1943 : Frank Sinatra’s “In The Blue Of The Evening” hits #1
1956 : Buddy Holly is in the audience when Little Richard plays the Cotton Club in Lubbock, Texas.
1959 : In the US, a headline in Billboard magazine read, “Rock and Roll Ain’t Ready For The Ol’ Rockin’ Chair Yet.” The story stated that Rock ‘n’ Roll was losing popularity a year ago, but the record buyers now like Elvis Presley, Lloyd Price and Fats Domino along with newcomers, The Everly Brothers, The Drifters and Ricky Nelson.
1963 : Stevie Wonder became the first artist ever to score a US No.1 album and single in the same week. Wonder was at No.1 on the album chart with ‘Little Stevie Wonder / The 12 Year Old Genius’ and had the No.1 single ‘Fingertips part 2’. This was also the first ever live recording to make No.1.
1964 : The Beatles LP Something New is certified gold
1964 : Taking him up on his telegram invitation to help out in any way he can in America, Beatles manager Brian Epstein meets Elvis Presley manager “Colonel” Tom Parker for the first time when they have lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
1966 : The Doors started recording their first album at Sunset Sound Recording Studios, West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California.
1967 : Keith Moon, drummer for The Who, drives his Lincoln Continental (not a Rolls Royce, as is often thought), into the swimming pool at the Holiday Inn in Flint, MI to celebrate his 21st birthday, earning the entire band a lifetime ban from the chain.
1967 : John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi when they attend his lecture at the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, London. They would later travel to India and study Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi.
1967 : 17-year old singer and guitarist Bruce Springsteen joined a group called Earth.
1968 : The Incredible String Band, Traffic, Bonzo Dog Band, Family, Fairport Convention, Blossom Toes, Pretty things, Deviants, Blonde On Blonde and Free all appeared over two nights at The Roundhouse in London.
1969 : Folksinger Arlo Guthrie’s film Alice’s Restaurant, based on his hit song of the same name, premieres in both Los Angeles and New York.
1969 : John Lennon writes, rehearses, and records a song about his recent heroin withdrawal entitled Cold Turkey, where he also puts into practice his recent introduction to “primal scream” therapy. Fans and critics are shocked and appalled by the emotionally raw recording, a prelude to his eventual Plastic Ono Band album.
1974 : Paul Anka with Odia Coates started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘(You’re Having My Baby’, Anka’s 24th US top 40 hit. It made No.6 in the UK.
1975 : Queen started recording ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at Rockfield studio’s in Monmouth, Wales, (the song was recorded over three weeks). Freddie Mercury had mentally prepared the song beforehand and directed the band throughout the sessions. May, Mercury, and Taylor sang their vocal parts continually for ten to twelve hours a day, resulting in 180 separate overdubs. Read the full story
1977 : Country legend Waylon Jennings is arrested for cocaine possession in New York City by federal agents, an event which will inspire his song “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got out of Hand?” The charges are later dropped. Jennings had recently been named an honorary police chief.
1980 : Iron Maiden Whitesnake, Def Leppard, UFO, Gillan, Pat Travers Band and Rory Gallagher all appeared at the 20th National Rock Festival Reading Rock 80, England. Advance tickets £12.50.
1981 : Mark Chapman was given a 20 year jail sentence for the murder of John Lennon. The 25 year old had shot Lennon five times at close range on December 8th, 1980 in front of The Dakota apartment building in New York City. Over the next few months, Chapman would claim many times to have been beaten by fellow inmates, some of whom allegedly tried to kill him.
1983 : The fifth wife of Jerry Lee Lewis, Shawn Michelle Stevens was found dead at their Mississippi home of a methadone overdose. They had been married less than three months. Jerry Lee would marry again in 1984 to 22 year-old Kerrie McCarver, but divorce in 2004.
1985 : Huey Lewis and the News started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘The Power Of Love’. As featured in the movie ‘Back To The Future’.
1989 : The Who performed Tommy at the Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles with special guests Steve Winwood, Elton John, Phil Collins, Patti LaBelle and Billy Idol.
1989 : The Who perform a special 20th anniversary charity concert of their rock opera Tommy at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, featuring guests Elton John (as the Pinball Wizard), Patti Labelle (as the Acid Queen), Steve Winwood (as the Hawker), Phil Collins (as Uncle Ernie), and Billy Idol (as Cousin Kevin).
1990 : Led by Donald Fagen of Steely Dan and his girlfriend Libby Titus, the first “New York Rock & Soul Revue” is held in Southampton, New York. The second Revue results in the popular live album The New York Rock and Soul Revue: Live at the Beacon, featuring Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs and Phoebe Snow.
1990 : This years three day UK Reading Festival kicked off, featuring, Faith No More, The Cramps, Inspiral Carpets, Pixies, The Fall, Jesus Jones, Ride, Dinosaur Jnr, The Wedding Present, Billy Bragg and others, a three day ticket £35.
1990 : Judas Priest successfully defended themselves against a lawsuit, after two fans attempted suicide while listening to the Stained Class album. Both fans eventually died, one immediately from a shotgun blast, and the other on a second attempt three years later by a methadone overdose. The prosecution claimed that there were subliminal messages in the group’s music that caused the two seventeen year olds to carry out the suicide pact in 1985.
1990 : Sinead O’Connor refuses to perform at a show in New Jersey if the U.S. National Anthem is played, claiming she’s protesting a wave of music censorship. It causes a major media stink, with some radio stations banning her music.
1991 : Lenny Kravitz was at No.2 in the US singles chart with ‘It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over’, held off the No.1 position by Bryan Adams ‘(Everything I Do), I Do It for You’.
1996 : Oasis singer Liam Gallagher failed to turn up for the recording of the bands MTV unplugged session at London’s Royal Festival Hall in front of 400 fans. He later sat in the audience and watched the show with his brother Noel taking over on vocals. Read the full story
1996 : ‘Missing’ by UK duo Everything But The Girl broke the all-time US chart stay record previously held by The Four Seasons’ ‘December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)’, when it appeared on the Billboard chart for the 55th week.
1998 : Producer Gene Page died after a long illness. Worked with Barbra Streisand, Barry White, The Righteous Brothers, Dobie Gray, Bob and Earl. Produced Whitney Houston’s ‘Greatest Love of All’ and Roberta Flack’s ‘Tonight I Celebrate My Love.’
1998 : 53-year-old Ingrid Pedersen announces that she is the long-lost illegitimate half-sister of John Lennon, explaining that she kept her secret for so many years as a way of protecting her now-deceased adoptive parents.
2001 : Travis, Eminem, Eels, Green Day, Marilyn Manson, Supergrass, PJ Harvey, Manic Street Preachers, Weezer, Iggy Pop, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Cult, Frank Black, The Strokes, Supergrass, Ash, Stephen Malkmus and Mercury Rev all appeared at this years Carling Weekend Reading / Leeds festival, a three day ticket cost £80.
2003 : Dick Peterson from The Kingsmen joined 753 other guitarists to perform “Louie Louie” for a charity fundraiser in Tacoma, Washington.
2007 : During a routine medical exam in Gainesville, FL, Bo Diddley complains of dizziness and nausea and is admitted to a local hospital, where he is diagnosed as having had a heart attack. The rock legend had suffered a stroke only a few months earlier.
2007 : Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders opens Mark Lindsay’s Rock And Roll Cafe in his native Portland, OR.
2008 : Leona Lewis and Jimmy Page perform during the closing ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games at the National Stadium (also know as the Bird’s Nest.) The duo performed the Led Zeppelin classic Whole Lotta Love.
2009 : The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled Michael Jackson’s death a homicide caused by a mix of drugs meant to treat insomnia. On February 8, 2010, Dr. Conrad Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter by prosecutors in Los Angeles. Dr. Murray pleaded not guilty and was released after posting $75,000 bail, but would be found guilty in November, 2011 and was sentenced to four years in a Los Angeles County jail.
2010 : George Michael pleaded guilty at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in London to driving under the influence of drugs. The singer had been arrested in July when he was returning home from the London Gay Pride parade and crashed his car into the front of a Snappy Snaps store in Hampstead, North London.
2012 : Country singer Randy Travis continues his string of calamitous arrests, this time for a brawl at a church in Texas where he was purportedly fighting over a woman. The incident leads to him being cited for assault, giving him another citation to add to his collection. It’s still a cheaper hobby than baseball cards.