On this day in music history: October 20, 1980 - “Catholic Boy”, the debut album by The Jim Carroll Band is released. Produced by Earl McGrath and Bob Clearmountain, it is recorded at The Power Station in New York City from June - August 1980. A gifted poet and writer since his teens, Jim Carroll sees his poetry work published in magazines and book form beginning in the late 60’s and early 70’s. He finds greater fame in 1978 when his autobiography “The Basketball Diaries” is released. The bold and starkly honest book is drawn from personal diary entries written between the ages of twelve and sixteen. Carroll writes about his Catholic school upbringing, being a high school basketball star, and his sexual experiences before spiraling down into heroin addiction. By the late 70’s, Carroll is able to recover his sobriety while continuing to write, and takes an unexpected career turn. Having been roommates with fellow poet and punk rock pioneer Patti Smith and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, Smith encourages Jim to start his own band. In 1979, Carroll forms The Jim Carroll Band with band members Steve Linsley (bass), Wayne Woods (drums), Brian Linsley and Terrell Winn (guitars). After playing together for a short time, the band are signed to Atlantic subsidiary Atco Records. The raw, rudimentary instrumentation featuring Carroll’s dark and powerful lyrics make for a compelling combination. The band are also supported in studio by Rolling Stones side man Bobby Keys (saxophone) and Blue Öyster Cult keyboardist Allen Lanier. The album’s cover photo is taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz (Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair). Though only a modest success, “Catholic Boy” receives attention and acclaim for the single “People Who Died”. Written as an elegy to Carroll’s fallen friends, the song becomes a punk rock classic and an enduring pop cultural touchstone. It is heard briefly in the 80’s blockbuster “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” and is later featured in the film adaptation of “The Basketball Diaries” in 1995, with Leonardo DiCapro portraying Jim Carroll. Carroll himself also makes a cameo appearance in the film as a junkie. With the original version being featured on the soundtrack album, a music video for “People Who Died” is shot featuring clips from the film intercut with Carroll performing the song. “Boy” is released on CD by Atco/Atlantic in 1989. "Catholic Boy" peaks at number seventy three on the Billboard Top 200.