1951 : Recorded on this day, Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston – “Rocket 88”, thought by many to be the very first rock & roll record
1955 : Elvis Presley makes yet another appearance on the Shreveport radio show Louisiana Hayride, which is this time also carried over the TV airwaves by local station KWKH, making this Presley’s first television appearance.
1959 : Recorded on this day, Bobby Darin – “Dream Lover”.
1960 : Elvis Presley is officially discharged from active duty in the U.S. Army. He will be on reserve for 4 more years.
1963 : Country singers Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins were killed in a plane crash near Camden, Tennessee. They were travelling to Nashville after appearing at a benefit concert for the widow of Kansas City disc jockey ‘Cactus’ Jack Call, who had died in a car crash. On 7 March, country singer Jack Anglin was killed in a car crash on his way to Cline’s funeral. Cline was the first country singer to cross over as a pop artist.
1963 : The Beatles recorded what would be their third single ‘From Me to You’ just five days after John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the song. Originally planned as the B-side of the record, it was switched to the A-side during the recording session, with ‘Thank You Girl’ demoted to the B-side.
1965 : The Mannish Boys released their second single ‘I Pity The Fool’, featuring a young David Bowie. Produced by Shel Talmy, (who was also producing the early singles and albums by The Who and The Kinks). Jimmy Page was Talmy’s regular session musician and played the guitar solo on ‘I Pity the Fool’.
1965 : The Rolling Stones kicked off their fifth UK tour at The Regal Theatre, Edmonton, London. A 14-date package tour with The Hollies, The Konrads and Dave Berry and the Cruisers.
1966 : Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler started a five week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Ballad Of The Green Berets’, it made No.24 in the UK.
1967 : Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, The Ryan Brothers and Lee Dorsey all appeared at the Saville Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, England. Brian Epstein, manager of The Beatles leased the theatre in 1965, presenting both plays and music shows. The venue became notorious for its Sunday night concerts.
1968 : The 1910 Fruitgum Company’s Simon Says is certified gold.
1969 : The rock magazine Creem is published for the first time.
1969 : Elvis Presley goes to Hollywood and begins filming his last non-concert movie, Change Of Habit, co-starring Mary Tyler Moore as a nun who falls for Elvis.
1971 : Led Zeppelin started a 12-date ‘Thank You’ tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging the same admission prices as in 1968. The first show was at The Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland where they played songs from their upcoming fourth album, including the first public performances of ‘Black Dog’, ‘Stairway To Heaven’, ‘Going To California’ and ‘Rock And Roll’.
1971 : Badfinger begin their first tour as headliners with a gig in Toledo, OH.
1973 : The former US manager of Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jeffrey was one of 68 people killed in a plane crash in France. Jeffery was en-route to a court appearance in London related to Hendrix.
1975 : One of the more famous romances in rock begins when Rod Stewart meets Swedish model and actress Britt Ekland at a party thrown by mutual friend Joni Mitchell.
1977 : Barbra Streisand started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Love Theme From A Star Is Born’, her second US No.1. It made No.3 in the UK. The Eagles were at No.2 with ‘New Kid In Town’ and The Steve Miller Band was at No.3 with ‘Fly Like An Eagle’.
1982 : Actor and singer John Belushi died from an overdose of cocaine and heroin. Belushi was one of the original cast members on US TV’s Saturday Night Live, played Joliet ‘Jake’ Blues in The Blues Brothers and also appeared in the film Animal House. His tombstone reads “I may be gone, but rock n roll lives on.”
1983 : Michael Jackson started a seven week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Billie Jean’, his fourth solo US No.1, also No.1 in the UK. And on this day Jacksons album Thriller went to No.1 for the first time on the UK album chart, it went on to become the biggest selling album of all time with sales over 50 million.
1992 : R.E.M. cleaned up in The Rolling Stone Music Awards winning Album of the year, for ‘Out Of Time’, Artist of the year, Best single for ‘Losing My Religion’, Best video for ‘Losing My Religion’ and Best band, Best guitarist and Best songwriter awards.
1993 : Released on this day, Sting – “Ten Summoner’s Tales”, his fourth solo album.
1994 : Grace Slick was arrested for pointing a shotgun at police in her Tiburon, home in California. The singer was later sentenced to 200 hours of community service and three month’s worth of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
1995 : Viv Stanshall of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band was killed in a house fire. The English singer-songwriter, painter, musician, author, and poet is best known for his work with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, for his surreal exploration of the British upper classes in Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, and for narrating Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.
1999 : Sir Elton John won a court case against The Daily Star, after they had published long-lens photographs of Spice Girl Victoria Adams and footballer David Beckham while they were staying at Elton’s home.
2000 : Madonna went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with her version of the Don McLean 1972 hit ‘American Pie’. It was her 50th UK hit and the singers ninth UK No.1 and taken from the soundtrack to the 2000 film The Next Best Thing.
2002 : The first episode of Osbourne’s TV Show was aired on MTV in the US. Focusing on the madman and his family (his wife Sharon, and two of their three children). Oblivious to the camera, they bicker, squabble, curse and hang out backstage at Ozzy shows.
2004 : UK guitarist John McGeoch died in his sleep aged 49. He had been a member of Magazine, who had the 1978 UK No.41 single ‘Shot By Both Sides’, and also worked with Siouxsie And The Banshees, Armoury Show and Public Image Ltd.
2005 : A commemorative plaque for the The Jimi Hendrix Experience was unveiled in Loisin-sous-Lens. Hendrix had appeared at The Twenty Club when it opened in 1967. It was his first European tour where he was totally unknown. Club owner Rikki Stein stated: “The place was packed and at the end of ’Wild Thing’, his first number, there was total silence. The entire audience just stood there, open-mouthed. They’d never seen or heard anything like it in their life.”
2007 : Records by the Rolling Stones and Paul Simon were chosen for preservation by the US Library of Congress. The Stones ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ and Paul Simon’s Graceland album entered the National Recordings Registry, which preserves historic works for future generations. Other recordings chosen this year included Carl Perkins’ ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, ‘Be My Baby’ by The Ronettes, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ by Sam Cooke and the eponymous album The Velvet Underground and Nico.
2009 : Michael Jackson announces his “This Is It” series of concerts to be held at the O2 Arena in London. The shows would quickly sell out, but Jackson dies before they begin.
2011 : 61 year-old Charles Mulchrone’s teenage love for The Beatles paid dividends when he sold his old autograph book at Sheppard’s auction house, Durrow, for 1,300 euros. It contained the signatures of John Lennon and Yoko Ono when the couple stayed at a hotel in Mulranny in the summer of 1968. Charles plucked up the courage to approach them and got their signatures, he said they were “sweet as pie” to him. John Lennon had bought Dorinish island in Clew Bay, Ireland and it was said that he had wanted to build a house there.
2012 : Sony admitted that a number of Michael Jackson tracks had been stolen after its website was hacked. The singer, who died in June 2009 at the age of 50, had recorded unreleased duets with artists ranging from the late Freddie Mercury and Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am.