Today In Oldies Music History: July 31--
Births1911: George Liberace
1918: Hank Jones
1923: Ahmet Ertegun
1931: Kenny Burrell
1939: John West (Gary Lewis and the Playboys)
1942: Daniel Boone
1945: Gary Lewis (Gary Lewis and the Playboys)
1946: Bob Welch (Fleetwood Mac)
1947: Karl Green (Herman's Hermits)
1953: Hugh McDowell (Electric Light Orchestra)
Deaths1964: Jim Reeves
1845: France's army gives legitimacy to Belgian Adolphe Sax's latest invention, the saxophone, by including it in their marching band.
1951: Ray Charles marries his first wife, Eileen Williams, a beautician from Chicago, in Fulton County, GA. The marriage lasts only one year.
1959: England's first big rock-era sensation, Cliff Richard, scores his first #1 in that country with "Living Doll," which would eventually go on to sell half a million records.
1967: The drug conviction appeals of the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, stemming from an earlier marijuana bust in February, are heard in London, with Richards' conviction overturned and Jagger's sentence reduced to probation.
1968: The Beatles' Apple Boutique, a psychedelic clothing store located at 94 Baker Street in London, closes for business after seven months of bad business practices and rampant theft. With the group and its intimates having had the pick of the remaining inventory the night before, Apple Boutique employees are instructed to simply let people in off the street to take whatever merchandise they like. The store was closed that evening for good.
1969: After two hours of opening acts (during which time he grapples with a severe case of stage fright), Elvis Presley debuts his new Vegas show at the International Hotel, his first stage appearance anywhere since 1961. The show goes on at 10:15 pm with a fiery rendition of "Blue Suede Shoes" and is an instant sensation, with the audience, filled with members of the press corps, A-list celebrities, and former Presley associates like Sam Phillips, rapturous in its appraisal. Later that evening manager Colonel Tom Parker renegotiates Elvis' contract on a pink tablecloth in the hotel coffee shop, a contract which will guarantee the singer one million dollars per year through 1974 (minus expenses). Presley's contract holds him to only two months a year, which will allow him to get back out on the road, as well.
1971: After being denied entrance to a Who concert in New York City's Forest Hills Stadium, an ex-convict stabs and kills the security guard.
1977: The Starland Vocal Band of "Afternoon Delight" infamy debut their own summer replacement variety series on CBS.
1979: Donny Osmond's wife, Debra Glenn, gives birth to their first child, Donny Jr.
1980: Mamas and the Papas founder and vocalist "Papa" John Phillips is arrested for possession of cocaine and running a phony prescription scam with a local pharmacy and eventually sentenced to eight years in prison (though this sentence would later be reduced to 30 days in jail and community service).
1995: Jamaica issues a commemorative series of postage stamps honoring local native and reggae legend Bob Marley.
2004: The city of Lubbock, TX, declares today "Mac Davis Day" after its hometown singer-songwriter. Mayor Marc McDougal also dedicates a section of Avenue O as "Mac Davis Lane."
Releases1976: Blue Oyster Cult, "Don't Fear The Reaper"
1976: Orleans, "Still The One"
Recording1942: Harry James, "I've Heard That Song Before"
1959: Neil Sedaka, "Oh! Carol"
1968: The Beatles, "Hey Jude"
1969: The Beatles: "You Never Give Me Your Money," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight"
Charts1971: James Taylor's "You've Got A Friend" hits #1
1976: George Benson's Breezin' LP hits #1
1978: The Rolling Stones' "Miss You" hits #1