October 25 – Swing dance, Stones, Tull, Rolling Thunder

1938Too Bad for Hitler

A Catholic archbishop in Iowa (!) denounces jazzy swing music as “a degenerated musical system… turned loose to gnaw away at the moral fiber of young people”.

Swing is popular from 1935-1945 along with ‘wild’ swing dancing.

Interestingly Swing was known as ‘degenerate art’ to foreign Nazis in Hitler Germany where the Hitler Youth closely observed the Swing Kids. 300 were arrested in 1941. The 1993 film Swing Kids explores the era.

Attacks on pop music continued through the 1960s – and beyond (*) – often likewise, motivated by racism, and otherwise by those people who fear anything new.


Stones, 1964

British invasion rockers The Rolling Stones make the first of six appearances on CBS TV’s The Ed Sullivan Show.

They sing Chuck Berry‘s Around and Around and Time Is on My Side.


Unique (rock bands with flute-players are fairly scarce) British group Jethro Tull releases its first album This Was, recorded for only £1200.

It reaches UK#10. Beggar’s Farm  Tull’s been playing ever since: A Billion Hands Concert was held on December 5, 2008! The band has sold 60 million albums worldwide.


Yep, that’s whiteface

Rocker Bob Dylan‘s Rolling Thunder Revue tour hits the road.

In two legs (the first a success), it (and Scarlet Rivera‘s fine gypsy fiddling) lasts ’til May 25, 1976. As a souvenir of the tour, the great live album Hard Rain (US#14, UK#3) is released in September. Coffee  Coffee (tour) Hard Rain  Idiot Wind 

October 24 – Harlem hits, White Swan, Relax, Movin Out


Billboard starts a race music chart called The Harlem Hit Parade (*)

In Feb. 1945 the chart’s name becomes Juke Box Race Records. In June 1949 the name becomes Rhythm and Blues Records.

Prior to the emergence of rhythm & blues as a musical genre in the 1940s, ‘race music’ and ‘race records’ were terms used to categorize practically all types of African-American music. Race records were the first examples of popular music recorded by and marketed to black Americans…. During the 1920s and 1930s … approximately 10,000 blues, 3,250 jazz, and 1,750 gospel songs were produced…

And now you know the rest of the story.
Extra credit: Compare Ernie Tubb’s 1943 country tune: Mamie Smith, 1920 

▷AllMusic:Early R&B▹ ▷R&B ’42 to ’54▹ ▷Scaruffi:R&B▹ ▷Emusic Dozen:HHP▹

See also: List of number-one rhythm and blues hits(1942-1959), Black Swan Records (founded 1921, Harlem)


English rock band T.Rex releases it’s first hit single Ride a White Swan.

Produced by Tony Visconti, climbing to a UK#2 in January 1971, ‘Swan’ is credited with starting Glam rock.

The band is fronted by guitarist, singer and songwriter Marc Bolan (Mark Feld) who enjoys a brief solo career before a tragic 1977 auto death.  ( Fansite

See also: Alvin Stardust  Gary Glitter  Leningrad Cowboys 

Thanks to being banned by the BBC, Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood goes to #1 … and becomes one of the top-ten best-selling UK singles ever! Nice of the Beeb.


Broadway opening of Movin’ Out, a jukebox musical featuring the songs of US musician, composer Billy Joel.

Conceived by Twyla Tharp, the story of kids growing up on Long Island during the 1960s sees 2400 performances in 5 years in the US, winning Tony Awards for choreography and orchestration. A 2006 London run lasts only two months. What the hey?

October 22 – Met, 66 Supremes, Mookie


Opening of the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC.

The first public radio broadcast aired a Met performance on Jan. 12, 1910. Weekly live Texaco-Metropolitan Opera Network broadcasts on the NBC Red Network began with Hansel and Gretel on Dec. 25, 1931 and have been heard ever since.


The Supremes become the first all-girl group to score a US#1 album, the stack-o-Motown called The Supremes A’ Go-Go.

As always it’s all over the radio. Most of the songs are by Motown‘s songwriting locomotive Holland-Dozier-Holland. Songs include You Can’t Hurry Love and Baby I Need Your Loving. The well-seasoned Funk Brothers sound even more effortless than usual.


What will become the Seattle alt-rock band Pearl Jam plays its first official show as “Mookie Blaylock” at the Off Ramp club.

They’re supporting Inspector Luv and the Ride Me Babies (who later became Green Apple Quick Step). Their first release is, logically, Release.

Formed out of Mother Love Bone after the heroin death of Andy Wood (*), PJ releases it’s first album Ten in August, 1991.

In 2009 PJ makes the US top-10 single charts for the first time since 1993 (16 years!) with Brother. No singles are released! but Ten is reissued. Yep … nostalgia hit.

 ( Website
▷Pearl Jam timeline at IA▹
▷Five Horizons Concert Chronology▹
▷RS PJ page▹

October 21 – My Bonnie, Pentagon levitates, Ommadawn, Camper van Beethoven


Polydor Records releases a single with singer/guitarist Tony Sheridan singing My Bonnie. On the flip side is When the Saints Go Marching In.

Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers made the recording in Hamburg, Germany. The single, Polydor NH24673 with McCartney on bass, marks The Beatles‘ first appearance on commercial vinyl.

In the US, Decca Records releases the very limited 31382 single (one of the scarcest) on Apr. 4, 1962. (*)


The ‘Exorcism of the Pentagon’, including a levitation and a performance by band The Fugs, is part of a demonstration by 100,000 in Washington DC. CIA Man 

It’s organized by the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. 682 are arrested and dozens injured. There are parallel demonstrations in Japan and Europe; in London 3,000 demonstrators attempt to storm the US Embassy. Newsreel 

A famous photo shows a flower (one of 10,000 originally intended to be dropped on the Pentagon) placed in the barrel of a rifle by George Harris.(*)

Leaders like Morris Udall, Daniel Ellsberg and Robert McNamara later stated that the demonstration changed their minds about the war. (*) March film 


Mike Oldfield releases third album Ommadawn.

It rises to UK#4. More relaxed and listenable than his flashier debut Tubular Bells. Nothing to prove any more. The lyrics are a translation into Gaelic of ‘Daddy’s in bed, The cats drinking milk, I’m an idiot, And I’m laughing.’

Side two ends with a delightful third track, ‘On Horseback'; drums by William Murray. Horseback 

 ( Website ( Fansite


US hard rock vocalist Meat Loaf (Michael Aday) releases his second album, Bat Out of Hell.

By 2010 it becomes the world’s fifth-best-selling album … 43 million copies. Track Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad reaches US#11, Meatloaf’s best. Track Paradise By The Dashboard Light only reaches US#39 but is enduringly popular. Both songs are written by US producer Jim Steinman ▷Bio▹ ▷MeFi▹.

Meatloaf also appears as a biker in cult favorite film The Rocky Horror Picture Show – which ain’t bad either.
 ( Meatloaf site  ( Steinman fansite  ~ Meat Loaf 


Redmonds, CA alt-rock band Camper Van Beethoven(*) makes USMRT#1 with a single from their 5th album Key Lime Pie. The dandy Status Quo cover is called Pictures of Matchstick Men.
It opens with a catchy riff played on a violin no less, lifted from 1967 Vanilla Fudge US#6 hit You Keep Me Hangin’ On (itself a Supremes cover). Alas it’s been four years since Camper’s 1985 debut album Telephone Free Landslide Victory, and in 1990 the band packs it in.
But ‘Pictures’ and a debut album track called Take the Skinheads Bowling   MP3  keep the band on the radio for years. After 14 years, the band reforms in 2004 to release a new album called New Roman Times on Oct. 12. And 8th studio album La Costa Perdida appears on Jan. 22, 2013.
 ( Website ▷Dave Lowery blog, Hits are Black Swans

October 20 – Pickett, PPM, NIN


Boris Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers’ novelty Halloween tune Monster Mash reaches US#1 with help from producer Gary S. Paxton and pianist Leon Russell.


Folk music album Peter, Paul and Mary hits US#1 … an unheard-of rarity.

It spends 7 months in the top 10, with songs like 500 Miles, Lemon Tree, and Seeger hit Where Have All the Flowers Gone?.

Their recording of Pete Seeger and Lee Hays song If I Had a Hammer climbs to US#10 and is a double-winner at the Grammy Awards of 1963.

Hammer  500  Morning  Flowers 


English rock band Rolling Stones finally manage a US#1 with a single, Angie.

Written by Keith Richards, it’s about the end of a romance – rumored to be about Angela Bowie.


The Sydney Opera House is opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

US industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails releases debut album Pretty Hate Machine.

A critical success, PHM only charts #75 … but eventually goes triple platinum. It’s top single song is Head Like a Hole. … A three-track version of this single was released in the UK, an 11-track version in the US!

1994 second album The Downward Spiral reaches US#2 (UK#9,CA#13); its singles Hurt and Closer make the USAlt top-10. Every album since has landed in the top-20.

NIN was founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor, previously a handyman and janitor at a studio! so determined that PHM sequencing was done using MOTU’s Digital Performer on a Mac Plus! Prior to that, Reznor says, ‘I had a Commodore 64 with, I think, the Sequential Circuitss Model 64 Sequencer Cartridge.’ (*) (*)

October 19 – Elgar, Godfrey, Chorus Line, Clerks


Elgar, c.1900

Premiere performance of ‘March No. 1 in D major’ (the famous one) of a series of five marches called Pomp and Circumstance.

Elgar conducts, 1931 

They’re composed by England’s Edward Elgar between 1901 and 1930. Elgar later sets the famous tune as a patriotic song, by request of the King, called Land of Hope and Glory.


An angry Arthur Godfrey, thought of as a ‘nice guy’, fires singer Julius LaRosa, live on his TV program … alienating many viewers.


A musical about A Chorus Line opens on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre.

The show ends in 1990 after 6,137 performances, and after winning 9 Tony Awards. It re-opens in October, 2006!

A film version directed by Richard Attenborough is released on Dec. 10, 1985.


Kevin Smith‘s hip slacker/stoner comedy film Clerks is released.

It’s shot for $27,000 (it earns that back in 2 theatres on its first weekend) … they spend more than that on the alt-rock Clerks soundtrack! which includes Soul Asylum‘s Can’t Even Tell  (MR#15) and Alice in Chains Got Me Wrong  (MR#7).

Grossing $3mil (short tail), the film TEARS UP the indie scene. Snoochie boochies!

October 18 – Moby Dick, Regency TR-1


Novel Moby-Dick by American fiction author Hermann Melville is first published in London in 3 volumes as ‘The Whale’.

The immortal tale of the evil of vengeance and the power of nature is published in NY on Nov. 14. Its fictional ship Pequot is modelled on the real whaleship Essex, sunk by a whale in 1820. There was actually an albino sperm whale called Mocha Dick, named for the island off Chile.  ( Melville fansite

Based in a similar novel by Melville, the opera Billy Budd by English composer Benjamin Britten debuts in London’s Royal Opera House on Dec. 1, 1951; there are 17 curtain calls. Mutiny scene  ▷MusicWeb: Britten▹

The screenplay for the 1956 film adaptation of Moby Dick, directed by John Huston, is written by Ray Bradbury (‘his Fahrenheit 451‘ appeared in 1953). The association with Huston is not a pleasant experience for Bradbury. Likewise for Gregory Peck, who plays Ahab; later he says that Huston should have played Ahab. Huston commissions French-British violist, composer Philip Sainton (*) to write the filmscore. Film 

Finally, the instrumental, drum-solo track Moby Dick appears on British group Led Zeppelin‘s second album, released Oct. 22, 1969.  ( Led Zep site


The first mass-market transistor radio (AM only!), the Regency TR-1, is announced.

Made in the USA (how weird is that!) by I.D.E.A. Inc., it fits in one hand, costs $50, has 4 transistors, and uses a 22-volt battery! Assembly 

First transistor, 1947

Regency TR-1 page

The personal gadget slowly becomes a fad, growing up with rock’n’roll. You can take it to the beach! By the early 60s owning a ‘transistor’ (sold for $10 or less), like the much later iPod, is a must for many.
MP3: How transistors revolutionized music
Roger McGuinn’s TR-1