her 1999 album Press On. The album was a top-15 success on the Americana chart. Carter Cash's last album, Wildwood Flower, was released posthumously in 2003.  She died 15th May 2003 aged 73, Johnny died less than four months later.

Saturday, June 22, 2019


1968 - Otis Redding
The Otis Redding album Dock Of The Bay went to No.1 in the UK. The posthumously released album, and his sixth studio album contained a number of singles and B-sides dating back to 1965 and one of his best known songs, the posthumous hit (Sittin' On The Dock) Of The Bay.

1969 - Judy Garland
American singer, actress, Judy Garland, died of a barbiturate overdose aged 47, she was found on the floor of her rented Chelsea home, in London, UK. Made more than two dozen films, played Dorothy in the 1939 film 'Wizard Of Oz', sang 'Over The Rainbow' in the film, (voted the 'Song Of The Century' in a 2001 poll published in America). 1961 US No.1 comeback album 'Judy At Carnegie Hall'.

In her prime
Not yet 47

The second Glastonbury Festival in England took place. Held over 5 days to coincide with the summer solstice, (the weather was, for a British 'summer' very good). Acts who appeared included: Melanie, Quintessence, David Bowie, The Edgar Broughton Band, Pink Fairies, Terry Reid - with David Lyndley and Linda Lewis, Gong, Hawkwind, Arthur Brown, Brinsley Schwarz, Fairport Convention, Family and Traffic. Over 7,000 fans attended the event.

1971 - Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell released her fourth studio album Blue. The album is now generally regarded by music critics as one of the greatest albums of all time. In July 2017, Blue was chosen by NPR as the greatest album of all time made by a woman.

1981 - Mark Chapman
Mark Chapman pleaded guilty to the charge of murdering John Lennon in 1980. He was later sentenced to 20 years to life.

When I first went to New York I went and stood in the door way to the Dakota and was so overcome I wept

Note: The parole board wrote to Chapman that whilst he was at low risk to reoffend, but that he "admittedly carefully planned and executed the murder of a world-famous person for no reason other than to gain notoriety. While no one person's life is any more valuable than another's life, the fact that you chose someone who was not only a world-renowned person and beloved by millions, regardless of pain and suffering you would cause to his family, friends, and so many others, you demonstrated a callous disregard for the sanctity of human life and the pain and suffering of others. This fact remains a concern to this panel
Here we are 38 years later and Chapman is allowed conjugal visits with his Oriental wife once a year and enjoys visits from friends and family. Chapman is up for parole again in August next year 2020. 

1988 - Jesse Ed Davis
Concert for Bangladesh (Klaus Voorman, George & Jesse Ed Davis
American session guitarist Jesse Ed Davis died of a heroin overdose after collapsing in a laundry room in Venice, California, aged 43. Worked with Conway Twitty, The Monkees, George Harrison (George picked Tay Mahal's guitarist Jesse for the Concert For Bangladesh to stand in as back up in case Bob Dylan or Eric Clapton [deep in heroin addiction at that time] failed to show John LennonEric Clapton, Leonard Cohen, Keith Moon, Jackson Browne, Steve Miller, Harry Nilsson and Taj Mahal's housebound.

1992 - MC Hammer
Three members of M.C. Hammer's tour crew were wounded in a drive by shooting incident, three days later Joseph Mack, a dancer in Hammer's entourage was shot on stage during a concert in Nevada.

1996 - Arthur Ross
The brother of singer Diana Ross, Arthur Ross and his wife were murdered by suffocation in the basement of their rented Detroit home. The badly decomposed bodies were discovered after neighbors complained of a foul odor coming from the house. Two men were later charged with murder and robbery. Arthur Ross had written songs for Marvin Gaye, The Miracles and Madonna.

2008 - Coldplay
Coldplay went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Viva La Vida', their first UK No.1. History was made by this single, as it had no physical CD-single release in the UK, being available by internet download only. The song won a Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 2009.

2011 - Bono
It was reported in the Irish press that Bono's wandering peahen was causing havoc for some south Dublin residents. The peahen the less spectacular-coloured female partner to a male peacock had arrived in the Ard Mhuire housing estate in Killiney near to where the singer lived. One newspaper ran the headline: "Bono's cock drives me nuts". Local woman Susan McKeon said she first noticed the bird at night. "It had a tiny head and a huge body. It was actually quite ugly but I don't think it's fully grown."

2012 - Isle of Wight Festival
MP Andrew Turner called for a review of procedures after thousands of rock fans were delayed for hours heading to the Isle of Wight Festival. After heavy rain cars were unable to park on waterlogged fields - leading to gridlock as about 55,000 people headed to the site. Some fans were stuck in traffic for up to 16 hours on the way to the festival. Elbow, Lana Del Rey, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam all appeared at this year's festival.

2013 - Robin Thicke
'Blurred Lines' by Robin Thicke started a 13 week run at No.1 on the US singles chart. Featuring American rapper T.I. and American singer and producer Pharrell Williams, the video was made in two versions; the first video features models Emily Ratajkowski, Jessi M'Bengue, and Elle Evans being topless, the second features them covered. The topless version of the video was removed from YouTube for violating the site's terms of service regarding nudity, though it was later restored, but flagged as inappropriate. 'Blurred Lines" peaked at No.1 in 14 countries.


1962 - Ruby Turner
British Jamaican R&B and soul singer, Ruby Turner, who scored the 1987 UK hit single 'I'd Rather Go Blind'. As a session backing vocalist, she has worked with Bryan Ferry, UB40, Steel Pulse, Steve Winwood, Jools Holland and Mick Jagger.

1961 - Jimmy Somerville
Jimmy Somerville, UK singer, who with Bronski Beat had the 1984 UK No.3 single 'Smalltown Boy'. With British pop duo The Communards had the 1986 UK No.1 single with a cover version of the Thelma Houston hit 'Don't Leave Me This Way'.

1956 - Green Gartside
Green Gartside, singer, songwriter from British band Scritti Politti, who had the 1984 UK No.10 single 'Wood Beez, Pray Like Aretha Franklin', and the hit 'The Word Girl', as well as a US Top 20 hit 'Perfect Way'.

1953 - Cyndi Lauper
American singer, songwriter Cyndi Lauper, who had the 1984 US No.1 single 'Time After Time', and the UK & US No.2 single 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun', (first recorded in 1979 by American musician Robert Hazard). The song received Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

1944 - Peter Asher
Peter Asher, Peter &Gordon, who had the 1964 UK & US No.1 single 'World Without Love', written by Lennon & McCartney. Asher was a producer and Head of Apple Records in late 60s and went on to become James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt's manager.
Peter and Jane Asher

Paul and Jane Asher

Peter, Jane and Paul

1936 - Kris Kristofferson
Kris Kristofferson, musician, actor, and writer, known for such hits as 'Me and Bobby McGee', 'For the Good Times', 'Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down', and 'Help Me Make It Through the Night'. In 1985, Kristofferson joined fellow country artists Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash in forming the country music supergroup The Highwaymen. In 2004, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.