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Last Updated on December 30th, 2017

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The Week in Music

1955, Ted McCarty of Gibson is given patent #2,714,326 by the U.S. Patent Office for his design for "Stringed Musical Instrument Of The Guitar Type And Combined Bridge And Tailpiece Therefor," the one-piece adjustable bridge/tailpiece for the Gibson Les Paul solidbody guitar …


1956, the Platters become the first black group to have a number-one pop hit when "My Prayer" reaches the top spot on the Billboard chart …


1958, The Teddy Bears' aching teen ballad "To Know Him is To Love Him" is released … a singer in the group, Phil Spector produces the session … the song title is reportedly taken from his late father's headstone … Billboard publishes its first Hot 100 chart …



1959, Seth Lover, working for Gibson guitars, is granted patent #2,896,491 by the U.S. Patent Office for his "magnetic pickup for stringed musical instrument," better known as the humbucker pickup … the patent was applied for on June 22, 1955 … Gibson added the new pickups to its electric solidbody and archtop guitars in 1957, including the Les Paul … during late 1957, a small black decal with gold lettering was added to the underside of the pickup that read "Patent Applied For" … (today, PAF pickups are the most collectible and desirable pickups, fetching upwards of $1,000 each among vintage guitar collectors) … by mid-to-late 1962, Gibson changed the pickup decal to read "Patent No. 2,737,842" … interestingly enough, the patent number listed on the decal was not for Seth's pickup design but was for Les Paul's trapeze tailpiece … not one to raise a legal fuss, apparently Seth really is a Lover, not a fighter …


1960, when the scheduled vocalist fails to show for a recording session, producer Ike Turner presses his wife Tina into service on the track, "A Fool in Love" … much sampled by modern hip-hop and R&B acts, the single will be the first of 20 Hot 100 hits produced by the contentious couple … this same day future soul star Aretha Franklin cuts her first secular sides …


1965, The Beatles' second feature film, Help, debuts in London with that pretty nice girl Queen Elizabeth in attendance …



1966, Bob Dylan suffers major injuries when the brakes on his Triumph motorcycle lock up near his home in Woodstock, New York … though the exact nature of his injuries are never disclosed, it is clear that he suffered a broken neck and used his lengthy convalescence to marshal his artistic resources … reflecting on the wreck later, Dylan says, "When I had that motorcycle accident … I woke up and caught my senses, I realized that I was just workin' for all these leeches. And I really didn't want to do that." …


1967, Pandora's Box, the hippie nightspot on the Sunset Strip, feels the wrath of the wrecking ball in the wake of teenage riots the previous year … local politicos say the club played a big role in turning West Hollywood into a teenage wasteland …


1968, The Beatles enter the studio to cut "Hey Jude" … the song will top the Hot 100 Chart for nine weeks and become The Beatles' biggest hit …


1969, Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys is indicted for draft dodging after he fails to show up for work as a hospital orderly in lieu of military service …



1971, George Harrison organizes the Concert for Bangladesh to help war victims of the South Asian country … the stellar lineup includes Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton, Ravi Shankar, and members of Badfinger …


1980, the FBI arrests John Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas on cocaine charges … he is later sentenced to five years hard time but dodges prison by delivering 250 hours of anti-drug lectures as an alternative sentence …



1981, MTV bursts onto the airwaves by broadcasting The Buggles' somewhat prophetic "Video Killed the Radio Star" … of course, that job was later completed by file sharing …


1992, in Warwick, Rhode Island, Patti Labelle abruptly pulls the plug on her concert there after complaining that the food backstage isn't up to snuff … after all, it's common knowledge that you can't sing unless the stomach is full …



1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley announce they were secretly married in the Dominican Republic 11 weeks earlier … the union will last for 21 months …


1996, Aerosmith cans their manager Tim Collins saying they're tired of constant pressure to get involved in social causes he's committed to … like the "Let's Buy Tim Collins a Ferrari" fund perhaps? …


1998, in San Fernando, California, Grammy-winning gospel singer Sandra Crouch is ordained as a minister of the Christ Memorial Church … ordained by her twin brother Andrae, also a gospel star, the pair defy Church of God in Christ rules that forbid female ministers … after 12 years and six albums, Toad The Wet Sprocket finally croaks …


2001, rap group D12 executes a brutal attack on Detroit rap rivals Esham and T.N.T. during a Warped Tour stop in Camden, New Jersey … T.N.T. is bruised and cut while Esham suffers a broken nose, ruptured eyeball, concussion, and hearing damage … D12 is promptly kicked off the tour … that same day in L.A., 300 fortunate Foo Fighters fans are treated to a rare club gig when the band plays the legendary Troubador … attendees are chosen from entries emailed to the Fighters' website …


2004, Simon and Garfunkel play a free concert in Rome for 600,000 lucky Italians …


2005, newly-unearthed documents relating to Mick Jagger's drug bust in 1969 reveal that the Stones singer had alleged he was framed and that a cop planted heroin in his home offering to quash the charges if Jagger paid £1,000 … at the time his allegations were swept aside and he was ultimately fined £200 for pot possession … an unnamed bidder coughs up $1.1 million for a scrap of paper on which John Lennon had scrawled the lyrics for "All You Need is Love" in preparation of the Beatles' 1966 BBC satellite broadcast … the paper, tossed by Lennon after the show, was retrieved by a BBC employee … during the same auction a pair of Lennon's specs go for $98,000 …


2006, a court awards Jimi Hendrix's stepsister control of the late great guitarist's estate, cutting out his brother Leon … this comes after years of legal wrangling between the family members … Bono, along with five partners, buys a 40-percent stake in Forbes magazine for a reported $250-300 million … A 30-year-old man is beaten to death at the Atlanta stop of the ironically titled Family Values tour led by Korn … the victim was attempting to protect a pregnant friend from two unruly fans … a suspect is arrested a week later … in England the long-running Brit TV pop music show Top of the Pops breathes its last gasp … the show had aired on the BBC continuously since 1964 … on the domestic dissolution front, Travis Barker files a divorce suit against Shanna Moakler, his wife of two years and former Miss USA … and keeping up with the Barkers, Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes and his missus, actress Kate Hudson, file for divorce … Steely Dan's Walter Becker and Donald Fagen fire off a letter to actor Luke Wilson charging that his brother, director Owen Wilson has misappropriated the name of a character from their song "Cousin Dupree" for the movie You, Me, and Dupree, in which Luke Wilson's Dupree character is a couch-hopping loser … the letter, posted on the Steely Dan website warns Wilson that, "There are some pretty heavy people who are upset about this whole thing and we can't guarantee what kind of heat little Owen may be bringing down on himself" … the letter goes on to suggest that Wilson should make an appearance at a Dan concert and apologize to their fans … the tongue-in-cheek feud continues when Wilson fires back, "Cousin Dupree and I don't even know who this gentleman, Mr. Steely Dan, is. I hope this helps to clear things up and I can get back to concentrating on my new movie, HEY 19." …


2007, when a ballsy female concertgoer reaches out and grabs Tim McGraw's nether regions at the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana, his missus, Faith Hill, tells the errant fan in no uncertain terms that that sort of behavior is frowned upon in them there parts … well, depending on who's doing the grabbing … Berlin names Street 13 in former communist East Germany Frank-Zappa-Strasse or Frank Zappa Street to honor Frank Zappa … in a letter of thanks, Zappa's brother Bobby says the Grammy-winning rocker, who died in 1993, would have been pleased …


2008, a funeral is held in the Midtown offices of Hachette, the book publisher, to mourn the passing of what it called a "dear friend," the cassette tape … long abandoned by the music industry, cassettes lived on in audio books … R.I.P. cassettes …


… and that was the week In Music!



July 28: singer, actor, bandleader Rudy Vallée (1901), flamenco and Andalusian copla singer Dolores Jiménez Alcántara (1909), Mississippi bluesman Junior Kimbrough (1930), George Cummings of Dr. Hook (1938), Michael Bloomfield, guitarist with Al Kooper and Electric Flag (1943), keyboardist Richard "Rick" Wright of Pink Floyd (1943), singer-songwriter Jonathan Edwards (1946), guitarist Steve Morse of Dixie Dregs and Deep Purple (1954)


July 29: revolutionary jazz guitarist Charlie Christian (1916), guitar amp maker Jim Marshall (1923), Neal Doughty of REO Speedwagon (1946), Geddy Lee (1953), Patti Scialfa of the E Street Band (1953), John Sykes of Whitesnake and Thin Lizzy (1959), country singer Martina McBride (1966), Chris Gorman of Belly (1967), Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men (1973)


July 30: blues guitarist Buddy Guy (1936), Paul Anka (1941), saxophonist David Sanborn (1945), Jethro Tull bassist Jeffrey Hammond (1946), guitarist Hughie Nicholson of Blue (1949), Rat Scabies of The Damned, born Chris Miller (1957), singer-songwriter Kate Bush (1958), Craig Gannon, guitarist with The Smiths (1966), Manic Street Preachers drummer Sean Moore (1968), Brad Hargraves of Third Eye Blind (1971)


July 31: R&B singer-drummer-bandleader Roy Milton (1907), producer and founder of Atlantic records Ahmet Ertegun (1923), singer and son of Jerry, Gary Lewis (1946), Karl Green of Herman's Hermits (1947), ELO's Hugh MacDowell (1953), Daniel Ash of Love and Rockets (1957), Bill Berry of R.E.M. (1958), Norman Quentin Cook, aka Fatboy Slim of The Housemartins (1963), John 5, born John William Lowery, guitarist with Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie (1971), Coldplay's Will Champion (1978)


August 1: Francis Scott Key (1779), Piano Slim, born Robert T. Smith (1928), folk singer Ramblin' Jack Elliot, born Elliott Charles Adnopoz (1931), Jerry Garcia (1942), Geoff Britton of Wings (1943), Boz Burrell of Bad Company (1946), Rick Coonce of The Grass Roots (1946), Rick Anderson of The Tubes (1947), Tommy Bolin, guitarist with Zephyr, The James Gang, and Deep Purple (1951), BTO's Tim Bachman (1951), bluesman Robert Cray (1953), Joe Elliott of Def Leppard (1959), Public Enemy's Chuck D, born Carlton Douglas Ridenhour (1960), rapper Coolio, born Artis Leon Ivey, Jr. (1963), Adam Duritz of Counting Crows (1964), Ashley Angel of O-Town (1981)


August 2: big band singer Helen Morgan (1900), blues singer-pianist "Big" Walter Price, born Walter Travis Price (1914), country singer Hank Walters (1933), country star Hank Cochran (1935), Garth Hudson of The Band (1937), Doris Coley Kenner of The Shirelles (1941), steel guitarist-songwriter Hank DeVito (1948), guitarist Andy Fairweather-Low (1948), funk bandleader "Fat" Larry James (1949), Ted Turner of Wishbone Ash (1950), singer-songwriter Andrew Gold (1951), Clive Wright of Cock Robin (1953), singer-actress Apollonia Kotero, born Patricia Kotero (1959), Pete De Freitas of Echo and the Bunnymen (1961), Zelma Davis of C+C Music Factory (1970)


August 3: Bahamian guitarist Joseph Spence (1910), Tony Bennett (1926), blues harp player Alex Randall (1934), Gordon Stoker of The Jordanaires (1935), Roscoe Mitchell of The Art Ensemble of Chicago (1940), Beverly Lee of The Shirelles (1941), B. B. Dickerson of War (1949), John Graham of Earth, Wind & Fire (1951) guitarist Steve Hillage (1951), Andrew Gold (1951), James Hetfield of Metallica (1963), Ed Roland of Collective Soul (1963), Shirley Manson of Garbage (1966)




July 28: cassette tapes (2008) Marguerite "Marge" Ganser of The Shangri-Las (1996), Muscle Shoals guitarist Eddie Hinton (1995), Johann Sebastian Bach (1750)


July 29: jazz bassist Art Davis (2007), Al McKibbon, jazz bassist with Dizzy Gillespie (2005), Anita Carter of the Carter Sisters (1999), Rare Earth percussionist Eddie Guzman (1993), pedal steel guitarist Pete Drake (1988), Gordon Mills, manager and songwriter for Tom Jones (1986), singer Cass Elliot of The Mamas & The Papas (1974), guitarist and vocalist Glenn Goins (1978)


July 30: swing & bebop saxophonist Eli "Lucky" Thompson (2005), Sun Studios founder Sam Phillips (2003), sax man Donald Myrick (1993)


July 31: Rob Jones of Wonder Stuff (1993), blues singer-saxophonist Benjamin Clarence "Bull Moose" Jackson (1989), Bob Horn, original host of TV's Bandstand (1966), country singer-songwriter Jim Reeves (1964), Jim Reeves' pianist-manager Dean Manuel (1964)


August 1: Irish singer Tommy Makem of The Clancy Brothers (2007), pianist Sviatoslav Richter (1997)


August 2: Ron Towson of The 5th Dimension (2001), Afrobeat star Fela Anikulapo Kuti (1997), Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs bassist David Martin (1987), Motown bassist James Jamerson (1983), former Pink Floyd road manager Peter "Puddy" Watts (1976), Brian Cole of The Association (1972)


August 3: Arthur Lee (2006), reedman Bob Tate (1993), Don Lang of The Frantic Five (1992), Richard Nickens of The Eldorados (1991)


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