BORN ON APRIL 21
1924 – Ira Louvin, American singer-songwriter and mandolin player (The Louvin Brothers) (d. 1965)
1944 – Paul Geremia, American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist
1947 – Iggy Pop, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor (The Stooges and The Trolls)
1947 – John Weider, English bass player (Family, The Animals, Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, and Stud)
1948 – Paul Davis, American singer-songwriter and pianist (d. 2008)
1959 – Jerry Only, American singer-songwriter and bass player (The Misfits, Osaka Popstar, and Kryst the Conqueror)
1959 – Robert Smith, English singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Glove)
1966 – Michael Franti, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Beatnigs and The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy)
1970 – Glen Hansard, Irish singer-songwriter, guitarist (The Frames and The Swell Season)
1978 – Jukka Nevalainen, Finnish drummer (Nightwish and Sethian)
1978 – Branden Steineckert, American musician (Rancid and The Used)
1982 – Lynn Hilary, Irish singer-songwriter and guitarist (Celtic Woman and Anúna)
19??- Rose Marshack, American bassist (Poster Children, Salaryman)
DIED ON APRIL 21
1978 – Sandy Denny, English singer-songwriter (Fairport Convention, Strawbs, and Fotheringay) (b. 1947)
2000 – Neal Matthews, Jr., American singer (The Jordanaires) (b. 1929)
2003 – Nina Simone, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and activist (b. 1933)
2007 – Lobby Loyde, Australian guitarist, songwriter, and producer (Purple Hearts, Wild Cherries, Rose Tattoo) (b. 1941)
2008 – Al Wilson, American singer (b. 1939)
2010 – Gustav Lorentzen, Norwegian singer-songwriter and guitarist (Knutsen & Ludvigsen) (b. 1947)
2013 – Chrissy Amphlett, Australian singer-songwriter and actress (Divinyls) (b. 1959)
2016 – Lonnie Mack, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1941)
2016 – Prince, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (b. 1958)
Nina SimoneEVENTS ON APRIL 21
1945 – One of the world’s first great R&B labels, Modern Records, is formed by Saul and Jules Bihari in Los Angeles. It would prove to be the launching pad for everyone from John Lee Hooker to Etta James.
1960 – Testifying before the US Congressional committee on “payola,” DJ and TV host Dick Clark admits to having taken money and gifts to play songs on the radio, going so far as to declare 27 percent of his playlist as containing some sort of financial interest for him. For his penitence, Clark is ordered to sell off some of his conflicting interests, but has his name cleared — unlike DJ Alan Freed, who refuses to admit that payola was an illegal or immoral practice.
1963 – The Beatles meet the Rolling Stones for the first time, backstage after the Stones’ gig at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, England. The bands get along well after some initial nervousness, but contrary to myth, this is not the occasion where the Beatles write “I Wanna Be Your Man” for their rivals.
1967 – The Beatles finish work on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by recording a two-second snippet of gibberish for use in the original vinyl LP’s run-out groove, meaning that the listener would hear the noises repeated on a loop until they got up and took the record off the turntable. The only actual vocal is a Beatle saying something like “never could be any other way,” which, when played backwards, allegedly reveals the words “We’ll fuck you like Supermen.” As a practical joke, John Lennon also adds a special 15Hz tone before the groove, one so high only dogs can hear it. Not present on the US LP, both were added back to the CD.
1969 – Janis Joplin makes her stage debut in London when she and her Kozmic Blues Band perform a legendary concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
1970 – Elton John makes his stage debut as a solo act when he opens for T. Rex, Spooky Tooth, and Jackie Lomax at the Roundhouse in London.
1976 – Women Against Violence Against Women called for a boycott of all Warner Communications albums because of the promotional campaign for The Rolling Stones’ new album Black and Blue. The album was being promoted with a controversial advertising campaign that depicted the model Anita Russell, bruised and bound, under the phrase ‘I’m Black and Blue from the Rolling Stones – and I love it!’
1978 – UK folk singer Sandy Denny died aged 31. While on holiday with her parents in Cornwall, England, Denny was injured in a fall down a staircase. A month after the fall she collapsed at a friend’s home; four days later she died in the hospital, her death was ruled to be the result of a traumatic mid-brain hemorrhage. She was a member of Fairport Convention and a solo artist. Her 1967 song ‘Who Knows Where the Time Goes’, was covered by Judy Collins. Denny sang on the Led Zeppelin track ‘Battle Of Evermore’ on the bands fourth album, (the only guest vocalist on a Led Zeppelin album).
1982 – Clash frontman Joe Strummer disappeared for three weeks, which resulted in the group cancelling a tour. The singer was found living rough in Paris, France.
1985 – Prince released his seventh studio album ‘Around the World in a Day.’ The album would be the second to feature Prince’s backing band The Revolution and is the follow up to the mega hit ‘Purple Rain’ (1984). In compliance with Prince’s wishes, the record company released the album with minimal publicity, withholding accompanying singles until almost a month after the album’s release. ‘Around the World in a Day’ was released to notably mixed reception after the success of ‘Purple Rain,’ though it nonetheless sold relatively well, eventually going platinum and becoming Prince and the Revolution’s second number-one album on the Billboard 200. Two of its four singles reached the top 10 – “Raspberry Beret” and “Pop Life.”
1987 – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers released their seventh studio album ‘Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough).’ It is notable for being the only previous studio album not represented on Petty’s 1993 ‘Greatest Hits’ album, even though the single “Jammin’ Me” (co-written with fellow Traveling Wilbury Bob Dylan) was #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks for four weeks. In addition, ‘Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough)’ was made to sound like a live recording, using a technique they borrowed from Dylan.
1990 – Paul McCartney played in front of 184,000 fans at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Jnaeiro, creating a new world record for the largest crowd attending a rock concert.
1990 – Sinead O’Connor started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with her version of the Prince song “Nothing Compares To You.” The track was also a No.1 hit in 18 other countries. The video was shot in Paris, and consists almost solely of a close-up on O’Connor’s face as she sings the lyrics. Towards the end of the video, two tears roll down her face. The clip won Best Video at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards – the first video by a female artist to win in this category.
1992 – Beastie Boys released their third studio album ‘Check Your Head.’ The album was re-released in 2009 in a number of formats and featured 16 b-sides and rarities as well as a commentary track. The album is extensively broken down track-by-track by Mike D, MCA, Ad-Rock, Mario Caldato Jr., and Money Mark in Brian Coleman’s book “Check the Technique.”
1993 – Bill Wyman, formerly of the Rolling Stones, marries his third wife, 33-year-old fashion designer Suzanne Accosta, in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.
2000 – Neal Matthews of The Jordanaires died of a heart attack. He ang on Elvis Presley’s “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Hound Dog.” Matthews also worked with Ricky Nelson, Patsy Cline, Red Foley, Johnny Horton, Jim Reeves, George Jones, Tom Jones and Merle Haggard.
2001 – R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck was charged by police at Heathrow airport with being drunk on an aircraft and assaulting British Airways crew. Buck was taken into custody after landing on a flight from Seattle and questioned by police for 12 hours.
2008 – American soul singer and songwriter Al Wilson died of kidney failure at the age of 68. Wilson had a number of hits, including “The Snake” in 1968 and “Show and Tell” in 1974.
2016 – Prince was found dead at his home in Minnesota at the age of 57, after Police were summoned to his Paisley Park estate and found his body in am elevator. The acclaimed and influential musician became a global superstar in the 1980s, with albums such albums as as ‘1999,’ ‘Purple Rain’ and ‘Sign O’ the Times.’
2016 – American rock, blues and country singer-guitarist Lonnie Mack died of natural causes in hospital near his log-cabin home, 70 miles east of Nashville, Tennessee. In the early 1960s, he was a “pioneer” in virtuoso rock guitar soloing whose recordings were pivotal to the emergence of the electric guitar as a lead voice in rock music. For this, it has been said that he launched the era of “modern rock guitar”. He scored the hit single instrumentals, “Memphis” and “Wham!”