September 15 – Hackers, Tubes, Rios

1947

The RCA 12AX7 vacuum tube is introduced.

Over time the small-signal dual triode (*) expands into a family of similiar tubes, e.g. 12AT7, 12AU7. While hundreds of tubes have long been replaced by transistors, the 12AX7 is one of the few still being made.

It’s still widely used in the preamp section of guitar amplifiers (*) for its robustness and how it ‘colors’ signals.

See also: Valve amplifier

1995

Cyberpunkish film Hackers(*) is released, starring Angelina Jolie, Jonny Lee Miller, and hilarious Matthew Lillard. Trailer 

An ethical group of high-school hackers is implicated in a threat to shipping. Smart, stylish joy-ride never pretends to be anything more than.

A cool soundtrack – with music from artists like The Prodigy (Voodoo People), Carl Cox, Orbital, The Orb, Fluke, Elastica, Massive Attack – inspires 3 CDs.

Mother: Dade?
Dade: Yeah, ma?
Mother: What are you doing?
Dade: I’m taking over a TV network.
Mother: Finish up, honey, and get to sleep. Quotes

Ebert: 3 stars.
Voodoo  One Love  Halcyon  Open Up  Grand Central 
 ~ Cyberpunk Review 

1998


Rio PMP300

Introduction of the second portable consumer MP3 audio file player, the 32MB Rio PMP300 . Produced by Diamond Multimedia it sells for $200.


MPMan

It sells considerably better than the first portable, the 32MB Eiger Labs MPMan F10. Introduced in May by South Korea‘s Saehan, it sold for $250. (*)

The RIAA asks for a sales ban on the Rio, gets one for 10 days in October before a court withdraws it. Diamond wins because the Rio is only a player.

When Napster‘s file-sharing service comes along in June 1999, the RIAA really has something to worry about.

September 13 – Spector, Toronto Revival, Hard Rain, Amebix

1958

Pop single To Know Him Is To Love Him by the Teddy Bears enters the US top 10 for 11 weeks.

By itself, that might be completely forgotten. But: the song (about his father) is written and arranged by 18-year-old band member Phil Spector, soon to be a superstar producer.

1969

Toronto Rock and Roll Revival is a one-day event which features a fistful of colorful figures from the 50s & 60s.

Headlined by the Plastic Ono Band, it even includes The Doors and Screaming Lord Sutch. It’s best known today as a result of D. A. Pennebaker film Sweet Toronto.

1976

Bob Dylan
releases a live album from the Rolling Thunder Revue called Hard Rain, among his best (UK#3, his most popular there; US#17).

See also: Bob Dylan discography

1985

English grandfathers of crust punk band Amebix (formed in 1978) release their first studio album Arise! on the Alternative Tentacles label.
 ( Website Beyond the Sun  Amebix history (83m) 

1993

US rock band Counting Crows releases its first commercial album, August and Everything After.

It is destined for US#4, UK#16 and to become their best-selling (but not highest-charting) album.

September 12 – Journey to Shostakovich

1906

Birthday of Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich, born in St. Petersburg.

His music reflects the difficult and tragic period he lived through, as well as the pressures of both state culture czars and other composers. (In 1948 along with others, including Prokofiev, he’s denounced for formalism; most of his works are banned by the state.)

Despite all that his humanity shines through. Sym.#5, 4th movement

1958


Kilby was here

Jack St. Clair Kilby demonstrates the first integrated circuit to his colleagues at Texass Instruments. (*)

Today’s IC’s include FM & Video transmitters & whole computers. Almost any device can be built … all on one chip. Needless to say, they made possible all iPods, iPads, inexpensive synths and music computers.

1963


Swan 4152 (US)

The Beatles have a second UK#1 (*) with She Loves You.

It spends 4 weeks at UK#1, repeating in Nov. for 2 more weeks. It remains the Fabs best-selling UK single.

It also attracts the first Beatles attention in the US, where it goes US#1 on Mar. 21, 1964. From Me to You, the first UK#1, never climbed higher than US#116. With the next hit, Nov. 29’s I Want to Hold Your Hand, all hell breaks loose worldwide.

See also: 60s UK#1s, 63 US#1s

Early Beatles color footage (Pathe)

1966
Launch of musical TV sitcom The Monkees, featuring members of the band trying to make it as rock singers in Malibu, California.A lot of light-headed fun and good music, it lasts thru Mar. 1968. An MTV Monkees marathon on Feb. 23, 1986 leads to the 58 episodes are revived and widely re-aired.
Theme  Believer 

1981

San Francisco arena rock band Journey‘s sixth studio album Escape climbs to US#1.

Three of its tracks reach the US top-10; for the first and only time a Journey track, Don’t Stop Believin’, charts in the UK. (It’s also a top-selling iTunes track.)

The band was concocted from members of Santana eight years earlier in San Francisco. It has released 14 studio albums since 1975 – the most recent, Eclipse, in 2011.

September 10 – Revolver, Patti Smith, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Cats

1966

The BeatlesRevolver goes to US#1 for six weeks.

It had become a UK#1 on Aug. 13. Discarded ideas for the album title included ‘Four Sides of the Eternal Triangle’ and ‘Beatles on Safari’.

Many rock fans think it’s their best album; pop fans argue for previous album Rubber Soul. In 2003 Rolling Stone names Revolver #3 on its Top 500 albums (*) list; Rubber Soul is #5. Call it a draw.

1979

American ‘Godmother of Punk’ vocalist Patti Smith announces her retirement from live performance.

She wants to spend more time with her husband, the MC5‘s Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith. She continues to record albums, and is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
▷’Even as a child, I felt like an alien’▹

1988

US hard rock, metal band Guns ‘N Roses begins the end for glam rock bands; it has a US#1 hit with the song Sweet Child o’ Mine from its debut album Appetite for Destruction.

2000

Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats closes on Broadway after 6,138 performances.

With its first show in 1982, it’s the longest-running musical in Broadway history before 2006. (It played 8949 times in London.)

A film version of a London performance appeared in 1998.

September 9 – Elvis, Johnny and Dorsey, Diana, Imagine, Klaatu, Winplay3

1956

Elvis Presley makes his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show — the TV audience has been estimated at 50 million.

Because of his “wildly gyrating hips” (Elvis was -nervous-), his 3rd appearance was from the waist up.

Rhythm Rangers, back in the day

Same date, a rockabilly trio known as The Rock and Roll Trio including singer-songwriters Johnny and Dorsey Burnette (who grew up in the Memphis projects) appear in the finals of a Ted Mack‘s Original Amateur Hour in Madison Square Garden. It earns them a contract with Coral Records.

My brother Dorsey and I first got to know Elvis Presley when he went to Humes High and we went to the Catholic High… Elvis would tote his guitar on his back when he rode past on his motor-cycle on his way to school. He would see us and always wave.

The Burnette brothers were to generate five top-40 singles, including Dreamin’ (1960, US#11,UK#5) and You’re Sixteen (1960, US#8,UK#3). Johnny appears on Liberty Records, Dorsey on Era and Dot. They also write songs for Ricky Nelson.

They’re seen in in Alan Freed’s Dec. 7 1956 movie Rock, Rock, Rock, as are Chuck Berry, LaVern Baker, Teddy Randazzo, the Moonglows, the Flamingos, and the Teenagers. 30 year-old Johnny is killed in a boat accident in 1964. Dorsey drifts back into writing Country music, releasing 9 more albums.
( Fansite ) ( Discography fansite )

1957

Canadian singer/songwriter Paul Anka‘s long chart-topping career (33 top 40’s by 1983) starts with the smash hit Diana (US#2,CA,AU,UK#1 for 9 weeks). He is 16 years old.

The song pushes to the top -partly- because suggestive lyrics got tongues wagging — not to mention the long … explosive … climb of the melody. Absolutely brilliant!

I’m so young and you’re so old
This, my darling, I’ve been told
I don’t care just what they say
‘Cause forever I will pray
You and I will be as free
As the birds up in the trees
Oh… please… stay by me, Diana

In 1967 Anka hears a French song for which he acquires a license and writes the English words for My Way; in 1969 it spends 75 weeks in the UK top-40. He will write the theme music for the Johnny Carson show (Toot Sweet), Tom Jones hit She’s a Lady, sings 1975 US#7 hit Times of Your Life . In 1993 he joins the Songwriters HoF.
( Website )

1971

Former Beatle John Lennon releases his album Imagine. One of his most popular, it becomes an international hit (US,UK,AU,IT,ZA#1).

The lead track becomes his signature song, reaching US#3, CA#1 — wins a Grammy — and in 2004 is named #3 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 of All Time. ( EMI site )

1977
Toronto, Canada prog band Klaatu releases its most famous single Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft on first album 3:47 EST. ▷Website ▹
1995
Release of the first real-time software MP3 player, Winplay3, by the Fraunhofer IIS.

Before it, audio compressed with MP3 had to be decompressed prior to listening. A digital music revolution begins.

September 8 – Star Trek, JFK Center, Ultravox

1966

Gene Roddenberry‘s US television sci-fi program
Star Trek premieres.


Fascinating

The show – wisely filmed by Desilu – barely lasts three seasons (79 episodes) thanks to TV executive thickheadedness.

Capt. Kirk: What can you expect from a simpering, devil-eared freak whose father was a computer and his mother an encyclopedia.

Theme  40th anniversary tribute  ▷Star Trek Soundtracks▹ ▷ST MIDI▹ ▷Trek Movie music▹

1971

Opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Located on the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., it annually hosts approximately 2,000 performances.

I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.
— inscribed words spoken in 1962

1978

British new wave band Ultravox release their 3rd album Systems of Romance.

It’s often said to be the first synthpop album. Sounding awkward now, it’s certainly influential, with singles Slow Motion and Quiet Men onboard. Produced by Kraftwerk producer Connie Plank , the album fails to chart.

Frontman John Foxx leaves the band. The group records 7 more studio albums, scoring many top-20 hits in Europe – 1980’s UK#2 Vienna and 1984’s UK#3 Dancing with Tears in My Eyes, for example … while US interest remains zero.

2001
Aussie vocalist Kylie Minogue releases awesome dance-pop smash hit Can’t Get You Out of My Head, which goes to #1 in 40 countries! In the US it becomes Minogue’s first top-10 since 1988’s cover of 1962 Little Eva hit Loco-Motion.