Elvis Presley, hot off his appearance on The Milton Berle Show to the biggest TV audience ever, played the first of two scheduled shows in San Diego today in 1956. The Police chief after issued a statement to the effect that if Elvis ever performed in that manner in his city again (including tomorrow’s show), he’d be arrested for lewd and disorderly conduct. Naturally there were a lot of people making a lot of money who made sure the Police Chief wasn’t at the next show.
It was the first Spring since The Beatles had landed at JFK, played the Ed Sullivan Show twice, and thoroughly invaded America today in 1964, and today they had all five of the top singles on the Billboard chart, and below #6 on the “Hot 100” were 9 more Beatles singles.
Martin Luther King Jr. was shot at about 6pm tonight in 1968, and as the news spread an all-night blues, booze, folk, psychedelic, rock, and reefer-fueled mourning jam session evolved at the New Generation Club in New York City. Among the shocked and depressed musicians who wandered in were Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Joni Mitchell, Al Kooper, and a guitarist from Detroit thrilled to be jamming with his idol Hendrix, Ted Nugent, though apparently The Nuge was a little too high strung for Jimi.
Crosby Stills Nash and Young hit #1 on the U.S. album charts with Dejá Vu today in 1970.
Michael and Karolina Tomaro went to Tax Court in their native Sweden today in 2007, suing to use their daughter’s given baptized name legally. Under Swedish law, both first and surnames must be approved by the government, and “Metallica” had been deemed unsuitable for a little girl.
Procul Harum singer Gary Brooker was in court in London today in 2008, winning back the rights to the band’s 1967 hit A Whiter Shade of Pale in an appeal that overturned a two-year-earlier decision that organist Matthew Fisher was entitled to 40%, on grounds that he’d waited until 2006 to ask for it, and almost 40 years was too long.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
The legendary Muddy Waters would be 102. Born McKinley Morganfield in Mississippi, he migrated north to Chicago, plugged into an amplifier, and unintentionally started thousands of rock and roll bands.
Slade lead guitarist Dave Hill is 71.
The Allman Brothers Band bass player Berry Oakley would be 69. He was killed the same way as his bandmate Duane Allman, in a motorcycle crash, almost exactly a year later and about a block away from the same spot in Macon Georgia.
Dire Straits drummer Pick Withers is 69. You would think he would be named “Stick”, or if he was going to go with his given name play a different instrument, but whatever.
Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore would be 65, but passed at 58.