Thursday, March 30, 2017

March 30th

The Beatles' new album cover is photographed today by Michael Cooper (from a design by Peter Blake). 

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" will become a landmark release that influences virtually everything recorded after it.  (Manager Brian Epstein did not like the new LP cover and at one point wrote a note to The Fab Four that simply said "Brown Paper Bags for 'Sgt. Pepper'".  Ironically, John Lennon packaged his first solo album, "Two Virgins" that way a year later.)   

Each of The Beatles were allowed suggestions as to who should be depicted in the background.  Those making the cut included Actress Mae West (who later made a comment to the effect of "Me … in a Lonely Hearts Club???"), fellow musician (and collective Beatles idol) Bob Dylan, Dancer Fred Astaire, Child Actress Shirley Temple, W.C.Fields, comedian Lenny Bruce, Tony Curtis, Edgar Allan Poe, Marilyn Monroe, Laurel and Hardy, Marlon Brando, H.G. Wells, original Beatles bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, boxer Sonny Liston (a surprise after The Beatles had posed for photos with Cassius Clay prior to their heavyweight bout!), Albert Einstein, actress Marlene Dietrich, Tarzan Johnny Weissmuller and more … in fact, 61 faces in all, including Madame Tredaux wax figures of The Beatles themselves.  (Photos of Jesus Christ and Adolph Hitler were reportedly later removed from the original montage … as was Bowery Boy Leo Gorcey, who demanded a $400 fee for the use of his likeness … at which point he was airbrushed out of history!  Bowery Boy Huntz Hall was used instead ... without a fee!) 

The Beatles even gave a nod to The Rolling Stones on this landmark, imaginative cover ... The Stones would repay the favor on their next LP ("Their Satanic Majesties Request"), which featured little 3-D buttons of each Beatles face.

Cindy Birdsong, formerly one of Patti LaBelle's Blue-Belles, is asked to fill in for Florence Ballard of The Supremes for the first time, as Florence has missed several recent performances in New Orleans, Los Angeles and Montreal.  She will be asked to become Ballard's permanent replacement a short time later. 

Herman's Hermits appear on The Dean Martin Show.  The band performs "Dandy" and then Peter Noone (as Herman) and Dean Martin have a go at "Mairzy Doats". 

Tommy Roe sings "Little Miss Sunshine" and Paul Revere and the Raiders perform their brand new hit "Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be" on "Where The Action Is".