A Sultan & A King

Happy Friday, music history buffs, and welcome back to Tribut Apparel’s weekly series This Week in Rock History. We have lots to tell you about this week. On August 12th, 1950, Dire Straits founding member Mark Knopfler was born. The Straits, of course, are most famous for their hit songs like “Sultans of Swing” and “Money for Nothing”. In fact, Joe Bonamassa has highly praised the pristine sound of Knopfler’s Stratocaster on “Sultans”. In case you need a refresher course:

Though the Straits disbanded in 1995, guitar hero Knopfler has been hard at work on a solo career. This week we also lost one of America’s national treasures, Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll. He’s legendary for hits such as “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Don’t Be Cruel”. We talk more about the King in a related article this week on a perhaps underrated style of popular music known as rockabilly. But before you get to that, let’s see what else went on this week in rock history:

Born this Week in Rock History

Mark Knopfler: August 12, 1950 (Guitar, Vocals, and Founder of Dire Straits)
David Crosby: August 14th, 1941 (Guitar, Vocals, Songwriter, The Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)
Larry Graham: August 14th, 1946 (Bass Guitar, Sly and the Family Stone)
Sib Hashian: August 17, 1949 (Drums, Boston)

Died this Week in Rock History

King Curtis: August 13th 1971 (Saxophone)
Roy Buchanan: August 14th, 1988 (Guitar)
Jerry Wexler: August 15th, 2008 (Producer)
Elvis Presley: August 16th, 1977 (Vocalist & Guitarist, The King of Rock & Roll)

Music Releases & Top of the Charts

The Beatles release Help! in the United States: August 13th, 1965
Eric Clapton releases his first solo LP, Eric Clapton: August 14th, 1970
The Doors’ Waiting for the Sun tops the charts: August 17, 1968
Deep Purple releases “Hush”: August 17, 1968
Eric Clapton’s 461 Ocean Boulevard hits #1: August 17, 1974
Bad Company releases “Can’t Get Enough”: August 17, 1974
Jethro Tull’s A Passion Play hits #1: August 18, 1973

And here is the good stuff…This week in rock History

– Jim Morrison’s indecent exposure trial begins in Miami, Florida. Although, honestly, we’d argue it was a pretty decent exposure; August 12th, 1970

– Guitar virtuoso Roy Buchanan passed away at only 48 years old in a jail in Fairfax, Viriginia. Buchanan’s death was ruled a suicide, although family and friends have disputed that ruling. Buchanan is a fantastic guitarist. Give him a listen if you haven’t: August 14th, 1988

– Stephen Stills was arrested on charges of cocaine possession at a motel in California, for what it’s worth: August 14th, 1970

– After the tragic passing of Jerry Garcia, the leader of the Grateful Dead, the band cancels their fall tour. We still miss you, Jerry: August 14th, 1995

– Mourning for Elvis begins at his home, Graceland, in Tennessee. The occasion was so momentous that President Jimmy Carter issued a statement, saying, “Elvis Presley’s death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique and irreplaceable”: August 17, 1977

– Ringo Starr makes his Beatles debut and the core four play together live for the first time ever. The concert occurred at a horticultural society dance in Birkenhead, England. Is Ringo the greatest drummer ever? Probably not, but he would like to be under the sea in an octopus’ garden, so there’s that: August 18, 1962

– More on The Beatles: The band gets themselves in hot water after siding with Americans who dodged the Vietnam War draft by moving to Canada. This after Lennon’s “Bigger than Jesus” comment and it’s controversy city for the Fab Four: August 17, 1966

– Woodstock, Day 3. Performances include a legendary turn by Joe Cocker – that version of “A Little Help from My Friends” still smokes – CSNY, The Who, The Band, and oh yeah, a small-time guitarist who went by the name of Jimi Hendrix: August 17, 1967

– Mick Jagger shoots a film. Mick Jagger is accidentally shot in the hand during filming. No matter. Mick Jagger still manages to write the song “Brown Sugar” while shooting: August 18, 1969.

That’s all we got for you this week. What’d we miss? You can let us know in the comments below. Meanwhile, check out what else is new on the blog this week.

– Brian M. Reiser,
J&R Adventures

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