Sunday, January 23, 2005


January 23, 1997: Richard Berry, author of "Louie Louie," dies in Los Angeles. The FBI spent hundreds of man-hours trying to figure out whether the Kingsmen's 1963 version of Berry's greatest hit was obscene. The answer: No, just badly miked.

January 23, 1986: The first class is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Members include Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, disc jockey Alan Freed, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, and Elvis Presley. (Note the absence of the Beatles, who had not yet achieved the required 25 years since their first recording.) Now that the Hall is inducting the likes of ZZ Top and the Bee Gees, the original inductees should get statues out front.

January 23, 1978: Terry Kath of Chicago kills himself playing Russian Roulette with a gun he didn't know was loaded. Chicago was never the same after that, without Kath's knowing growl of a voice.

Birthdays Today: Robin Zander of Cheap Trick is 52. I hated the first couple of albums by this band, up until Dream Police, which turned out to be an album lots of hardcore fans hated. Patrick Simmons of the Doobie Brothers and Danny Federici of the E-Street Band are both 55. Nice double-bill, if we could swing it.

Number One Songs on This Date:
1994: "All for Love"/Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, and Sting.
Apparently anybody who walked by the studio that day got to be on the record.

1993: "I Will Always Love You"/Whitney Houston. The biggest hit of her career, one of the biggest hits of all time, yet one of the most obnoxious records ever recorded. Being from Wisconsin, I can understand her compulsion to yodel, however.

1971: "Knock Three Times"/Dawn. A record about which I am completely irrational, and maybe my guiltiest pleasure of all.

1965: "Downtown"/Petula Clark. Thanks to this, the British Invasion finally reached the radio station your mom and dad listened to.

1936: "The Music Goes Round and Round"/Tommy Dorsey's Clambake Seven. Four different versions of this song were on the charts at the same time early in 1936, but this is the only one anybody remembers. One of the major early hits of the Swing Era.


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