June 4

Today In Music History

1942 : Glenn Wallichs launched Capitol Records in the US. The label became home to such artists as Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Glen Campbell, Steve Miller, Dr. Hook, Bob Seger, Tina Turner, Heart and countless others. Wallichs was the man who invented the art of record promotion by sending copies of new releases to disc jockeys.

1942 : Johnny Mercer’s label Capitol Records becomes the first record company to give an album to a radio station, when he gives one to a Los Angeles DJ. It’s a brilliant move, as the station plays the record and promotes it. In coming years, labels will try all sorts of tricks to get their records played on radio.

1956 : Gene Vincent makes his stage debut, performing in his hometown of Norfolk, VA.

1962 : Released on this day, The Beach Boys – “Surfin’ Safari”

1962 : The Beatles sign their first record contract with EMI, though it’s merely to produce a series of demos. The band will have to pass its upcoming audition to get signed to make actual records.

1963 : Released on this day, The Searchers – “Sweets For My Sweet”

1963 : The first Pop Goes The Beatles program is aired on the BBC in the UK. The band plays a version of ‘Pop Goes The Weasel’ on the show.

1964 : The Beatles finish filming on their first movie, A Hard Day’s Night.

1964 : The Beatles begin their first world tour, playing the K.B. Hallen Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark. Session drummer Jimmy Nicol, wearing Ringo’s suit, sits in for the ailing drummer for this and the next five dates.

1966 : Janis Joplin arrives in San Francisco, having been invited there by Big Brother & the Holding Company in order to become their new lead singer.

1967 : The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Procol Harum, Denny Laine and The Chiffons all appeared at The Saville Theatre, London. Both Paul McCartney and George Harrison were in the audience to see Hendrix perform the title track from Sgt Peppers which had been released 3 days earlier.

1967 : The Monkees win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series.

1969 : Released on this day, The Beatles – “Old Brown Shoe”

1969 : Seven years after his first hit Tommy Roe was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Dizzy’ his only No.1 hit. Also a UK No. 1 for Vic Reeves and Wonder Stuff in 1991.

1969 : Nicky Hopkins leaves The Jeff Beck group.

1969 : In Glenrowan, Australia, hundreds of people signed a petition protesting against the casting of Mick Jagger in the role of the Australian folk hero Ned Kelly in the film of the same name. The film, directed by Tony Richardson, was released in October 1970.

1970 : Recorded on this day, Carlos Santana – “Black Magic Woman”

1970 : Elvis Presley began five days of recording at RCA’s studio B in Nashville, starting each day at 6pm and working until dawn.

1971 : ABC-TV’s Bobby Sherman TV Special airs, featuring guest stars The 5th Dimension.

1974 : David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs Tour begins in Montreal. As part of the elaborate stage show, a giant diamond opens up to reveal Bowie.

1974 : Randy Newman appears on this week’s UK TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test.

1975 : The Rolling Stones became the first rock band to receive royalties for sales of their records in Russia.

1976 : Live recordings were made at the new wave venue GBGB’s of performances from Blondie, Mink DeVille, Talking Heads, Laughing Dogs and Tuff Darts. The tracks featured on the album ‘Live At CBGB’S New York’.

1976 : The Sex Pistols appeared at The Lesser Free Trade Hall, Manchester, England. The now legendary night is regarded as a catalyst to the punk rock movement. In the audience was, Morrissey, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook (soon to form Joy Division) and Mark E Smith, (The Fall). Tickets cost £1.

1977 : The Jam’s debut single ‘In The City’ made No.40 on the UK singles chart. They went on to score 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the United Kingdom, from their debut in 1977 to their break-up in December 1982, including four No.1 hits.

1979 : US President Jimmy Carter hosts Chuck Berry, who plays a concert for The First Family at the White House.

1983 : The Police started a four week run at No.1 in the UK with ‘Every Breath You Take’ the group’s fifth and final No.1 single. Taken from the bands album Synchronicity, Sting won Song of the Year and The Police won Best Pop Performance for the song at the 1984 Grammy Awards.

1984 : Bruce Springsteen released the album, ‘Born In The USA’, which became the best-selling album of 1985 in the United States (and also Springsteen’s most successful album ever). The album produced a record-tying string of seven Top 10 singles (tied with Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814).

1985 : Elton John began a high court battle with Dick James Music, seeking the rights to early songs and recordings plus damages estimated at more than $51 million. The singer lost a six-month court battle to recover the copyright to 169 songs however, the court ordered Dick James to cough up millions in unpaid royalties.

1986 : After a years-long court battle, the producers of The Beatles’ tribute Beatlemania! are forced to pay Apple $10 million in royalties.

1986 : The first of a six date Conspiracy of Hope tour is held at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. The concerts benefit Amnesty International and celebrate the human right organization’s 25th anniversary. The shows are headlined by U2 and Sting, and also feature Bryan Adams, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Joan Baez, and The Neville Brothers.

1988 : Tracy Chapman’s self-titled debut album hits #1 on the US chart.

1990 : American punk rock singer Stiv Bators of the Dead Boys and The Lords of the New Church died after being hit by a taxi in Paris, France. Bators had been out drinking when he was hit by a taxi while crossing the road; he was taken to hospital but left before seeing a doctor. He died in his sleep as the result of a concussion.

1992 : Iron Maiden played a gig at the Oval pub, Norwich before 400 fans as The Nodding Donkeys, as a thank you to the pub’s landlord Chris Hiles.

1992 : Smokey Robinson’s half sister, Rose Ella Jones files a suit against Smokey claiming she had been cheated out of royalty payments from songs written during the 1980’s.

1992 : When the United States Post Office decided to do an Elvis stamp, they put it up for a vote: a young Elvis or an old Elvis image. On this day, Priscilla Presley announced that young Elvis won by a landslide, getting more votes by a factor of three to one.

1993 : Police are called to a domestic dispute at the house of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, and the Nirvana’s lead singer is arrested. Cobain claimed that reports of him chocking his wife were false, and that police were called because they were playing music too loud.

1994 : The alt-rock supergroup who performed The Beatles’ songs in the biopic Backbeat reconvenes for a performance at the MTV Music Awards.

1994 : Wet Wet Wet started a fifteen-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Love Is All Around’, from the film ‘Four Weddings & A Funeral’. The song was written by Reg Presley of The Troggs and a former Top 10 for his band in 1967.

1996 : Crowded House announced they had split up. Brothers Neil and Tim Finn from the group were both awarded OBE’s in 1993 for their service to their native New Zealand.

1997 : Jeff Buckley’s body was discovered floating in the Mississippi River. Buckley had disappeared when swimming on May 29th in Wolf River Harbor, while wearing boots, all of his clothing, and singing the chorus of “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin. A roadie in Buckley’s band, had remained on shore. After moving a radio and guitar out of reach of the wake from a passing tugboat, he looked up to see that Buckley had vanished.

1998 : Ray Charles reunites with his legendary touring band to perform in celebration of his 50th year in show business at the 15th annual Chicago Blues Festival in Grant Park.

2000 : Bon Jovi’s “Crush” hits #1 on the UK album chart.

2000 : A teenage Sisqo fan was shot in the leg at a concert by the R&B star in Phoenix, Arizona when violence erupted after punters began objecting to parking fees of $30 at the venue.

2002 : George Michael is jeered and heckled by the audience of a CNN news show as he takes part in a phone interview. George was defending the content of the video to his new single “Shoot The Dog” in which US President George Bush was shown in bed with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. George said this was an attack on Blair and not President Bush.

2002 : Wyclef Jean is one of ten people arrested for disorderly conduct in a New York rally protesting cuts to education. Jean is arrested and led away in handcuffs following an attempt to perform, which was forbidden by the event’s permit. Puff Daddy, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Erykah Badu, Foxy Brown and Wu-Tang Clan were also at the rally to show their support and protest a proposed $1.2 billion cut to New York’s public education system.

2003 : A grandfather who set up his own pirate radio station in Wakefield, Yorkshire is under investigation by local broadcasting authorities. The man known as Ricky Rock had erected a 32 feet transmitter in his garden and had been playing hits by The Beach Boys, Beatles and Elvis Presley. Ricky said he set the station up because ‘talent-less boy bands and dance music’ featured on local stations did not cater to the tastes of his generation.

2004 : Nathan Moore, former singer with Brother Beyond and Worlds Apart appears at Highbury Corner magistrates court and pleads guilty to a charge of kerb crawling in central London. He is fined £250 and ordered to pay £50 costs. The former pop singer was arrested on 27th May in the Kings Cross area after he approached a woman he thought was a prostitute and requested a sexual favour. He then rode away on his moped before being arrested.

2004 : American Idol winner Fantasia was at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘I Believe.’ The first time in US chart history a debut single topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

2006 : Sandi Thom was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker, (with flowers in My Hair’). The song was originally released in October 2005 by Viking Legacy records, where it reached No.55.

2012 : Herb Reed, bass singer and founder member with American doo-wop group The Platters died aged 83. The Platters scored four No.1’s in the late 50’s: The Great Pretender, My Prayer, Twilight Time and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Reed is credited with coming up with the group’s name – inspired by disc jockeys who referred to their records as “platters”.

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