Sunday, April 30, 2017


In Music History

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2015Ben E. King, songwriter and singer of "Stand By Me," dies at age 76.
2014Larry Ramos (guitarist, banjo player for The New Christy MinstrelsThe Association) dies at age 72 from malignant melanoma.
2013Actress and singer Deanna Durbin dies in Neauphle-le-Château, France, at age 91.
2011Mariah Carey and her husband Nick Cannon welcome twins: daughter Monroe and son Moroccan. 
2008Mariah Carey marries rapper and TV personality Nick Cannon at a secret ceremony in the Bahamas.
2007Zola Taylor (of The Platters) dies after suffering numerous strokes and contracting pneumonia at age 69 in Riverside, California.
2006Madonna plays a festival for the first time when she appears at Coachella.
2004Michael Jackson is arraigned on his child molestation charges, pleading not guilty to ten different criminal counts, also including extortion and false imprisonment.
20031960s soul icon Earl King is buried in his hometown of New Orleans with an authentic jazz funeral. Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton send their condolences.
2002Roger Daltrey of The Who stars as a music teacher on the "That '70s Musical" episode of That 70's Show.
1999Darrell Sweet (drummer for Nazareth) dies of a heart attack at age 51 while on tour promoting the band's Boogaloo album.
1994Ireland wins the Eurovision Song Contestfor the third time in a row. Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan's performance of song "Rock 'N' Roll Kids" at the Point Theatre in Dublin wows the international voting panels and gives the country a record sixth win. The show's interval features the first ever performance of Michael Flatley's Riverdance, which goes on to massive global success.
1988An unknown Canadian singer named Celine Dion wins the Eurovision Song Contest for Switzerland. Her song "Ne partez pas sans moi" beats the United Kingdom's entry by a single point. The success encourages her to learn English, and two years later her fifteenth studio album, Unison (1990), reaches #4 in the US chart. She goes on to become one of the most successful singers in the world - her biggest hit, 1997's "My Heart Will Go On", selling over 15 million copies
1983Blues musician Muddy Waters dies of heart failure at age 70 in his Westmont, Illinois home.
1983To celebrate the 25th anniversary of London's legendary Marquee Club, Manfred Mann reforms in their original '60s incarnation to play the venue they (and so many others) started in.
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Rock Takes A Stand Against Racism

The Clash are among the acts at a "Rock Against Racism" concert, playing to over 50,000 in London's Victoria Park to combat the National Front, a neo-Nazi group in the UK whose slogan is "Keep Britain White."

The National Front represents the extreme right wing, and is growing in strength as the United Kingdom suffers a lengthy economic downturn. Campaigning under the slogan "Keep Britain White," the party is looking to put up 500 candidates at the imminent local elections, promising to deport black and minority ethnic people from the country if they win power.

The group is emboldened by Eric Clapton, who at a show in Birmingham in 1976 spoke out in support of controversial UK Member of Parliament Enoch Powell, who in 1968 claimed that immigration would lead to "Rivers of blood" in the streets. In a lengthy rant, Clapton stated, "We should send them all back" before leading the crowd in a chant of the National Front slogan "Keep Britain White."

Although Clapton later claims he was joking, he maintains his support for Powell, describing him as "outrageously brave." This event, coupled with incidents such as the wearing of swastikas by Siouxsie Sioux and David Bowie being photographed apparently making a Nazi salute in Victoria Station on his return from East Germany, horrifies the left wing of the punk scene, which responds with Rock against Racism, launched by rock photographer Red Saunders and prominent socialist Roger Huddle. The movement is backed by a series of grass-roots shows across the country, punctuated by "Carnivals" of which this is so far the biggest.

The show itself is plagued with technical problems: Pink Floyd had offered the loan of their sound rig for the day, but as they could not supply a crew to operate it, a public address system is hired in at great cost. Accordingly, much of what is said and sung is not heard, but the crowd is in great spirits and cheer on stars including Billy Idol's Generation X and headline act the Tom Robinson Band.

Although it is featured on the evening's television news bulletins, the influential national press fails to cover the event in print. Regardless, the performance is deemed a success when the National Front fail to make any impact in the following week's elections.

Rock against Racism is formally disbanded in 1981, before being revived in 2002 under the banner "Love Music, Hate Racism."

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