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This Week In
Rock and Roll History

April 20th to April 26th

Classic Rockers In The News - Rock & Roll Birthdays - Number One Records



1949 - ClassicBands.com

April 25
An article by Deac Aylesworth in Look Magazine predicted that radio was doomed and that within three years, TV would overshadow radio completely.

1954 - ClassicBands.com

April 24
Billboard magazine featured a headline that read: "Teenagers Demand Music with a Beat - Spur Rhythm and Blues." It was a sign of things to come. Within a year, R&B music by both Black and White artists caught the public's fancy.

1955 - ClassicBands.com

April 25
John Walker, the British delegate on the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs announces that there is a "definite connection between increased marijuana smoking and that form of entertainment known as bebop and rebop."

1956 - ClassicBands.com

April 23
Elvis Presley, accompanied by Bill Black and Scotty Moore, made his Las Vegas debut at the New Frontier Hotel when he opened for the Freddie Martin Orchestra and comedian Shecky Greene. Despite having "Heartbreak Hotel" at the top of the charts, Elvis was not well-received by the middle-aged audience. Management of the Frontier was so unimpressed, they gave Elvis his walking papers after one week of a two-week engagement. Presley wouldn't play Las Vegas again for almost 13 years.

1957 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" starts an eight week stay at the top of the US record charts. Songwriter Otis Blackwell would later say that he wrote the tune at the suggestion of an associate who was shaking a bottle of Pepsi. The song went on to be the biggest single of 1957, selling over 2 million copies.

April 24
16 year old Ricky Nelson releases his first record, "Teenager's Romance", with his cover of Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'" on the flip side. The disc sold nearly 60,000 copies within three days and eventually went over a million.

1959 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
Goldband Records releases "Puppy Love" by Dolly Parton, a song that was recorded two years earlier when she was just eleven years old. The record will flop and Dolly would have to wait until 1968 to make her first Billboard chart appearance with a Porter Wagoner duet called "The Last Thing On My Mind".

April 22
Alan Freed premieres his last Rock 'n' Roll movie, Go Johnny Go, starring Chuck Berry, Jackie Wilson, Ritchie Valens, Eddie Cochran, Jimmy Cavallo and The Flamingos.

April 24
Your Hit Parade, the Saturday night, Pop-music show that had been running since April 12th, 1935, has its final US radio broadcast.

1960 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
Dick Clark testifies before a Congressional committee investigating the payola scandal. He admits he had a financial interest in 27 percent of the records he played on the show over a two year period, but is cleared of all charges.

April 23
After eight weeks as the best selling song in America, "Theme From A Summer Place" by Percy Faith And His Orchestra is finally replaced on the Cashbox chart by Elvis Presley's "Stuck On You".

April 23
John Lennon and Paul McCartney appeared as The Nerk Twins at The Fox And Hounds pub in Caversham, Berkshire.

April 25
Elvis Presley's first release since leaving the US Army, "Stuck On You", tops the Billboard chart. The record had been so highly anticipated, it sold over one million copies before it was even recorded. It reached #3 in the UK.

April 25
With the Folk music craze in full swing, The Brothers Four enjoyed their biggest hit as "Greenfields" reached #2 on the Billboard chart.

April 25
Funeral services are held for Eddie Cochran at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, California. Only family and friends were allowed to attend.

April 26
Production begins on Elvis Presley's first post-Army movie, G.I. Blues in Los Angeles.

1961 - ClassicBands.com

April 24
Del Shannon's "Runaway" hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, enabling him to finally quit his job as a carpet salesman. The song also reached the top of the chart in the UK and has since been ranked at #466 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

1962 - ClassicBands.com

April 23
A song called "My Bonnie" by Tony Sheridan and The Beatles was issued in America on the Decca label. It was the first commercial release anywhere in the world to carry The Beatles name. John Lennon would later say "It's just Tony Sheridan singing with us banging in the background. They're flogging it, but I wish they'd just shut up! It's terrible! It could be anybody." The mono 45 failed to chart on Billboard or Cashbox.

April 26
Four days after his three year old son drowned in the family swimming pool, Jerry Lee Lewis' arrives in London to begin a tour of England. It has been four years since Lewis fled the UK because of the disclosure that he was married to his thirteen year old cousin, Myra Gale Brown. Lewis would perform thirty-two times and gross nearly $50,000.

1963 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
Rick Nelson married Kris Harmon, daughter of Tom Harmon, the 1940 Heisman Trophy Winner from the University of Michigan. Six months later, on October 25th, Tracy Kristine Nelson was born at St. John's Hospital near Santa Monica. The couple began having troubles in 1977 and went through a nasty and expensive divorce in December, 1982.

April 21
The Beatles and The Rolling Stones meet for the first time during a Stones' performance at the Crawdaddy Club. 'We got all nervous', said Bill Wyman, 'but then we had a chat with them afterwards and stayed up all night rapping and became really good mates.'

April 23
Jan And Dean record "Surf City" with The Beach Boys providing background vocals. The Brian Wilson penned tune became the first surf song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and even crossed over to the R&B chart where it reached #3.

April 24
Eighteen year old Brenda Lee marries nineteen year old Ronnie Shacklett, six months after spotting him in a crowd at a Jackie Wilson concert.

April 26
Frankie Avalon inks a deal to appear in the Hollywood movie, Beach Party, where he and Annette Funicello would sing, battle a motorcycle gang led by Eric Von Zipper and dance to Dick Dale And The Del Tones.

1964 - ClassicBands.com

April 22
In the UK, the President of the National Federation Of Hairdressers offered a free haircut to the next group to reach the top of the Pop chart. He was quoted as saying 'The Rolling Stones are the worst, one of them looks as if he's got a feather duster on his head.'

April 25
Peter And Gordon reach #1 on the UK Pop chart with "A World without Love", a song given to them by Paul McCartney because he didn't think it was good enough for The Beatles to record. The song would also top the Cashbox Best Sellers list and the Billboard Hot 100 in June.

1965 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
The Beach Boys appear on ABC-TV's Shindig!, performing their current hit, "Do You Wanna Dance?", which will reach #12 in the US.

April 24
Wayne Fontana And The Mindbenders had the top tune on both the Billboard Hot 100 and The Cashbox Best Sellers list with "Game Of Love", a #2 hit in the UK. By the end of the year, Fontana would leave the band and would go on to some solo success in the UK, while the rest of the group would enjoy a #2 hit in the US the following year with "A Groovy Kind Of Love".

1967 - ClassicBands.com

April 25
Just days after completing "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", The Beatles laid down tracks for "Magical Mystery Tour" at Abbey Road studios in London.

April 26
16 year old Janis Ian sings "Society Child" on the CBS-TV show, Inside Pop - The Rock Revolution. A year before, the song was banned by many radio stations because of its interracial love affair theme. Following her television appearance, the record shot into the US Top Twenty.

April 26
Mama Cass Elliot gives birth to a daughter she names Owen Vanessa. She never told anyone who the father is.

1968 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
The Rolling Stones record "Jumpin' Jack Flash", which will reach #1 in the UK and #3 in the US by next July.

April 22
Trumpeter Herb Alpert sang "This Guy's In Love With You" on his CBS-TV special. The Burt Bacharach / Hal David composition would rise to the top of the US chart, where it stayed for four weeks. It reached #3 in the UK.

April 24
Louis Armstrong was at #1 in the UK with the single "What A Wonderful World". At 66 years of age, it made him the oldest act ever to score a UK #1. The song stalled at #32 in the US, but Louis is also the oldest person to reach #1 on the Billboard chart, a feat he accomplished in 1964 with "Hello Dolly".

April 25
The Beatles refuse to perform for the Queen of England at a British Olympic Appeal Fund show. Ringo Starr would later explain, "Our decision would be the same no matter what the cause. We don't do benefits."

April 25
A survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed that listening on the job to Radio 1, the major Pop and Rock station of the BBC, made workers less productive.

1969 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
Janis Joplin makes her first London concert appearance at Royal Albert Hall, a performance considered by many to be one of the best of her career.

April 22
John Winston Lennon legally changed his name to John Winston Ono Lennon during a short ceremony on the roof of the Apple Records building in London. John always hated his middle name, given to him by his mother in honor of Winston Churchill, but British law did not allow him to change it. He could however add Ono, and would never use Winston again, except for legal documents.

April 22
The Carpenters sign with A&M Records, where they will have twenty Billboard Top 40 hits.

April 22
The Who give their first complete live performance of the Rock opera Tommy at a show in Dolton, England.

April 23
Herman's Hermits released a song called "My Sentimental Friend", which would become a major European hit, reaching number two on the UK pop chart. In the US however, the band was now hopelessly out of style and one of the best songs they ever recorded was ignored completely.

April 26
The fortunes of Canada's Guess Who were about to change as their latest single "These Eyes" entered the Billboard Top 40. It would climb to #6 and was followed by twelve more hits over the next five years. Lead singer Burton Cummings would later recall; "We fought RCA tooth and nail not to release that as a single because we wanted to be a Rock band."

1970 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
The New York Times reports Catholic and Protestant youth groups have adopted the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" as a religious symbol.

April 21
Elton John makes his solo concert debut, opening for T. Rex in London, England.

April 23
Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" is awarded a Gold record. The single sold two million copies in 1969 and 1970 and reached number three in the US and number one in the UK.

April 24
Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane is inadvertently invited to Tricia Nixon's White House party. Guards stop her escort, Chicago Seven defendant Abbie Hoffman, and both leave without incident.

April 25
After playing a concert in Raleigh, North Carolina, where men in the crowd taunted the interracial band Pacific Gas and Electric, the group is shot at as their van leaves the club. Four bullets hit the vehicle but no one is hurt.

April 25
The Jackson Five achieve their second straight US #1 single with "ABC". It was also a Top Ten hit in the UK, topping out at #8.

1971 - ClassicBands.com

April 24
Fleetwood Mac announce that guitarist Bob Welsh will be the replacement for the departed Jeremy Spencer.

April 26
John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison officially end their plans to appeal Paul McCartney's efforts to legally dissolve The Beatles.

1972 - ClassicBands.com

April 24
One of John Lennon's most controversial singles, "Woman Is the Nigger of the World" is released in the US. The song actually reached #57 on Billboard's Hot 100, despite virtually every radio station in the country refusing to play it. The phrase was originally uttered by Yoko Ono during a magazine interview in 1967 and John would later explain that he was making a point that women deserved higher status in society.

1973 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
Alice Cooper had the #1 album in the US with "Billion Dollar Babies". The LP also topped the chart in the UK.

April 21
Tony Orlando And Dawn topped both the US and the UK singles chart with "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree". It became the biggest hit of the year, selling over 6 million copies. L. Russel Brown would later say that he and his song writing partner Irwin Levine wrote the song in about 15 minutes, updating the lyrics from a story about a soldier coming home from Andersonville Prison during the Civil War.

1974 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
The theme song from the TV show Soul Train called TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) topped the Billboard Hot 100. It made #22 in the UK.

April 22
The L.A. group Redbone earned a Gold record for the single "Come and Get Your Love", which was currently #5 on the Hot 100.

April 23
Mama Cass Elliot collapses before an appearance on The Tonight Show where she had been scheduled to host the program. She was later taken to hospital on a stretcher.

April 25
Jim Morrison's 27 year old widow, Pam Morrison, died in her Hollywood apartment. Police think she's been using heroin for about a year and speculate she died of an overdose.

April 25
The Beach Boys are streaked by members of their own road crew during a concert.

1975 - ClassicBands.com

April 24
27 year old Peter Ham, singer / guitarist for Badfinger, committed suicide by hanging himself in the garage of his home. He was reported to be deeply depressed by financial problems the group was having and left a note blaming the group's manager for his troubles.

April 26
B.J. Thomas not only reached the top spot on both the Cash Box Best Sellers list and the Billboard Hot 100, he also set a record for the number one song with the longest title with "Hey Won't You Play Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song". The tune was not a hit in the UK.

1976 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
Former Raspberries lead singer Eric Carmen enters the US Pop chart with his first and biggest solo hit, "All by Myself". The record would reach #2 on Billboard's Hot 100, #1 on the Cash Box Top 100 and #12 in the UK.

April 22
Johnnie Taylor's "Disco Lady" becomes the first song to be certified Platinum by the RIAA (for two million copies sold).

April 24
Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels makes an on-air offer to pay the Beatles $3,000 to reunite on the show. Lennon and McCartney were apparently watching the show together in New York and briefly considered walking down to the studio to accept the check.

April 24
Wings' "At The Speed Of Sound" went to #1 on the US album chart. It was Paul McCartney's fifth #1 after he left The Beatles.

April 24
Led Zeppelin had their sixth UK #1 album when "Presence" went to the top.

1977 - ClassicBands.com

April 23
18 weeks after entering the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, Thelma Houston's "Don't Leave Me This Way" made it all the way to the top spot. The song peaked at #13 in the UK.

April 25
Elvis Presley makes what will be the last recordings of his life at a concert at the Saginaw, Michigan Civic Center. Three songs from the show will appear in heavily overdubbed mixes on the posthumously released Presley album, "Moody Blue".

1978 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
British Folk-Rock singer Sandy Denny died of a brain hemorrhage after falling down the stairs at a friend's home in London. She was just 31 years old. Denny was one of Britain's most popular singer / songwriters in the early 1970s and was voted top female vocalist in the '70 and '71 Melody Maker polls.

April 22
Bob Marley And The Wailers perform at the One Love Peace Concert in Jamaica. It was Marley's first public appearance in Jamaica since being wounded in an assassination attempt a year and a half earlier.

April 22
Former Stealers Wheel vocalist Gerry Rafferty releases his biggest solo hit, "Baker Street". It will reach #2 on the Hot 100 and #3 in the UK and was written about one of London's most famous streets, home to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes.

April 25
Queen's single "We Are the Champions" was certified Platinum after reaching number two on the UK Singles Chart and number four on the Billboard Hot 100.

April 26
Ringo Starr's TV special, Ringo, a musical version of The Prince and the Pauper airs on American television. Ringo played both characters and George Harrison provided the narration, but the effort still finishes 53rd out of 65 shows.

1979 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
Amii Stewart went to #1 on the US singles chart with a remake of Eddie Floyd's 1966 hit, "Knock On Wood". It made #6 in the UK the same year and #7 when re-issued in 1985.

April 22
The Rolling Stones played two concerts for the blind at the Civic Auditorium in Oshawa, Ontario. The shows were done in lieu of a jail sentence for guitarist Keith Richards, who was convicted of heroin possession in Toronto two years earlier.

1980 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
84 year old George Burns, who starred in the movie Oh God with John Denver, becomes the oldest person to have a hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when "I Wish I Was 18 Again" peaked at number forty-nine. When asked if he wished he were 18 again, Burns replied "I wish I was 80 again." Before this, his most recent charting record had been a spoken word comedy routine with his wife and partner Gracie Allen in the summer of 1933.

1981 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
John Phillips, the former leader of The Mamas And The Papas, is jailed in Los Angeles after pleading guilty to drug possession charges. His five year sentence will be suspended after thirty days in exchange for 250 hours worth of community service.

April 22
Two days after being released from a St. Paul, Minnesota hospital following a month-long treatment for bleeding ulcers, Eric Clapton is involved in a car accident and is hospitalized in Seattle, Washington, suffering bruised ribs and a lacerated shin.

April 25
Paul McCartney, who is reluctant to tour because of death threats he was receiving in the wake of John Lennon's murder, decides to disband Wings.

1982 - ClassicBands.com

April 24
Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder were at #1 on the UK singles chart with "Ebony And Ivory". This was McCartney's 24th #1 as a songwriter.

April 26
Rod Stewart was robbed of his $50,000 Porsche on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Stewart had recently released a remake of the 1975 hit by the band Ace, "How Long", which failed to crack the US Top 40.

1983 - ClassicBands.com

April 23
Dexys Midnight Runners went to the top of the Billboard singles chart with "Come On Eileen", the group's only US #1. The song also topped the UK chart. The band took their name from the amphetamine Dexedrine, commonly known as Dexys, and therefore the group's name is improperly spelled when an apostrophe is used between the y and the s.

1984 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
Phil Collins started a three week stay at #1 on the US singles chart with "Against All Odds". It was a #2 hit in the UK.

April 21
The sound track LP from the movie Footloose begins a ten week run at the top of the Billboard album chart on the strength of the title track by Kenny Loggins and "Let's Hear It For The Boy" by Deniece Williams.

April 24
48 year old Jerry Lee Lewis married wife number six, 22 year old Kerrie McCarver. They would split in 2002.

1985 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
Wham! became the first group to release cassettes in the People's Republic of China.

1987 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
A record store in Callaway, Florida is shut down and a part-time clerk is arrested for selling a copy of "2 Live Is What We Are" by 2 Live Crew to a 14 year old boy. Officials have deemed the recording "obscene" because of its pornographic lyrics.

April 23
Roy Orbison celebrated his 51st birthday by re-recording some of his biggest hits. Included were "Oh Pretty Woman", "Crying", "Only the Lonely", "Dream Baby", "Running Scared" and many others. These newer recordings are nowhere near the quality of the originals, so if you're in the market, make sure you buy the original hits, available from Sony Music and specialty labels like Rhino.

April 23
Carole King sues her record label for breach of contract, claiming that owner Lou Adler owes her over $400,000 in royalties. She also asks for rights to her old recordings.

1988 - ClassicBands.com

April 23
Roy Orbison celebrated his 52nd birthday at a Bruce Springsteen concert, during which the audience sang "Happy Birthday" to him.

April 23
Whitney Houston breaks the record held by The Beatles and The Bee Gees of scoring seven consecutive US number one hits when "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" tops the Billboard Pop chart.

April 26
A jury in White Plains, New York ruled that Mick Jagger did not pirate an unknown Reggae musician's song and turn it into his 1985 hit, "Just Another Night". Patrick Alley of New York City had accused Jagger of copyright infringement.

1990 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
A record setting crowd of 184,000 jammed a soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro to see Paul McCartney's final show of his 33-city tour. The previous record was held by Frank Sinatra, who attracted 175,000 to the same stadium in 1980.

April 24
The road crew for Roger Waters discovered an unexploded World War II bomb while constructing the set for The Wall concert in Potsdamer Platz, Germany.

April 25
The Fender Stratocaster that Jimi Hendrix used to perform the "Star Spangled Banner" at Woodstock is auctioned off in London for $295,000.

1991 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
44 year old Steve Marriott, who found success in The Small Faces and Humble Pie, died when a fire thought to have been caused by a cigarette swept through his 16th-century home in Arkesden, Essex. He and Peter Frampton were in the process of re-forming and had written and recorded several new songs at the time of his death. Rod Stewart had been his replacement in the Small Faces.

April 20
Wendy and Carnie Wilson, daughters of The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, along with Chynna Phillips, daughter of The Mamas And Papas' John Phillips, combined their talents to hit #1 on the Billboard singles chart for the third time with "You're In Love". It was a #29 hit in the UK.

April 23
Johnny Thunders, the guitarist who rose to fame with The New York Dolls, died at the age of 38. The cause of death appeared to be drug-related, but it has also been speculated that foul play may have been involved.

1992 - ClassicBands.com

April 24
The Cleveland Orchestra sued Michael Jackson and his production company for seven million dollars. The orchestra claimed Jackson used 67 seconds from its recording of Beethoven's "Symphony Number Nine" on his "Dangerous" album without giving the orchestra credit or compensation.

April 24
Wilson Pickett was arrested after hitting an 86-year-old man with his car. Pickett was charged with driving with open bottles of alcohol in his car.

April 25
Brian McLeod, guitarist and backing vocalist for Chilliwack, died of brain cancer at the age of 39. The Vancouver, Canada band is most often remembered for their 1981 hit, "My Girl (Gone, Gone Gone)".

1993 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
La Toya Jackson was admitted to hospital in New York after her husband, Jack Gordon, allegedly beat her and threw a chair at her. Gordon claimed Jackson provoked the incident by coming at him with a knife. Jackson refused to press assault charges.

April 21
Former Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman married for the third time. Wyman, who was 56, married 33-year-old American fashion designer Suzanne Accosta in the medieval French village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Wyman's second marriage to teenager Mandy Smith in 1989 ended after less than two years.

April 22
The Who's Rock Opera Tommy opened on Broadway.

April 24
About 40,000 people attend Farm Aid 6 in Ames, Iowa, that features Willie Nelson, John Cougar Mellencamp and Neil Young.

1994 - ClassicBands.com

April 25
The Eagles played the first of two shows where they recorded their "Hell Freezes Over" album. Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmit first got back together the previous December for the making of a Travis Tritt video of their song, "Take It Easy", that was included on an Eagles tribute CD. The video from Hell Freezes Over was later released in CD and DVD form and includes an excellent acoustic rendition of "Hotel California", as well as live versions of most of their hit songs. The name of the album was taken from an earlier quote by Glen Frey, who responded to the question "When will the Eagles get back together?"

April 26
Grace Slick pleads guilty to pointing a shotgun at police in her Tiburon, California home on March 5, 1994. She says that she was under stress because her Mill Valley home had burned down the previous Fall and she lost most of her possessions. On June 7th, she will be sentenced to 200 hours of community service and four Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week for three months.

1995 - ClassicBands.com

April 23
The Sunday Times of London reported that a Liverpool man, Peter Hodgson, had found a tape in his attic containing 16 of The Beatles' earliest recordings made in 1959. The session included "Hello Little Girl", a Lennon-McCartney composition that The Beatles never recorded commercially and Ray Charles' "Hallelujah, I Love Her So". The tape had been made on a reel-to-reel recorder that Hodgson's father had lent to Paul McCartney.

1997 - ClassicBands.com

April 26
ABC's telecast of U2: A Year in POP becomes the lowest-rated prime-time program in the history of major network television.

1998 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
Michael Jackson attended an unveiling of a wax statue of himself at the Grevin Museum of Wax in Paris. Jackson provided one of his own outfits to dress the figure.

1999 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
Billy Joel performs what he says is his last Rock music concert at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. He planed on devoting his efforts to Classical music, but later returned to touring and singing his hits.

April 25
Paul Simon performs "Mrs. Robinson" and receives loud cheers following the line "Where have you gone Joe Di Maggio?" during a ceremony honoring the Yankee Clipper at New York's Yankee Stadium.

2000 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
Neal Matthews of The Jordanaires died of a heart attack. He sang back-up on Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog" and also worked with Ricky Nelson, Marie Osmond, Tom Jones and Merle Haggard.

2002 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
Alan Dale, who reached Billboard's #14 spot with "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" and #10 with "Sweet And Gentle", died of heart failure at the age of 76. Both of his 1955 hits sold over a million copies.

April 24
Jerry Lee Lewis announced that he and his sixth wife, Kerrie, would be getting a divorce.

2003 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
Brother Records launched a lawsuit against former Beach Boy Al Jardine for using the band's name when he tours, contrary to a January 28th court ruling. Jardine appeared under variations of the Beach Boy name, including Beach Boys Family and Friends and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys. Jardine would win the lawsuit the following November.

April 22
Only days after Madonna tried to strike back at illegal sharing of songs from her "American Life" album by flooding the Internet with fake MP3s, her web site was hacked and real digital files of the songs were leaked.

April 22
Songwriter Felice Bryant died of cancer. Along with her husband Boudleaux, she wrote The Everly Brothers hits, "Bye Bye Love", "All I Have To Do Is Dream" and "Wake Up Little Susie". Other acts to record their songs include Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Tony Bennett, Simon And Garfunkel, Sarah Vaughan, The Grateful Dead, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, Elvis Costello, Count Basie, Dean Martin, Ruth Brown, Cher, R.E.M. and Ray Charles.

2004 - ClassicBands.com

April 25
Billy Joel lost control of his car on a rain-slicked road in Bayville, New York and crashed into a house. No one in the building was injured and the piano man walked away unscathed.

2007 - ClassicBands.com

April 25
Bobby "Boris" Pickett, whose Boris Karloff impression propelled the Halloween anthem "The Monster Mash" to the top of the Billboard Pop chart in 1962, died of leukemia at the age of 69.

April 26
During opening statements in Phil Spector's murder trial, defense attorney Bruce Cutler told the jury that before police even had a cause of death, they had murder on their mind. "Fame and success come back to haunt you." After months of testimony, jurors would announce a deadlock of ten for guilty and two for not guilty. The judge then declared a mistrial and a new trial was slated to begin in August, 2008. Spector was convicted on April 14th, 2009.

2008 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
Al Wilson, Soul singer and songwriter who had a number of US hits, including "The Snake" in 1968 and the Billboard #1 smash "Show and Tell" in 1974, died of kidney failure at the age of 68.

April 22
Paul Davis, who placed eight songs on the Billboard Top 40 Pop chart, including "I Go Crazy" (#7 in 1977), and "65 Love Affair" (#6 in 1982), suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 60. After his Pop career was over, Davis topped the Country chart with "You're Still New to Me", a duet with Marie Osmond in 1986 and "I Won't Take Less Than Your Love" with Paul Overstreet and Tanya Tucker in 1987.

2009 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
Don Henley filed a lawsuit against Republican politician Charles DeVore for using two of his songs, "The Boys of Summer" and "All She Wants To Do Is Dance" in campaign ads that appeared on YouTube.

April 21
Bob Seger was named in a negligence lawsuit filed by a man who says he suffered injuries when his motorcycle was struck by the rocker's 2004 Lexus driven by Seger's bass player Christopher Campbell. Campbell was ticketed for failure to stop after the accident, which happened about 30 miles northwest of Detroit.

2010 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
Elton John made an appearance on American Idol's Idol Gives Back, where he seemed to struggle vocally to get through his 1970 composition "Your Song". Also appearing were Jeff Beck, Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys and Carrie Underwood.

April 22
The Los Angeles coroner's office ruled that the death of Marie Osmond's 18-year-old son, Michael Blosil, was a suicide, after he jumped from an apartment building in February.

April 23
Norman Wright, vocalist for The Del-Vikings on their hits "Come Go With Me", "Whispering Bells" and "Cool Shake", passed away at the age of 73.

April 24
All four original members of The Young Rascals reunited onstage for the first time since their 1997 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction when they appeared at the Kristen Ann Carr Fund gala in New York after an invite by The E Street Band's Steven Van Zandt. Hopes of a more permanent reunion were quickly dashed by guitarist Gene Cornish, who said "I speak on behalf of the band when I say all the money offers in the world could not entice The Rascals to reunite." They would get back together however, for a series of concerts beginning in 2012.

2011 - ClassicBands.com

April 21
Los Angeles Judge Michael Pastor agreed to allow prosecutors to show autopsy photos of Michael Jackson to the jury in Dr Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial. Dr Murray's defense lawyers had objected, saying the photographs would enflame jurors' passions.

April 26
Dionne Warwick and the surviving members of The Shirelles launched a lawsuit against the producers of a new Broadway musical called Baby It's You, accusing them of cashing in on the plaintiffs' stories and successes while using plaintiffs' names, likenesses and biographical information without their consent.

April 26
Phoebe Snow, the velvet voiced singer / songwriter who reached #5 in the US in 1975 with "Poetry Man", died of complications from a stroke at the age of 60.

2012 - ClassicBands.com

April 23
Rocker Ted Nugent was axed from a concert at U.S. military base Fort Knox following the controversy over his rant against President Barack Obama when he insisted Americans had to rise up against Obama and the Democrats when America goes to the polls in November.

April 23
Chris Ethridge, bassist and co-founder of The Flying Burrito Brothers, passed away at the age of 65.

April 24
Ozzy Osbourne became a grandfather when his son Jack's fiancee, Lisa Stelly, gave birth to the couple's first child.

2013 - ClassicBands.com

April 20
Neil Diamond sang "Sweet Caroline" at Fenway Park in Boston during the seventh inning stretch. The city was celebrating returning to normal day-to-day life after the accused Boston Marathon bomber had been arrested the day before.

April 20
Record Store Day, an internationally celebrated event to celebrate the art of music, spurred sales of 244,000 vinyl LPs according to Nielsen SoundScan. It was the largest one-week total for vinyl albums since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991.

April 22
Richie Havens, who rose to fame as the opening act at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, died following a heart attack at the age of 72. During his lengthy career he scored just one Billboard Top 40 hit, a cover of George Harrison's "Here Comes The Sun", which reached #16 in 1971.

April 23
Glen Campbell's publicist told members of the press that his client is no longer capable of performing on stage due to advancing Alzheimer's disease. Sandy Brokaw went on to say that the 77-year-old Campbell planned on recording one final album called "See You There", which would feature new renditions of old songs.

April 25
Two founding members of The O'Jays, Eddie Levert and Walter Williams, filed a 1 million dollar lawsuit against the makers of Crown Royal Whiskey. The suit claimed that the company ripped off their tune "For Love of Money" for a commercial without asking for permission.











Our Featured Interview

Her Grammy award winning hit, "Don't Leave Me This Way",
topped the Billboard Hot 100 this week in 1977.


Be sure to read Gary James'
interview with Thelma Houston

In The News


    Led Zeppelin unleash unheard recordings

    Michael Jackson’s doctor denied latest appeal

    Surprise! Neil Young releases new album online

    Boy George unveils new 'Feel the Vibration' remixes

    The Kinks' Dave Davies to AC/DC's Malcolm Young: 'Never Give Up'

    Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in Philly

    Blondie releasing new two-disc album to celebrate 40th anniversary

    Tom Petty on 40 years of songwriting

    Marshall Tucker Band feels the love on 'The Voice' and 'American Idol'

    Man sentenced for taking Peter Frampton's luggage


Rock and Roll Birthdays


April 20th - ClassicBands.com

1939 - Johnny Tillotson
("Poetry In Motion")
1948 - Craig Frost
- keyboardist for Grand Funk Railroad ("Bad Time")
1951 - Luther Vandross
("How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye")

April 21st - ClassicBands.com

1939 - Ernie Maresca
("Shout! Shout! Knock Yourself Out")
1947 - Alan Warner
- lead guitar for The Foundations ("Baby Now That I've Found You")
1949 - Paul Davis
("65 Love Affair")

April 22nd - ClassicBands.com

1936 - Glen Campbell
("Rhinestone Cowboy")
1943 - Mel Carter
("Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me")
1946 - Frankie "Cannibal" Garcia
of Cannibal And The Headhunters ("Land of 1000 Dances")
1948 - Larry Groce
("Junk Food Junkie")
1950 - Peter Frampton
("Show Me The Way")
1951 - Paul Carrack
- lead vocalist for Ace ("How Long")

April 23rd - ClassicBands.com

1930 - Dale Houston
of Dale and Grace ("I'm Leaving It Up To You")
1936 - Roy Orbison
("Pretty Woman")
1939 - Ray Peterson
("Tell Laura I Love Her")

April 24th - ClassicBands.com

1933 - Freddie Scott
("Hey Girl")
1942 - Barbra Streisand
("Stoney End")
1945 - Robert Knight
("Everlasting Love")
1945 - Doug Clifford
- drummer for Creedance Clearwater Revival ("Green River")
1947 - Ann Kelly
- vocalist for The Hues Corporation ("Rock The Boat)
1951 - Nigel Harrison
- bassist for Blondie ("The Tide Is High")

April 25th - ClassicBands.com

1933 - Jerry Leiber
(co-wrote "Hound Dog", "Stand By Me", "Charlie Brown" and many others)
1944 - Michael Kogel
- lead vocalist for Los Bravos ("Black Is Black")
1945 - Bjorn Ulvaeus
- guitarist for ABBA ("Waterloo")
1945 - Stu Cook
- bassist with Creedance Clearwater Revival ("Fortunate Son")
1946 - Ronnie Gilbert
- bassist for Blues Magoos ("We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet")
1949 - Michael Brown
- keyboardist for The Left Banke ("Walk Away Rene")
1950 - Steve Ferrone
- drummer for Average White Band ("Pick Up The Pieces")

April 26th - ClassicBands.com

1938 - Maurice Williams
("Stay")
1938 - Duane Eddy
("Rebel Rouser")
1941 - Claudine Clark
("Party Lights")
1942 - Bobby Rydell
("Volare")
1943 - Gary Wright
("Dream Weaver")
1945 - Tony Murray
- bassist for The Troggs ("Wild Thing")
1946 - Ronny Dayton
- leader of Ronny & the Daytonas ("G.T.O.")
1960 - Roger Taylor
- drummer for Duran Duran ("Hungry Like The Wolf")






Who sang that song that you have stuck in your head?
How high did it climb on the charts and in what year?
You can find out in our Who Sang That Hit? Section
Explore the facts behind the deaths
of some of the music world's biggest stars
Read all about Rock and Roll's Unsolved Mysteries

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This Week's Best Selling Singles

  In The USA  
April 20th to April 26th

YearSongArtist
1956 Heartbreak Hotel Elvis Presley
1957 All Shook Up Elvis Presley
1958 He's Got The Whole World In His Hands Laurie London
1959 Come Softly To Me The Fleetwoods
1960 Stuck On You Elvis Presley
1961 Runaway Del Shannon
1962 Johnny Angel Shelley Fabares
1963 He's So Fine The Chiffons
1964 Can't Buy Me Love The Beatles
1965 The Game Of Love Wayne Fontana And The Mindbenders
1966 (You're My) Soul And Inspiration The Righteous Brothers
1967 A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You The Monkees
1968 Honey Bobby Goldsboro
1969 Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In The 5th Dimension
1970 ABC The Jackson 5
1971 Joy To The World Three Dog Night
1972 The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face Roberta Flack
1973 The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia Vicki Lawrence
1974 TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) MFSB (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother)
1975 Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song B. J. Thomas
1976 Right Back Where We Started From Maxine Nightengale
1977 Hotel California The Eagles
1978 Night Fever The Bee Gees
1979 Knock On Wood Amii Stwewart
1980 Call Me Blondie
1981 Morning Train (Nine To Five) Sheena Easton
1982 I Love Rock 'N Roll Joan Jett And The Blackhearts
1983 Come Eileen Dexys Midnight Runners
1984 Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) Phil Collins
1985 We Are The World USA For Africa


  In The United Kingdom  

April 20th to April 26th

1956 The Poor People Of Paris Winifred Atwell
1957 Cumberland Gap Lonnie Donegan
1958 Whole Lotta Woman Marvin Rainwater
1959 It Doesn't Matter Anymore Buddy Holly
1960 My Old Man's A Dustman Lonnie Donegan
1961 Wooden Heart Elvis Presley
1962 Wonderful Land The Shadows
1963 How Do You Do It Jerry And The Pacemakers
1964 A World Without Love Peter And Gordon
1965 Ticket To Ride The Beatles
1966 Somebody Help Me The Spencer Davis Group
1967 Something Stupid Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra
1968 Congratulations Cliff Richard
1969 Get Back The Beatles with Billy Preston
1970 All Kinds Of Everything Dana
1971 Hot Love T-Rex
1972 Amazing Grace The Pipes & Drums & Military Band of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
1973 Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Old Oak Tree Tony Orlando And Dawn
1974 Seasons In The Sun Terry Jacks
1975 Bye Bye Baby The Bay City Rollers
1976 Save Your Kisses For Me Brotherhood Of Man
1977 Knowing Me, Knowing You ABBA
1978 Matchstick Men And Matchstick Cats And Dogs Brian And Michael
1979 Bright Eyes Art Garfunkel
1980 Call Me Blondie
1981 Making Up Your Mind Bucks Fizz
1982 Ebony And Ivory Paul McCartney And Stevie Wonder
1983 Let's Dance David Bowie
1984 Hello Lionel Richie
1985 We Are The World USA For Africa




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