Friday, September 23, 2011

This Week In Rock History

1955--Pat Boone scores his first #1 song with a cover of "Ain't That A Shame." Boone would make a career out of "cleaning up" songs by black artists to make them palatable for middle Amercican artists.

1958--Elvis Presley gives one final press conference before joining the rest of the 3rd-armored division to ship off for Germany.

1960--For his 21st birthday, singer and actor Frankie Avalon is given the $600,000 he earned as a minor.

1962--Elvis Presley's manager, Col. Tom Parker, declines an invitation for Elvis to appear at a function attended by members of the royal family in the United Kingdom. Parker sites film commitments as the reason for not attending, however the real reason was because Parker was
an illegal Dutch immigrant, who was afraid if he left the US he would be barred from returning.

1968--Janis Joplin leaves Big Brother and the Holding Company to go solo.

1968--Jimi Hendrix releases a cover of Bob Dylan's song "All Along the Watchtower." It reaches #20 on the Billboard charts, making it Hendrix's only top 40 hit. Despite his influence on music, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jimi Hendrix is technically a "one hit wonder."

1970--Jimi Hendrix dies at the age of 27 after taking too many sleeping pills and choking to death on his own vomit. The death is labeled "accidental," though rumors persist that Hendrix was murdered by a former roadie.

1972--Paul and Linda McCartney are arrested for the second time in four weeks for possession of marijuana after a number of cannabis plants are found growing on his Scottish farm.

1973--26 year-old Gram Parsons, formerly of The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, dies of a drug overdose in Joshua Tree, California. A few days after his death his coffin and body are stolen from Los Angeles International Airport by his manager, Phil Kaufman, and a former roadie for The Byrds, Michael Martin. His body is taken out to Cap Rock in the California desert and set ablaze, in accordance, Kaufman claimed, to Parson's wishes. They were both later arrested by the police.

1973--30 year-old singer/songwriter Jim Croce is killed after playing a concert at North-Western State University, when his privately chartered plane hits a tree attempting to take off in bad weather. He had finished recording his final record, I've Got A Name, just a week previous to the accident.

1980--Bob Marley collapses on stage at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh. He is flown to the Sloan-Kettering hospital in New York where he is diagnosed with a brain tumor. He would die the following May at the age of 35.

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