Today In Oldies Music History: September 26--
Births1898: George Gershwin
1901: Ted Weems
1918: John "Drac" Zacherle
1925: Marty Robbins
1926: Julie London
1931: George Chambers (The Chambers Brothers)
1941: Joe Bauer (The Youngbloods)
1945: Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music)
1947: Lynn Anderson
1948: Olivia Newton-John
1945: Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music)
1948: Stuart Tosh (Alan Parsons Project)
Deaths1937: Bessie Smith
2000: Carl Sigman
2003: Robert Palmer
Events1908: The first stereo advertisement, for an Edison Phonograph, appears in the Saturday Evening Post.
1955: Debbie Reynolds marries Eddie Fisher in New York City, a marriage that will last just four tumultuous years before Fisher leaves America's Sweetheart for Elizabeth Taylor.
1956: The mayor of Tupelo, MS declares today Elvis Presley Day in honor of its favorite son; among others, a young Tammy Wynette is in the audience at the concert Elvis gives later.
1957: The musical West Side Story, a retelling of Romeo and Juliet with New York City gang members, debuts on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre. It would run for 732 performances.
1961: Folksinger Bob Dylan lands his first major gig, opening for the Greenbriar Boys for two weeks at Gerde's Folk City in New York. Critic Robert Shelton of the New York Times says of today's performance: "Bob Dylan is one of the most distinctive stylists to play in a Manhattan cabaret in months... there is no doubt that he is bursting at the seams with talent... Mr. Dylan's voice is anything but pretty... a searing intensity pervades his songs. Mr. Dylan's highly personalized approach toward folk song is still evolving." This review essentially launches Dylan's career.
1965: Queen Elizabeth II presents the Beatles with the Order of the British Empire, recommended by Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who said later: "I saw the Beatles as having a transforming effect on the minds of youth, mostly for the good. It kept a lot of kids off the streets." The Beatles, who reportedly get high in a bathroom before the event, are said to be delighted, though many older and more conservative honorees return their honors in protest. John Lennon later gives his back, protesting "the war in Vietnam and also 'Cold Turkey' slipping down the charts."
1969: Legendary promoter Bill Graham opens the Fillmore West, a West Coast version of his popular New York "rock ballroom," in San Francisco.
1970: Motown announces that its newest singing sensation, the Jackson 5, have sold ten million records worldwide in just nine months.
1970: Returning to Abbey Road studios in London, ex-Beatle John Lennon begins work on his first proper solo album, John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band.
1975: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and a young unknown singer who goes only by the name of Meat Loaf, opens in Westwood, CA. A film version of the popular off-Broadway musical hit, it is an instant flop nationwide, and is miraculously resuscitated some time later when audiences at the midnight showings in New York City begin to talk back to the screen, creating a cult phenomenon that lasts to this day.
1984: Paul Anka is awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6840 Hollywood Blvd.
Releases1964: The Kinks, "You Really Got Me"
1967: Elvis Presley, "Big Boss Man"
1974: John Lennon, Walls And Bridges
Recording1957: The Monotones, "Book Of Love"
1967: The Beatles, "The Fool On The Hill"
1975: Vicki Sue Robinson, "Turn The Beat Around"
1976: Marvin Gaye, "Live At The London Palladium"
Charts1953: The Ames Brothers' "You You You" hits #1
1954: Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill" enters the charts
1960: Connie Francis' "My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own" hits #1
1964: Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman" hits #1