May 24, 1971 – In honor of Bob Dylan’s 30th birthday, Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip features Linus telling Charlie Brown that Bob Dylan was turning 30. Charlie Brown replies “That’s the most depressing thing I’ve ever heard.” Born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota in 1941, Dylan became the poet, musician and songwriter of his generation and has gone on to release more than 500 songs in his career, including such ballads as Blowin’ in the Wind, Lay, Lady Lay, and House of the Risin’ Sun. He burst upon the music scene during the folk music movement and was often associated with Joan Baez, civil rights and the anti-war protest. In a 2004 interview, he revealed that he was influenced by poetry of Dylan Thomas and explained changing his name: “You’re born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free.” Perhaps the Peanuts comic strip inspired Bob Dylan to write “Forever Young” which was released a few years later in 1974. Dylan himself marks the occasion at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall. Later he became a born-again Christian but then quietly returned to something between a devout Jew and man seeking his God.
Category Archives: Music
March 3, 1965 – The Temptations, one of the longest running musical acts in the world, scored their first Number One hit with “My Girl”. Their classic sound and smooth choreography made them unique on the world stage. The original five members had been in and out of different groups over the years. Finally they agreed to the name Temptations while on the steps of Motown’s offices. A final personnel change in 1964 gave us the “Classic Five” who scored big the Smokey Robinson’s “My Girl” which has remained their signature song. Considered by many to be among the founding father of Soul, the Temptations have endured and prevailed though countless changes in popular music with over 20 different men joining the group at one time or another. Today, original group member Otis Williams continues to record and tour with the group.
March 1, 1969 – The Doors performed at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami, FL. What really happened that night is the stuff of legend. What is known is that it was very hot, there was no air conditioning, seats had been removed to boost ticket sales and over 12,000 concert goers packed an auditorium designed for 7,000. After drinking all day, the rapidly declining lead singer, Jim Morrison, arrived over an hour late and engaged in bizarre behavior. It’s said that Morrison rambled on and cursed the audience inciting them to remove their clothes and, according to the Miami Police, inciting them to riot. They also said Morrison exposed himself after simulating oral sex on the guitarist. For indecent exposure Morrison was sentenced to 6 months in jail but remained free pending appeal and continued on his downward spiral. He died in Paris on July 3, 1971 at the age of 27 and is buried there. Cause of death unknown. On December 9, 2010 Republican Florida Governor Charlie Crist posthumously pardoned Morrison on the indecent exposure charge. Morrison’s grave in Paris has become a much vandalized shrine and is visited my many every year.
February 23, 1978 – For the first and only time, The Grammy Award for Best Song was a tie. The Grammy in this category is given to the songwriter. The tie was for “You Light Up My Life” a one hit wonder for singer Debbie Boone, daughter of Pat Boone, and awarded to Joe Brooks. The other winner was for “Love Theme from A Star Is Born (Evergreen)” which was sung by Barbara Streisand and co-written by Barbara Streisand and Paul Williams. Other contenders for 1977’s Song of the Year were Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish,” Elvis Costello’s “Allison,” Tom Petty’s “American Girl” or Bob Marley’s “Jammin'”.
February 17, 1966 Brian Wilson rolls tape for the first time on “Good Vibrations”. Over the next 8 months he will rewrite and re-record words and music searching to duplicate the sound he hears in his head. It’s said he used 17 separate recording sessions in four studios amassing 90 hours of tape. Meanwhile, across the pond, the four lads from Liverpool are working on their own sound. Rock and Roll is changing….
Friday, February 13, 1970 – Black Sabbath is released in the U.K. The band, consisting of Ozzy Osbourne (lead vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass guitar), and Bill Ward (drums) was found in 1969 in Birmingham, England. Originally named Earth, they learned that there already was another band Earth. Looking out the window from rehearsal, they saw a line forming to see Boris Karloff’s 1963 film Black Sabbath. This inspired Osbourne and Butler to write the song Black Sabbath in hopes of creating the musical equivalent to a horror film. Impressed by their own success, the band changed their name to Black Sabbath. In November 1969, they rented a recording studio for a day and played their usual live set. Their dark and morbid sound mixed with references to the occult was something completely new and helped inspire the whole heavy metal scene along with the likes of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. Their sound, along with the macabre artwork on the album jacket created a great deal of publicity as people scrambled to know more about this dark group from the other side. This comes just 6 years after the young and innocent Beatles first come to America.
February 9, 1964 – 73 million Americans – 40% of the population – tuned into the Ed Sullivan Show on CBS that evening. For months the airwaves and popular culture where abuzz about a new group from England. Teenage girls were hysterical in their infatuation. John, Paul, Ringo and George, The Fab Four, were the subject of rabid devotion as screaming mobs followed their every move. More than 50,000 requests were made for the 700 seats in the Ed Sullivan Theater. The screams of the audience drowned out their singing and young girls bumped and grinded to their parent’s horror in living rooms across America. It was a welcome relief to a tragic assaination just 77 days prior. And the Beatles were handsomly compansated $2500 for their efforts.