1955 : Elvis Presley appeared at Porky’s Rooftop Club in Newport, Arkansas. Constantly on the road, performing night after night this was the group’s 46th show this year, (Elvis along with Scotty Moore and Bill Black).
1955 : Bo Diddley has his first recording session at Universal Recording Studio in Chicago, where he laid down ‘Bo Diddley’, which went on the top the US R&B chart by the following June.
1960 : After completing his national service and flying back to America, Elvis Presley stepped on British soil for the first and only time in his life when the plane carrying him stopped for refuelling at Prestwick Airport, Scotland.
1961 : The Everly Brothers had their third UK No.1 single with ‘Walk Right Back’ a song written by Sonny Curtis of The Crickets.
1963 : The Four Seasons became the first group to have 3 consecutive No.1’s in the US when ‘Walk Like A man’, started a three week run at the top, a No.12 in hit the UK.
1964 : The Beatles began filming what would become their first feature film ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ at Marylebone train station in London.
1967 : Engelbert Humperdinck was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Release Me.’ The singers first of two number 1’s, the song spent six weeks at the top of the chart and a record fifty six weeks on the chart.
1974 : At this year’s Grammy’s Stevie Wonder won four awards: Album of the year for ‘Innervisions’, Best R&B song and Best vocal for ‘Superstition’ and Pop vocal performance for ‘You Are The Sunshine Of My Life’.
1974 : Gladys Knight & The Pips wins Grammy’s for “Neither One of Us” (Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group or Chorus) and “Midnight Train To Georgia” (best R&B vocal performance by a group).
1974 : Terry Jacks started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Seasons In The Sun’, also No.1 in the UK. The song (written in French by Belgian, Jacques Brel), had English lyrics by poet Rod McKuen.
1975 : A policeman who stopped a Lincoln Continental for running a red light in Los Angeles was surprised to find Paul McCartney at the wheel with his wife Linda. The cop detected a smell of marijuana and on searching the car found eight ounces of the drug. Linda was arrested for the offence.
1983 : The first CD players are released in America, along with 16 albums on CD.
1984 : This Is Spinal Tap is released in theatres, chronicling the hapless heavy metal band with exploding drummers and an amp that goes to 11.
1985 : Phil Collins started a five-week run at No.1 on the UK chart with his third solo LP ‘No Jacket Required’.
1988 : U2 win their first Grammy Awards, taking Album of the Year and Best Performance by Rock Duo or Group with Vocal for The Joshua Tree.
1989 : Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” becomes the first hit song to debut in a commercial when it is used in a 2-minute Pepsi ad starring Madonna. The spot is called “Make A Wish,” and shows Madonna watching her 8-year-old self at her birthday party. The commercial aired in primetime around the world, but was never broadcast again because the next day, the video was released, and in it, Madonna kisses a black man and dances in front of burning crosses – not what Pepsi had in mind. The cola company dropped Madonna, who got to keep the remainder of her $5 million endorsement deal.
1991 : 21 years after it’s first release ‘All Right Now’, by Free made No.2 in the UK singles chart after being re-issued to coincide with its use in a Wrigley’s Chewing gum TV ad.
1991 : Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” peaks at #6 on the US chart. The song became a smash-hit after an instrumental version was featured in the 1990 David Lynch film Wild at Heart.
1991 : French singer Serge Gainsbourg died of a heart attack. Famous for his 1969 UK No.1 duet with Jane Birkin on ‘Je t’aime… Moi non plus.’ During his career, he wrote the soundtracks for more than 40 films.
1991 : Madonna’s ‘Rescue Me’, entered the US hot 100 at No.15, making her the highest debuting female artist in rock history. The record had been held by Joy Llayne whose 1957 single ‘Your Wild Heart’, entered the chart at No. 30.
1999 : Dusty Springfield died after a long battle against cancer, aged 59. The British singer had her first UK hit single in 1963 with ‘I Only Want To Be With You’, which reached No.4, the 1966 UK No.1 & US No.4 single with ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ plus over 15 other UK Top 40 singles.
2003 : Singer, songwriter Hank Ballard died from throat cancer. Wrote and recorded ‘The Twist’ but it was only released on the B-side of a record. One year later, Chubby Checker debuted his own version of ‘The Twist’ on Dick Clark’s Philadelphia television show. It topped the charts and launched a dance craze that prompted the creation of other Twist songs, including ‘Twist and Shout’ by the Isley Brothers and ‘Twistin’ the Night Away’ by Sam Cooke.
2007 : Jimi Hendrix was crowned the ‘wildest guitar hero’ of all-time in a poll of music fans for Classic Rock magazine. Hendrix beat Keith Richards into second place, with Stevie Ray Vaughan in third. Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page made it to number four, followed by Dimebag Darrell, who played for several heavy metal bands including Pantera and Damageplan.
2008 : Canadian guitarist, singer, Jeff Healey, died of cancer. Healey lost his sight to retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes when he was 8 months old, resulting in his eyes being surgically removed. After living cancer-free for 38 years, he developed sarcoma in his legs. Despite surgery for this, the sarcoma spread to his lungs and ultimately was the cause of his death. Healey released over 12 albums, presented a long running radio show and worked with many artists incuding; Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, ZZ Top & Eric Clapton.
2008 : Nine Inch Nails release their sixth album, an almost entirely instrumental Ghosts I-IV, as a free digital release – a concept they will revisit with their next album, The Slip, in July. Physical copies are sold at a regular price a few months after the digital releases.
2009 : Liverpool University launched a Masters degree on The Beatles, popular music and society. Liverpool Hope University claimed the course which looked at the studio sound and compositions of The Beatles was the first of its kind in the UK and “probably the world”.
2013 : A pencil doodle by Paul McCartney when he was a teenager sold for over $5,000. The sketches were drawn by McCartney during the late 1950’s while a student at the Liverpool Institute High School For Boys. The drawings showed multiple faces with different expressions on a single sheet of paper in pencil. The auction house said the drawing sold for $5,692.
2014 : “20 Feet From Stardom”, a film about backup singers featuring Darlene Love and Lisa Fischer, wins the Oscar for Best Documentary. Love gets a standing ovation when she sings part of her acceptance speech.