13 May

Pick a Day

13 MAY

In Music History

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2019 Doris Day dies at 97.

2017 Todd Rundgren gives the commencement speech at Berklee College Of Music, where he says, "I've never been nominated, thankfully, for the Rock Hall of Fame. If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve." When he's inducted in 2021, he makes good on his promise by not showing up.

2017 Portugal wins the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time when Salvador Sobral triumphs with the ballad "Amar Pelos Dois."

2016 Blake Shelton releases "Straight Outta Cold Beer," the third promotional single for his If I'm Honest album.

2016 Tower of Power play a California prison with former lead singer Rick Stevens, who served 36 years for a 1976 drug-related triple homicide.

2016 Kristian Bush of Sugarland appears on the TLC reality series Say Yes To The Dress, where he is flummoxed by bridal culture. While shooting the episode, he is asked to write a new theme song for the show, which he does with "Forever Now (Say Yes)."

2012 Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass guitarist for Booker T. and the MGs) dies in his sleep at age 70 while on tour in Tokyo.

2011 Jack Richardson (producer of Guess Who, Bob Seger) dies at age 81.

2008 Frank Sinatra gets his own stamp 10 years after his death. The 42 cent stamp features a young Sinatra in a snappy suit and fedora.

2008 Rapper Remy Ma is sentenced to eight years in prison for assault, weapon possession and attempted coercion in conjunction with the shooting of a woman outside a Manhattan nightclub.

2008 The Turtles' Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, better known as "Flo and Eddie," sue Capitol Records for allowing Ice Cube to sample the group's 1972 song "Buzzsaw" for Cube's 1992 hit "Jackin' For Beats."

2006 Johnnie Wilder Jr. (lead vocalist of Heatwave) dies at age 56 of complications from paralysis (due to a 1979 car accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down).

2006 Ryan Vandeberghe announces that the Suicide Machines have broken up after 15 years.

2004 In an Australian radio interview, Gene Simmons of Kiss states of Islam: "This is a vile culture, and if you think for a second that it's willing to just live in the sands of God's armpit you've got another thing coming... they want to come and live right where you live and they think that you're evil." After a flood of angry calls from Muslims, Simmons claims he was speaking only of extremists.

2003 Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong pleads guilty to selling drug paraphernalia over the Internet.

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PMRC Rallies Support For Labelling Offensive Music


The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) holds a meeting in a Washington church where they foment support for their agenda: a ratings system for albums and concerts like those used for movies, and also to keep offensive album covers out of view in record stores. Their efforts lead to warning stickers on albums with offensive lyrics.

The National Parent Teacher Association brought the issue to a head by sending letters not just to politicians, but to their wives, three of whom organized the PMRC in April. They are: Tipper Gore, wife of Senator Al Gore and a mother of four. She gets fired up after hearing her 11-year-old daughter playing the Prince song "Darling Nikki." Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker, whose moment of outrage comes when her 7-year-old daughter asks her to define the word "virgin" after hearing the Madonna song "Like A Virgin." A devout Christian, she likes classical music and country. Pam Howar, a former ad agency owner who is married to the powerful construction company owner Raymond Howar. She has been hearing offensive lyrics in the music played at her aerobics class, and becomes concerned when she notices her daughter listening to this music with "this punk look about her." Along with two other "Washington Wives," they send out letters to about 2,000 political movers and shakers culled from their Christmas card list, and also send copies to the media. The letter states: "Rock music has become pornographic and sexually explicit, but most parents are unaware of the words their children are listening to, dancing to, doing homework to, falling asleep to. Some rock groups advocate satanic rituals, the others sing of open rebellion against parental and other authority, others sing of killing babies." As examples, they cite "Darling Nikki" and also "Sugar Walls" by Sheena Easton, "Eat Me Alive" by Judas Priest, and "Animal (F--k Like a Beast)" by W.A.S.P. The letter hits the mark, getting a story in the Washington Post and other news outlets that mention the May 13 meeting to discuss "porn rock." The meeting, held at St. Columba's Episcopal Church, is attended by about 400 people, many of whom lend their support. The PMRC adds 17 more politically connected wives to their board, giving them enough clout to force a Senate hearing on the issue, which takes place September 19. John Denver, Frank Zappa, and Dee Snider of Twisted Sister testify in opposition to any kind of labeling, making the case that any kind of regulation could lead to censorship. In November, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which represents most record companies, agrees to voluntarily place warning stickers on albums deemed offensive, fending off legislation. The first stickers are small buttons that read, "Warning: Tone of this record unsuitable for minors." Over the first three years, only about 50 albums get stickered. It's not good enough for the PMRC, which threatens more action. In the summer of 1990, the RIAA changes the sticker to read, "Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics," which is later changed to "Parental Advisory: Explicit Content." The stickers succeed in keeping laws off the books regulating the music, but many stores, including Sears, J.C. Penney and WalMart, refuse to carry albums with the stickers. It becomes common practice for labels to release "clean" and "dirty" versions of albums, and also a marketing tactic: 2 Live Crew issue their As Nasty As They Wanna Be album in edited form as As Clean As They Wanna Be - most buyers opt for the nasty. Album covers also get less offensive, with Bon Jovi scrapping their wet T-shirt album cover of Slippery When Wet in favor of one with a wet garbage bag. In the digital age, there are no stickers but albums and tracks are clearly labelled as "explicit" on services like iTunes and Spotify.



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