Today In Oldies Music History: July 29--
Births1887: Sigmund Romberg
1917: Henry D. "Homer" Haynes (Homer and Jethro)
1933: Randy Sparks (The New Christy Minstrels)
1946: Neal Doughty (REO Speedwagon)
1947: Carlo Paul Santanna (Paper Lace)
1953: Geddy Lee (Rush)
Deaths1955: Les Elgart
1974: Cass Elliot (The Mamas and the Papas)
1988: Pete Drake
1993: Ed Guzman (Rare Earth)
1999: Anita Carter (The Carter Family)
2004: Huby Heard
Events1961: Dick Clark presents his very first Caravan of Stars revue at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, NJ, featuring The Jive Five, the Shirelles, and Clarence "Frogman" Henry.
1963: Capitol Records sends disc jockeys around the US a list of hot rod terms to assist DJs when talking about the latest music trend.
1965: The Beatles' second movie, Help!, premieres in London at the Pavilion Theatre, with none other than the Queen attending. (Though reviews are mixed, the movie is a financial success.) Later, manager Brian Epstein and the group attend a post-premiere reception at the Dorchester Hotel.
1966: While out riding his Triumph 500 motorbike near Woodstock, NY, Bob Dylan's brakes lock up, causing him to fly of the bike, seriously injuring his neck vertebrae. Dylan was absent from the public spotlight for a full nine months, with rumors circulating that he'd actually broken his neck. Decades later, there's still some doubt as to how exaggerated his condition was; some claim he privately sought to use the injury as an excuse to disappear from the spotlight (or that there was no accident at all). The hiatus gives him a chance to record what would become known as the "Basement Tapes" in a big pink house in Woodstock with a band called The Hawks, who would later record their first album, Music From Big Pink.
1966: Cream make their stage debut, playing at Manchester, England's Twisted Wheel club.
1966: The US teen magazine Datebook reprints a John Lennon quote from an interview, conducted by Maureen Cleave, which had been published in the London Evening Standard newspaper: "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."
The resulting uproar causes the Beatles' records to be burned in America, especially the South, and death threats to be issued against the band on their upcoming US tour -- despite a hastily assembled press conference in Chicago, at which John explains, "If I had said television is more popular than Jesus, I might have got away with it, but I just happened to be talking to a friend and I used the words "Beatles" as a remote thing, not as what I think - as Beatles, as those other Beatles like other people see us... I'm not saying that we're better or greater, or comparing us with Jesus Christ as a person or God as a thing or whatever it is. I just said what I said and it was wrong. Or it was taken wrong. And now it's all this... I never meant it to be a lousy anti-religious thing. I apologize if that will make you happy. I still don't know quite what I've done. I've tried to tell you what I did do but if you want me to apologize, if that will make you happy, then OK, I'm sorry."
1968: Refusing to play in front of the country's segregated audiences, Gram Parsons leaves the Byrds on the eve of a South African tour.
1970: The Rolling Stones' contract with Decca expires, and the group takes the opportunity to split with notorious manager Allen Klein. Delivering one more song to the label to fulfill its obligation, the famously unreleasable "C********* Blues," they also begin the process of forming their own label, Rolling Stones Records (which will feature the debut of the band's new "lips" logo).
1973: While performing on stage at Madison Square Garden, Led Zeppelin has $180,000 of their gate receipts from the previous night's show stolen from their safe at the Drake Hotel. This incident, one of the largest such crimes in the history of NYC, will be immortalized in the band's 1976 concert documentary The Song Remains The Same. The crooks are never found.
1980: David Bowie makes his stage debut in the off-Broadway production of The Elephant Man, held in Denver, CO. The show gets rave reviews, as does Bowie's performance.
1986: Seventies soft-rocker Paul Davis ("I Go Crazy") is gutshot during an attempted robbery at a Nashville hotel. He eventually recovers.
1987: Michigan governor James Blanchard declares today "Four Tops Day" in honor of the Motown legends.
1987: Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream introduces their signature flavor (and first celebrity-themed flavor): Cherry Garcia, named after the Grateful Dead head Jerry Garcia.
1990: Elton John checks into a hospital in Chicago, IL, for bulimia and substance abuse.
1998: Miramax studios announces their purchase of the rights to the Beatles' 1964 film A Hard Day's Night, intending to remaster it in time for the film's 35th anniversary.
2005: An anonymous bidder plays one million dollars for the original handwritten lyrics to the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" at the Hippodrome nightclub in London.
Releases1963: Peter, Paul and Mary, "Blowin' In The Wind"
1967: The Temptations, "You're My Everything"
1978: Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks, "Whenever I Call You Friend"
Recording1959: The Isley Brothers, "Shout"
1968: The Beatles, "Hey Jude"
1969: The Beatles: "Come Together," "Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard"
Charts1967: The Doors' "Light My Fire" hits #1
1972: Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again (Naturally)" hits #1
1973: The Grease soundtrack LP hits #1
1978: The Village People's "Macho Man" enters the charts