1958 : Cliff Richard made his British radio debut on the BBC’s ‘Saturday Club.’ The show had started life as Saturday “Skiffle” club in 1957 hosted by Brian Matthew and was broadcast from 10am to 12noon Saturday mornings on the BBC Light Programme.
1960 : Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who had lost contact with each other since they went to primary school together, run into each other on a train and renew their acquaintance. They would soon start playing together and eventually form The Rolling Stones.
1961 : No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: Runaround Sue by Dion
1962 : The Beatles give their first-ever radio interview, on Radio Clatterbridge, a closed-circuit radio station serving Cleaver and Clatterbridge Hospitals in Wirral, near Liverpool. Paul is quoted as saying “John is, in fact, the leader of the group.”
1963 : Peter, Paul and Mary’s LP Peter, Paul and Mary hits #1
1963 : The Beatles kicked off their first tour of Sweden by playing two shows at Nya Aulan, Sundstavagen, Karlstad, Sweden. The local pop reviewer was not impressed, saying The Beatles should be grateful to their screaming fans for drowning out the group’s terrible performance, adding that The Beatles “were of no musical importance whatsoever and that their local support group, The Phantoms, decidedly outshone them.”
1964 : The Rolling Stones appeared for the first time on The Ed Sullivan Show from New York, performing ‘Around And Around’ and ‘Time Is On My Side’. A riot brook out in the studio, prompting Sullivan’s infamous quote, ‘I promise you they’ll never be back on our show again.’ The Rolling Stones went on to make a further five appearances on Sullivan’s show between 1965 and 1969.
1968 : Led Zeppelin played a gig at Surrey University, England. Although there are unconfirmed reports of earlier shows, this appears to be the band’s first gig with their new name after initially performing as The New Yardbirds. In 2003 a poster for the Surrey gig (billing the group as The New Yardbirds) sold at auction for £2,400.
1968 : The double album ‘Electric Ladyland’ by the Jimi Hendrix Experience was released. It was also made available as two albums with changed artwork after complaints about the naked women who were pictured on the sleeve. The female models were each paid £5 for the photo shoot and another £5 if they posed completely naked.
1968 : The Guess Who’s “Laughing” is certified gold
1969 : ‘Sugar Sugar’ by The Archies was at No.1 on the UK singles chart. It stayed at the top for eight weeks, and was also No.1 in the US, selling over six million copies worldwide. The Archies were a rock group based on comic book characters.
1970 : Led Zeppelin’s LP Led Zeppelin III hits #1
1970 : Speaking at a US radio conference, President Nixon asked programmers to ban all songs containing drug references.
1974 : No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: Then Came You by Dionne Warwick & the Spinners
1974 : The Ohio Players’ “Skin Tight” is certified gold
1975 : Art Garfunkel was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with his version of ‘I Only Have Eyes For You.’ Written in 1934 for the film Dames the song was a No.2 hit for Ben Selvin in 1934 and most notably a hit for The Flamingos in 1959.
1976 : Bruce Springsteen plays the Philadelphia Spectrum. It’s a big deal because Bruce has said that he’d never play a large sports arena. Concerned about getting the sound right, he orders a 2-hour soundcheck before the show.
1977 : Ronnie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd is laid to rest in a Jacksonville cemetery 5 days after dying in a plane crash that also killed band members Steve and Cassie Gaines. Skynyrd piano player Billy Powell is the only band member healthy enough to attend the funeral, and even he is on crutches with stitches on his face from the crash.
1977 : Elton John appears on The Muppet Show to perform “Crocodile Rock,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” Elton performs with Dr. Teeth of The Electric Mayhem. Elton was one of the inspirations behind Dr. Teeth’s character.
1980 : Barbra Streisand scored her fourth US No.1 album with ‘Guilty.’ Also on this day Streisand started a three week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with a song written by the Bee Gees, ‘Woman In Love’, the singers only UK No.1.
1983 : “Islands in the Stream,” written by The Bee Gees, becomes a #1 Pop hit in a duet by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.
1985 : Actor and singer Gary Holton died of a drug overdose. Member of The Heavy Metal Kids, and one half of the duo Casino Steel. Holton appeared in the film Quadrophenia and UK TV’s Auf Wiedersehen Pet.
1985 : R.E.M. The Smiths and Tom Waits all appeared on The Tube, at Tyne Tree Television Studios, Newcastle, England.
1986 : Bon Jovi went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Slippery When Wet’. Featuring two US No.1 singles, ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ and ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’. The album went on to sell over 8 million copies world wide.
1986 : For the first time in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, the top three spots were held by female solo acts. Cyndi Lauper’s ‘True Colors’ held down the No.1 position, followed by Tina Turner’s ‘Typical Male’ at No.2 and Janet Jackson’s ‘When I Think Of You’ at No.3.
1986 : Dire Straits guitarist, singer Mark Knopfler broke his collarbone after crashing in a celebrity car race before the Australian Grand Prix.
1989 : Nirvana and Tad appeared at the Duchess Of York, Leeds, England. The two acts were on the third night of their debut European tour.
1991 : The renowned concert promoter Bill Graham, who ran the Fillmore and Fillmore East venues, dies in a helicopter crash returning home from a Huey Lewis and the News concert. Graham provided a more intimate and elegant concert experience with improved sound and even light shows. Some of his bigger productions included The Band’s “Last Waltz” final concert and the Grateful Dead’s New Year’s Eve shows.
1992 : Roger Miller died of died of lung and throat cancer in hospital in Los Angeles. Scored the 1965 UK No.1 & US No.4 single ‘King Of The Road’. Miller won eleven Grammy Awards as a songwriter and seven Tony awards for writing the music and lyrics for ‘Big River’. The Proclaimers had the 1990 UK No.9 hit with their version of ‘King Of The Road.’
1993 : Time magazine puts Eddie Vedder on the cover with the headline “All The Rage.” Both Vedder and Kurt Cobain refused to speak with the magazine for the story, but they ran it anyway in an attempt to explain why young people were listening to such angry music.
1994 : Hootie & the Blowfish begin their first US tour in South Bend, Indiana. They’re the opening act for Big Head Todd and the Monsters.
1996 : The first Ozzfest is held as a two-day festival in Phoenix, Arizona and Devore, California.
1997 : During a concert in Flint, Michigan, Johnny Cash tells the crowd he has Parkinson’s Disease after he falls over trying to pick up a guitar pick. The crowd thinks he’s joking, but Cash’s manager confirms it in a statement two days later.
1997 : The Spice Girls went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Spice Up Your Life’. Taken from their second album ‘Spiceworld’ the single set new record, making them the only act to have their first five singles reach No.1.
1998 : R.E.M. plays an exclusive concert for BBC Radio 1 at the Radio Theater at Broadcasting House in London for an audience primarily consisting of fan club members and contest winners.
2000 : Mounds of pending litigation against it notwithstanding, embattled music file-swapping service Napster continues to expand with the release of a Macintosh-friendly version available for download. The new Mac version comes complete with exclusive features such as file search logs, “drag and drop” capability, and a color scheme that matches the hues on Apple’s new iMac models.
2000 : William Martin drummer with Sam The Sham & the Pharaohs died of a heart attack. The quintessential Tex-Mex band of the 1960s, had the 1965 US No.2 & UK No.11 single ‘Wooly Bully’.
2000 : Billy Ray Cyrus lends his support to two causes when his tour bus stops in 16 different locations on Nashville’s Music Row throughout the day to collect food for Second Harvest Food Bank’s Harvest 2000; and later the same night, headlines a concert benefiting the charity.
2001 : 13 law firms were still involved in claims to Grateful Dead’s guitarist Jerry Garcia’s $10m estate six years after his death. Former wives & girlfriends continued to fight on how to distribute his estate and annual royalties of $4.6m.
2002 : Richard Harris, who had the 1968 US No.2 & UK No.4 hit ‘MacArthur Park’ died of cancer. The 72-year-old Irish-born actor had been undergoing chemotherapy at a private clinic in London. Though he charted three other times, Harris was better known for his acting roles on stage and film, most recently playing Albus Dumbledore in two Harry Potter films.
2002 : Aretha Franklin’s 12-bedroom home outside of Detroit is destroyed by fire, which is later determined to be arson. The building was unoccupied at the time, as Franklin used the home mainly for storage.
2003 : Johnny Cash’s step-daughter, Rosey Nix Adams and her fiddle player Jimmy Campbell were found dead on their tour bus in Clarksville, Tennessee from Carbon monoxide poisoning. Heaters that had been left on were blamed for the accident.
2004 : John Peel died in Cuzco, Peru of a heart attack, aged 65. He was BBC’s longest-serving radio DJ and the first DJ to introduce The Ramones, Roxy Music, The Smiths, The Fall, Rod Stewart, Blur, the Sex Pistols, T. Rex and others to the masses. He founded Dandelion Records in 1969, which released records by Kevin Coyne, Bridget St John and Medicine Head. He was also known for his ‘Peel Sessions’, releases of live radio sessions. Peel was appointed an OBE in 1998.
2006 : Forbes announces that Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain is now the Top-Earning Dead Celebrity, beating out Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Johnny Cash, George Harrison, Ray Charles, and Bob Marley.
2009 : For their last US tour date in 2009, U2 broadcasts live on U2.com. Almost 100,000 see the show at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
2011 : Steven Tyler of Aerosmith falls in a shower during a stay in a Paraguay hotel, knocking out two teeth. A local dentist repairs the famous mouth, and Tyler performs the next day.