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Today in Music History - June 9

The Canadian Press logoThe Canadian Press 2021-06-09

Today in Music History for June 9:


In 1892, songwriter and composer Cole Porter was born in Peru, Ind. Porter's lyrics for such tunes as "Night and Day," "Begin the Beguine" and "Let's Do It" are among the wittiest and most sophisticated ever composed for popular song. Porter was an elegant and debonair man, despite a riding accident in 1937 that left him crippled. Most of his musicals were vastly successful. Among them were "Anything Goes," "Kiss Me Kate" and "Can-Can." His film scores included "Born to Dance" and "High Society." Cole Porter died Oct. 15, 1964, in Santa Monica, Calif.

In 1915, Les Paul, one of the most influential guitarists in pop music history, was born in Waukesha, Wis. With his wife Mary Ford, he had a string of hits in the late '40s and early '50s including, "Mockin' Bird Hill," "How High the Moon" and "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise." Those recordings were among the earliest to use multi-tracking. Paul also designed guitars which were marketed by the Gibson company and became the favourites of pop, rock and country musicians. Paul also built the first eight-track tape recorder, which helped pioneer multitrack recording. And he invented "sound-on-sound" recording, which has since become known as overdubbing. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005. He died on Aug. 13, 2009 of complications from pneumonia at age 94.

In 1962, a "welcome home" night was held for "The Beatles" at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. They had recently returned from one of several visits to clubs in Hamburg, West Germany.

In 1969, guitarist Brian Jones said he was leaving "The Rolling Stones" because he said he no longer saw eye-to-eye with the other members of the band. He was replaced within a week by Mick Taylor, formerly with "John Mayall's Bluesbreakers." Jones announced that he would form his own band, but on July 3, 1969, he was found dead in the swimming pool at his home. The coroner's verdict was death by misadventure. He was 27.

In 1970, Bob Dylan received an honorary doctorate of music degree from Princeton University. He was reported to be "very nervous and hesitant, and seemed appropriately out of place."

In 1972, Bruce Spingsteen signed a 10-album contract with Columbia Records. His first LP, "Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.," appeared the following January.

In 1972, Elvis Presley performed for the first time in New York City. He was reported to have offered to be interviewed for a fee of $120,000. There were no takers.

In 1977, George Harrison divorced Patti Boyd after 11 years of marriage. Both later remarried -- Boyd to Harrison's close friend Eric Clapton.

In 1986, Bob Dylan began his first U.S. tour in five years with a concert in San Diego. Billed as the "True Confessions Tour," the series of performances also included "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers."

In 1987, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Duane Eddy were among those who showed up for Les Paul's 72nd birthday party at New York's Hard Rock Cafe.

In 1991, Claudio Arrau, considered one of the best classical pianists of the century, died in Austria of complications from intestinal surgery. The Chilean-born artist was 88. Arrau was known especially for his interpretations of Beethoven.

In 1992, Clarence (Big) Miller, one of Canada's most acclaimed bluesmen, died in Edmonton of a heart attack. He was 69. A veteran of the Kansas City jazz scene which spawned such greats as Count Basie and Jay McShann, Miller had lived in the Alberta capital since 1970. One music expert called him "the last of the Kansas City blues shouters."

In 1993, singer and songwriter Arthur Alexander, whose pop and soul classics were covered by "The Beatles" and "The Rolling Stones," died in Nashville, Tenn., of respiratory and heart failure. He was 53. Alexander's 1962 top-30 hit "You Better Move On" was among the first hits from the famed Muscle Shoals studios in Alabama.

Video: Today in History for June 9th (The Canadian Press)


In 1993, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 29-cent stamp honouring country legend Hank Williams. His son, Hank Williams Jr., presided over the official unveiling at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville.

In 1994, Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes of the female R&B trio "TLC" was charged with arson after a fire destroyed the $800,0000 home of her boyfriend, NFL player Andre Rison. Lopes was accused of setting fire to cardboard in a whirlpool and trashing three cars outside the two-storey mansion. She had admitted she started the fire after an argument with Rison. Lopes was killed in a car crash in Honduras on April 25, 2002.

In 2000, rapper Eminem was charged with brandishing a gun at a member of "Insane Clown Posse." The charges came just days after he was arrested for allegedly using a gun to hit a man kissing his wife.

In 2008, CTV Inc. acquired the rights to "The Hockey Theme" in perpetuity, after Copyright Music & Visuals was unable to renew a deal with CBC Sports that had used the tune on its "Hockey Night in Canada" broadcast since 1968.

In 2010, about 10,000 fans packed a Longueuil, Que., parking lot for a free concert staged by the Montreal indie band "Arcade Fire" to promote their new release in August.

In 2010, heavy metal band "Korn" posted on their website that they were boycotting the use of BP gasoline in their buses or trucks during their summer tour in response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which caused the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Many others artists followed suit.

In 2010, the "Go-Gos" announced the cancellation of their "Happily Ever After" summer farewell tour after guitarist Jane Wiedlin injured herself a few weeks earlier in a six-metre fall while hiking. She required knee surgery.

In 2010, guitarist Jeff Beck honoured his late friend and mentor, Les Paul, with an intimate performance at Paul's favourite haunt, the Iridium Jazz Club. The legendary Paul played there every Monday night until his death in August 2009.

 In 2010, Carrie Underwood was the only multiple award winner at the CMT Music Awards, winning the biggest belt-buckle trophy of them all with Video of the Year for "Cowboy Casanova" and for CMT Performance of the Year for "Temporary Home." Miranda Lambert won Female Video of the Year for "White Liar" while Keith Urban won the Male Video of the Year for "’Til Summer Comes Around." "Lady Antebellum" won Group Video of the Year for their cross-over hit "Need You Now."

In 2011, Claude Leveillee, hailed as a singer-songwriter who helped define Quebec's culture and who composed songs for the legendary singer Edith Piaf, died at age 78. The first Quebecer to play Place des arts, Leveillee performed with such big Quebec names as Yvon Deschamps, Jean-Pierre Ferland, Gilles Vigneault and Robert Charlebois.

In 2012, classical pianist Stewart Goodyear performed Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas in a 10-hour performance at Toronto's Koerner Hall.

In 2012, an auction of guitars and memorabilia owned by the late Les Paul, known as the godfather of the electric guitar, raised nearly US$5 million for a foundation in his name benefiting music education and innovation.

In 2013, the feel-good musical "Kinky Boots," with songs by pop star and Broadway newcomer Cyndi Lauper, strutted away with a leading six 2013 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Leading Man.

In 2016, Elvis Costello, Marvin Gaye, Tom Petty, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards from CHIC, and Chip Taylor were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Lionel Richie received the Johnny Mercer Award, the Hall's highest honour given to a previous inductee whose body of work is considered the gold standard for songwriting.

In 2017, rock pioneer Chuck Berry's final studio album "Chuck" was released, less than three months after his death. Eight of the 10 recordings were written by Berry.

In 2019, Rapper Bushwick Bill - founder of the iconic Houston rap group the Geto Boys - died at 52. Bill's publicist said the rapper, whose legal name is Richard Shaw, was surrounded by family when he died at a Colorado hospital. Shaw had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in February.

In 2019, Jim Pike, co-founder and lead singer of The Lettermen, died at age 82 at his home in Prescott, Arizona. The cause was complications of Parkinson's Disease. Pike and his college buddy, Bob Engemann, formed The Lettermen in Los Angeles in 1961 with fellow singer Tony Butala. Pike's lush vocal harmonies made the Grammy-nominated trio one of the most popular vocal groups of the 1960s with songs like "Goin' Out Of My Head/Can't Take My Eyes Off You."


(The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press

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