December 11 – Today in Music History

1916 Perez Prado (Damaso Perez Prado) born in Matanzas, Cuba, (1955 US & UK No.1 single ‘Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White’). He died on 14th September 1989.
1926 Big Mama Thornton born in Ariton, Alabama. American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter. Janis Joplin covered her song ‘Ball And Chain’, had the 1953 version of ‘Hound Dog’ before Elvis Presley. Thornton was found dead at age 57 by medical personnel in a Los Angeles boarding house[23] on July 25, 1984. She died of heart and liver disorders due to her longstanding alcohol abuse. She had lost 255 pounds (116 kg) in a short time as a result of illness, her weight dropping from 350 to 95 pounds (159–43 kg).
1935 Tom Brumley born in San Antonio, Texas. US Master of the Steel Guitar. He played with the Buckaroos from 1963, and later became a member of Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band.
1940 David Gates born in Oklahoma. Lead Singer/Guitarist for his band Bread. (1970 US No.1 & UK No.5 single ‘Make It With You’).
1941 J.Frank Wilson born in Lufkin, Texas. US Singer. He Died Oct 4, 1991 (was 49)
1944 Brenda Lee (Brenda Tarpley) born in Lithonia, Georgia. US Singer ‘Little Miss Dynamite’ recorded her first hit sinlges in 1960 when she was only 15. (1960 US No.1 single ‘I’m Sorry’, UK No.4 single ‘Sweet Nothin’s’, plus 27 US & 18 other UK Top 40 singles
1951 Philip ‘Spike’ Edney, keyboard player, was known as the fifth member of Queen. Also worked with Duran Duran, Boomtown Rats, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Haircut 100, The Cross, Brian May and the Rolling Stones.
1953 Graham Lee born in Kenilworth, Queensland. Australian rock musician and record producer, best known as the steel guitar player of the 1980s band The Triffids
1954 Jermaine La Jaune Jackson born in Gary, Indiana. US Singer with The Jackson Five, (1970 US No.1 & UK No.2 single ‘I Want You Back’,) The Jackson’s, (1977 UK No.1 single ‘Show You The Way To Go’), solo, (1985 UK No.6 single ‘Do What You Do’).
1957 Still married to his first wife Jane Mitcham, Jerry Lee Lewis secretly married his 13-year old second cousin Myra Gale Brown.
1958 The Coasters recorded Charlie Brown on this day.
1958 Nikki Sixx, bass, Motley Crue, (1988 UK No.23 single ‘You’re All I Need’ & 1989 US No.1 album ‘Dr Feelgood’).
1961 Elvis Presley started a 20-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Blue Hawaii’, his seventh US No.1 album.
1961 The Marvelettes went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Please Mr Postman’. The session musicians on the track included 22 year old Marvin Gaye on drums. The song gave the Carpenters a US No.1 and UK No.2 single in 1975.
1961 Darryl Jones also known as “The Munch.’ American bassist who has played with the Rolling Stones since Bill Wyman’s departure in 1993. Also worked with Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Madonna, Eric Clapton and Joan Armatrading.
1962 Curtis Williams, Kool & The Gang, (1981 US No.1 & UK No.7 single ‘Celebration’, 1984 UK No.2 single Joana’ and 15 other UK Top 40 hits).
1964 Justin Currie Bassist/Vocals/Songwriter with Del Amitri, (1990, UK No.11 single, ‘Nothing Ever Happens’).
1964 Soul singer Sam Cooke was shot dead by his manager Bertha Franklin, who claimed to have been assaulted by Cooke while staying at the Hacienda Hotel, Los Angeles. Cooke was 33 years old.
1967 DJ Yella, NWA, (1990 UK No.26 single ‘Express Yourself’).
1968 Liverpool folk group The Scaffold were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Lily The Pink’, this year’s Christmas No.1. ‘Lily the Pink’ was a new version of an older folk song entitled ‘The Ballad of Lydia Pinkham’, and a similar version was the unofficial regimental song of the Royal Tank Corps, at the end of World War II.
1968 Filming began for The Rolling Stones ‘Rock & Roll Circus.’ As well as clowns and acrobats, John Lennon and his fiancee Yoko Ono performed as part of a supergroup called The Dirty Mac, along with Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell, and Keith Richards. It was originally meant to be aired on the BBC, but the Rolling Stones withheld it because they were unhappy with their performance. The film was eventually released in 1996.
1970 Miguel Rios went to No.1 on the Australian Singles chart with ‘Song Of Joy’. It stayed there for 2 wks
1971 UK comedian Benny Hill was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)’, giving Hill his only No.1 and the Christmas hit single of 71.
1972 Easther Bennett, Eternal, (1997 UK No.1 single ‘I Wanna Be The Only One’).
1972 James Brown was arrested after show in Tennessee for trying to incite a riot. Brown threatened to sue the city for $1m, the charges were later dropped.
1973 Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley was nearly electrocuted during a concert in Florida when he touched a short-circuited light. The guitarist was carried from the stage but returned 10 minutes later to finish the show.
1980 U2 appeared at The Mudd Club in New York City, the first date of four US shows which also took the band to Boston and Washington DC.
1981 Zacky Vengeance (Zachary James Baker), American guitarist, songwriter of Avenged Sevenfold, who had the 2010 US No.1 album Nightmare and the 2013 US No.1 album Hail to the King.
1982 Singer, TV actress and dancer Toni Basil went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Mickey’, making her a US one hit wonder. Also a No.2 hit in the UK, the song was written by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn as ‘Kitty’, and was first recorded by UK group Racey during 1979.
1982 The Jam played their last ever gig as a band when they appeared in Brighton, England. Singer and guitarist Paul Weller went on to form The Style Council with keyboardist Mick Talbot. The permanent line-up grew to include drummer Steve White and Weller’s then-wife, vocalist Dee C. Lee.
1983 The Flying Pickets were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of the Yazoo song ‘Only You’. Also this years Christmas No.1 and the first a cappella chart-topper in the UK.
1989 The Recording Industry Association of America certified four Led Zeppelin albums as multi-platinum: ‘Presence’ (2 million), ‘Led Zeppelin’ (4 million), ‘Physical Graffiti’ (4 million) and ‘In Through The Out Door’ (5 million).
1992 Manic Street Preacher Nicky Wire was quoted as saying ‘I hope Michael Stipe goes the same way as Freddie Mercury’.
1993 Janet Jackson started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Again’, her 7th US No.1, a No.6 hit in the UK.
1993 The character Mr Blobby as featured on UK TV’s ‘The Noel Edmunds House Party’, started a one-week run as the UK No.1 single with the novelty song ‘Mr Blobby’. The single later received the dubious honour of being voted the most irritating Christmas No.1 single in a HMV poll.
1996 Johnny Marr and Morrissey were left with a £300,000 legal bill after loosing a case over unpaid royalties with former Smiths members Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce.
1998 During a gig in Tuscon, Arizona, a bottle thrown from the audience hit Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson. A security guard was then stabbed trying to eject a man from the crowd.
2000 Former Verve front man Richard Ashcroft was forced to cancel the remaining dates on his current UK tour after he fell on stage and broke two ribs. The accident happened during a show in Birmingham.
2001 Brian Harvey underwent surgery after suffering a serious head injury in an attack. The former East 17 singer was attacked by a group of youths as he left the Works nightclub in Nottingham, having appeared at a promotional event.
2001 David Soul won a lawsuit against Matthew Wright, a London theatre critic who criticised Soul’s stage performance without even seeing it. Wright’s column had made reference to the Monday performance, when in fact, the play did not run on Mondays.
2003 Bobby Brown was charged with battery after allegedly hitting wife Whitney Houston in the face. Brown, turned himself in to the police three days after a reported domestic dispute at the couple’s home in Atlanta, Georgia. Houston, who accompanied her husband to court, said they were trying to work out their problems “privately.”
2006 The Scissor Sisters went to No.1 on the Australian Singles Chart with “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing”. Staying at No.1 for 1 week.
2008 Simon Cowell said he was “very embarrassed” after contracts signed by this year’s X Factor contestants were leaked to the Daily Mirror newspaper. The 80-page document, which is enforceable “anywhere in the world or the solar system” was signed by all 12 finalists before the live shows began. It included a clause that prevents them from saying anything “unduly negative, critical or derogatory” about Cowell. Also the show claimed the prize as a “£1m recording contract”, but the contestants’ contract said the prize money was £150,000.
2012 Indian musician Ravi Shankar died after undergoing heart valve replacement surgery. He was one of the best-known exponents of the sitar and influenced many other musicians throughout the world. George Harrison who was first introduced to Shankar’s music by Roger McGuinn and David Crosby, became influenced by Shankar’s music and went on to help popularize Shankar.
2016 Bob Dylan said it was “truly beyond words” to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. In a speech read on his behalf at the ceremony in Sweden, he said he thought his odds of winning were as likely as him “standing on the moon”. Patti Smith performed ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ at the ceremony. But the singer had to apologise during her rendition after nerves got the better of her and she forgot the lyrics.

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