Today in Music History - Feb. 22

The Canadian Press, February 13, 2015 | Go to article overview

Today in Music History - Feb. 22


Today in Music History - Feb. 22

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Today in Music History for Feb. 22:

In 1952, bass singer Don Gerrard, a native of Vancouver, made his debut with the Canadian Opera Company as the Speaker in "The Magic Flute." He moved to England in 1961 to become principal bass of the Sadler's Wells company, but continued to return to Canada to perform.

In 1965, "The Beatles" began filming "Help," their second movie, in the Bahamas. Other scenes were shot in England and Austria. The film opened in North America in August.

In 1969, British glitter-rock band "T. Rex" kicked off a British tour in Manchester. On the same bill, David Bowie, a friend of "T. Rex" leader Marc Bolan, performed a mime act about Tibetan Buddhist monks.

In 1976, Florence Ballard, an original member of "The Supremes," died in Detroit of cardiac arrest at the age of 32. She had either quit or been fired from "The Supremes" in 1967 because of a rivalry with lead singer Diana Ross. Ballard unsuccessfully sued both Ross and Motown Records boss Berry Gordy, alleging she was forced out of the group. Ballard and her three children were living on welfare at the time of her death. She received little or no royalty payments from the eight gold records she made with "The Supremes," and was paid only a weekly allowance during her time with the group.

In 1978, "The Police" starred in a British TV commercial for Wrigley's chewing gum. The ad was made a few months before the band's single "Roxanne" was released in the U.K.

In 1981, Quebec fiddler Ti-Blanc Richard died in Sherbrooke at age 60. He was one of Canada's leading novelty fiddlers, and combined country and traditional Quebec folk music in his repertoire. Richard often used such items as baseball bats and hockey sticks for bows. He made more than a dozen LPs in the 1960s and '70s.

In 1981, the Duke Ellington musical "Sophisticated Ladies," starring Phyllis Hyman, opened on Broadway.

In 1986, singer Bruce Cockburn gave a cheque for $28,000 to the Council of the Haida Nation following two concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. The Indians were to use the concert proceeds in their fight to stop logging on Lyell Island in the Queen Charlottes.

In 1989, the first rap Grammy went to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince for "Parents Just Don't Understand" while the first Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance was given to "Jethro Tull" for their album "Crest of a Knave." Widespread criticism forced organizers to create separate categories for the next awards show.

In 1990, a jury in Los Angeles rejected a $25-million claim that Stevie Wonder's Oscar-winning 1984 song "I Just Called to Say I Love You" was stolen from another songwriter. Lee Chiate alleged Wonder's song, part of the soundtrack for "Woman in Red," was stolen from a song he co-wrote, "I Just Called to Say."

In 1992, all 34,000 seats for two "Grateful Dead" shows at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ont., sold out in 56 minutes. "Deadheads" started lining up a week before the tickets went on sale. …

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