Tag Archives: Beatles

January Music et al

January Music et al

The 1960s was a great decade for January music

John Coltrane’s Giant Steps

In January 1960: John Coltrane released his “Giant Steps” album, considered a classic jazz album and one that saxophonists still measure themselves by today. Linsey Planer at AllMusic.com writesHistory will undoubtedly enshrine this disc as a watershed the likes of which may never truly be appreciated. Giant Steps bore the double-edged sword of furthering the cause of the music as well as delivering it to an increasingly mainstream audience.”

Take a listen to this amazing music!

January Music et al

Two Steps from the Blues Bobby “Blue” Bland


In January 1961: Bobby Blue Bland released Two Steps from the Blues album. Bland was an original member of the Beale Streeters and was sometimes referred to as the “Lion of the Blues”. Along with such artists as Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Junior Parker, Bland developed a sound that mixed gospel with the blues and R&B. An imitator of Frank Sinatra, he was also known as the “Sinatra of the blues”, his music being influenced by Nat King Cole. Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.


January Music et al

Bob Dylan and John Birch

In January 1962 Bob Dylan wrote  “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues

Well, I was feelin’ sad and feelin’ blue
I didn’t know what in the world I wus gonna do
Them Communists they wus comin’ around
They wus in the air
They wus on the ground
They wouldn’t gimme no peace . . . So I run down most hurriedly
And joined up with the John Birch Society
I got me a secret membership card
And started off a-walkin’ down the road
Yee-hoo, I’m a real John Bircher now!
Look out you Commies! Now we all agree with Hitler’s views
Although he killed six million Jews
It don’t matter too much that he was a Fascist
At least you can’t say he was a Communist!
That’s to say like if you got a cold you take a shot of malaria Well, I wus lookin’ everywhere for them gol-darned Reds
I got up in the mornin’ ’n’ looked under my bed
Looked in the sink, behind the door
Looked in the glove compartment of my car
Couldn’t find ’em . . . I wus lookin’ high an’ low for them Reds everywhere
I wus lookin’ in the sink an’ underneath the chair
I looked way up my chimney hole
I even looked deep down inside my toilet bowl
They got away . . .
Well, I wus sittin’ home alone an’ started to sweat
Figured they wus in my T.V. set
Peeked behind the picture frame
Got a shock from my feet, hittin’ right up in the brain
Them Reds caused it!
I know they did . . . them hard-core ones Well, I quit my job so I could work all alone
Then I changed my name to Sherlock Holmes
Followed some clues from my detective bag
And discovered they wus red stripes on the American flag!
Ol’ Betsy Ross . . . Well, I investigated all the books in the library
Ninety percent of ’em gotta be throwed away
I investigated all the people that I knowed
Ninety-eight percent of them gotta go
The other two percent are fellow Birchers . . . just like me Now Eisenhower, he’s a Russian spy
Lincoln, Jefferson and that Roosevelt guy
To my knowledge there’s just one man
That’s really a true American: George Lincoln Rockwell
I know for a fact he hates Commies cus he picketed the movie Exodus Well, I fin’ly started thinkin’ straight
When I run outa things to investigate
Couldn’t imagine doin’ anything else
So now I’m sittin’ home investigatin’ myself!
Hope I don’t find out nothing . . . good God!

January Music et al

Beatles audition

January 1, 1962: The Beatles and Brian Poole and the Tremeloes both auditioned at Decca Records, a company which has the option of signing one group only. Decca told The Beatles that “guitar groups” were on the way out and did not offer them a contract and signed The Tremeloes instead. Other record companies turned the Beatles down as well. One of the songs the Beatles sang was Hello Little Girl, the first song written by John Lennon (in 1957).


January Music et al

Beatles tour Scotland

January 1, 1963, The Beatles began a concert tour of Scotland.

Happy New Year Happy New Music

January Music et al

Albert Ayler

January Music et al

In January 1965: Albert Ayler’s Spiritual Unity album released. “Ayler was among the most primal of the free jazz musicians of the 1960s; critic John Litweiler wrote that ‘never before or since has there been such naked aggression in jazz.’ He possessed a deep blistering tone—achieved by using the stiff plastic Fibrecane no. 4 reeds on his tenor saxophone—and used a broad, pathos-filled vibrato.” (AllMusic Review by Steve Huey)

January Music et al

Sounds of Silence

January 1 – 7, 1966: “The Sounds of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (see Wednesday Morning 3am)

January Music et al

Roots of Rock


January 1, 1967: FM stations were no longer allowed to simply simulcast their AM counterpart. Birth of “underground “ rock radio.

January Music et al

John Lennon/FBI

Happy New Year Happy New Music

In January 1972: the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened a file on John Lennon and Yoko Ono fearing they would organize the youth vote and prevent a second term for President Richard Nixon. (see Feb 4)

January Music et al

John and Yoko

Happy New Year Happy New Music

In January 1975: John and Yoko reunited after 18 month separation—the so-called “Lost Weekend.” (see Jan 9)

January Music et al

New Year New Music, New Year New Music, New Year New Music, 

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Beatles Officially Legally End

Beatles Officially Legally End

December 29, 1974

Beatles at Woodstock?

During my shifts at the Museum at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts one of the most common questions is: Why weren’t the Beatles at Woodstock?

My first response is that the Beatles had stopped touring and performing live in August 1966. They had chosen to became a studio band.

My second response that throughout August 1969, the Beatles were finishing recording and  mixing Abbey RoadThey didn’t know it,  of course, but August 20, 1969 was the last time the four would be together in the studio.

There is a story that Michael Lang had invited them. John Lennon had reportedly said they would not play unless Yoko and his Plastic Ono Band could also play. That story has never been authenticated,  but lives on with other Beatle ephemera.

Beatles Officially Legally End

Toronto

Lennon did perform with the Plastic Ono Band in September at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival.

The Beatles released their “last” album,  Let It Be on May 8,1970, six months after Abbey Road’s release, but they had recorded Let It Be before Abbey Road, so…

Beatles Officially Legally End

Whimper not a bang


So, when did the Beatles break up. This section’s heading is the answer: they broke up gradually.

Ringo Walks Out

Beatles Officially Legally End

On August 22, 1968 Ringo had left the Beatles because he felt his playing had gotten sub-par and that he’d become an outsider to the other three.

He went on vacation to Sardinia, wrote “Octopus Garden,” and with the encouragement of John, Paul, and George, returned on September 3.

Beatles Officially Legally End

Solo Projects

They  had also begun working on solo projects before 1970 ended.  George Harrison was the first in November 1968 with his Wonderwall Music soundtrack. Harrison had frequently felt like the Beatles’ third wheel because most of his offered songs were dismissed in favor of the so-called Lennon/McCartney tunes.

Harrison Leaves

Of course, a solo album does not mean a break up, but frustration does. On January 10, 1969 Harrison walked out, unable to tolerate any longer the tensions within the group and the other’s talk about playing a live show.

John Lennon reportedly said that the group should call Eric Clapton, saying, “He’s just as good and not such a headache.”

Like Starr, Harrison returned (January 15), but had he made it clear that he would leave the group unless the idea of a live show before an audience was dropped. They did.

Beatles Officially Legally End

Lennon Leaves

In September 1969, John Lennon told the others he was leaving. The other three, resigned to the group’s collapse, said that they would keep the break-up out of the news.

McCartney Talks

Beatles Officially Legally End

On April 10, 1970, in The Daily Mirror, Paul McCartney made the Beatles’ secret breakup public by issuing a press release to announce that he had left the group, done in the form of a fake interview: “Q: Is your break with the Beatles temporary or permanent, due to personal differences or musical ones? PAUL: Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don’t really know.”

Lennon was angry, especially since the breakup, already agreed upon by the group, was announced just one week prior to the British release of McCartney’s first solo album. When a reporter tracked down Lennon for his thoughts, he replied, “Paul hasn’t left. I sacked him.”

Beatles Officially Legally End

Paul files

On December 31, 1970, Paul  filed a lawsuit in London’s High Court to dissolve The Beatles’ partnership. He filed it against “John Ono Lennon of Ascot, Berkshire; George Harrison of Henley-on-Thames, Berkshire; Richard Starkey of Highgate, London; and Apple Corps of Savile Row, London.”

The writ gave three reasons for the suit:

  1. The Beatles had ceased to perform together as a group, so       the purpose of their partnership was no more
  2.   secondly, the other three Beatles had, despite McCartney’s opposition and in breach of their partnership agreement, appointed Allen Klein and his ABKCO as their exclusive business manager
  3. and that McCartney had never been given audited accounts during the four years of their partnership. (see Beatles Bible site)
Beatles Officially Legally End

 Four Years of Red Tape

Beatles Officially Legally End

On March 31, 1972, The Beatles Official Fan Club closed. The Beatles Monthly magazine had ceased three years previously.

Now it was December 19, 1974 and four had finally agreed that all was in place for the official and legal end to the Beatles.  The meeting took place in New York City and Paul and George flew in just for the meeting. Ringo did not attend. He had already signed off.

Lawyers for each were present.  Cameras were ready. John, living in NYC, was late.  Well, not late,  absent. They made a phone call. Lennon’s then girlfriend May Pang (he and Yoko had separated) answered. She said he said he wasn’t coming.  “The stars weren’t right.”

It was George Harrison’s turn to explode.  It was unusual for such anger from him, but under stress from a poorly reviewed tour was the straw that broke his back.

He apologized to all the following day.

In fact the three amicably met the next night at a club.

Beatles Officially Legally End

Beatles Officially Legally End

John Lennon and May Pang, took John’s son Julian to Walt Disney World for the week of Christmas, 1974. They stayed at the Polynesian Village Resort.

Lennon was apparently finally ready.

On December 29, 1974 while ironically or appropriately at DisneyWorld, Apple lawyers met Lennon to sign off.

John told May to take a picture, but delayed signing until he spoke to Harrison’s lawyer by phone. According to May, he looked out his window at the Polynesian Village Hotel several moments before signing.

Beatles Officially Legally End
Thus ended the Beatles

Beatles Officially Legally End, Beatles Officially Legally End, Beatles Officially Legally End, 

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December 18 Music et al

December 18 Music et al

Lion Sleeps Tonight

December 18, 1961 – January 12, 1962: a South African song from the 1920s, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by the Tokens #1 Billboard Hot 100.

December 18 Music et al

Solomon Linda, a South African singer of Zulu origin wrote the original song, “Mbube” (Zulu: lion) in the 1920s. Many, including the Weavers, Jimmy Dorsey, Miriam Makeba and the Kingston Trio, covered the song before the Tokens’ success.

December 18 Music et al

Blue Hawaii

December 18, 1961 –  May 4, 1962 – Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii movie soundtrack the Billboard #1 album.

Blue Hawaii was the fourteenth album by Elvis. RCA had released it on October 20, 1961. It is a soundtrack for Presley’s film of the same name. The album spent 20 weeks at the number one slot and 39 weeks in the Top 10 on Billboards Top Pop LPs chart. (see April 21, 1962)

December 18 Music et al

I Want To Hold Your Hand

December 17, 1963: radio DJ Carroll James at Washington. D.C. station WWDC, a U.K. copy of  “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on the radio after a 15-year-old girl from Silver Spring, MD wrote to him requesting Beatles music after seeing the CBS-news segment.  James Carroll became the first disc jockey to broadcast a Beatles record on American radio. He had obtained the record from his stewardess girlfriend, who brought the single back from the UK. Due to listener demand, the song was played daily, every hour.

December 18 Music et al

The next day, Capitol Records threatened to sue WWDC to stop playing song, but then reversed itself and decided to rush-release “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Capital had previously scheduled the release for  January 13, 1964.  Capital cancelled Christmas breaks and made sure that pressing plants and staff could do an earlier release.

Capital succeeded and released the  song on December 26!  (see Dec 23)

December 18 Music et al

Another Beatles Christmas Record

December 18, 1964, The Beatles: “Another Beatles Christmas Record” issued to UK fan club members.

They sing “Jingle Bells” which is followed by individual messages to the fans. John mocks the prepared statement.

When Paul asks John about it, John responds “No it’s somebody’s bad hand-wroter.” The conversation continues and the disc finishes with them briefly singing “Oh Can You Wash Your Father’s Shirt?”

American fans did not receive Another Beatles’ Christmas Record . They got an edited version of  the 1963 Beatle Christmas message. (see Dec 26)

December 18 Music et al

LSD

Acid Test

December 18, 1965: Big Beat Acid Test, The Big Beat Club, Palo Alto. The  poster/announcement for the event came in three colors: white, red, and yellow. The artists designed it to be cut in half (look at the “dotted” line down the middle) and the top of the right half attached to the bottom of the left.

December 18 Music et al

The recently re-named Grateful Dead were there. Tom Wolfe wrote about it in Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test , Owsley Stanley introduced manager Rock Scully to the Grateful Dead, and  Hugh Romney–known today as Wavy Gravy–first joined the festivities.

The Big Beat was the San Francisco Peninsula’s first “rock” club. Yvonne Modica owned it.

Timothy Leary

In 1966: Timothy Leary founded the League of Spiritual Development with LSD as the sacrament. (see Jan 8)

December 18 Music et al

The Family Way

December 18, 1966: with music by Paul McCartney, “The Family Way” movie premiered.

John Boulting produced the film. Roy Boulting directed it. John Mills and his daughter Hayley Mills starred. (NYT review) (next Beatles, see March 18, 1967; Family Way, see Jan 6, 1967)

December 18 Music et al
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