I wouldn’t want to live in the past. But I still like to visit every now and then. Here are the musical birthdays we’ll be celebrating and the anniversaries we’ll be marking over the next week:
Monday April 15
1894 | Blues singer Bessie Smith was born in Chattanooga, Tenn. — though other documents say she was born in July 1892, so who knows?
1944 | Rockpile singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds was born in Cardiff.
1978 | Country star Chris Stapleton was born in Lexington, Ky.
1999 | The body of Tammy Wynette was exhumed after three of her daughters filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her doctor.
2001 | Punk pioneer Joey Ramone (real name: Jeffrey Ross Hyman) died of lymphatic cancer at age 49.
Tuesday April 16
1939 | Singer Dusty Springfield was born Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien in London.
1956 | Buddy Holly’s first single Blue Days, Black Nights was released.
1964 | The Rolling Stones’ first album was released in the U.K.
1969 | Elektra Records dropped Detroit’s MC5 after the band bought an ad in a local paper that included the company logo and said; “Fuck Hudsons.” The band were protesting the Michigan department store’s refusal to stock their albums.
1972 | The Electric Light Orchestra made their debut at a pub in London.
1993 | David Lee Roth was arrested in New York’s Washington Square Park for buying a $10 bag of weed.
1999 | Skip Spence of Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape died of lung cancer in San Francisco at age 52.
Wednesday April 17
1955 | Singer-guitarist Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks was born. He died of a suspected heart attack in December.
1960 | Eddie Cochran was killed when the taxi he was travelling in crashed into a lamppost in England. He was 21. Tourmate Gene Vincent survived the crash.
1964 | Maynard James Keenan of Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer was born in Ravenna, Oh.
1967 | Singer-guitarist Liz Phair was born in New Haven, Conn.
1983 | Mountain bassist and record producer Felix Pappalardi was shot dead by his wife Gail Collins during a jealous rage. Collins was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and sentenced to four years in prison.
1991 | Nirvana played Smells Like Teen Spirit live for the first time at the OK Hotel in Seattle.
1998 | Linda McCartney died after a long battle with cancer. She was 56.
2008 | E Street Band keyboardist Danny Federici died of cancer at age 58.
Thursday April 18
1996 | Chic bassist and producer Bernard Edwards died of pneumonia while touring Japan.
2013 | Graphic designer Storm Thorgerson, whose album cover artwork includes Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of The Moon, died of cancer at age 69.
1944 | Skip Spence was born. He died two days before his 55th birthday.
Friday April 19
1928 | British blues legend Alexis Korner was born.
1965 | The Beatles’ single Ticket to Ride was released on Capitol records in the U.S.
1980 | Brian Johnson joined AC/DC two months after the death of Bon Scott.
1980 | R.E.M. played their first gig in Athens, Ga., to 150 people.
2012 | Band singer-drummer Levon Helm died of throat cancer at age 71.
Saturday April 20
1968 | Deep Purple played their first show in Denmark. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore said it was his grandmother’s favourite song.
1991 | Small Faces and Humble Pie singer-guitarist Steve Marriott died in a fire at his home in Essex.
1992 | The Freddie Mercury tribute show A Concert For Life was held at Wembley Stadium. Elton John, Roger Daltrey, Tony Iommi, David Bowie, Mick Ronson, James Hetfield, George Michael, Seal, Paul Young, Annie Lennox, Lisa Stansfield, Robert Plant, Joe Elliott and Phil Collen, Axl Rose and Slash participated.
2018 | Swedish DJ Avicii committed suicide at age 28.
Sunday April 21
1947 | Iggy Pop was born James Osterberg in Muskegon, Mich.
1959 | Cure singer-guitarist Robert Smith was born in Blackpool.
1967 | The Beatles finished recording Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at Abbey Road studios in London.
2001 | R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck was arrested at Heathrow airport after allegedly getting drunk on a flight from Seattle and assaulting a British Airways crew.
2016 | Prince was found dead or a drug overdose at his home in Minnesota at age 57. Police were summoned to his Paisley Park estate and found his body in an elevator.