1942 : Bing Crosby recorded the Irving Berlin song ‘White Christmas’. Crosby recorded the song with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers in just 18 minutes. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.
1959 : Herndon Stadium in Atlanta holds one of the first outdoor rock concerts, featuring Ray Charles, Jimmy Reed, and B.B. King. Nine thousand people attend.
1961 : Ricky Nelson started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Travellin’ Man’. Sam Cooke turned the song down, the B-side was the Gene Pitney song ‘Hello Mary Lou’ which became a double A side UK No.1.
1962 : Henry Mancini’s Moon River wins a Grammy for Record of the Year, and Judy Garland’s Judy at Carnegie Hall wins a Grammy for Album of the Year.
1962 : Chubby Checker won a Grammy Award for Best Rock and Roll Recording for ‘Let’s Twist Again’ and Ray Charles won Best Rhythm & Blues Recording for ‘Hit The Road Jack’.
1963 : Del Shannon’s From Me to You” enters the charts.
1965 : Bob Dylan’s album Bringing It All Back Home was at No.1 on the UK charts, his second UK No.1 album. The black and white pamphlet lying across the Time magazine with President Lyndon B. Johnson on the cover is a publication of the Earth Society, who saw its mission as protecting earth from collisions with comets and planets.
1965 : The Beach Boys started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Help Me Rhonda’, the group’s second US No.1. The recording session was interrupted by the Wilson brothers’ drunken father, Murry, who arrived at the studio to criticize the Boys enthusiasm. The recording reel continued to record the confrontation, which still circulates among fans.
1967 : The Move, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, Zoot Money, Geno Washington and The Ram Jam Band all appeared at the Tulip Bulb Auction Hall in Spalding, Lincoln, England. Pink Floyd were only a support band and played in a corner of the shed with a white sheet behind them with the coloured oil shining onto it. Tickets cost $1.70. The poster advertising the show promised a ‘Knockout Atmosphere’.
1968 : Al Stewart appears on John Peel’s Nightride programme where he meets Pete Morgan, whose poem My Enemies Have Sweet Voices he sets to music.
1969 : Crosby, Stills & Nash released their self-titled debut on Atlantic Records label. It spawned two Top 40 hits: ‘Marrakesh Express’ and ‘Suite: Judy Blue Eyes’.
1971 : The Rolling Stones started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Brown Sugar’. The first single released on Rolling Stones Records, it was the bands sixth US No.1, and a No.2 hit in the UK. The songs lyrics, which are essentially a pastiche of a number of taboo subjects, include: interracial sex, cunnilingus, slave rape, and less distinctly, sadomasochism, lost virginity, and heroin.
1971 : Three dozen Grateful Dead fans were treated for hallucinations caused by LSD after they unwittingly drank spiked apple juice served at a gig at San Francisco’s Winterland.
1971 : The Five Man Electrical Band’s Signs enters the charts.
1972 : Released on this day, Paul McCartney – “Mary Had A Little Lamb”
1973 : The Byrds break up when founding member Roger McGuinn performs his first solo concert at New York’s Academy of Music. Use of “The Byrds” name gets sticky in ensuing years, and in 1989 McGuinn plays some shows with original members Chris Hillman and David Crosby to stake their legal claim to the name.
1976 : Diana Ross started a two week run No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Love Hangover’, her fourth US No.1, it made No.10 in the UK.
1977 : Elvis Presley leaves his show in Baltimore, MD for a full half-hour, angering and bewildering fans.
1977 : Manchester band Warsaw, (later to become Joy Division) made their live debut supporting The Buzzcocks at The Electric Circus, Manchester, England.
1979 : No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff”
1983 : US school boy band (which included Bobby Brown), New Edition were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Candy Girl’. Songwriter & producer Maurice Starr discovered New Edition performing at a local talent show. Starr went to produce and write for New Kids On The Block.
1983 : Kiss play their last concert in their famous makeup; at least until 1996 when they reform with all original members and painted faces once again.
1987 : Michael Jackson offered $50,000 to buy the remains of the Elephant Man.
1988 : Bob Dylan duets with Band drummer Levon Helm on the group’s The Weight at a Helm show in New York. The duo also perform Chuck Berry’s Nadine.
1991 : After just completing the recording of the ‘Nevermind’ album, Nirvana played a last-minute show at the Jabberjaw in Los Angeles. In the audience was Iggy Pop, Dave Grohl’s girlfriend and L7 bassist Jennifer Finch who brought along her best friend Courtney Love.
1992 : Concerned that students are identifying with Freddie Mercury, who had recently died of AIDS, the principal at Sacred Heart School in Clifton, New Jersey doesn’t allow 8th graders to perform the Queen song “We Are The Champions” at their graduation ceremony. When students flood the radio station Z100 with requests for the song, it is re-released as a single.
1992 : The FBI recovered 44 nude photographs of Madonna, which had been stolen in America from fashion photographer Steven Meisel.
1995 : No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: Bryan Adams’ “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?”
1997 : Sharitha Knight filed a suit at LA, Superior Court claiming she was owed $1 million as Snoop Doggy Dogg’s personal manger between 1993-6. The claim alleged that Snoop had withheld the 20 percent she was owed.
1997 : Singer songwriter Jeff Buckley disappeared after talking a swim in the Mississippi River, his body was found on 4th June 1997 after being spotted by a passenger on a tourist riverboat.
1997 : The Manic Street Preachers won the best song award for ‘A Design For Life’ at the 42nd Ivor Novello awards. Other winners included The Spice Girls for Hit of the year with ‘Wannabe’, Elvis Costello for Outstanding contribution to music, George Michael won Songwriter Of The Year and Most Performed work for ‘Fastlove.’
1999 : Skeletal remains were found by photographers looking for old car wrecks to shoot at the bottom of Decker Canyon near Malibu, California. Based on forensic evidence the remains were Philip Kramer former bassist with rock group Iron Butterfly, who had disappeared on his way home from work on February 12, 1995. His death was ruled as a probable suicide.
2001 : The Eagles made their first ever visit to Russia when they appeared at SC Olymisky in Moscow.
2002 : A 16ft by 6ft mosaic designed by John Lennon went on display at The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool. The mosaic had been built into Lennon’s swimming pool at his Kenwood home in Surrey where he lived between 1964 and 1968.
2005 : Gorillaz scored their first UK No.1 album when ‘Demon Days’ went to the top of the charts.
2007 : A piano used by John Lennon on the night he died was put up for sale for $375,000 (£189,000) on The Moments in Time memorabilia website. The upright grand piano was part of the Record Plant Recording Studios in New York where the former Beatle recorded his 1971 Imagine album. Lennon was said to be so fond of the instrument that he had it moved to whichever studio he was working in and had used the piano hours before being shot on 8 December 1980.
2009 : Phil Spector was jailed for at least 19 years for murdering an actress in 2003. The producer, 69, famed for his Wall of Sound recording technique, was last month found guilty of shooting Lana Clarkson at his California home. Spector had pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder during the five-month retrial in Los Angeles. His lawyers said he would appeal. Spector was given a sentence of 15 years to life for second-degree murder and an additional four years for personal use of a gun.
2010 : Sabrosa Park (at the small town of Sabrosa, north of Portugal) was renamed B.B. King Park in honor of King and the free concert he had played before 20,000 people.