1955 : CBS-TV’s popular variety show Toast Of The Town is renamed what many people had been calling it all along, The Ed Sullivan Show.
1956 : Rock shows are banned at the US Naval Station in Newport, RI after a fight breaks out during a Fats Domino concert.
1957 : The Big Record, CBS-TV’s answer to American Bandstand, premieres with host Patti Page and guests Billy Ward & the Dominoes and Tony Bennett.
1957 : No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: The Crickets’s “That’ll Be The Day”
1959 : The first “Dick Clark Caravan Of Stars” tour kicks off with Lloyd Price, Duane Eddy, Paul Anka, Bobby Rydell, The Coasters and more.
1960 : On his twenty-first birthday, Frankie Avalon was given $600,000 that he earned as a minor from such hits as his 1959 US No.1 single ‘Venus’).
1961 : Hayley Mills’ “Let’s Get Together” enters the charts.
1961 : Bobby Vee’s “Take Good Care Of My Baby” hits #1.
1967 : The Beatles journey to the Raymond Revue bar in London to film the notorious “striptease” scene in Magical Mystery Tour. Accompanying stripper Jan Carson is The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, playing a song called “Death Cab For Cutie.”
1968 : No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: Jeannie C. Riley’s Harper Valley P.T.A.
1968 : Working at Abbey Road studios on new songs for their forthcoming album, The Beatles recorded 20 takes of ‘Birthday.’ Roadie Mal Evans added handclaps, and Yoko Ono and Pattie Harrison contributed backing vocals on the track.
1970 : Jimi Hendrix was pronounced dead on arrival at St. Mary Abbot’s Hospital in London at the age of 27 after choking on his own vomit. He had taken 9 pills of the barbiturate vesperax, that along with alcohol, caused a fatal overdose. Hendrix left the message ‘I need help bad man’, on his managers answer phone earlier that night. Rumors and conspiracy theories grew up around Hendrix’s death. Eric Burdon claimed Jimi had committed suicide, but that’s contradicted by reports that he was in a good frame of mind. In 2009, a former Animals roadie published a book claiming that Jimi’s manager had admitted to him that he arranged the murder of Hendrix, since the guitarist wanted out of his contract.
1971 : The Who scored their first and only UK No.1 album with ‘Who’s Next’, the bands sixth LP release, featuring ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’. Cover artwork shows a photograph, taken at Easington Colliery, of the band apparently having just urinated on a large concrete piling. According to photographer Ethan Russell, most of the members were unable to urinate, so rainwater was tipped from an empty film canister to achieve the desired effect.
1971 : Pink Floyd becomes the first rock act to perform at Montreux, Switzerland’s Classical Music Festival.
1972 : The Who, Mott The Hoople, The Faces and Atomic Rooster all appeared at The Oval Cricket ground, London, England.
1976 : Queen play a free concert in London’s Hyde Park.
1976 : One hit wonders Wild Cherry started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Play That Funky Music’. The song started life as a B-side. It was the group’s only hit in the UK which peaked at No.7.
1980 : The tenth anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’ untimely death is marked by a multimedia event, featuring Experience members Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, held at the Paradise Club in Amsterdam.
1981 : The Doors’ LP Greatest Hits is certified platinum.
1981 : Gary Numan took off on a round the world trip in a single engine Cessna plane. The attempt ended after he was forced to land in India, where local police arrested him.
1982 : The seven-minute epic by Dire Straits ‘Private Investigations’ went to No.2 on the UK singles chart, held off No.1 by survivors ‘Eye Of The Tiger’.
1983 : Kiss appeared without their ‘make-up’ for the first time during an interview on MTV, promoting the release of their newest album, ‘Lick It Up’.
1984 : At the very first MTV Video Music Awards, Madonna performs Like A Virgin in a white wedding gown accessorized by her famous “Boy Toy” belt.
1985 : The Gladys Knight/Flip Wilson sitcom Charlie And Company premieres on CBS-TV.
1993 : Garth Brooks went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘In Pieces’. The album spent 25 weeks on the chart and sold over 6m copies. The album peaked at No.2 on the UK chart.
1993 : Meat Loaf went to No.1 on the UK album chart for the first of five times with ‘Bat Out Of Hell II’.
1996 : At Sotheby’s in London, Julian Lennon successfully bid just over $39,000, for the recording notes for the song Paul McCartney wrote for him, ‘Hey Jude’. At the same event, John Lennon’s scribbled lyrics to ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite’ sold for $103,500.
1998 : On the Grand Ole Opry, Jett Williams pays tribute to her late father, Hank Williams, who would have been 75 the day before. Daughter salutes father by performing Your Cheatin’ Heart, a song released after his death on New Year’s Eve, 1952. “He never sang the song on the Opry. He never sang it live,” Williams tells the audience.
2006 : 73 year old country singer Willie Nelson and four members from his band were charged with drug possession after marijuana and magic mushrooms were found by police on his tour bus. Police had stopped the tour bus near Lafayette, Louisiana.
1999 : The governor of Tennessee, Donald K. Sundquist, declares today Carl Perkins Day in honor of its native son.
2006 : Echo And The Bunnymen singer Ian McCulloch was convicted of committing a breach of the peace by shouting, swearing and threatening Gary Duncan and his girlfriend Juliet Sebley backstage at Glasgow Barrowlands in Scotland. A court was told that McCulloch had lost his temper when he discovered the two fans in a toilet cubicle inside his private dressing room.
2006 : Sir Cliff Richard unveiled a plaque to mark a tiny basement said to be the birthplace of British rock and roll, fifty years after the “2 i’s” coffee bar opened in London’s Old Compton Street. The Tornados, Tommy Steele, The Shadows and Adam Faith were among stars who started out at the club.
2008 : The Village People get a star on the Hollywood Walk Of fame at 6529 Hollywood Blvd.
2009 : Leonard Cohen collapsed on stage during a concert in Valencia in Spain and was taken to hospital. He was later discharged after doctors told him he had food poisoning. Cohen was in the middle of singing his song Bird On The Wire when he fainted, prompting the band to stop playing and rush to help him.