8 September

Pick a Day

8 SEPTEMBER

In Music History

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2017 Forty-one years after it was recorded, Neil Young's Hitchhiker is finally released. It features the first recorded versions of "Pocahontas" and "Powderfinger."

2017 Troy Gentry of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry dies in a helicopter crash en route to a gig in Medford, New Jersey. He was 50.

2016 Prince Buster, a Jamaican native who popularized ska music in England, dies at age 78.

2010 Rich Cronin (of LFO) dies of a stroke while battling leukemia in Boston, Massuchusetts, at age 36.

2007 Lynyrd Skynyrd is inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

2002 Gordon Lightfoot undergoes an emergency stomach operation in a suburban Toronto hospital.

2001 Jennifer Lopez's "I'm Real" remix tops the Hot 100 for the first of five non-consecutive weeks. The pop singer gets some urban street cred with the help of guest rapper Ja Rule.

1997 Cornershop release When I Was Born for the 7th Time, their third studio album. It contains the hit song "Brimful of Asha."

1994 At the MTV Video Music Awards, Beastie Boy Adam Yauch (MCA), in character as "Nathanial Hornblower," rushes the stage when R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" beats "Sabotage" for Best Direction. It's the first such intrusion at the VMAs.More

1994 Chris Cornell and Kim Thayil accept the Best Metal/Hard Rock Video Award at the MTV Video Music Awards for Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" clip, beating out Aerosmith ("Cryin'"), Anthrax ("Black Lodge"), and Rollins Band ("Liar").

1992 Tom Waits' album Bone Machine drops a sonic avalanche of apocalyptic percussion sounds, snarls, and deathly wails - and fans love him for it.More

1989 Rapper Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five dies at age 28 from a crack cocaine addiction.

1988 Bad Religion return with their third album, Suffer - their first full-length in five years and one of their best selling albums of all time. Suffer sees the return of the classic How Could Hell Be Any Worse? lineup, now a five-piece featuring Greg Graffin (vocals), Brett Gurewitz (guitar), Greg Hetson (guitar), Jay Bentley (bass) and Pete Finestone (drums).

1987 Rush bring back Peter Collins, producer of Power Windows, for Hold Your Fire. Featuring Top Five singles "Time Stand Still" and "Force Ten," Power Windows goes Gold but is the first Rush album in nine years to fail to reach the Billboard Top 10 or to achieve Platinum status in the US.

1980 Eric Hutchinson ("Rock and Roll," "OK, It's Alright With Me") is born in Takoma Park, Maryland.

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Chuck Berry Does The Duck Walk

1955

In an attempt to hide the wrinkles in his suit, Chuck Berry does the duck walk for the first time.

Berry performs the famous move, squatting on one leg while hopping across the stage, at the Paramount Theatre in Brooklyn, New York, where he is low in the bill at Alan Freed's "Rock and Roll Spectacular," a week-long run of shows that features Tony Bennett, Lillian Briggs and The Rhythmettes. It's one of Berry's first shows outside of St. Louis, where he has been performing with his trio (piano player Johnnie Johnson and drummer Ebby Harding) since 1952. Their suits get wrinkled on the way to New York, so Berry keeps a crouch on stage to conceal them, improvising his duck walk along the way. The crowd goes nuts, so Berry does it at the rest of the shows, where it wows the crowd every time. It became his signature move on stage.

Berry has a flat-footed gait, making the duck walk a natural for him, but rather difficult for the many guitarists who try to emulate it along with his licks. It's a pose he's been striking since he was a kid.

The move is one of Berry's many contributions to rock and roll, which is in its infancy. In promoting this new form of music, Freed, a prominent disc jockey, mixes traditional acts with artists like Berry and Fats Domino, who are forging the new sound. Tony Bennett may seem out of place headlining a "Rock and Roll Spectacular," but nobody is quite sure what the genre entails yet. Berry soon defines it along with Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Little Richard and other trailblazers. His duck walk remains the most famous stage move in rock.

Berry told the Washington Post that he came up with the duck walk in 1956, but his description of the events - that it took place at "one of my first gigs," and that it was at an Alan Freed show at the Paramount - places it on this date in 1955.

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