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JEWDAYO ROCKS: Jewish Rock and Roll Dates for April

March 29, 2014
Research by Lawrence Bush and Bennett Muraskin April 1: Phil Margo (Margulies) of the Tokens (who were all Jewish) was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1942. To see them playing their hit, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” which was a number #1 hit in 36 countries, including Israel, and sold 3 million records, look below. . . . Henry Gross of the oldies cover group Sha-Na-Na was also born on this date, in 1951. April 2: Songwriter, performer and French media idol Serge Gainsbourg was born to Ukrainian Jews in Paris on this date in 1928. . . . Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass landed four albums on Billboard’s top ten list on this date in 1966, a record. April 3: Jeff Barry (Joel Adelberg), who teamed with Ellie Greenwich to write dozens of rock and roll hits, was born in Brooklyn on this day in 1938. Their songs included (with Phil Spector) “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Then He Kissed Me,” and “Be My Baby,” as well as “Hanky Panky,” “Remember (Walking in the Sand),” “Leader of the Pack,” “Chapel of Love,” and “Doo Wah Diddy.” To see the Ronettes singing “Be My Baby,” look below. . . . “Uncle Miltie” Berle hosted Elvis Presley on his NBC television show on this date in 1956. The program was watched on one out of every four television sets in the country. Berle joined Elvis as his cousin “Melvin Presley.” April 6: The Kingsmen recorded “Louie Louie” on this date in 1963. The record would be released by Florence Greenberg’s Tiara Records — and investigated by the FBI on suspicion of obscene lyrics. ianjanis-socie-300x300April 7: Singer-songwriter Janis Ian (Fink) was born in New York on this date in 1951. . . . The first national rock and roll radio show, Alan Freed’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Dance Party,” got its start on the CBS Radio Network on this date in 1956. . . . Bob Dylan received an honorary Pulitzer Prize on this date in 2008 for his “profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.” April 8: Petula Clark (“Downtown”) touched Harry Belafonte as they sang an anti-war song together on her prerecorded television special on this date in 1968. An account executive from her sponsor, Chrysler, objected to the “interracial touching” — whereupon Clark and her husband-producer, Claude Wolff, after consulting with Belafonte, destroyed all the other takes of the song to assure that the touch would be included. The show marked the first time a man and a woman of different races had physical contact on American television. . . . “Leader of the Pack,” a musical tribute to songwriter Ellie Greenwich, opened on Broadway on this date in 1985. imagesApril 9: Political satirist Tom Lehrer was born on this date in 1928. When Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 Lehrer said it made political satire obsolete. . . . Laura Nyro died at 49 on this date in 1997, leaving a legacy of gorgeous, intelligent songs and soulful performances. To hear her live at the Fillmore East, 1970, look below. April 11: Bob Dylan played for the very first time in New York on this date in 1961, opening for John Lee Hooker at Gerde’s Folk City and playing “Blowing in the Wind.” He earned a two-week stint in September that would bring him national notice through a New York Times review. reedylaurie1-300x298April 12: Lou Reed married Laurie Anderson on this date in 2008. April 13: Max Weinberg, long-time drummer in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, was born in Newark on this date in 1951. . . . Hillel Slovak, founding guitarist with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was born in Haifa, Israel, on this date in 1962. To see them going at it, look below. April 15: Mitch (“Sing Along with Mitch”) Miller, who hated rock and roll, appeared with Alan Freed and two psychiatrists on CBS Sunday News on this date in 1956 to discuss the impact of rock music on teenagers. article1411April 17: Linda Eastman, Paul McCartney’s great love, rock and roll photographer, and a singer in Wings, died at 56 on this date in 1998 . . . Rock impresario Don Kirshner was born in the Bronx on this date in 1934. April 19: Mark Volman, co-founder of the Turtles, was born in Los Angeles on this date in 1947. April 21: The Bihari Brothers — Jules, Saul, Joseph and Lester, sons of Hungarian Jewish immigrants — launched Modern Records, a pioneering R & B label, in Los Angeles on this date in 1945. April 23: Bob Dylan recorded his classic “Masters of War” on this date in 1963. The melody came from a song, “Nottamun Town,” after an arrangement by Jean Ritchie. To hear him playing it at Carnegie Hall, look below. April 24: Lorne Michaels (Lorne David Lipowitz), the creator of Saturday Night Live, almost pulled off a Beatles reunion by making an offer of $3,000 for them to play on the show on this date in 1976. Lennon and McCartney were actually visiting in Manhattan at the time and nearly went over to the studio after watching the skit. April 25: Jerry Leiber of the great songwriting team of Leiber and Stoller was born in Baltimore on this date in 1933. . . . Michael Brown (Lookofsky), the keyboardist and songwriter with The Left Banke’s (“Walk Away Renee”) was born in New York on this date in 1949. April 27: Syd Nathan, founder of King Records and the first music producer to record James Brown (“Please Please”), was born In Cincinnati on this date in 1904. April 28: Daisy Berkowitz (Scott Putesky), the original guitarist with Marilyn Manson, was born in Los Angeles on this date in 1968. April 30: Anyone know if Wayne Kramer, guitarist with the proto-punk band MC 5, is Jewish? He was born on this date in 1948.