Today in Music History:
1963, Elmore James US blues guitarist, singer, died of a heart attack aged 45. Wrote ‘Shake Your Money Maker’, Covered by Fleetwood Mac in 1968. Known as “The King of the Slide Guitar”, James influenced Jimi Hendrix, BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Keith Richards.
1963, The Beatles recorded the first of their very own BBC radio program, “Pop Go the Beatles”. The theme song for the program was a version of “Pop Goes the Weasel”. The Beatles’ guests for this first show were the Lorne Gibson Trio.
1968, The Rolling Stones released the single ‘Jumpin Jack Flash’ in the UK, the track gave them their seventh UK No.1 hit. Keith Richards has stated that he and Jagger wrote the lyrics while staying at Richards’ country house, where they were awoken one morning by the sound of gardener Jack Dyer walking past the window. When Jagger asked what the noise was, Richards responded: “Oh, that’s Jack – that’s jumpin’ Jack.”
1969, Bob Dylan’s album Nashville Skyline peaked at No.3 in the US chart. The singer’s ninth album, it also scored Dylan his fourth UK No.1. The album featured ‘Lay Lady Lay’, which became one of Dylan’s biggest pop hits, reaching No.7 in the US, his biggest single in three years.
1969, The Beatles with Billy Preston started a five week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Get Back’, the group’s 17th US No.1. Credited to “The Beatles with Billy Preston”, it was the Beatles’ only single that credited another artist, ‘Get Back’ was also the Beatles’ first single release in true stereo in the US.
1974, American composer, pianist, and bandleader Duke Ellington, died of lung cancer and pneumonia aged 75. Worked with Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday. Awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1966. In 2009 the United States Mint launched a new coin featuring Duke Ellington on the reverse side of the coin.
1980, Genesis fans turning up at the Roxy Club box office in Los Angeles to buy tickets for a forthcoming gig were surprised to find the band members Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford selling the tickets themselves.
1991, Founder member of The Byrds Gene Clark died of a heart attack aged 49. Wrote The Byrds hits ‘I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better’, and ‘Eight Miles High’, member of McGuinn, Clark and Hillman and solo.
1999, Freddie Mercury was featured on a new set of millennium stamps issued by the Royal Mail. The Queen front man who died in 1991, was featured on the 19p stamp. The singer was a keen stamp collector, and his collection was bought by the Post Office in 1993. The stamp marked his contribution to the Live Aid charity concert in 1985.
2003, Paul McCartney made his first ever live performance in Russia when he appeared in-front of 20,000 fans in Red Square.