1952 : Cleveland stakes a claim on Rock history when the Moondog Coronation Ball is held at the Cleveland Arena. Organized by the WJW DJ Alan Freed (“Moondog” on the air), it is widely considered the first Rock concert, with Billy Ward and The Dominoes, Tiny Grimes, and Paul Williams scheduled to perform. The crowd is over capacity and police shut down the show because of fire code violations after just one song by Williams. The event proves to the music industry that this type of R&B music has widespread appeal – to white audiences as well as black.
1953 : Patti Page’s (How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window? hits #1
1955 : No. 1 Billboard hit: Bill Hayes’ The Ballad of Davy Crockett
1956 : Elvis Presley appeared at the 4,000 seated YMCA Gymnasium in Lexington, North Carolina. Also on the bill, Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, featuring June Carter, Rod Brasfield, Hal and Ginger. Tickets cost $1 for general admission and $1.50 for reserved seats.
1956 : The movie Rock Around The Clock, about a concert promoter (played by DJ Alan Freed) who brings Rock and Roll to the masses, opens in theaters. The film stars Bill Haley and His Comets and is named after their hit song. It is one of the first movies based on rock music and aimed at teenagers.
1961 : The Beatles played their first ever evening show at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, supporting The Swinging Bluegenes, (later to become The Swinging Blue Jeans).
1964 : Dean Martin leaves his hand prints at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
1965 : After ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ had held the No.1 position on the US singles chart for seven weeks, The Beatles started a two-week run at No.1 with ‘She Loves You’.
1967 : John Lennon takes his first major LSD trip and freaks out while recording backing vocals on the track Getting Better. Producer George Martin, not realizing the effects of the drug, takes Lennon to the roof of Abbey Road Studios to get some fresh air. Paul and George, upon learning where John was, rush up to get him down. The group works on a piano track for Lovely Rita instead.
1971 : Led Zeppelin appeared at the Boat Club, Nottingham, England on their ‘Back To The Clubs’ tour. This was the first tour which saw Zeppelin performing ‘Stairway To Heaven’, ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Going To California’. Zeppelin opened the set with Immigrant Song and Heartbreaker. This small club on the banks of the River Trent had also seen performances by Elton John, Black Sabbath, Sex Pistols and Rod Stewart.
1973 : The BBC banned all teenybopper acts appearing on UK TV show, Top Of The Pops after a riot following a David Cassidy performance.
1976 : After a David Bowie concert at the Community War Memorial arena in Rochester, New York, Iggy Pop and David Bowie were involved in a drug bust at their hotel room where the police found 182 grams (a little over 6.4 ounces) of marijuana. The pair spent the rest of the night in the Monroe County Jail and were released at about 7 a.m. on $2,000 bond each.
1980 : Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers was sent to Pentonville Prison after losing his appeal against a drugs conviction.
1981 : REO Speedwagon went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Keep On Loving You’, the group’s first top 40 hit and first No.1, a No.7 hit in the UK.
1984 : John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, dedicates a section of New York City’s Central Park as a place of meditation called Strawberry Fields. Every December 8, thousands of fans converge on the spot to remember her late husband, who was murdered by a deranged fan on that day in 1980.
1987 : U2 scored their third UK No.1 album with The Joshua Tree featuring the singles ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’, & ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’. The album became the fastest selling in UK history and the first album to sell over a million CDs, spending a total of 156 weeks on the UK chart. Also a US No.1.
1990 : Tony Orlando is awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6385 Hollywood Boulevard.
1991 : Leo Fender, the inventor of The Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars died from Parkinson’s disease. He started mass producing solid body electric guitars in the late 40s and when he sold his guitar company in 1965, sales were in excess of $40 million a year.
1994 : Bruce Springsteen wins an Oscar for the song “Streets of Philadelphia” from the Tom Hanks movie Philadelphia.
2000 : Kurt Cobain and Happy Monday’s singer Shaun Ryder both beat older stars such as Keith Richards and Keith Moon in a league of rock ‘n’ roll excess compiled by UK music weekly Melody Maker. Liam Gallagher, Robbie Williams, Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson all featured in the Top 10.
2001 : Michael Jackson’s interior decorator told The Times newspaper that the singer kept 17 life size dolls, adult and child sizes, all fully dressed in his bedroom for ‘company.'(nope, he wasn’t a freak).
2001 : A survey revealed that the music of older, established bands was being distributed illegally over the internet much more than that of their younger, chart-topping counterparts. Queen had the highest number of bootleg websites, with 12,225.
2004 : Ozzy Osbourne was named the nation’s favourite ambassador to welcome aliens to planet earth. The 55-year-old singer came top of a poll as the face people want to represent them to alien life. The poll of internet users was carried out following the discovery of signs of water on Mars. Ozzy won 26 per cent of the vote. A spokesman for Yahoo! News said: “As the world waits desperately for signs of alien life, we decided to ask our users who they thought was best suited for this most auspicious of roles. Ozzy is a great choice but I’m not sure what the Martians would make of his individual approach to the English language.”
2006 : Three South African women whose father, Solomon Linda, wrote ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ in 1939, won a six-year court battle that gave them 25 per cent of all past and future royalties from the song. Linda who was a cleaner at a Johannesburg record company when he wrote the song, received virtually nothing for his work and died in 1962 with $25 in his bank account. The song had been recorded by Pete Seeger (as ‘Wimoweh’), The Kingston Trio, The Tokens, Karl Denver and R.E.M. and was featured in the Disney film The Lion King. It was estimated that the song had earned $15 million for its use in The Lion King alone.
2008 : A five-year legal row over the use of The Beach Boys name was settled by two former members of the group. Mike Love had argued he was the only person allowed to perform under the name of the band and sued Al Jardine, whom he claimed was appearing as an unlicensed Beach Boys act. Mr Jardine’s lawyer said “a friendly settlement” had been reached that allowed them to focus on the talent and future of this American iconic band.’
2009 : U2 went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘No Line on the Horizon’, the bands twelfth studio album.
2013 : Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of The Moon was set to seal its place in history at the US Library of Congress as part of its National Recording Registry.The recording that received the highest number of public nominations for this year’s registry was Dark Side, Floyd’s ground breaking 1973 album.