Music Diary – 24th January

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 24th January!

epstein_beatlescontract460On the 24th January 1962, manager Brian Epstein signed a contract with The Beatles. The management deal was time-limited for five years and gave Epstein 10 – 15 % of their income. Interestingly, Epstein didn’t sign this first contract: „Well, if they ever want to tear it up, they can hold me but I can’t hold them“. After that, Brian Epstein formed his own management company „NEMS Enterprises“. And on the 1st October 1962, the deal was renewed (including a three years publishing contract signed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney) and gave the manager 15 unitl 25 % of revenues, depending on Epstein’s help to increase the band’s earnings.


Four days later, the first single by The Beatles was released: „Love Me Do„, backed by „P.S. I Love You„, reached No. 17 on the UK chart and marked the beginning of an outstanding career of one of the most successful pop bands in history.

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Music Diary – 13th January

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 13th January!

Johnny_Cash_At_Folsom_Prison

On the 13th January 1968 a historic performancy by Johnny Cash happened: The Man in Black, featuring June Carter, Carl Perkins and the Tennessee Three, played a very special concert at Folsom Prison (near Sacramento, California). In front of 2,000 inmates, Johnny and his band played classics. like „Folsom Prison Blues„, „25 Minutes to go„, „Jackson“ and „Cocaine Blues„.


The concert was recorded and released under the moniker „At Folsom Prison“ by Columbia Records in May 1968. The LP became one of Johnny Cash’s most famous and successful albums and it reached number one the country chart and the top 15 on the regular album chart.

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Music Diary – 8th December

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 8th December!

1980_john_lennon_shot[1]

On the 8th December 1980 (Monday), John Lennon was murdered. Mark Chapman shot the musician four times outside the Dakota building in New York City.

John Lennon and Mark Chapman (8th December 1980)

John Lennon and Mark Chapman (8th December 1980)

Before Lennon and Ono were going go the Record Plant Studio, Chapman asked John for an autograph and the musician signed the cover of „Double Fantasy„. Then the ex-Beatle headed to the taxi.

John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono returned appr. at 10.50 pm to their aparrtment at the Dakota building where Chapman already waited. Then the tragedy happened: Chapman shot Lennon four times in the back. The British musician was taken to the emergency room of nearby Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 11.07 pm. The massive loss of blood caused the tragic death of the former Beatles member. John Lennon died at the age of 40 years.


Yoko Ono issued a statement the next day:
„There is no funeral for John“, ending it with the words, „John loved and prayed for the human race. Please pray the same for him.“

John Lennon’s body was cremated at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. His ashes were scattered in New York’s Central Park, where the Strawberry Fields Memorial was created in 1985.


Murder Mark Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life. He still remains in prison – all his paroles (eight times) have been denied.

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Music Diary – 5th December

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 5th December! Little Richard

Happy birthday to Rock’n’Roll legend Little Richard, who was born under his real name Richard Wayne Penniman on the 5th December 1932 in Macon, Georgia (USA). The American musician, singer and piano player recorded many hits and classics of the Rock’n’Roll era like „Lucille“ (1957), „Long Tall Sally“ (1956) and“Tutti Frutti“ (1955), which was included in the Library of Congress‘ National Recording Registry in 2010, claiming the „unique vocalizing over the irresistible beat announced a new era in music.“


From 1951 until 1954 Little Richard recorded six singles, which didn’t succeed. In October 1955 the singer has his big breakthrough with „Tutti Frutti“, which reached No. 2 in the R&B chart in the USA. In March 1956 he had his first No. 1 with „Long Tall Sally“ (also on the R&B chart). With „Rip it up“ (1956) and „Lucille“ (1957) he had two more number one hits in his country. Also his debut album „Here’s Little Richards“ (1957) charted. Becoming a millionaire, Little Richard bought himsalef a mansion and moved to Los Angeles. In October 1957 he changed his mind completely and announced his decision to follow a life in the ministry. He explained his decision later that during a flight he had seen the plane’s red hot engines and felt angels were holding it up. And during a concert in Australia he saw a bright red fireball flying across the sky above him – for him it was sign from God to stop his wild Rock’n’Roll lifestyle and to start performing secular music and enter the ministry. He kept on recording Gospel songs over the years and concentrated on his life as a preacher.


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Music Diary – 29th November

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 29th November!

George Harrison (25th February 1943 – 29th November 2001)

George Harrison (25th February 1943 – 29th November 2001)

On the 29th November 2001, George Harrison died at the age of 58 years of lung cancer. The Beatles guitarist passed away in Los Angeles. Born on the 25th February 1943 in Liverpool, the very young Harrision joined at the age of 15 a band called The Quarrymen in 1958, which became in 1960 The Beatles. Beside the many hits, which were composed mainly by John Lennon und Paul McCartney, also George Harrision wrote some classics like „While My Guitar Gently Weeps“ (1968), „Here Comes the Sun“ and „Something“ (both 1969). After the break-up in 1970, George Harrison concentrated more on his solo career. After his two albums „Wonderwall Music“ (1968) and „Electronic Sound “ (1969) his third effort „All Things must Pass“ (3-LP-Set) marked his first solo work after the official end of The Beatles. This triple set features also the hit „My Sweet Lord“ (released in November 1970). In 1971 George Harrison organised the charity event „Concert for Bangladesh„, which took place on the 1st August 1971 at the Madison Square Garden in New York. Beside his music career, George Harrison worked also as a film producer. In 1978 he co-founded „HandMade Films„, which produced the classic „Monty Pyhton’s Life of Brian“ (1979).


In 2011, the documentary „George Harrison: Living in the Material World“ by film director Martin Scorsese war released, which earned six nominations at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards and winning two Emmy Awards for „Outstanding Nonfiction Special“ and „Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming“.

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Music Diary – 12th September

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 12th September!

 Johnny Cash (26th February 1932 – 12th September 2003)

Johnny Cash (26th February 1932 – 12th September 2003)

The 12th September 2003 is one of the saddest days in music history: The Man in BlackJohn R. „Johnny“ Cash, died at the age of 71 years in Nashville, Tennessee.

Cash was well known as the outstanding Country musician, but he was quite more than this. He knew no borders and especially his last albums, the legendary „American Recordings„, which were produced by Rick Rubin, prove that.


Beside his many hits like „Ring of Fire“ (which was written by his later wife June Carter), „I walk the Line„, „Folsom Prison Blues“ or “ A Boy named Sue“ the two jailhouse recordings „At Folsom Prison“ (1968) and „At San Quentin“ (1969) are still classics and timeless albums.

In 2004/2005 James Mangold directed the biographical film „Walk the Line“ based on the early life and career of Johnny Cash with Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash.

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Music Diary – 20th March

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 20th March!

Gibraltar Lennon OnoOn the 20th March 1969, John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar. The ceremony took place at the British Consulate Office and the just hitched couple spent their honeymoon in The Netherlands at the Amsterdam Hilton, where John and Yoko campaigned for an international „Bed-In“ for peace.


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