BORN ON MARCH 15
1912 – Lightnin’ Hopkins, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1982)
1916 – Harry James, American trumpet player, bandleader (d. 1983)
1927 – Carl Smith, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2010)
1928 – Bob Wilber, American clarinet player and saxophonist
1931 – D.J. Fontana, American drummer (The Blue Moon Boys)
1938 – Charles Lloyd, American saxophonist
1940 – Phil Lesh, American bass player (Grateful Dead, The Other Ones, and Furthur)
1943 – Sly Stone, American singer-songwriter (Sly and the Family Stone)
1946 – Howard E. Scott, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (War and Lowrider Band)
1947 – Ry Cooder, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
1950 – Jørgen Olsen, Danish singer-songwriter (Olsen Brothers)
1952 – Howard Devoto, English singer-songwriter (Buzzcocks, Magazine, and Luxuria)
1962 – Terence Trent D’Arby, American singer-songwriter
1963 – Bret Michaels, American singer-songwriter, guitarist (Poison)
1964 – Rockwell, American singer-songwriter
1968 – Jon Schaffer, American guitarist (Iced Earth and Demons and Wizards)
1969 – Timo Kotipelto, Finnish singer-songwriter (Stratovarius, Kotipelto, and Cain’s Offering)
1969 – Apollo Papathanasio, Swedish singer-songwriter and guitarist (Firewind, Spiritual Beggars, Evil Masquerade, and Gardenian)
1975 – will.i.am, American rapper, producer, and actor (The Black Eyed Peas and Atban Klann)
1982 – Jordan Hastings, Canadian drummer (Alexisonfire, Jersey, Black Lungs, and Cunter)
1993 – Alyssa Reid, Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist
DIED ON MARCH 15
1959 – Lester Young, American saxophonist and clarinet player (b. 1909)
1991 – Bud Freeman, American saxophonist and bandleader (b. 1906)
2013 – Hardrock Gunter, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1925)
2013 – Terry Lightfoot, English clarinet player (b. 1935)
2014 – Scott Asheton, American drummer (The Stooges and Sonic’s Rendezvous Band) (b. 1949)
2014 – Cees Veerman, Dutch singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Cats) (b. 1943)
2015 – Mike Porcaro, American bass player (Toto) (b. 1955)
EVENTS ON MARCH 15
1945 – “Billboard” magazine began listing a top albums chart. The first #1 was “The Nat King Cole Trio.”
1955 – Ray Charles peaked at No.2 on the US R&B charts with the Atlantic single ‘I Got A Woman’, widely considered the first song to be labelled “soul” – a blending of R&B and gospel.
1964 – The Rolling Stones kicked off a 58-date UK tour at the Invicta Ballroom in Chatham, Kent. Half the dates saw the Stones playing two shows in one evening.
1968 – The Rolling Stones started daily sessions at Olympic Studios in London to start recording their next album, Beggars Banquet. Working from 7pm to 8am each day without a break, the Stones worked on ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’, ‘Child Of The Moon’, ‘Jigsaw Puzzle’ and ‘Parachute Woman’ as well as the instrumental foundation for a song called ‘Did Everybody Paid Their Dues?’ (which would later become Street Fighting Man).
1968 – During a Scandinavian tour Led Zeppelin played two shows in one day. The first was at Teens Club Box 45, Gladsaxe, Denmark and the second at the Brondby Pop Club in Norregard, Denmark. Also on the bill for the second show was The Keef Hartley Band, Ham and Swedish band Made In Sweden.
1969 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono, attempting to marry in Paris, are caught “standing in the dock at Southampton. Trying to get to Holland or France,” as later documented in the Beatles song “The Ballad Of John And Yoko.” Passport problems keep them from boarding.
1975 – Led Zeppelin went to No.1 on the UK chart with the double album Physical Graffiti the first on their own ‘Swan Song’ label, the album spent six weeks at No.1 on the US chart.
1976 – Kiss released their fourth studio album ‘Destroyer.’ It was the third successive Kiss album to reach the top 40 in the US, as well as the first to chart in Germany and New Zealand. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on April 22, 1976, and platinum on November 11 of the same year, the first Kiss album to achieve platinum status.
1978 – The Alan Freed biopic American Hot Wax, widely considered one of the best rock and roll movies of all time, premieres in New York City, featuring appearances and performances by Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.
1986 – Prince topped the singles charts with the song ‘Kiss.” Right behind him in the second spot were The Bangles with “Manic Monday,” a song written by Prince under the pseudonym Christopher.
1988 – Throwing Muses released their second studio album ‘House Tornado.’ The album was released internationally on the 4AD label, except in the United States, where it was released by Sire Records. Sire used a different album cover for its release, as the label was putting a strong promotional push behind the band, and label executives favored a picture of the band over the collage featured on the 4AD release. The 4AD release also features six of the seven tracks from the band’s 1987 EP ‘The Fat Skier.’ The Sire release did not feature these six songs, and therefore these songs.
1988 – Mick Jagger opened his first ever solo tour, his first ever performances in Japan and his first full concerts since 1982, with three shows at Osaka’s Castle Hall in Osaka, Japan. The show is mostly made up of Rolling Stones songs, including “Bitch,” “Gimmie Shelter,” “Ruby Tuesday” and “Sympathy For The Devil” as well as the Jimi Hendrix song “Foxy Lady.”
1999 – Relatives of Buddy Holly filed a suit against MCA Records for allegedly hoarding royalty payments, forging contracts and illegally producing albums without the consent of the family.
2004 – A federal judge denied Axl Rose’s request for a restraining order to block the release of a Guns N’ Roses greatest hits collection. Rose sued because he said he had not approved the album. Universal Music Group said that they had every right to release the album since Rose had not delivered the contracted album “Chinese Democracy.” The album has been in the making for more than seven years.
2014 – Scott Asheton best known as the drummer for the Stooges died of a heart attack aged 64. He co-formed the Stooges in 1967 along with his older brother Ron Asheton, Iggy Pop and Dave Alexander.
2015 – Mike Porcaro bassist with Toto died following a battle Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was the middle brother of Toto members Jeff Porcaro and Steve Porcaro. Toto who formed in 1978 are best known for such classic rock hits as “Hold the Line,” “Rosanna” and “Africa” and won an Album of the Year Grammy for 1982’s ‘Toto IV.’