August 1


Today In Music History

1942 : In response to what it sees as a threat from the new fad, phonograph records, the American Federation of Musicians goes on strike (but only for recording, not live, gigs).

1958 : His contract up at Sun Records, Johnny Cash leaves Memphis, moves to Los Angeles, and signs with Columbia Records.

1963 : The first ‘Beatles Monthly’ was published. A magazine devoted to the group, it continued for 77 editions until 1969 and at its peak was selling over 350,000 copies a month.

1964 : US singer Johnny Burnette was killed in a boating accident on Clear Lake California, aged 30. His unlit boat was struck by an unaware cabin cruiser, the impact threw him off the boat and he drowned. Burnette scored the 1961 US No.8 & UK No.3 single ‘Your Sixteen’.

1964 : The Beatles scored their fifth US No.1 single in seven months when ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ went to the top of the charts. The group had now spent seventeen weeks at the No.1 position in this year.

1964 : A brand new group called “The Steampacket,” featuring lead vocals by one Rod Stewart, opens for the Rolling Stones at the London Palladium.

1964 : It’s the heyday of the harmonica, as the industry publication Billboard points out that The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder have all had hits with the instrument.

1965 : During a UK tour, The Rolling Stones appeared at the London Palladium supported by The Walker Brothers, The Fourmost, Steampacket featuring Rod Stewart and Sugar Pie Desanto with The Shevelles.

1965 : Marianne Faithfull collapses during a performance in Lancashire, England, and is taken to a hospital, canceling the remainder of her tour.

1969 : Recorded on this day, The Beatles – “Because”

1969 : The three day US Atlantic City Pop Festival took place at the Atlantic City race track with BB King, Janis Joplin, Santana, Three Dog Night, Dr John, Procol Harum, Arthur Brown, Iron Butterfly, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Little Richard, Tim Buckley, The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, The Mothers Of Invention and Canned Heat. Joni Mitchell, started to cry and ran off stage in the middle of her third song because the crowd was not paying attention to her performance.

1969 : Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys is indicted in Los Angeles for failing to perform his required community service hours, which were imposed upon him after he refused to be drafted as a conscientious objector; rather than the janitorial duty he was sentenced to at LA County Hospital, Wilson taught music classes there instead.

1970 : After two years of sitting on the shelf (namely due to shocking sex and violence scenes), the gangster movie Performance, featuring the acting debut of the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger, premieres in London. The British crime drama film directed by Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg also featured James Fox.

1970 : Chicago’s 25 Or 6 To 4 hits #1

1971 : The Concert For Bangladesh, organized by George Harrison to aid victims of famine and war in Bangladesh took place at New York’s Madison Sq Garden. Featuring Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton, Ravi Shankar and members from Badfinger. Harrison had to shell out his own money to maintain the fund after legal problems froze all proceeds. The triple album release (the second in a row by Harrison), hit No.1 in the UK and No.2 in the US and received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

1971 : The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour started on prime time American TV. By this time, Sonny and Cher had stopped producing hit singles so the duo decided to sing and tell jokes in nightclubs across the country. CBS head of programming Fred Silverman saw them one evening and offered them their own show.

1972 : Released on this day, Elvis Presley – “Burning Love”

1972 : Chicago’s Chicago V LP is certified gold

1973 : The first big oldies revival kicks off in earnest as George Lucas’ new film, American Graffiti, premieres in Los Angeles. Portraying a night in the life of several California teenagers in 1961, it made stars out of Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips and more, and also inspired the ABC-TV smash Happy Days.

1977 : Elvis: What Happened? a tell-all book written by his closest confidantes Red West and Sonny West, hit the bookshelves and made no impact until Presley’s death two weeks later, when it confirmed what many had suspected: that Elvis had been abusing prescription drugs. Some say the revelatory book hurt Elvis and indirectly hastened his demise.

1980 : George Harrison forms a movie production company called Handmade Films, which would go on to produce films like Monty Python’s Life of Brian, The Long Good Friday, Time Bandits, and Shanghai Surprise.

1980 : Def Leppard made their US live debut when they appeared at the New York City concert opening for AC/DC. It was also Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott’s 21st birthday.

1981 : On this date in 1981, MTV launched in America. The first video they played was Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles.

1981 : Just after midnight, MTV initiates programming, with the legendary opening, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Rock & Roll,” followed by the network’s power-chord-fueled guitar riff theme that would soon become so familiar. Created to showcase music videos featuring primarily new wave artists just coming out as well as older, established rock acts, that’s just what the network did initially, allowing audiences the opportunity to commune with their music heroes in a different way than ever before. As the network gained popularity, it began to diversify programming a bit, introducing a stable of music-themed shows before gradually moving away from music programming in favor of content geared toward reality TV and celebrity/pop culture.

1981 : Australian singer Rick Springfield started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Jessie’s Girl’, which later won the singer a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. The song was at No.1 when MTV launched on 1 August 1981. Rick had played Noah Drake in the TV show General Hospital.

1981 : Welsh singer Shakin’ Stevens had his second UK No.1 single with his version of ‘Green Door’, which had been a hit in the US for Jim Lowe in 1956 (squeezing out ‘Love Me Tender’ by Elvis Presley). Frankie Vaughan also scored a UK No.2 hit with the song in 1956.

1987 : Eurythmics Dave Stewart married Bananarama founding member Siobham Fahey, (who later formed the BRIT Award and Ivor Novello award winning Shakespears Sister). The couple divorced in 1996.

1987 : Guns N’ Roses head to Park Plaza and 450 South La Brea in Hollywood and shoot their first video, for Welcome To The Jungle.

1987 : Bob Seger scored his first US No.1 single with the Harold Faltermeyer penned ‘Shakedown’, which was taken from the film ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’. The song was nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Original Song and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, but it lost both awards to Dirty Dancing’s ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’.

1987 : Los Lobos were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of the Ritchie Valens song ‘La Bamba’, which was also a No.1 hit in the US. The song was the title track from the film based on Ritchie Valens who died in the same plane crash the killed Buddy Holly.

1987 : MTV Europe was launched, the first video played being ‘Money For Nothing’ by Dire Straits which contained the appropriate line ‘I Want My MTV’.

1988 : Cincinnati AM radio station WCVG changes its format, becoming the first US all-Elvis radio station. The concept died out within the year.

1990 : UB40 were deported from the Seychelles after police discovered marijuana in their hotel rooms.

1994 : The Rolling Stones politely refuse an invitation to play at the Clinton White House, though they would go on to play his 60th birthday party in 2006.

1998, The Spice Girls scored their seventh UK No.1 single with ‘Viva Forever’. The song was originally set to be released alongside the track ‘Never Give Up on the Good Times’ as a double A-Side which was pulled as member Geri Halliwell left the group.

1999 : Ronan Keating scored his first UK No.1 solo single with ‘When You Say Nothing At All’. The country song written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz was a hit for Keith Whitley, who took it to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1988. The song also gave Alison Krauss her first solo top-10 country hit in 1995.

2000 : Madonna’s forthcoming single ‘Music’ had its release date brought forward by two weeks after the track was made available as an illegal MP3 file on the Internet.

2000 : AC/DC kicked off their 140 date Stiff Upper World Lip Tour at the Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

2002 : A new book ‘Show the Girl the Door’ written by a former tour manager disclosed some strange demands by female acts. It revealed that Shania Twain would travel with a sniffer dog in case of bombs. Jennifer Lopez liked her dressing room to be all white, including carpets flowers and furniture. Cher would have high security rooms for her wigs. Janet Jackson would have a full medical team on standby including a doctor nurse and throat specialist and Britney Spears would demand her favorite Gummie Bear soft sweets.

2004 : Busted scored their fourth UK No.1 single with ‘Thunderbirds / 3am.’ Taken from the soundtrack of the 2004 film version of the Thunderbirds TV series.

2007 : Eminem’s publishing company were seeking more than $75,000 for copyright infringement and unfair competition against computer firm Apple for allegedly selling his music on iTunes without permission. Apple were paying Eminem’s record label for each download – but Eight Mile Style argued it had not approved the deal.

2007 : Prince kicked off a series of 21 sold out UK shows at London’s O2 arena. Tickets for the events cost £31.21 – the same figure used by the singer to name his album, website and perfume. After completing the 21 nights the Jehovah’s Witness was planning to take time out to study the Bible.

2007 : John Lennon’s “granny” sunglasses were snapped up by a British collector at auction. The sunglasses, from one of the last Beatles concerts, were expected to fetch around £1m, but auction bosses refused to say what the actual figure was. Lennon gave the gold-rimmed glasses to his Japanese interpreter in Tokyo in 1966, and the translator removed the lenses when Lennon died.

2007 : The Police played the first of two sold out nights at Madison Square Garden, New York City on their Reunion Tour.

2009 : Green Day wrap up their two-month tour to support 21st Century Breakdown with a concert at the Forum in Los Angeles, CA.

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