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Happy holiday weekend! Though this week mostly goes down in history because of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, that doesn’t mean music stopped making history! And who knows, maybe Ben Franklin picked up a guitar and starting shredding with Thomas Jefferson on vocals after they signed the document. Declaring a country’s independence is probably the only thing cooler than rock n’ roll.
On this day in 1948, Robbie Robertson was born Jamie Robert Klegerman in Toronto. Robertson, lead guitarist and lyricist for The Band, has gone down as one of the greatest songwriters of all time. Robertson released seven albums with The Band between their first in 1967 and seventh in 1977. In this time, Robertson wrote many hits including “The Weight,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” and “Up On Cripple Creek.” After the band disbanded in 1977, Robertson went on to do a lot of work with music in film, and released his first solo album in 1987.
American icon Louis Armstrong passed away 42 years ago as of July 6th. The legendary trumpeter and bandleader wrote or performed many beloved songs like “Hello Dolly!,” “What A Wonderful World,” and “When The Saints Go Marching In.” Armstrong was also known for his scatting and wonderful stage presence.
July 6th also marks a huge day in the history of British band Queen. On this day in 1973, they released their first ever single, “Keep Yourself Alive,” written by guitarist Brian May. Though the song never charted, it certainly left a legacy. Rolling Stone puts it as #31 on their list of “The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs Of All Time.” The song comes off their self-titled debut album. Since releasing “Keep Yourself Alive,” Queen has released huge singles “Bohemiam Rhapsody,” “We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You,” Another One Bites The Dust,” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” among many others.
Check back next week for more music history only on 88.9 WERS!