Today In Oldies Music History: November 20--
Births1925: June Christy
1940: Tony Butalo (The Lettermen)
1942: Norman Greenbaum
1944: Mike Vernon
1946: Duane Allman (The Allman Brothers, Derek and the Dominoes)
1946: Roy Stiles (Mud)
1947: Joe Walsh (The Eagles)
1947: George Grantham (Poco)
1950: Gary Green (Gentle Giant)
Deaths1973: Allan Sherman
1998: Roland Alphonso (The Skatalites)
Events1955: At New York City's Warwick Hotel, Sun Records owner and producer Sam Phillips sells Elvis Presley's contract to RCA for an unheard-of $35,000, at that time the largest amount ever paid to sign a recording artist. Elvis receives $13,500 of the total; Phillips invests his share in a local hotel chain called the Holiday Inn.
1955: After agreeing to perform Tennessee Ernie Ford's hit "Sixteen Tons" on CBS-TV's Ed Sullivan Show, Bo Diddley instead plays the song he was actually there to promote, his own hit "Bo Diddley." A furious Sullivan blackballs Bo from ever appearing on the show again. The singer has claimed he was never paid for the performance.
1959: In a movie that will trigger his eventual downfall, highly influential DJ Alan Freed is fired from New York's WABC-TV after refusing to sign a statement saying he had never accepted "payola," or gifts in exchange for airplay. (He had, and so had most jockeys.)
1961: Billboard reports on the stunning popularity of the "Twist" craze: three separate films, starring Chubby Checker, Joey Dee and the Starlighters, and Dion, are scheduled for production, and New York television station WOR is airing hourly twist lessons of between one and five minutes, also featuring Checker.
1964: John Lennon acts out his own "Deaf Ted, Danoota, (and me)," taken from his recent book of whimsy In His Own Write, for later broadcast on BBC's comedy show Not Only... But Also, assisted by Dudley Moore and Norman Rossington.
1966: The Kander-Ebb musical Cabaret, featuring Joel Grey and Bert Convy, opens on Broadway.
1968: Janis Joplin manager Albert Grossman approaches Mike Bloomfield and Nick Gravenites about creating her new backup group, which will eventually be known as the Kozmic Blues Band.
1970: The Kinks' Ray Davies flies to London to re-record a section of the lead vocals for the group's latest single, "Apeman." Radio stations are objecting to the line "The air pollution is foggin' up my eyes," claiming "foggin'" sounds too much like another f-word.
1973: 19-year-old Who fan Scot Halpin has his dream come true when the group invites him onstage to play the last three songs of their set at San Francisco's Cow Palace. Drummer Keith Moon, who was said to be suffering from "jet lag," was in a near-coma after ingesting seven horse tranquilizers and passing out on his kit. Halpin performs "Smokestack Lightning," "Spoonful," and "Naked Eye" with the group, then takes a bow with them. Later. Rolling Stone awards Halpin their "Pick-Up Player Of The Year Award."
1975: Bay City Rollers lead singer Les McKeown is found not guilty of vehicular homicide after striking and killing 76-year-old Euphemia Clunie with his car the previous May, after it was ruled that Clunie was walking very erratically while crossing the street. The singer is, however, charged with reckless driving, fined 150 pounds, and has his license suspended for a year.
1975: George Harrison and Paul Simon duet on "Homeward Bound" and "Here Comes The Sun" in pre-recorded versions aired on tonight's episode of NBC-TV's Saturday Night Live. Harrison also does an opening sketch where he asks for his quarter of the famous $3000 offered by show producer Lorne Michaels, earlier in the year, for the Beatles to reunite.
1984: Michael Jackson is awarded a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame directly in from of Mann's famous Chinese Theatre, creating the largest-ever crowd for such an unveiling.
1991: Randy Jackson of the Jacksons is sentenced to a month in a Los Angeles jail for violating his probation for spousal abuse.
1993: August, GA mayor Charles DeVaney re-dedicates the city's Ninth Street as "James Brown Boulevard" in honor of its native son.
1994: Former Byrds and CSNY member David Crosby receives a liver transplant.
1997: Paul McCartney tapes an interview and live performance of "Flaming Pie" and "Young Boy" for the syndicated Oprah Winfrey Show.
2001: Charlie Daniels undergoes surgery in Nashville for prostate cancer.
2002: Stevie Wonder threatens to sue his mother, Lula Hardaway, for a passage in her new autobiography where she claims Stevie lost his virginity to a prostitute. The story was deleted from future copies.
2003: Famed "Wall of Sound" producer Phil Spector is formally charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of b-movie actress Lana Clarkson at his Los Angeles home. Spector enters a plea of "not guilty."
2003: After returning to his Neverland home after a raid on it a few days before, and in response to an arrest warrant, Michael Jackson is charged with child molestation in Santa Barbara, CA. The singer is immediately released after posting three million dollars' bail.
2003: The Dells, George Harrison, Bob Seger, Traffic, ZZ Top, Jackson Browne, and Prince are revealed as the inductees for the 19th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Releases1967: Arlo Guthrie, Alice's Restaurant
1967: The Beach Boys, Smiley Smile
Recording1929: Leo Reisman, "Happy Days Are Here Again"
1961: Bob Dylan: "You're No Good," "Fixin' To Die," "House Of The Risin' Sun," "Talking New York," "Song To Woody," "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down," "In My Time of Dyin'"
Charts1965: The Supremes' "I Hear A Symphony" hits #1
1971: Isaac Hayes' "Theme From Shaft" hits #1