1953 : Truck driver Elvis Presley made his first ever recording when he paid $3.98 at the Memphis recording service singing two songs, ‘My Happiness’ and ‘That’s When Your Heartaches Begin’. The so-called vanity disc, was a gift for his mother. It would surface 37 years later as part of an RCA compilation called ‘Elvis – the Great Performances’.
1960 : Brenda Lee went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘I’m Sorry’ it made No.12 in the UK. Seeking publicity the 4′ 11 tall singer was once billed as a 32-year- old midget and had the nickname Little Miss Dynamite.
1963 : Recorded on this day, The Beatles – “You Really Got A Hold On Me”, “Money (That’s What I Want)”, “Devil In Her Heart”, “Till There Was You”
1964 : The Four Seasons started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Rag Doll’, the group’s fourth No.1 and a No.2 hit on the UK chart. Co-writer Bob Gaudio said that he got the inspiration for the song from a young girl in tattered clothes that cleaned his car windows at a stop light.
1964 : The Rolling Stones appeared on the US chart for the first time when their cover of Buddy Holly’s ‘Not Fade Away’ peaked at No.48.
1966 : Bobby Fuller leader of The Bobby Fuller Four was found dead in his car in Los Angeles aged 22. Fuller died mysteriously from gasoline asphyxiation, while parked outside his apartment. Police labelled it a suicide, but the possibility of foul play has always been mentioned. Had the 1966 US No.9 single ‘I Fought The Law’ written by Sonny Curtis of Buddy Holly’s Crickets and covered by The Clash.
1968 : Working at Abbey Road studios The Beatles recorded ‘Cry Baby Cry’ and ‘Helter Skelter.’ One take of ‘Helter Skelter’ lasted 27′ 11”, the longest Beatle recording ever.
1968 : Hugh Masekela’s Grazing In The Grass is certified gold.
1968 : Gary Puckett and the Union Gap’s “Lady Willpower” is certified gold.
1969 : During sessions at Abbey Road studios, London, Ringo Starr recorded his vocal to ‘Octopus’s Garden.’ Starr had written the song when he ‘quit’ The Beatles the previous year and was staying on actor Peter Seller’s yacht in the Mediterranean.
1970 : Pink Floyd, Roy Harper, Kevin Ayers, and the Edgar Broughton Band, all appeared at a free concert held in Hyde Park, London, England.
1972 : All six members of Sly And The Family Stone are arrested in Hollywood after police search their tour bus and find two pounds of marijuana and two vials of cocaine.
1973 : Bruce Springsteen played the first of four nights at Max’s Kansas City in New York City, New York, supported by Bob Marley and The Wailers who were on their first ever North American tour.
1974 : The US Justice Department ordered John Lennon out of the country by September 10th. The Immigration and Naturalization Service denied him an extension of his non-immigrant visa because of his guilty plea in England to a 1968 marijuana possession charge. The US Court of Appeal would overturn the deportation order in 1975 and Lennon was granted permanent resident status the following year.
1977 : Barry Manilow’s Looks Like We Made It hits #1
1978 : Def Leppard made their live debut at Westfield School, Sheffield, England in front of 150 students.
1978 : John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John’s You’re The One That I Want is certified platinum.
1980 : Billy Joel held the top position of both the US albums and singles charts. His album Glass Houses contained his first and biggest number 1 hit, ‘It’s Still Rock ‘n’ Roll to Me.’
1983 : Following up on momentum from their free Central Park reunion concert, Simon and Garfunkel start a 19-city tour in Akron, Ohio.
1988 : Nico died after suffering a minor heart attack while riding a bicycle on holiday with her son in Ibiza Spain. The German born singer-songwriter and keyboard player with Velvet Underground, had also worked as a fashion model and actress.
1988 : Ike Turner was sentenced in Santa Monica, California to one year in jail for possessing and transporting cocaine. Police had stopped Turner, former husband of Tina Turner, in August 1987 for driving erratically and found about six grams of rock cocaine in his car.
1991 : The first night of the ‘Lollapalooza’ tour at The Compton Terrace, Phoenix, featuring, Living Colour, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Jane’s Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, Henry Rollins Band and The Butthole Surfers.
1992 : Bobby Brown married Whitney Houston at her New Jersey estate who was dressed in a $40,000 Marc Bouwer wedding gown. Those in attendance included Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Natalie Cole, Patti LaBelle and Freddie Jackson. After years of making tabloid headlines, she would file for divorce in September, 2006.
1993 : Rage Against The Machine protests music censorship by appearing at their Lollapalooza set in Philadelphia completely nude except for duct tape over their mouths. The refuse to play any music, and simply stand for 25 minutes with the letters PMRC written on their chests, a reference to the Parents Music Resource Center.
2001 : Kiss, added another product to their ever-growing merchandising universe: the “Kiss Kasket.” The coffin featured the faces of the four founding members of the band, the Kiss logo and the words “Kiss Forever.” Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell was buried in one after he was shot and killed on-stage in Dec 2004.
2002 : The Rolling Stones crew chief, 54 year old Royden Magee, who had worked with the band for 30 years, died during a rehearsal in Toronto. A spokesman for the band said Magee had said that he wasn’t feeling well and went to another room to take a nap. The Stones had just finished dinner and resumed rehearsing when they got word that Magee had collapsed and stopped breathing. He was taken by ambulance to nearby Sunnybrook Hospital. He was pronounced dead on arrival. The members of the band said they were devastated by his death.
2007 : Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler were ordered to pay their former chef compensation after losing a sexual discrimination case. Jane Martin, 41, was awarded £24,944 at an employment tribunal in Southampton, England after she was sacked by Miss Styler from the couple’s estate in Wiltshire because she became pregnant
2007 : Paul Simon filed a law suit against Rhythm USA Inc. a Georgia-based subsidiary of a Japanese firm, claiming the company never had his permission to sell wall clocks that played ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. The suit claimed that as one of the best known songs throughout the world, a proper licensing agreement would earn at least a $1 million licensing fee.
2008 : Billy Joel plays the “Last Play at Shea” concert – the final show before Shea Stadium is closed down. Joel is joined on stage by Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, and The Who’s Roger Daltry.
2008 : Rolling Stone guitarist Ronnie Wood was ‘seeking help’ with his battle with alcohol in a rehabilitation centre. The move followed tabloid speculation over the state of his 23-year marriage to former model Jo Wood. ‘Following Ronnie’s continued battle with alcohol he has entered a period of rehab,’ his spokeswoman said.
2012 : The Who announce the launching of a tour to revive their rock opera Quadrophenia. The original run of the film of Quadrophenia debuted in 1979; the album in 1973. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, as the surviving members of the group, are also tapped to perform the ending song for the 2012 Olympic games in London.
2012 : Country music legend Glen Campbell, at the age of 74, is forced to cancel his farewell tour dates in Australia and New Zealand due to failing health from Alzheimer’s disease.