On this day in music history: June 18, 1967 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience will make their now legendary American performance debut at The Monterey International Pop Music Festival. Hendrix will be booked to perform on the recommendation of Paul McCartney, having seen Hendrix and the Experience perform at the Saville Theatre in London two and a half weeks earlier (opening their set with The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”). The bands’ set at Monterey will climax with Hendrix setting fire to his Fender Stratocaster and smashing it on the stage. The performance, captured in the D.A. Pennebaker film “Monterey Pop” will quickly launch Hendrix into rock superstardom in the US and worldwide.
Remembering jazz guitar icon Wes Montgomery (born John Leslie Montgomery in Indianapolis, IN) - March 6, 1923 - June 15, 1968
On this day in music history: June 13, 1983 - “Texas Flood”, the debut album by Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble is released. Produced by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, and Richard Mullen, it is recorded at the Down Town Studio in Los Angeles, CA from November 22 - 24, 1982. Recorded in just three days at musician Jackson Browne’s recording studio, he will offer the band free use of his studio after seeing them play at the Montreux Jazz Festival in July of 1982. The album will be cut almost entirely live, with the band setting up in one corner of the caverous warehouse space. Vaughan’s unique guitar tone will be captured using three amplifiers chained together including a two vintage Fender Vibroverbs and a Dumble Dumbleland Special borrowed from Browne. Initially intended as a demo only, the tapes will be heard by legendary A&R man John Hammond who will pass a copy on to Greg Geller, the head of A&R for Epic Records who immediately signs the band. The band will be given an advance to return for Vaughan to re-record some of his vocals which will be cut at Riverside Sound in Austin, TX in early 1983. The album will spin off two singles including “Pride And Joy” (#20 Mainstream Rock) and “Lovestruck Baby”. “Texas Flood” will peak at #38 on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: May 12, 1967 - “Are You Experienced?”, the debut album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience is released. Produced by Chas Chandler, it is recorded at De Lane Lea, CBS and Olympic Studios in London from December 13, 1966 - April 3, 1967. Fusing the blues and R&B with psychedelic imagery and distorted, feedback laden guitar, the first album from the American guitar virtuoso will make an immediate impact in the UK where it is recorded. Hendrix will go largely unnoticed in the US until his showstopping performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June. The album features some of his best known material including “Purple Haze”, “Fire”, “Foxy Lady”, “Manic Depression” and the title track. In time it will be regarded as one of the greatest rock albums of all time, being selected for preservation by the National Recording Registry at the Library Of Congress in 2005, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999. “Are You Experienced?” will peak at #5 on the Billboard Top 200, #10 on the R&B album chart, #2 on the UK album chart, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: May 11, 1970 - “Woodstock: Music From The Original Soundtrack And More” is released. Produced by Eric Blackstead, it is recorded at Max Yasgur’s Farm in Bethel, NY from August 15 - 18, 1969. The 21 track 3 LP set serves as the soundtrack to historic three day concert and Oscar winning documentary film in which over a half a million people will attend. Recorded by engineer Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, KISS), the album features performances from Richie Havens, Canned Heat, The Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills Nash & Young, Santana, Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, Country Joe & The Fish, The Who, The Butterfield Blues Band, Sly & The Family Stone, John Sebastian, Arlo Guthrie, and Jimi Hendrix. The soundtrack will be a huge success and will spin off a sequel album the following year featuring more performances from the festival. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the festival in 1994, Atlantic will reissue the albums as a 4 CD box set including previously released performances. A further expanded 6 CD box set issued in 2009 for Woodstock’s 40th anniversary that will include more unreleased material. “Woodstock” will spend 4 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
Born on this day: May 8, 1911 - Iconic blues singer, songwriter and guitarist Robert Johnson (born Robert Leroy Johnson in Hazlehurst, MS). Happy Birthday to one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century on what would have been his 102nd Birthday.
Born on this day: April 29, 1922 - Jazz guitarist, harmonica virtuoso, and whistler extraordinaire Toots Thielemans (born Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor, Baron Thielemans in Brussels, Belgium). Happy 91st Birthday, Toots!!
Born on this day: April 25, 1923 - Blues guitar master Albert King (born Albert Nelson in Indianola, MS). Happy Birthday to this “king” of blues guitar on what would have been his 90th Birthday.
Folk music legend Richie Havens (born Richard Pierce Havens in Brooklyn, NY) - January 21, 1941 - April 22, 2013, RIP
On this day in music history: April 21, 1951 - “How High The Moon” by Les Paul & Mary Ford hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers Chart for 9 weeks, also peaking at #2 on the Rhythm & Blues Best Sellers Chart. Written by Morgan Lewis and Nancy Hamilton, it is the biggest hit for the husband and wife instrumental and vocal duo. The song was originally written for and appears in the Broadway revue “Two For The Show” in 1940. Guitarist Les Paul and his wife Mary Ford will cut the song on January 4, 1951. Paul has developed groundbreaking use of the magnetic tape machines by co-founding Ampex Electronics, and creating the ability to overdub multiple voices and instruments on tape, leading to the development of multi-track recording. The record will revolutionize the music industry and have a great influence on how records are made in the years that follow. The single will sell over two million copies in the US alone, becoming one the largest selling singles for Capitol Records to date. “How High The Moon” will be inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1979.