Today In Oldies Music History: May 20--
Births1920: Vic Ames (The Ames Brothers)
1937: Teddy Randazzo
1939: Sal Mineo
1940: Shorty Long
1942: Jill Jackson (Paul and Paula)
1944: Joe Cocker
1954: Jimmy Henderson (Black Oak Arkansas)
1959: Susan Cowsill (The Cowsills)
Deaths1964: Rudy Lewis (The Drifters)
1967: Manuel Fernandez (Los Bravos)
Events1920: Montreal Canada's XWA broadcasts the first scheduled radio program in North America.
1960: The US Congress' committee on "payola" indicts eight men accused of receiving $116,580 in illegal payoffs for promoting records. The indictments will lead, two years later, to highly influential DJ Alan Freed's eventual indictment for tax-evasion.
1960: A Liverpool band called Johnny and the Moondogs changes their name to the Silver Beetles and embarks on a Scottish tour, backing singer Johnny Gentle. The band members, except for leader John Lennon, take pseudonyms: Paul McCartney becomes Paul Ramon, George Harrison becomes Carl Harrison, and Stu Sutcliffe becomes Stuart de Stael. A punk band called the Ramones would later take their name from McCartney's fake one.
1964: Elvis' 15th movie, Viva Las Vegas, co-starring Ann-Margret, premieres in Hollywood.
1966: At tonight's Who gig in Windsor, England, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey perform with the rhythm section of the opening act when John Entwistle and Keith Moon are late for the show. When the duo finally arrive, with the show half over, Townshend hits Moon over the head with his guitar. Keith and John quit the band, but are convinced to return within the week.
1966: Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band play their first gig at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco.
1967: The Beatles premiere their new album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, on Kenny Everett's BBC radio program Where It's At. All the tracks are played save "A Day In The Life," which the "Beeb" has banned the day before for its seemingly positive attitude towards drug use. Paul and John give live interviews about the making of the album.
1967: Jimi Hendrix signs with the Reprise label.
1968: John Lennon and Paul McCartney, fresh off their trip to India to study with the Maharishi, arrive at George Harrison's home in Esher, Surrey, to demo 28 new songs, all but a handful of which will turn up in some form on the band's next LP, The Beatles (a/k/a "The White Album").
1968: Pete Townshend of the Who marries his first and only wife, Karen Astley, daughter of composer Ted Astley. The couple would divorce in 2000.
1970: George Harrison meets producer Phil Spector at Abbey Road Studios to play demos of the songs which will appear on his debut album, All Things Must Pass.
1971: Chicago singer and bassist Peter Cetera attends a Chicago Cubs game, where four Marines who notice his long hair beat him so badly he breaks his jaw and loses four teeth. He spends five hours in surgery and two days in intensive care.
1978: The beloved/notorious biopic The Buddy Holly Story, starring Gary Busey, premieres in Holly's hometown of Lubbock, TX.
1985: After extensive renovations, the historic Apollo Theatre in Harlem reopens with a concert that features Hall and Oates performing with Temptations Eddie Kendrick and David Ruffin. The concert is later released as Live At The Apollo.
1988: At the height of the "Is Elvis Dead" phenomenon, Priscilla Presley holds a press conference to confirm that the King did, indeed, pass on in 1977.
1995: The Eagles' Don Henley marries his first and only wife, model Sharon Summerall, in Malibu, with Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Randy Newman, Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Jimmy Buffett, Sheryl Crow, and other celebs attending. At the reception, live music is provided by Tony Bennett, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and Sting.
1998: Frank Sinatra's funeral is held Beverly Hills' Church of the Good Shepherd, with attendees including Tony Bennett, Bob Dylan, Liza Minnelli, Jack Nicholson, Tony Curtis, Kirk Douglas, Sophia Loren, Bob Newhart, Faye Dunaway, Angie Dickinson, and ex Mia Farrow. Dylan's statement reads, in part, "Right from the beginning, he was there with the truth of things in his voice... He was one of the very few singers who sang without a mask." Ten years later to the day, May 13th is declared Frank Sinatra Day by the Congress of the United States.
2003: South Carolina's parole board pardons James Brown of all past offenses committed in the state, even the felonies, spurring James to spontaneously sing "God Bless America" at the conclusion of the hearing.
2006: Their hometown of Hawthorne, CA dedicates a monument to the three Wilson brothers in the Beach Boys.
Releases1954: Bill Haley and His Comets, "Rock Around The Clock"
Recording1941: Harry James, "You Made Me Love You"
1957: Frank Sinatra, "Witchcraft"
Charts1967: The Young Rascals' "Groovin'" hits #1
1978: Wings' "With A Little Luck" hits #1