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July 4, 2015

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Guitarist Jeremy Spencer (of the 2nd Fleetwood Mac line-up) is 68.
Singer John Waite of The Babys is 63.
Kirk Pengilly of INXS is 57.

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On this day in 1969, Grand Funk Railroad played the Atlanta Pop Festival, impressing Capitol Records so much that they signed the band within days.

On this day in 1976, as Fleetwood Mac's "Say You Love Me" entered the charts on its way to #11, Paul McCartney & Wings released the song "Let 'Em In."

On this day in 1981, Phil Collins' surprising "Face Value" solo album hit #7 while selling over seven million copies as Foreigner's "Urgent" continued their chart success with a run up to #4.

On this day in 1982, in a year that saw him bite the head off a bat and watch his guitarist Randy Rhoads die in a plane crash, Ozzy Osbourne married his manager, Sharon Arden.

On this day in 1987, Whitesnake's rerecorded version of "Here We Go Again" entered the charts on its way to becoming group leader David Coverdale's only #1 hit.

July 5, 2015

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Guitarist/singer Robbie Robertson of The Band is 72.
R&R poster boy Huey Lewis is 65.

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On this day in 1954, Elvis Presley, guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black started messing around on a song called "That's All Right" at Sun Studios in Memphis. Scotty Moore remembered saying, "Good God! They'll run us out of town when they hear this." But studio owner Sam Phillips said, "I knew we had a hit."

On this day in 1964, the young Irish band Them, featuring singer Van Morrison, recorded "Gloria." Henceforth, including raw lust as a component of lyrical content was considered fair game.

On this day in 1966, former Animals bassist Chas Chandler happened to see Jimi Hendrix play at Cafe Wha? in New York's Greenwich Village. Blown away, he immediately convinced Hendrix to move to London in order to launch his career.

On this day in 1968, promoter Bill Graham opened the premier West Coast concert hall of the late Sixties/early Seventies: The Fillmore West in San Francisco.

On this day in 1968, The Doors played the Hollywood Bowl, backed by Steppenwolf and the Chambers Brothers. The concert was later released as "The Doors At The Hollywood Bowl."

On this day in 1969, The Rolling Stones gave a free concert for 250,000 fans in London's Hyde Park to introduce their new guitarist Mick Taylor. But since their original guitarist Brian Jones had just died, the concert became a strained tribute instead.

On this day in 1975, Steve Miller showed off his new band (featuring C.C.R.'s Doug "Cosmo" Clifford on drums) and a brand new song ("Rock 'N Me") as he opened for Pink Floyd at England's Knebworth Festival. No slackers themselves, the Floyd premiered their "Wish You Were Here" album with a performance that included fireworks, real Spitfire fighter planes flying overhead, and a full sized model plane crashing into the stage. EEEE-yowee!!

On this day in 1975, Elton John's "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" and Bad Company's "Feel Like Making Love" entered the singles charts on their way into the Top 10.

On this day in 1980, Jackson Browne's "Boulevard" entered the singles charts on its way to #19.

On this day in 1981, Foreigner's "4" album entered the charts on its way to 10 weeks at #1 and six million copies sold.

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This Sunday night at 8pm on 100.3 The Sound of Los Angeles, OFF THE RECORD with Joe Benson will feature the music of Styx as well as more of Joe's extensive conversations with guitarist/singers James 'J.Y.' Young and Tommy Shaw. Check out this preview!

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It was Abraham Lincoln who said: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."

It was Adlai Stevenson who said: "My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular."

It was G. K. Chesterton who said: "I have formed a very clear conception of patriotism. I have generally found it thrust into the foreground by some fellow who has something to hide in the background. I have seen a great deal of patriotism; and I have generally found it the last refuge of the scoundrel."

It was Mark Twain who said: "Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it."

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Factoids For The Fourth

The Declaration of Independence, unanimously declared by the 13 United States of America, was adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. But the fact is that not one single signature was signed on that day. While most of the 56 names were in place by early August, one signer, Thomas McKean, did not actually sign the Declaration until 1781. Nevertheless, July 4th was the day singled out to mark the event of the United States establishing itself as a nation.

Of the signers, 24 were lawyers and jurists; 11 were merchants; 9 were farmers and large plantation owners; all were men of means and well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War, with five captured by the British and tortured before they died. Most of the 56 lost family members, 12 had their homes ransacked and burned, and many died bankrupt. Such were the sacrifices of the American Revolution.

The first celebrations occurred shortly after the Declaration in various locales along the Eastern Seaboard. Much of the tradition inherent in the way we celebrate today was evident almost from the beginning. Sound, spectacle and sentiment played an important role in that tradition. One of the most elaborate celebrations in 1777 and the first organized celebration of its kind occurred in Philadelphia. This event had all of the elements of typical future celebrations — the discharge of cannon, firing one round for each state in the union; the ringing of bells; the use of music; the drinking of toasts (it would subsequently be traditional to have one toast for each state in the union); "loud huzzas;" a parade; fireworks; and the use of the nation's colors.

Whatever you do to celebrate, have fun, but please keep the fireworks away from the kids. And give pause to say a prayer for our troops still stationed so far away from home. God bless America!

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