This Day in Music History: David Bowie releases “Space Oddity” in the UK, Jerry Garcia releases line of neck ties

David Bowie Space Oddity

1951 – On WJW in Cleveland, Alan Freed broadcasts his first “Moondog House Rock and Roll Party,” marking the first radio show with the phrase “Rock and Roll” and giving Freed a claim on the origin of the term. More importantly, Freed plays R&B music, which introducing the sound to a new (and mostly white) audience.

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Remembering Jerry Garcia with The War on Drugs

Jerry Garcia 69346-7 The Grateful Dead’s spiritual leader Jerry Garica passed away this day in 1995. Last week we paid tribute Garcia on his birthday with a selection of videos from various Philly gigs he did with the Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band. Relix recently announced a Grateful Dead tribute:

Members of Vampire Weekend, The War on Drugs, Bon Iver, The Walkmen and Kurt Vile & the Violators are expected to participate in The National’s upcoming Grateful Dead tribute album. As previously reported, the Ohio-bred, New York-based indie band are working on an all-star, indie-leaning Grateful Dead tribute album in the coming months. The National’s twin guitarists Aaron and Bryce Dessner will curate the album, which will benefit Red Hot, an international organization dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture. The National’s rhythm section, Bryan and Scott Devendorf, who claim to be the band’s bigger Deadheads, will ghost curate the project.

Below, watch The War On Drugs perform “Touch Of Grey” from a show they performed at the Bowery Ballroom in December, 2011.


Happy Birthday Jerry Garcia: Watch him in concert at The Spectrum from 1991 (plus more!)

GarciaRollingStonecover Jerry Garcia would have been 71 today. Born August 1, 1942 in San Francisco, Garcia passed away just eight days after his 53rd birthday on August 9, 1995. The lead singer and guitarist for The Grateful Dead, Garcia left behind what Rolling Stone magazine called “a legacy of wondrous creations.” Of the hundreds of videos on YouTube, we picked just a few out for you to watch below, including a full Jerry Garcia Band show from The Spectrum on November 12, 1991. May he rest in peace in rock and roll heaven. God bless the Grateful Dead.

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Download Digest: This week’s best free music, incl. John the Conqueror, Jerry Garcia, Lauryn Peacock

Here at The Key, we toss a fair heaping of free downloads your way, so it’s completely understandable if you miss a few. Here are our top five bits of digital music from the past week:

Power trio John the Conqueror has made a splash in Philly scene over the past year, dishing out a moving blend of blues, soul and rock n’ roll. This week the band announced that its debut full-length is coming out on Alive Naturalsound Records this October, and released the lead single, “Time to Leave.”

XPN Artist to Watch Lianne La Havas has been burning up the airwaves with the title track to her album Is Your Love Big Enough?. On Friday, the song was featured as WXPN’s My Morning Download, and you can get yourself a copy below.

This past Thursday was the 17th anniversary of Jerry Garcia‘s passing, and to mark the occasion, we dug up the final show that he and The Grateful Dead played in Philadelphia. Stream it in the player below, or download it in its entirety at

Ben Runyan of City Rain played a show at PhilaMOCA last Thursday wearing a Kurt Cobain t-shirt. On Friday, he released a synthpop rendition of Nirvana’s “Dumb” to his personal Soundcloud page. What I love the most about it (aside from being a fine choice from the Nirvana canon) is how much he makes it sound like a City Rain song. Decide for yourself:

This week’s Key Studio Session spotlighted emotive West Philly songwriter Lauryn Peacock, who played with a three-piece band and premiered three new songs. The most striking performance, however, was the closing number “Window in the Night,” which originally appeared on the Fairly Busy Wife EP she released in July. Give it a listen below, and mark your calendars for her appearance at The Fire on Aug. 23.