History Lesson: No Turning Back
July 25, 1999: The 30th anniversary Woodstock festival ends with riots, 120 people hurt, three dead, and scores made sick by polluted drinking water. If the Sixties weren't already dead, Woodstock III killed them.
July 25, 1969: Neil Young joins Crosby, Stills, and Nash on stage for the first time at the Fillmore East in New York City. A little more than three weeks later, CSNY would appear at the original Woodstock featival.
July 25, 1965: Bob Dylan goes electric. He plays the Newport Folk Festival, not with a guitar over his shoulder and a harmonica around his neck, but with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band fully plugged in behind him. He's booed off the stage, but there's no turning back.
July 25, 1960: Comedian Bob Newhart's debut album, The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart, hits Number One. The album was recorded in front of a live audience at the first live gig Newhart ever performed. Warner Brothers had signed him on the strength of some radio bits he had recorded with a partner in Chicago during the late 1950s.
Birthdays Today: Manny Charlton of Nazareth is 64. The thought of a 64-year-old guy playing lead guitar on "Hair of the Dog" is why Pete Townshend sang "Hope I die before I get old."
Singer-songwriter Steve Goodman would be 57, had he not passed away in 1984. Goodman is best known for writing "City of New Orleans," "You Never Even Called Me By My Name," "The Dutchman," and "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request." Goodman died only days before his beloved Cubs clinched their first pennant in 39 years.
Number One Songs on This Date:
1992: "This Used to Be My Playground"/Madonna. From the baseball movie A League of Their Own. Part of the long tradition of playing a song over the closing credits of a film that doesn't appear anywhere else in the film and has no connection to the film's story, on the assumption that DJs who need something to say about the record will plug the film's title. Rather like I just did.
1987: "Shakedown"/Bob Seger. His only Number One single, thanks mostly to its inclusion in the soundtrack album from Beverly Hills Cop II. It appeared at the very last moment in which Seger still mattered to the Top 40 audience.
1971: "Indian Reservation"/The Raiders. The biggest hit they ever had, and it features neither Paul Revere nor Mark Lindsey. It's sung by Freddy Weller, known mostly as a country singer, who fronted the band for a few years around the turn of the 1970s.
1955: "Rock Around the Clock"/Bill Haley and His Comets. Not the first rock-and-roll record ever made, but the first one to make Number One.
1897: "The Stars and Stripes Forever"/Sousa's Band. The most famous march ever written. Although John Philip Sousa's name is on the recording, he didn't like what he called "canned music." So Sousa turned the baton over to trombone player Arthur Pryor on recording dates.