Today in Music History August 1

1942 So You Say Its Your Birthday! Jerry Garcia, American singer-songwriter and guitarist for the Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, among others.  Garcia died of a heart attack while in drug rehab in 1995.

Image result for jerry garcia

 

1964, A Hard Day’s Night by The Beatles becomes their 5th #1 single in the span of 7 months in the US.  Its opening guitar chord becomes iconic.  The Beatles would spend 18 weeks at the No. 1 position during 1964.

 

1971, The George Harrison organized  Concert For Bangladesh takes place at Madison Square Garden in NYC.  The two concerts, to raise money to famine and war victims in Bangladesh, featured Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Ravi Shankar, and Badfinger, among others.  It was the first ever benefit concert of this magnitude, seen by over 40,000 people and raised over $250,000.  Over the decades, the concert, and resulting triple album and film, have raised over $12M (as of 1985).

 

1971 The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour begins on the CBS network in the US.  The show grew out of a nightclub act that Sonny and Cher had embarked on after their music career declined.  The show featured comedy skits and musical numbers by the duo along with guest stars.  It ran until 1974, than again in a different from in 1976-77.

 

1981 MTV launches at 12:01 AM Eastern Time, with the words “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” spoken by John Lack and played over footage of the first Space Shuttle launch countdown of Columbia and of the launch of Apollo 11.  The first video played is The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.

 

 

Sources: This Day in Music.com; YouTube, Wikipedia, jerrygarcia.com, Billboard,

Today in Music History July 31

1955 Elvis Presley plays 3 shows in Tampa FL to a crowd of 14,000.  A riot broke out after fans took him up on his joking offer to see him backstage after the show, chasing him into his dressing room and tearing off his clothes.  A photo from the show was used as the cover of his first RCA album in 1956.

Elvis Presley Special Edition FTD CD

 

1958 So You Say Its Your Birthday! Bill Berry, drummer for the pioneering American alt rock band R.E.M. Berry suffered a brain aneurysm on stage in 1995 that was successfully treated, and quit the band in 1997 only after getting his bandmates’ commitment to continue the band without him.

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1968, Tommy James and The Shondells go to #1 on the UK charts with the garage rock classic ‘Mony Mony‘. The title was inspired after Tommy James, stuck for a title for his new song, went to the terrace of his Manhattan apartment and looked out and saw the “M.O.N.Y.” sign atop the Mutual of New York Building across the way.

 

2012 Bruce Springsteen, playing the Helsinki Olympiastadionin Finland at the European finale of his Wrecking Ball tour, plays his longest show ever, clocking in at 33 songs and 4 hours and 6 minutes (and that doesn’t include a 5 song acoustic pre-set before the E St. Band comes on!)  That’s right kiddies, 4 hours plus!  That’s why he’s called the Boss. For more on the show, check out this review.

 

Sources: This Day in Music.com, Wikipedia, ElvisPresleyPhotos.com, Backstreets.com

Today in Music History July 30

1954 Elvis Presley, in his first live concert appearance, appears on the show Hillbilly Hoedown, opening for Slim Whitman.  According to reports, Elvis was so nervous that he stood on the balls of his feet and shook his leg in time to the music.  After he came offstage, he wanted to know why the audience was yelling at him.  They were reacting to the leg shaking, and a signature move was born.

July 30, 1954 advertisement in the Memphis Press Scimitar

1955, Johnny Cash begins recording ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ at Sun Recording Studio in Memphis.  The song was inspired by a movie about the prison that Cash had seen while serving in the US Air Force in West Germany.

 

1966, The Troggs cover of ‘Wild Thing’ starts a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart.  Interestingly, the same song had been released by an American band, The Wild Ones, a year earlier but failed to make the charts.

 

2003 Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records and Sun Recording Studio, dies of respiratory failure in Memphis, Tennessee. Phillips discovered Elvis Presley, and worked with other legends of rock and roll, including Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, as well as Ike Turner and blues legend B.B. King.

Image result for sam phillips

 
Source: This Day in Music.com, Wikipedia, YouTube, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Elvis Presley Music

 

 

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