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JEWDAYO ROCKS: Jewish Rock and Roll Dates for July

July 1, 2014
Research by Lawrence Bush and Bennett Muraskin Beatles-and-Rolling-Stones-manager-Allen-Klein-diesJuly 4: Harvey Brooks (Goldstein), bassist with the Electric Flag and on Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited as well as the Kooper/Bloomfield/Stills Super Session album, was born in Manhattan on this date in 1944. He has lived in Israel since 2009.... Allen Klein, a manager of the Rolling Stones who eventually had a catalytic role in the break-up of the Beatles, died at 74 on this date in 2009. July 5: Bill Graham opened the Fillmore West, the world’s “first rock ballroom,” in San Francisco on this date in 1968.... Marty Balin (Buchwald) recruited Paul Kantner to form the Jefferson Airplane on this date in 1965. Three of the band’s five members were Jews: Spencer Dryden, drummer; Jorma Kaukonen, guitarist; and Balin. July 9: Bill Haley and the Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock” becomes the first rock and roll song to reach #1 on the Billboard charts on this date in 1955, more than a year after its initial release, after being included in the film, Blackboard Jungle. The song was written two years earlier by Max C. Freedman and James Myers (credited as “Jimmy De Knight”), Jewish Tin Pan Alley songwriters. July 10: Arlo Guthrie was born of a Jewish dancer mother on this date in 1947. July 11: Louis Gottlieb, bass player and comic lead of the Limeliters, died at 72 on this date in 1996. To see the band in action, look below.... Burt Bacharach and his wife and songwriting partner Carole Bayer Sager divorced on this date in 1981. July 17: Phoebe Snow (Laub) was born in New York on this date in 1950. Her 1974 eponymous album sold over a million copies, but her career was sidelined by the birth of a severely disabled daughter the following year, whom she valiantly kept out of institutions until the young woman died in 2005. July 20: Lesley Gore’s “It’s Judy’s Turn to Cry” was released on this date in 1963, and Bob Dylan’s classic “Like a Rolling Stone” was released on this date in 1965. 49320797July 21: Howie Epstein, bassist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, was born on this date in 1955.... Jim Croce, a convert to Judaism, had a #1 hit with “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” on this date in 1973. July 23: Leonard Chess of Chess Records releases Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene” on this date in 1955, considered by many to be the first rock and roll song. It sold over 1,000,000 copies. July 24: Brian Epstein and the Beatles, among other celebrities, took out a full-page ad in the Times of London calling for the legalization of marijuana on this date in 1967. July 25: Steve Goodman, who wrote “City of New Orleans” and several other successful songs before dying from leukemia at age 36, was born in Chicago on this date in 1948.... Bob Dylan went electric onstage for the first time at the Newport Folk Festival on this date in 1965, backed up by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. To see him performing there, look below. July 27: The Tokens, a doo-wop group headed by Jay Siegel, recorded “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” a number one hit with African roots, on this date in 1965. July 28: Mike Bloomfield, lead guitarist with Paul Butterfield Blues Band and The Electric Flag, was born on this date in 1943. To see him playing with Al Kooper on the Super Session album, look below. To see him reunited with Paul Butterfield in 1971, look below that. July 28: Named by the Guinness Book of Records as the “largest audience at a pop festival,” the Summer Jam at Watkins Glen attracted 600,000 people to the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Raceway on this date in 1973. Two Jewish producers, Shelly Finkel and Jim Koplik, sold 150,000 tickets for $10 each, but as at the Woodstock Festival four years earlier, the crowd overwhelmed profit-making and turned it, for most, into a free festival. July 29: Geddy Lee (Gary Lee Weinrib), lead singer, bassist and keyboardist for Rush, was born near Toronto to Holocaust survivor parents on this date in 1953. He took the name “Geddy” based on how mother pronounced “Gary” with her Yiddish accent.... Cass Elliott (Ellen Naomi Cohen) of the Mommas and the Poppas died at 32 on this date in 1974.... Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield named their wonderful ice cream flavor Cherry Garcia for the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia on this date in 1987. July 31: Gary Lewis, the son of comedian Jerry Lewis and leader of Gary Lewis and the Playboys, was born on this date in 1945.