BORN THIS WEEK IN ROCK HISTORY
LL Cool J: January 14, 1968 (Hip Hop Artist)
Earl Hooker: January 15, 1930 (blues slide guitar player)
Ronnie Milsap: January 16, 1943 (Country Singer)
Lead Belly: January 20, 1988 (blues musician)
Dave Grohl: January 14, 1969 (Nirvana, Foo Fighters)
Geoff Tate: January 14, 1959 (lead singer for Queensryche)
Captain Beefheart: January 15, 1941 (Avant Garde rock singer)
Ronnie Van Zant: January 15, 1948 (lead vocals, Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Dolores O’Riordan: January 15, 2018 (singer, Cranberries)
Kid Rock: January 17, 1949 (Rock Musician)
Mick Taylor: January 17, 1949 (guitar, The Rolling Stones)
Phil Everly: January 19, 1939 (vocals & guitar, The Everly Brothers)
Janis Joplin: January 19, 1943 (vocals, Big Brother & the Holding Company)
Rod Evans: January 19, 1947 (singer, Deep Purple)
Dewey Bunnell: January 19, 1952 (singer/guitarist, America)
DIED THIS WEEK IN ROCK HISTORY
Junior Wells: January 15, 1998 (blues harmonica player)
Johnny Otis: January 17, 2012 (R&B musician and impresario)
Wilson Pickett: January 19, 2006 (R&B singer-songwriter)
Etta James: January 20, 2012 (blues singer)
Jerry Nolan: January 14, 1992 (The Heartbreakers, New York Dolls)
Dale Griffin: January 17, 2016 (drummer, Mott The Hoople)
Dallas Taylor: January 18, 2015 (drummer, Crosby, Stills, and Nash)
Glenn Frey: January 18, 2016 (Founder and singer, Eagles)
Carl Perkins: January 19, 1998 (rockabilly singer-songwriter)
Denny Doherty: January 19, 2007 (vocals, The Mamas and the Papas)
Steve Knight: January 19, 2013 (keyboards, Mountain)
MUSIC RELEASES AND TOP OF THE CHARTS…
Joe Walsh’s “So What” is certified Gold: January 14, 1975
Rumours by Fleetwood Mac hits #1: January 14, 1978
The Who releases their first single “I Can’t Explain”: January 15, 1965
Rolling Stone’s “December’s Children” is certified Gold: January 15, 1966
Don McLean’s “American Pie” hits #1 on January 15, 1972
The Eagles’ Hotel California album hits #1 on January 15, 1977
The Guess Who release their debut album “Shakin’ All Over”: January 15, 1965
George Harrison reaches #1 with “Got My Mind Set on You”: January 16, 1988
Earth, Wind, and Fire’s album “Gratitude hits #1: January 17, 1976
The Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand” enters the pop charts on January 18, 1964
“Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles enters the top charts: January 18, 1969
Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” hits #1 on January 19, 1980
Bob Dylan releases “Blood on the Tracks”: January 20, 1975
This Week in Rock History:
On January 15, 1955, a young Elvis Presley performed at the Louisiana Hayride, Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport, LA, performing “Hearts of Stone,” “That’s All Right, Mama” and “Tweedle Dee.” Elvis, of course, would become one of the most recognizable and important figures in rock and roll history.
On January 15, 1981, Stevie Wonder heads a rally in Washington in honor of making Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday an official holiday.
The 1992 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony was held on January 15 of that year. The inductees included; The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Yardbirds, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Booker T. and the M.G.’s, Johnny Cash, Sam and Dave, The Isley Brothers, Bill Graham, Doc Pomus, Leo Fender, Elmore James and Professor Longhair.
According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, after he received a standing ovation (the night’s first), Johnny Cash’s voice broke as he said: “You made me see that I might actually belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” Jimi Hendrix’s father, Al, wept as he stood onstage with his son’s drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding. Honestly, that is an all-around EXCELLENT class of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. As big blues fans, we’re particularly fond of the inclusion of both Bobby Bland and Elmore James.
The famous jazz big band leader Duke Ellington records his famous tune “It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing”: January 16, 1932
Eric Clapton records his session “Eric Clapton Unplugged” for MTV: January 16, 1992
Jamaican police mistake Jimmy Buffett for a drug smuggler and shoot at his seaplane (the Hemisphere Dancer) after it lands in the water. Bono of U2 is on board with his family, along with Island Records head Chris Blackwell.
Marvin Gaye performed the national anthem at Superbowl V in Miami, FL on January 17, 1971. Ah yes, back when Superbowl singers had real soul.
New York City’s Metropolitan Opera House holds its first jazz concert on January 18, 1944, featuring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge and Jack Teagarden. This is significant as it shows how far jazz had traveled in becoming the extremely respected genre that it is today by crashing into the world of “serious” music like opera.
Pink Floyd begin recording their legendary Dark Side of the Moon album on January 18, 1973. Dark Side would become one of the most critically and commercially successful albums ever. Its music is timelessly beautiful, emotional, and haunting. More than almost any other album, it works perfectly as one cohesive, thematic work of art. Even the Beatles, though they tried, had never been able to perfect the idea of “the concept album” in the way that Pink Floyd did with albums like Dark Side, Animals, The Wall, and Wish You Were Here. If we were to pick a top 10 rock records ever list, Dark Side would surely be on it.
The band Bad Company is formed, featuring Paul Rodgers on vocals: January 18, 1974
Fleetwood Mac reunites to perform for President William Jefferson Clinton’s inauguration ceremonies on January 19, 1993. Clinton had used the band’s 1977 hit “Don’t Stop” as his campaign theme song. Hey, if it takes The President of the United States to revive Fleetwood Mac, we’re good with that.
The Ninth Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are held in New York City. Inductees include The Animals, The Band, Duane Eddy, The Grateful Dead, Elton John, John Lennon, Bob Marley, and Rod Stewart. Axl Rose performs “Come Together” at the ceremony with Bruce Springsteen – it is Axl’s last public appearance until 1998: January 19, 1994.