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Despite it being one of the rare occasions of being a rock benefit concert in the U.S. not being televised, Thursday night’s (May 30th) Boston Strong benefit concert at Boston’s TD Garden, raised the roof as well as sizable funds for bombing victims. Vintage Vinyl News reported that the show, which can be accessed via online streaming sites, featured mini-sets by such local heroes and Beantown friends as Aerosmith, Boston, the J. Geils Band, James Taylor and Carole King, Extreme, and Jimmy Buffet.

Other performers included New Kids On The Block, Dropkick Murphys, Bell Biv DeVoe, and Boyz II Men. The five-and-a-half hour concert wrapped with all the artists performing the BeatlesAbbey Road opener “Come Together” and the Standells‘ 1965 Boston garage rock classic, “Dirty Water.”

 

It was 45 years ago today (May 30th, 1968) that the Beatles began recording their 30-song self-titled double album, which is commonly known as “The White Album.”

The Beatles in the studio during 1968′s ‘White Album’ sessions recording “Hey Jude”:

 

 

Beach Boys co-founder Al Jardine is missing one of his priceless vintage guitars. The guitar, which was a mainstay of Jardine’s ’70s shows with the band has been lost, and he’s posted a message to fans seeking their help on Facebook: “Folks, I recently ‘lost’ a black ’56 Les Paul guitar in the Monterey area. It was ‘borrowed’ but apparently not returned due to apparent forgetfulness. I treasure this black beauty a lot and would appreciate any information relating to its whereabouts (i.e. pawn shops, craigslist, etc) that you might have. Please message me with any info that could lead to the recovery of one of my favorite guitars. Thank you, I greatly appreciate your help.”  Here’s Al playing his missing guitar in 1976.

 

 

Happy Birthday to Gladys Knight, who turns 69 today (May 28th)!!! Born in Atlanta, Knight got her start performing gospel music in her local church choir, and by the age of seven she won first prize on the TV show Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour. Shortly thereafter, Knight helped form the Pips with her brother Merald — better known as “Bubba” — and two cousins, Edward Patten and William Guest.

The group signed to Motown Records in 1966, where they scored major hits such as “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “If I Were Your Woman,” and “Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye).” After leaving Motown in the mid-’70s, Knight and the Pips moved to Buddha Records and recorded a string of smashes, including “Midnight Train To Georgia” and “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.” Gladys Knight & The Pips parted ways in 1989 and Knight continues to record as a solo artist.

Here she is in 1973 performing on “The Midnight Special.”

 

Laurence Juber, the third and final lead guitarist with Paul McCartney & Wings will publish his autobiography in October.  The book chronicles his five decades in the business, including his years recording and touring with McCartney.  Here he is at the 2012 Fest for Beatles Fans performing “Oh! Darling.”

The death toll from the powerful tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma, was reduced to 24 yesterday (May 21st), including nine children, from an earlier higher estimate of 51, while scientists concluded the twister was a rare EF5, the top of the scale used to measure tornado strength. The National Weather Service said the tornado had winds of at least 200 miles per hour, was at least a half-mile wide, and was on the ground for 40 minutes.

Singer/songwriter Alan O’Day, best known for his 1977 chart-topper “Undercover Angel,” died on May 17th of brain cancer at age 72. In addition to his own hit single, he also wrote Helen Reddy‘s 1974 Number One hit “Angie Baby” and the Righteous Brothers‘ Top Three comeback hit from that year, “Rock And Roll Heaven.” In recent years, O’Day composed music for the cartoon series Muppet Babies and National Geographic’s Really Wild Animals.

Paul McCartney kicks of the North American leg of his “Out There” tour this weekend in Florida.  Wednesday and Thursday he’ll be in Austin.  101 Gold winner Reynoldo Meraz will be in the audience for Wednesday’s show.  Here’s Paul performing “Paperback Writer”  at his May 4th show in Brazil.

Former Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm is eying a retirement from the road. Although Gramm is enjoying a higher profile these days due to his new memoir – Juke Box Hero: My Five Decades In Rock N’ Roll — and upcoming induction with Mick Jones into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he explained that touring isn’t his primary concern anymore, telling VH1, “I have some other interests. I enjoy being in the studio, I still enjoy writing. I may put my efforts into writing songs for other people or into production. I guess those are the outlets for old rock singers when they go out to pasture, y’know?”

It was 43 years ago today (May 14th, 1970) that Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY) released their single “Ohio” as a tribute to four students killed by National Guardsmen on May 4th, 1970 during anti-war protests at Ohio’s Kent State University.

David Crosby and Neil Young were together in the days following the shootings, and were both distraught over the senseless killings and found themselves discussing, arguing, and replaying the tragic events, until Young took a guitar and sat alone and composed “Ohio.” The song, which was recorded right away, was rush-released only ten days after the shootings.

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