Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Kelly Clarkson
Born on this date:
1942, Barbra Streisand, singer
1943, Richard Sterban, singer, The Oak Ridge Boys
1944, Tony Visconti, producer
1945, Doug Clifford, drummer, Creedence Clearwater Revival
1954, Jack Blades, bassist, singer, Night Ranger, Damn Yankees
1957, David J (David J. Haskins), bassist, Bauhaus, Love and Rockets
1957, Boris Williams, drummer, The Cure
1982, Kelly Clarkson, singer

Rock Pills:
1959, The Drifters released “There Goes My Baby.” The track was co-written by Ben E. King (of “Stand by Me” fame) and produced by the legendary team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The song hit #2 on the U.S. singles chart.

1961, Bob Dylan played harmonica on the track, “Calypso King,” on Harry Belafonte’s album, The Midnight Special. The 19-year-old Dylan was paid a $50 session fee for what was his first-ever recording appearance.

1961, Del Shannon’s “Runaway” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track, co-written by Shannon and keyboardist Max Crook, prominently featured a keyboard of Crook’s invention, the Musitron.

1968, newly formed Apple Records passed on a young singer named David Bowie.

1970, blues pianist Otis Spann passed away at the age of 40 from liver cancer. Besides a noteworthy solo career, Spann was Muddy Waters’ pianist from 1952 to 1968.

1972, John Lennon’s controversial single, “Woman is the Nigger of the World” is released in the U.S. The song peaks at No. 57, despite virtually every radio station in the country refusing to play it. Yoko Ono had said the phrase during a Nova magazine interview in 1968 and Lennon explained that he was making a point that women deserved a higher status in society.

1975, Pete Ham of Badfinger committed suicide by hanging himself in the garage of his Surrey, England home, aged 27. Ham was a founding member of Welsh group The Iveys (later, Badfinger), who signed to the Beatles’ Apple label in 1968. Their first hit, “Come and Get It,” was written by Paul McCartney. In his suicide note, Ham declared to his manager, “Stan Polley is a soulless bastard. I will take him with me.”

Sheryl Crow
1976, Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels offered The Beatles $3000 to reunite on the live TV show. Across town, John Lennon and a visiting Paul McCartney considered showing up unannounced, but passed on the idea after deciding they were too tired.

1979, the Hoagy Carmichael/Stuart Gorrell song (closely associated with Ray Charles), “Georgia on My Mind,” was proclaimed the state song of Georgia.

1984, Jerry Lee Lewis married wife number six, the 22-year-old president of his fan club, Kerrie McCarver.

1990, in Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, the crew constructing the set for Roger Waters’ The Wall concert discovered an unexploded World War II bomb.

1992, David Bowie married Somali-born model and actress Iman in Switzerland.

2007, on her website, Sheryl Crow proposed that a ban on using too much toilet paper should be introduced to help the environment. The singer suggested using “only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required.” Crow made the comments after touring the U.S. in a biodiesel-powered bus to raise awareness about climate change. Crow had also designed a clothing line with what she called a “dining sleeve.” The sleeve was detachable and could be replaced with another “dining sleeve” after the diner had used it to wipe his or her mouth.

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