By Scott Vanderpool

CBS radio and television host, the ukelele-playing Arthur Godfrey, also served as one of the record division’s talent scouts, and today in 1955 he passed on one potential signee in favor of another, and cost the company quite a lot of money. Elvis Presley would go on to become “the king of rock and roll”, while the one he signed, Pat Boone, the great-great grandson of the legendary American frontiersman Daniel, would present a squeaky-clean White Anglo Saxon Protestant Christian conservative image he himself would poke fun at when he recorded an album of heavy-metal covers, In A Metal Mood, in 1997. Elvis would recover from the slag to open for Pat on one of his first tours. Godfrey, for his part, was one of radio and television’s earliest “pitchmen”, particularly for Chesterfield cigarettes, for whom Arthur came up with the line “Buy ’em by the carton”, which eh would use until his doctor convinced him that smoking was responsible for the lung cancer and emphysema that killed him at age 79.

Buddy Holly and The Crickets were on their only British tour tonight in 1958, at the Granada Theater near Piccadilly Circus in London. The show would have profound influence on one 15 year old in attendance, Mick Jagger.

For the first time in the history of British music, all Top 10 singles on the British charts were by British artists today in 1964, and surprisingly none of them were by The Beatles, but the list was quite Liverpool-Heavy: #1 was by former Cavern Club cloakroom attendant Cilla Black (Anyone Who Had a Heart); #2 was the Dave Clark Five (Bits and Pieces); #3 came from Brian Epstein-managed Liverpool singer Billy J. Kramer (Little Children); #4 was Irish singing group The Bachelors (Diane); #5 was a Buddy Holly cover performed by The Rolling Stones (Not Fade Away); #6 came from The Hollies (Just One Look); #7 was  Liverpool band The Searchers cover of a Sonny Bono song (Needles and Pins); #8 The Merseybeats (I Think Of You); #9 came from Indian-born Brit Eden Kane (Boys Cry); and #10 was Essex-born Marilyn Monroe lookalike Kathy Kirby (Let Me Go Lover).

The Beatles were all but done performing live today in 1968, but sent a short “promotional film”, the precursor to what would be known as “music videos” in the 80’s, for the Paul McCartney song Lady Madonna, to the BBC’s Top Of The Pops. It was shown in black-and-white, as most Brits did not yet own color televisions.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded a concert for the Dutch TV show Fan Club tonight in 1969.

The then-still-heavily-drinking Eric Clapton was admitted to a hospital today in 1981 to be treated for what were discovered to be heavily bleeding ulcers. He had to cancel a planned  American tour, and would be back in the hospital 5 weeks later after “crashing his motor”.

Metallica performed live before a paying audience for the first time tonight in 1982 at the Radio City club in Anaheim California.

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow played their last live show ever tonight in 1984 at the end of their Japanese tour. His previous band, Deep Purple, had also been quite popular in Japan, as evidenced by a live album (Made In Japan) and a song (My Woman From Tokyo).

Artist Peter Blake, who had designed The Beatles iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover sued EMI records today in 2001, “cheesed off” that he had only been paid £200 ($340) for work that had made the company millions.

Rock and Roll Birthdays

Record producer, composer, and arranger Quincy Jones is 80, and set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this Spring. Most famous for his work on the best-selling album of all time, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, he moved to Seattle from his native Chicago at age 10, and is the most famous graduate of Garfield High School (Jimi Hendrix did not graduate), and started his musical career at age 14, when he began performing in Central-District jazz clubs with a 17-year-old Ray Charles.

Bass player Jim Pons is 70. He played in The Leaves (The L.A. band that first recorded Hey Joe, later a huge hit for Jimi Hendrix), The Turtles, and Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention.

Founding member of Chicago, saxophone player Walter Parazaider, is 68. He got the idea of forming a rock band with a horn section after hearing Got To Get You Into My Life by The Beatles, which Chicago performed at nearly every concert in the 70’s.


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