Saturday, August 2, 2008

Gunman Slays Lennon. John Lennon Dead

John Lennon Dead in New York
Gunman Slays Lennon

Nashville Banner
Suspect In Custody
New Yorkers Fight Tears During Vigil
This was one of the saddest days of my life, when John Lennon was murdered. I'm a huge Beatles fan, and heard the news he was dead on the radio while taking a shower on that December 8, 1980 night.
Like many, The Beatles were a huge influence on myself. I grew up with The Beatles music, and this was bad.
I sat up that night watching news reports until early in the morning.
Pictures shown include The Beatles & Ed Sullivan in 1964, Grieving Yoko leaves hospital, Suspect escorted from police station & the Lennon's are shown leaving the Dakota Apartments.
I had a chance to visit the Dakota Apartments in the mid-1980's.
I hope to post my video of that trip in the future.
Text from the Nashville Banner newspaper: Associated Press -
NEW YORK - A 25-year-old Hawaii man who apparently stalked John Lennon for three days was held today on a charge of gunning down the former Beatle, as the music world mourned the death of the legendary songwriter and singer. The suspect, Mark David Chapman, was taken under heavy guard to the Tombs prison in downtown Manhattan early today to await arraignment.........
The crowd of mourners and curious rallied around a number of radios tuned to New York station playing only Beatles music. New York police officer Jack Kugan had patrolled the block in front of the apartments for five hours. "I've never seen people react like this," the officer said. "The temperature has been dropping and the wind has blown hard most of the night but many of them have stood here for hours without coats or other winter clothing"..........
See our "The Beatles Tennessee Connections" page
featuring The Beatles in Tennessee
More Nashville Newspapers and Blogs coming soon. Check out my Nashville Concert Web Site at with thousands of concert pictures taken in Tennessee. I plan to soon add a "Vintage Nashville Newspaper" section, to include featured vintage newspapers from my Nashville Newspaper collection beginning in 1963-Present. Feel free to comment on these Newspapers and the featured News Events.

YouTube footage of TV news coverage of John Lennon's death on December 8, 1980 from various news sources

Nashville Musicians Mourning George Harrison

I remember waking up to Good Morning America announcing the death of George Harrison from The Beatles. Unlike John Lennon's death, George's death was expected after a long battle with cancer. As a huge fan of The Beatles, it's always hard to lose a Beatle. After all, I grew up idolizing these guys. Only Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr remain.

Nashville Musicians Mourning George Harrison

Ex-Beatle's sound, spirit are treasured impressions: Guitar Town mourned a hero yesterday, as news of Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison's death from cancer at age 58 seemed to drain color and warmth from an already gray afternoon..................................... Pictures include a memorial to George at Central Park in New York at the Strawberry Fields site (large picture). Small pictures include George in 1965, items left outside Abbey Road Studios in London, and a picture of The Beatles.

See our "The Beatles Tennessee Connections" at
A YouTube video tribute to George Harrison after his death

Elvis Presley Dead in Memphis Tennessee

1977: Elvis Presley dies at his Graceland Mansion, Fans To Rock Legend At Graceland Today from the Nashville Banner
Memphis - The large iron gates at Elvis Presley's estate will swing open here this afternoon for the publics fleeting and final glimpse of the rock 'n' roll legend who died Tuesday of an apparent heart attack.
The body of the 42 year old singer, whose swift death rivaled his meteoric rise to fame in the 1950's, will lie in state from 3-5 pm at his mansion "Graceland" for public viewing. Private services for his family and immediate friends will be a 2pm at the mansion. The body is under heavy guard at Memphis Funeral Home where employees reportedly were not allowed near Presley's bronze casket............
Daughter Phones Death Message
"This is Lisa. My Daddy is dead." The quivering voice on the phone belong to nine-year-old Lisa Marie Presley who was breaking the tragic news of her famous fathers death of his former sweetheart Linda Thompson..............
Pictures: A 1973 picture of Elvis at a Nashville concert, and devoted fans line the gates of his Graceland mansion.
Elvis Presley dead at 42. The was big news, the King is dead. I was in Biloxi Mississippi when I heard the news. I had recently turned down a chance to see Elvis in Mobile Alabama, one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made in my life. This was at a time when bands like Boston and Led Zeppelin filled the radio airwaves, and I just didn't think Elvis was cool at that time in my life. What was I thinking?
I did eventually go to Graceland (many times) to see the home and grave of Elvis, after his death. I last went to Graceland while in Memphis for a 1992 Paul McCartney concerts at the Memphis Liberty Bowl. I have several pages of Elvis pictures in Nashville (and Memphis) on my concert web site.

1977: TV Coverage of the death of Elvis Presley in Memphis

Dr King Slain In Memphis

Dr King Slain in Memphis

Search on For Young Rifleman

By Wayne Whitt, Staff Correspondent

Nashville Tennessean Newspaper

MEMPHIS - Dr. Martin Luther King, Nobel Peace Prize winner who made nonviolence his chief Weapon in the fight for civil rights, was shot to death here last night as he stood on a balcony outside his hotel room.The 39-year-old Negro leader was felled by a snipers bullet which struck him in the neck as he prepared to leave the Lorraine Motel for dinner.He was rushed to St. Joseph Hospital and wheeled into the emergency room, a white towel around his neck and an oxygen mask on his face. He appeared to be breathing but died shortly after 7pm., despite emergency surgery, an hour after he was shot.Memphis Police immediately issued an alarm for a "young white male, well dressed," who reportedly ran out of a building across the street and fled in a car after dropping a Browning automatic rifle, fitted with a scope.............

My Memories: I was just a kid when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, but remember when it happened. Being a young white kid, I really didn't know much about him, but knew it was a big deal. It was all over the news, and even caused riotsto take place in north Nashville shortly afterwards.I later learned the importance of Martin Luther King Jr. and what he stood for. I saved this newspaper, as I knew that this was a major news event.

CBS News of the death of Martin Luther King Jr in Memphis

Senator Kennedy Shot

Senator Kennedy Shot
Condition Reported Critical
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Senator Robert F. Kennedy was shot in the head early today by a gunman who turned a California victory celebration into a scene of terror. He was rushed to Central Receiving Hospital where a spokesman reported his condition was critical.Witnesses said Kennedy was conscious and spoke a few words as he was taken by an ambulance. An Associated Press reporter saw blood rushing from Kennedy's head.The New York senator had just finished thanking his supporters for their help in winning California's presidential preference primary election. Police captured a man believed to be the assailant. He was about 25, curley hair and olive skinned. They hustled him out through the lobby of the Ambassador Hotel, a shotgun at his back..........................................

My Memories : I remember hearing the news of Robert Kennedy's death on a hot summer morning on the way to Pine Springs Resort, a 1960's Nashville swimming hole ran by my friend Gary Allen (from the Charlie Daniels Band) and his family. I was just a kid, my mother was giving myself and a childhood friend a ride to Pine Springs. The news was that Robert F. Kennedy had been shot. I remember it being sad, that another Kennedy had been assassinated.

1968: Robert Frances Kennedy - The Tragic Assassination

John Kennedy visits Nashville. What a day!

John F. Kennedy comes to Nashville
This is actually a follow up to my first blog, and features John Kennedy's visit to Nashville.
I saw him twice on this day. Kennedy and a few of The Beatles are probably the most famous people I've had the chance to see in my lifetime.
I was just a young kid but remember that day, mostly just seeing the convertible car pass by
at two locations my father had taken me to that summer day, just six months before Kennedy was shot killed by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas Texas. I eventually had a chance to go to the site in Dallas where Kennedy was killed, even going
up to the "Sixth Floor" museum where Oswald pulled the trigger from. Since the Kennedy visit, I have never seen anybody draw this kind of response in Nashville. He was a well loved president in Nashville, and the people of let him know it shortly before his death.
The Nashville Scene featured Kennedy's visit to Nashville in 2003.

Forty Years Ago, JFK Rallied This City And Made It His Stage.
It was a sunny magnificent day as President John F. Kennedy smiled and waved to the crowds along the sidewalk. Riding in a convertible, the young presidents coppery hair shimmered in the sun as the final leg of the motorcade made its way down West End Avenue. People hung from office windows and waved as he passed. Forty years ago in 1963 Nashville was a frenzy of activity because, for the first time since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, a sitting president was honoring the city with a visit. On that busy morning, Kennedy rode from the airport in a motorcade viewed by 150,000 people, spoke to a crowd of 33,000 at Vanderbilt Stadium and attended a lunch at the governor's mansion.
The Banner, the conservative afternoon newspaper, wasn't inclined to exaggerate on Kennedy's behalf, so when it published an estimate of 150,000 spectators along the streets, plus the 5,000 or so at the airport and 33,000 in Vanderbilt Stadium, the staggering number were all that more believable. Nashville's population in 1963 was 400,000, meaning that almost half of the city got a glimpse of the president that day..............
From a May 29, 2003 issue of The Nashville Scene

More Nashville Newspapers and Blogs coming soon. Check out my Nashville Concert Web Site at with thousands of concert pictures taken in Tennessee. I plan to soon add a "Vintage Nashville Newspaper" section, to include featured vintage newspapers from my Nashville Newspaper collection beginning in 1963-Present. Feel free to comment on these Newspapers and the featured News Events.

Police Charge Texan As President's Killer

John F.Kennedy Killed in Dallas
My Vintage Nashville Newspaper blog will feature images from Nashville Newspapers, beginning in the 1960's.
This is the oldest in my collection of Nashville Tennessee newspapers. The headline reads "Police Charge Texan as Presidents Killer", with a subtitle "Accused Slayer Had Soviet Links".
I was just a small kid when this happened, but remember it. I was sick on this day and didn't attend school. I remember the TV flashing a bulletin stating "President John Kennedy has been shot". I was lucky enough to see John Kennedy not long before this tragic event. He had made a trip to Nashville on my birthday. My father took me to see the Kennedy's motorcade in two different locations that day. We saw him pass by in a convertible, from the side of the road on Murfreesboro Road in Nashville (after arriving from the airport). The second location was in Franklin Road in Nashville (headed for the Governors mansion). It was especially sad for me as a kid, since I had seen him shortly before he got killed.
To this day, this is one of the most tragic days that I can remember.

More Nashville Newspapers and Blogs coming soon. Check out my Nashville Concert Web Site at with thousands of concert pictures taken in Tennessee. I plan to soon add a "Vintage Nashville Newspaper" section, to include featured vintage newspapers from my Nashville Newspaper collection beginning in 1963-Present. Feel free to comment on these Newspapers and the featured News Events.

A YouTube video of CBS footage announcing
John F. Kennedy's Death on November 23, 1963