March – In Rock History
The first jazz album to sell one million copies, ‘Minnie The Moocher’ by Cab Calloway is recorded.
Alan Freed (the DJ who coined the term Rock ‘n’ Roll) has his Moondog Rock ‘n’ Roll Stage Show cancelled when 30,000 fans arrive at the venue and create a fire hazard.
Colonel Tom Parker signs up as Elvis Presley’s manager. Previous jobs on his resume include palm reading in a fairground show.
Fats Domino hits number one on the R & B chart with the song ‘I’m Walking’, replacing his other song ‘Blue Monday’ at the top spot.
Buddy Holly & The Crickets perform their only UK tour, playing 25 shows (two gigs per night) over three weeks.
John Lennon states that the Beatles are “more popular than Jesus now.” UK fans barely noticed but the quote was taken out of context in America and public outrage ensued.
The full quote was: “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first, rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was alright, but his disciples were thick and ordinary.”
The legendary Fillmore East opened it’s doors and began a three year run as one of the most popular clubs in New York, hosting gigs for most, if not all, of the biggest bands in the world at the time. The venue became known as “The Church of Rock ‘n’ Roll” and saw acts like The Doors, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Sly & The Family Stone, The Grateful Dead, The Beach Boys and The Allman Brothers all play there.
Slade become the first band to debut at number one on the UK charts with the song ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’.
The Eagles reach the number one spot for the first time with their single ‘Best Of My Love’.
Led Zeppelin release their double album ‘Physical Graffiti’. It goes to number one and joins all of their previous albums (Led Zeppelin I, II, III, IV and Houses Of The Holy) in the US Albums Chart.
The Police sign with A & M Records for the release of their first single ‘Roxanne’. But it flops. So does the album ‘Outlandos D’Amour’. It will take a year and a re-release of ‘Roxanne’ for them to gain any recognition and find the charts.
Pink Floyd have the number one song in the US charts with ‘Another Brick In The Wall (Part II)’. The very same week they break the record for the most weeks in the US Album Charts when their seven-year-old 33 1/3 long player ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ spends it’s 303rd consecutive week in the list.
U2 hit the top of the UK album chart with ‘War’.
A new digital audio system, referred to as a ‘compact’ disc containing up to 60 minutes of music is launched by Sony, Philips, and Polygram.
The Notorious BIG is shot to death, 24 years old, after a Soul Train Awards party in California.
Dusty Springfield dies, age 59, of breast cancer. Two weeks later, she is inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) hands out the first batch of Diamond awards for 61 albums that had topped the ten million mark in US sales. The top five were:
‘The Eagles’ Greatest Hits’ – 25+ million
‘Rumors’ by Fleetwood Mac – 18 million
‘Led Zeppelin IV’ – 17 million
‘Back In Black’ by AC DC – 16 million
‘Boston’ – 16 million
Led Zeppelin become the most bootlegged band in rock music with a known 422 illegal albums being sold. Home CD copying is blamed and copy protecting is started by record companies.
A 24 year old girl in a coma is taken to Bryan Adam’s concert in a wheelchair by her mother in Germany. Adams is the girl’s favourite singer and, miracuously, she wakes up during the gig!