1946 : Jazz great Charlie Parker falls asleep while smoking and sets his hotel bed on fire. He is arrested after wandering through the hotel lobby wearing nothing but socks. The incident leads to a stay at the Camarillo State Hospital (a mental institution), which inspires his song “Relaxin’ at Camarillo.”
1956 : Carl Perkins was on the UK singles chart with his debut UK hit ‘Blue Suede Shoes’. Johnny Cash planted the seed for the song in the fall of 1955, while Perkins, Cash, Elvis Presley, toured throughout the South. Cash told Perkins of a black airman whom he had met when serving in the military in Germany. He had referred to his military regulation air shoes as “blue suede shoes.” Cash suggested that Carl write a song about the shoes.
1961 : Dick Clark presents his very first Caravan of Stars revue at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, NJ, featuring The Jive Five, The Shirelles, and Clarence “Frogman” Henry.
1963 : Elvis Presley was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘(You’re The) Devil In Disguise’. His 14th UK No.1. In 1963, when the song was debuted to a British audience on the BBC television show Juke Box Jury, the celebrity guest John Lennon voted the song “a miss” stating on the new song that Elvis Presley was “like Bing Crosby now.”
1963 : With the US charts full of Hot Rod songs, Capitol Records sent disc jockeys a list of car terms and phrases to help promote The Beach Boys latest release ‘Little Deuce Coupe’.
1965 : The Beatles second feature film ‘Help!’ had its UK premiere at The Pavilion in London. The Beatles later said the film was shot in a “haze of marijuana”. According to Starr’s interviews in The Beatles Anthology, during the Austrian Alps film shooting, he and McCartney ran off over the hill from the “curling” scene set to smoke a joint.
1966 : Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker made their live debut as Cream at The Twisted Wheel, Manchester, England. The group’s third album, Wheels of Fire, was the world’s first platinum-selling double album.
1966 : Bob Dylan gets in a famous motorcycle accident, and pretty much disappears for 9 months, leaving a void filled with rumors speculating on his condition. Dylan cleared things up in his 2004 autobiography, where he wrote: “I had been in a motorcycle accident and I’d been hurt, but I recovered. Truth was that I wanted to get out of the rat race.”
1966 : A U.S. magazine targeted to teenagers called Datebook causes an uproar when they reprint some of John Lennon’s interview 4 months earlier in the London Evening Standard, where Lennon said, “We’re more popular than Jesus now.” The American media jumps on the quote and turns it into a major story.
1966 : The Grateful Dead played their first ever show outside the US when they appeared in Vancouver.
1967 : The Doors started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Light My Fire’. The group’s first US No.1, it only reached No.49 on the UK chart. Re- issued in 1991 when it made No.7 in the UK.
1967 : The International Love-In Festival took place at Alexandra Palace London with Pink Floyd, Brian Auger Trinity with Julie Driscoll, The Animals, Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Tomorrow, Blossom Toes, Creation, The Nervous System and Apostolic Intervention.
1968 : Gram Parsons left The Byrds on the eve of a tour of South Africa, refusing to play to segregated audiences.
1968 : The first recording session of The Beatles seven-minute epic ‘Hey Jude’ took place at Abbey Road studios London. The Paul McCartney song was written about John Lennon’s son Julian.
1970 : The Rolling Stones’ contract with Decca expires, and the group takes the opportunity to split with notorious manager Allen Klein. Delivering one more song to the label to fulfill its obligation, the famously unreleasable “C********* Blues” (aka Schoolboy Blues,) they also begin the process of forming their own label, Rolling Stones Records (which will feature the debut of the band’s “tongue and lip” logo).
1972 : Screaming Lord Sutch was arrested in London after jumping from a bus in Downing Street with four nude women. Sutch was publicising his forthcoming London gigs.
1972 : Gilbert O’Sullivan started a five week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Alone Again, (Naturally)’. His only US No.1, the follow up ‘Clair’ peaked at No.2.
1973 : Led Zeppelin played the last of three nights at Madison Square Garden, New York at the end of a 33-date North American tour. It was on this day that Led Zeppelin lost around $203,000 in cash after a thief made off with the receipts from the two Madison Square Garden concerts. The theft took place from the safe at The Drake Hotel in New York where the group were staying. Tour manager Richard Cole, who discovered the theft, was arrested as a suspect and questioned by police but was later released.
1974 : Mamas And The Papas singer Cass Elliot died in her sleep from a heart attack after playing a sold out show in London, England. She was staying at Harry Nilson’s London flat when she died. Her only solo hit was ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me,’ which also featured the rest of The Mamas and The Papas. Had also been a member of The Mugwumps.
1978 : The film soundtrack to Grease featuring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John went to No.1 on the US album chart.
1981 : On the day of the wedding between Prince Charles and Lady Diana, a bunch of records were released relating to the event, ‘Lady D’, by Typically Tropical, ‘Charlies Angles’, by Mini & The Metros and ‘Diana’, from Mike Berry. They all failed to reach the charts.
1986 : English songwriter, producer and manager Gordon Mills died of stomach cancer. Worked with Engelbert Humperdinck, Tom Jones and Gilbert O’Sullivan. Wrote the 1963 No.4 UK hit ‘I’ll Never Get Over You’, for Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, and ‘I’m The Lonely One’ a hit for Cliff Richard.
1987 : Michigan state governor James Blanchard declared an annual state wide ‘Four Tops Day’, honoring the group for its contribution to American music.
1987 : Ben and Jerry’s introduces a new flavor: Cherry Garcia, named after the Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia.
1988 : American record producer and pedal steel guitar player Pete Drake died of lung disease. Worked with Elvis Presley, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Played on such hits as Lynn Anderson’s ‘Rose Garden’, Charlie Rich’s ‘Behind Closed Doors’, Bob Dylan’s ‘Lay Lady Lay’ and Tammy Wynette’s ‘Stand by Your Man’.
1989 : The Stone Roses played to a sold out crowd of 6,000 fans at The Empress Ballroom, Blackpool.
1990 : Elton John checked into a Chicago clinic to cure bulimia and an addiction problem, taking over a year off from touring and recording.
1991 : During their Use Your Illusion Tour, Guns n’ Roses played the first of four nights at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California.
1998 : Miramax studios announces their purchase of the rights to The Beatles’ 1964 film A Hard Day’s Night, intending to remaster it in time for the film’s 35th anniversary.
2001 : Atomic Kitten started a two week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of the 1989 Bangles hit ‘Eternal Flame.’
2003 : The chairman of the Professional Association of Teachers Jim O’Neill warned that children were being put under pressure to grow up too soon by pop stars who use a sexy image. “Kylie Minogue might be a great singer but in many of these things you can see more of her bottom than you hear of her voice,” said Mr O’Neill.
2004 : Keyboard player Huby Heard died from heart problems. Member of Billy Preston’s, The God Squad, and worked with Teddy Pendergrass, Ray Charles, Little Bootsy Collins, The Brothers Johnson, The Rolling Stones and Bill Wyman.
2005 : An anonymous bidder pays one million dollars for the original handwritten lyrics to The Beatles’ All You Need Is Love at the Hippodrome nightclub in London.
2006 : Pamela Anderson married for the second time to US rapper Kid Rock, on a yacht off the French resort of St Tropez. The 39-year-old former Baywatch star divorced from rock star Tommy Lee in 1998, had recently got back together with Kid Rock, after a brief engagement ended in 2003. Anderson and Rock split after four months of marriage.
2007 : Heart problems forced Kiss singer and guitarist Paul Stanley to abandon a show in California. Paramedics stopped and restarted his heart to give it a regular rhythm after his heart spontaneously jumped to 190 plus beats per minute.
2011 : Chuck Berry throws out the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game on the same day his statue is unveiled on Delmar Boulevard in the city.