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Waky Week in Rock History

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Today's Birthdays, Dec. 17…
  • Paul Rodgers is 65.  He's served as the the frontman for Queen + Paul Rodgers and Bad Company.
  • Former R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills is 56.
  • Bananarama's Sara Dallin is 53.
  • The Raspberries drummer Jim Bonfanti is 66.
  • The Neville Brothers' Art Neville is 76.

Today in History
In 1954
  • Bill Haley and the Comets' "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" broke into the UK pop chart.

In 1955
  • Carl Perkins laid the groundwork for the song "Blue Suede Shoes," reportedly on a paper bag in the early morning hours while he was suffering with a severe bout of insomnia.

In 1957
  • Bobby Darin made his first appearance on national TV with a spot on "American Bandstand."
  • Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock" entered the pop chart for the first time.  It reentered the chart in December in 1958, 1960, 1961, and 1962.

In 1962
  • The Beatles made their first appearance on British television on the show "People and Places."  They performed the song "Love Me Do."

In 1965
  • The Supremes performed at the grand opening of the Houston Astrodome.

In 1966
  • The Monkees' appeared on "American Bandstand."  In addition, the group's "I'm a Believer" broke into the Top 40, along with Paul Revere and the Raiders' "Good Thing" and Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is."

In 1967
  • The Royal Guardsmen's "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron" broke into the Top 40.

In 1970
  • The Beach Boys performed for Princess Margaret at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

In 1971
  • David Bowie released the album "Hunky Dory."

In 1972
  • New album releases included America's "Homecoming" and War's "The World is a Ghetto."

In 1977
  • Linda Ronstadt's "Blue Bayou" peaked at number three on the pop singles chart.

In 1982
  • The Who performed the last concert of what the band was calling its "farewell tour."  The show was in Toronto and simulcast in the U.S. as a pay-per-view satellite and cable TV event.

In 1984
  • REO Speedwagon released the single "Can't Fight This Feeling."

In 1986
  • The Doobie Brothers got back together for a benefit concert.  The band members enjoyed the show so much they decided to revive the group.

In 1999
  • An autograph seeker in New York handed the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards a guitar to sign, but Richards apparently thought it was a gift and walked off with the instrument.  The person decided against pressing charges, saying, quote, "It's Keith, man."

In 2000
  • Bruce Springsteen, The Max Weinberg 7, and other artists performed the first of two benefit concerts at the Convention Center in Asbury Park, New Jersey.  The money went to several local charities.

In 2002
  • The film "This Is Spinal Tap" was among those chosen by the National Film Registry for historical preservation.  The Library of Congress chose the entries, which picked movies that it saw as, quote, "culturally, historically, or aesthetically" valuable.

In 2004
  • Carly Simon took the stage for the first time in nearly a decade, with the first of two performances of the holiday show "Miracle on 125th Street" with BeBe Winans at the Apollo Theater in New York.

In 2005
  • Gov't Mule's Warren Haynes hosted his 17th annual Christmas Jam at the Asheville Civic Center Arena in Asheville, North Carolina.  Hot Tuna Electric and the Neville Brothers' Ivan Neville were among the performers.

In 2006
  • The Dave Clark Five guitar, saxophone, and harmonica player Denis Payton died in the southern British coastal town of Bornemouth following a lengthy battle with cancer.  He was 63.

In 2007
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young's Graham Nash said that band mate Stephen Stills was battling prostate cancer.  Nash revealed the information during CNN's "Larry King Live" program honoring Dan Fogelberg, who died a day earlier from the disease.  The Eagles' Joe Walsh was also on the tribute show.
  • "Clash of the Choirs" began, with Patti LaBelle, Michael Bolton, Nick Lachey, Kelly Rowland, and Blake Shelton leading amateur vocal ensembles from each of their hometowns in a four-night TV singing competition for charity.

In 2012
  • Bruce Springsteen's "Wrecking Ball" took seventh place on "Billboard's" "10 Best Albums of 2012: Critics' Picks" list.  Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange" took the number one spot.
  • Stevie Wonder hosted his 17th Annual House Full of Toys benefit in Los Angeles.  During the show, the Motown legend gave a ten-year-old cancer patient a check for 100-thousand dollars to help pay for her treatments.

In 2013
  • KISS, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Nirvana, Cat Stevens, and Linda Ronstadt were named as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2014, along with Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, The Beatles manager Brian Epstein, and original Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham.



Today's Birthdays, Dec. 16th

  • ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons is 65.
  • The Hollies guitarist Tony Hicks is 69
  • ABBA's Benny Andersson is 68.

Today in History
In 1957

  • Pat Boone's "April Love" hit number one on the pop singles chart.
  • Jimmie Rodgers' "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" peaked at number three on the pop singles chart.

In 1961

  • The Marvellettes' "Please Mr. Postman" hit number one on the Billboard pop chart.

In 1965

  • Peter and Gordon recorded the song "Woman" at Abbey Road studios in London.  While credited to "Bernard Webb," it was a Lennon-McCartney song.  Paul McCartney wanted to used the pen name because he wanted to see if they really wrote good songs or if the material was just selling because their names were on it.
  • The Beatles' double "A" side single "Day Tripper"/"We Can Work It Out" hit number one on the UK pop singles chart.

In 1966

  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience released its first single, "Hey Joe," in the UK.

In 1967

  • Gladys Knight & the Pips' "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" peaked at number two on the pop singles chart.
  • Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "I Second That Emotion" peaked at number four on the pop singles chart.
  • The American Breed made its first appearance on "American Bandstand."  The group's hit "Bend Me, Shape Me" had just entered the Top 40.  Other songs breaking into the Top 40 included Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools" and John Fred & His Playboy Band's "Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)."
  • The Lemon Pipers released the single "Green Tambourine."

In 1970

  • Five Creedence Clearwater Revival albums and four singles were certified Gold.  The albums include "Bayou Country," "Cosmo's Factory," "Green River," "Willy & the Poor Boys," and their self-titled effort; while the singles include "Down on the Corner," "Lookin' Out My Back Door," "Bad Moon Rising," and "Up Around the Bend."
  • The Partridge Family's "The Partridge Family Album" was certified Gold.

In 1971

  • Don McLean released the single "American Pie."
  • Melaine's single "Brand New Key," David Cassidy's single "Cherish," and The Fifth Dimension's album "Live" were certified Gold.

In 1972

  • Billy Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones" hit number one on the pop singles chart.
  • Albert Hammond's "It Never Rains In Southern California" peaked at number five on the pop singles chart.
  • Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" broke into the Top 40.
  • Paul McCartney released the single "Hi Hi Hi."

In 1973

  • Todd Rundgren released the album "Something/Anything," including the hits "Hello It's Me" and "I Saw the Light."

In 1974

  • Ian Hunter left Mott the Hoople, signaling the band's demise.
  • George Harrison's album "Dark Horse" was certified Gold.

In 1977

  • The Bee Gees' single "How Deep Is Your Love" and Kansas' album "Masque" were certified Gold.
  • Thin Lizzy and Rod Stewart appeared on "The Midnight Special."

In 1981

  • Diana Ross' single "Upside Down" was certified Gold.
  • Ray Charles received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1982

  • Neil Diamond's album "Heartlight" was certified Platinum, while Marvin Gaye's single "Sexual Healing" was certified Gold.

In 1983

  • Pete Townshend announced that the Who was breaking up because the band never really recovered from the death of drummer Keith Moon.
  • John Mellencamp's album "Uh-huh" was certified Gold and Platinum, while Genesis' self-titled album was certified Platinum.

In 1984

  • ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill accidentally shot himself in the stomach when the gun he carries in his boot went off as he was removing the shoe.

In 1986

  • Aretha Franklin's album "Aretha" was certified Gold.

In 1989

  • Aerosmith's "Janie's Got A Gun" broke into the Top 40.

In 1991

  • Chubby Checker sued McDonalds for 17-million-dollars, claiming the fast food chain was using a sound-alike version of his hit "The Twist" in an ad campaign.
  • Ozzy Osbourne's album "No More Tears" and The Monkees' album "The Monkees Greatest Hits" were certified Platinum.

In 1992

  • Barbra Streisand signed a ten-year, 60-million-dollar record and film deal with Sony.

In 1997

  • Carl Perkins suffered what his family described as a "severe" stroke.  He actually suffered a series of strokes, from which he never recovered.  He died on January 19th, 1999.
  • Nicolette Larson died of a brain seizure.  She was 45.
  • The Led Zeppelin album "BBC Sessions" was certified Gold and Platinum.

In 1998

  • Neil Diamond's album "The Movie Album - As Time Goes By" was certified Gold.

In 1999

  • Chicago's "Chicago 25 (The Christmas Album)" was certified Gold.

In 2002

  • A plane carrying members of Bon Jovi had to make an emergency landing after experiencing engine trouble shortly after take off.  The plane was going from Los Angeles to New York.  The same jet had just taken passengers -- including Bon Jovi -- from Sydney, Australia, to L.A. without incident.
  • A private funeral service was held for the Lovin' Spoonful guitarist Zal Yanovsky, who had died of a heart attack three days earlier at his home near Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

In 2003

  • The Rolling Stones' "Licks" tour was named the most lucrative trek of the year, earning 299-point-five-million-dollars.  Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's tour was the second-highest grossing road trip, bringing in 181-point-seven-million-dollars.
  • A panda born at the San Diego Zoo was named "Born in the U.S.A."  The cub's parents were at the California zoo on loan from China, and he was the first panda born in America that survived more than just a few hours.  His birthday was August 19th, but in accordance with Chinese tradition he wasn't named until he was 100 days old.

In 2004

  • The Ramones became the first artist to receive the College Music Icon honor from the College Music Awards.  Surviving band member Marky Ramone attended the ceremony at Irving Plaza in New York.

In 2005

  • U2's Bono was named one of "Time" magazine's Persons of the Year.  In addition, the group was among the stars praised in "People" magazine's list of The Best and Worst of 2005.
  • Clips from the Rolling Stones concert in Los Angeles were aired as part of the plot line on the NBC soap "Days of Our Lives."

In 2007
  • Dan Fogelberg died of prostate cancer at his home in Maine.  He'd been battling the disease for three years.  Fogelberg was 56.

In 2008
  • The St. Louis home Chuck Berry lived in for most of the 1950s was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi sued a subsidiary of concert promoter Live Nation over alleged unauthorized merchandise sales.  In his suit he accused Signatures Network Inc. of selling memorabilia relating to his band beyond the terms of their agreement.

In 2009
  • The Rolling Stones were named the Top Touring Act of the 2000s by "Billboard," with road earnings of more than 869-million-dollars over the previous ten years.
  • Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Billy Burnette underwent quintuple bypass surgery at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee.  He'd taken himself to the hospital, complaining of shortness of breath, and was immediately admitted and taken into surgery.

In 2011
  • The Troggs frontman Reg Presley was admitted to Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, England after possibly suffering a stroke.  The 70-year-old rocker was also battling pneumonia.

Today's Birthdays, Dec. 15th
  • The Supremes Cindy Birdsong is 75.
  • Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice is 68.
  • The Dave Clark Five's drummer Dave Clark is 72.
  • The Clash bassist Paul Simonon is 59.

Today in History
In 1958
  • Jackie Wilson's "Lonely Teardrops" hit number one on the Billboard R&B chart.
  • The Everly Brothers' "Problems" peaked at number two on the pop singles chart.
  • Elvis Presley's "One Night" peaked at number four on the pop singles chart.
  • Ritchie Valens' "Donna" broke into the Top 40.

In 1959
  • The Everly Brothers cut the song "Let It Be Me" at Bell Sound Studios in New York, marking the first time the group recorded outside Nashville, and the first time the duo incorporated strings in their work.

In 1962
  • Bill Wyman made his live debut with the Rolling Stones, performing at Putney's Church Hall in London.

In 1964
  • The Beatles released the album "Beatles '65."

In 1967
  • Rolling Stone Brian Jones was admitted to St. George's Hospital in London after he collapsed.  He was said to be, quote, "tired and suffering from overstrain."
  • The Beatles single "Hello Goodbye" and the album "Magical Mystery Tour" were certified Gold.

In 1968
  • Grace Slick caused a stir when she performed with the Jefferson Airplane in blackface and and a black leather glove and raised her fist after the band performed the song "Crown of Creation" on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour."  The incident was one of the reasons why the show was eventually cancelled.

In 1969
  • Eric Clapton and Keith Moon were among the artists to perform at John Lennon and Yoko Ono's benefit concert for UNICEF.

In 1971
  • The Rolling Stones released the album "Hot Rocks."

In 1973
  • Jermaine Jackson married Hazel Joy Gordy, the daughter of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jr.

In 1976
  • The Eagles album "Hotel California" was certified Platinum.

In 1977
  • The Who performed a secret concert at London's Shepperton Film Studios.  The concert was filled and became part of the documentary "The Kids Are Alright."

In 1979
  • Genesis released the album "Wind and Wuthering."
  • Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall" hit number one on the UK pop singles chart.
  • Supertramp's "Take the Long Way Home" peaked at number ten on the pop singles chart.

In 1982
  • Lou Rawls received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1984
  • Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" hit number one on the UK pop singles chart.
  • Foreigner's "I Want To Know What Love Is" broke into the Top 40.

In 1986
  • The Grateful Dead's album "The Best of Skeletons from the Closet" was certified Platinum.

In 1990
  • Rod Stewart and model Rachel Hunter were married in a ceremony in Beverly Hills, California.
  • Art Garfunkel and his wife celebrated the birth of their son, James.

In 1994
  • Barry White's single "Practice What You Preach" was certified Gold.

In 1997
  • John Mellencamp's album "The Best That I Could" was certified Gold.

In 2002
Paul McCartney and "The Osbournes" were among the winners at the "VH1 Big in 2002 Awards."

Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, and The Rolling Stones were among those who contributed material to the eBay auction supporting the organization People for the American Way.

In 2003
David Bowie played his first U.S. show on his "A Reality Tour," at Madison Square Garden in New York.

In 2005
  • Former Grand Funk Railroad frontman Mark Farner, members of AC/DC, Blue Oyster Cult's Buck Dharma, Joe Lynn Turner, and Eddie Money were among the performers for "The Concert for Hurricane Relief" at the Germain Arena in Fort Myers, Florida. The benefit was a fundraiser for Florida residents rebuilding after Hurricane Wilma.

In 2006
  • B.B. King was among those who received the 2006 Presidential Medal of Freedom in a ceremony at the White House.  The award is considered the country's highest honor for civilians.

In 2007
  • Alice Cooper hosted his 7th annual Christmas Pudding charity event in Phoenix.  The eclectic mix of talent for the concert included Cooper and his band along with The Turtles' Flo and Eddie and Chicago's Danny Seraphin and Marc Bonilla.

In 2009
  • Genesis, The Stooges, The Hollies, Jimmy Cliff, and ABBA were among those selected for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2010
  • The Alice Cooper Band, Tom Waits, Dr. John, Neil Diamond, and Darlene Love were named as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2011.  Leon Russell was also honored with the Award for Musical Excellence, which was previously known as the Sidemen category.

In 2012
  • The Rolling Stones played their final "50 and Counting" show of the year.  The event, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, was carried live as a pay-per-view TV special.  Bruce Springsteen, The Black Keys, Guy Clark Jr., John Mayer, and Lady Gaga made guest appearances.  The band also played a tribute to the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, which occurred a day earlier.

In 2013
  • Journey's Neal Schon married reality TV star Michaele Salahi [[Mi-kayl - Sa-lah-hee]] in a ceremony at The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, which was carried as a live pay-per-view special to raise money for charity.