Three-quarters of the Sun Records “Million Dollar Quartet“, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins, performed a little rock and roll show tonight in 1955 at the National Guard Armory appropriately located in Armory, Mississippi.
The remaining quarter of the “Million Dollar Quartet“, Jerry Lee “The Killer” Lewis secretly married his 13-year-old second cousin Myra Gayle Brown today in 1957. It was the third time for Lewis, who married his first wife when he was only 14. That one lasted all of 20 months, Jerry left her because “she was too old for him” (she was 17), but they hadn’t divorced when he married his second wife…that one lasted 4 years and produced two children. Jerry was 22 when he married the 13 year old, a fact that was uncovered as he embarked on his first British tour by an agency reporter at London’s Heathrow Airport. Public outcry as the media picked up the story forced the cancellation of the tour after only three shows, and got him blacklisted from many American radio stations. Jerry Lee would marry four more times.
Disc Jockey Al Priddy was fired from Portland radio station KEX today in 1957 after playing Elvis Presley’s version of White Christmas. The station’s manager said the rock and roll singer’s version was “not in the spirit we associate with Christmas”.
Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones was in court today in 1967, being given three years of probation and a £1000 fine for drug possession. Three psychologists assigned to the prosecution agreed that Jones was “an extremely frightened young man with suicidal tendencies”.
The Doors were in New Orleans tonight in 1970 for a show at The Warehouse. It would be their last performance ever with singer Jim Morrison, who died in Paris the following July at 27.
Scottish Keyboard player Ian Stewart was having respiratory problems and went to see his doctor today in 1985, when he died of a massive heart attack in the waiting room at age 47. Stewart had been one of the first to answer Brian Jone’s ad in the Jazz News of May 1962 seeking musicians to start an R&B group, but was dismissed from the Rolling Stones lineup by manager Andrew Loog Oldham a year later, as Oldham thought he was too old and ugly to fit the band’s image. Ian continued to play keyboards for the band and served as their road manager. He played on all of their records (except Beggar’s Banquet) until 1983, and also played on Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll and a song from Physical Graffiti named for him: Boogie With Stu. Being a Scotsman, Stu was an avid golfer, and would often book the Stones on tour into hotels with golf courses to the chagrin of the rest of the band. Keith Richards later said “We’d be playing some town where there’s all these chicks, and they want to get laid and we wanted to lay them. But Stu would have booked us into some hotel about 10 miles out of town. You’d wake up in the morning, and there’s the links. We’re bored to death and looking for some action and Stu’s playing Gleneagles.
Arthur Lee, guitarist and frontman for Love, was released from prison today in 2001 after serving almost 6 years of the 11 he was sentenced to for firing a gun into the air in an argument with a neighbor.
Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger was knighted by Prince Charles for “services to music” at Buckingham Palace today in 2003, with his 93 year old father and two of his daughters in attendance. The rest of the band was less than pleased. Drummer Charlie Watts said “Anybody else would be lynched. 18 wives and 20 children and he’s Knighted. Fantastic.” Keith Richards called it a “Paltry f***ing honour”, and added that he didn’t want to take the stage with “someone wearing a coronet and sporting the old ermine…it’s not what the Rolling Stones is about, is it?” Jagger retorted, “I think he would probably like to get the same honour himself. It’s like being given an ice cream- one gets one and they all want one.”
The man largely credited with making the first rock and roll record Rocket 88 in 1951, Ike Turner, died of a cocaine overdose today in 2007 a the age of 76. An accomplished session guitarist and piano player, Ike became a household name with his wife Tina, who he divorced in 1978. Responding to her allegations of abuse in her biography, Ike said “Yeah I hit her, but I didn’t hit her more than the average guy beats his wife”.
The Beatles heyday moptop hairdresser, Betty Glasgow, sold a copy of the book A Spaniard In The Works given to her by it’s author John Lennon, autographed to her “To Betty, lots of love and hair, xx John Lennon” and including a lock of his hair, sold at auction today in 2007 for $48,000.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Allman Brothers Band guitarist and songwriter Forrest Richard “Dickey” Betts is 68.
The lead singer of Detroit’s MC5, Rob Tyner, would be 68. He died of a heart attack at age 46.
Jethro Tull’s heyday drummer Clive Bunker is 66. He quit after the band’s most popular album Aqualung to get married and settle down to a nice domestic life. “I always told Ian, ‘If I find the right lady, I’ll be gone’, and I did just that”, he said.