on this day

On This Day In Music 26th March

1917 Rufus Thomas born in Cayce – Mississippi. US Singer/Songwriter. (1963 US No.10 single with ‘Walking The Dog’ and a 1970 UK No.18 & US No.28 single with ‘Do The Funky Chicken’). Thomas died on December 15th 2001. 
1944 Diana Ross (Diane Earle) born in Detorit, Michigan. US Singer with The Supremes. (1964 UK & US No.1 single ‘Baby Love’ plus over 20 other US & UK Top 40 hits). Solo (1980 US No.1 single ‘Upside Down, 1986 UK No.1 single ‘Chain Re
1946 Fran Sheehan born Swampscott, Massachusetts. US Bass Player with Boston. 
1947 John Rowles born in Whakatane, New Zealand. New Zealand singer who charted in 1969 with ‘If I Only Had Time” & “Hush Not A Word To Mary”. Birthdate also known as the 25th March. 
1948 Richard Tandy born in Birmingham, W. Midlands, England. Keyboards/Guitari/Vocals with the Electric Light Orchestra, (1979 UK No.3 & US No. 4 single ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ plus 26 other top 40 UK hits). 
1948 Steven Tyler (Steve Tallarico) born in New York New York. Lead Vocalist with Aerosmith, (1989 UK No.13 single ‘Love In An Elevator’. 1989 album ‘Pump’ spent 53 weeks on the US charts. 1998 US No.1 single ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’).
1949 Jon English born in London, England. English-born Australian singer, songwriter, musician and actor. He emigrated from England to Australia with his parents in 1961. He was an early vocalist and rhythm guitarist for Sebastian Hardie but left to take on the role of Judas Iscariot in the Australian version of the stage musical Jesus Christ Superstar from May 1972, which was broadcast on television. English was also a noted solo singer; his Australian top twenty hit singles include “Turn the Page”, “Hollywood Seven”, “Words are Not Enough”, “Six Ribbons” and “Hot Town”. In late February 2016, English was hospitalized due to “unexpected health problems” and he was forced to cancel several scheduled performances due to planned surgery for an aortic aneurysm. He died following post-operative complications late in the evening of 9 March 2016, 17 days short of his 67th birthday. 
1949 Fran Sheehan born in Massachusetts. US Bass Player with Boston, (1977 UK No.22 single ‘More Than A Feeling’, 1986 US No.1 single ‘Amanda’). 
1949 Vicki Lawrence born in Inglewood, California. US singer. 
? Rockpile Jones born in Australia. Australian Singer/Rhythm Guitarist with Ol’55. 
1950 Teddy Pendergrass born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Soul singer, (1978 US No.25 single ‘Close The Door’, 1994 UK No.35 single ‘The More I Get The More I Want’). One time member of Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes. On June 5, 2009, Pendergrass underwent successful surgery for colon cancer and returned home to recover. A few weeks later he returned to the hospital with respiratory issues. After seven months, he died of respiratory failure on January 13, 2010, at the age of 59.
1950 Ronnie McDowell born in Portland, Tennessee. US singer & Elvis Imitator. His only hit “the King Is Gone” in 1977. 
1953 Billy Lyall born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Lyall was a keyboard player, vocalist and occasional flautist with Pilot, and an early member of the Bay City Rollers. He was keyboard player for Dollar between 1978 & 1982, and also contributed to The Alan Parsons Project with fellow Pilot members. He left Pilot in early 1976 and released a solo album, Solo Casting later that year. Lyall died of AIDS-related causes on the 1st December 1989, aged 36.
1955 Martin Price born in Farnworth, England. Keyboard player with 808 State, (1989 UK No.10 single ‘Pacific State’). 
1956 Kay Starr was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Rock And Roll Waltz.’ 
1957 Paul Morley born in Surrey, England. Bass/Arranger/Producer with Art Of Noise. 
1960 Jimmy Jones went to No.1 on the Australian Singles Chart with ‘Handy Man’. Staying at No.1 for 1wk
1965 Jeff Beck replaced Eric Clapton as The Yardbirds lead guitarist. 
1968 US blue artist Little Willie John died in prison after being convicted of manslaughter. Co- wrote and was the first to record, ‘Fever’ and ‘Need Your Love So Bad’ Covered by Fleetwood Mac. 
1968 Kenny Chesney born in Luttrell, Tennessee. US country singer, songwriter, (2002 US No.1 album ‘No Shoes, No Shirt’, 2005 US No.1 album ‘Be As You Are’). Married Bridget Jones and Chicago actress Renee Zellweger in May 2005.
1968 James Jonas Iha, guitar, Smashing Pumpkins, (1995 US No.1 album ‘Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness’, 1996 UK No.7 single ‘Tonight Tonight’). 
1969 Marvin Gaye was at No.1 on the UK singles chart, with ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’. The song had also been a million seller in 1967 for Gladys Knight and the Pips. 
1971 John Hendy born in London, England. East 17, (1994 UK No.1 single ‘Stay Another Day’, plus over 15 other UK Top 40 singles).
1971 Session sax and flute player Harold McNair died of lung cancer. Worked with Donovan, Melanie and Ginger Baker’s Air Force. 
1976 One-man blues band Duster Bennett was killed in a car accident. 1970 album ‘Smiling Like I’m Happy.’ Worked with Alexis Korner, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood Mac and B.B. King. 
1977 Hall and Oates started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Rich Girl’, the duo’s first US No.1, not a hit in the UK. 
1977 Foreigner released their first single ‘Feels Like The First Time’. 
1980 Jon-Jon Poulos – Drummer with The Buckinghams – Died On This Day of a drug overdose aged 32. 
1981 Jay Sean, British producer, 2009 US No.1 single ‘Down’ with Lil Wayne. 
1983 Duran Duran had their first UK No.1 with their eighth single release ‘Is There Something I Should Know” The group were on a US promotional trip where they were greeted by 5,000 screaming fans at an in-store appearance in New Y
1983 Tears For Fears scored their first UK No.1 album with ‘The Hurting.’ Inlduing ‘Mad World’ & ‘Change’. 
1985 Radio stations in South Africa banned all of Stevie Wonders records after he dedicated the Oscar he had won the night before at The Academy Awards to Nelson Mandela. 
1988 Aswad were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Don’t Turn Around.’ Ace of Base scored a US No.1 hit in 1994 with their version of the Diane Warren song. 
1988 Michael Jackson started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Man In The Mirror’, a No.21 hit in the UK.
2000 Melanie C scored her first solo UK No.1 single with ‘Never Be The Same The Again’. She replaced the ex Spice Girl Geri from the top of the charts.
2000 Phil Collins won an Oscar at the Academy Awards for Best Original Song with ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’ from the Disney animated feature ‘Tarzan.’ 
2000 Santana started a two-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘Supernatural.’ Inlcuding ‘Smooth’ with Rob Thomas
2001 Outkast went to No.1 on the Australian Singles Chart with ‘Ms. Jackson’. Staying at No.1 for 1wk. 
2002 Randy Castillo drummer with the Ozzy Osbourne band died of cancer aged 51. Worked with Osbourne during the 1980s and early 1990s. Also worked with Lita Ford and Motley Crue. 
2004 Jan Berry of Jan and Dean, died at the age of 62, after being in poor health sustained in a 1966 car crash. Had the 1963 US No.1 & UK No.26 single ‘Surf City’, (co written by Beach Boy Brian Wilson). At the height of their fame, Jan and Dean hosted and performed at The T.A.M.I. Show, the film also featured The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. 
2005 Crowded House drummer Paul Hester died aged 46, after he “attempted suicide” and died from strangulation after being found hanged in a park in Melbourne. He had been a member of Crowded House, Split Enz and Largest Living Things. After leaving Crowded House in 1994 Hester appeared on many TV and radio shows in Australia. 
2006 Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’ as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays – back to back, that would run for 44 years solid. 
2006 Journey South went to No.1 on the UK album chart with their self-titled album. Journey South were made up of brothers Carl and Andy Pemberton who were the third place runners up on the 2005 X Factor TV show. 
2006 U2’s The Edge donated his favourite guitar a 1975 Gibson Les Paul to a charity he co-founded to replace instruments lost or destroyed when Hurricane Katrina hit the US. 
2008 The Los Angeles Times apologised for claiming rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs was involved in a 1994 shooting of hip-hop star Tupac Shakur. The LA Times, which published the original story on its website, initially said its claims were based on FBI records, witness accounts and other unnamed sources. The apology followed a claim that the newspaper was conned by a prisoner who doctored the documents used.
2016 Billy Joel’s iconic hit, ‘Piano Man’, was selected by the US Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for its “cultural, historic, or artistic significance.” Even though the record only made it to No.25 on the Hot 100 in 1974, it had become Joel’s signature song, and was ranked at No.421 in the 2004 list of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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