THE FOLLOWING EVENTS TOOK PLACE ON MARCH 15
1820 - In his journal, Lord Byron calls John Keats A "Tadpole of the Lakes", meaning the Lakist poets Wordsworth and Coleridge. In his letters to his publisher John Murray, Byron took a snobbish attitude toward the young Keats, calling him a "pissabed" poet of no real talent. When Keats died in 1821, Byron asked Murray to make sure that his quip "Who killed John Keats? I, said the Quarterly,'" never made it into print, but it did. Murray burned most of Byron's personal journal after the poet's death.
1848 - The Texas state legislature creats Santa Fe County, in an effort to establish civil power over New Mexico. In 1850, Texas will abandon its claim to eastern New Mexico.
1881 - Modest Mussorgsky, composer of Pictures at an Exhibition dies at 42.
1898 - English Illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, dies of tuberculosis at 23. He produced an impressive body of work for one so young.
Excalibur by Aubrey Beardsley
1912 - Sam Lightnin' Hopkins, who one day will have his mojo hand bronzed, is born in Centerville, Texas. Hopkins wrote, sang and recorded a monumental catalogue of blues songs. He played on street corners, in small clubs and at Carnegie Hall.
1917 - Scott Fitzgerald joins the 45th Infantry regiment. He is stationed first at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where one of his superiors was the young Dwight Eisenhower.
1929 - Boogie-woogie inventor Pinetop Smith is shot dead in a Chicago dance hall. He had made the mistake of dancing with a Miss Louise Ford, who appeared to have already been taken by someone toting a revolver.
1929 - D. H. Lawrence, in Paris looking for a publisher for Lady Chatterley's Lover, meets Harry Crosby of The Black Sun Press. In spite of having corresponded for a year, they disagree violently about everything.
1933 - Jazz pianist, composer and international concert artist Cecil Taylor is born. Taylor taught black music and led the Black Music Ensemble at U. of Wisconsin, Antioch, and Glassboro State.
1940 - Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh is born in Berkeley, CA.
1941 - Mike Love of the Beach Boys is born.
1944 - Sly Stone, guitarist and founder of Sly and the Family Stone, is born Sylvester Stewart.
1945 - Billboard begins publishing a chart of the top albums. This was at a time when the album designation actually made some sense. At that time a record album looked just like a photo album, but instead of heavy paper pages affixed with photos, the pages were paper record sleeves with 78 RPM records in them. Typically the albums held 3 - 5 two sided records. The first chart's number one album? The King Cole Trio.
1946 - Howard Scott, guitarist with the Latin funk group War, is born in San Pedro, Calif.
1947 - Guitarist and composer Ry Cooder is born in Los Angeles. Before recording as a solo artist, Cooder played with Randy Newman, Little Feat, Van Morrison, Maria Muldaur, and the Rolling Stones among others. Cooder's records were a staple of '70s "free-form" FM radio programming, helping to inspire the country/stringband renaissance that continues to this day. Drawing on several traditions at once, Cooder typically weaves together numerous American roots music forms, including country music and the blues, as well as Tin Pan Alley, pop and rock 'n' roll. He has also worked with master musicians from Hawaii, Mexico, Mali, India, and - most recently - has had phenomenal success with the Cuban Buena Vista Social Club.
1948 - Sir Laurence Olivier is featured on the cover of LIFE magazine for his starring role in Shakespeares Hamlet.
1955 - Colonel Tom Parker becomes Elvis Presley's manager. Parker's previous show-business experience included managing country stars Hank Snow, Eddy Arnold and Gene Autry. Parker manages Presley all his life and after his death.
1964 - President Lyndon Johnson asks for a War on Poverty initiative.
1966 - California's attorney general condemns drug use in a statement to the State Senate Judiciary Committee.
1968 - The Doors play Colgate University. Despite problems with Jim Morrison's microphone early in the show, the Doors give a dramatic performance. Robby's guitar work is especially stunning. Also appearing are Linda Ronstadt and The Stone Poneys.
1968 - Life magazine dubs Jimi Hendrix the most spectacular guitarist in the world.
1970 - A much anticipated Doors tour of Japan was tentatively scheduled to begin this day and run through April 4th.
1971 - CBS television makes a major announcement, saying that it is dropping The Ed Sullivan Show from its program line-up after 23 years on the network. The Sullivan show, a Sunday night fixture, presented everyone from the Beatles and dancing bears to a talking mouse named Topo Gigio, plus anyone and anything in between. It was the longest-running show in television history. Kissa-me goo-night, Eddie...
1999 - Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Dusty Springfield, the Staples Singers, Del Shannon, Curtis Mayfield and Beatles producer George Martin are among those inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Springfield had succumbed to cancer just 11 days earlier.
For more day-by-day history go to HistoryUnlimited.net