1952 : Vera Lynn’s’ “Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart” hits #1.
1954 : 19 year old Elvis Presley signed a recording contract with Sun Records. He also gave in his notice at his day job at The Crown Electric Company. Sam Phillips from Sun Records originally wanted to use the 19 year old to make demos of songs meant for other artists, but soon realized that here was the man who could bridge the gap between white and black performances.
1958 : The Coasters’ Yakety Yak hits #1.
1959 : Legendary DJ Alan Freed attempts to capture the magic of Dick Clark’s American Bandstand on ABC by staging his own weekly rock and roll show on the same network, The Big Beat (named after a Fats Domino song). Frankie Lymon, The Everly Brothers and Connie Francis guest star on this first show, but the series is canceled after 13 weeks.
1962 : The Rolling Stones make their live debut at the Marquee Club in London subbing for Long John Baldry’s Blues Incorporated. The band at this point features Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and future-Kink Mick Avory.
1962 : Ray Charles was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with the Don Gibson penned country ballad ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You’. His only UK No.1 was taken from his Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music album.
1962 : The Rolling Stones made their live debut at the Marquee Jazz Club, London, with Dick Taylor on bass (later of The Pretty Things) and Mick Avory on drums, (later of The Kinks). Billed as The Rollin’ Stones, they were paid £20 for the gig, the equivalent of £330 in 2010.
1964 : The Beatles appeared at the Hippodrome Theatre in Brighton with The Fourmost and the Shubdubs (whose drummer, Jimmy Nicol, would later fill in for an ill Ringo Starr on The Beatles’ world tour). Also in the US The Ed Sullivan Show re-broadcast The Beatles’ first live television appearance on the Sullivan show (from February 9). On the way to tonight’s gig George Harrison was involved in a minor crash in his brand new E-Type Jaguar in Kings Road, Fulham, London. Passing pedestrians collected bits of broken glass as souvenirs.
1965 : Recorded on this day, The Beach Boys – “Sloop John B”
1968 : Mickey Dolenz from The Monkees married Samantha Juste who he met when working in the UK on the BBC TV show ‘Top Of The Pops’.
1969 : The supergroup Blind Faith begin their first (and only) U.S. tour with a sellout performance at Madison Square Garden.
1969 : One hit wonders Zager and Evans started a six week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘In The Year 2525, (Exordium And Terminus)’. The song was also No.1 in the UK, making them the only one hit wonders ever in both the US and UK singles charts.
1969 : The Temptations Show, a Motown special featuring the group, airs in syndication. The group performs, among other hits, Get Ready, Cloud Nine, and “Runaway Child, Running Wild.”
1970 : Janis Joplin performs her first live gig with her new backing group, Full Tilt Boogie Band.
1975 : KC and the Sunshine Band’s Get Down Tonight enters the charts.
1979 : It’s “Disco Demolition Night” at Comiskey Park, where the White Sox and Tigers are playing a doubleheader. The plan is to blow up a bunch of disco albums between games, but it goes horribly wrong when fans become unruly and rush the field, forcing the White Sox to forfeit the second game.
1979 : American singer songwriter Minnie Riperton died of cancer aged 31. The Stevie Wonder produced ‘Loving You’ gave Minnie a US No.1 single in 1975. She worked at Chess records singing backup for various artists such as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, and Muddy Waters. She also sang lead for the experimental rock/soul group Rotary Connection, from 1967 to 1971. Also a member of Wonderlove in 1973, a backup group for Stevie Wonder.
1980 : During their 23 date ’11 O’clock Tick Tock’ U2 played at The Moonlight, West Hampstead in London, England.
1980 : Olivia Newton-John and the Electric Light Orchestra had the UK No.1 single with ‘Xanadu’, taken from the film of the same name. It gave Olivia Newton-John her third UK No.1 single.
1983 : Former Traffic member Chris Wood died of liver failure after a lengthy illness. Also played with Jimi Hendrix in 1968, appearing on the Electric Ladyland album and worked with both John Martyn and the Small Faces.
1986 : Boy George and singer Marilyn were arrested in London, England for possession of drugs.
1986 : Simply Red scored their first US No.1 single with ‘Holding Back The Years’. Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall wrote the song when he was seventeen, while living at his father’s house. The chorus did not come to him until many years later.
1988 : Michael Jackson arrived in the UK for his first ever-solo appearances. He performed a total of eight nights to 794,000 people.
1992 : After a European tour, Axl Rose is arrested at JFK airport in New York, charged with inciting a riot as a Guns N’ Roses show in St. Louis the previous year. He gets 2 years probation and a $50,000 fine.
1996 : Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was charged with drug possession after the death of the bands keyboard player Jonathan Melvoin in his New York Hotel room.
2000 : A statue erected in the memory of John Lennon was unveiled in London’s Trafalgar Square. The sculpture featured a revolver with a knotted barrel created by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reutersward.
2000 : Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) publicly denies any financial involvement with the terrorist group Hamas after Israel denies him entry into the country, alleging he gave money to the organization.
2001 : New Orleans’ Moisant Airport, named for an early 20th-century flying daredevil, is renamed Armstrong International in honor of native jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong.
2003 : Saxophonist, composer and arranger Benny Carter died aged 95. He worked with Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and composed many TV theme’s including Ironside and M-Squad.
2003 : REM, The White Stripes, Idlewind, The Cardigans, The Proclaimers, The Music, The Charlatans, Coldplay, Supergrass, The Darkness, Turin Brakes, The Coral and Feeder all appeared at this year’s two day T In The Park festival in Scotland.
2004 : Sugarland’s debut single, “Baby Girl,” is released. It will go on to peak at #2 on the US country music charts. The song will spend a total of 46 weeks on the charts, setting a record for the longest chart run, ever.
2007 : Rod Stewart is awarded the CBE Order of the British Empire by Prince Charles in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
2008 : Rolling Stone Ron Wood left his wife of 23 years and moved in with an 18-year-old Russian cocktail waitress. The 61 year-old dad-of-four had met the teenager while out drinking and had taken her away to his luxury pad in Ireland.
2008 : American singer Earl Nelson (Earl Lee Nelson) died in Lake Charles, Louisiana. One half of the duo, Bob And Earl, (recorded ‘Harlem Shuffle’ in 1963). Nelson sang background vocals on ‘Rockin’ Robin’, a US No. 2 for The Jackson Five in 1972.