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Today in Music History



Awards and Honors (10)

  • 1978 : Saturday Night Fever and Billy Joel are big winners at The Grammys, with the soundtrack getting Album of the Year and Just The Way You Are taking Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
  • 1979 : Donna Summer's Last Dance wins two Grammys: Best Female R&B Vocal and Best R&B Song.
  • 1992 : Natives of the village of Krinjabo, on Africa's Ivory Coast, name Michael Jackson "King of the Sanwis."
  • 1995 : Songwriter Diane Warren receives the Voice of Music Award, one of the American Society of Composers and Performers' highest honors.
  • 1999 : Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura – a former Rolling Stones concert bodyguard – declares today "Rolling Stones Day."
  • 1999 : Hip-hop act Petter and The Cardigans sweep the 1998 Swedish Grammis awards at the Kungliga Tennishallen in Stockholm.
  • 2003: Local star Herbert Gronemeyer is the big winner at Germany's Echo Awards in Berlin. He wins for national rock/pop artist, and his hit "Mensch" lands the award for national rock/pop single.
  • 2006 : Kaiser Chiefs take home three trophies to dominate the BRIT Awards 2006, held at London's Earls Court.
  • 2006 : The gravesite of AC/DC singer Bon Scott in Fremantle Cemetery in Western Australia is classified with a heritage listing.
  • 2011 : A stunned Laura Marling accepts the Brit Award for Best British Female at the O2 Arena in London. In an interview later that year Marling says she was "terrified" at the awards ceremony, clarifying that she's "been around people for whom [winning a Brit] has changed things and it is uncomfortable to watch. I'm not built for that."

Band Dynamics (3)

  • 1964 : Sam Cooke announces a major reduction in his touring schedule, made so that he can concentrate on the day-to-day activities of his two new record labels, Sar and Derby.
  • 1967: Music students at Chicago's DePaul University form a seven-piece rock ensemble called The Big Thing. Later, they would change their name to Chicago Transit Authority, and then, simply, Chicago.
  • 1977 : Sid Vicious joins The Sex Pistols.

Banned (2)

  • 1967 : The first anti-bootlegging recording laws are enacted.
  • 1970 : After a Sly and the Family Stone concert runs hours late and causes over a thousand dollars in damages, the Daughters of the American Revolution impose a ban against any further rock concerts at the venue, Washington D.C.'s Constitution Hall.

Births (13)

  • 1888 : Frederick Lawrence Wright, founder of Melody Maker, is born at 23 Upper Conduit Street, Leicester.
  • 1905 : Harold Arlen
  • 1918 : Hank Locklin
  • 1939 : Alvin Cash
  • 1941 : Brian Holland
  • 1943 : Denny Zager (Zager and Evans)
  • 1944 : Mick Avory (The Kinks)
  • 1945 : John Helliwell (Supertramp)
  • 1947 : David Brown (Santana)
  • 1951 : Melissa Manchester
  • 1959 : Ali Campbell (UB40)
  • 1960 : Mikey Craig (Culture Club)
  • 1976 : Brandon Boyd (Incubus)

Certifications and Milestones (2)

  • 1928 : "Among My Souvenirs" is the top song in America according to Variety.
  • 1977 : The Best Of George Harrison is certified gold.

Charts (4)

  • 1958 : Elvis Presley's "Don't" hits #1
  • 1969 : Sly and the Family Stone's Everyday People hits #1
  • 1975 : Linda Ronstadt's You're No Good hits #1
  • 1975 : Linda Ronstadt's album Heart Like a Wheel hits #1

Concerts and Festivals (1)

  • 1957: Promoter Irving Feld, king of Fifties rock package tours, premieres his latest tour, "Greatest Show of 1957," in Pittsburgh, PA. The cross-country show features Chuck Berry, Clyde McPhatter, Fats Domino, LaVern Baker, The Moonglows, Bill Doggett, and The Five Satins; many of the areas it visits have never seen a rock 'n roll show before.

Deaths (6)

  • 1965 : Nat King Cole
  • 1968 : Little Walter
  • 1981 : Mike Bloomfield (The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Electric Flag)
  • 1984 : Ethel Merman
  • 2005 : Pierre Bachelet
  • 2006 : Anna Marly

Debuts (2)

  • 1971 : The Who debut a new rock opera called Lighthouse – it flops, but some of the songs (including Bab O' Riley, Won't Get Fooled Again, and Behind Blue Eyes) will become Who standards after being included on Who's Next.
  • 2001 : Beatles principal George Harrison participates in his first-ever online chats via Yahoo! Chat and MSN Live.

Health Issues (1)

  • 2002 : Country great Waylon Jennings is laid to rest following a private graveside service in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, AZ.

Incidents (2)

  • 1961 : Jackie Wilson is shot in Manhattan. The following issue of Melody Maker carries the front page headline Girl Fan Shoots Jackie Wilson, but controversy over the incident persists in spite of Wilson's claim that this is what really happened.
  • 1998: Fans of Japanese rock act Glay cause the Tokyo area phone system to break down as they try to reserve tickets for an upcoming concert by the band. Chaos ensues at the Nagano Winter Olympics main pressroom as long distance lines go down during the ski-jumping event.

Legal Issues (4)

  • 1969 : Florida hairstylist Vickie Jones is arrested for impersonating Aretha Franklin at a club in Fort Myers, FL. Incredibly, her performance is so believable that no patrons demand a refund.
  • 1972: The US government's new anti-piracy laws are enacted, a response to widespread bootlegging of major artists.
  • 1976 : Bette Midler bails out no less than seven members of her entourage from jail after their arrest on drug possession charges.
  • 1991 : Rod Stewart's ex-girlfriend, supermodel Kelly Emberg, files a $25 million palimony suit against the singer in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Miscellaneous (2)

  • 1968 : John Lennon and George Harrison of The Beatles depart for India to study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Later joined by Paul and Ringo, they write some songs for the White Album during the retreat.
  • 1995: The Los Angeles, California heavy metal radio station KNAC goes off the air and is replaced by the Spanish radio station KBUE on the same channel - 105.5FM. The station signs off at approximately 1:59PM after playing Metallica's "Fade to Black". Three years, later KNAC goes back on the air, this time on the internet at

Recordings (5)

  • 1941 : Duke Ellington, "Take the A Train"
  • 1954 : Big Joe Turner records one of the first Rock songs, "Shake, Rattle And Roll," at Atlantic Records studios in New York.
  • 1961 : The Marcels, Blue Moon
  • 1965 : The Beatles: Ticket To Ride, Another Girl, I Need You
  • 1979: A&M ends its tenure as the US' largest indie record company as RCA records begins its new distributing deal with the label.

Releases (2)

  • 1965 : The Beatles, Eight Days A Week
  • 1975: After record executive Morris Levy releases an album called "Roots - John Lennon Sings The Great Rock & Roll Hits" without Lennon's permission, Capitol Records rush releases John Lennon's Rock and Roll album, which contains the completed version of the songs. Lennon had given Levy some master tapes from the sessions as part of compensation for using a Chuck Berry lyric in "Come Together": "Here come old flat-top, he come groovin' up slowly."

TV, Radio, Press (3)

  • 1958 : ABC debuts a new Dick Clark show, hoping to duplicate the success of American Bandstand. The first guests on The Dick Clark Show include Connie Francis, Pat Boone and Jerry Lee Lewis.
  • 1975 : Performing "People Gotta Move," Gino Vannelli becomes the first white artist to appear on Soul Train.
  • 1998 : Backstreet Boys appear on the TV show Sabrina the Teenage Witch.