Happy Birthday Les Paul!

Born Lester Polsfuss June 9, 1915 in Wisconsin, Les Paul is one of the most iconic and well-known names in music and to guitar players. He was known for pioneering the solid-body electric guitar and recording many, many albums in various genres. He also frequently performed and recorded with singer and Wife, Mary Ford. However, most famously, Les Paul is widely known for inspiring, and helping to create the Gibson Les Paul model guitar. The guitars began selling in 1952 and at first were considered a failure. Now, they are perhaps the most famous and recognizable guitars in the world. Musicians such as Jimmy Page, Slash, Gary Moore, Billy Gibbons, Alex Lifeson, and Joe Bonamassa are known Les Paul players. Les Paul passed away in 2009 due to complications with pneumonia.

 

Born This Week in Rock History

Ian Hunter: June 3, 1939 (Mott the Hoople. Singer)

Curtis Mayfield: June 3, 1942 (Soul guitarist and songwriter)

Dave Alexander: June 3, 1947 (The Stooges, bass)

Billy Powell: June 3, 1952 (Lynyrd Skynyrd, keyboards)

Michelle Phillips: June 4, 1944 (The Mamas and the Papas, Vocals)

Freddie Stone: June 5, 1947 (Sly and the Family Stone, Guitar)

Tom Evans: June 5, 1947 (Badfinger, bass)

Peter Erskine: June 5, 1954 (Weather Report, jazz drummer)

Steve Vai: June 6, 1960 (Rock guitarist)

Tal Farlow: June 7, 1921 (Jazz guitarist)

Prince: June 7, 1958 (Multi-instrumentalist/performer)

Michael Cartellone (Lynyrd Skynyrd, drums)

James Harman: June 8, 1946 (Blues harmonica player)

Les Paul: June 9, 1915 (Guitar Pioneer, Jazz, Country, and Blues)

Johnny Ace: June 9, 1929 (R&B singer)

John Lord: June 9, 1941 (Deep Purple, keyboards)

 

Died This Week in Rock History

Koko Taylor: June 3, 2009 (Blues Vocalist)

Ronnie Lane: June 4, 1997 (Faces, bass)

Joey Covington: June 4, 2013 (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna, Drums)

Jim Hodder: June 5, 1990 (Steely Dan, drums)

Dee Dee Ramone: June 5, 2002 (The Ramones, bass)

Stan Getz: June 6, 1991 (Jazz Saxophonist)

Dave Rowberry: June 6, 2003 (The Animals, piano and organ)

Alan Rubin: June 8, 2011 (The Blues Brothers, trumpet)

Music releases and the top of the charts

The Doors, “Light My Fire” was released: June 3, 1967

Elton John Releases “Empty Sky”: June 3,1969

‘Band of Gypsies” Awarded Gold: June 3, 1970

The Eagles, “Take It Easy” was released: June 3, 1972

“The Miracle” by Queen hits #1 in UK: June 3, 1989

Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA is released: June 4, 1984

James Taylor, “You’ve Got A Friend” was released: June 5, 1971

Roy Orbison’s “Running Scared” hits #1: June 5, 1961

The Rolling Stones release “Come On”: June 7, 1963

Elton John’s, “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboys” debuts at #1 on the charts: June 7, 1975

The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” was released: June 8, 1968

Wings hits #1 with “Band On the Run”: June 8, 1974

The debut album KISS is certified gold: June 8, 1977

Led Zeppelin tops the charts with How the West Was Won: June 8, 2003

The Rolling Stones release Some Girls, June 9, 1978

 

This Week in Rock History

Buddy Holly opens for Elvis at a concert in Texas: June 3, 1955

The Rolling Stones appear on US television for the first time: June 3, 1964

A truly surreal edition of ABC-TV’s American Bandstand features Jefferson Airplane performing “Somebody To Love” and “White Rabbit”: June 3, 1967

Aretha Franklin gets her “only solo #1 hit on the Billboard Pop charts with Otis Redding’s Respect.”: June 3, 1967

With the BBC refusing to air the Kinks’ new single, “Lola,” due to its reference to “Coca-Cola” lead singer Ray Davies is forced to fly all the way from London to New York to record the words “cherry cola” for an alternate release: June 3, 1970

Rock Band Jethro Tull’s “Thick As A Brick” remained #1 on the US album chart for two weeks: June 3, 1972

With Martha Reeves and Stevie Wonder opening, The Rolling Stones kick off their Exile On Main Street tour in Vancouver, BC: June 3, 1972

Already undergoing psychiatric treatment and suffering from, among other things, voices in his head, Derek and the Dominos drummer Jim Gordon brutally murders his own mother with a hammer and knife in their home. Gordon, who co-wrote the band’s biggest hit, “Layla,” is sentenced to life in prison: June 3, 1983

Janis Joplin arrives in San Francisco, having been invited there by Big Brother and the Holding Company in order to become their new lead singer: June 4, 1966

The Monkees win an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series: June 4, 1967

US President Jimmy Carter hosts Chuck Berry, who plays a concert for The First Family at the White House: June 4, 1979

Syd Barrett, ex-Pink Floyd member and founder who was forced from the band after becoming an acid casualty, quietly appears in the Abbey Road studios during recording of the band’s album Wish You Were Here, which was largely written about him: June 5, 1975

Muddy Waters, 64, marries his third wife, 25-year-old Marva Jean Brooks, in Chicago with Eric Clapton as best man: June 5, 1979

John Lennon and Yoko Ono join Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention onstage at the Fillmore East in New York for a set of lengthy, chaotic, screeching jams later release as a bonus disc with the Lennon/Ono album Some Time In New York City: June 6, 1971

Pink Floyd begin their ill-fated American tour in support of their album Animals, an event which would directly inspire the soul-searching of the next LP, The Wall: June 6, 1975

 The Velvet Underground reform for the first time in 24 years for a show at London’s Wembley Arena: June 6, 1993

The Johnny Cash show debuts on ABC TV with guests Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. Bob Dylan sang three songs: “I Threw It All Away,” “Living the Blues,” and “Girl From the North Country,” the last of which was a duet with Cash: June 7, 1969

Led Zeppelin begins a sold-out 6-night stand at iconic Madison Square Garden. This was part of their 11th and final North American Tour. The set lasted 3 hours and tickets cost between $8.50 – $10.50, so think about that the next time you go to a concert: June 7, 1977

David Bowie plays a show in West Berlin with the speakers pointed towards the Berlin Wall which is close by. Thousands of young East Berliners stood by and heard the music: June 7, 1987

Chuck Berry, Sam Phillips, Pete Townshend, and Billy Joel are among the rock immortals present at the groundbreaking ceremony for Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: June 7, 1993

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Charlie Watts went to the home of Brian Jones for a meeting about the future of Jones’ affiliation with the band. The eventual outcome would be the end of Jones’ tenure with the group: June 8, 1969

Bob Dylan records a song called “Mr. Tambourine Man” during an evening recording session at Columbia Recording Studios in NYC. June 9, 1964.

Pink Floyd plays two gigs in one day: one in Hull and one in London. Attending two Pink Floyd gigs in one day would essentially be “the best day of our lives.” June 9, 1967.

A young man named Bruce Springsteen signs a record deal with Columbia Records. June 9, 1972

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