1923 : A fourteen-year-old clarinet player named Benny Goodman lands his first professional gig, playing for a cruise ship operating on Lake Michigan near Chicago.
1953 : Les Paul and Mary Ford’s “Vaya Con Dios (May God Be With You)” hits #1
1960 : 16-year old Brian Hyland went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ it made No.8 in the UK. Also a UK No.1 for Bombalurina featuring TV presenter Timmy Mallett in 1990.
1960 : Decca Records in England refuses to release Ray Peterson’s latest single, Tell Laura I Love Her, going so far as to throw away 25,000 pressings of the teen-tragedy song, which they felt was “too tasteless and vulgar for the English sensibility.” A cover by Ricky Valance proves them wrong by going straight to Number One. (The grisly song, in which a stock-car driver mutters the title words before he dies, ironically only reaches #7 in America.)
1963 : The Searchers were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Sweets For My Sweet’, the group’s first of three UK No.1’s. The song was written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman and was originally recorded by The Drifters.
1964 : The single by The Young World Singers called ‘Ringo For President’ was released in the US.
1966 : In response to John Lennon’s remark about The Beatles being bigger than Jesus, The South African Broadcasting Corporation banned all Beatles records. Also on this day The Beatles LP Revolver was released in the US, the bands seventh album featured: ‘Taxman’, ‘Eleanor Rigby’, ‘I’m Only Sleeping’, ‘Here, There and Everywhere’, ‘She Said She Said’, ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ and ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. It spent 77 weeks on the Billboard chart peaking at No.1.
1967 : The Jimi Hendrix Experience played the last night of a five night run at the Salvation Club in New York City.
1969 : The photo session for the cover of The Beatles ‘Abbey Road’ album took place on the crossing outside Abbey Road studios. Photographer Iain McMillan, balanced on a step-ladder in the middle of the road took six shots of John, Ringo, Paul, and George walking across the zebra crossing while a policeman held up the traffic. The photo, which merely shows the band crossing the street while walking away from the studio, has become iconic in its own right, and provides “Paul Is Dead” enthusiasts with several erroneous “clues” to his “death,” including the fact that Paul is barefoot. (Supposedly this represents a corpse, but McCartney has stated that it was simply a hot day.) The shoot, which lasts ten minutes, produces six shots, from which Paul picks the cover. The band then returned to the studio and recorded overdubs on ‘The End’, ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ and ‘Oh! Darling’.
1970 : Blood, Sweat & Tears’ Blood Sweat & Tears 3 LP hits #1
1970 : At Philadelphia’s Mount Lawn Cemetary, Janis Joplin purchases a headstone for her idol, Bessie Smith, the famous African-American blues singer who died from injuries suffered in a 1937 car crash — after being refused at a whites-only hospital. (Bessie’s widower refused to purchase a stone for her.)
1970 : Christine McVie plays her first gig with Fleetwood Mac at a show in New Orleans. The band’s first female member, she played on some of their albums before she was asked to join full-time.
1974 : Eric Clapton’s 461 Ocean Boulevard LP is certified gold
1974 : Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love” is certified gold
1975 : Hank Williams, Jr. nearly meets his doom when he falls 500 feet down Ajax Mountain in Montana. He survives, but with some facial scars he will often cover with a hat, beard, and sunglasses.
1980 : The Greater London Council banned The Plasmatics from blowing a car up on stage during their UK live debut at London’s Hammersmith Odeon.
1981 : MTV broadcast its first stereo concert with REO Speedwagon who performed in Denver, Colorado, having just released the album Hi Infidelity and the hit singles, ‘Keep On Loving You,’ ‘Take It On the Run’ and ‘Don’t Let Him Go.’
1983 : Harold Melvin and three members of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes are arrested for cocaine, marijuana, and meth possession at Caesars Boardwalk Regency Hotel Casino in Atlantic City.
1986 : David Crosby (The Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young) is released from prison after serving only eight months of his original five-year sentence for cocaine and firearms possession.
1987 : U2 scored their second US No.1 single from their ‘Joshua Tree’ album with ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’. The song received two nominations for the 30th Grammy Awards in 1988, for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
1991 : On A Friday, (later to become known as Radiohead) appeared at The Jericho Tavern, Oxford, England. The band had met while attending Abingdon School, a boys-only public school. “On a Friday”, referred to the band’s usual rehearsal day in the school’s music room.
1992 : Madonna went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘This Used To Be My Playground’. A No.3 hit in the UK, the track was taken from the film ‘A League Of Their Own.’
1992 : Opening for Guns N’ Roses at a show in Montreal, James Hetfield of Metallica is injured by the pyrotechnics, which burn the entire left side of his body. Metallica can’t continue, and Guns N’ Roses cuts their set short after just 15 minutes when Axl Rose claims throat problems. A near riot ensues at Olympic Stadium as fans are not pleased. The cancellation led to a riot by the audience who overturned cars, smashed windows, looted local stores and set fires.
1996 : Kiss appeared at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio on their 192 date Alive World Tour. During this show a fan threw his fake leg on stage, which all the members signed and handed back to him.
1998 : The Spice Girls had the UK No.1 single with ‘Viva Forever’, their 7th UK chart topper. Brandy and Monica were at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘The Boy Is Mine’.
2002 : The UK’s biggest undertakers Co-Op funeral services reported that bereaved families preferred pop songs to hymns at funerals. Top of the list was ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ by Bette Midler. Other songs included ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams and ‘My Heart Will Go On’ by Celine Dion. They also reported some unusual choices including ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ by Queen and ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ by Wham!
2004 : There is a big stink (literally, lol) when The Dave Matthews Band tour bus dumps its sewage into an Illinois river from the Kinzie Street bridge. An unfortunate group of tourists are doused with the waste, which hits their tour boat. The band was not on the bus, and their driver denied it until he was confronted with surveillance video.
2007 : The US National Musical Publishers’ Association joined other businesses in seeking to sue YouTube claiming songwriters were not being properly compensated when their music appeared on the site. The legal action had been combined with those of several other companies, including Viacom and Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and Comedy Central.