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Today in Music History - Oct. 1

The Canadian Press logoThe Canadian Press 2020-09-18

Today in Music History for Oct. 1:


In 1919, the famous Canadian vaudeville troupe, "The Dumbells," gave their first Canadian performance in London, Ont., in a musical review called "Biff, Bang, Bing." Two years later, a revised edition of the revue opened at the Ambassador Theatre in New York, becoming the first Canadian musical to appear on Broadway.

In 1930, actor and occasional singer Richard Harris was born in Limerick, Ireland. In 1968, Harris recorded an album of songs by composer Jimmy Webb, entitled "A Tramp Shining." From it came the surprise hit single "MacArthur Park," which sold more than a million copies. "MacArthur Park" lasted for more than seven minutes, an almost-unheard-of length for a single at the time. He died Oct. 25, 2002.

In 1951, Brian Greenway, guitarist with the Canadian rock band "April Wine," was born in Hawkesbury, Ont. He joined the band in 1977, the same year they shared the stage with "The Rolling Stones" for two concerts at a Toronto nightclub. "April Wine's" success during the 1970s was largely confined to Canada, but in 1981 their album "The Nature of the Beast" made the Billboard top-30 in the U.S.

In 1960, Lerner and Loewe's musical "Camelot" -- starring Richard Burton, Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet -- premiered at the O'Keefe Centre (now the Sony Centre) in Toronto. The show moved to Broadway in December.

In 1962, Brian Epstein officially signed his management contract with "The Beatles" after fulfilling a promise to get the band a deal with a record label. The four-page document was signed by John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Richard Starkey -- Ringo Starr's real name -- on Jan. 24, 1962. The contract, also signed by Harold Hargreaves Harrison and James McCartney on behalf of their underage sons, gave Epstein a 25 per cent cut of the group's earnings, provided that they made more than $400 each per week.

In 1967, "Pink Floyd" arrived in the U.S. for their first American tour, a month after their debut album, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn," was released. By this time, the behaviour of Syd Barrett, the group's lead vocalist and guitarist, was becoming more and more erratic, likely because of his over-use of LSD. At some concerts, Barrett wouldn't play at all -- he just stood on stage. Barrett was replaced in 1968 by David Gilmour.

In 1970, Italian police used tear gas to disperse 2,000 fans unable to get into a "Rolling Stones" concert at the Palace of Sports in Milan. Sixty-three people were arrested.

In 1970, Curtis Mayfield left the soul group "The Impressions" to go solo. But Mayfield would continue to direct "The Impressions'" career throughout the decade. Mayfield's solo career was highlighted by his soundtrack for the 1972 film "Superfly." From it came two top-10 singles -- the title song and "Freddie's Dead." Mayfield was paralyzed from the neck down in 1990 when a light tower fell on him as he walked on stage for an outdoor concert in Brooklyn, N.Y.  He died at age 57 in December 1999.

In 1970, Jimi Hendrix was buried in his hometown of Seattle. He had died in London on Sept. 18th of an accidental drug overdose.

In 1975, an intruder shot and killed Al Jackson, drummer for "Booker T. and the MG's," at his Memphis home. The group, best known for their 1962 instrumental million-seller "Green Onions," was planning a reunion at the time of Jackson's death. "Booker T. and the MG's" also served as the backing band for many of the hits turned out by the Stax label in Memphis, including records by Otis Redding, Sam and Dave and Wilson Pickett.

In 1977, Elton John became the first rock star to be honoured in New York City's Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame.

In 1980, Paul Simon's film, "One Trick Pony," opened in the U.S. and Canada. As well as starring as a rock 'n' roller, Simon wrote the screenplay and the music.

In 1991, Michael Jackson's glove was stolen from the Motown Museum in Detroit. The thief, Bruce M. Hays, gave it back after rapper MC Hammer offered a $50,000 reward. He was promptly arrested, pleaded no contest to the theft and was placed on two years probation. Hays told the judge that police posed for photographs with the glove before arresting him.

In 1992, Michael Jackson performed before nearly 70,000 people at the National Stadium in Bucharest, Romania. Authorities in the former Communist dictatorship treated the concert like a military operation, mobilizing 22,000 officers -- a quarter of the capital's police force -- to provide security. The concert was broadcast by HBO in the U.S. 10 days later. While Jackson was in Romania, the pop superstar's Heal the World aid foundation announced funding for a playground at Bucharest's main orphanage and a medical relief mission by U.S. doctors. Jackson's Romanian stop had an unfortunate side effect. He caught a cold and was forced to cancel his three remaining European tour dates, in Greece and Turkey.

In 1992, Harry Ray, a member of the soul trio "Ray, Goodman and Brown," died in Boundbrook, N.J., of a stroke. He was 45. "Ray, Goodman and Brown" had a top-five hit in 1980 with "Special Lady," which Ray co-wrote. From 1968 until the late '70s, the group had been known as "The Moments." Ray joined the trio in 1970, after "The Moments" best-known hit, "Love on a Two-Way Street," made No. 3 on the Billboard pop chart.

In 1993, soul singer Wilson Pickett was sentenced in Hackensack, N.J., to a year in jail and five years' probation for hitting an elderly pedestrian while driving drunk. Pickett pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by auto. He admitted he was drunk when he hit an 86-year-old man, who spent several months in hospital with head injuries.

In 1996, Curtis Mayfield released "New World Order," his first album since he was paralyzed from the neck down six years earlier. His disability forced him to record the songs lying down. Mayfield was severely injured on Aug. 13, 1990, when high winds blew over a light tower, hitting him as he walked on stage for an outdoor concert in Brooklyn, N.Y. He died at age 57 in December 1999.

In 1998, Quebec singer Pauline Julien committed suicide in Montreal following a lengthy illness. She was 70. Julien was a staunch supporter of Quebec independence. In 1970, she and her domestic partner, poet and future Quebec cabinet minister Gerald Godin, were jailed briefly when the federal government invoked the War Measures Act to deal with the October Crisis. Julien became known for interpreting the songs of Quebec composers, including Gilles Vigneault, Claude Gauthier and Michel Tremblay.

In 1998, John Fogerty received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2001, Janet Jackson cancelled a European tour because of safety fears after the previous month’s terror attacks in the U.S.

In 2003, actress Halle Berry and musician Eric Benet announced they were separating. They had been married less than three years.

In 2005, Dierks Bentley was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

In 2008, Nick Reynolds of "The Kingston Trio" died at age 75. The band hit No. 1 in 1958 with "Tom Dooley." They are often credited with ushering in the folk movement of the late 1950s and early 1960s that inspired Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and "Peter, Paul and Mary." Reynolds stayed with the group until they disbanded in 1967. He spent the '70s as a rancher and movie theatre owner, and he performed with the group again in the '80s and '90s.

In 2009 , Dan Tyminski won two top awards at the 20th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, Male Vocalist of the Year for the fourth time and Top Album for "Wheels."

In 2009, Kanye West and Lady Gaga’s highly anticipated "Fame Kills" tour was cancelled just days after announcing dates for an ambitious joint show that was to kick off in November. No reason was given but speculation was that West was still suffering from the firestorm of negative publicity over his most recent awards show meltdown. At the MTV Video Awards in September, he interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for Best Female Video saying Beyonce should have won instead.

In 2009, Apple Inc. and the music publisher for Eminem settled a lawsuit over the digital downloading rights to many of the Detroit rapper's songs. The agreement was reached after five days of trial in federal court in the hip-hop star's hometown. The terms of the deal were confidential.

In 2011, rocker Gene Simmons married his longtime girlfriend, Canadian-born actress Shannon Tweed, in Beverly Hills.

In 2011, singer Burton Cummings was among six people inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.

In 2014, 88-year-old jazz crooner Tony Bennett became the oldest living act to earn a No. 1 album. His collaboration with Lady Gaga, “Cheek to Cheek," debuted atop the Billboard 200 album chart, breaking the record he set in 2011 with "Duets 2," at age 85.

In 2014, Canadian rapper Drake earned his 72nd Billboard Hot 100 appearance (featured on ILoveMakonnen's "Tuesday"), surpassing The Beatles for eighth spot all-time.

In 2019, Czech pop singer Karel Gott, who became a star behind the Iron Curtain, died at 80. Gott had announced he had acute leukemia. Gott released some 300 albums starting in the 1960s and sold tens of millions of copies in his country, the Soviet Union and elsewhere in the Communist world. But he was also a rare example of a pop singer from eastern Europe whose music became popular in some Western European countries, especially in West Germany.


(The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press

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