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JEWDAYO Rocks! Jewish Rock and Roll Dates for February

January 29, 2014
Research by Bennett Muraskin and Lawrence Bush Links are to JEWDAYO entries February 1: On this date in 1964, Indiana Governor Matthew Welsh declares the song “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen, published by Max Firetag and produced by Florence Greenberg’s Wand Records, to be pornographic, and asked radio stations to ban it. To hear the song sung by the original Kingsmen lead singer, slowly and deliberately, look below. Beatles-Helen-Shapiro-300x202February 2: The Beatles began their first British tour on this date in 1963 as the opening act for Helen Shapiro on this date in 1963. The Coasters were signed by Atlantic Records on this date in 1964 and rushed out their first hit record, “Down in Mexico,” written, as were most of their songs, by Leiber and Stoller. In 1973, Helen (“I Am Woman”) Reddy hosted the first edition of NBC television’s “Midnight Special.” February 5: Al Kooper (Kuperschmidt), founder of Blood, Sweat & Tears, keyboardist and vocalist with the Blues Project, backup player for Bob Dylan, and an record producer, was born on this date in 1944. To see him playing the Blues Project classic, “I Can’t Keep from Crying,” look below. Paul Simon released his first song without Art Garfunkel, “Mother and Child Reunion,” on this date in 1972. paul-williams-crawdaddy-1-300x240 February 7: Brian Epstein, age 30, brought the Beatles to America on this date in 1964. To see a British television special from that year, featuring the Beatles (who do NOT lip-synch, unlike other performers), look below. Paul Williams launched Crawdaddy!, the first national magazine dedicated to rock and roll, on this date in 1966. February 8: Max Yasgur, who permitted the 1969 Woodstock Festival to take place on his dairy farm in Bethel, New York, died on this date in 1973. February 9: Carole King, born in 1942. A superb songwriter and performer whose 1971 album, Tapestry, sold more than 10 million copies, Carole King wrote, among many memorable songs (often with Gerry Goffen), “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?,” “One Fine Day,” “Crying in the Rain,” “The Loco-motion,” “Up on the Roof,” “Go Away Little Girl,” and “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman.” To see her playing “It’s Too Late, Baby,” with Danny Kootch on guitar, look below. February 11: Gerry Goffen, born in 1939. Goffen worked together with his then-wife Carole King in the Brill Building in New York, creating some fifty popular hits that included “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” “Up on the Roof,” “One Fine Day,” “Crying in the Rain,” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Ari Gold, the first gay American pop singer to be out of the closet from the very start of his career, was born on this date in 1977 into a Modern Orthodox family in the Bronx. February 14: Murray “the K” Kaufman, legendary D.J., was born in New York on this date in 1922. He played early Dylan songs on his shows and publicly defended Dylan when he abandoned acoustic folk music for electric rock. Like Alan Freed, his predecessor on WINS AM radio, he produced many racially integrated rock and roll shows before the walls of legal segregation came down. Kaufman died on February 21, 1982. Sylvain Sylvain (Mizrahi), rhythm guitarist for the New York Dolls, was born in Cairo, Egypt on this date in 1951. You can see them below. February 15: Mike Bloomfield, great blues guitarist with the Butterfield Blues Band and a leader of The Electric Flag, died of a drug overdose at 37 on this date in 1981. On this date in 1957, impresario Irvin Feld launched one of the earliest rock and roll concert tours, Greatest Shows of 1957, in Pittsburgh, with Clyde McPhatter, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Lavern Baker, Bill Doggett, the Moonglows, and the Five Satins. February 17: Bob Dylan recorded twenty takes of “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” in Nashville on this date in 1966. The song appeared on Blonde on Blonde (1966), his first double-album. February 19: Jon Fishman, drummer and sometime vocalist for Phish (the band was named after him), was born in Philadelphia on this date in 1965. tumblr_lfx2bd50K61qckm0wo1_5001-210x300February 20: Jimi Hendrix played his first public gig in a Seattle synagogue basement on this date in 1959. Rock guitarists J. Geils (1946), Randy California (Randy Wolfe, 1951, of the band Spirit), and Walter Becker (1950, of Steely Dan) were all born on this date. To see Steely Dan playing “Reeling in the Years” (Becker’s on bass, alongside the amazing Skunk Baxter on lead guitar), look below. February 21: David Geffen, record producer who founded Asylum Records and Geffen Records, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1943. Among the artists he signed to record contracts were Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and John Lennon. February 23: Howie Epstein, bassist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, died in New Mexico on this date in 2003. February 24: Paul Simon’s “Graceland,” featuring Lady Smith Black Mambazo, won the Best Album of the Year Grammy on this date in 1986. To see Simon performing “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Hugh Masakela, look below. February 25: Bob Dylan’s “Time Out of Mind” won Best Album of the Year Grammy on this date in 1998. February 26: Michael Bolton (Bolotin), singer-songwriter who moved from heavy to soft rock and has released eight top-ten albums, was born in New Haven on this date in 1953. Bolton’s philanthropy works against sexual abuse of women and children.