Stones start an amazing run...A first time for Mr. Simon...A jazz legend's birthday...

The Rolling Stones, June 1969. (Photo: J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)

12/5/1968 (49 years ago today) - The Rolling Stones release the "Beggar's Banquet" album, which kicks off a five-year time span during which they would produce some of the greatest rock and roll records in the history of histories!!!  With "Beggar's", they had gone to great lengths to toughen up their sound and banish the haze of Sixties psychedelia; from here on out, they were completely, jaw-droppingly unstoppable: "Let It Bleed", "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile On Main Street" followed. 'Nuff said!

12/5/1975 (42 years ago today) - You'd have thought this happened for him already, but...: Paul Simon finally scores a No. 1 album as a solo artist when "Still Crazy After All These Years" goes to the top of the chart, helped by no less than four Top 40 hits -- "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover", "Gone at Last" (a glorious, over-looked/under-estimated/thunderous Gospel work-out with Phoebe Snow), the title track, and "My Little Town", the pseudo-inevitable studio reunion with Art Garfunkel -- Truth be told, personally, I just didn't like it anywhere near much as his first solo LP or "There Goes Rhymin' Simon", though it did end up winning Grammy Awards for Album Of The Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, thus insuring that my long-standing teeth-nashing hatred of the Grammy's lazy idiocy would continue unabated...

12/5/1920 - Born on this date, jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, but simply labeling him as "jazz pianist" is like calling Van Gogh just "a painter" -- One of the foremost exponents of what became known as cool jazz, Dave was really a pioneer, unafraid to combine classical training with improvisational skills, all the while doing so with songs that featured unusual time signatures, contrasting rhythms and tonalities -- The Dave Brubeck Quartet's "Take Five" (in 5/4 time, of course) became a worldwide sensation, featuring the beautiful sax work of long time collaborator Paul Desmond -- Dave passed away from heart failure on December 5, 2012, one day shy of his 92nd birthday.

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"...I'm cryin' tears of relief/And my pulse is now under control", xoxo!