Today in Music History: Remembering Ray Manzarek

The Doors in an undated publicity photo
Members of the Doors pose for an undated publicity photo. From left: John Densmore, Robbie Krieger, Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison. (AP)

History Highlight:

Raymond Daniel Manzarek Jr., co-founder and keyboardist of The Doors, was born today in 1939. He was especially known for performing on a keyboard bass during many live shows and some recordings, taking on a role usually filled by a bass guitar player. He recorded on every track of all eight Doors studio albums, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Also, Today In:

1961 - The Miracles' "Shop Around" became Motown Records' first million-selling single. It was also the label's first No. 1 hit on Billboard's R&B singles chart. The song was inducted into the 2006 Grammy Hall of Fame, and has been covered by many artists, including Johnnie Ray, Bobby Vee, Captain & Tennille and The Spinners.

1967 - Fifteen police officers raided Redlands the West Sussex home of Rolling Stone Keith Richards during a weekend party. The police, who were armed with a warrant issued under the "dangerous drugs act", took away various substances for forensic tests. George and Pattie Harrison had been at the house, but it was said that the police waited for them to leave before they raided the house in order not to arrest the holder of an MBE — a Member of the British Empire, an order of chivalry awarded to Harrison by Queen Elizabeth II.

1968 - Billed as 'Tour 60 cities in 66 Days' The Jimi Hendrix Experience appeared at the Center Arena in Seattle.

1970 - John Lennon performed "Instant Karma," on BBC TV's Top Of The Pops, becoming the first Beatle to have appeared on the show since 1966.

1972 - Al Green went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Let's Stay Together," his only U.S. chart-topper.

1977 - Blondie, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and the Ramones all appeared at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles.

1977 - Pink Floyd released their tenth studio album Animals in the U.S., where it reached No. 3 in the charts.

1997 - David Bowie received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1997 - Snoop Doggy Dogg and Sean "Puffy" Combs held a press conference where they called for an end to the East Coast-West Coast rap rivalry that had claimed the life of Tupac Shakur. "Kids around the world are watching," Snoop said. "By calling for a truce we're giving them something to live for." However, their efforts failed to stop the violence; less than a month later, The Notorious B.I.G. was killed in a shooting.

2000 - Blues singer Screamin' Jay Hawkins died aged 70.

2007 - During a press conference at West Hollywood's Whisky a Go Go club, Sting confirmed that The Police were getting back together. The band were set to kick off a world tour on May 28 in Vancouver, B.C., supported by Sting's son Joe Sumner's band, Fiction Plane.

2017 - Adele was the biggest winner at The 59th Annual Grammy Awards with five trophies, including Album of the Year for 25, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year for "Hello". Adele also became the first artist in history to win all three general field awards in the same ceremony twice, previously winning all three categories in 2012.

2017 - Al Jarreau died of respiratory failure at the age of 76, just two days after announcing his retirement. During his career he received a total of seven Grammy Awards and is best known for his 1981 album Breakin' Away. He also sang the theme song of the late-1980s television series "Moonlighting".


Michael McDonald is 67.

Chynna Phillips of Wilson Phillips is 51.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase is 41.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

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