Today In Rock History: The 1st of April

1) 1955 – George Martin becomes the head of EMI Records

GMOften said to have been the perfect producer The Beatles, George Martin’s life took a very important turn of phrase when he became the head of EMI’s Parlophone Records in 1955, the record company that would in no more than 7 years be signing the “Fab Four”. Every record they ever released was produced by no other than George Martin and he always did a brilliant job in both not over-producing anything so that it would overshadow the actual material, and successfully managing to put The Beatles’ crazy ideas onto tape. Instead of posting some Beatles song that you’ve probably already heard thousands of times, here’s a very funny video of him in the studio with Jim Carrey, with the latter singing a hilarious version of I Am The Walrus:

2) 1957 – The Everly Brothers record ‘Bye, Bye Love’

The Everly Brothers are one of my favourite 50’s groups, and ‘Bye Bye, Love’ – their first number 1 hit – is truly an exceptional “oldie” that I’ve always loved. Without trying to dissect the song too much, I’ll just say that it establishes the Everly Brothers success formula: a mix of country and rock ‘n’ roll with a whole lot of sensibility added due to the brothers’ excellent vocal-duet delivery.

Simon & Garfunkel later covered the song on their ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water‘ album, but it can’t really hold a candle to the original:

3) 1966 – David Bowie releases ‘Do Anything You Say’

Although perhaps a rather faceless britpop dittie from a song-writing point of view, ‘Do Anything You Say’ represents an important event in music history – and that is, the first single to carry the name of David Bowie, an artist whose career would eventually go through a lot of changes and would gain him a lot of acclaim (even though the single flopped). But hey, we all gotta start somewhere.

4) 1984 – Marvin Gaye dies

gayeMarvin Gaye was one of the most critically acclaimed and successful soul singers and even though I don’t actually own any of his records, the fact that he died on this date, 29 years ago, is just something that I can’t omit. Especially when considering the rather shocking and unusual way he passed away – which is, shot twice by his father while in bed, after an argument over some misplaced business documents.

If you want a detailed analysis on his death which includes quotes from the culprit father, information about the circumstances, the court case, aftermath reactians and whatnot, click here.

5) 2004 – Paul Atkinson dies

paul_atk_2Yet another person who died long before his due, Paul Atkinson passed away after a battle with kidney and liver disease. “Paul who?”, you might be wondering. The person in question was the guitarist in The Zombies, and even though perhaps overshadowed by his much talented instrumentalists and song-writers colleagues by the name of Rod Argent and Chris White, I still feel that he played an important role in the band. Not for a long time though, as The Zombies lasted only for 5 years, after which he got into the music industry – signing and helping the careers (production, marketing and things like that) of names like ABBA (the only ones he actually signed I believe), The Beach Boys, Aerosmith, Elton John, B.B. King or Pink Floyd.

For further information, read this nicely-written article that provided me with some information about him. And here’s one of my favourite Zombies songs with even a nice guitar solo from Paul:

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