Orvon ‘Gene’ Autry (‘Back In The Saddle Again’ and of course, ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’) was born in 1907

The late Tommy Boyce (Boyce & Hart – I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight’ was born in 1939
Rock Factoid: Boyce and Bobby Hart wrote ‘Come A Little Bit Closer’ for Jay & The Americans, ‘Pretty Little Angel Eyes’ for Curtis Lee, ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’, ‘Last Train To Clarksville’ and ‘(Theme From) The Monkees’ for the Monkees).

The late Manuel Fernandez (keyboards with Los Bravos – ‘Black Is Black’) was born in 1943

Brad Smith (bass guitar with Blind Melon – ‘No Rain’) is 46

Mark Farner (guitarist with Grand Funk – ‘We’re An American Band’) is 66

Mike Pinera (vocalist and guitarist with Blues Image – ‘Ride Captain Ride’ and later a guitarist with Iron Butterfly – ‘Easy Rider {Let The Wind Pay The Way}’) is 66

Jerry Lee Lewis (‘Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Going On’) is 78

The original musical version of A Star Is Born, featuring Judy Garland, opened in Hollywood—1954

Little Anthony & The Imperials recorded ‘Shimmy Shimmy Koko Bop’—1959

Carolyn Hester recorded ‘Come Back Baby’ and ‘I’ll Fly Away’ in New York City. A 20-year old named Bob Dylan played harmonica—1961

The Rolling Stones began their first tour of England, opening for The Everly Brothers—1963

Elvis Presley recorded ‘One Boy Two Little Girls,’ ‘Pappy Won’t You Please Come Home’ and ‘Once Is Enough’—1963

The Beatles recorded ‘I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party’—1964

Elvis Presley recorded ‘You Gotta Stop’ and ‘Leave My Woman Alone’—1966

Mickey Hart joined The Grateful Dead as its new drummer—1967

Gladys Knight & The Pips released ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’—1967

The Beatles completed the recording of ‘I Am The Walrus’—1967
Rock Factoid: John Lennon flipped on the radio while producer George Martin was working on the mix and heard a BBC broadcast of the Shakespeare play King Lear, which Lennon instantly decided had to be included.
“We did about half a dozen mixes and I just used whatever was coming through at that time. I never knew it was ‘King Lear’ until, years later, somebody told me – because I could hardly make out what he was saying. It was interesting to mix the whole thing with a live radio coming through it., So that’s the secret of that one.” … John Lennon

Merle Haggard released ‘Okie From Muskogee’. The single went on to reach #1 on the Hot Country Singles Charts, and #43 on the Billboard Hot 100—1969

Jackie Wilson suffered a heart attack while onstage at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, New Jersey—1975
Rock Factoid: Wilson was performing his signature hit ‘Lonely Teardrops’ and was singing the line, “My heart is crying” when his heart seized and he fell head-first to the stage.
Paramedics were slow to the scene and it took nearly 30 minutes to revive Wilson. By that time, he had suffered brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen to the head and he slipped into a coma. He briefly emerged from that coma in early 1976, but soon slipped back into unconsciousness and was in a vegetative state for the remainder of his life as an inpatient at Medford Leas Retirement Community until his death on January 21, 1984 at Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly, NJ
Rock Factoid #2: A two-time Grammy Hall of Fame Inductee, Jackie Wilson was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Motown founder Berry Gordy stated that Jackie Wilson was “The greatest singer I’ve ever heard. The epitome of natural greatness,” and Smokey Robinson said, “Jackie Wilson was the most dynamic singer and performer that I’ve ever seen.”

Jerry Lee Lewis, in the midst of a drunken stupor while celebrating his 41st birthday, accidentally shot his bass player in the chest … not once but twice—1976

In the middle of a tour, James Brown’s backup band, The JBs, walked out before a gig in Hallendale, Florida, complaining of being underpaid. Most of the band would eventually return to complete the tour—1977

The original lineup of Black Sabbath released their eighth studio album (‘Never Say Die!’)—1978

Tommy Moore (drummer with The Silver Beetles) died (brain hemorrhage)—1981
Rock Factoid: Moore played with the group – soon to become The Beatles – from May to June 1960. One of the reasons he quit was related to an incident which occurred while the group was the backing band for Johnny Gentle on a tour of Scotland.
The tour was a disaster from start to finish with Moore losing his front teeth and suffering a concussion in an automobile accident but being forced by John Lennon to continue playing. A nervous and slight man, Moore was an easy target for Lennon who seemed to delight in making his life a misery. On his return to Liverpool, Moore quit the group and returned to his job of driving a forklift at Garston Bottle Works.

Roy Orbison and k.d. lang recorded ‘Crying’—1987
Rock Factoid: “Roy and I recorded a version of ‘Crying’ (a 1961 solo hit for Orbison) for a movie called Hiding Out. I walked into the studio, and it was like staring at the huge image of the Marlboro Man on Sunset Boulevard – so immediately ominous and present. We were rehearsing the song in the studio with the band, and Roy and I happened to be sharing a mike. When we got to a part where we were singing at the same time, we both leaned into the mike and our cheeks touched. His cheek was so soft, and the energy was so amazing. Not sexual but totally explosive, like the chemistry of some sort of kinship. I’ll never forget what that felt like.” … k.d. lang

Bruce Springsteen stopped in to Matt’s Saloon in Prescott, AZ to jam with the house band (The Mile High Band) for an hour. He overheard a barmaid discussing financial problems. One week later, she received a check from Springsteen for $100,000—1989

Don Henley was awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Bill Clinton for his role in advancing environmental causes—1997

Mickey Newbury (‘An American Trilogy’, which he created, and writer of many songs, including The First Edition’s ‘Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)’ died (lung disease)—2002

Ozzy Osbourne announced that he was writing a Broadway musical based on the life of Russian monk Rasputin (he never did)—2003

Keith Moon’s five-piece drum kit, custom-made for The Who drummer in 1968, sold for $215,000 in London to an American collector, setting a world auction record for a set of drums—2004

Sylvia Robinson (singer/guitarist – Mickey & Sylvia – ‘Love Is Strange’) died (heart failure)—2011

Kevin ‘Sabu’ Crier (bass guitar with GQ – ‘Disco Nights (Rock-Freak)’, ‘I Do Love You’, ‘Sitting In The Park’) died (cause unknown)—2013

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