October 9 – Lennon, Hit the Road Jack, Yesterday, Phantom, Coachella

1940

John Lennon is born in the Liverpool Maternity Hospital, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary.

Raised by his Aunt Mimi from age 5; his uncle brings him a harmonica; his mom Julia introduces him to guitar and Elvis.

In school, he is diagnosed with hyperactivity … blamed for being bored shitless. Many of his personal songs reflect the needless suffering we inflict on each other; others are visionary, playful, adventurous.

1962

Ray Charles (with the help of The Raelettes & Margie Hendricks) scores a second US#1 hit with Percy Mayfield song Hit the Road Jack.

Hits were simpler back then! Ray was one many great artists on NYC’s ABC Records label. When he starts up his Tangerine Records label in 1962, he hires Mayfield to write for him. Some say the song’s a tribute to the 1957 Jack Kerouac novel. Hmmm?

▷Mayfield bio▹ Mayfield’s Please (Gladys & BB) 

1965

Paul McCartney‘s solo vocal drives Yesterday to US#1 for 11 weeks.

Amazingly, he’s accompanied by a string quartet … another brill George Martin touch. The other Beatles aren’t sure it deserves an album place – feel it didn’t fit their image. As a result, it appears on the August 6 UK release of Help!, but is not released there as a single.

In the US, it doesn’t appear on the album! but Capitol releases a single. For 8 years it will be the most-played song on US radio, and has been covered thousands of times.

1971

Rod Stewart has a #1 song in the US and UK with Maggie May.

1986

Opening in London’s West End of English composer and Baron Andrew Lloyd Weber‘s musical The Phantom of the Opera.

The longest-running musical in Broadway history (opening 26 January 1988), based on the 1909 novel by French writer Gaston Leroux, the story of a deformed Phantom who lurks beneath the Paris Opera stage.

It celebrates its 9,000th performance in 2008, and a total worldwide boxoffice take over $5B. Music of the Night 

1999

First Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Take a look at the lineup and ask yourself WHAT WAS I THINKING? Beck, The Chemical Brothers, Tool, Morrissey, and Rage Against the Machine, Modest Mouse, Ritchie Hawtin, DJ Shadow, Roni Size. For starters.

Ever since, the festival is held on the last weekend of April.

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