BORN ON AUGUST 8
1907 – Benny Carter, American musician and bandleader (d. 2003)
1920 – Jimmy Witherspoon, American singer (d. 1997)
1933 – Joe Tex, American singer-songwriter (d. 1982)
1938 – Connie Stevens, American actress, singer
1943 – Denis Payton, English saxophonist (The Dave Clark Five)
1944 – John Renbourn, English guitarist and songwriter (Pentangle)
1950 – Willie Hall, American drummer (The Bar-Kays)
1952 – Anton Fig, South African drummer (Spider and Frehley’s Comet)
1952 – Ali Score, English musician (A Flock of Seagulls)
1956 – Chris Foreman, English guitarist and songwriter (Madness)
1956 – David Grant, English singer (Linx)
1957 – Dennis Drew, American keyboard player (10,000 Maniacs)
1961 – The Edge, Irish singer-songwriter and guitarist (U2)
1961 – Daniel House, American bass player and producer (10 Minute Warning and Skin Yard)
1961 – Rikki Rockett, American drummer (Poison)
1965 – El Hefe, American guitarist (NOFX)
1968 – Huey Morgan, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Fun Lovin’ Criminals)
1980 – Mike Hindert, American singer and bass player (The Bravery)
1981 – Vanessa Amorosi, Australian singer-songwriter
DIED ON AUGUST 8
1975 – Cannonball Adderley, American saxophonist (b. 1928)
1988 – Félix Leclerc, Canadian singer-songwriter (b. 1914)
EVENTS ON AUGUST 8
1923 – Fourteen-year-old clarinet player named Benny Goodman lands his first professional gig, playing for a cruise ship operating on Lake Michigan near Chicago.
1960 – Decca Records in England refuses to release Ray Peterson’s latest single, “Tell Laura I Love Her,” going so far as to throw away 25,000 pressings of the teen-tragedy song, which they felt was “too tasteless and vulgar for the English sensibility.” A cover by Ricky Valance proves them wrong by going straight to Number One. (The grisly song, in which a stock-car driver mutters the title words before he dies, ironically only reaches #7 in America.)
1969 – Photographer Iain MacMillan shoots the cover for what would be the Beatles’ last recorded album, Abbey Road, just outside the studios of the same name where the band recorded most of its classic songs. The photo, which merely shows the band crossing the street while walking away from the studio, has become iconic in its own right, and provides “Paul Is Dead” enthusiasts with several erroneous “clues” to his “death,” including the fact that Paul is barefoot. (Supposedly this represents a corpse, but McCartney has stated that it was simply a hot day.) The shoot, which lasts ten minutes, produces six shots, from which Paul picks the cover.
1970 – At Philadelphia’s Mount Lawn Cemetary, Janis Joplin purchases a headstone for her idol, Bessie Smith, the famous African-American blues singer who died from injuries suffered in a 1937 car crash — after being refused at a whites-only hospital. (Bessie’s widower refused to purchase a stone for her.)
1981 – MTV broadcast its first stereo concert with REO Speedwagon who performed in Denver, Colorado, having just released the album Hi Infidelity and the hit singles, ‘Keep On Loving You,’ ‘Take It On the Run’ and ‘Don’t Let Him Go.’
1986 – David Crosby (The Byrds, Crosby Stills & Nash) is released from prison after serving only eight months of his original five-year sentence for cocaine and firearms possession.
1992 – A riot broke out during a Guns N’ Roses and Metallica gig at Montreal stadium when Metallica’s show was cut short after singer James Hetfield was injured by pyrotechnics. Guns N’ Roses took the stage but frontman Axl Rose claimed that his throat hurt, causing the band to leave the stage early. The cancellation led to a riot by the audience who overturned cars, smashed windows, looted local stores and set fires.
1996 – KISS appeared at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio on their 192 date Alive World Tour. During this show a fan threw his fake leg on stage, which all the members signed and handed back to him.
2000 – Twenty-eight US states’ attorney generals file a class-action suit alleging the major record labels of forcing “discount” CD stores to raise prices.
2006 – Ani DiFranco released her sixteenth studio album ‘Reprieve.’ The album features experimental arrangements with synthesizers, electronics and tape manipulation. As the recording of the album was briefly interrupted due to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the album has a heavily political and vaguely conceptual undercurrent that “paints a haunting portrait of New Orleans as the water retreats and the natives continue to rebuild their lives.”