BORN ON MARCH 20
1915 – Sister Rosetta Tharpe, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1973)
1917 – Vera Lynn, English singer-songwriter and actress
1922 – Larry Elgart, American saxophonist and bandleader
1936 – Lee “Scratch” Perry, Jamaican singer and producer
1937 – Jerry Reed, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (d. 2008)
1939 – Don Edwards, American singer and guitarist
1946 – Douglas B. Green, American singer-songwriter, guitarist (Riders in the Sky)
1949 – Marcia Ball, American singer and pianist
1950 – Carl Palmer, English drummer and songwriter (Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Asia, and Atomic Rooster)
1951 – Jimmie Vaughan, American guitarist (The Fabulous Thunderbirds)
1953 – Phil Judd, New Zealand singer-songwriter, guitarist and painter (Split Enz, The Swingers)
1956 – Ian Moss, Australian guitarist and singer-songwriter (Cold Chisel)
1965 – Adrian Oxaal, American-English guitarist (James and Sharkboy)
1972 – Alex Kapranos, English-Scottish singer-songwriter, guitarist (Franz Ferdinand, The Yummy Fur, and The Karelia)
1976 – Chester Bennington, American singer-songwriter (Linkin Park, Stone Temple Pilots, and Dead by Sunrise)
19?? – Balthazar de Ley, American singer/songwriter, guitar and bass player (Mother, Menthol)
19?? – Aja Blue, American singer/songwriter, guitarists (The Bruises)
DIED ON MARCH 20
2009 – Mel Brown, American-Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1939
2000 – Gene Eugene, Canadian-American singer-songwriter and producer (Adam Again, The
Swirling Eddies, and Lost Dogs) (b. 1961)
2013 – Eddie Bond, American singer and guitarist (b. 1933)
EVENTS ON MARCH 20
1969 – After days of looking for a suitable and legal place, John Lennon finally gets to marry Yoko Ono at the Rock of Gibraltar in Spain, a piece of land still owned by the English and described by Lennon as being necessarily “quiet, friendly, and British.” Later, in the Beatles song “The Ballad Of John And Yoko,” he describes the site as “Gibraltar, near Spain,” unintentionally setting off an international furor, as England and Spain were currently at odds over ownership of the area.
1971 – At their own expense the Rolling Stones placed full page advertisements in all the UK’s music papers disclaiming any connection with the release of the Decca album ‘Stone Age’ saying “in our opinion the content is below the standard we try to keep.”
1971 – Janis Joplin started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with her version of the Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster song “Me And Bobby McGee.” Joplin, who was a lover and a friend of Kristofferson’s from the beginning of her career to her death, changed the sex and a few of the lyrics in her cover. Kristofferson states he did not write this song for her, but the song is associated with her – especially, he has said, in the line “Somewhere near Salinas, Lord, I let her slip away.”
1976 – Alice Cooper marries his first and only wife, Sheryl Goddard, a 19-year-old dancer on his Welcome To My Nightmare tour.
1977 – T. Rex plays what is to be their last concert before the untimely death of leader Marc Bolan in a car accident, a gig at Portsmouth, England club The Locarno.
1980 – Joseph Riviera, 28, a truck driver from New York, breaks into the offices of record label Asylum, takes the office manager hostage, and demands to see label artists Jackson Browne and/or The Eagles so that they can help finance his trucking business. After he realizes the artists in question aren’t actually in the building, he surrenders to police.
1982 – Joan Jett And The Blackhearts started a seven week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’, a No.4 hit in the UK. The song had been a B-side from 60’s bands The Arrows.
1989 – After 37 years on the air, Dick Clark announces he will discontinue hosting his creation, ABC-TV’s highly influential American Bandstand . The show continues with another host, but folds for good soon after.
1991 – Eric Clapton’s son Conor, all of four years old, dies after falling from the 53rd story window of his mother’s apartment in New York. (The guitarist was staying at a hotel not far away, having taken Conor to the circus the night before.) A shaken Clapton later writes the hit song “Tears In Heaven” as a way to help him through the grief.
2003 – On the day the Iraq war begins, Bruce Springsteen opens his Melbourne, Australia show with a quiet, acoustic version of his hit “Born In The U.S.A.” and follows it with a cover of Edwin Starr’s “War.”
2015 – American drummer A. J. Pero died from an apparent heart attack. He was a member of Twisted Sister and Adrenaline Mob. Adrenaline Mob’s band members attempted but failed to wake Pero on their tour bus traveling from Baltimore to Poughkeepsie.