1936 : After some Duke Elllington music, Helen McKay sings “Here’s Looking At You,” the first song ever broadcast on television.
1963 : British singer Cilla Black makes her stage debut, opening for The Beatles at the Odeon in Southport, Lancashire, England.
1965 : Sonny & Cher were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘I Got You Babe’, the duo’s only UK No.1. Sonny Bono was 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’.
1967 : The Beatles follow their favorite new lecturer, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, to University College in Bangor, North Wales, along with Mick Jagger and his girlfriend Marianne Faithfull. After his lecture the group holds a press conference to announce that they’ve become his disciples in the “Spiritual Regeneration Movement” and officially renounced the use of all drugs.
1967 : Small Faces, Move, The Gass, Tomorrow, Denny Laine, Jeff Beck, Eric Burdon and Marmalade all appeared on the first day of the 3-day non-stop happening ‘Festival of the Flower Children’ at Woburn Abbey, England. Plus DJ’s John Peel and Tommy Vance, day tickets cost £1.
1967 : The Beatles held a press conference at University College in Bangor, North Wales with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The Beatles announced that they had become disciples of the guru and that they renounced the use of drugs. The four had become members of the Maharishi’s ‘Spiritual Regeneration Movement’, which obligated them to donate one week’s earnings each month to the organization.
1967 : Bobbie Gentry’s Ode To Billy Joe hits #1
1968 : Jeannie C. Riley’s Harper Valley P.T.A. is certified gold
1969 : Although Elvis Presley has written a soprano part for backup singer Cissy Houston during Are You Lonesome Tonight her actual live performance of it tonight at the International Hotel in Vegas strikes Elvis as amazingly funny for some reason, leading to a collector’s classic: a performance where the King cannot stop laughing. “That’s it, man, fourteen years right down the drain,” he jokes as the song ends.
1970 : After an all-night jam, The Allman Brothers’ Duane Allman asks Eric Clapton if he can attend the recording sessions for his new group, Derek and the Dominoes. Clapton agrees, only on the condition that Allman also play on the sessions.
1970 : Think today’s festivals are cool? Check out some of the acts at the three-day Isle of Wight festival in England, which begins on this day: Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Donovan, Jethro Tull, Miles Davis, Emerson, Lake And Palmer, The Doors, The Who, Spirit, The Moody Blues, Chicago, Procol Harum, Sly and the Family Stone, Free, Jimi Hendrix (his last concert appearance in England). Weekend tickets, £3.
1972 : Looking Glass’ Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) hits #1
1973 : 10cc made their live debut at the Palace Lido Isle of Man at the start of an UK tour. Comprising of Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, who had written and recorded together for some three years before assuming the 10cc name.
1973 : At the Hilton in Las Vegas, Bobby Darin plays his final concert. The singer would die on December 20.
1976 : Steven Tyler of Aerosmith appears on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Annie Leibovitz took the photo, which shows the frontman haggard and bleary after just 2 hours sleep. Leibovitz got the shot by showing up at his hotel at 6am.
1977 : Uriah Heep, Thin Lizzy, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Golden Earing, Aerosmith, Doobie Brothers, Hawkwind, Racing Cars, John Miles, Graham Parker, The Enid, No Dice and Frankie Miller’s Full House all appeared at the 17th three day Reading Festival, England. A three day ticket cost £7.95.
1978 : Frankie Valli went to No.1 on the US singles chart with the Barry Gibb song ‘Grease’. It went on to sell over 2 million in the States (a No. 3 hit in the UK).
1980 : Tom Peterson leaves Cheap Trick – he will return eight years later.
1981 : Ottawa City Council (Mayor Marion Dewar) named ‘Paul Anka Day’ to celebrate his 25th anniversary in show-business. The council also named a street in Ottawa ‘Paul Anka Drive’ in his honor. The Canadian singer songwriter had written over 900 songs including the classic ‘My Way’.
1983 : The film Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, starring David Bowie, opens in New York City.
1987 : Sonny Bono, who once said that he never voted until he was 53, announced that he was running for mayor of Palm Springs, California. He won the election in 1988 and went on to win a seat in Congress in 1996.
1988 : The first day at this years three day Reading Festival featuring Iggy Pop, Starship, Squeeze, Ramones, Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler, Hothouse Flowers, Deacon Blue, Quireboys, Broken English, three day ticket £24.
1990 : Randy Newman wins an unlikely Emmy for his score to the legendary ABC-TV flop series Cop Rock.
1993 : A double sided acetate of The Beatles performing “Kansas City” and “Some Other Guy” live at The Cavern in Liverpool in 1962 sold for $32,000 at Christies, London, a world record price for a recording.
1994 : Scottish singer Frankie Miller suffered a massive brain hemorrhage in New York, while writing material for a new band he and Joe Walsh from The Eagles had formed. Miller spent five months in a coma. He then entered rehabilitation, re-learning how to walk and talk.
1995 : Blur scored their first UK No.1 single with ‘Country House’ and won a media battle with Oasis for the No.1 position. Both acts released their new singles on the same day, ‘Country House’ topped the chart, selling 270,000 copies, compared to 220,000 sold by ‘Roll with It’, seeing Oasis entering the chart at No.2.
1997 : Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers was admitted to hospital after crashing on his motorbike while driving down Sunset Boulevard.
2000 : Douglas Allen Woody former bass player with The Allman Brothers was found dead in New York.
2002 : Herman’s Hermits leader and lead singer Peter Noone files an unsuccessful lawsuit against former Hermits drummer Barry Whitwam, attempting to block him from touring with new musicians under the group name.
2003 : Rolling Stone Magazine named Jimi Hendrix as the greatest guitarist in Rock history. Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Chuck Berry, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Ry Cooder also made the top 10 list.
2004 : US Cinematographer David Myers died after suffering a stroke. He worked of various music films including Woodstock, Elvis On Tour, The Last Waltz, The Grateful Dead Movie, Mad Dogs & Englishmen and Cracked Actor: A Film About David Bowie.
2004 : Singer Laura Branigan died of a brain aneurysm. She had had a 1982 US No.2 & UK No.6 single with ‘Gloria’ and a 1984 US No.4 & UK No.5 with ‘Self Control’. She had also played Janis Joplin in the US musical Love, Janis.
2005 : A plaque was unveiled by fellow Quarrymen John Duff Lowe and Colin Hantonat at the site where the band which was to become The Beatles made their first recordings. John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison recorded a version of Buddy Holly’s ‘That’ll Be The Day’ and a Lennon-Harrison song, ‘In Spite Of All The Danger’ as The Quarrymen at the Percy Philips studio in Liverpool in 1958.
2005 : A post office near the Los Angeles studio where Ray Charles recorded much of his music was renamed after the R&B legend. A federal bill was signed by US President George Bush to rename the post office. Charles, died in June 2004 at the age of 74, suffering from acute liver disease.
2005 : Green Day were named best band on the planet at the 12th annual Kerrang! rock awards, they also won best live act. Welsh metal group Funeral For a Friend won best British band, while New Jersey’s My Chemical Romance picked up best album and best video. Iron Maiden were inducted into the Kerrang! Hall of Fame and Marilyn Manson took the Icon Award. Best single went to Foo Fighters’ ‘Best of You’ while Trivium were named best international newcomers. Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor was named classic songwriter while Killing Joke were given a lifetime achievement accolade.
2007 : Police who raided the home of US rap star DMX, found 12 neglected pit bull terrier dogs and a number of guns. The bodies of three more dogs had been buried. No arrests were made and DMX told police he had not been at the property in Arizona for at least two months. The rapper who had launched his own range of dog clothing, including caps, scarves and raincoats for canines also featured on the cover of his latest album, Year of the Dog… Again, with a pit bull straining at the leash.(SCUMBAG)
2007 : High School Musical 2 soundtrack album was at No.1 on the US chart. The Disney album stayed at No.1 for 4 weeks. The premiere of the musical brought in a total of 17.2 million viewers in the United States, almost 10 million more than its predecessor, making it the highest rated basic cable broadcast in U.S. history.
2007 : After two years, the Rolling Stones played the final show on their A Bigger Bang World Tour at the O2 Arena in London, England. The longest and biggest tour of their career, it became the highest grossing in rock history ($560 million).