Thursday, March 8, 2012

This Week In Rock History

1961—The Tokens record "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", which will reach the US Pop chart in November and climb to number one by Christmas. The song was originally a hit in South Africa in 1939 for its writer, Solomon Linda, under its original title "Mbube" (pronounced EEM-boo-beh) which means "Lion".

1963—The Beatles first US album, "Introducing The Beatles" was pressed by Vee-Jay Records, who thought they had obtained the legal rights from EMI affiliate, Trans-Global Records. When it was finally released in January, 1964, Capitol Records would hit Vee Jay with an injunction against manufacturing, distributing, advertising, or otherwise disposing of records by the Beatles. After a trial, Vee-Jay was allowed to release any Beatles records that they had masters of in any form until October 15th, 1964. After that time, they no longer had the right to issue any Beatles product. 

1965—The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Bill Wyman appear in a London courtroom and are found guilty of "insulting behavior" for urinating against a London gas station wall. They argued that the owner had refused to give them the key to the men's room, but they are fined five pounds each.

1965—The Beach Boys' "California Girls" is released in the US, where it will reach #3 in September. The song was the first Beach Boys recording to feature vocals from Bruce Johnston, who had joined the group to substitute for Brian Wilson on concert tours.

1965—Bob Dylan, backed by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, shocked the audience at the Newport Folk Festival with his new electric sound. The crowd booed him off the stage after three tunes. After being urged by Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) to return to the stage and go acoustic, Dylan sang two songs to the now-silent audience - "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and "Mr. Tambourine Man".

1969--Neil Young appeared with Crosby, Still, and Nash for the first time when they played at The Fillmore East in New York. Young was initially asked to help out with live material only, but ended up joining the group on and off for the next 30 years.

1969--Police in Moscow reported that after a Russian youth magazine told readers how to convert their acoustic guitars to electric by using parts from a telephone, thousands of public phone booths had been vandalized.

1972--23-year-old Bobby Ramirez, drummer with Edgar Winter's White Trash, was killed in a bar fight in Chicago after a redneck made a comment about the length of his hair. He died of head injuries after being kicked with steel-tipped shoes.

1976—Tina Turner files for divorce from her husband Ike, ending their violent 16-year marriage and successful musical partnership.

1976--John Lennon finally received his US Green Card, three years after he was ordered to leave by immigration officials.

1979—Little Richard, appearing as Reverend Richard Penniman, speaks at a revival meeting in North Richmond, CA. He warns the congregation about the evils of Rock 'n' Roll music and declares, "If God can save an old homosexual like me, he can save anybody."

1990--Brent Mydland, keyboard player for The Grateful Dead was found dead of a drug overdose in his home in Lafayette, California. He was 37. He joined the band in 1979, replacing Keith Godchaux.

 Courtesy of

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