Gerald “Gerry” Rafferty (April 16, 1947 – January 4, 2011) was a Scottish rock singer-songwriter known for his solo hits “Baker Street”, “Right Down the Line” and “Night Owl”, as well as “Stuck in the Middle with You”, recorded with the band Stealers Wheel.
Rafferty was born into a working-class family in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. His mother taught him both Irish and Scottish folk songs as a boy; later, he was influenced by the music of The Beatles and Bob Dylan. He joined the folk-pop group The Humblebums in 1969. After they disbanded in 1971, he recorded his first solo album, Can I Have My Money Back? Rafferty and Joe Egan formed the group Stealers Wheel in 1972 and produced several hits, most notably “Stuck in the Middle with You” and “Star”. In 1978, he recorded his second solo album, City to City, which included “Baker Street”, his most popular song.
January 3 – Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The other inductees this year consist of The Coasters, Eddie Cochran, Bo Diddley, Marvin Gaye, Bill Haley, Clyde McPhatter, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Smokey Robinson and Jackie Wilson.
January 5 – Elton John, after several months of voice problems, undergoes throat surgery in an Australian hospital. The outcome would hinder his voice permanently and he would soon start singing in a deep register.
January 16 – Beastie Boys become the first act to be censored by American Bandstand.
January 24 – Steve “Silk” Hurley’s innovative “Jack Your Body” becomes the first house music record to top the UK singles chart.
February 6 – Sonny Bono announces his candidacy for mayor of Palm Springs, California.
Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” reaches #1 in the USA. It would be 1987’s biggest hit song worldwide.
Los Angeles radio station KMET signs off after nineteen years on the air. The station had been a pioneer of underground progressive rock programming.
February 15 – Video Hits premieres on Australian television.
February 26 – The first four Beatles albums, Please Please Me, With the Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, and Beatles for Sale are released on compact disc. Capitol Records decides to release the original UK mixes of the Beatles albums, which means that the first four CDs are released in mono. This marks the first time that many of these mono mixes are available in the US.
U2 releases The Joshua Tree, an album that launches them into superstar status in the music world. The album would sell over 14 million copies worldwide in 1987 alone and would win the Grammy for “Album of the Year” (at the 1988 ceremony). U2 have two #1 hit songs from this album on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Carole King is inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York City.
The career that would end in an infamous appearance at The Brit awards and the burning of a million pounds began in Britain, as The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu release their debut single, “All You Need Is Love”.
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In the US, Bryan Adams’ “Heat of the Night” becomes the first single to be commercially released on cassette. Cassette singles become known as cassingles.
March 27 – Inspired by The Beatles’ 1969 rooftop concert, U2 shoots a music video for the song “Where the Streets Have No Name” on a rooftop in Los Angeles.
April 23 – Carole King sues the owner of her record company, Lou Adler, claiming that she is owed more than $400,000 in royalties. King also asks for rights to her old recordings.
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David William “Dave” Edmunds (born April 15, 1944) is a Welsh singer/songwriter, guitarist, actor and record producer. Although he is mainly associated with pub rock and new wave, having many hits in the 1970s and early 1980s, his natural leaning has always been towards 1950s style rock and roll.