Aug 7 in Music History: Stevie Wonder releases Signed Sealed & Delivered, John Lennon begins recording his final album
1957 – The Quarry Men play at The Cavern Club in Liverpool without Paul McCartney, who is away at Boy Scout summer camp. Skiffle was tolerated though The Cavern was still a jazz club, but when John Lennon dares to play “Hound Dog” and “Blue Suede Shoes,” the club owner sends a note to the stage that says, “Cut out the bloody rock!”
1970 – Stevie Wonder releases his album Signed, Sealed, & Delivered.
1970 – Together, Janis Joplin (who considered Bessie Smith a massive influence on her own sound) and Juanita Green (a former employee of the Smith family and then-president of the North Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP) buy Bessie a proper headstone at Philadelphia’s Mount Lawn Cemetery. Until this day, Bessie Smith had lain in an unmarked grave for 33 years due to her widower’s refusal to purchase one. The epitaph Joplin and Green choose reads: “The Greatest Blues Singer in the World Will Never Stop Singing.”
1980 – John Lennon begins recording what would be his final album, Double Fantasy, at The Hit Factory in New York City.
1991 – Paul Simon gives a free concert in Central Park, much as he had in 1981 with partner Art Garfunkel. The performance eventually becomes the album Paul Simon’s Concert In The Park.