American

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7th April 2015, The original manuscript of Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’ sold for $1.2m (£806,000) at a New York auction. The 16-page draft had been expected to fetch as much as $1.5m (£1m) at the Christie’s sale. McLean said writing the song was “a mystical trip into his past”. The repeatedly mentioned phrase “the day […]

6th April 1937, Born on this day, Merle Haggard, American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and fiddler. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band the Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the twang of Fender Telecaster and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound. Haggard scored over 10 US […]

31st March 1934, Born on this day, American singer and actress Shirley Jones who appeared in the well-known musical films Oklahoma! (1955), Carousel (1956). She played the lead role of Shirley Partridge, the widowed mother of five children, in the musical situation-comedy TV series The Partridge Family (1970–74), which co-starred her real-life stepson David Cassidy. […]

Happy Birthday to Aretha Franklin, born on 25th March 1942, American singer and songwriter Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul, who had the 1967 US No.1 & UK No.10 single ‘Respect’, the 1968 UK No.4 single ‘I Say A Little Prayer’ and the 1987 UK No.1 single with George Michael, ‘I Knew You Were Waiting’, […]

Happy birthday to Sly Stone, born on this day 15th March 1944. American musician, songwriter, and record producer Sly Stone, most famous for his role as frontman for Sly and the Family Stone, a band which played a critical role in the development of soul, funk, rock, and psychedelia in the 1960s and 1970s. (1968 […]

Happy Birthday to Quincy Jones, born on 14th March 1933. American record producer, composer and musician He is known for his 1962 tune ‘Soul Bossa Nova’ and later scored the 1978 US No.1 single ‘Stuff Like That’. Has a record 79 Grammy Award nominations. Jones was the producer of the three albums by Michael Jackson, […]

8th March 1973, American singer and musician Ron McKernan died aged 27 from liver failure brought on by alcohol poisoning. He was a founding member and keyboard player with the Grateful Dead and played in the group from 1965 to 1972. Unlike the other members of the Grateful Dead, McKernan avoided psychedelic drugs, preferring to […]

4th March 1944, Born on this day, Bobby Womack, American singer-songwriter and musician who started his career as the lead singer of the Valentinos and as Sam Cooke’s backing guitarist. Womack was a prolific songwriter who wrote and originally recorded the Rolling Stones’ first UK No. 1 hit, ‘It’s All Over Now’. Womack died at […]

3rd March 2012, American rock guitarist Ronnie Montrose died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound aged 64. The guitarist who led the bands Montrose and Gamma had been ill suffering from prostate cancer. Montrose had also worked with Edgar Winter, Van Morrison, Dan Hartman, Sammy Hagar and many other artists. Read it here

15th February 1981, American guitarist Mike Bloomfield was found dead in his car in San Francisco from an accidental heroin overdose aged 37. He was a member of the Paul Butterfield band and Electric Flag and had played on Bob Dylan’s album Highway 61 Revisited. Bloomfield’s Telecaster guitar licks were featured on Dylan’s ‘Like a […]


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