We begin with an interesting non-musical anniversary: Today in 1945, Major League Baseball sold the advertising rights for the World Series to Gillette for $150,000. Gillette for years afterward got to decide who the announcers for the World Series (typically one per World Series team in the days before color commentators) would be on first radio and then TV.
This was quite a day for concerts. Today in 1965, the Beatles (along with Brenda Holloway, The King Curtis Band, The Young Rascals and Sounds Incorporated) played at Shea Stadium in New York, setting a world record for attendance at 55,000, including Mick Jagger and Keith Richards:
Today in 1969, on a farm in Bethel, N.Y, Woodstock began:
Foreshadowing alert: Bands that were invited but did not go to Woodstock included Bob Dylan (played the Isle of Wight Festival instead; he left on the Queen Elizabeth 2 today), the Jeff Beck Group (disbanded), The Doors (guitarist Robby Krieger thought it would be a “second-class repeat” of the Monterey Pop Festival), Led Zeppelin (their manager said they’d just be “another band on the bill”), the Byrds (they had played at too many festivals already and it wasn’t clear they were going to get paid), Chicago (promoter Bill Graham had them play at the Fillmore West in San Francisco so that Santana would be there instead), Tommy James and the Shondells (James was told “Yeah, listen, there’s this pig farmer in upstate that wants you to play in his field”), the Moody Blues (they were in Paris), Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention (Zappa: “A lot of mud at Woodstock … We were invited to play there, we turned it down”), Free, Spirit (already scheduled elsewhere), Joni Mitchell (already was on ABC-TV’s Dick Cavett show; ironically she wrote the song “Woodstock” to describe something she didn’t actually attend), Lighthouse (which would have made it the ultimate brass rock festival had the group and Chicago appeared, since Blood Sweat & Tears did), Roy Rogers (who, believe it or don’t, was asked to conclude Woodstock with “Happy Trails”), Procol Harum (on a tour with guitarist Robin Trower’s baby due), Jethro Tull and Iron Butterfly (stuck at an airport).
Why didn’t Jethro Tull go? Ian Anderson answers:
The reason I didn’t want to play Woodstock is because I asked our manager, Terry Ellis, “Well, who else is going to be there?” And he listed a large number of groups who were reputedly going to play, and that it was going to be a hippie festival, and I said, “Will there be lots of naked ladies? And will there be taking drugs and drinking lots of beer, and fooling around in the mud?” Because rain was forecast. And he said, “Oh, yeah.” So I said, “Right. I don’t want to go.” Because I don’t like hippies, and I’m usually rather put off by naked ladies unless the time is right. Well, indeed, unless the money’s right.
Birthdays start with Bill Pinckney of the Drifters:
Peter York played drums for the Spencer Davis Group:
Thomas Aldrich, who played drums for Black Oak Arkansas …
… was born the same day as Bill Griffin of the Miracles:
Who is Adam Yauch? Some know him as MCA of the Beastie Boys: