March 21, 1952 – Famed DJ Alan Freed (“Moondog”) presents the Moondog Coronation Ball at the Cleveland Arena. It is widely considered the first rock and roll concert, with Billy Ward and The Dominoes, Tiny Grimes, and Paul Williams scheduled to perform. Unfortunately, the concert was shut down after the first song, because an estimated 20,000 people tried to crowd into the arena which had a capacity of only 10,000.
March 21, 1994 – Bruce Springsteen wins an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Streets of Philadelphia.” The song goes on to win four Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo, and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television.
March 21, 1973 – The BBC bans all “teenybopper” acts from appearing on the UK TV show “Top Of The Pops” after a riot following a David Cassidy performance.
Classic Rock Birthdays
March 21, 1960 – Robert Sweet, drums, vocals (Stryper)
March 21, 1961 – Slim Jim Phantom (born James McDonnell), drummer (Stray Cats), who later marries actress Britt Ekland on this same day in 1984.
March 21, 1949 – Eddie Money (born Edward Joseph Mahoney), vocals
March 21, 1950 – Roger Hodgson (born Charles Roger Pomfret Hodgson), guitar, vocals (Supertramp)
March 21, 1951 – Conrad Lozano, bass (Los Lobos)
March 21, 1946 – Ray Dorset, vocals, guitar (Mungo Jerry)
March 21, 1991 – Leo Fender (born Clarence Leonidas Fender), dies from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 81. Fender invented the Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars, favored by Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Buddy Holly and generations of musicians.