Tommy’s Coffee Break Calendar for February 16th
2/16/1974 (44 years ago today) - There were advantages to the pre-social media world: While on a break from touring in Salt Lake City, all three members of Emerson, Lake & Palmer were arrested for swimming naked in the hotel pool. They were each fined $75 and given some freshly laundered towels we hope...
2/16/2005 (13 years ago today) - Oh baby baby it's a wild world indeed: Singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, was awarded substantial damages from two British newspapers, The (pseudo-prestigious) Sunday Times and The (somewhat dubious) Sun, after both had published articles alleging his involvement with terrorist groups. Not only did the newspapers have to apologize to the then-56-year-old musician for printing "false and highly defamatory allegations", they also had to pay for all his legal fees and bills, etc., along with a pledge not to repeat the claims (or else...). "Cat" took all the money he was awarded and donated it to Tsunami relief projects.
2/16/1932 - Born on this day, songwriter-record-producer Otis Blackwell -- A list of his compositions is as close to a definitive classic blueprint for the birth of rock and roll as you can get: Otis wrote "All Shook Up", "Return To Sender", "Don't Be Cruel" (well done Elvis!), "Great Balls Of Fire" and "Breathless" (thank you Jerry Lee Lewis), along with Jimmy Jones' version of "Handy Man" (James Taylor's slowed-down version was a huge hit in 1977), "Hey Little Girl" by Dee Clark, and "Fever", though originally done by Little Willie John, it's the Peggy Lee version that the world is most familiar with. Fact: Otis' songs have garnered sales of over 185 million! Weird fact: Despite his having written such influential work, Blackwell claimed on Late Night With David Letterman that he actually never did meet Elvis in person!! Otis passed away from a heart attack at his Nashville home on May 6, 2002; he was 71 years old.
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"If you can't come around/At least please telephone...", xoxo!