Thursday, November 1, 2018

Can It Really Be November 1st?!?!

It's like I just blinked and the whole year flew by!!!

Here are at least half a dozen N
ovember 1st milestones worth remembering ...

The very first issue of Billboard Magazine is published by William Donaldson and James H. Hennegan on this date in 1894.  Described as "A monthly resume of all that is new, bright and interesting on the boards," the eight page, first edition magazine was "devoted to the interests of advertisers, poster printers, bill posters, advertising agents and secretaries of fairs."  Incredibly, the publication first focused on circuses, carnivals, vaudeville and other forms of live entertainment before moving on to coverage of motion pictures and, later still, the music industry.  If you were one of the "movers and shakers" on the entertainment scene in 1894, that first issue would have cost you 10 cents ... or, if you felt that you simply couldn't live without the latest inside track on these events, you could subscribe for only 90 cents a year!

1962:  The as yet unsigned, undiscovered Beatles are appearing at The Star Club in Hamburg, Germany, this evening, honing their craft which will go on to make them the biggest musical act in history a couple of years later.  On this particular evening, a fan in the audience records a good portion of their show on a portable tape recorder. Fifteen years later (and seven after becoming a world sensation and then splitting up), these tracks will be released as a live album entitled "Live! At The Star Club In Hamburg, Germany, 1962."

(In other Beatles news, it was also on this date that George Harrison became the very first Beatle to release a solo record when his soundtrack album to the film "Wonderwall Music" was released by their own Apple Records in 1968.) 

And, in what proved to be an unrelated Beatles story that still captured the heart of the nation, Bonanza star Lorne Greene recorded his #1 Hit "Ringo" on this date in 1964.

Teenagers stopping by their favorite record store and spotting this record on the shelf may have purchased it out of curiosity figuring that it must have something to do with the world's most famous drummer.  Imagine their shock and surprise when they got the record home, slapped it on the turn-table and found a spoken-word recording about a gunfighter named Ringo in the wild, wild west.  (The jist of the recording was that early on, Greene had pulled a thorn out of Ringo's paw ... or something to that effect ... but years later became a lawman who faced the barrel of Ringo's gun, only to be give a reprieve with the chilling words "We're even, friend.")  Good stuff.

Also recorded on this date was "Please Please Please"  by James Brown ... and "Temptation" by The Everly Brothers.

2004 - Terry Knight (who had a minor hit record with an early version of the ultimate Tom Jones hit "I (Who Have Nothing)" back in 1964 ... and then went on to become the manager of '70's mega-group Grand Funk Railroad ... is stabbed to death by his daughter's boyfriend at his home in Killeen, Texas.  He was 61.  Knight was defending his daughter during a domestic disturbance when he was stabbed by her boyfriend, 26 year old Donald Alan Fair.   

Born on this date ...

Dan Peek of America (1950)

Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer (1944)
(Emerson died of suicide in 2016)

S/Sgt. Barry Sadler, who topped the charts in 1966 with "Ballad of the Green Berets" (1940)

His life after his fifteen minutes of fame was far from exlemporary ..   

In the late 1970's Sadler shot and killed Country And Western Songwriter Lee Emerson in his own driveway. He pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to four to five years in prison ... but only served thirty days. In 1988 he was shot in the head during what was reported to be an attempted robbery at this Guatemalan home. (One report I read said that he was shot in a taxi.) The circumstances surrounding this shooting have become the subject of much speculation and rumor ... yet another unsolved rock and roll mystery! In addition to the most commonly believed robbery story, there are also reports circulating that Sadler committed suicide, that he accidentally shot himself while showing off to a female companion ... or that he was assassinated for allegedly training and arming the Contras. (According to his companion at the time, he had been training Nicaraguan counter-revolutionaries and had been receiving death threats.) Whatever the circumstances, Sadler remained in a coma for several months after the shooting, ultimately dying of heart failure in 1989. The New York Times official obituary reported at the time that "the cause of death was not given" and that "an autopsy would be performed." The obit goes on to read that "Mr. Sadler had been hospitalized since he was critically wounded in what a companion said was a robbery. The companion said at the time that Mr. Sadler had been training Nicaraguan rebels in Guatemala and had received death threats."

On this date in 1991, former Temptations lead vocalist Eddie Kendricks was released from an Atlanta Hospital after surgery for having one cancerous lung removed.

A brand new Elvis documentary titled "Elvis On Tour" opens in theaters on this date in 1972 ...

And capping things off on an UP note (and since we mentioned him earlier), on this date in 2010 Tom Jones is given Britain's Music Industry Trusts Award in London.  (I could not find official documentation stating how many socks he had stuffed in his pants for this very prestigious event.)