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Today in Music History - April 9

The Canadian Press logo The Canadian Press 2021-04-09

Today in Music History for April 9:


In 1932, rock 'n' roll pioneer Carl Perkins was born in Jackson, Tenn. He wrote "Blue Suede Shoes," which went to No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart and No. 1 on the country chart in 1956. Perkins nearly died in a car accident in March of '56, and never had a similar hit. Perkins died in Nashville on Jan. 19, 1998, following three strokes.

In 1939, about 75,000 people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to hear black contralto Marian Anderson perform after she was denied use of a Washington hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution. U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt quit the D.A.R. over the incident.

In 1963, the Canadian Record Manufacturers' Association was formed by 10 companies. It was renamed the Canadian Recording Industry Association in 1972, when membership was opened to other firms and to individuals in the industry. In 1975, the organization began certifying gold and platinum records according to sales.

In 1970, Paul McCartney issued a writ in the British High Court to dissolve the business partnership of "The Beatles."

In 1976, folk singer-songwriter Phil Ochs hanged himself in the bathroom of his sister's home in Far Rockaway, N.Y. His suicide came only two days after his last performance -- at a benefit show for victims of Chile's military junta.

In 1979, "Last Dance," from the soundtrack to the movie "Thank God It's Friday," won the Oscar for Best Original Song.

In 1982, conductor-music administrator Wilfrid Pelletier, a dominant force in the musical life of Quebec, died at age 85. He was a regular conductor at the Metropolitan Opera from 1929-50, and became the first artistic director of the Societe des concerts symphoniques de Montreal, forerunner to the Montreal Symphony in 1934. He held a similar position with the Quebec Symphonic Orchestra from 1951-66. He was responsible for creating Quebec's first music conservatory (Conservatoire de musique du Quebec a Montreal) in 1943, serving as its director until 1961.

In 1984, "Flashdance... What a Feeling" won the Oscar for Best Original Song. It was written by Giorgio Moroder, Keith Forsey, and Irene Cara, and performed by Cara.

In 1988, Dave Prater, of the soul duo "Sam and Dave," died in a car crash in Georgia at the age of 50. He met partner Sam Moore in Miami in 1958. Their Memphis-style soul was popular throughout the '60s on such hits as "Hold On I'm Comin'" and the Grammy-winning "Soul Man." Never on the best of terms, the duo broke up in 1970 but reunited several times until finally calling it quits in 1981. One of their more successful reunions was instigated by the 1979 revival of "Soul Man" by "The Blues Brothers," John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd. "Sam and Dave" were inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

In 1988, singer Brook Benton, whose smooth baritone produced a string of hits in the '50s and '60s, died in New York of bacterial meningitis. He was 56. One of Benton's biggest years was 1959, when he had four top-20 hits -- "It's Just a Matter of Time," "So Many Ways," "Endlessly" and "Thank You Pretty Baby." His career was revived in 1970, when his "Rainy Night in Georgia" went to No. 4 on the Billboard pop chart.

In 1992, Amy Grant was honoured with the Artist of the Year award at the Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards.

In 1997, Mae Boren Axton, who co-wrote the Elvis Presley hit "Heartbreak Hotel," was found dead at her Tennessee home at age 82. Axton's songs were also recorded by Patsy Cline, Faron Young and Hank Snow. Her son was singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton.

In 1998, Lorrie Morgan, Dolly Parton, Randy Travis and Wynonna were among the performers at a memorial service for Tammy Wynette at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Wynette had died three days earlier from a blood clot in her lungs. Morgan moved many in the audience to tears with her closing performance of Wynette's signature tune, "Stand By Your Man."

In 1998, a Los Angeles jury ordered a man to pay Michael Jackson $2.7 million for failing to prove the existence of a videotape that allegedly showed the singer having sex with a young boy. Jackson had sued for $100 million after Victor Gutierrez told the TV show "Hard Copy" that he had seen such a video. Jackson denied having sex with a minor.

In 2009, Randy Cain of "The Delfonics" died at age 63. He formed the group with William and Wilbert Hart while they were in high school in Philadelphia. They were known for hits like "Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time" and "La La Means I Love You." Cain left "The Delfonics" in 1971 but returned for a later version of the group.

In 2010, country singer-songwriter Billy Joe Shaver was acquitted of aggravated assault in the March 2007 shooting of Billy Coker in a Waco, Texas, bar parking lot. Shaver had testified that he acted in self-defence.

In 2010, the documentary "When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors” was released in select theatres. It used previously unseen footage and was narrated by actor Johnny Depp.

In 2011, bandleader Orrin Tucker died in California at age 100. His orchestra had the 1939 hit "Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!" and he later owned the Stardust Ballroom in Los Angeles. He formed a band in 1933 and recorded his version of the 1917 song with vocalist Evelyn Nelson. He made more than 70 records in all, including several million-selling hits.

In 2011, Randy Wood, the founder of Dot Records who helped introduce black R&B to white audiences in the early rock era, died at his California home from injuries he suffered in a fall down some stairs. He was 94.

In 2015, Juno and Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan was one of five recipients of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards for lifetime artistic achievement.

In 2018, The Weeknd's EP, My Dear Melancholy, debuted atop the Billboard 200 album chart. 


(The Canadian Press)

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