Musings On Music History: You’re Gonna Have To Face It, Meatloaf Won’t Do That, and Jimi Comes Full Circle

09.26: On this day in 2003, Robert Palmer died of a heart attack in Paris. Singer of such ’80s iconic standards as “Addicted to Love” and “Simply Irresistible,” Palmer enjoyed success in the ’70s, ’80’s, & ’90s, a veritable elder statesman in the world of pop and rock. Yeah, that video, you know the one, with the awesomely awesome guitar-weilding and drum-playing babes in tight black dresses and the brightest red lipstick, still has it.

09.27: On this day in 1947, Marvin Lee Aday was born. He would later go on to receive recognition as Meatloaf, a man who would do anything for love. Except, of course, that. Whatever that is. We’ve speculated over the years as to what that is. Could it be eating live bats like Ozzy? Or perhaps taking a role in a rock ‘n’ roll musical? Or wearing polyester? Or saying “Bloody Mary” three times in front of a mirror in a dark room? The options are endless. [more]

09.28: On this day in 1991, the jazz world lost a legend when Miles Davis passed away at the age of 65. Innovator, improviser, student, and mentor, Davis’ massive influence on jazz, musicians and fans alike, proves formidable. His Kind of Blue album ranks as the best-selling jazz album of all time, while his Bitches Brew album is considered a masterpiece in the history of music, not just jazz. Davis’ life in jazz mirrors jazz itself, as he lived through or led every major movement within jazz from the ‘40s until his death, from swing to be-bop to fusion. Don’t know what we’re talking about? You should.

09.28: 1968, this day, saw The Beatles biggest single hit the top of the charts. “Hey Jude” sat at #1 for nine weeks and has, to date, sold over 7.5 million copies. It also hit #1 in 11 other countries. Considering that the Beatles had 16 other #1 hits (!), “Hey Jude” ranking as the tops says a lot. Yeah, these guys had some talent.

09.29: Jerry Lee “Great Balls of Fire” Lewis, with a whole lotta pushin’ and screamin’, came to be on this day in 1935. The early rock ‘n’ roll pioneer introduced piano to the genre, telling one producer, who suggested he switch to guitar if he wanted to make it in said genre, “You can take your guitar and ram it up your ass!” Yeah, Jerry Lee didn’t mince words or stray too far from controversy in his life. When he married his 13-year old cousin (first, once removed), his career spiraled down pretty quick, yet he is still regarded today as one of the greatest performers ever to set a piano on fire and play it with his butt. (That last part may or may not be be true, but it’s pretty fun to think about.)

10.01: Jimi Hendrix found his bass player, Noel Redding, on this day in 1966. Joining Hendrix and Redding, shortly thereafter, Mitch Mitchell rounded out The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Though they would only put out three official albums and last for less than three years, the band remains one of the most influential of the ’60s rock era, in no small part because of Hendrix himself, but also due to the rapport between Hendrix, Redding, and Mitchell.

10.01: Coming full circle, Jimi Hendrix was buried on this day in 1970 in Seattle, Washington, where he was born. His death was the first of three that would effectively end the ’60s bright glow. All dying from drug- or alcohol-induced causes, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison each only made it to the tender age of 27. Hard to believe, with the way their influence still holds today, that they didn’t even make it three decades in this world. R.I.P., Friends.

10.01: A new music-related TV show debuted on this day in 1971. Soul Train showcased R&B and soul artists and, as the ’80s kicked in, was one of the first to showcase hip-hop artists. Introducing many people to music they might not have otherwise been exposed to, Soul Train continued on the air for 35 years, until 2006 when production of new shows shut down.

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