Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in Music History - April 14

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in Music History - April 14

Article excerpt

Today in Music History - April 14

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Today in Music History for April 14:

In 1759, German composer George Frideric Handel died at age 74 in London. He worked mainly in England and Italy, and his most famous work is "The Messiah." Despite being totally blind for the last six years of his life, he occasionally conducted performances of his works.

In 1945, Ritchie Blackmore, lead guitarist with "Deep Purple" was born in Weston-Super-Mare, England. "Deep Purple's" early hits, such as "Hush" and "Kentucky Woman" from 1968, were remakes of earlier chart records. But after a 1969 reorganization, "Deep Purple" became an extremely popular heavy-metal act, relying almost entirely on original material. Blackmore left the band in 1975. The new lineup released one album before disbanding in 1976. A reunion took place in 1984 but Blackmore eventually left the band again in 1993.

In 1958, "Catch a Falling Star" by Perry Como became the first single certified as gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

In 1962, Bob Dylan recorded seven songs, including "Blowin' in the Wind," at Columbia Records studios in New York.

In 1964, Motown released a duet record featuring Mary Wells and Marvin Gaye. Both sides -- "What's the Matter With You Baby" and "Once Upon a Time" -- became hits. Wells later said Motown used her name to bolster Gaye's standing with the pop audience.

In 1969, "The Monkees'" special, "33 1/3 Revolutions per Monkee," aired on NBC. The plot featured rock musicians Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll as mad scientists looking for something to rot the minds of young people.

In 1970, Stephen Stills broke his wrist in a car accident, resulting in the cancellation of a U.S. tour by "Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young." Stills drove into a parked vehicle while watching a police patrol car in his rear-view mirror.

In 1974, Pete Townshend appeared for the first time as a solo act at a concert in London, accompanied only by homemade tapes.

In 1976, Eric Faulkner of "The Bay City Rollers" nearly died after swallowing Seconal and Valium at his manager's house in Scotland.

In 1976, Motown Records announced a $13 million contract renewal for Stevie Wonder. At the time, it was the largest contract ever negotiated.

In 1980, Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" was named New Jersey's official song.

In 1980, musician Gary Numan released "The Touring Principle," a 45-minute concert video. It was the first commercially available home rock videocassette.

In 1983, Pete Farndon, former bass guitarist with the rock group "The Pretenders," died of a drug overdose at his home in England. He was 30. He had been fired from the band the year before.

In 1984, Michael Jackson made a six-figure contribution to establish a 19-bed cancer research unit at a New York hospital.

In 1989, former "Byrds" Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Chris Hillman filed suit in Tampa to prevent Michael Clarke from using the band's name. Clarke was "The Byrds'" original drummer. But the suit claimed Clarke did not contribute to the group's distinctive sound, and accused him of false advertising and deceptive trade practices.

In 1989, Nova Scotia singer Rita MacNeil made her U.S. concert debut in Boston. The show, at the 1,200-seat Berklee Performance Centre, was a near sellout, with the audience giving her three standing ovations.

In 1989, the second World Music Video Awards were telecast live via satellite from Toronto, New York, London, Munich, Moscow, Hong Kong and Australia. The show reached an estimated 750 million viewers in more than 50 countries. For the first time, the broadcast was seen throughout the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries.

In 1990, R&B singer Thurston Harris died of a heart attack in Pomona, Calif., at age 58. His only major hit, and still a favourite oldie, was "Little Bitty Pretty One," which reached No. 6 in 1957.

In 1992, pianist Sammy Price, known as the "King of Boogie Woogie," died at his Harlem home at the age of 83. …

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