June 14: The Grateful Dead released “Workingman’s Dead” in 1970
Workingman’s Dead, in part inspired by the rustic soul of the Band, ranks as the Dead’s studio masterpiece, followed closely by American Beauty. The focus is on the songs, rather than the jams, and these would provide the focal point of an era, spanning 1969–74, when the Dead played some of the most remarkable concerts in American history, virtually every one available in some incarnation thanks to the band’s dedicated tapers.
Of course they don’t sing as pretty as CSNY–prettiness would trivialize these songs. The sparse harmonies and hard-won melodies go with lyrics that make all the American connections claimed by San Francisco’s counterculture; there’s a naturally stoned bemusement in their good times, hard times, high times, and lost times that joins the fatalism of the physical frontier with the wonder of the psychedelic one. And the changeable rhythms hold out the promise of Uncle John’s Band, who might just save us if we’ll only call the tune. Inspirational Verse: “Think this through with me.” A ~Robert Christgau (robertchristgau.com)
Dewey Lindon “Spooner” Oldham (born June 14, 1943) is an American songwriter and session musician. An organist, he recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and at FAME Studios on such hit R&B songs as “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge, “Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett and “I Never Loved a Man” by Aretha Franklin.As a songwriter, Spooner Oldham teamed with Dan Penn to write such hits as “Cry Like a Baby” (The Box Tops), “I’m Your Puppet” (James and Bobby Purify), “A Woman Left Lonely” and “It Tears Me Up” (Percy Sledge).
William Rory Gallagher (2 March 1948 – 14 June 1995)Irish blues-rock multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader. Born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, and raised in Cork, Gallagher recorded solo albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, after forming the band Taste during the late 1960s. A talented guitarist known for his charismatic performances and dedication to his craft, Gallagher’s albums have sold in excess of 30 million copies worldwide. Gallagher received a liver transplant in 1995, but died of complications later that year in London, UK at the age of 47.
Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr. (June 14, 1931 – November 23, 1995), known by the stage name Junior Walker, was an American musician. His group, Junior Walker & the All Stars, were signed to the Motownlabel in the 1960s, and became one of the label’s signature acts.His saxophone style was the anchor for the band’s overall sound. The other original members of the group were drummer Tony Washington, guitarist Willie Woods, and keyboardist Vic Thomas