1956 : Washington DC disc jockey Bob Rickman forms the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Elvis Presley after reading too many news articles that make him out to be a hick and/or a threat to society.
1958 : Elvis Presley’s mother Gladys died. At her funeral two days later Presley was so overcome with grief he was unable to stand and had to be supported. Over 500 police were at the service to keep the gigantic crowd at bay.
1961 : Wanda Jackson’s “Right Or Wrong” enters the charts
1962 : Unhappy with drummer Pete Best’s role in The Beatles Brian Epstein and the other three members decided to sack him. Best played his last gig the following night at The Cavern, Liverpool. Ringo Starr who was nearing the end of a three-month engagement with Rory Storm & the Hurricanes at a Butlin’s holiday camp received a telephone call from John Lennon, asking him to join The Beatles. Ringo gave Rory Storm three days notice and on August 18, appeared as a member of The Beatles for the first time.
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’.
1965 : Sonny & Cher started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘I Got You Babe’. Sonny Bono is said to have been inspired to write the song to capitalize on the popularity of the term “babe,” as heard in Bob Dylan’s ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’.
1965 : The Beatles taped an appearance for CBS-TV’s The Ed Sullivan Show at Studio 50, New York City. They performed ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘I’m Down’, ‘Act Naturally’, ‘Ticket to Ride’, ‘Yesterday’, and ‘Help!’ Also today, The Beatles fifth album ‘Help!’ started a nine-week run at No.1 on the UK charts.
1966 : Little Anthony & The Imperials, (Steve Van Zandt’s band), The Shadows and The Castiles (with Bruce Springsteen on vocals) all appeared at the Surf ‘n See Club in Seabright New Jersey.
1966 : The Beatles appeared at Cleveland Stadium, Ohio, the first concert to be held at the stadium. The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd and Aerosmith also appeared here.
1967 : Britain’s new Marine Broadcasting Offences Act goes into effect, forcing all but one of the country’s famous “pirate” (i.e., unlicensed) radio stations off the air. Radio Caroline continued to broadcast until March 1968.
1968 : ‘Fire’ by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown was at No.1 on the UK singles chart. As part of his act Brown would perform the song on stage with his hat set alight!
1969 : It’s the day before Woodstock, and thousands of people show up early and camp out.
1970 : Stephen Stills was arrested on suspected drugs charges while staying at a San Diego Hotel after being found crawling along a corridor in an incoherent state. Still’s was later freed on bail.
1970 : Elvis Presley’s “The Wonder Of You” is certified gold
1970 : The first day of the three day UK Yorkshire Folk, Blues & Jazz Festival at Krumlin, Yorkshire took place featuring Atomic Rooster, Pink Floyd, (who didn’t appear after being fog bound at Paris Airport), The Kinks, Elton John, Mungo Jerry, Yes, Alan Price, Georgie Fame, Juicy Lucy, Pretty Things and The Groundhogs. Weekend tickets, £3.
1974 : Paul Anka’s (You’re) Having My Baby is certified gold
1975 : Cliff Richard’s Devil Woman enters the charts
1976 : Funded by a £400 loan, ‘So It Goes’ by Nick Lowe became the first record released on Stiff Records. The label’s marketing and advertising was often provocative and witty billing itself as “The World’s Most Flexible Record Label”. Other slogans were “We came. We saw. We left”, and “If It Ain’t Stiff, It Ain’t Worth a Fuck”.
1981 : Four years after his untimely death, a Memphis judge rules that Elvis Presley’s estate is no longer financially beholden to his manager, “Colonel” Tom Parker.
1985 : Three years after their duet The Girl Is Mine, Paul McCartney advises Michael Jackson to invest in publishing. Jackson makes a winning bid of $47.5 million for the rights to over 250 Lennon-McCartney Beatles songs owned by ATV publishing, which turns out to be a great investment, but kills their friendship.
1985 : Michael Jackson won a bid over Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney to secure the ATV Music Publishing catalog. At $47.5m he gained the rights to more than 250 songs written by Lennon and McCartney. McCartney had been negotiating with Yoko Ono, who had decided to withdraw her side of the deal because of ‘astrological’ reasons.
1987 : Guns N’ Roses kick off their first North American tour at a show in Halifax. They’re the opening act for The Cult.
1988 : Lead singer, poet and frontman of Hawkwind Robert Calvert died of a heart attack. He was a member of Hawkwind from 1972-1979 during which time he co-wrote their hit single ‘Silver Machine’ and directed their Space Ritual Tour.
1988 : Guitarist Roy Buchanan died after hanging himself by his own shirt in Fairfax County Jail, Virginia after being arrested for drunkenness. Buchanan released over 15 solo albums; Jeff Beck dedicated the song ‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers’ to Buchanan in 1975 on his Blow by Blow album.
1991 : The Commitments opens in limited release in the US. The film features all four Corrs in small parts, including the youngest Andrea in a speaking role as Sharon Rabbitte. While auditioning for the film, The Corrs connect with future manager John Hughes who helps the group hone their sound and eventually sign a deal with Atlantic Records for their debut album Forgiven, Not Forgotten.
1992 : Wayne Newton files for bankruptcy.
1992 : Tony Williams lead singer with The Platters died in his sleep of emphysema aged 64. He sang most of the group’s hits up until 1961 when he was replaced by Sonny Turner. Had the 1959 UK & US No.1 single ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’.
1993 : Freddie Mercury had his first solo UK No.1 single with ‘Living On My Own’. The song had been a minor hit in 1985 when released from his solo album Mr. Bad Guy, this remixed version was reissued.
1995 : Grateful Dead meet and decide to break up after the recent tragedy of founder/leader Jerry Garcia’s death.
1995 : Foo Fighters made their network television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman when they performed their new single ‘This Is A Call’.
1999 : Former teen idol Leif Garrett pleads guilty to drug possession in Los Angeles and is ordered into rehab.
2001 : A pizza-stained piece of paper signed by three of the four Beatles sold for $48,000 to an anonymous collector at an auction in Melbourne. John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison all signed the paper during their 1964 tour of Australia. Drummer Ringo Starr had laryngitis and was not on the tour. A fan managed to get the autographs while the band was staying in a hotel in Adelaide.
2002 : Dave Williams lead singer of US heavy rock band Drowning Pool was found dead on the band’s tour bus during Ozzy Osbournes Ozzfest tour in Manassas, Virginia. The autopsy concluded that he suffered from a form of heart disease. The bands debut album, Sinner, had sold over 1 million copies in the US since its release in June 2001.
2006 : Boy George was seen sweeping streets in New York as part of a five-day community service sentence. The former Culture Club frontman was moved into a fenced-off area after only 30 minutes after he was mobbed by the media. The 45-year-old singer was found guilty of wasting police time earlier this year and was threatened with jail if he failed to complete the court-imposed sentence.
2008 : Lita Roza died in Liverpool, England. She had the 1953 No.1 hit with her version on the of Patti Page hit ‘How Much Is That Doggie In The Window’’ Roza was the first British female singer to top the UK singles charts.
2009 : George Michael was arrested and held on suspicion of driving under the influence of drink or drugs after his Land Rover was in collision with a lorry on the A34 in Berkshire. The singer was later released without charge.
2012 : John Geils, former guitarist for the semi-retired J. Geils Band, files suit against the other band members to stop them from touring under his name… since he’s left the band. The irony stings like bleach in a wound! Despite this move, the remaining members of the band say they’ll tour anyway.