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HC's Rock Rewind

A look back at the past two weeks in Rock History


by Team HC

April 1st - 7th


The start of April brought everything from the debut release for‘80s rockers Whitesnake to the untimely death of Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley. It doesn’t stop there. Keep reading for some major events, historic record releases and notable births and deaths happening April 1 through April 7.



1956 - Elvis Presley performs "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Blue Suede Shoes" on Milton Berle's NBC-TV show.

1960 - The Everly Brothers have their British concert debut.

1964 - "The Times They Are a Changin'" scores Bob Dylan his first hit on the UK singles chart.


1964 - The Beatles snag five spots on the singles charts with their songs “Twist and Shout,” "Can't Buy Me Love," "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "Please Please Me."

1965 - The Beach Boys work in the studio, recording the instrumentals for "California Girls."

1968 - Pink Floyd announce that original member Syd Barrett has left the band due to having psychiatric disorders worsened by using drugs.

1970 -Paul McCartney exits the Beatles.

1993 - Construction begins on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

1994 - Kurt Cobain of Nirvana commits suicide by shooting himself with a shotgun at the age of 27.

2008 - Apple becomes the No. 1 music seller in the United States.



Jeff Porcaro, April 1, 1954

Marvin Gaye, April 2, 1939

Emmylou Harris, April 2, 1947

Leon Wilkeson, April 2, 1952

David Robinson, April 2, 1953

Richard Manuel (lead singer of The Band), April 3, 1943

Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), April 3, 1968

Drew Shirley (Switchfoot), April 3, 1974

Muddy Waters, April 4, 1915

Clive Davis, April 4, 1934

Berry Oakley (The Allman Brothers Band), April 4, 1948

Pick Withers (Dire Straits), April 4, 1958

Gary Moore (Thin Lizzy), April 4, 1952

Craig Adams (The Cult), April 4, 1962

Mike Starr (Alice in Chains), April 4, 1966

Tony Williams (The Platters), April 5, 1928

Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) April 5, 1965

Pharrell Williams, April 5, 1973

Merle Haggard, April 6, 1937

Michelle Phillips (The Mamas & the Papas), April 6, 1944

Billie Holiday, April 7, 1915

Mick Abrahams (Jethro Tull), April 7, 1943

Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead), April 7, 1946

John Oates (Hall & Oates), April 7, 1949




Marvin Gaye, April 1, 1984

Buddy Rich, April 2, 1987

Danny Rapp (Danny & the Juniors), April 3, 1983

Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), April 5, 1994

Layne Staley, (Alice in Chains), April 5, 2002

Cozy Powell (ELP, Black Sabbath, Rainbow), April 5, 1998

Tammy Wynette, April 6, 1998




Elton John, 11-17-70, 1971

David Bowie, Drive-In Saturday, 1973

Aerosmith, Toys in the Attic, 1975




Prince, For You, 1978

Rick James, Street Songs, 1981

Whitesnake, Whitesnake LP, 1987



The Offspring, Smash, 1994

KISS, Greatest Kiss, 1997




April 8 - 14


This week in rock music history was marked by abundance of significant events. One of the songs that launched rock and roll was recorded, one of contemporary music’s greatest bands announced their breakup, and, sadly, an R&B/funk giant performed his final show. A trove of classic albums was released as well, including landmark records by David Bowie, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Cult. Read on for a look back at other noteworthy moments that shaped rock and roll during this historically eventful week.




1954 – Bill Haley records “Rock Around the Clock.” A world-wide smash, the recording eventually achieves sales of 25 million.

1957 – Ricky Nelson performs his debut single, “I’m Walkin’,” on the TV show “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” effectively launching his music career at age 16.

1961 – Bob Dylan performs his first New York City live gig, opening for John Lee Hooker at Gerde’s Folk City.

1966 – Buffalo Springfield make their live debut, performing at The Troubadour in Los Angeles.

1967 – Marvin Gaye records his version of “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.”

1968 – Janis Joplin makes her first American TV appearance, performing on “The Hollywood Palace” with Big Brother & the Holding Company.

1969 – The 5th Dimension’s recording of “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” tops the charts and remains in that spot for six weeks.

1970 – Paul McCartney issues a press release announcing the breakup of the Beatles. It later comes to light that John Lennon had decided to leave the Beatles much earlier than McCartney, but had kept his intentions secret from the press.

1970 – The Beatles’ Let It Be album tops the U.S. charts.



1970 – Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” is certified gold in the U.S.

1972 – Electric Light Orchestra make their live debut, performing at the Fox and Greyhound Pub in Croydon, England.

1975 – Ronnie Wood is announced as the replacement for recently departed Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor.

1976 – Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive! album hits #1 on the U.S. charts. It goes on to occupy the top spot for 10 non-consecutive weeks, and remains on the chart for a total of 97 weeks.

1973 – Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy album is certified gold.

1979 – Mickey Thomas—previously best known as the lead vocalist on Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around and Fell in Love”—becomes the new lead singer for Jefferson Starship.

1994 – More than 5,000 people attend a memorial service for Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, held at the Seattle Flag Pavilion.

1994 – Oasis release their first single, “Supersonic.”

2002 – S.C. governor James Hodges declares singer James Brown the state’s “Godfather of Soul.”

2009 – Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” is determined to be the most-played song in public places during the past 75 years, according to BBC Radio 2. Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” comes in at Number Two.

2014 – REM’s Michael Stipe inducts Nirvana into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Stipe’s comments include the observation that Nirvana “spoke truth and a lot of people listened.”

2016 – Prince stages his final show, performing at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. The last song he performs is “Purple Rain.”




Steve Howe (Yes), April 8, 1947

Izzy Stradlin (Guns N' Roses), April 8, 1962

Kevin Martin (Candlebox), April 9, 1969

Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance), April 9, 1977

Loretta Lynn – April 14, 1935

Herbie Hancock – April 12, 1940

John Kay (Steppenwolf) – April 12, 1944

Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane) – April 13, 1944

Lowell George – April 13, 1945

Ritchie Blackmore – April 14, 1945

Al Green – April 13, 1946

Bunny Livingston – April 10, 1947

Fred Smith (Television) – April 10, 1948

June Millington (Fanny) – April 14, 1949

Eddie Hazel (Funkadelic) – April 10, 1950

David Cassidy – April 12, 1950

Max Weinberg – April 13, 1951

Jimmy Destri (Blondie) – April 13, 1954

Vince Gill – April 12, 1957

Stuart Adamson (Big Country) – April 11, 1958

Brian Setzer – April 10, 1959

Amy Ray (Indigo Girls) – April 12, 1964




Little Eva – April 10, 2003

Stuart Sutcliff – April 10, 1962

Josephine Baker – April 12, 1975

Sam Kinison – April 10, 1992

Anthony Newley – April 14, 1999

Ritchie Cordell – April 13, 2004

Johnnie Johnson – April 13, 2005

June Pointer – April 11, 2006

Mississippi Slim – April 14, 2010

Jesse Winchester – April 11, 2014

Percy Sledge – April 14, 2015



1970 – Elton John: Elton John

1972 – Raspberries: Raspberries

1972 – Creedence Clearwater Revival: Mardi Gras

1972 – Stephen Stills and Manassas: Manassas

1973 – The J. Geils Band: Bloodshot

1973 – David Bowie: Aladdin Sane

1973 – Bob Marley & The Wailers: Catch a Fire



1974 – Lynyrd Skynyrd: Second Helping

1975 – The Beach Boys: Spirit of America

1976 – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band: Live Bullet

1978 – Various Artists: Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture

1979 – Thin Lizzy: Black Rose: A Rock Legend

1980 – Judas Priest: British Steel

1980 – Iron Maiden: Iron Maiden

1981 – Public Image Ltd.: The Flowers of Romance

1982 – John Cougar: American Fool

1982 – Van Halen: Diver Down

1983 – R.E.M.: Murmur

1983 – David Bowie: Let's Dance


1984 – Rush: Grace Under Pressure

1987 – Fleetwood Mac: Tango in the Night

1988 – Iron Maiden: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

1988 – Neil Young and the Bluenotes: This Note's for You

1988 – Cheap Trick: Lap of Luxury

1989 – The Cult: Sonic Temple

1989 – Garth Brooks: Garth Brooks

1990 – Lou Reed and John Cale: Songs for Drella

1991 – Temple of the Dog: Temple of the Dog

1994 – Hole: Live Through This

1998 – Widespread Panic: Light Fuse, Get Away

1999 – Shelby Lynne: I Am Shelby Lynne

2002 – Sheryl Crow: C'mon C'mon


2003 – ZZ Top: Mescalero

2003 – Fleetwood Mac: Say You Will







Anne Erickson holds years of bylines in Gannett Media publications, as well as music magazines Premier Guitar, Guitar Edge and more. She also hosts radio shows with iHeartRadio and has been syndicated in Seattle, Dayton, Central Coast California and beyond. Anne is a loyal Spartan and holds a Master’s degree from MSU. She resides in Lansing, Michigan.A




HC's Rock Review is sponsored by Gibson


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