September 21


Today In Music History

1955 : The Platters’ “Only You” enters the charts.

1957 : Elvis Presley’s longtime guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black leave the King’s band, dissatisfied over being denied pay raises by manager Colonel Tom Parker. Drummer D.J. Fontana stays on.

1959 : Santo and Johnny’s Sleep Walk hits #1.

1961 : The Beatles played a lunchtime show at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. In the evening they appeared at Litherland Town Hall in Liverpool with Gerry & the Pacemakers, and Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, admission price was 3 shillings (15 pence).

1962 : A year and a half before The Beatles break in America, The Springfields’ Silver Threads and Golden Needles becomes the first British song to reach the top 20 in the US. Later, member Dusty Springfield would have several more solo hits of her own.

1963 : Bobby Vinton started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Blue Velvet’. The single became a hit in the UK 27 years later when it reached No.2.

1968 : Deep Purple made No.4 on the US singles chart with their debut single ‘Hush’, also a hit for Kula Shaker in 1997.

1965 : The Moody Blues take part in the “Pop From Britain” concert at Royal Albert Hall in London, making their first major performance. They had recently signed with The Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who got them the gig.

1966 : Jimmy Hendrix changes his name to Jimi at the urging of his manager Chas Chandler.

1968 : Released on this day, Jimi Hendrix – “All Along The Watchtower”

1968 : Janis Joplin announces her upcoming departure from her band Big Brother & the Holding Company, which observant listeners had decried as too amateurish for her talents.

1968 : Jeannie C Riley went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Harper Valley PTA’. Jeannie won a Grammy for the best female country singer of 68.

1968 : Madame Tussaud’s Waxworks in London gave The Beatles their fifth image change of clothes and hair in four years.

1971 : Paul McCartney’s “Another Day” and Uncle Albert – Admiral Halsey are certified gold.

1971 : The first edition of the new BBC TV music show ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ was aired. Presented by Richard Williams, the show included; film clips of Jimi Hendrix from Monterey Festival playing ‘Wild Thing’, Bob Dylan playing ‘Maggies Farm’, plus America and Lesley Duncan ‘live’ in the studio.

1972 : No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me by Mac Davis.

1974 : Barry White went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Baby’, the singers first and only US solo chart topper. It made No.8 in the UK.

1974 : Carl Douglas was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Kung Fu Fighting.’ The song was recorded in 10 minutes, had started out as a B-side and went on to sell over 10 million and made Douglas a One Hit Wonder.

1976 : The Bee Gees’ LP “Children Of The World” is certified gold.

1978 : Do you remember the 21st night of September? The first line of Earth, Wind & Fire’s song wasn’t written for any particular reason – it just sounded good.

1979 : Kurt Waldheim, the UN Secretary General who was later found to have ties to Nazi-era Germany, makes an official appeal for The Beatles to reunite for a charity concert that would benefit the hordes of “boat people” fleeing postwar Vietnam.

1979 : During a break in their only North American tour, members of ABBA bring their kids to Disneyland.

1980 : Elton John leaves longtime label MCA and signs with David Geffen’s new label for a six-year contract.

1980 : Bob Marley, who had refused treatment for a spreading melanoma due to his religious beliefs, collapses while jogging in New York’s Central Park and is hospitalized. Two nights later he performs the next date on his North American tour, the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, but it sadly proves to be his last.

1983 : No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit – “Tell Her About It” by Billy Joel.

1985 : Madonna scored her first UK No.1 album with ‘Like A Virgin’, ten months after its release. The album spent a total 152 weeks on the UK chart.

1985 : With the help Of heavy MTV exposure ‘Money For Nothing’ gave Dire Straits their first US No.1 single.

1986 : The National Inquirer Magazine featured a picture of Michael Jackson in an oxygen chamber with a story claiming that Jackson had a bizarre plan to live until he was 150 years old.

1986 : The US Department of Health and Human Services honors Dionne Warwick for “exceptional service as a leading health ambassador” in fighting the spread of AIDS.

1987 : American jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius died from injuries sustained in a fight. Pastorius was trying to enter the Midnight Bottle Club in Wilton Manors, Florida, (where he’d been banned), and became involved in a fight with a bouncer, Pastorius fell into a coma and was put on life support. In 2006, Pastorius was voted “The Greatest Bass Player Who Has Ever Lived” by readers in Bass Guitar magazine. Was a member of Weather Report and worked with various acts including Joni Mitchell and Herbie Hancock.

1991 : Status Quo put themselves in the Guinness Book Of Records by appearing four venues in one day, Sheffield, Glasgow, Birmingham and London, performing all four in a 12-hour period.

1992 : Parlophone Records released ‘Creep’ by Radiohead, the single didn’t chart but featured in the majority of critics lists at the end of the year.

1996 : The audience at the Grand Ole Opry witness a historic moment when 23-year-old Hank Williams III, son of Hank Williams Jr. and grandson of country music legend Hank Williams makes his Opry debut. Hank III wears a black western shirt trimmed with green fringe that belonged to his grandfather. His set includes “Moanin’ the Blues,” a 1950 chart-topper for Hank Sr., and “Lovesick Blues,” the same song his granddad performed for his Opry debut in June 1949.

1998 : Madonna enrolls her daughter, Lourdes Ciccone, at the prestigious Cheltenham Ladies College in England. Tuition at the boarding school is $22,650 a year.

1999 : An HBO live music show called Reverb makes its debuts with performances from Alanis Morissette and Everlast.

1999 : Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails earns the first No. 1 in its career, as The Fragile debuts at the top of The Billboard 200, easily outpacing all other competitors in a market crowded with new releases.

2000 : Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, and Tony Banks reform as Genesis for a one-off performance at the London Hilton during the British Music Roll of Honour gala, organized by the Music Managers Forum. The act’s manager, Tony Smith receives the Peter Grant Award for outstanding achievement at the event.

2000 : Canadian rock group the Matthew Good Band is the big winner at the MuchMusic Video Awards, Canada’s annual music video competition. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based group collects prizes for best rock video and best video for its “Load Me Up” single.

2001 : The benefit concert America: A Tribute To Heroes, airs on most major TV networks, raising over $128 million for victims of the September 11 attacks. Performers include Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Tom Petty, and Willie Nelson.

2004 : Cat Stevens, known as Yusuf Islam since the late Seventies, is stopped from entering the US after his name is erroneously found on a terrorism watch list.

2011 : R.E.M. announce that they’re calling it quits after more than 30 years. In a post on their website, the band members write, “To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.”

2011 : A contract revealing that The Beatles refused to perform in front of a segregated audience at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California on August 31st, 1965, sold for $23,033 at an auction in Los Angeles. In addition to the desegregation clause, the contract guaranteed the band $40,000 and at least 150 police officers to provide security at the show.

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