December 19th in Rock & Roll History

The late Professor Longhair (born Henry Roeland Byrd – ‘Go To The Mardi Gras’ and a very big influence on Fats Domino, Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and Dr. John) was born in 1918

phil-ochs
The late Phil Ochs (‘I Ain’t Marching Anymore’) was born in 1940
Rock Factoid: Congresswoman Bella Abzug (D-NY), an outspoken anti-war activist, entered this statement into the Congressional Record on April 29, 1976, two weeks after Ochs suicide:
“A few weeks ago, a young folksinger whose music personified the protest mood of the 1960s took his own life. Phil Ochs – whose original compositions were compelling moral statements against war in Southeast Asia – apparently felt that he had run out of words.
While his tragic action was undoubtedly motivated by terrible personal despair, his death is a political as well as an artistic tragedy. I believe it is indicative of the despair many of the activists of the 1960’s are experiencing as they perceive a government which continues the distortion of national priorities that is exemplified in the military budget we have before us.”

The late Zal Yanovsky (lead guitarist with The Lovin’ Spoonful – ‘Summer In The City’) was born in 1944

alvin-lee
The late Alvin Lee (born Graham Barnes – guitarist/lead vocalist with Ten Years After – ‘I’m Going Home’) was born in 1944

Doug Johnson (keyboards with Loverboy – ‘Working For The Weekend’) is 57

John McEuen (banjo and mandolin with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – ‘Mr. Bojangles’) is 69

Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire – ‘Shining Star’) is 73

James Cecil ‘Little Jimmy’ Dickens (‘May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’) is 94

carl-perkins
Carl Perkins recorded ‘Blue Suede Shoes’. The song was based on an incident Perkins spotted while performing at a dance. He noticed a couple dancing and heard the boy tell his date, “don’t step on my suedes.”—1955

Elvis Presley received his draft notice. Milton Bowers, the chairman of the Memphis draft board, personally went to Graceland to deliver the notice—1957

Bobby Darin recorded ‘Mack The Knife’—1958

neil-sedaka
Neil Sedaka released ‘Calendar Girl’—1960

The Friends of Distinction recorded ‘Grazin’ In The Grass’—1968

Ron Wood replaced Mick Taylor in The Rolling Stones—1975

paul-cook
During an interview with British newspaper The Daily Mail, Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook’s mother said her son was no longer welcome at home and she was going to turn his bedroom in a dining room—1976

dr-nick
George Nichopoulos, Elvis Presley’s personal physician, was charged with prescribing over 12,000 doses of amphetamines, barbiturates and painkillers for Presley in the two years prior to his death. Nichopoulos would eventually be acquitted—1979

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Paul Simon (the musician) and Paul Simon (the U.S. Senator) co-hosted Saturday Night Live—1987

Michael-Clarke
Michael Clarke (drummer with The Byrds – ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’) died (liver failure)—1993

Roebuck ‘Pops’ Staples of the Staple Singers (‘Respect Yourself’) died (concussive problems following a fall)—2000

Rob Buck (guitarist/songwriter with 10,000 Maniacs – ‘You Happy Puppet’) died (liver disease)—2000

Eric ‘Guitar’ Davis (lead guitar and vocals with Eric Davis & The Troublemakers – ‘Trouble Makin Man’) died (found slumped behind the wheel of his car in the Chicago’s South Side with gunshot wounds to his neck and torso—2013

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