Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This Week In Rock History

1954— Billboard Magazine places Elvis Presley at #8 on their list of promising "Hillbilly" singers.

1955—Country artist “Tennessee” Ernie Ford releases his signature tune “Sixteen Tons.” The single would go on to become the biggest selling record of the 1950s.

1959—Due to the fact that he is currently serving with the US Army in Germany, Elvis Presley is left without a record on the Billboard charts for the first time in five years.

1961—The single “Big Bad John” reaches #1 on both the country and rock-and-roll charts. The song's writer and singer, Jimmy Dean, was not only a successful musician, but also worked as an actor, writer, television host (of both The Jimmy Dean Show, as well as guest hosting the Tonight show on several occasions), and, most famously, founder of the sausage company that still bears his name.

1962—The song “He's A Rebel” is number one on the Billboard charts. The song is credited to The Crystals, however it is actually performed by a another girl group known as The Blossoms. Phil Spector had recorded the song, and released it under the Crystals moniker to capitalize on the fact that they already had two songs in the the top ten.

1967—The Bee Gees' Robin Gibb survives a train wreck near London, England that killed 49 others.

1970—Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas marries actor Dennis Hopper. The marriage would last eight days.

1972—New York Dolls drummer Billy Murcia drowns after his girlfriend, in an attempt to wake him up, pours coffee down Murcia's throat as his lies passed out from a cocktail of alcohol and drugs.

1973—Phil Kaufman, former manager of alt-country singer Gram Parsons, is fined $300 for stealing Parson's body from the Los Angles airport. Kaufman, along with members of Parson's band The Flying Burrito Brothers stole the body, drove it out into the desert, and set it on fire in order to fulfill Parson's wish to be cremated.

1977—Ozzy Osbourne leaves Black Sabbath only to rejoin a few weeks later. In the intervening weeks former Savoy Brown singer Dave Walker would be brought in as the new singer, only to be let go upon Ozzy's return. (Dave currently resides in Virginia City).

1987—Dire Straights' album“Brothers In Arms,” originally released in 1985, becomes the UK's best selling album of all time when it passes the three-million mark. As of 2010, it remains the UK's largest selling, now topping over 30-million copies sold.

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