Welcome back rock aficionados! This week in rock history is filled to the brim with all the important dates, facts, and trivia that we crave! Some of the more momentous ones include the birthday of Willie Dixon, without whom Chicago blues would never have been the same. Mr. Dixon composed some of the most important songs of that era and location, including “You Shook Me,” “Spoonful,” “I Just Want To Make Love to You” and so many more! We also celebrate the birthday of a certain Richard Starkey, whose membership in one of the greatest rock bands of all time supplied the backbone and heartbeat of the group. Although he only contributed a handful of songs to The Beatles’ catalog, tunes like “Octopus’s Garden” and “Yellow Submarine” will always be near and dear to our hearts. Another birthday? Dan Aykroyd AKA Blues Brother Elwood Blues, who was on a “missionn form God” to help spread the Gospel of the blues in the hit film The Blues Brothers. Find out what else happened this week in rock culture below!

Born This Week in Rock History

Willie Dixon: July 1, 1915 (blues composer and musician)
Dan “Elwood J. Blues” Aykroyd: July 1, 1952 (backing vocals and harmonica, The Blues Brothers)
Roy “The Professor” Bittan: July 2, 1949  (piano and keys, The E Street Band)
Paul Barrere: July 3, 1948 (guitar, Little Feat)
Andy Fraser: July 3, 1952 (bass, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers & Free)
Dave Rowberry: July 4, 1940 (keyboards, The Animals)
Alan Wilson: July 4, 1943 (guitar, vocals, harmonica, Canned Heat)
Jeremy Spencer: July 4, 1948 (guitar, Fleetwood Mac)
Robbie Robertson: July 5, 1943 (guitar, The Band)
Michael Monarch: July 5, 1950 (guitar, Steppenwolf)
Michael Shrieve: July 6, 1949 (drums, Santana)
Richard “Ringo Starr” Starkey: July 7th, 1940 (drums, The Beatles)

A Farewell to the dearly departed

Rushton Moreve: July 1, 1981 (bass, Steppenwolf)
Brian Jones: July 3rd, 1969 (guitar, The Rolling Stones)
Jim Morrison: July 3rd, 1971 (vocals, The Doors)
Louis Armstrong: July 6, 1971 (jazz trumpet and vocals)
Skip Battin: July 6, 2003 (bass, The Byrds, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Flying Burrito Brothers)
Syd Barrett: July 7th, 2006 (vocals, guitar, Pink Floyd)

Music Releases and the Top of the Charts

The Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” enters the charts: July 1, 1967
Ray Charles, Ray Charles was released: July 3rd, 1957
Queen’s first single, “Keep Yourself Alive” was released: July 6th, 1973

This Week in Rock History

Jimi Hendrix’ Electric Lady Studios in New York are opened for the first time at 52 West 8th Street in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Before he died, Hendrix had only recorded in the new studio for four weeks. Some notable artists who have recorded at the studio include John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Kiss, and AC/DC: July 1, 1970

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band hits #1 on the charts. The album would remain there for 15 weeks! Time Magazine labeled this astonishing record, “a historic departure in the progress of music,” and it would go on to win the Grammy award for Album of the Year, the first rock album ever to do so: July 1, 1967

The Band’s debut album, Music From Big Pink, is released. The album includes the famous song “The Weight” as well as a version of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released,” a couple of songs that Bob Dylan co-wrote with The Band including, “Tears of Rage,” and a cover of the classic country song “Long Black Veil.” The album was so named because it was partially composed in a house called “Big Pink” by the band in West Saugerties, New York: July 1, 1968

James (Jimi) Hendrix receives an honorary discharge from the army after breaking his ankle during a jump with the 101st Airborne. It was his 26th parachute jump. He never jumped again: July 2nd, 1962

The Lion Hotel in Warrington England hosts a gig by David Bowie and the Lower Third as well as The Powerhouse featuring Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Steve Winwood, and Paul Jones. David Bowie’s group made £30 for the job: July 2nd, 1966.

The Beatles record “Her Majesty” and 15 takes of “Golden Slumbers” and “Carry That Weight” at Abbey Road Studios. John Lennon was not present for these Abbey Road sessions, however, as he was recovering from a car accident the previous day in Scotland: July 2nd, 1969.

Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell quit the Jimi Hendrix Experience, effective ending the band. The band started playing together in 1966 and released three studio albums during the period in which they were together. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992: July 2, 1969

The Live 8 concerts are held simultaneously all over the world to benefit impoverished African nations, featuring performances by Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Brian Wilson, Chuck Berry, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, The Who, and a reunited Pink Floyd, among dozens of others. The short Pink Floyd set is particularly outstanding – David Gilmour and Roger Waters sound amazing together. The set consisted of “Breathe,” “Money,” “Wish You Were Here,” and “Comfortably Numb.” We highly encourage you to watch the video of the performance! July 2nd, 2005

The US Newport Jazz festival, a four day event in Newport, Rhode Island, boasts a pretty damn good lineup, including Led Zeppelin, The Buddy Guy Blues Band, Jethro Tull,James Brown, Johnny Winter, Jeff Beck, and Sly and the Family Stone. They just don’t make ’em like they used to! July 3, 1969

Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman actually becomes the first Stone to get a solo #1 when his single “(Si Si) Je Suis Un Rock Star” tops the UK charts: July 3rd, 1981

Elton John becomes the first performer to be granted an honorary Doctorate from England’s Royal Academy of Music: July 3rd, 2002

Ray Charles’ performance at the Newport Jazz Festival was recorded for a live album: July 5th, 1958

The Rolling Stones gave a free concert for 250,000 fans in London’s Hyde Park to introduce Mick Taylor as their new guitarist: July 5th 1969

John Lennon and Paul McCartney were introduced to each other: July 6th, 1957

The Jacksons began their Victory Tour in Kansas City, MO: July 6th, 1984

That’s all for This Week in Rock Culture. Did we get it all? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook or send us a Tweet.

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