February 1 – Today in Music History

1927 Johnny Ashcroft born in North Sydney, NSW. Australian country music and folk entertainer, singer, songwriter, and musician, who has also recorded pop, skiffle, jazz, and disco as his alter ego, the Baron. He is married to fellow performer Gay Kayler, whom he has recorded with on numerous occasions. His biggest hit record was in 1960 with ‘Little Boy Lost’.
1934 Bob Shane born in Hilo, Hawaii. An American singer and guitarist and, with Nick Reynolds’ passing in October 2008, the only surviving founding member of The Kingston Trio.(1958 US No.1 & UK No.5 single ‘Tom Dooley plus nine other US Top 40 hits). He died on January 26, 2020 at a hospice facility in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 85.
1937 Don Everly (Isaac Donald Everly) born in Brownie, Kentucky. US Singer & one half of The Everly Brothers.
1937 Ray Sawyer born in Chickasaw, Alabama. American singer and vocalist with the 1970s rock band Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show. Though primarily a backing vocalist and occasional percussionist on congas or maracas, he sang lead on their hit song “The Cover of Rolling Stone” and was a recognizable presence in the band owing to the eyepatch and cowboy hat he wore (1972 US No.5 & UK No.2 single ‘Sylvia’s Mother’ plus 9 other US Top 40 hits). He died after a short illness, aged 81, on December 31, 2018.
1938 Jimmy Carl Black, drummer who worked with Frank Zappa on his 1970 UK No.9 album ‘Hot Rats’. Black died on 1st Nov 2008.
1939 Joe Sample born in Houston, Texas. keyboards, The Crusaders, (1979 UK No.5 single ‘Street Life’). Sample died of mesothelioma in Houston, Texas, at the age of 75, on September 12, 2014.
1939 Benny Goodman and his Orchestra recorded “And the Angels Sing”, on Victor Records, on this day. The vocalist on that number, who went on to find considerable fame at Capitol Records, was Martha Tilton.
1940 75 years ago, Frank Sinatra sang “Too Romantic” and “The Sky Fell Down” in his first recording session with the Tommy Dorsey Band on this day. The session was in Chicago, IL. Frankie replaced Jack Leonard as lead singer with the band.
1941 “Downbeat Magazine” reported this day that Glenn Miller had inked a new three-year contract with RCA Victor Records. The pact guaranteed Miller $750 a side, the fattest record contract signed to that time.
1947 Normie Rowe born in Melbourne, Victoria. Australian Singer/Songwriter. The Playboys, Rowe released a string of Australian pop hits on the label that kept him at the top of the Australian charts and made him the most popular solo performer of the mid-1960s. Rowe’s double-sided hit the A-side, a reworking of the Doris Day hit “Que Sera Sera” /with b-side “Shakin’ All Over” was one of the most successful Australian singles of the 1960s.
1948 Rick James (James Johnson) born in New York. US Singer. , US singer, (1980 UK No.41 single ‘Big Time’. 1981 US No.3 album ‘Street Songs’, 1981 US No 16 single ‘Super Freak part 1′). Found dead at his Los Angeles home on 6th August 2004.
1949 RCA Victor countered Columbia Records’ 33-1/3 ‘long play’ phonograph disk on this day, with not only a smaller, 7-inch record (with a big hole in the center), but an entire phonograph playing system, as well. Soon, the newfangled product, which started a revolution (especially with the new rock and roll music) soon made the 78-rpm record a ‘blast from the past’. The 45-rpm disk did well for about 20 years. Then it started to lose ground to cassette tapes, eight tracks and albums. Record companies, caught in the energy crisis of the early and mid-70s, found that it was cost prohibitive to keep turning out the little disks. So, they raised the price to where no one would buy them anymore. Then eight tracks died, albums, too — and now we have compact discs that cost more than both of them combined — and cassettes that sometimes sound worse than the 45s they replaced … Those Were the Days.
1950 RCA introduced the 45 RPM record player.
1950 Richard Williams born in Topeka, Kansas. US Guitarist with the group Kansas, formed in 1970.
1954 Mike Campbell born in Gainsville, Florida. Guitarist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, (1989 UK No.28 single ‘I Won’t Back Down’).
1954 Big Joe Turner recorded “Shake, Rattle and Roll.”
1957 Dennis Brown, reggae singer, who had the 1979 UK No.14 single ‘Money In My Pocket’. He died on July 1st 1999.
1960 “Go, Jimmy, Go” by Jimmy Clanton peaked at #5 on the US singles chart.
1963 17 year-old Neil Young performed his first professional date at a country club in Winnipeg.
1963 BOBBY DARIN TURNS ENTREPRENEUR In February 1963 the Rock & Roll Crooner becomes businessman, purchasing the TRINITY MUSIC publishing firm.. Over the next several years, it would not only hold rights to songs he wrote himself, (like “18 YELLOW ROSES” and “YOU’RE THE REASON I’M LIVING”) but those from composers he’d put under contract including Kenny Young & Artie Resnick (“UNDER THE BOARDWALK), TERRY MELCHER (“HEY LITTLE COBRA”) and Rudy Clark (“THE SHOOP SHOOP SONG” made famous by Betty Everett)
1964 The Beatles started a seven week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, the first US No.1 by a UK act since The Tornadoes ‘Telstar’ in 1962 and the first of three consecutive No.1’s from the group.
1964 The governor of Indiana declares the Kingsmen’s hit “Louie Louie” to be pornographic and asks the state’s radio stations not to play it.
1964 the #1 SONG IN ENGLAND is The SEARCHERS and “NEEDLES AND PINS”, which would soon become their first hit in America.
1964 “Out Of Limits” by The Marketts peaked at #3 on the US singles chart.
1964 “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore peaked at #2 on the US singles chart.
1964 “Baby, I Love You” by The Ronettes peaked at #24 on the US singles chart.
1965 P.J. Proby split his pants during his first number at the ABC, Luton; the manager stopped the show and gave everyone in the audience a refund. The incident caused a ban on Proby’s performance in UK halls and TV.
1965 At the Arthur Smith Studios in Charlotte, North Carolina, James Brown recorded ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’, which will reach No.8 on the Billboard Pop chart and No.1 on the R&B chart the following August and later win a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording.
1965 James Brown recorded “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” in Charlotte, North Carolina.
1966 RASCALS RECORD “GOOD LOVIN”
1967 During a UK tour The Jimi Hendrix Experience played at The Cellar Club, South Shields.
1967 At Abbey Road studios in London, The Beatles started work on a new song ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. It wasn’t until The Beatles had recorded the song that Paul McCartney had the idea to make the song the thematic pivot for their forthcoming album.
1967 Pink Floyd spent the day recording parts for the Syd Barrett songs ‘Arnold Layne’ and ‘Candy And A Current Bun’ at Sound Techniques Studios, Chelsea, London. Floyd also turned professional on this day after signing a deal with EMI Records.
1967 SINATRA RECORDING SESSION FRANK & daughter NANCY cut “SOMETHING STUPID” in Hollywood.
1968 Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis. Also known as the “Princess of Rock and Roll.” Married Michael Jackson in 1994, and separated on 10th December 1995. She was also married to actor Nicolas Cage. Lisa Marie had the UK No.16 single ‘Lights Out’.
1968 The Who kicked off their third North American tour at the Civic Auditorium San Jose, California
1968 Universal International Studios offers the Doors $500,000 to star in a feature film. The band also announces plans for an ABC-TV special, a “humor book” by the whole group and a book of lyrics and poetry by Jim Morrison. Only the last project ever happens.
1968 Nine months after marrying Elvis Presley, Priscilla Beauleiu Presley gives birth to Elvis’ only child and sole heir, Lisa Marie, at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis.
1969 Patrick Wilson, drummer with American alternative rock band Weezer who had the 1995 UK No.12 single, ‘Buddy Holly’.
1969 Tommy James and the Shondells started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Crimson And Clover’, the group’s second and last No.1. Billy Idol had a 1987 US No.1 with ‘Mony Mony’ a No.3 hit for Tommy James in 1968.
1969 “If I Can Dream” by Elvis Presley peaked at #12 on the US singles chart.
1969 “Worst That Could Happen” by Brooklyn Bridge peaked at #3 on the US singles chart.
1971 Ron Welty born in Long Beach, California. Drummer with The Offspring who had the 1999 UK No.1 & US No. 59 single ‘Pretty Fly, (For A White Guy)’, and the 1999 US No.6 & UK No.10 album ‘Americana’.
1972 Chuck Berry had his first UK No.1 single with a live recording of a song he’d been playing live for over 20 years ‘My Ding-a-Ling’. UK public morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse attempted to have the song banned due to its innuendo-laden lyrics. The Average White Band members guitarist Onnie McIntyre and drummer Robbie McIntosh played on the single.
1972 wings recorded ‘Give Ireland Back To The Irish’.
1973 Carly Simon went to No.1 in the Australian Singles Chart with ‘You’re So Vain’. Staying at the top spot for 8wks.
1973 Less than a year after they “retired,” Steppenwolf resurrect themselves, with leader John Kay returning although he promises to continue recording as a solo artist.
1975 In 1974, “Kiss” album by Kiss was released
1975 LINDA RONSTADT RECORDING SESSIONS During FERBRUARY, LINDA RONSTADT begins work at the SOUND FACTORY ONE in L.A. on her “PRISONER IN DISGUISE” album, which includes “LOVE IS A ROSE”, “TRACKS OF MY TEARS”, and “HEAT WAVE.”
1975 “Boogie On Reggae Woman” by Stevie Wonder peaked at #3 on the US singles chart.
1975 Pilot were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘January’, the Scottish group’s only No.1. The song was a No.1 hit in Australia for eight weeks.
1975 Big Boi, (Antoine Patton), Outkast, US rapper who had the 2001 US No.1 & UK No.2 single ‘Ms Jackson’ and the 2004 US No.1 single ‘Hey Ya’.
1975 Elvis Presley arranges for daughter Lisa Marie to meet her favorite singer, Elton John, for her seventh birthday.
1977 Led Zeppelin’s latest tour of North America must, at the last moment, be postponed indefinitely because of vocalist Robert Plant’s trouble with tonsillitis. The tour (which will be the group’s last visit to North America, until the ’95 Page & Plant show), will finally get under way in late June.
1978 Amstrad were advertising their new ranges of hi- fi in the UK, the 8000 system complete with 40 watt amp, speakers and amp, £86 and the executive system with 140 watt amp, record deck, tuner, tape deck and speakers priced at £365.
1978 “Here You Come Again” single by Dolly Parton was certified Gold by the RIAA. I was her first single to reach gold.
1978 “Greatest Hits, Etc.” album by Paul Simon was certified Platinum by the RIAA
1980 Uriah Heep kicked off their 19 date 10th Anniversary UK tour at Birmingham’s Odeon, supported by Girlschool.
1980 “Eat To The Beat” album by Blondie was certified Gold by the RIAA
1980 “The Long Run” album by Eagles was certified Gold and Platinum by the RIAA. Also including ‘Heartache Tonight’, ‘I Can’t Tell You Why’ & ‘Sad Café’.
1980 “Heartache Tonight” single by Eagles was certified Gold by the RIAA
1980 “Stormwatch” album by Jethro Tull was certified Gold by the RIAA
1983 “Now And Forever” album by Air Supply was certified Platinum by the RIAA
1983 “Jump To It” album by Aretha Franklin was certified Gold by the RIAA
1985 Glenn Frey makes his acting debut playing a pilot in a Miami Vice episode based on his song “Smuggler’s Blues.”
1986 Beatles Music publisher Dick James died of a heart attack aged 65. Worked with many UK 60’s acts including The Beatles.
1986 Diana Ross married Norwegian shipping magnate Arne Naess in Geneva, Stevie Wonder performed at the reception. The couple divorced in 2000.
1986 “I’m Your Man” by Wham! peaked at #3 on the US singles chart.
1986 Bangles Appearing at Portsmouth Polytechnic, England, The Bangles.
1986 “Burning Heart” by Survivor peaked at #2 on the US singles chart.
1986 “Go Home” by Stevie Wonder peaked at #10 on the US singles chart.
1986 Music publisher Dick James died of a heart attack aged 65. Worked with many UK 60’s acts including The Beatles. James signed Elton John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin as unknown artists in 1967 and was the founder of the DJM record label.
1988 The Cars announced they were breaking up after 12 years of working together.
1988 “Coming Around Again” album by Carly Simon was certified Platinum by the RIAA
1989 Paul Robi from The Platters died of cancer. UK & US No.1 single ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’. Robi left The Platters in the early 60’s being replaced by Nate Nelson from the Flamingos.
1989 “Shooting Rubberbands At The Stars” album by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians was certified Platinum by the RIAA
1989 “The Innocents” album by Erasure was certified Gold by the RIAA
1989 “19” album by Chicago was certified Platinum by the RIAA
1991 “101” album by Depeche Mode was certified Gold by the RIAA
1992 George Michael and Elton John went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’, also a No.1 in the UK. All proceeds from the single went to Aids charities.
1992 Nirvana’s album, “Nevermind” goes to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Album chart for the second time.
1992 “I Love Your Smile” by Shanice peaked at #2 on the US singles chart.
1992 “The Way I Feel About You” by Karyn White peaked at #12 on the US singles chart.
1994 Harry Styles born in Redditch, Worcestershire. English pop singer and actor, known as a member of the boy band One Direction who formed after finishing third in the seventh series of The X Factor in 2010. Scored the 2011 UK No.1 single ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ and the 2013 No.1 ‘One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)’.
1994 “The Power Of Love” single by Celine Dion was certified Gold by the RIAA
1994 “A Bridge I Didn’t Burn” album by Ricky Van Shelton was certified Gold by the RIAA
1995 Richey Edwards guitarist with the Manic Street Preachers vanished leaving no clues to his whereabouts. He left The Embassy Hotel in London at 7am, leaving behind his packed suitcase. His car was found on the Severn Bridge outside Bristol, England sixteen days later. Edwards has never been found, despite constant searching, and in November 2008 he was declared officially dead.
1995 “Crossroad” video by Bon Jovi was certified Gold by the RIAA
1995 “Rush” album by Rush was certified Gold by the RIAA
1997 The original soundtrack from the film ‘Evita’ went to No.1 on the UK album chart.
1997 Blur went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Beetlebum’. The song’s title is said to be a stab at Liam Gallagher, lead singer of Oasis, for his over-idolisation of The Beatles.
1997 Boy George was beaten up by two bouncers after trying to jump the queue outside The Ministry Of Sound in London where George had been a guest DJ.
1999 Brian Cadd narrowly excaped death after his car was swept into a flooded creek at Mudgereeba in Queensland.
1999 Four hundred people were injured at an Australian concert by Marilyn Manson when he stormed off stage after being bombarded with missiles and abuse at the show in Perth. One of Manson’s guitar technicians needed treatment for cuts to his head.
1999 “14:59” album by Sugar Ray was certified Gold by the RIAA
1999 The Web site Lycos begins a new search service that offers easy access to a half-million high quality recordings. The search service finds titles that use MP3, an easy-download technology. Such files alarm the recording industry, since many of the songs are illegal copies made by those who sell or give them away online.
2001 A collection of Sir Elton John’s private photos on display at a museum in Atlanta were withdrawn. The exhibition, which included snaps of nude men, was said to be too explicit, some school trips to the museum had been cancelled.
2001 singer LeAnn Rimes took to the Web to directly address her fans about her ongoing legal wrangling and to apologize for the recently released album “I Need You,” which “shocked” her when she discovered that Curb Records was issuing without her cooperation.
2002 Black Rebel Motorcycle Club made their UK live debut when they appeared at Liverpool University.
2002 The father of S Club 7’s Paul Cattermole was jailed for nearly three years for sex acts with two 14 year-old girl fans of the group. Gerald Cattermole, 50 had been warned by police not to get involved with fans who often visited his house.
2003 Malcolm Roberts died from complications of emphysema aged 77. Had the 1968 UK No.8 single ‘May I Have The Next Dream With You’.
2004 LMC vs U2 started a two week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Take Me To The Clouds Above.’ Based on the guitar riff from U2’s classic song ‘With Or Without You’.
2004 in a low point in American music history, Justin Timberlake ripped Janet Jackson’s top during the Super Bowl halftime show and exposed her breast.
2005 Elvis Presley was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘It’s Now Or Never’, the singers 21st No.1, first released in 1960.
2006 The members of Split Enz announce they are reuniting for an Australian arena tour 22 years after they originally broke up.
2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning opera composer Gian Carlo Menotti died in Monaco at age 95.
2008 US space agency Nasa announced that ‘Across the Universe’ by the Beatles was to become the first song ever to be beamed directly into space. The track would be transmitted through the Deep Space Network – a network of antennas – on the 40th anniversary of the song being recorded, being aimed at the North Star, Polaris, 431 light-years from Earth. In a message to NASA, Sir Paul McCartney said the project was an “amazing” feat. “Well done, Nasa,” he added. “Send my love to the aliens. All the best, Paul.”
2009 Lily Allen started a three week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘The Fear’, the singers second UK No.1.
2009 Dewey Martin, 68, the drummer and singer who’d helped found the country rock band Buffalo Springfield, was found dead in Van Nuys, Calif.
2012 Don Cornelius, the host of US TV’s Soul Train, (from 1971 until 1993), who helped break down racial barriers and broaden the reach of Black culture, died. Police officers responded to a report of a shooting at 12685 Mulholland Drive and found Cornelius with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was 75.
2013 Cecil Dale Womack died of unknown causes in South Africa, at age 65. He was an American R&B singer, songwriter and record producer. He was one of the musical Womack brothers, and had success both as a songwriter and recording artist, notably with his wife Linda as Womack & Womack. In later years he took the name Zekuuba Zekkariyas.
2013 Coldplay’s ‘Clocks’ topped a list by BBC Radio 6 Music’s top 100 tracks of the past 10 years. More than 100,000 votes were cast in the poll which looked back over the 10 years since the station began in 2002. Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ was voted into second place, and Elbow’s ‘One Day Like This’ in third.
2014 A new report found that about two-thirds of people were left with ringing in their ears after a night out at a club, gig or pub. Campaign group Action on Hearing Loss said the poll of 1,000 adults also showed a third would ignore the “safe level” on their music players.
2020 Andy Gill, the founding member and guitarist of British post-punk band Gang Of Four, died aged 64. The musician’s scratchy, staccato riffs provided the band with their signature sound, and influenced the likes of Nirvana, Fugazi and Franz Ferdinand. He also produced albums for artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Stranglers, Michael Hutchence and Killing Joke.

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