Here are the deets on what went down this week in music history:
1945 – Elvis Presley made his debut public appearance in a talent contest at the Mississippi Alabama Dairy Show. Ten-year-old Elvis sang ‘Old Shep’ and came in 2nd place, winning $5 and free carnival rides. Guess all the greats have to start somewhere!
1962 – The Beach Boys released their first album ‘Surfin’ Safari’. The title track was voted the best song to cruise to in a United States survey conducted in 2004.
1967 – The Beatles mixed Lennon’s new song ‘I Am the Walrus’ at Abbey Road. The song would include the sound of a radio station being tuned to a BBC broadcast of Shakespeare’s King Lear. ‘I am the Walrus’ also gave us such nonsensically gold lyrics as “Crabalocker fishwife pornographic priestess” and “Semolina pilchard climbing up the Eiffel Tower”.
1969 – The Doors played the 7th annual New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center.
1970 – Jimi Hendrix was buried at a cemetery in his native Seattle. The rocker died in London after overdosing on barbiturates. Attendees of Hendrix’s funeral included Miles Davis, Eric Burdon, Johnny Winter and members of Derek and the Dominoes.
1978 – “The Bad Boys from Boston”, aka Aerosmith, bailed thirty fans out of jail after they were arrested for smoking pot during the band’s concert at Fort Wayne Coliseum in Indiana.
1979 – The Police had their first No. 1 UK single with ‘Message in a Bottle’. It was the first single off the album ‘Regatta de Blanc’, which means “White Reggae”.
1982 – Sony launched its first commercially available CD player in China, the CDP-101, for 168,000 yen ($730 USD). That is the equivalent of $1,630 USD today.
1989 – While on a cross-country motorcycle cruise, Bruce Springsteen stopped in at a bar in Arizona for an informal jam sesh with the house band. Being ‘The (benevolent) Boss’ he also decided to donate $100,000 to the barmaid’s hospital bills.
1992 – Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor ripped up a photograph of Pope John Paul II, on ‘Saturday Night Live’, in protest of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. After ending her performance, the singer produced a photograph of the pope and ripped it into pieces. The crowd responded in stunned silence and the station quickly cut to a commercial. NBC was fined $2.5 million dollars by the FCC for the media catastrophe.
1995 – Farm Aid, a non-profit focused on defending family farm-centered agriculture in the United States, raised nearly $1 million at their annual concert in Louisville, Kentucky. Performers included Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Hootie and the Blowfish, and The Dave Matthews Band.
2004 – UK tabloid The Sun reports that Michael Jackson had a secret fourth child who would be 29 today.
2004 – Wilco, Motörhead, Avril Lavigne, The Flaming Lips, The Shins, and Ween all contribute tunes to the soundtrack for the Hollywood film version of one of the 21st century’s most beloved Nickelodeon shows: Spongebob Squarepants.
2007 – Radiohead’s official website crashed after they announced ‘In Rainbows’ could only be purchased online. The band gave fans the option of pre-ordering the album download for whatever price they chose. In 2009 the album won two Grammys including Best Alternative Music Album.
2007 – Kanye West beats rival 50 Cent in the battle to claim the spot for best-selling album in the US. West’s ‘Graduation’, which featured artists including T-Pain, Mos Def, Lil Wayne, and Chris Martin of Coldplay, sold 957,000 copies in its first week, while 50 Cent’s ‘Curtis’ trailed at 691,000. 50 Cent canceled a European tour and an MTV appearance in Germany in response to the upset.
2008 – P!nk goes to No. 1 on the UK chart with her fourth album ‘Funhouse’. The album was originally titled ‘Heartbreak is a Motherf***er’.
Born this week:
September 29 – Paramore guitarist Joshua Farro (1987)
September 30 – Trey Anastasio of Phish (1964)
Oct 1 – Better Than Ezra frontman Kevin Griffin (1968)
Oct 2 – Gordon Summer (aka Sting) of The Police (1951)
Oct 3 – Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac (1947), Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee (1962), Gwen Stefani (1969), Ashlee Simpson (1984)