Today in Music History – June 7
The Canadian Press
Today in Music History for June 7:
In 1904, the Haskell Opera House was opened in Rock Island on the Quebec-Vermont border. Now classified as a historic site, it also includes a library on the main floor. Patrons from both countries enter the building without passing through customs. In the Opera House upstairs, the stage is in Canada, but most of the seats are in the U.S.
In 1940, singer Tom Jones was born Thomas Jones Woodward in Pontypridd, Wales. After building a reputation in London clubs, Jones achieved international success in 1965 with "It’s Not Unusual," written by his manager, Gordon Mills. Jones next topped the charts with the title song from the movie "What’s New Pussycat." He followed with a series of country-flavoured pop hits, among them "Green, Green Grass of Home," "Delilah" and "Love Me Tonight." Tom Jones became one of the biggest-selling acts in Las Vegas, and had his own U.S. network TV show for a few seasons. In 1988, Jones sang Prince’s "Kiss" with the electronic dance outfit "Art of Noise." The single was a top-10 hit in Britain and reached the top-40 in the U.S. His alternative dance-pop album "The Lead and How to Swing It" came out in 1994. A live album was released in 1997.
In 1954, "Bill Haley and the Comets" recorded "Shake, Rattle and Roll." Big Joe Turner’s version was just about to hit No. 1 on the R&B chart.
In 1963, "The Rolling Stones" made their first TV appearance on the British show, "Thank Your Lucky Stars." The appearance was to promote their first record, a cover of Chuck Berry’s "Come On." After the show, its producer is reported to have advised their manager Andrew Loog Oldham to get rid of "that vile-looking singer with the tire-tread lips."
In 1966, singer Roy Orbison’s first wife, Claudette, was killed in a motorcycle accident which Orbison witnessed. Two years later, he suffered another tragedy — two of his three children died in a fire at their Nashville home. Orbison put his career on hold, before remarrying and returning to performing in 1969. He died of a heart attack in Dec. 1988 at age 52.
In 1969, "Tommy," "The Who’s" two-record rock opera, first hit the U.S. charts. In 1975, "Tommy" became a movie produced by British director Ken Russell.
In 1969, the supergroup "Blind Faith," featuring Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker and Rick Grech, made their debut in a free concert attended by 100,000 fans in London’s Hyde Park.
In 1969, the Bob Dylan-Johnny Cash TV special aired on ABC.
In 1970, "The Who" performed their 90-minute rock opera "Tommy" at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. It was the second and last time "The Who" performed the entire work on stage, although the group continued to perform excerpts from it in their concerts.
In 1972, the musical "Grease" opened on Broadway after playing for four months in a smaller New York theatre.
In 1977, London police arrested 11 people after breaking up a floating "Sex Pistols" concert on the Thames River. The concert, held on a boat named the "Queen Elizabeth," came at the height of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee festivities.
In 1979, Chuck Berry was charged with three counts of income tax evasion, two days before a performance for U.S. President Jimmy Carter at the White House. Berry eventually served 100 days in prison.
In 1986, anti-apartheid protesters picketed the opening concert of "Queen’s" European tour in Stockholm. A Swedish magazine claimed that guitarist Bryan May said that going to South Africa was the best thing the group ever did. May said he was misquoted.
In 1989, CBS Records said it was changing the title of George Jones’s hit "Ya Ba Da Ba Do (So Are You)" to avoid infringing on trademarks owned by Hanna-Barbera Productions. "Ya Ba Da Ba Do" was a favourite saying of cartoon character Fred Flintstone. Jones’s record became known as "The King is Gone (So Are You)."
In 1989, Atlantic Records’ New York studio, where artists such as Aretha Franklin, "The Rolling Stones" and "Led Zeppelin" made some of their classic albums, closed because of problems with a new landlord. The new owner of the building said other tenants were complaining about the noise.
In 1991, a birthday party for Damian Hall of the R&B group "Guy" was marred by the killing of Hall’s bodyguard.
In 1993, Prince celebrated his 35th birthday by announcing he was changing his name and splitting with his band, "The New Power Generation." Prince said he wanted to be referred to with the symbol that combines the symbols for male and female — the Love Symbol. The same combination symbol had served as the title of his previous album. He didn’t bother telling anyone how to pronounce it. He later went back to calling himself Prince.
In 1993, Pete Townshend and Chuck Berry were among those on hand as ground was finally broken for the much-delayed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. Guests stood on a guitar-shaped stage at the construction site on the shore of Lake Erie.
In 1996, the Queen and Paul McCartney opened a school for performing arts that the former "Beatle" set up in his home town. The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts was established in a building that housed the school that McCartney and fellow "Beatle" George Harrison attended as teens.
In 1996, Wal-Mart discontinued sales of the "Goo Goo Dolls" album "A Boy Named Goo" because of complaints that the little boy on the cover appeared to be abused. The band said what appeared to be blood on the boy’s face was really blackberry juice.
In 1998, songwriter Jerry Capehart, who co-wrote "Summertime Blues" with Eddie Cochran in 1958, died in Nashville, two weeks after being diagnosed with brain cancer. He was 69.
In 2009, Kenny Rankin, a brilliant pop vocalist and highly regarded musician-songwriter whose stylings ranged from jazz to pop to world music influences, died of complications related to lung cancer. He was 69.
In 2009, "Billy Elliot," the big British musical about a coal miner’s son who dreams of dancing, bowled over Broadway — winning 10 Tonys, including best musical and a unique best actor prize for Canadian David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish who shared the title character. Angela Lansbury tied the record for acting prizes of five held by Julie Harris with her win in the featured-actress category for her performance in "Blithe Spirit."
In 2009, Bret Michaels of "Poison" suffered a nose fracture and a busted lip that required three stitches after performing at the Tony Awards. They performed "Nothin’ But a Good Time" with the cast of "Rock of Ages," and, as Michaels exited the stage, he was hit in the head by a descending set piece and was knocked to the ground upon impact.
In 2010, aided by climbing experts, "Bon Jovi" reached the top of London’s O2 Arena’s domed roof to perform an afternoon four-song set to launch their 12-night run at the venue.
In 2010, Rickey Minor debuted as Jay Leno’s new bandleader on "The Tonight Show," replacing Kevin Eubanks, who left on May 28th. Minor previously was the music director on "American Idol," and had also been music director of the Super Bowl, the Grammy Awards and the NAACP Image Awards.
In 2010, Stuart Cable, the former drummer with the British rock band "Stereophonics," died after choking on his own vomit following a three-day booze binge. He was 40. He co-founded "Stereophonics" with singer Kelly Jones in the early 1990s. The band had a string of British top-10 hits, including "Have a Nice Day." He left the group in 2003 amid reports of conflicts with bandmates. He formed a new band, "Killing for Company," and worked as a broadcaster, with a show on BBC Radio Wales.
In 2011, finally free of the bonds that came with being half of country music’s biggest-selling duo, Ronnie Dunn released his self-titled solo debut. "Brooks & Dunn" had been together 20 years.
In 2012, previous year’s "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery received his diploma from North Carolina’s Garner High School, a day after winning the breakthrough video of the year from the CMT Music Awards for "The Trouble with Girls."
In 2012, 19-year-old rapper Lil Phat (real name Melvin Vernell III) was fatally shot outside a suburban Atlanta hospital. He was featured in rapper Webbie’s 2007 song, "Independent," which also included Lil Boosie. The song, which praised a woman’s independent nature, peaked at No. 9 on Billboard’s 100 and topped the rap chart.
In 2012, Bob Welch, a former member of "Fleetwood Mac" from 1971-74, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 65. He formed the British rock group Paris in 1976, and had solo hits including "Sentimental Lady" in 1977 and "Ebony Eyes" in 1978. "Fleetwood Mac’s" career took off in after Welch left and when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, he was not included in the group.
(The Canadian Press)
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