Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Musical Anniversaries for March

The month of March brings five major anniversaries to be commemorated within the music industry.

100 years ago on the 30th March 1913, the American singer and actor Frankie Laine was born Francesco Paolo LoVecchio in Chicago, USA. His career spanned 75 years, starting out from concerts in the 1930’s stretching to shortly before his death in 2007 at the grand age of 93.

Often billed as America’s Number One Song Stylist, he also went by the nicknames of Mr Rhythm (for his driving, jazzy style), Old Leather Lungs and even Mr Steel Tonsils.

He became famed for his many Western movie theme soundtracks, such as 3.10 to Yuma, Gunfight at the OK Corral and Blazing Saddles.

His most remembered song however has to be the theme from one of Tatty’s favourite ever TV shows Rawhide, that starred Eric Fleming as Gil Favor and Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates.

In June 2011, over 60 years after his debut on the UK charts, Frankie’s posthumously TV-advertised compilation set called "Hits" peaked at a creditable No. 16.

50 years down the line, on the 5th March 1963, American country music legend Patsy Cline died in a plane crash at the premature age of 30.

Born Virginia Patterson Hensley in September 1932, Cline was one of the most influential, successful and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th century, and has been cited as a major influence and inspiration by many singers in numerous genres.

Many people’s (and Tatty’s) favourite song by Patsy was the Willie Nelson penned “Crazy”. A song she initially vehemently disliked, it was to become her biggest ever pop hit, reaching a high of no.9 on the US Hit 100.

The same month back in 1963 saw the release of the Beatles first album “Please, Please Me” (March 22nd).

In 2012 the album was voted 39th on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “greatest albums of all time.” 

Upon its release, the same magazine had championed the idea of the first self-contained rock band, writing their own songs and playing their own instruments. 

Little did they, or the world know of the dramatic change to music and life that was about to take place.

The 2nd March 1983 was the birth date in Europe and the US of compact disc players and compact discs, with both going on sale for the first time (Compact disc players were actually first released in Japan on 1st Oct 1982). 

At that time, only 16 albums were available on the format that was to eventually pretty much wipe out both vinyl and music cassettes.

10 years ago on the 8th March 2003, British teen idol Adam Faith passed away from heart failure at the North Staffordshire hospital in Stoke-on-Trent, England.

Born Terence Nelhams-Wright in June 1940, Faith was one of the UK’s prominent early pop stars although he always had pretentions as an actor, after working initially as a film cutter in his native London.

Discovered by music producer Jack Good, when singing with a skiffle group appearing on a BBC TV live music show entitled the Six-Five Special, Faith was offered a solo recording contract with HMV.

In later years his acting career came more to the forefront, starring in the LWT series “Budgie” and in movies alongside David Essex (Stardust), Roger Daltrey (McVicar) and Jodie Foster (Foxes).

He also went into music management, handling the early career of Leo Sayer amongst others. 

Sayer once claimed in a newspaper article that "He handled everything for me, but although he was a very good mentor, he was less trustworthy with my money. In the end, Adam Faith made more out of Leo Sayer than I did."

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