This week in Rock History

1900 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
The Billboard, a magazine for the music and entertainment industries, began weekly publication after six years as a monthly. By midyear it was calling itself "The Official Organ of the Great Out-Door Amusement World." 

1954 - ClassicBands.com 

May 8 
Britain's BBC bans the song "Such a Night" by Johnnie Ray after listeners complain about its 'suggestiveness'. Ray's animated stage persona included pounding on his piano, writhing on the floor and even crying, which earned him the nicknames "Mr. Emotion", "The Nabob of Sob", and "The Prince of Wails". 

1955 - ClassicBands.com 

May 7 
Ray Charles reaches the top of the US R&B chart for the first time with "I Got A Woman". It was later ranked #235 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. 

1957 - ClassicBands.com 

May 11 

Buddy Holly And The Crickets audition for Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts program, but are rejected. 

1958 - ClassicBands.com 

May 9 
Alan Freed quit his job at radio station WINS over what he says is the station's failure to support him after he was indicted for causing a riot in Boston. 

1959 - ClassicBands.com 

May 9 
16 year-old Wayne Newton made his Las Vegas debut at the Freemont Hotel. That first booking, scheduled to last two weeks, stretched into three years. Newton went on to become the king of the Vegas showrooms, earning close to $20-million a year. 

May 11 
Dave "Baby" Cortez reached the top spot on the Billboard chart with "The Happy Organ". The song was originally recorded under the name "The Dog and the Cat" with a vocal track that didn't work out. Cortez then added an organ solo and changed the title. A follow-up record was called "The Whistling Organ", which stalled at #61, but Cortez would find his way back to the Top Ten in 1962 with "Rinky Dink". 

1961 - ClassicBands.com 

May 7 
Tony Orlando makes his first appearance on Billboard's Hot 100 with "Halfway to Paradise", which peaks at #39. He'll have one more hit next year and then won't be heard from until 1970 when he reappears with his group, Dawn. 

1962 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
The Shirelles were presented with a Gold record for "Soldier Boy", a song that was recorded in one take and originally intended as an album filler. It was the second million seller for them, following their first number one hit, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow". The girls would later find the US Top 10 again with "Dedicated to the One I Love", "Mama Said", "Baby It's You" and "Foolish Little Girl". 

May 5 
Chris Montez records "Let's Dance", which will reach #4 on the Billboard chart and #2 in the UK next Fall. 

1963 - ClassicBands.com 

May 9 
During a concert at London's Albert Hall, 20-year-old Paul McCartney met future girlfriend, 17 year-old Jane Asher, for the first time. 

May 10 
The Rolling Stones produced their very first recordings at Olympic Studios in London, but Decca Records rejected them all, calling them 'dreadful'. 

1964 - ClassicBands.com 

May 9 
After 14 weeks at number one, The Beatles are finally pushed out of Billboard's top spot by 63-year-old Louis Armstrong's "Hello Dolly". 

May 10 
Dusty Springfield makes her TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, singing "I Only Want To Be With You". Gerry And The Pacemakers and Bobby Rydell also appear on the program. 

May 11 
The Rolling Stones were refused lunch at The Grand Hotel in Bristol, where they were staying, because they were not wearing jackets and ties. The Daily Mirror describes them as "the ugliest group in Britain." 

1965 - ClassicBands.com 

May 6 
In their Clearwater, Florida hotel room, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards work out the opening guitar riff of "Satisfaction", following Richard's purchase of a Gibson fuzz-box earlier that day. 

May 6 
James Brown reworks a song called "I Found You" by Yvonne Fair and comes up with "I Got You" (I Feel Good). It will become the biggest hit of his career, reaching #3 in the US and #29 in the UK. 

May 11 
The Byrds make their TV debut singing "Mr. Tambourine Man" on NBC's Hullabaloo

1966 - ClassicBands.com 

May 7 
Simon And Garfunkel's "I Am a Rock" enters the Hot 100. During its eleven week chart run, it will peak at #3. 

May 7 
Del Shannon enters the Billboard Hot 100 for the 16th time with "The Big Hurt", which will stall at #94. 

May 7 
The Mamas And Papas hit #1 in the US with "Monday, Monday", a song that the group (except for writer John Phillips) would later admit that they didn't really like. The record made #3 in the UK. On March 2nd, 1967, the effort would bring them a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal

1967 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
"San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie enters the US charts where it will eventually hit #4. The John Phillips written song became a sort of anthem during the hippie movement. 

May 6 
Pearls Before Swine begin recording an album called "One Nation Underground". The LP includes a song called "Miss Morse", which would be banned in New York when it was discovered that lead singer Tom Rapp was singing F-U-C-K in Morse code. After disc jockey Murray The K played the record on the air, local Boy Scouts correctly interpreted the chorus and phoned in a complaint. 

May 6 
The Who's Keith Moon offers this insightful advice to young drummers during an interview in Melody Maker Magazine: "To get your playing more forceful, hit the drums harder." 

May 6 
Two weeks after being pushed out of the top spot on the Cashbox Best Sellers list by The Monkees' "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You", Nancy and Frank Sinatra return to the top spot with "Something Stupid". 

May 7 
Soviet youths openly defied police and danced The Twist in Moscow's Red Square during May Day celebrations. 

May 8 
Gerry And The Pacemakers announced that they were splitting up, recognizing that they could 'no longer keep pace with the rapidly changing UK Rock scene.' 

May 11 
The Bee Gees made their debut on the UK TV show Top Of The Pops, performing "New York Mining Disaster, 1941" which will enter the UK Pop chart two days later and go on to reach #12. In reality, there was no mining disaster in New York in 1941, although there was one in McIntire, Pennsylvania which killed 6 people. 

1968 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
After months of internal dissension, Buffalo Springfield play their final concert in Long Beach, California. Richie Fury would go on to form Poco and Stephen Stills teamed up with David Crosby and Graham Nash in Crosby, Stills And Nash

May 10 
Jim Morrison incited a riot at a Doors' concert in Chicago. After writhing, jumping and even sliding maracas into his pants, Morrison had the crowd so wound up, they rushed the stage, eventually destroying it. 

1969 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising" is released. It will reach #2 in the US and top the chart in the UK. 

May 10 
The Turtles and The Temptations performed at the White House for a ball given by President Richard Nixon's daughter, Tricia. Mark Volman of The Turtles was reported to have fallen off the stage several times. 

1970 - ClassicBands.com 

May 8 
The Beatles released "Let It Be", their last album of original studio material, although it was actually recorded before the previously released "Abbey Road". 

May 9 
The Guess Who hit the top spot on Billboard's Hot 100 with "American Woman". The song was born by accident when guitarist Randy Bachman was playing a heavy riff on stage after he had broken a string and the band had taken a break. The other members joined in on the jam and Burton Cummings started singing the first thing that came into his head. A fan in the audience had it all on tape and presented it to the group after the show. It was quickly developed into a full song in the studio and ended up spending 3 weeks at the top of the US singles chart. It made #19 in the UK. 

May 11 
The soundtrack L.P. to the original Woodstock festival was released. The three record set featured many of the top Rock artists of the time, including Jimi HendrixCrosby, Stills, Nash And YoungJoe Cocker and The Who. The album would go Gold within two weeks. 

1971 - ClassicBands.com 

May 6 
Ike and Tina Turner receive their only Gold record for their version of "Proud Mary", which climbed to #4 in the US. 

1972 - ClassicBands.com 

May 6 
Elton John's "Rocket Man" is released. It will reach #6 in the US and #2 in the UK. In 2004, it was ranked #242 on the list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. 

May 8 
Keyboardist and singer Billy Preston becomes the first Rock performer to headline at Radio City Music Hall. Others to soon follow will include David Bowie and Mountain

May 11 
John Lennon appears on The Dick Cavett Show on ABC-TV and says that he believes the FBI has tapped his phone. 

May 11 
A bare chested photo of David Cassidy is featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. 

1973 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
Clint Holmes' "Playground In My Mind" cracks the Billboard Top 40 where it will reach #2 during a 15 week run. Although he would follow up with other records, this would prove to be Holmes' only US chart entry. 

May 6 
Paul Simon's first solo tour began with a performance at the Music Hall in Boston. Recordings from the tour were later released on the 1974 album, "Live Rhymin'". Former partner Art Garfunkel would release his first solo album, "Angel Clare" and the single "All I Know" later in the year. 

May 7 
George Harrison releases "Give Me Love", which will become his second #1 single in the US and reach #8 in the UK. 

May 9 
Mick Jagger adds $150,000 of his own money to the $350,000 raised by The Rolling Stones' January benefit concert for victims of the Nicaraguan earthquake. 

1974 - ClassicBands.com 

May 10 
Eric Clapton recorded "I Shot The Sheriff", which will reach #1 in the US and #9 in the UK next Autumn. 

May 11 
Three Dog Night's "The Show Must Go On" reaches #4 on Billboard's Hot 100 and #1 on the Cashbox best sellers chart. The song turns out to be the band's final Top Twenty hit and their last Gold single. 

1975 - ClassicBands.com 

May 10 
Stevie Wonder plays before 125,000 people at the Washington Monument as part of Human Kindness Day, for which he is the honoree. 

May 10 
Springfield, Missouri's Ozark Mountain Daredevils topped the Cashbox Best Sellers chart with their biggest hit, "Jackie Blue". 

1976 - ClassicBands.com 

May 8 
John Sebastian, who had left The Lovin' Spoonful for a solo career in 1968, hit the top of Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 chart with the theme to the TV show, Welcome Back Kotter. John would later say that he wrote the song in 15 minutes. Oddly enough, it even reached #93 on the Billboard Country Chart. 

May 8 
The Steve Miller Band's "Take The Money And Run" is released. It will climb to #11 in the US. 

May 8 
Willie Nelson visited Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review when it played Houston, Texas, and joined him for a duet on "Will the Circle Be Unbroken". The concert was a benefit for former boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, who had been wrongfully jailed for murder. 

May 8 
BBC Radio 1 DJ Johnny Walker announced he was quitting the station after being told he must pretend to like The Bay City Rollers

1977 - ClassicBands.com 

May 6 
Led Zeppelin broke their own concert attendance record at a show in Michigan, when more than 76,000 fans saw their performance. 

May 6 
Having just been signed to their first major recording contract, Dublin's Boomtown Rats, lead by vocalist Bob Geldof, perform for a group of record company employees at Studio 51 in London. 

May 7 
Ten weeks after entering the Billboard singles chart, The Eagles' masterpiece, "Hotel California" became the band's fourth US #1 hit. It made #8 in the UK. In 2009, the song was certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales of 1,000,000 digital downloads. 

1978 - ClassicBands.com 

May 7 
The 90,000 tickets on sale for Bob Dylan's upcoming concerts at London's Wembley Empire Pool sell out in less than eight hours. 

1979 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
Thirteen years after the original duo of Peaches And Herb split up, Herb Feemster teamed up with a new Peaches, Linda Greene, to enjoy a four week run at #1 on the US singles chart with "Reunited". The record also did well in the UK, reaching #4. 

May 5 
28 year old Suzi Quatro reached #5 on the Hot 100 with a duet with Chris Norman called "Stumblin' In". It would be the only time she cracked the US Top 40. 

May 8 
Donny Osmond marries Debra Glenn in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are still married today. 

May 8 
Supertramp's album, "Breakfast in America" turns Platinum and will eventually go to #1. The group would enjoy three Top 15 singles: "The Logical Song", "Goodbye Stranger" and "Take the Long Way Home". 

May 11 
For $12.50 you could buy a ticket to see Rod Stewart's Blondes Have More Fun show at the Cobo Arena in Detroit. 

1981 - ClassicBands.com 

May 11 
Bob Marley, the uncontested King Of Reggae, died of a brain tumor at the age of 36. Seven months earlier he had collapsed on stage during a concert in the US. He was given a state funeral and buried near his birthplace in St. Ann's Parish, Jamaica. 

1982 - ClassicBands.com 

May 6 
A court in Edinburgh, Scotland sentences the former manager of The Bay City Rollers, Tam Paton, to three years in jail. Paton had pleaded guilty to charges of conducting himself "in a shamelessly indecent manner" with ten teenage boys. 

May 7 
Diana Ross receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

May 8 
A group of seasoned L.A. studio musicians calling themselves Toto, enter the Billboard Pop chart with "Roseanna". The record will climb from #81 all the way to the top and be named Record of the Year at the 1983 Grammy Awards. 

1983 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
Clarence Quick, the bass voice of the Del Vikings on their 1956 hit, "Come, Go With Me", died of a heart attack. He was just 46 years old. 

May 5 
The one thousandth edition of Britain's music show, Top of the Pops is broadcast on BBC-TV. The weekly version of the show ran from January 1st, 1964 to July 30th, 2006. 

May 7 
After cracking the Top 20 a year earlier with "The Break-up Song", San Francisco's Greg Kihn Band reaches #2 on the Hot 100 with a song called "Jeopardy". A year later, Weird Al Yankovic will parody the song as "I Lost On Jeopardy", which has since been referenced several times on the game show itself. 

May 10 
After receiving no interest from any major record labels, Metallica begin recording their debut album for Megaforce Records on a budget of just $15,000. Originally titled "Metal up Your Ass", the LP's name was later changed to "Kill 'Em All" and would peak at #120 on the Billboard Hot 200. 

1984 - ClassicBands.com 

May 6 
Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do With It" is released. The song would eventually climb to number one, win Grammys for record and song of the year and established Turner as a major solo star. When Tina left her husband and former band mate Ike Turner in 1975, she was carrying nothing more than thirty-six cents in change and a gas station credit card. 

1986 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame chairman Ahmet Ertegen announces that Cleveland, Ohio has been chosen as the city where the Hall will be built. 

May 5 
Michael Jackson signs his second contract with Pepsi, who will pay the gloved one $15 million and sponsor his solo world tour. 

May 10 
Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee marries actress Heather Locklear. The union will last for eight years. 

1988 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
Pepsi becomes the first company to feature a non-Russian in its Soviet advertising when Michael Jackson appears in a TV commercial. 

May 9 
Several US department stores refuse to stock the newly released Prince album "Lovesexy" because of its cover photo, which features a nude picture of him. 

1989 - ClassicBands.com 

May 11 
Roy Orbison was inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame at a ceremony in New York. Eric Clapton presented the award to Orbison's widow, Barbara. 

1990 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
Jason Bonham delights the guests at his wedding reception when he plays a five song set with his late father's band mates, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones. 

May 9 
Irish singer Sinead O'Connor refuses to perform on NBC-TV's Saturday Night Live after shock comedian Andrew Dice Clay is named as host. Two years later, O'Connor would do some shocking of her own when she ripped up a picture of the Pope on the same show, sending her career into ruins. 

May 11 
31 years after his death, Ritchie Valens is awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

1991 - ClassicBands.com 

May 7 
Soul singer Wilson Pickett was arrested in his hometown of Englewood, New Jersey after repeatedly driving over the lawn of his neighbor, Mayor Donald Aronson. Pickett was charged with drunk driving and threatening to kill the mayor. Police seized a knife and a baseball bat from Pickett's van. The threatening charge was dropped after Pickett agreed to perform a free charity concert. He was later sentenced to a year's probation on the drunken driving charge to run concurrently with a one-year jail term for a later drunk driving incident in which Pickett hit and seriously injured an 86-year-old pedestrian. 

May 7 
A judge in Macon, Georgia dismisses a wrongful death suit against Ozzy Osbourne after a local couple fails to prove their son was inspired to attempt suicide by Ozzy's music. 

May 7 
54-year-old Rolling Stone Bill Wyman ended his 22-month marriage to 21-year-old Mandy Smith. She received a $6.5 million divorce settlement, even though she spent only eight weeks with Wyman during their marriage. They first met when Smith was only 13. 

1992 - ClassicBands.com 

May 9 
Seventeen years after his first American chart entry, Bruce Springsteen makes his US TV debut when he appears on Saturday Night Live with host Tom Hanks. 

1994 - ClassicBands.com 

May 7 
Randy Bachman led 1,322 guitarists who had gathered in Vancouver to play Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Takin' Care of Business", for 68 minutes and 40 seconds. 

1996 - ClassicBands.com 

May 6 
Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville sang at a White House event celebrating the musical diversity of the US. President Bill Clinton and his wife Hilary were the hosts for In Performance at the White House, which was later broadcast on public television. 

1997 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
Governor George W. Bush declares May 5th as ZZ Top Day in the state of Texas. 

May 6 
Joni Mitchell failed to show up for her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. She apparently wanted to avoid the media hoopla over her reunion with the daughter she gave up for adoption 32 years earlier. 

1998 - ClassicBands.com 

May 7 
Eddie Rabbitt, the Country star who crossed over to the Pop chart with "I Love A Rainy Night" and "Drivin' My Life Away", died of lung cancer at the age of 56. 

May 7 
Alphonso Howell of The Sensations died at the age of 61. The group reached #4 in the US in 1962 with "Let Me In". 

May 8 
The three surviving Beatles and John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, won a legal battle to block the CD release of a Beatles recording made at the Star Club in Hamburg in 1962. 

2000 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
Rod Stewart undergoes a one-hour throat operation at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles to remove a growth on his thyroid. The growth turns out to be benign. 

2002 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
Two disc jockeys from Denver's KRFX-FM, Rick Lewis and Michael Floorwax, stopped a live radio interview with Detroit rocker Ted Nugent after he used derogatory racial terms for Asians and Blacks. The station received calls after the show from angry listeners, mostly from people saying they were glad Nugent was taken off the air. The two DJs said Nugent came on the show about three times a year, but won't be back any time soon. 

May 6 
Songwriter Otis Blackwell died from a heart attack. Among his hits were "All Shook Up", "Return To Sender", "Don't Be Cruel", "Great Balls Of Fire", "Fever" and "Handy Man". Over the years, Blackwell's songs have sold more than 185 million copies. 

May 6 
The Guinness Hit Singles book listed "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen as the UK's favorite single of all time, followed by "Imagine" by John Lennon, "Hey Jude" by The Beatles, "Dancing Queen" by ABBA and "Like A Prayer" by Madonna. 

May 7 
After an investigation that lasted nearly four months, police in London, England cleared Pete Townsend on charges that he downloaded child porn from the Internet. Investigators did confirm that Townsend had accessed a site containing such images in 1999 and as a result, he has been listed on a national register of sex offenders. 

2003 - ClassicBands.com 

May 11 
57 year old Noel Redding, former bass player with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, died from complications of cirrhosis of the liver. Redding joined Hendrix's band in 1966 and played on three albums before parting ways with the legendary guitarist in 1969. 

2004 - ClassicBands.com 

May 6 
David Bowie cancelled a concert in Miami after a local stagehand was killed in a fall before the show began. 

May 7 
Rudy Maugeri, the baritone voice of the 1950s doo-wop group, The Crew Cuts, died of pancreatic cancer at his home in Las Vegas. He was 73. Taking their name from a popular hair style of the day, the quartet formed in Toronto and went on to have several hits in the US, including the number one "Sh-Boom" in 1954 and the number three "Earth Angel" in 1955. 

May 10 
Glen Campbell pleaded guilty to charges of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident after he crashed into another car. As part of his plea deal, Campbell was sentenced to 10 days in jail. 

May 11 
55 year old John Whitehead of McPhadden and Whitehead, best remembered for their 1979 hit, "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now", was shot to death while working on his car in Philadelphia. No suspects were arrested. 

2006 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
Michael Jackson demanded an apology from GQ Magazine which printed a series of photos featuring a Jackson impersonator along with an article called "Where's Michael?" which documented the writer's quest to find Jackson in Bahrain. 

May 6 
Nancy Sinatra unveiled her star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame as she celebrated forty years in music since the debut of her 1966 hit "These Boots Are Made for Walkin". 

May 8 
Michael Davis, the former bassist for Detroit's MC5, was involved in a motorcycle accident in which he suffered a fractured spine, bruised ribs, and several abrasions. He was expected to make a full recovery. 

May 10 
Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones was discharged from a hospital in New Zealand following surgery to relieve pressure in his head following a fall from a palm tree. 

2007 - ClassicBands.com 

May 10 
The surviving members of Pink Floyd took part in a tribute concert to pay respects to their former front man, Roger "Syd" Barrett, who died on July 7, 2006, at the age of 60, following complications from diabetes. 

2008 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
Jerry Wallace, who placed seven songs on Billboard's Top 40, including the 1959, #8 hit "Primrose Lane", died at the age of 79, after suffering congestive heart failure. 

May 8 
Eddy Arnold, a Country artist who reached the Billboard Pop chart four times, including the 1965 #4 hit, "Make The World Go Away", died of natural causes, one week before his 90th birthday. 

2009 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
Actress Ola Ray, a former Playboy Playmate, filed a lawsuit against Michael Jackson and his production company, alleging unpaid royalties from her work in the video for "Thriller". 

May 6 
Donald "Ean" Evans, the bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd, died of cancer at the age of 48. He joined the band in 2001 following the passing of Leon Wilkeson and remained with them until his death. 

May 8 
Bob Dylan led the Billboard Hot 200 album chart for the fifth time when "Together Through Life" debuted in the number one spot. It gave the Rock 'n' Roll icon back-to-back chart toppers as 2006's "Modern Times" also started in the penthouse. 

2010 - ClassicBands.com 

May 5 
Sonny and Cher's only child, who was born Chastity Sun Bono, appeared in a Santa Monica, California court where a judge signed off on an official gender and name change. The judge ruled that the gender reassignment is complete and that Chastity will now be a man known as Chaz Bono. 

May 7 
Dave Fisher, who formed The Highwaymen with four university pals in the late 1950s, died at the age of 69 after a battle with a bone marrow disorder. The quartet topped the Billboard chart in 1961 with "Michael (Row The Boat Ashore)". 

May 8 
Norm Ezell, guitarist for The Five Americans on their 1967 hit "Western Union", died of cancer at the age of 68. 

May 10 
New York City's Apollo Theatre began installing bronze plaques on the sidewalk outside the building of legends who had close ties to the theater. Among the first to be honored were James BrownMichael JacksonSmokey Robinson and Ella Fitzgerald. 

2011 - ClassicBands.com 

May 7 
John Walker, lead vocalist for The Walker Brothers, who enjoyed Billboard Top 20 hits with "Make It Easy On Yourself" in 1965 and "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" in 1966, died of liver cancer at the age of 67. 

May 11 
Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall’s daughter Elizabeth appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine's June issue. Her six-page, eight photo spread showed the 27-year-old baring all and seductively smoking a cigarette. 

2012 - ClassicBands.com 

May 6 
Over 300 guests, including Chubby Checker, Paul Anka, Berry Gordy, Marie Osmond and Stevie Wonder, gathered on the grounds of Dick Clark's Malibu estate for a private memorial service. Clark’s three children spoke first, followed by his widow Kari, who read a list of "65 reasons I love Dick Clark." The long-time host of TV's American Bandstand died April 18 of a heart attack. 




 


 

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