This Week in Music History
August 6, 1964 – Rod Stewart makes his television debut on a show called ‘The Beat Room’ as a member of The Hoochie Coochie Men. The show would only have 30 episodes and last for a year before getting canceled.
August 7, 1982 – Dexy’s Midnight Runners were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Come On Eileen’ their second and last No.1 in the UK. It would be the Best-selling single of 1982 and would go on to win Best British Single at the 1983 Brit Awards. The “Eileen” as featured in the video is Máire Fahey, sister of Siobhan Fahey, former singer of Bananarama.
August 8, 1970 – Janis Joplin purchases a headstone for her biggest musical influence, blues singer Bessie Smith. Smith passed away in 1937 from injuries sustained in a tragic car accident and was buried at Mount Lawn Cemetery in Philadelphia, but was never given a marked gravestone because her estranged husband Jack Gee had pocketed the money raised by the community.
August 9, 1986 – Queen wraps up what will be their last live performance when they finished their set at Knebworth Park in England in front of 120,000 fans. The last two songs the full band would ever play together live were ‘We Are The Champions’ and ‘God Save The Queen’.
August 10, 1963 – Little Stevie Wonder starts his three week run at No.1 on the singles chart with ‘Fingertips part II’. At the age of 13, this makes him the youngest singer to top the charts. It was also, the first live, non-studio recording to reach number one on the singles chart since Johnny Standley’s 1952 comic monologue ‘It’s in the Book’.
August 11, 1984 – Ray Parker Jr. starts a three week run at No.1 on the singles chart with the ‘Ghostbusters’ theme song. Parker is accused of stealing the melody from Huey Lewis and the News, and the dispute is eventually settled out of court in the following year. Parker was a session guitarist for Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye before hitting the charts on his own.
August 12, 1972 – Alice Cooper has a hit with ‘School’s Out’. It’s only No. 7 on the US singles chart but it hits No.1 today in the UK. Cooper said his inspiration for ‘School’s Out’ was from being asked what the greatest three minutes of his life was. His response: “There’s two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, when you’re just getting ready to open the presents. The greed factor is right there. The next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school when you’re sitting there and it’s like a slow fuse burning. I said, ‘If we can catch that three minutes in a song, it’s going to be so big.’”