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

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


December 10th

1959 - The Platters
The four male members of The Platters were acquitted of charges of aiding and abetting prostitution, lewdness and assignation after an incident on August 10th in Cincinnati. Despite the outcome of the trial, the scandal would severely damage the group's career.
1961 - The Beatles
The Beatles appeared at Hambleton Hall, Huyton in Liverpool after returning to Liverpool from their first live performances in south England and London. 
1961 - James Brown
James Brown, The Famous Flames, Sugar Pie DeSanto and The Brownies all appeared at The Evergreen Ballroom, Lacey, Washington. 
1965 - David Bowie
18-year-old David Bowie recorded 'Can't Help Thinking About Me' at Pye Studios, London, England, which was later released as a single under the name David Bowie with The Lower Third. It became the first David Bowie record to be released in the US as well as the first time the name "Bowie" appeared under the songwriters credit.
1967 - Otis Redding
American soul singer, songwriter Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash, aged 26. Redding and his band had made an appearance in Cleveland, Ohio on the local ‘Upbeat’ television show the previous day. The plane carrying Otis Redding and his band crashed at 3.28.pm into icy waters of Lake Monoma near Madison. Redding was killed in the crash along with members from the The Bar-Kays, Jimmy King, Ron Caldwell, Phalin Jones and Carl Cunningham. Trumpet player Ben Cauley was the only person to survive the crash. There are some especially distressing pictures now of Otis dead body including one purporting to be him frown and still sat in the airplane seat and others of his being dragged out of the water. I will not post those here. Simply the loss of one of the greatest singers of all time . . . . . . . . . 

1971 - Frank Zappa
Playing the first of two nights at London's Rainbow Theatre, in England, Frank Zappa was pushed off stage by Trevor Howell, the jealous boyfriend of an audience member. Zappa fell onto the concrete-floored orchestra pit - the band thought Zappa had been killed. He suffered serious fractures, head trauma and injuries to his back, leg, and neck, as well as a crushed larynx, which ultimately caused his voice to drop a third after healing. This accident resulted in him using a wheelchair for an extended period, forcing him off the road for over half a year. Whilst not so much of a fan I was shocked and hugely disappointed to hear he had been attacked and so badly injured.
1973 - Patti Smith
The CBGB Club (Country, BlueGrass, and Blues), opened in the lower eastside of New York City. Founded by Hilly Kristal, it was originally intended to feature its namesake musical styles, but became a forum for American punk and New Wave bands such as Blondie, Television, Patti Smith and the Ramones
Patti here on closing night at CBGB

1983 - Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson started a six week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Say Say Say'. It was Jackson's 10th No.1 (solo & The Jackson's) and McCartney's 29th, (solo and The Beatles).

1999 - Rick Danko
Rick Danko died in his sleep at his home near Woodstock, New York. The Canadian guitarist and singer joined The Hawks in 1963 who went on to work as Bob Dylan's backing band, (with Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson). Renamed The Band who released their 1968 debut Music from Big Pink (featuring the single ‘The Weight’). The Band released the 1978 concert film-documentary triple-LP soundtrack ‘The Last Waltz.’ Simply the best band I saw live anyone not least in no small part to Rick Danko's swinging bass lines, rock music you can dance to! They stole the show in 1974 Wembley concert of Joni Mitchell, CSN&Y TURN IT UP!

1999 - George Michael

A war of words broke out between Cliff Richard and George Michael after George branded Cliff Richards hit 'Millennium Prayer' as 'vile'. Cliff hit back by saying that his single was a Christian celebration. I genuinely don't think Cliff understood why anyone might object to someone releasing the Lord's Prayer to the tune of Auld Lang Syne 
" . . . . . I think the single and the way it's been dealt with has been vile. 
"Just knowing there has been a Christian campaign for it - I think it is so exploitative of people's religion, it really is. 
"I think there are people out there who feel it is their duty to buy this record on the eve of the millennium. That is a really horrible reason for a number one record." said George

Sir Cliff said: "A lot of people want to buy Millennium Prayer because they genuinely feel that this is a Christian celebration. 

"It's a great shame that George feels that the marketing of the record has been `vile', because ultimately that casts a shadow over a lot of people who've bought it
2000 - Eminem
Eminem went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Stan' featuring British singer Dido. 'Stan' was No.1 in eleven countries. Dido's lyrics are actually a sample of the opening lines from her song 'Thank You'.

2007 - Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin played their first concert in 19 years, at London's 02 Arena as part of the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert. Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were joined on stage by Jason Bonham, the son of their late drummer John Bonham. More than one million people had taken part in a ballot for the 20,000 tickets available for the show with all proceeds going to Ahmet's own charity. Zeppelin performed 16 songs including two encores. A number of celebrities attended the gig including Dave Grohl, Jeff Beck, Brian May, David Gilmour, The Edge, Peter Gabriel, Mick Jagger, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Jerry Hall, Priscilla Presley and Paris Hilton.
2008 - Guantanamo Bay
The Associated Press reported that the US military used loud music to "create fear, disorient and prolong capture shock" for prisoners at military detention centers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Among the songs blasted 24 hours a day were 'Born In The USA' by Bruce Springsteen, 'Hell's Bells' by AC/DC, 'White America' by Eminem, 'The Theme From Sesame Street' and 'I Love You' from the Barney and Friends children's TV show.
2009 - Paul McCartney
In an interview with Q magazine, Paul McCartney was asked if his marriage to Heather Mills was the worst mistake of his life. He replied "OK, yeah. I suppose that has to be the prime contender." The divorce settlement had cost McCartney £24m ($38.9m), plus annual payments for his daughter, Beatrice.
2010 - Bob Dylan
The original hand-written lyrics to Bob Dylan's 'The Times They Are A-Changin' sold at a New York auction for $422,500 (£267,400). Adam Sender, a hedge fund manager and art collector, outbid five others, placing telephone bids. The song, one of Dylan's most politically charged, was the title track of his 1964 album.
2011 - The Beatles
A copy of The Beatles 'Love Me Do' 1962 Demonstration Record sold for $17,339.31 during a 10-day eBay auction. According to the seller, this original demo was the ‘Holy Grail’ of Beatles items.
2015 - Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin's psychedelic 1965 Porsche sold for $1.76 million at RM Sotheby's car auction in New York City. The car was originally expected to fetch between $400,000 and $600,000.


1974 - Meg White

Meg White, American drummer, The White Stripes. Their 2003 UK No.1 album 'Elephant' spent 46 weeks on the UK chart. Meg forced the disbandment of The White Stripesthough he crippling anxiety
1941 - Peter Sarstedt
Northern Indian-born British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Peter Sarstedt, best known for the single 'Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?', which topped the UK Singles Chart in 1969 (and 14 other countries), and won an Ivor Novello Award. He died on 8 January 2017 at the age of 75.
Here introduced by the legendary Simon Dee

1926 - Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones
Born on this day Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones, New Orleans blues guitar player from the 1940s and 1950s best known for the million-selling song ‘The Things That I Used to Do’, a song that is listed in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. He died of pneumonia aged 32 on 7 February 1959.
1910 - John Hammond
John Hammond, producer, A&R scout. Worked with Bob DylanBruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, George Benson and Janis Joplin
Hammond died on 10th July 1987.

Monday, December 09, 2019

1966 - Cream
Supergroup Cream released their debut studio album 'Fresh Cream' in the UK. The three piece of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker also released their second single 'I Feel Free' on the same day.

1967 - The Doors

The Doors appeared at the New Haven Arena, New Haven, Connecticut. Before the show a policeman found singer Jim Morrison making out with an 18 year-old girl in a backstage shower and after an argument the policeman sprays mace in Morrison’s face. Once on stage Morrison tells the story of the backstage episode and starts taunting the police who drag him off the stage and arrest him. The crowd riots leaving the venue in disarray and many are arrested. Later over 100 protestors gathered at the police station in demonstration and more arrests were made.

1972 - Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond released the live double album Hot August Night, from a concert on August 24, 1972, which was one of ten sold out concerts that Diamond performed that month at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. The album peaked at No.5 on the US chart and spent 29 weeks at No.1 on the Australian chart.
1978 - Sex Pistols
Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious was charged with assault after attacking Todd Smith, singer Patti Smith's brother, at a Skafish concert at Hurrah, a New York dance club. Vicious was sent to Rikers Island metro jail for fifty-five days to undergo a painful and enforced detoxification.
1978 - Boney M
Boney M had their second UK No.1 single with their version of the Harry Belafonte 1957 hit 'Mary's Boy Child'. On the list of the all-time best selling singles in the UK, Boney M. appear in fifth place (with 'Rivers of Babylon' a rastafarian song written and recorded by Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton of the jamaican reggae group The Melodians in 1970.) and tenth place (with 'Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord'). The single sold almost 1.8 million copies.
my problem (of course!) is that I recall the original from the film soundtrack to The Harder They Come  and had it on a compilation featuring The Melodians and felt the choice of Boney M cover was sufficiently distant to be a rip off!

so we'll post this and then the original and my favourite single version too . . . . 

1978 - Chic
Chic started a seven week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Le Freak.' Nile Rodgers later stated that the song was devised during New Years Eve of 1977, as a result of him and bassist Bernard Edwards being refused entrance to Studio 54, in New York City, where they had been invited by Grace Jones, due to Jones's failure to notify the nightclub's staff. He said the lyrics of the refrain were originally "Fuck off!" rather than "Freak out!"

1988 - Neil Diamond
According to a poll released in the US, the music of Neil Diamondwas favoured as the best background music for sex, Beethoven was the second choice and Luther Vandross was voted third.
1989 - Billy Joel
Billy Joel started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'We Didn't Start The Fire'. Its lyrics are made up from rapid-fire brief allusions to over a hundred headline events between 1949 (Joel was born on May 9 of that year) and 1989, when the song was released on his album Storm Front.

1992 - George Harrison
George Harrison was the recipient of the first Century Award, presented by Tom Petty at the third Billboard Music Awards in Universal City, California.
1995 - Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson scored his 6th solo UK No.1 single when 'Earth Song' started a 6-week run at the top of the charts. It gave Jackson the UK Christmas No.1 of 1995 and his best-selling UK single ever. The song kept the first single released by The Beatles in 25 years, 'Free as a Bird', off the No.1 position.

2000 - U2
U2 made their first-ever appearance on the long-running NBC program 'Saturday Night Live.' The band played ‘Beautiful Day’ and ‘Elevation.’
2000 - Sharon Corr
Sharon Corr of The Corrs called for the legalisation of cannabis, claiming that the drug has medicinal properties. Sharon said, 'Some people with certain conditions can get a brief reprieve from their symptoms through cannabis'.
2001 - Madonna
Channel 4 TV apologised to viewers after Madonna said 'motherfucker' during live UK TV coverage at The Tate Gallery, London. Madonna was presenting a prize to artist Martin Creed. A TV spokesman said that did have a bleeper system but they missed the offending word.

2001 - Britney Spears
Winners at The Smash Hits awards included Atomic Kitten, Best single for 'Whole Again', Westlife won Best band and Best album for 'World Of Our Own', and Blue won Best newcomer, Steps won Best live act, Shaggy won Best male act, Britney Spears won Best Female Act, Destiny's Child won Best R&B act, S Club 7's Rachel Stevens won Most Fanciable Female and Best Video went to Gorillaz, 'Clint Eastwood.'

2005 - Joss Stone
Joss Stone, Lemar and Ms. Dynamite backed by the African Children's Choir and 1,200 school children set a new world record for the most children singing simultaneously. The ‘Big Sing’ was held at The Royal Albert Hall, London. The singers led a performance of ‘Lean On Me’ which was broadcast to more than half a million people.
2006 - Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey threatened legal action against porn star Mary Carey in an attempt to stop her trademarking her similar-sounding stage name. The singer believed fans could get the two performers confused if the adult film actress Mary Carey's trademark application was successful. Well she said it. Confused the singer with the porn star?
2010 - Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton announced he was to sell off part of his extensive guitar collection to raise money for his Crossroads rehab Centre in Antigua. Highlights of the sale would include a guitar Clapton played at the Cream reunion shows in 2005, estimated to sell for more than £13,000. The sale to be held by Bonhams in New York would also feature a vast collection of amps and speakers, including a pair of Marshall speaker cabinets.


1969 - Jakob Dylan

Beautiful Man! Why it's almost as if he were a cross between his father and mother . . . . . 

American singer and songwriter Jakob Dylan, (the son of Bob Dylan and his wife Sara), from American rock band The Wallflowers who had the 1997 US No.3 album Bringing Down The Horse.

Here a peerless mini set featuring back up vocals for Neko Case and Kelly Horgan

1958 - Nick Seymour
Nick Seymour, bass, Crowded House, (1992 UK No.7 single 'Weather With You'). Think I bought every Crowded House album . . . . . .certainly loved these guys since Split Enz

1950 - Joan Armatrading
British singer-songwriter and guitarist Joan Armatrading, who scored the 1983 UK No.11 single 'Drop The Pilot'. She also received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection in 1996.

1944 - Neil Innes
English writer, comedian and musician Neil Innes who was a member of Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. They had the 1968 UK No.5 single 'I'm The Urban Spaceman'. He composed music for Monty Python's Flying Circus and wrote and performed The Rutles a TV spoof on The Beatles.. I followed Neil from Bonzos days to Grimms with Rickin' Duck and more besides . . . . . . definitely The Rutles!

1941 - Dan Hicks
Dan Hicks, best-known as the lead musician and founder of the 70s acoustic band Hicks and His Hot Licks. He died on 6 Feb 2016 at the age of 74 after suffering with throat and liver cancer. Hot Licks' hits included 'I Scare Myself' and 'Canned Music', which blended genre such as country, blues, jazz and swing.

1932 - Junior Wells
Junior Wells, US blues singer, harmonica player. Worked with Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, toured with The Rolling Stones in 1970. He died on 5th January 1998.