Today in Music History – Feb. 15

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Today in Music History – Feb. 15

Posted on: February 16th, 2014 by tommyj

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The Canadian Press
Sat, 15 Feb 2014 01:15:00 CST

Today in Music History for Feb. 15:

In 1918, country singer Hank Locklin was born in McLellan, Fla. His smooth tenor voice on hits like "Send Me the Pillow You Dream On" and "Please Help Me I’m Falling" marked a career that spanned half a century. He helped usher in "the Nashville Sound" that gave country music a more lush feel. He performed on the Grand Ole Opry for 47 years. He died on March 8, 2009.

In 1941, Brian Holland, of the Motown songwriting team of Holland, Dozier and Holland, was born in Detroit. The trio, including Brian’s brother, Eddie, and Lamont Dozier, were responsible for 28 top-10 hits between 1963 and 1966. Among their successes — "Heat Wave" for "Martha and the Vandellas," "Stop! In the Name of Love" for "The Supremes" and "Reach Out, I’ll Be There" for "The Four Tops." The three songwriters formed their own record label, Invictus-Hot Wax, in 1968. "Want Ads" by "Honey Cone" became the company’s first No. 1 hit, in 1971.

In 1941, jazz great Duke Ellington recorded "Take the A Train" with his big band. Composed by longtime Ellington associate Billy Strayhorn, it became the orchestra’s theme song.

In 1961, Jackie Wilson was shot twice by Juanita Jones as he answered the door of his apartment in New York. Jones had told police she had intended to kill herself if Wilson rejected her. Wilson spent 21 days in a coma.

In 1964, for the first time, one act had five songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 list. It was "The Beatles," with "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "I Saw Her Standing There," "She Loves You," "Please, Please Me" and "My Bonnie."

In 1965, singer Nat (King) Cole, whose warm ballad style was popular for a quarter of a century, died of lung cancer in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 47. Cole first gained fame in the early 1940s as a jazz pianist. He formed "The King Cole Trio," featuring Oscar Moore on guitar — a group which lasted until 1951, when Cole went out on his own. At first, Cole sang only occasionally. But by 1944, when he had his first hit, “Straighten Up and Fly Right," Cole’s vocals had taken over the spotlight. Some of Cole’s other successes included "It’s Only a Paper Moon," "Nature Boy," "Mona Lisa" and "Ramblin’ Rose." He made appearances in nearly a dozen movies, including a small role in the 1965 film, "Cat Ballou," completed shortly before his death.

In 1968, "Little Walter," the great Chicago blues harmonica player, died after being stabbed in a street fight in his hometown. He was 37.

In 1969, hairdresser Vickie Jones was arrested in Fort Myers, Fla., for giving a phoney Aretha Franklin concert. Jones apparently was sufficiently realistic — it was reported that no one asked for a refund.

In 1975, Montreal singer Gino Vanelli became the first white artist to appear on the U.S. television show, "Soul Train."

In 1977, Sid Vicious, real name John Ritchie, replaced Glen Matlock as bass guitarist in the "Sex Pistols."

In 1979, Paul Simon, finally freed from lawsuits with Columbia Records, signed with Warner Brothers.

In 1979, at the Grammy Awards in Hollywood, Anne Murray won the award for top female vocalist. Another Canadian, pianist Oscar Peterson, received the jazz instrumental soloist honour.

In 1981, blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield died in San Francisco of an accidental drug overdose at 36. A veteran of the white blues revival in the 1960s, Bloomfield played with "The Paul Butterfield Blues Band," "The Electric Flag" and "KGB."

In 1984, Broadway singer-actress Ethel Merman, best known for her roles in "Gypsy" and "Mame," died at 76.

In 1987, songwriter Jimmy Holiday died in Iowa City, Iowa, of heart failure. He was 52.

In 1988, jazz tenor saxophonist Al Cohn, famed for his work with the Woody Herman band in the 1940s, died in East Stroudsburg, Pa., of liver cancer. He was 62.

In 1989, an all-star ensemble of Canadian recording artists, organized by guitarist Dominic Troiano, raised more than $40,000 for Joey Philion, a teenaged burn victim from Orillia, Ont. The jam session was part of the Music Express Magazine Awards, held in Mississauga, Ont.

In 1992, Michael Jackson was crowned an African king in a ceremony in the Ivory Coast village of Krinjabo. But Jackson managed to insult his hosts by removing his royal robe immediately after the ceremony. A local newspaper said Jackson’s "communication talents are lacking." It was only one of a series of gaffes and other troubles that caused Jackson to abandon his African trip after a week. He was in Africa to shoot scenes for his "Return to Africa" video.

In 1995, Frank Sinatra gave his last full performance at a charity gala. His final song was "The Best is Yet to Come."

In 1995, Vancouver rock band "Moist" became the first Canadian rock act to perform live on the Internet. The show, broadcast from Atlanta, was also the first live concert on the World Wide Web. Other acts on the bill were Matthew Sweet, "Blues Traveler" and "Hootie and the Blowfish."

In 1996, Canadian composer and conductor Lucio Agostini died in Markham, Ont., at age 82. Millions of Canadians heard his music on dozens of CBC radio and TV shows. Agostini conducted for "The Juliette Show," the singer’s TV variety program that ran for a dozen years in the 1950s and ’60s. He was also conductor and arranger for "Front Page Challenge" for more than two decades.

In 1997, Victor Willis, the original lead singer of "The Village People," was jailed in Reno, Nev., on robbery and drug charges. A woman claimed Willis had stolen her money and jewelry. The charges were dropped three weeks later after police couldn’t find his accuser. Willis played the cop in the six-member disco group.

In 1998, "The Rolling Stones" wrapped up the North American leg of their "Bridges to Babylon" tour with a club date for 1,400 fans in Las Vegas. Among the crowd were actors Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Eddie Murphy and Drew Barrymore, and rock stars such as Sting, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of "KISS" and Tommy Lee of "Motley Crue."

In 2008, Willie P. Bennett, a Canadian folk music legend who won a Juno in 1999 for his album "Heartstrings," died at his home in Peterborough, Ont., at age 56.

In 2011, two days after pulling off an upset to win album of the year at the Grammy Awards, Montreal rockers "Arcade Fire" won two prizes at the Brit Awards, best international group and best international album for "The Suburbs." Canadian teen sensation Justin Bieber also won the international breakthrough act award.

In 2011, "Motley Crue" singer Vince Neil began serving a 15-day jail sentence for his drunken driving conviction in Las Vegas. In January, he was sentenced to 15 days in jail and 15 days of house arrest under a plea deal that spared him a trial. He was also fined $585.


(The Canadian Press)

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