This Week in Musical History
This date in musical history
In 1960, rock 'n' roll singer Eddie Cochran died in a car crash while on his way to the airport in London. He had just completed a tour of Britain.
The car he was in skidded and crashed into a lamp post. Cochran died in hospital of severe head injuries. The other passengers, rocker Gene Vincent and Shari Sheeley, Cochran's fiancee, were seriously injured.
Cochran was only 21 when he died, and had just begun to realize his potential. "Sittin' in the Balcony" in 1957 and "Summertime Blues" from 1958 were his two biggest hits.
Other musical milestones on this date:
In 1945, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonic Choir first performed together at the Queen Street Auditorium in Kitchener, Ontario. The first concert by the orchestra alone took place the following October at Kitchener's Lyric Theatre.
In 1950, Tony Bennett made his first recording, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." Bennett had used the song, revived from the 1934 movie "Moulin Rouge," to audition for Columbia Records. Although it was not a hit, the record marked the beginning of Bennett's more-than-40-year association with Columbia. He hit number one the following year with "Because of You."
In 1964, the Rolling Stones' first album was released in Britain. It sold more than 200,000 copies and topped the British chart for 12 weeks.
In 1971, saxophonist and singer Carmen Lombardo died in Miami at the age of 67. He performed with his brother Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians from the band's beginning in 1923 until 1970. Lombardo was also a prolific songwriter, and he provided the Royal Canadians with such hits as "Coquette" and "Sweethearts on Parade," both from 1928, and "Boo-Hoo," a 1937 success.
In 1974, Vinnie Taylor of the rock 'n' roll revival group Sha-Na-Na died, apparently of a heroin overdose.
In 1980, reggae musician Bob Marley played at Zimbabwe's Independence Day ceremonies, later calling it the greatest honor of his life. A little more than a year later, Marley was dead of brain and lung cancer.
In 1981, rock guitarist Eric Clapton was released from hospital in London following treatment for stomach ulcers.
In 1983, rock producer and musician Felix Pappalardi was shot and killed by his wife, Gail Collins, in New York City. He was 44. Pappalardi first claim to fame was as a producer for the Youngbloods, Joan Baez and Cream. He later became bass guitarist for the heavy metal group Mountain, which had a hit in 1970 with "Mississippi Queen."
In 1987, Bruce Hornsby and the Range entertained an estimated 60,000 people at a free beach concert in Pensacola Beach, Florida. Officials say the crowd was well-behaved, contrary to predictions by some residents who had wanted to ban the annual Spring Break music bash.
Also on this date in 1987, Carlton Barrett, drummer for the reggae group, the Wailers, was shot and killed outside his home in Kingston, Jamaica. Barrett's widow and a Kingston taxi cab owner were charged with murder two weeks later. The Wailers were the late Bob Marley's backing group.
In 1992, rapper Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew cancelled an appearance at an Omaha, Nebraska record store because of threats allegedly phoned into the Miami office of his record company. Campbell had planned the visit to protest censorship of the group's music. Police said they had no reports of any threats.
In 1995, Quebec pop singer Julie Masse (MASS) revealed she was pregnant - and that the father was rocker Corey Hart, a Canadian teen idol in the 1980s. The couple said they had no plans to marry. Hart produced most of Masse's 1994 album "Circle of One," which proved to be her breakthrough in English Canada.
In 1997, the British rock group Bush and Canadian guitarist Domenic Troiano settled a dispute over the right to use the band's name. Bush had been forced to add an "X" to the end of their name in Canada because Troiano had legal rights to the Bush moniker. Bush was the name of a group that Troiano had led in the early 1970s. As part of the settlement, the British band donated $40,000 to two charities.
Born on this date:
In 1944, Canadian pop singer Bobby Curtola was born in Port Arthur, Ontario. A teen idol in Canada during the early 1960's, Curtola also made his mark internationally in 1962 with the hits "Fortune Teller" and "Aladdin." As well, he was host of two variety shows for CTV - "After Four" in 1965-66 and "Shake, Rock and Roll" in 1973-74.
In 1929, German bandleader James Last.
In 1930, Chris Barber, British trombonist and bandleader.
In 1934, record producer Don Kirshner.
In 1941, British rocker Billy Fury.
In 1946, Quebec singer and actress Michele Richard, in Sherbrooke.
In 1948, jazz-rock keyboards player Jan Hammer.
In 1954, rock singer, guitarist and producer Michael Sembello.
In 1955, rock musician Pete Shelley, formerly of the Buzzcocks.
In 1959, Stephen Singleton of the group ABC.
Eric Clapton: stomach ulcer problems.
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