Today In Oldies Music History: April 8--
Births1929: Jacques Brel
1941: J.J. Jackson
1942: Roger Chapman (Family)
1947: Steve Howe (Yes)
Deaths1985: J. Fred Coots
Events1956: The Johnny Burnette Trio makes its TV debut, performing "Train Kept A-Rollin'" on ABC's Ted Mack's Amateur Hour. They will appear two more times on the show, but never win.
1961: The BBC bans Gene McDaniels' hit "100 Pounds Of Clay" because of the lyrics' supposedly blasphemous suggestion that God made women from the substance.
1963: John Lennon and wife Cynthia are the proud parents of their first child, Julian, who would go on to have several hits of his own in the '80s and '90s.
1967: In a move that will have enormous implications for England and soul music, Stax makes its first European stop on its promotional tour, with Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Booker T. and the MGs, Eddie Floyd, and Arthur Conley performing at London's Hammersmith Odeon.
1967: Sandie Shaw becomes the first female artist from the UK to win the Eurovision Song Contest, with her song "Puppet On A String."
1968: Petula Clark's first (and only) TV special, entitled simply Petula, airs on NBC, featuring guest star Harry Belafonte performing a duet on an antiwar song she'd written called "On The Path Of Glory." During taping, Clark had reached out to touch Belafonte's arm in a spontaneous gesture, causing the show's sponsor Chrysler to protest, fearing the interracial contact would upset viewers in the American south. As a result, the show is infamous even before it airs: Petula and the show's executive producer, her husband Claude Wolff, respond to the pressure by having all other takes of the duet destroyed so that the gesture would have to be aired. It was, historically, the first interracial contact to be broadcast on American television. (Director Steve Binder would go on to helm Elvis Presley's "'68 Comeback Special" later that year.)
1969: Neil Diamond becomes the first performer to sell out the Forum in Los Angeles for nine nights consecutively.
1971: Chicago becomes the first rock group to play Carnegie Hall, in a concert that will be immortalized on their hefty four-disc fourth album.
1985: The Ellie Greenwich tribute musical Leader Of The Pack opens on Broadway at the Ambassador Theatre.
1989: For the first time in its 33-year history, ABC's legendary dance show American Bandstand moves to the USA network, replacing longtime host Dick Clark with newcomer David Hirsch. The show would be canceled for good six months later.
1998: Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood and 11 other passengers are stranded in a boat off the coast of Brazil when its engine catches fire. A boat of nearby journalists, fortunately, rescues the stranded boaters just minutes before the burning engine causes the craft to explode.
2003: NBC airs the concert special Cher: The Farewell Tour.
2009: Mayor of Camden, NJ Gwendolyn Faison renames Mulford Street as Leon Huff Way in honor of the city's native son, legendary songwriter and founder of Philadelphia International Records.
Recording1957: Buddy Holly: "Words Of Love," "Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues"
1964: The Supremes, "Where Did Our Love Go"
1966: The Beatles, "Got To Get You Into My Life"