1925 : The first 50,000-watt radio station, WDY from Schenectady, NY, begins transmission.
1942 : Ella Mae Morse and Freddy Slacks’ “Cow Cow Boogie” hits #1.
1956 : The Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria collides with the Swedish liner Stockholm, the latter tearing a hole in the starboard hull of the former, killing 52 instantly and causing the Andrea Doria to sink by morning. On board is one Mike Stoller, who would go on to become one of the famous Lieber-Stoller songwriting team.
1960 : Roy Orbison reached No.2 on the US singles chart with ‘Only the Lonely,’ his first hit. The song was turned down by The Everly Brothers and Elvis Presley, so Orbison decided to record the song himself.
1960 : The Ventures’ Walk – Don’t Run enters the charts.
1962 : The Beatles played at the Cavern Club in Liverpool at lunchtime; at night they performed again at the Cavern Club, and then they appeared at the Cabaret Club, Liverpool. The Cabaret Club booking was Brian Epstein’s attempt to get The Beatles into the cabaret circuit, but it is a miserable failure with no response from the audience.
1963 : Cilla Black made a recording test for EMI Records after George Martin had spotted her while at a Gerry And The Pacemakers gig in Liverpool.
1964 : The Beatles third album ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ started a twenty-one week run at the top of the UK charts. This was the first Beatles album to be recorded entirely on four-track tape, allowing for good stereo mixes.
1964 : The Animals’ The House Of The Rising Sun enters the U.K. singles chart.
1965 : Dressed in Carnaby Street threads, the ever changing Bob Dylan plugged in for his headlining set backed by the Butterfield Blues Band at The Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. Folk music ‘purists’ try to boo him off the stage, while the rest of the audience give him an enthusiastic response. It is usually said that the reason for the crowd’s hostile reception was Dylan’s ‘abandoning’ of the folk orthodoxy, or poor sound quality on the night (or a combination of the two).
1966 : Recorded on this day, The Monkees – “Last Train To Clarksville”
1969 : Neil Young appeared with Crosby, Stills and Nash for the first time when played at The Fillmore East in New York. Young was initially asked to help out with live material only, but ended up joining the group on and off for the next 30 years.
1969 : The Seattle Pop Festival took place at the Gold Creek Park, Woodinville, Washington. Acts who appeared over three days included, Chuck Berry, Tim Buckley, The Byrds, Chicago Transit Authority, Albert Collins, Bo Diddley, The Doors, The Flock, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Guess Who, It’s A Beautiful Day, Led Zeppelin, Santana, Spirit, Ten Years After, Ike & Tina Turner, Vanilla Fudge, Alice Cooper and The Youngbloods.
1970 : The Carpenters started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘(They Long To Be) Close To You’. The first of three US No.1’s and 17 other Top 40 hits. The song was written in 1963 by Hal David and Burt Bacharach and was first offered to Herb Alpert, who said he didn’t feel comfortable singing the line ‘so they sprinkled moon dust in your hair’.
1970 : Mungo Jerry’s In the Summertime enters the U.S. singles chart.
1971 : T Rex were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Get It On’, the group’s second UK No.1 which spent four weeks at the top of the charts. In the US it was retitled Bang A Gong, (Get It On). Power Station had a UK & US hit with their version of the song in 1985.
1975 : A California federal judge rules that San Francisco had a right to arrest Miracles singer Smokey Robinson the previous year, even though his name only matched the alias of the criminal he was confused with.
1980 : AC/DC released their sixth internationally released studio album ‘Back In Black’, the first AC/DC album recorded without former lead singer Bon Scott, who died on 19 February 1980 at the age of 33. The album has sold an estimated 49 million copies worldwide to date, making it the second highest-selling album of all time, and the best-selling hard rock or heavy metal album.
1980 : Eric Carr makes his debut as Kiss drummer.
1981 : Air Supply went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘The One That I Love’, the group’s only US No.1 and the first Australian band to top the US singles chart.
1984 : Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton died at the age of 58 died in Los Angeles of heart and liver complications. She had a No.1 R&B hit in 1953 with ‘Hound Dog’ (later covered by Elvis Presley). She also wrote and recorded ‘Ball ‘n’ Chain,’ which Janis Joplin recorded.
1987 : Madonna had her fifth UK No.1 single with the title track from her 1987 film ‘Who’s That Girl’. Also a US No.1 hit.
1992 : Bruce Springsteen became a father when Patti Sciafa gave birth to a baby boy, Evan James.
1995 : Grammy Award winning country singer, songwriter Charlie Rich died in his sleep aged 62 years old. Rich began as a Rockabilly artist for Sun Records in Memphis in 1958. He scored the 1974 US No.1 & UK No.2 single ‘The Most Beautiful Girl’ and ‘Behind Closed Doors’, was a No.1 country hit.
1998 : Jane McDonald went to No.1 on the UK album chart with her debut album. The singer had been featured in a BBC documentary ‘Cruise’, and became the first singer to debut at No.1 without having a hit single.
1999 : On the third day of the Woodstock ’99 festival on Griffiss Air Force Base, overpriced water, overflowing toilets and a Limp Bizkit performance of “Break Stuff” leads to riots, groping and injuries. Conditions deteriorated as the festival raged on, and by the final day, MTV was covering the event with the tagline “Apocalypse Woodstock.” Three people died during the 3-day festival in separate incidents and many were hospitalized after drinking polluted water.
2001 : The Doors’ John Densmore, Bonnie Raitt, and others are arrested in Itasca, IL, for demonstrating against a company which they claim destroys the rainforest.
2003 : Erik Braunn from American psychedelic rock band Iron Butterfly, died of cardiac failure at the age of 52. Braunn was just 16 years old when he joined Iron Butterfly who had the 1968 US No.14 single ‘In-A- Gadda-Da-Vida’.
2004 : Jimmy Buffett went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘License To Chill’, the singer songwriters first No.1 album.
2006 : George Michael phoned the UK daytime TV Richard and Judy show to talk about the recent story when he was caught ‘cruising’ for sex and was photographed kissing and groping with a stranger.
2010 : Paul McCartney’s former wife, Heather Mills, told the press that the trauma and pain she went through after losing her leg in a traffic accident was nothing compared to the way she felt after she and the former Beatle split up. The two separated in 2006 after four years of marriage and went on to fight an bitter public divorce battle which saw her gain a $38.9 million settlement.
2012 : MGA Entertainment, the toy corporation behind the “Bratz” line of dolls, files lawsuit against Lady Gaga, alleging that her and her managers delayed approval on marketing a Lady Gaga doll. MGA calls it “breach of contract” and is asking for $10 million – this, only eight months after the deal was struck.