1956 : Doris Day signs a 5-year recording contract with Columbia Records worth $1 million.
1957 : Recorded on this day, Sam Cooke – “You Send Me”
1958 : Private Elvis Presley completes basic Army training at Ft. Hood, Texas, earning a two-week furlough.
1959 : The first edition of Juke Box Jury aired on the BBC. The shows host, David Jacobs, lead a revolving panel of guests in critiquing the week’s top record releases. Although the songs were never played in their entirety, the four judges gave a verdict on whether each would be a “hit” or a “miss”.
1959 : ‘The Battle Of New Orleans’ by Johnny Horton went to No.1 on both the Country and Pop charts in the US, where it will stay for two months. The song was originally a poem written by high school teacher James Morriss in 1936, which he put to the music of an old fiddle tune known as ‘The Eighth Of January’. Horton later won a Grammy Award for the song.
1961 : Elvis Presley was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Surrender’, his eighth UK No.1. The song was based on the 1911 Italian song, ‘Return To Sorrento.’
1963 : Lesley Gore started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with the Quincy Jones (then a staff producer for Mercury Records) produced ‘It’s My Party’, a No.9 hit in the UK. Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin scored a UK No.1 in 1981 with their version of the song.
1964 : The Rolling Stones were met by over 500 fans as they arrived on BA flight 505 at Kennedy Airport for their debut US tour. The Stones held a press conference and then guested on the prestigious “5th Beatle”, DJ Murray The K’s radio show. The first date took place on 5th June in San Bernardino, California.
1965 : Art Garfunkel graduates from Columbia University in New York.
1966 : During a 12 hour session at Abbey Road studios, The Beatles added overdubs on ‘Yellow Submarine’, with John Lennon blowing bubbles in a bucket of water and shouting “Full speed ahead Mister Captain!” Roadie Mal Evans played on a bass drum strapped to his chest, marching around the studio with The Beatles following behind (conga-line style) singing “We all live in a yellow submarine.”
1967 : Released on this day, The Beatles – “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in England (it’s released in the U.S. the next day)
1967 : David Bowie releases his self-titled debut album, “David Bowie”. This album bares little resemblance to Bowie’s future work.
1967 : Fairport Convention make their live debut when they played St Michael’s Hall, Golders Green.
1968 : Simon and Garfunkel went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Mrs Robinson’. Featured in the Dustin Hoffman and Ann Bancroft film ‘The Graduate’, the song earned the duo a Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1969.
1969 : The Plastic Ono Band recorded ‘Give Peace A Chance’ during a ‘bed-in’ at the Hotel La Reine in Montreal, Canada. Producer Phil Spector, poet Allan Ginsberg and writer Timothy Leary all sang on the song.
1971 : The two-room shack in Tupelo, Mississippi, where Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935 was opened to the public as a tourist attraction.
1972 : Recorded on this day, Pink Floyd – “Dark Side Of The Moon” (first ever recording session)
1973 : Former Soft Machine drummer Robert Wyatt broke his spine after attempting to leave a party by climbing down a drainpipe and falling three stories. It left Wyatt permanently crippled and confined to a wheelchair.
1974 : Steely Dan supported by Highway appear at the Kursall Ballroom, Southend, England.
1974 : The UK music magazine NME publishes its list of 100 Great Albums: at No.3 The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, No.2, Bob Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde and The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper is voted in at No.1.
1975 : The Rolling Stones kicked off their biggest ever US tour at Louisiana State University. The tour would take in 45 shows in 26 cities. Guitarist Ron Wood joined The Stones on tour for the first time, replacing Mick Taylor.
1977 : Bob Marley and The Wailers play the first of four nights at the Rainbow Theatre in London. There are six nights booked at the Rainbow, but the last two shows are called off because of a serious toe injury Marley sustained in a friendly soccer game with French journalists just before the tour’s start in Paris. Subsequently the tour’s second leg in the United States would be postponed and then canceled.
1977 : Billy Joel ends a U.S. tour with a concert at Carnegie Hall.
1978 : U2 appeared at Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Dublin, Ireland.
1979 : The Police, supported by The Cramps appeared at the Odeon Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland.
1981 : The first issue of the Heavy Metal magazine Kerrang! was published as a special pull-out by UK weekly music paper Sounds. AC/DC had the front cover plus features on Motorhead, Girlschool and Saxon.
1981 : Released on this day, The Rolling Stones – “Still Life” live album
1982 : Madness were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘House Of Fun’. The group’s only No.1 from 27 UK Top 40 hits.
1985 : Prince & The Revolution started a three-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Around The World In A Day’.
1985 : Bruce Springsteen kicked off the European leg of his Born in the USA world tour at Slane Castle in Dublin, Ireland
1991 : Sting appears on the first airing of a new Soviet TV rock show, called Rock Steady.
1991 : American soul singer David Ruffin died of a drug overdose. After taking a large amount of cocaine Ruffin passed out, a friend drove him to a hospital in Philadelphia, where he later died. With The Temptations, had the 1971 US No.1 & UK No. 8 single ‘Just My Imagination’ and ‘My Girl’ (which Ruffin sang lead vocals). Solo, (1975 US No.9 & UK No.10 single ‘Walk Away From Love’).
1996 : ‘Three Lions’, (the official song of the England Football team) by Baddiel and Skinner and The Lightning Seeds went to No.1 on the UK singles chart.
1997 : At age 58, Kenny Rogers gets married for the fifth time, this time to his production assistant Wanda Miller. The couple would have two children.
1998 : Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots is arrested for heroin possession in New York the day he is supposed to do a solo show.
2000 : The film ‘Honest’, starring three of All Saints was pulled by cinemas after a disastrous showing at the box office. The three singers played sisters who turn to crime in the late 1960’s.
2003 : Slipknot bassist Paul Gray was arrested on drugs and drink-driving charges after he collided with a car after going through a red light in his home town of Des Moines, Iowa. Gray, (who wears a pig mask on stage) then tried to write a cheque for $1,000 (£600) to the other driver, who then called the police. Gray failed two alcohol tests at the scene and was arrested for possession of marijuana, cocaine and drug paraphernalia, as well drink-driving.
2005 : White Stripes singer Jack White married his girlfriend, British model Karen Elson in a canoe on the Amazon in Brazil.
2006 : The 1994 debut album by Oasis, Definitely Maybe, was voted the greatest album of all time in a survey to mark 50 years of the Official UK Albums Chart. The Beatles came in second and third place with ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and ‘Revolver’, ‘OK Computer’ by Radiohead was fourth and ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory’’ by Oasis was voted fifth.
2007 : Contemporary musicians record their own versions of songs from The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s album to mark 40 years since it was released. Acts including Oasis, Travis, The Fray, Kaiser Chiefs, Razorlight, Bryan Adams and The Magic Numbers all work with Geoff Emerick – the engineer in charge of the original 1967 sessions, using the original analogue 4-track equipment to demonstrates the techniques employed for the recording at Abbey Road studios in 1967.