Today in Music History - Aug. 27

The Canadian Press, August 18, 2017 | Go to article overview

Today in Music History - Aug. 27


Today in Music History - Aug. 27

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Today in Music History for Aug. 27:

In 1877, James P. Clarke, the first musician in English-speaking Canada to have written and published a sizeable number of compositions, died in Toronto. Many of his songs, such as "The Maple Leaf," "The Trappers Song" and "A Forest Home," had a distinctly Canadian flavour.

In 1892, fire seriously damaged New York's original Metropolitan Opera House.

In 1953, Alex Lifeson, guitarist with the Canadian rock trio "Rush," was born in Surrey, B.C. Lifeson, vocalist and bass guitarist Geddy Lee and drummer John Rutsey formed the group in Toronto in 1968. Rutsey left after the first album in 1974, and was replaced by Neil Peart. Several of their LP's, including "2112," "All the World's a Stage," "Moving Pictures" and "Signals," have sold more than one million copies each. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

In 1965, Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" was released.

In 1965, "The Beatles" met Elvis Presley at his Graceland mansion in Memphis. Colonel Tom Parker, Presley's manager, performed the introductions, after which a deathly silence ensued. Elvis is then reported to have said: "If you damn guys are gonna sit here and stare at me all night, I'm gonna go to bed." The meeting deteriorated further after John Lennon's suggestion that Elvis make some records like those he recorded for Sun Records at the beginning of his career. Presley is said to have felt the remark implied that his career had gone steadily downhill.

In 1967, "The Beatles'" manager Brian Epstein was found dead in his London home from an overdose of Carbitol, a sleeping pill. His death was ruled accidental. At the time, "The Beatles" were in Wales on a retreat with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Epstein had first seen "The Beatles" at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in 1961. Within a month, he became their manager, cleaning up their image with the now-familiar "Beatle" haircuts and Pierre Cardin suits. Epstein got them a contract with EMI Records in 1962, after they had been rejected by many other companies.

In 1971, singer Freda Payne was awarded a gold record for "Bring the Boys Home," an anti-Vietnam War song.

In 1978, two former members of "Deep Purple," vocalist David Coverdale and keyboards player Jon Lord, were reunited in the newly-formed heavy metal band "Whitesnake."

In 1983, singer-guitarist George Benson told the British magazine "Melody Maker" that AIDS was God's revenge for blood transfusions. Benson is a Jehovah's Witness, who consider transfusions sacrilegious.

In 1986, former "Credence Clearwater Revival" lead singer John Fogerty opened his first tour in 14 years in Memphis. The audience gave him six standing ovations despite the fact he refused to perform any of "CCR's" hits because of a royalties dispute.

In 1987, Charlie Smalls, the Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist of the hit musical "The Wiz," died in Belgium during surgery for a burst appendix. He was 43.

Also in 1987, Jello Biafra, lead singer of the defunct punk rock group "The Dead Kennedys," and several associates were acquitted of pornography charges in Los Angeles. The charges stemmed from a sexually explicit poster included with "The Dead Kennedys'" 1985 album "Frankenchrist."

In 1989, Izzy Stradlin, guitarist for "Guns 'N' Roses," was arrested at the Phoenix airport after urinating in a jetliner's galley on a flight from Los Angeles to Indianapolis. …

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