Rock 'n' Roll Almanac for Wednesday, October 16, 2019

96 years ago (1923)Orchestra leader Bert Kaempfert is born. He would come to occupy a unique place in pop history, as the only man to link Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Frank Sinatra. First, he would write Wooden Heart a European #1 hit for Elvis Presley. Then in 1961, in his home town of Hamburg, Kaempfert would arrange for The Beatles to make their first visit to a professional recording studio, where they'd record My Bonnie with drummer Pete Best. In 1966, Kaempfert’s Strangers In The Night would give Frank Sinatra his only #1 of the rock’n’roll era.
76 years ago (1943)Fred Turner, bassist for Bachman Turner Overdrive, is born.
72 years ago (1947)Bob Weir, guitarist and vocalist for the Grateful Dead, is born.
65 years ago (1954)Elvis Presley makes his first appearance on The Louisiana Hayride radio show on KWKH in Shreveport.
62 years ago (1957)Sam Cooke's You Send Me is released by Keen Records. The single will be his biggest hit selling two-and-a-half million copies.
57 years ago (1962)Motown Records launches a two-month tour of the U.S. in Washington D.C. The bill features the Miracles, Mary Wells, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye and Little Stevie Wonder. It ends with a four-nighter at the Apollo Theater.
57 years ago (1962)Flea of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers is born.
53 years ago (1966)Grace Slick makes her first appearance with the Jefferson Airplane at the Filmore West in San Francisco. She replaces Signe Toly Anderson, who left the band to have a baby.
52 years ago (1967)Joan Baez and 123 other anti-draft demonstrators are arrested for blocking the entrance to the Oakland, California Armed Forces Induction Center. They are jailed for ten days.
51 years ago (1968)The New Yardbirds play their first concert at a club in London. They later change their name to Led Zeppelin.
50 years ago (1969)Wendy Wilson of Wilson Phillips is born.
50 years ago (1969)Leonard Chess dies of a heart attack. Along with his brother Phil, he founded Chess Records in the early 50's.
48 years ago (1971)Issac Hayes' Theme From Shaft is released.
47 years ago (1972)Creedence Clearwater Revival issue a statement announcing the group's break-up. It reads, “We don't regard this as breaking up. We look at it as an expansion of our activities. We will devote our time to individual rather than group projects.”
43 years ago (1976)Stevie Wonder's Song in the Key of Life is released. It will immediately hit the chart and stay there into 1978. It's Wonder's first release since his $13 million signing with Motown. The three record set goes platinum yielding the hits, Sir Duke, Isn't She Lovely, Another Star and I Wish.
42 years ago (1977)John Mayer is born.
38 years ago (1981)Bob Dylan begins his Shot of Love tour with a concert at the Milwaukee Auditorium. After generating mostly negative reactions to his Christian proselytizing on his last U.S. tour in 1979, this time Dylan restricts his preaching to his songs-a mix of pre-rebirth and post-rebirth material.
37 years ago (1982)RCA Records releases Daryl Hall and John Oates' H2O which will match the spectacular performance of their last album, Private Eyes, going to Top Five on the pop LPs chart and yielding two hits: Maneater and One on One.
33 years ago (1986)Eric Clapton and Keith Richards perform at a birthday bash for Chuck Berry, who turned 60 two days later.
27 years ago (1992)Singer Sinead O'Connor is booed off the stage at a show honoring Bob Dylan at Madison Square Garden. The crowd was reacting to O'Connor's attack on the Pope, whose picture she had torn up on Saturday Night Live two weeks earlier.
15 years ago (2004)Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee plays drums with the University of Nebraska marching band before 77,881 Cornhusker fans at the game against Baylor. He's in Lincoln filming a prosepective NBC-TV reality show in which he takes classes like chemistry and the history of rock 'n' roll at the university. He tried out for the marching band earlier in the week.
14 years ago (2005)In a TV interview on Dateline NBC, cancer survivor and singer Melissa Etheridge says, “Instead of taking five or six of the prescriptions, I decided to go a natural route and smoke marijuana.” Asked how her doctors reacted, she says, “Every single one was, ‘Oh, yeah. That's the best help for the effects of chemotherapy.’” At the time, medical use of marijuana is legal in California and nine other states, but is against federal law.
10 years ago (2009)A neighbor of Madonna in Manhattan files suit against her for ’blaring music, stomping and shaking walls.” She claims the Material Girl is using her apartment on Central Park as a rehearsal studio.

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© 2019 - J. Douglas,