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On this day in 1962, Dick Rowe the A & R boss at Decca Records made what would be the biggest mistake of his professional career.
He signed a band called Brian Poole and the Tremeloes and to do so? He rejected The Beatles. Yes, he blew off the band destined to become the greatest act in the history of music. Oops.
John Lennon was in trouble with the law on this day in 1969. He and Yoko One had just shipped their album “Two Virgins” to New York and the customs’ authorities were not happy.
The entire shipment was seized as obscene due to the full frontal nude of the two artists on the cover, a compromise was eventually reached, however, and the album was allowed to be sold – as long as it was wrapped in a brown, opaque, paper bag.
Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys was engaged in his own battle with authority on this day in January of 1967. The Vietnam War was in full swing and Carl had been drafted.
He refused to go. He said that he was a conscientious objector, so he was arrested and detained.
Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy had been in a coma for 8 days when on this day in 1986, his heart finally gave way and he died. The coma had been the result of a drug overdose.
Their most famous song Whiskey in the Jar is still a favorite among the rock community today. There is a life sized statue of Phil on Harry Street in Dublin, Ireland.
On this day in 1973, Bruce Springsteen released his first album “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.” It must have been a hard year, because the album barely sold 25,000 copies.
Even the singles Spirit in the Light and Blinded by the Light were completely ignored. Of course, Blinded by the Light would later become a huge hit for Manfred Mann.
Gibson Guitars on this day in 1958 changed the course of rock n roll history forever. How? They released the Gibson Flying V electric guitar.
Among those who would adopt this incredible machine over the years were Jimi Hendrix and Marc Bolan of T-Rex.
On this day in 1971, Black Sabbath released Paranoid to an adoring world. The record was meant to be called “War Pigs” but the record company told them to change it, as they feared that supporters of the Vietnam War would boycott it.
Of course, it’s the album that is now near universally considered to be the band’s defining sound.
Coca-Cola conquered the charts on this day in 1972. Well, nearly, they had commissioned a song called “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” from The New Seekers and it had proven to be super popular.
So, the band re-recorded it as “I’d like to teach the world to sing (in perfect harmony)” and it went to Number 1!
If you think they’re censorious today, then imagine what it must have been like 70 years ago. It was way worse.
In fact, on this day in 1955, Rosemary Clooney went to Number 1 in the UK with “Mambo Italiano” and the record was banned on all ABC stations in the United States for “not reaching the standards of good taste!”
Jo Stafford made history on this day in 1953. The former Tommy Dorsey backing singer had struck out on her own and it all paid off on the 10th of January, 1953.
She would become the first solo woman to go to Number One on the UK singles charts! The song, of course, was You Belong To Me.
The Kingsmen’s Louie Louie hit number one on the US Cash Box music chart on this day in 1964 but it was a pretty controversial track.
It had been banned on several radio stations as the lyrics were hard to make out and someone said it included naughty words.
So, they did the proportionate thing and called the FBI to investigate. Fortunately, they said there was nothing wrong with the song and it was free to be played everywhere.
The Sex Pistols could see the writing on the wall for their career on this day in 1977. Why?
Well, their record label EMI decided to take the incredible step of writing to the newspapers to disown them and say they wouldn’t promote them any longer, due to the adverse publicity the band kept generating.
Elvis Presley entered the studio on this day in 1969 for a ten day marathon recording session that would produce his very last number one.
That was, of course, the incredible single “Suspicious Minds”.
On this day in 1966, a young man called Davy Jones entered the music business and fearing that he would be mistaken for Davy Jones from The Monkees, he opted to change his name.
Yes, that was the day David Bowie became a reality.
In 1972, on this day, Don McLean’s American Pie would start a 4-week run at the top of the US singles charts.
It’s a song about “The Day the Music Died” which was, of course, the day that The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly all died in a plane crash.
Tina Turner was breaking records on this day in 1988. She broke the record for the largest audience ever for a solo artist!
More than 182,000 people turned up to hear her play in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Tommy Tucker, the American blues singer and songwriter, had a very bad day on this day in 1982. He was renovating his home and he died from inhaling poisonous fumes.
He was just 48. He’ll be remembered for his biggest hit, “Hi Heel Sneakers”.
Barry Manilow, the King of Easy Listening, would score his first ever number one on this day in 1975.
The song was originally called Brandy and performed by Scott English, but they changed it to “Mandy” for Barry and it changed his life.
On this day in 1967, the TV supergroup The Monkees were about to have their only UK number one hit with “I’m a Believer”.
The song was written by Neil Diamond, and sold more than a million copies in advance! It is one of less than 40 singles to have sold more than 10 million physical copies globally!
On this day in 1982, we can hardly imagine that Ozzy Osborne woke up intending to have rabies shots but that’s what happened.
Because when a fan threw a bat on the stage at his gig, Ozzy thought it was plastic and bit its head off, it wasn’t plastic and the Oz man was off for his shots almost immediately after.
It was on this day that the soundtrack to the movie “Saturday Night Fever” would begin a 24-week stay in the top slot of the US album charts.
It would sell more than 30 million copies and become the best-selling soundtrack in history!
Rhett Forrester of Riot would meet an unfortunate end on this day in 1994. He was just 37 years old when he was shot dead.
He’d been carjacked and refused to surrender the keys or his vehicle.
Petula Clark was making history in the United States on this day in 1965. Her classic single “Downtown” hit the number one slot on the US singles chart.
That was the first time a British woman had had a number one in the US since Vera Lynn back in 1952.
The 57-year-old country singer Lynn Anderson was in a spot of hot water on this day in 2005, when she was arrested for shoplifting in a New Mexico supermarket and for assaulting a police officer.
Incredibly, she was stealing a Harry Potter DVD! We think you’d be better off listening to her 1970 hit Rose Garden, instead.
The prudes were at work on this day in 1989. Bobby Brown was performing in Columbus but after the show things started going adrift.
He was arrested for “an overtly sexually suggestive performance” and then fined $652 using the local “anti-lewdness” law.
Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac must have been having a bad day on this day in 1977.
It ended with him being committed to a mental asylum for threatening his accountant with an air rifle. His accountant’s crime? Nothing. He was trying to give Peter a royalty check for $51,000!
Mahalia Jackson, “The Queen of Gospel Music” died on this day in 1972. She was world famous for her singing and her activism.
She’d recorded 30 albums by the time she passed and her version of Silent Night is considered by many to be the definitive version.
Paul Abdul’s Forever Your Girl hit the Number One spot in the US and stayed there for 10 weeks on this day in 1990.
Surprisingly, it had been in the charts for sixty-four weeks before this happened! It’s the longest gap between any album charting and hitting number one in history.
On this day in 1979, a young woman called Brenda Spicer killed two and wounded many more when she opened fire on the entrance of a local school from her house across the street.
When asked why she did it, she said simply, “I don’t like Mondays”. And that is where The Boomtown Rats got their song title and inspiration from.
On this day in 1961, The Shirelles made history. They were the first black all-girl group to have a number one single in the United States.
The song, “WIll You Love Me Tomorrow?” also reached number 4 in the UK.
John Wetton, the English singer, songwriter and bassist, died of colon cancer on this day in 2017.
He had worked with many of the greatest rock acts of all time, and was the frontman of Asia, whose biggest hit was Heat of the Moment.
On this day in 1949, the recording industry was transformed. The first ever 45 rpm single was released and this meant, you could now make a 7” single where before only the 12” had been possible. This, in turn, allowed for the invention of the jukebox!
On this day in 1959, it was the day before the day the music died. Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper all shared the stage at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. 24 hours later they would all die in a plane crash.
Gwen Guthrie, the American soul singer, passed away on this day in 199. She was just 48 years old. She’d appeared as a backing singer for Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and more. She’d also written songs for Roberta Flack and SIster Sledge. And she topped the R&B charts herself in 1986 with “Ain’t Nothing Goin’ On But The Rent”.
It was on this day in 1965, that The Righteous Brothers held the number one slot on both sides of the Atlantic (in the UK and the US) with “You’ve Lost That Lovin Feeling.” Nothing too special about that, maybe, but PRS labelled it as the “most played song of the 20th century” as 1999 drew to a close.
Ringo Starr was not The Beatles’ first drummer. That was Pete Best, but on this day in 1962, Pete Best fell ill and Ringo would make his first ever appearance with The Beatles appearing on stage with them at The Cavern Club in Liverpool for a lunchtime gig!
Some names are lost to history and you’ve probably never heard of Len Garry, Eric Griffiths and John Lowe but on this day in 1958 they were part of a group called The Quarrymen and George Harrison, who you almost certainly have heard of, joined these three and John Lennon and Paul McCartney to complete their lineup!
Guitar Slim’s “The Things That I Used To Do” had sold a million copies before Eddie Jones (the man behind the monicker) passed away from pneumonia on this day in 1959. He was just 32. He is often thought of as the guitarist who inspired Hendrix.
You could have earned $1,000 on this day in 1964 when the FBI put this sum up as a reward for the first person to positively identify obscenities in the song “Louie Louie” by The Kingsmen. The reward was never claimed and eventually, the song was cleared for airplay.
Bill Haley, the first major Rock N Roll star was found dead and in all his clothes, on his bed in 1981. He was just 55 years old. He is best remembered for his distinctive hair do (which was used to cover up a blind eye) and the song “Rock Around The Clock”.
The first ever “Gold Record” was awarded on this day in 1942 to Glenn Miller and his Orchestra for their song Chattanooga Choo Choo. It was actually a publicity stunt and they sprayed a disc in gold laquer to give it to the band. The idea of an actual “Gold Record” didn’t catch on until 1958 and Perry Como won the first one with “Catch a Falling Star”.
Thanks to the smash hit single Please Please Me (which would be the title track of the new album) there was a rush to release the album. So, on this day in 1963 The Beatles went into the studio and recorded 10 brand new tracks plus 4 additional tracks in just 10 hours and the album was then swiftly mastered and pushed out the door to fans.
It was on this day in 1961 that the Motown record label would celebrate their first ever song to sell one million copies. It was, of course, The Miracles’ “Shop Around”. It was also their first ever Number One on the Billboard R&B Chart!
We wonder if he ever regretted it? But on this day in 1974, David Bowie was made an offer by the Gay Liberation Group and they wanted him to write the world’s first Gay National Anthem. He turned them down.
It’s Valentine’s Day! A day that the singer and songwriter Janis Ian will never forget. In her song “At Seventeen” she bemoaned that she had never got a Valentine’s Card. In response to this, the next year, her fans sent her nearly 500 cards!
The great Nat King Cole, best loved for his hit “When I Fall In Love”, passed away on this day in 1965 from lung cancer. His daugher Natalie Cole is also a singer. And in addition to his singing talents, he had been the first black American to ever host a TV variety show (in 1956).
Each member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer would be $75 poorer on this day in 1974. Why? Well, they got caught skinny dipping in their hotel pool in Salt Lake City and that was the fine for their “crime”.
On this day in 1989, David Coverdale (of Whitesnake) married the actress Tawny Kitaen (she had appeared in the music videos for “Here I Go Again”, “Is This Love” and “Still of the Night” for the band). It wasn’t to last though, they divorced in 1991.
On this day in 1969, Maurice Gibb (of The Bee Gees) married Lulu (of the smash hit “To Sir With Love” among others) in a Church in Gerarrd’s Cross in England. Barry Gibb, Maurice’s brother was best man. It was an exciting day as more than 3,000 people who hadn’t been invited showed up to cheer them on.
Manfredd Mann succeeded where Bruce Springsteen had failed. They took The Boss’s “Blinded By The Light” to Number One in the US on this day in 1977. However, they’d had to change a few of the lyrics to accomodate the new musical style. Springsteen said the song was now “about a feminine hygeine product”.
Today, in 1959, the rock legend Jimi Hendrix played his first ever live gig! It was at the rather less than rock’n’roll venue of the Temple De Hirsch Synai Synagogue in Seattle!
It was on this day in 1982, that the DJ Murry the K passed away. It was just a week after his 60th birthday. His claim to fame? He was the first person to play a Beatles’ record on US Radio. He often called himself “the Fifth Beatle”.
It was a tragic day for music on this day in 1976. Florence Ballard who had been part of The Supremes had a heart attack and died at the tender age of 32. She has lost an $8 million lawsuit against Motown for unpaid royalties and was claiming welfare at the time of her death.
It was on this day in 1940, that Woody Guthrie wrote one of the most covered songs of all time “This Land Is Your Land” in New York City. The political message fell on mainly deaf ears at the time but in really took off in the 1960s when many artists of the New Folk movement (including Bob Dylan) did their own versions.
The smash hit “Killing Me Softly WIth His Song” by Roberta Flack, began its 5-week stay in the number one slot on the Billboard chart on this day in 1973. It is, of course, a reaction to the Don McLean classic “Empty Chairs”. She nearly didn’t record it. It was Marvin Gaye that convinced her she had to lay it down before performing it live a second time.
The seemingly cheery hit “Jump” by Van Halen began a five-week run at the top of the singles charts on this day in 1984. David Lee Roth says he wrote it because he saw a guy on TV threatening to kill himself by jumping off a building and he figured people who saw it in real life would shout “just go ahead and jump!”
On this day in 1997, the American Songwriter Ben Raleigh had a horrible end in his own kitchen when the food he was cooking set fire to his bathrobe. He is best remembered for the song “Tell Laura I Love Her”.
It was on this day in 1971 that Janis Joplin’s second album “Pearl” began a nine-week run at the top of the US album charts. It’s notable because it was released posthumously and she doesn’t actually appear on the track Buried Alive In The Blues because she died before recording the vocal.
In 1974, on this day, the singer and songwriter Bobby Bloom came to a tragic end when he shot himself in the head. He died instantly. He will be remembered for the classic hit single “Montego Bay”.
Happy birthday to Anthony Keidis, the lead singer and co-founder of the Red Hot Chili Peppers!
He was born on this very day back in 1962.
Not only have the band’s albums dominated the music charts, but his autobiography, Scar Tissue, became a New York Times Best Seller too!
47 years ago, today, George Harrison made history by becoming the first member of The Beatles to appear on stage as a solo artist.
The tour began in Vancouver, Canada and it ran for 30 nights.
It marked the beginning of the end for The Beatles. Isn’t it a pity? But All Things Must Pass.
It was 44 years ago, when one of pop music’s least successful retirements of all time was announced.
Elton John stood on stage at Empire Pool, in Wembley, London and said goodbye to his fans.
This may come as a big surprise to those who have bought tickets to see him perform Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in 2022.
Don’t worry, you won’t need a refund.
You might have thought him barking mad, but 45 years ago, today, The Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations broke the British charts and would end the week as number one in the UK and the US!
The name Good Vibrations comes from Brian Wilson’s mother’s insistence that dogs were sensitive to the vibrations of people and would growl/bark at the bad vibrations.
50 years ago, today, one of the most famous phrases in music came into being.
Elvis Presley was on tour in the United States and the first date was at the Metropolitan Sports Center in Minneapolis.
Once the show was over, Al Dvorin told the audience, “Elvis has left the building.”
He hadn’t, mind you, it was to get the crowd to quieten down so that The King could come back for an encore.
On this day, 53 years ago, The Monkees tried to murder their own brand. The boy band famous for chirpy, happy songs like Daydream Believer, released a feature film called Head.
Instead of delivering lashings of fun for their teenage audience, it was full of images of horror from the Vietnam War and stuffed full of age-inappropriate guests.
It was an absolute disaster and flopped big time at the box office.
15 years after Michael Jackson sang “Ben” and topped the pop charts as a youngster, another youngster scored their first Number 1.
Yes, and it’s 34 years old today, Tiffany’s I Think We’re Alone Now was a smash success.
What many people don’t know is that it’s a cover of a song originally performed by Tommy James & The Shondells.
Today, it has sold nearly 40 million copies!
And the best known track on the album, Stairway to Heaven, has inspired generations of kids to pick up a guitar and learn to play.
Madonna may be a master of releasing musical hit after musical hit ever since she debuted in the charts but her box office career hasn’t always been as fortunate.
19 years ago, today, she was given the bad news that her movie Swept Away would not receive an international release because it had performed so badly in the United States.
It currently sits at an incredible 5% on Rotten Tomatoes, so this was probably the right call.
You won’t believe it but the supergroup The Eagles had their fifth and final number one in the United States 42 years ago, today.
The song was Heartache Tonight and while it wowed American audiences, it only broke the Top 40 elsewhere in the world.
This interesting fact makes us feel old. The Cars released My Best Friend’s Girl 43 years ago today.
What made it special was it was the first ever single to have a picture printed directly onto the vinyl. Yes, vinyl. You can’t get an MP3 picture disc, sadly.
It’s been 20 years to the day since The Beatles, minus John Lennon, had their final face-to-face meeting.
They visited George Harrison’s New York City Hotel, The Palace Court Hotel, and sadly, 2 weeks later, George passed away from a heart attack, far too young, at just 58.
45 years ago, today, Rod Stewart’s Tonight’s The Night began an eight-week appearance in the number one slot of the US Charts.
What makes the song interesting, is that it had been banned from radio airplay in Rod’s native United Kingdom due to the scandalous nature of the lyrics.
It was, after all, a song about seducing a virgin. The female whispers on the song belong to the actress Britt Ekland who was dating Rod when he recorded it.
Happy 55th Birthday to Joseph “Run” Simmons. The founder of Run DMC, one of the world’s best known hip-hop acts.
Their chart achievements include It’s Like That and their duet with Aerosmith Walk This Way.
What you might not know about Run is that he’s also a Christian Minister and his flock know him as Revered Run!
63 years ago today, a band called Johnny and The Moondogs appeared on a British TV star search program and they were so penniless that they missed their chance to be called back on stage as they’d had to go home to another city to sleep.
Why should you care? Well, you know Johnny and The Moondogs as The Beatles. Yes, the world’s greatest ever band was once unable to afford a hotel room in Manchester in the 1950s.
The Jimmy Hendrix Experience went to number one and earned a truck load of notoriety on this day in 1968.
The album Electric Ladyland, which contains the classic All Along The Watchtower, was the reason.
Jimmy was appalled to find out it had been released with a “naked lady” cover and many record shops deemed the sleeve pornographic and turned the album cover inside out to sell it!
Why Do Fools Fall In Love? Was a hugely profitable song for everybody but Jimmy Merchant and Herman Santiago of the band, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, that had performed it.
That changed 39 years ago, today, when a country gave them an award of $4 million for missed royalties!
You can bet they sang about that when they got home.
Cat Stevens, now Yusuf Islam as he has converted to Islam, has always experimented with religion and on this day, 49 years ago, he was at number one in the United States with Catch Bull at Four.
It was inspired by a series of Buddhist Poems known as Ten Bulls of Zen which are meant to offer guidance on reaching Enlightenment.
The smash hit Baby Love by The Supremes dominated the charts from the Number 1 slot on both sides of the Atlantic 57 years ago, today.
What made it unusual was that The Supremes had achieved the feat of being the first ever all-girl band to capture the top slot in the British charts!
It’s been 66 years, to this very day, since Bo Diddley pulled off one of the very first acts of rock n roll rebellion on The Ed Sullivan Show.
He’d been booked to play his song Sixteen Tons but once he stood on stage, he abandoned the plan, and sang his eponymous song Bo Diddley, instead.
He didn’t get away with it, he was banned from the show for life for his brief act of defiance.
If you want to feel the power of inflation in the music scene then 66 years ago, on this day in 1955, you’d be shocked to hear that RCA Records was coming under fire for their incredible purchase of an artist’s recording contract.
The sum involved? $35,000. The artist? The King himself, Elvis Presley.
Yes, the world’s biggest solo artist in history was signed for a measly $35,000.
We can’t see Adele or Taylor Swift getting out of bed for that, now.
Proving that not all rock stars are selfish individuals, Alice Cooper, who’s single Poison had recently topped the charts, did two fans an incredible solid 30 years ago, today.
He heard that Patrick and De Ann Kelly were going to lose their home and that they’d painted Alice’s stage face on the wall to help sell it.
Alice Cooper sprang into action and began signing autographs at the house to raise money for the couple to keep it, instead.
It’s been 16 years, exactly, since the nation of Canada and the rapper 50 Cent squared off against each other.
The MP for Toronto, Dan McTeague, worked tirelessly to prevent the superstar from entering the country because he claimed that Fiddy “promoted gun violence through his work.”
Turns out Canadians like rap more than Dan and the tour went ahead, regardless.
Rock music’s greatest loss took place on this day, 30 years ago. It was the day that Freddie Mercury, at the age of 45, lost his battle against AIDS and died at his home in London.
This would inspire a global tribute concert to raise money for combating the disease and Metallica opened with their cover of Queen’s Stone Cold Crazy!
It was More Than A Feeling that led Tom Scholz of Boston to take Brad Delp’s (the late lead singer of the band) ex-wife to court in a defamation suit.
He’d claimed that she’d alleged that he was to blame for Delp’s suicide.
But 6 years ago, today, a court ruled that he had no case and the lawsuit was dismissed.
You wouldn’t believe it but it’s been 27 years, exactly, to the day that Boyz II Men finished their 14th week at Number One with I’ll Make Love To You.
This was equal to the longest run at the top of the American charts in history matching the run by I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston.
No fleas on Mick. At least, that’s what Mick Jagger’s solicitor told a British court on this day 57 years ago.
The Rolling Stones frontman was in court for driving offences when his legal representative offered these immortal words:
“The Duke of Marlborough had longer hair than my client and he won some famous battles. His hair was powdered, I think because of fleas. My client has no fleas.”
It’s a sad thing, but 47 years ago today, John Lennon, the legendary ex-Beatle, made his final appearance on stage anywhere in the world
It was at Madison Square Gardens in New York and he partnered up with Elton John.
They sang, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, I Saw Her Standing There and Whatever Gets You Thru The Night.
Whitney Houston ruined 1,000 weddings on this day in 1997. How? Well, the singer had been paid $1 million for a private gig and, of course, she’d been delighted by the idea.
Then, she discovered that the gig was, in fact, a wedding ceremony for the religious cult, The Moonies, and would see 1,000 couples married while she sang, I Will Always Love You.
The singer found out and ditched the gig with just two hours to go before the event.
Surprisingly, The Moonies were pretty chill about it and didn’t sue, they just asked for a refund!
It’s been 39 years to the very day since Michael Jackson’s seminal work, Thriller, was released.
In the years following, it became the world’s greatest selling pop album and shifted more than 66 million copies!
It spent an incredible 37 weeks at number one on The Billboard charts and has spent 485 weeks in total on the chart!
It was a bad day at the office for the superstar Neil Young on this day in 1983. Geffen Records served him with a lawsuit over his release Everybody’s Rockin’
It was his shortest ever record, clocking in at a scant 25 minutes, and featured a bunch of rockabilly tunes (including cover versions).
As his label, they were not impressed and said that it was “not commercial in nature and musically uncharacteristic of his previous albums”.
It ended fine, with Geffen eventually dropping the suit and apologizing for their behavior.
You may never have heard of Al Priddy but on this day in 1957, music cost him his job.
His crime? To play Elvis Presley’s cover of White Christmas on the radio for KEX in Portland.
His disgusted management team told the press that it simply wasn’t in the spirit of what “we associate with Christmas.”
And here we were thinking that older music was less controversial than today’s.
The Rolling Stones gig at the Memorial Hall in Sacramento, California on this day 56 years ago, was electrifying for all the wrong reasons.
Instead of knocking out Gimme Shelter and their other hits, Keith Richards was knocked out by a short circuit between his guitar and the mic stand.
Happy Birthday to Jay Z who was born on this day in 1969. He’ll be celebrating the day with his lovely wife Beyonce.
And between them, they’re now worth $1.5 billion between them.
His share is $1 billion, brought about by hits like Hard Knock Life and Heartbreaker (with Mariah Carey, no less).
It’s been 34 years since Belinda Carlisle’s smash hit Heaven Is A Place on Earth topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
It was her first solo record since leaving the Go-Go’s.
The video for the song is noteworthy because it was directed by Diane Keaton, the Academy-Award winning actress.
The band Steam got lucky on this day 42 years ago, when a song that Gary De Carlo recorded but decided he didn’t want and gave to them.
It made them a one-hit wonder and gave them the top slot on the Billboard charts.
The song? Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye!
Gary really misjudged this one, as it would also be a hit for the British girl group Bananarama several years later.
This day in 1967 was when Otis Redding recorded his smash hit (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.
Sadly, he never knew it.
Three days later, the soul legend would be dead in a plane crash.
Apparently, the whistling outro had been intended as a joke but due to the plane crash it was left in rather than being re-recorded.
The most shocking thing to happen in music during the 1980s, took place 41 years ago, today.
John Lennon exited his home in New York, the Dakota Building, and a young man, Mark Chapman, shot him five times
John was declared dead just before midnight.
Chapman said his motivation for the shooting was to “steal” John’s fame and that he had been plotting to murder many different celebrities until the opportunity with the ex-Beatle had presented itself.
43 years ago, today, Chic began a legendary seven-weeks at the top of the Billboard Singles Chart with Le Freak.
What most people don’t know is that the original lyrics had been inspired by two of the band being refused entry into a nightclub.
They hadn’t been “freak out”, as on the release, but rather, “fuck off!”
Punk and New Wave fans will celebrate the opening of the legendary CBGB Club (it stands for Country, Blue Grass, and Blues) on this day in 1973, in New York.
As you might expect, founder Hilly Kristal, had a different kind of audience in mind to the one that they found.
But bands like Television, Blondie, The Ramones, etc. all made huge impacts on the music scene with live appearances at CBGB.
Sam Cooke once marvelled What A Wonderful World but sadly, things turned out to be less wonderful on this day in 1964.
He was shot and killed in front of the Hacienda Hotel in L.A.
His manager, Bertha Franklin, said she’d done it in self-defense.
Cooke’s body was found dressed only in a sports jacket and shoes, nothing else.
And the courts eventually decided that this was a “justifiable homicide”.
An ignominious end for a superstar.
It’s been 29 years since the world’s biggest selling soundtrack album was released.
It was, of course, Whitney Houston’s The Bodyguard.
It spent twenty weeks in the top slot on the Billboard albums chart and has sold over 44 million copies!
Diana Ross, the former Supremes star and solo singer of Chain Reaction, will look back on this day, 52 years ago with nothing but unhappiness.
She left her two pet dogs in her dressing room at the Latino Casino in Philadelphia to take to the stage and when she returned, they were dead.
They’d eaten cyanide that had been left out by the hotel’s pest control team.
She sued for $27,500.
Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell was laid to rest on this day 17 years ago.
He was buried in Arlington, Texas.
He was murdered, while live on stage with his band Damage Plan, by a mentally ill former-US-marine.
He was shot 5 times in the back of the head.
The Sex Pistols found themselves unable to enter the United States on this day in 1977.
Johnny Rotten and Steve Jones were refused entry, reasonably, on account of their criminal convictions.
But Paul Cook and Sid Vicious, found that making songs such as Anarchy in the UK, had left them stained with “moral turpitude” and as such, were also denied entry.
They don’t make them like ZZ Top Bassist, Dusty Hill, any more.
On this day in 1984, Dusty accidentally shot himself in the gut when his gun slid off the trunk of his car and landed on the floor, discharging itself.
Instead of calling for an ambulance, he used his own Legs and drove to the hospital himself to get it fixed.
It turned out fine.
On this day, in 1982, Karen Carpenter would appear for the very last time on stage as the lead singer of The Carpenters.
No more would fans be able to hear classics such as Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft live.
She was suffering from a then, barely understood, condition known as anorexia nervosa and it would claim her life, of a heart attack, less than 3 months later.
Happy Birthday to Billie Eilish, who was born on the 18th of December, 2001.
She’s often controversial but always brilliant. Have a good one, Billie!
Michael Jackson’s Thriller went on to break another record on this day in 2015.
It became the first ever album to break the 30 million sales barrier in the United States!
The Eagles are not far behind with their Greatest Hits 1971-75 album which has sold 29 million copies but Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits Volume I and II has only sold 23 million, by comparison!
While many people were getting ready for the festive season, on this day in 1967, Joan Baez the singer of Diamonds and Rust was preparing to go to jail.
They’d been arrested at an anti-war demonstration and the courts decided that 45 days in jail would be the appropriate punishment.
In the end, she was let out for the New Year and only served 11 days.
She said, “I went to jail for disturbing the peace; I was trying to disturb the war.”
Michael Jackson’s Thriller holds many records but on this day in 1985, Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA took one of them away.
It became the second-longest lasting album in history to spend consecutive weeks in the Billboard Top 10 Albums.
Born in the USA managed an impressive 79 weeks.
But it has nothing on the number 1 slot, The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews which stayed there for an amazing 109 weeks!
Mountain’s founding member, Leslie West, passed away of a heart attack at the age of 75 on this day in 2020.
You’ve almost certainly heard their song Mississipi Queen but you may not know that they are considered to be one of the most influential bands in the development of the heavy metal scene!
Geezer Butler proved that Black Sabbath certainly aren’t War Pigs in their private lives on this day in 2005.
He heard that a penguin named Toga had been stolen from a zoo and was at risk of dying if not promptly returned.
So, the big hearted bass player reached into his pocket and offered a £5,000 ($8,000-ish) reward for its safe return.
It’s Christmas Eve and may we wish all those that celebrate this holiday a Merry Christmas?
In 1945, this happy day also saw the birth of one of rock’s most influential musicians, Lemmy of Motorhead.
He also played in Hawkwind and worked as a Roadie for Jimi Hendrix!
But it’s the Ace of Spades for which he will always be remembered by fans.
Sadly, Lemmy passed away in 2015, of an aggressive cancer.
It was on this day, in 1954, that, fittingly, Bing Crosby’s White Christmas entered the Billboard Pop Charts for, umm… the eleventh time.
This version of White Christmas is considered by many to be the absolutely definitive version and it has sold in excess of 100 million copies, nearly half of them sold as singles.
The only single to outsell Bing’s version of White Christmas was the re-release of Elton John’s Candle in the Wind to mourn the passing of the UK’s Princess Diana.
The legendary producer Phil Spector was born on this day in 1939.
He had a hit record of his own as part of the group The Teddy Bears which went to number 1, To Know Him Is To Love Him.
He worked with The Ramones, The Beatles, Ike and Tina Turner, Harry Nilsson, Cher and many more.
Yet, he’s not best remembered for his work.
But for his part in the shooting of Lana Clarkson, an aspiring actress at his home in 2003.
In 2009, he was convicted of her murder and he died in prison at the age of 81 in January, 2021.
In 1990, on this day, Chuck Berry of Johnny B Goode fame, got his own slice of infamy.
A waitress at his restaurant chain, named umm… Chuck Berry, alleged he’d been recording women in the bathrooms.
Two hundred more women agreed and they got together and sued him.
The case never came to court as Berry settled with 59 of the plaintiffs paying out $1.2 million in cash.
On this day in 1983, Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys, the only real surfer in the band, took his final dive.
He’d been hanging out with friends and after a few beers, he decided to make a dive that he’d made fine a couple of times previously, but he never surfaced.
And Ronald Reagan decided that one of the creators of Surfin USA deserved a burial at sea, something that is usually reserved only for Naval servicepeople.
Aretha Franklin, the singer of the smash hit I Say A Little Prayer, probably did say a prayer on this day in 2001.
That’s because she’d have been asking God to help her win the lawsuit she filed against the Florida Star newspaper, which she said had falsely claimed she was battling alcoholism.
She was asking for $50 million but we assume it was settled out of court as we can’t find out what happened with the case.
Happy Birthday to Patty Smith who was born on this day in 1946.
You have to check out a copy of her 1976 album Horses which is considered to be one of the greatest records of its time.
And you’ve almost certainly had a boogie to her hit single, Because The Night, but you may not know that it was co-written with Bruce Springsteen!
Firstly, may we wish you all a Happy New Year and we hope that next year will be wonderful for you and your family.
We suspect, however, that you won’t be having as good a New Year’s Eve as George Michael did back in 2006.
He was paid an incredible £1.5 million (approx. $2 million) to play at a private party for a Russian billionaire and 300 guests.
We think we’d have had Faith if our paychecks looked like that.