1938 : American blues musician Robert Johnson died (probably poisoned by a jealous husband) at the age of 27 at a country crossroads near Greenwood, Mississippi. His recordings from 1936 -1937 have influenced generations of musicians including Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Winter, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.
1957 : Buddy Holly and The Crickets, still being billed by the band name only, begin a six-night engagement at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater, the first white rock act to play the venue. Although crowds boo a little at first — many, including the venue, assumed they’d be seeing R&B vocal group The Crickets — by the third night of the engagement Buddy’s energy and songs have won them over.
1962 : Pete Best is fired as drummer for The Beatles, replaced by Ringo Starr. The group’s manager Brian Epstein does the firing by calling Best into his record shop and giving him the bad news.
1962 : Little Stevie Wonder, (aged 12), released his first single, ‘I Call It Pretty Music, (But The Old People Call It The Blues)’, the single featured Marvin Gaye on drums.
1962 : Brian Epstein told Pete Best that the other Beatles wanted him out of the group, and that he was being replaced. Epstein then asked Best to perform with The Beatles that night at the Riverpark Ballroom in Chester, Cheshire. Pete Best does not show up, drummer Johnny Hutchinson of The Big Three filled in the temporary vacancy.
1966 : Released on this day, The Monkees – “Last Train To Clarksville”
1968 : The Jackson Five made their formal debut with Diana Ross and The Supremes at the Great Western Forum, California.
1968 : Working at Abbey Road studios, The Beatles recorded 14 takes of the new George Harrison song ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, taking the song from its early acoustic version into an electric version.
1968 : Bruce Springsteen’s new band Earth made their live debut at the Off Broad Street Coffee House in Red Bank, New Jersey, admission was 75c. The lineup of the group consisted of Springsteen (guitars & vocals), John Graham (bass), Michael Burke (drums) and ‘Flash Craig’ (organ). The group only had a 6-month existence.
1969 : Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young supported by Joni Mitchell appeared at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago, Illinois.
1969 : The Guess Who’s “These Eyes” is certified gold
1969 : During a North American tour Led Zeppelin appeared at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park with Joe Cocker as support. Zeppelin had been asked to perform at Woodstock but due to this gig commitment were unable to attend. And down the road Bruce Springsteen’s band Child played the first of two shows over two days at the Student Prince, Ashbury Park. Springsteen was also unable to attend Woodstock due to these gigs.
1969 : It’s day 2 of Woodstock, featuring performances by The Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin and Santana. One memorable moment comes during The Who’s set, when the activist Abbie Hoffman interrupts their set and grabs the microphone. After saying a few words about fellow activist John Sinclair, Pete Townshend, hits him with his guitar. Later, Townshend said he didn’t know it was Hoffman at the time.
1970 : This week’s UK Top 5 singles: No.5, Free, ‘All Right Now’, No.4, Shirley Bassey, ‘Something’, No.3, Hotlegs, ‘Neanderthal Man’, No.2, The Kinks, ‘Lola’ and No.1, Elvis Presley, ‘The Wonder Of You’, (his 16th UK No.1).
1970 : The final day of the three day UK Yorkshire Folk, Blues & Jazz Festival at Krumlin, Yorkshire took place featuring The Kinks, Mungo Jerry, Yes, Ginger Bakers Air Force and Edgar Winter. Weekend tickets, £3.
1975 : The Stylistics were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love)’, the Philadelphian soul group’s only UK No.1.
1975, Peter Gabriel announced that he was leaving Genesis. The group auditioned more than 400 singers during the next 18 months before deciding that Phil Collins, who had been the drummer for Genesis since 1970, could front the band.
1977 : Elvis Presley was found dead lying on the floor in his bathroom by his girlfriend Ginger Alden, he had been seated on the toilet reading ‘The Scientific Search For Jesus’. He died of heart failure at the age of 42. His first record for RCA, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, was also his first US No.1. He starred in 31 films. Elvis holds the record for the most entries on the US Hot 100 chart with 154. Elvis became the first rock ‘n’ roll artist to be honoured by the US Postal Service with a stamp.
1979 : The biggest single of the summer in the US, The Knack’s ‘My Sharona’ was awarded a Gold record for selling one million copies. The Knack’s Doug Fieger wrote the song for his girlfriend, Sharona Alperin, whose picture appeared on the single’s cover.
1986 : Madonna started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Papa Don’t Preach.’ The singers fourth US No.1, & No.1 in the UK. Also on this day Madonna went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘True Blue’.
1988 : Kiss played at the Marquee Club in London, England on their current 129-date Crazy Nights world tour.
1995 : Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys performs live for the first time with his daughters Carnie and Wendy, recently famous for their stint in the trio Wilson Phillips.
1997 : On the 20th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death over 30,000 fans descended on Memphis Tennessee for a 10-minute mourning circuit circling his grave. A poll found that almost a third of the fans were keeping an eye out for him in the crowd.
1997 : Will Smith started a four-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Men In Black’ taken from the film of the same name. The song won Smith a Grammy in 1997 for Best Rap Solo Performance.
1997 : Blur, Prodigy, Beck, Kula Shaker, Dodgy, Foo Fighters, Placebo, James, Ash, Dodgy and Gene all appeared at the two day V97 UK festival in Chelmsford and Leeds, weekend tickets, £50.
2000 : Alan Caddy guitarist with The Tornadoes died. He had the 1962 UK & US No.1 single ‘Telstar’ which became the first major hit from a UK act on the American chart. Caddy also played on sessions and worked on arrangements for Spencer Davis Group, Kiki Dee, Pretty Things and Dusty Springfield.
2003 : The USPS unveils a new commemorative postage stamp of recently-deceased composer Henry Mancini, famous for the Pink Panther theme and several other film works.
2005 : Madonna suffered three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a broken hand in a horse-riding accident on her country estate. The accident happened when she fell off a new horse in the grounds of her Ashcombe House on the border of Wiltshire and Dorset on her 47th birthday. The singer was treated at hospital in Salisbury, 90 miles (150 kilometres) south-west of London.
2008 : “5 Years Time,” the first single from Noah and the Whale’s debut Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down peaks at #7 on the UK Singles Chart. The song is the bands greatest chart success to date.