Thursday, December 8, 2011

This Week In Rock History

1963—19 year-old Frank Sinatra Jr. is kidnapped at gun point from his hotel room at Harrah's Casino in Lake Tahoe, California. He is released, unharmed, two days later after his father paid the $240,000 ransom.

1964—Soul singer, Sam Cooke, is shot and killed in the lobby of a Los Angeles motel. According the shooter, motel manager Martha Franklin, Cooke broke into the office of the motel demanding to know the whereabouts of a young woman Cooke had brought to the motel with him. Despite a ruling of “justifiable homicide” rumors persist that Franklin and the young woman, Elisa Boyer, were working together to rob Cooke.

1967—A 26-year-old Otis Redding is killed when the plane he is piloting crashes into Lake Monona. Also killed in the crash were four teenage members of his backing band The Bar-Kays. Only trumpeter, Ben Cauley, who was seated directly behind Redding survived the crash.

1969— A fictitious group called Steam was given credit for this week's Billboard chart topping tune, "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye". The song was actually recorded by Gary De Carlo, who intended it to be the "B" side of his first single. Gary didn't like the song and when record executives wanted to issue it as the "A" side, he insisted it be released under an assumed name. After the song became a hit, De Carlo still wanted nothing to do with it and a group from Bridgeport, Connecticut was recruited to tour in support of the record.

1976—KISS guitarist Ace Frehley is nearly electrocuted during a concert in Florida when he touches a short-circuited light. He is carried from the stage but returns 10 minutes later to finish the show.

1980-- Just two months after his 40th birthday, John Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman, outside his home at the Dakota Apartment building in New York. Lennon was shot in his chest, back and left arm and was pronounced dead thirty minutes later. Earlier in the day, Lennon had autographed an album for Chapman. Lennon's killer was sentenced to 20 years to life and remains in prison, being denied parole in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010.

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