Once again a person one would think that information about someone who played in a well-known band--Paul Butterfield Blues Band--and played at what many think is the most famous festival of all time--the Woodstock Music and Art Fair--would be easy to find.Not true, of course, and even in the 21st century one can apparently minimize their internet footprint. Perhaps old school research in a brick and mortar library would yield more, but my laziness trumps (sorry, but it's an old word with a new meaning) such research.Most of today's information came from the wonderful AllMusic site which so often rescues the inquisitive music fan, but even it doesn't show Johnson's birth date. Thus, I am placing him today with plans to do the other "birth-less" Woodstock Butterfields over the next several days.
Trumpeter Keith Johnson
Keith Johnson was mainly a trumpeter, but as so often happens on the musician's path, other instruments come into play. Jazz was his niche.
He became part of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in time to perform with them a the Monterey International Pop Festival in June 1967. Released in December 1968, The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw was the first Butterfield album Keith appeared on. He stayed with the band for their next two albums: In My Own Dream (1967) (an album cover I stared at for many hours) and Keep on Moving (1969). A team player, at times Johnson played organ, but the trumpet was always his first and best instrument.
Despite the success of "horn" bands such as Blood, Sweat and Tears and Chicago, the Butterfield band did not enjoy the same success. In 1970 he left the band and played with the Elephant's Memory, the band that (without Johnson) became associated with John Lennon. Johnson also played with Van Morrison. Moogiy Klingman, Etta James, and Martha Velez. Velez also played with Van Morrison and later married Johnson.
Professor Keith Johnson
It seems that Keith became Professor Keith Johnson and taught at the college level, including the University of North Texas. If so, in May 2012 he received the “Award of Merit” from the International Trumpet Guild which recognized his substantial contributions to the art of trumpet playing through performance, teaching, publishing, research, composition, and support of the goals of ITG. Oddly, in the report from that conference, much is said about Johnson's musical life, but nothing about his early career with 60s music.
March 7, 1876: Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone. (see March 4, 1877)
Nixon v. Herndon
March 7, 1927: Nixon v. Herndon, decided on this day, was an early civil rights case in which the Supreme Court unanimously struck down a 1902 Texas law that barred African-Americans from voting in Democratic Party primary elections. While a great victory, it was short-lived. Texas evaded the decision by making the Democratic Party a private entity, responsible for its own primaries, thereby eliminating the element of state action. (BH, see June 8; VR, see April 19, 1929)
March 7, 1960: Houston: in reaction to sit-ins, 18-year-old Ronald Erickson and others abducted 27-year-old unemployed awning installer Felton Turner. Ericson and the others beat Turner with a chain, carved KKK into Turner's stomach, and hung him by his knees upside down in a tree. Turner survived and escaped. (see April 1)
March 7, 1961: on on March 15, 1960 sit-ins had begun in Atlanta, Georgia. A year later lunch counters operated by major chain stores agreed to desegregate. This event was one of the major victories of the sit-in movement, which began in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 1, 1960, and quickly spread across the South.One of the leaders of the March 1960 Atlanta sit-ins was Julian Bond, who was later elected to the Georgia legislature, denied his seat because of his political views, and then seated under a decision by the Supreme Court on December 5, 1966. (see Mar 13)
Repeal of all segregation ordinances
March 7, 1963: the Albany, GA City Commission voted 6 – 1 to repeal all segregation ordinances. The Commission also voted 4 – 3 to re-open the library after being closed for seven months. No action was taken regarding the city’s tennis courts, swimming pools, park recreation areas and teen centers which had been closed at the same time. The city’s bus line remained closed. (see Mar 9)
March to Montgomery
March 7, 1965: about six hundred people left the Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma for a 54-mile march to the state capitol of Montgomery. They were demonstrating for African American voting rights and to commemorate the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson, shot three weeks earlier by a state trooper while trying to protect his mother at a civil rights demonstration.SCLC’s Hosea Williams and SNCC’s John Lewis led them. A number of newsmen witnessed the long column of freedom singing marchers as they approached the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the gateway out of Selma. Roughly 100 State Troopers, commanded by Major John Cloud, blocked the opposite end of the bridge.. Williams tried to speak with Cloud twice, but the major said “There is no word to be had…you have two minutes to turn around and go back to your church.”Within a minute, the marchers were attacked by tear gas and charging horsemen. The incident was seen on national television while 16 marchers ended up in the hospital and another 50 received emergency treatment.Media dubbed the incident "Bloody Sunday.” The march was considered the catalyst for pushing through the voting rights act five months later. (Black History, see March 8; March to Selma, see March 9)
South Carolina v. Katzenbach
March 7, 1966: exactly one year after the beatings of civil rights marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama (see “Bloody Sunday,” March 7, 1965), which sparked national outrage and led to enactment of the historic 1965 Voting Rights Act (August 6, 1965), the Supreme Court, in South Carolina v. Katzenbach, rejected the first constitutional challenge to the law. The case involved a rare exercise of original jurisdiction by the Supreme Court. (BH, see Mar 22; VR, see Mar 24)
March 7, 1991: Rodney King released without being charged. (King, see March 15)
March to Montgomery
March 7, 2015: (from the NYT) President Obama and a host of political figures from both parties came to Selma to reflect on how far the country had come and how far it still had to go.Fifty years after peaceful protesters trying to cross a bridge were beaten by police officers with billy clubs, shocking the nation and leading to passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, the nation’s first African-American president led a bipartisan, biracial testimonial to the pioneers whose courage helped pave the way for his own election to the highest office of the land.But coming just days after Mr. Obama’s Justice Department excoriated the police department of Ferguson, Mo., as a hotbed of racist oppression, even as it cleared a white officer in the killing of an unarmed black teenager, the anniversary seemed more than a commemoration of long-ago events on a black-and-white newsreel. Instead, it provided a moment to measure the country’s far narrower, and yet stubbornly persistent, divide in black-and-white reality.
Izola Ware Curry
March 7, 2015: Izola Ware Curry, the mentally ill woman who on September 20, 1958 stabbed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a Harlem book signing — an episode that a decade later would become a rhetorical touchstone in the last oration of his life — died in Queens. She was 98. Ms. Curry died in a nursing home, the last stop in the series of institutions that had been her home for more than half a century. Her death, confirmed by the office of the chief medical examiner of New York. (see June 17)
US Labor History
Communist Party of America
March 7, 1932: three thousand unemployed auto workers, led by the Communist Party of America, braved the cold in Dearborn, Mich., to demand jobs and relief from Henry Ford. The marchers got too close to the gate and were gassed. After re-grouping, they were sprayed with water and shot at. Four men died immediately; 60 were wounded (see Mar 8)
Writers Guild strike
March 7, 1988: Hollywood writers represented by the Writers Guild of America struck against 200 television and movie studios over residuals payments and creative rights. The successful strike lasted 150 days, one of the longest in industry history. (see June 29)
General Introduction to Psychoanalysis
March 7, 1953: books by Sigmund Freud disappeared from the shelves of Cleveland, Ohio, bookstores as a result of a local “purity” crusade. Robert Klein, owner of the largest local magazine and book dealer, said that Freud’s book, General Introduction to Psychoanalysis, had been removed because of a chapter on sex. Klein, however, complained that “it is difficult to tell what the law means by obscenity.” Novels by such authors as John Steinbeck, Mickey Spillane, and Somerset Maugham had also disappeared from bookstores. (see Mar 7)
March 7, 1953: the Newark, New Jersey, police and fire departments publicly burned allegedly obscene photographs, movies, and books, with an estimated retail value of over $100,000. Forty members of the clergy, civic leaders, and PTA officials attended the burning as guests of the police and fire department. Public Safety Director John B. Keenan declared it “a good idea to show that this stuff was actually destroyed.” (see October 26, 1954)
March 7, 1994: the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that parodies that poke fun at an original work can be considered "fair use" that does not require permission from the copyright holder. (see October 15, 2005)
March 7, 1962: The Beatles recorded their radio debut for the show Teenager's Turn - Here We Go at the Playhouse Theatre, Hulme, Manchester. Wearing suits for the very first time, The Beatles performed three cover versions: Memphis, Tennessee, Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream?), and Please Mister Postman. The show was broadcast on the BBC Light Programme the following day between 5 and 5.30 PM. (see April 5)
March 7, 1967: CBS Reports broadcast “The Homosexuals.” The episode included interviews with several gay men, psychiatrists, legal experts and cultural critics, interspersed with footage of a gay bar and a police sex sting. CBS correspondent Mike Wallace stated: We discovered that Americans consider homosexuality more harmful to society than adultery, abortion, or prostitution.At the close of the program, Wallace concluded: The dilemma of the homosexual: told by the medical profession he is sick; by the law that he's a criminal; shunned by employers; rejected by heterosexual society. Incapable of a fulfilling relationship with a woman, or for that matter with a man. At the center of his life he remains anonymous. A displaced person. An outsider. The Chicago Tribune titled its review "TV No Spot to Unload Garbage" and attacked CBS for presenting such material to young and impressionable viewers. LGBTQ activist Wayne Besen labeled the broadcast "the single most destructive hour of antigay propaganda in our nation's history." (see March 8)
V Gene Robinson
March 7, 2004: in Concord, N.H the Episcopal Church invested V. Gene Robinson as the Church's first openly gay bishop. (see Mar 11)
Alabama parental rights
March 7, 2016: the U.S. Supreme Court overturned an Alabama judicial ruling that refused to recognize a gay woman's parental rights over three children she adopted with her lesbian partner and raised from birth.The court took the relatively unusual step of reversing the Alabama Supreme Court without hearing oral argument. Cases are decided in that fashion when a lower court ruling is considered to be particularly counter to Supreme Court precedents. None of the eight justices dissented.The court said in an unsigned opinion that the Alabama court was required to recognize the woman's parental rights because they had been legally endorsed by a court in Georgia.The Supreme Court had already intervened in the case once before. In December, the court ordered that the Alabama ruling be put on hold while the woman, named in court papers as V.L., filed a formal appeal of the September ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court. (see March 23)
March 7, 1973: the Federal Government issued an ultimatum to the Indians holding Wounded Knee to move by nightfall the next day. The Indians vowed to remain saying that the authorities must “either massacre us or meet our basic human demands.” (see Native Americans, March 19, 1973)
March 7, 1980: two Piscataway Township (NJ) High School freshmen were caught smoking cigarettes in the bathroom. The students met with the assistant vice principal, Theodore Choplick. Choplick questioned them about violating a school rule by smoking in the bathroom. The first girl admitted to smoking, but the other girl – widely known as Tracy Lois Odem (though name not confirmed, as her rights were protected due to age) – denied smoking in the bathroom and stated she had never smoked in her life.Choplick then asked Tracy Lois Odem into his private office and demanded she hand over her purse. Upon opening the purse he observed a pack of cigarettes; while removing the cigarettes he noticed a package of rolling papers. Based on his experience, the possession of rolling papers of high school students was closely tied to the use of marijuana. Choplick then began a more thorough search for the evidence of drugs. Her search revealed a small amount of marijuana, a pipe, empty plastic bags, a large quantity of money in $1 bills, an index card that appeared to list students who owed Tracy Lois Odem money, and two letters that implicated Tracy Lois in dealing marijuana. The principal then called the police and the girl's mother, who voluntarily drove her to the police station. (SR, see June 15, 1982; Piscataway, see January 15, 1985)
March 7, 1995: after 18 years of being without a death penalty, New York Gov. George E. Pataki fulfilled one of his central campaign vows by signing a death penalty bill into law, making New York the 38th state with capital punishment. (see January 12, 1996)
March 7, 2010: Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Academy Award for best director for her Iraq War thriller "The Hurt Locker," which won six Oscars, including best picture. (see October 9, 2012)