Rock 'n' Roll History for
August 15






1955 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
Elvis Presley attends a meeting in Memphis with his manager Bob Neal, Colonel Tom Parker and Vernon Presley, at which a new contract is signed that names Colonel Parker as "special advisor" with control of virtually every aspect of Elvis' career. Parker was not really a Colonel at all, but a Dutch immigrant named Andreas Cornelius van Kujik, whose honorary title was given to him in 1948 by Governor Jimmie Davis of Louisiana. He was a flamboyant promoter whose pre-Elvis experience included shows called The Great Parker Pony Circus and Tom Parker And His Dancing Turkeys and was a veteran of carnivals, medicine shows and various other entertainment enterprises.

August 15
After a suggestion that RCA bid $20,000 to land Elvis Presley, company executive Mitch Miller replies "No singer is worth that much."

1958 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
21-year-old Buddy Holly was married to 25-year-old Maria Elena Santiago, a woman he had met just two months earlier. The wedding took place at the home of Buddy's parents in Lubbock, Texas, only a few days after his song "Think It Over" entered the US Top 40.

1959 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
Ben E. King led The Drifters to the top of the Cashbox chart and #2 on Billboard with "There Goes My Baby". The record was one of the first to pair strings with a Black vocal group.

1960 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
Elvis Presley's "It's Now Or Never" sits on top of the Billboard singles chart, where it would stay for a month. The record would have international sales of over 20 million and become a personal favorite of The King.

1964 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
Despite the fact that the US record charts are dominated by Rock and Roll, crooner Dean Martin has the number one tune with his biggest hit, "Everybody Loves Somebody". It made it to #11 in the UK. The song had been around since 1949 and had been previously recorded by several well known artists without success. When Martin's version pushed The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" out of the top spot on the Billboard chart, he sent telegrams to Elvis and to Frank Sinatra saying "I did it! I knocked 'em out of first place!"

August 15
Trying to capitalize on the Beatles' film success, MGM signs The Dave Clark Five to a movie contract for picture called Having A Wild Weekend.

1965 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
The Beatles' third North American tour kicks off at Shea Stadium in front of a record crowd of 55,000 fans and 2,000 security guards. It grossed $304,000, of which The Beatles' share was $160,000.

1969 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
The Woodstock Music and Art Festival began on Max Yasgur's 600 acre farm in Bethel, New York. The three-day long festival drew a crowd of more than 500,000 people and became one of the most celebrated Rock and Folk concert festivals of all time. During the three days there were three deaths, two births and four miscarriages.

August 15
Three Dog Night are awarded a Gold record for their self-titled debut album. The LP featured two modest selling 45s, "Nobody" and "Try A Little Tenderness" and the group had moved on to record their second album, "Suitable for Framing" when ABC Dunhill released a third single, "One". It shot to #5 in the US and subsequent copies of the LP were labeled "Three Dog Night - One".

1970 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
"Looking Out My Back Door" by Credence Clearwater Revival enters the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to #2. Although some fans speculate that the song is about drugs because of its colorful, dream-like lyrics, writer John Fogerty said it was actually written for his then three-year old son, Josh.

August 15
Eight weeks after entering the Billboard Hot 100, "Lay A Little Lovin' On Me" by Robin McNamara peaks at #11. The follow-up, "Got To Believe In Love" would receive little air play, confining McNamara to one-hit-wonder status.

1971 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
31 year old Thomas Wayne, who reached #5 in the US in 1959 with "Tragedy", was killed when he drove his car across four lanes of traffic, over a median and slammed into an oncoming car.

1981 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
Lionel Richie and Diana Ross saw their duet "Endless Love" rise to the number one position in the US for the first of nine weeks. Because of scheduling difficulties, the song was completed at a Reno, Nevada recording studio at 5 A.M., after one of Diana's concerts. Richie was dividing his time between the next Commodores album and work with Kenny Rogers.

1991 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
Paul Simon gave a free concert in Central Park, New York in front of 600,000 people. The performance was released later in the year as "Paul Simon's Concert in the Park".

1996 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
A woman's shelter on Long Island, New York refused to accept money from a benefit concert featuring James Brown. Brown's wife had accused him of assaulting her in the past.

2002 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
A memorial to John Lennon was unveiled in the remote Scottish village of Durness, where Lennon had spent his holidays from age seven to fifteen. The lyrics from "In My Life" were inscribed on three stones.

2005 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
Sly Stone made a rare public appearance when he appeared at Hollywood's Knitting Factory to watch his little sister Vet perform with a Sly And The Family Stone tribute band.

2007 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
The Osmond Brothers, joined by siblings Donny, Marie and Jimmy, took the stage for the taping of a 50th anniversary reunion show to be aired on PBS. A meeting of no less than seven singing Osmonds onstage hadn't happened in more than 20 years, although no one could remember the exact date of the last full family concert.

2008 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
Legendary record producer Jerry Wexler died of heart failure at the age of 91. Over the course of his career Wexler helped define R&B music with recordings of Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge and Solomon Burke,

2010 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
Robert Wilson, bassist for The Gap Band, passed away at the age of 53. In a career that started in the late '70s, the group had four Platinum albums and fifteen US Top Ten hits, including four that made it to number one.

2011 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
KISS was cut from a Michael Jackson tribute concert because of comments made by bassist Gene Simmons last year when he told Classic Rock magazine "No matter what my fond memories and fond images of Michael were, with one allegation of pedophilia after another and another and another... Oh dear."

2012 - ClassicBands.com

August 15
Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley made a surprise visit to Graceland on the eve of the 35th anniversary of Elvis' death. The pair spoke to the surprised crowd from an elevated platform where Lisa Marie said "I've always avoided this because I felt that it would be too emotional, but I really felt it was important to come down here tonight."

August 15
Michael Jackson's father, Joe, dropped his wrongful death lawsuit against Dr. Conrad Murray, who was serving time after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the singer's death.

August 15
56-year-old Bob Birch, who had been Elton John's bass player since 1992, died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had also performed with Bryan Adams, Lionel Richie, George Michael, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Phil Collins and dozens of other top recording stars despite suffering the effects of being hit by a pick-up truck while walking in 1995.






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