Classics Du Jour


CDJ Today: September 29 in Classic Rock

Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis circa 1950s

September 29, 1989 – Bruce Springsteen and a few of his bodyguards stop for a beer at Matt’s Saloon in Prescott, AZ on a motorcycle ride.  The small town quickly figures out Springsteen is there and packs the saloon when he agrees to jam with the house band for an hour. He also makes a generous $100,000 donation to a barmaid later that week, after hearing about her financial troubles.

September 29, 1976 – While celebrating his birthday, Jerry Lee Lewis attempts to shoot a beer bottle with his .357 magnum, but instead hits his bass player, Norman Owens, in the chest. Lewis is later charged with shooting a firearm within the city limits. Thankfully, Owens recovers, but he does sue Jerry Lee for damages.

September 29, 1997 – The Clinton White House awards Don Henley of the Eagles a National Medal of the Humanities for his work on the Walden Woods Project and as a supporter of the Thoreau Institute.  The goal of both initiatives was to preserve the area in Massachusetts where Henry David Thoreau did his writing.

September 29, 1976 – Rush release their live double album All The World’s A Stage. It goes on to sell over a million copies in the U.S.

September 29, 1967 – Mickey Hart joins the Grateful Dead as its new drummer.  He is the son of Lenny Hart, who was also the Grateful Dead’s original money manager.

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Classic Rock Birthdays

September 29, 1948 – Mark Farner, vocals, guitar (Grand Funk Railroad)
September 29, 1948 – Mike Pinera, guitar (Blues Image, Iron Butterfly)
September 29, 1963 – Les Claypool, vocals, bass (Primus)
September 29, 1939 – Tommy Boyce (born Sidney Thomas Boyce), singer, songwriter. Boyce wrote “Last Train To Clarksville,” “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone'” and “Scooby-Doo Where Are You.” (d. 1994)
September 29, 1937 – Joe “Guitar” Hughes, guitar (d. 2003)
September 29, 1935 – Jerry Lee Lewis, vocals, keyboards

Rock Remembrances

September 29, 2020 – Helen Reddy, Australian singer and actress, dies in Los Angeles.  She was 78. Reddy had been suffering from Addison’s disease and dementia. Reddy galvanized the women’s movement in 1972 with her single “I Am Woman.”

September 29, 2020 – Mac Davis (born Scott Max Davis), singer and songwriter, dies in Nashville after heart surgery.  He was 78.  Before becoming a star himself, Davis wrote songs for many singers, including “A Little Less Conversation” and “In The Ghetto” for Elvis Presley.

September 29, 2019 – Larry Willis, Blood, Sweat & Tears keyboardist, dies in Baltimore, MD from complications of diabetes. He was 76. Nominated three times for a Grammy award, Willis appeared on over 300 recordings with artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderley, Carmen McRae and Shirley Horn.

September 29, 2018 – Blues guitarist Otis Rush dies from complications from a stroke.  He was 84.  Rush was a staple on the Chicago blues scene, moving there to follow his mentor Muddy Waters.  He was the first artist to record Willie Dixon’s “I Can’t Quit You Baby” and wrote and recorded “Double Trouble” which was also covered by Eric Clapton and inspired the name for Stevie Ray Vaughan‘s band. Rush was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1984.

September 29, 2015 – Saxophonist Phil Woods dies from complications of emphysema in Stroudsburg, PA.  He was 83.  Woods was one of the leading alto saxophonists in the generation that followed Charlie Parker, and even ended up marrying Parker’s widow. Woods later played with Paul Simon on his 1975 album, Still Crazy After All These Years, played a solo on the Steely Dan song “Doctor Wu,” and in 1977 was prominently featured on Billy Joel’s ballad “Just the Way You Are.”

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