1954 : Elvis Presley released his second single on Sun Records, ‘Good Rockin’ Tonight,’ a song made popular in 1948 by Wynonie Harris.
1954 : Rosemary Clooney’s “Hey There” hits #1.
1956 : Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender becomes the first single to sell a million copies before its release.
1964 : The Temptations begin recording ‘My Girl’ which went on to be their first US number one and the first of fifteen US Top Ten hits.
1964 : No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: Roy Orbison’s (Oh) Pretty Woman
1964 : Beatles manager Brian Epstein is offered three and one-half million pounds for the group’s contract. Epstein declines.
1965 : Barry McGuire’s Eve Of Destruction hits #1.
1965 : The Beatles cartoon series premiered on ABC TV in the US. The first story was titled ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ and had the group exploring the ocean floor in a diving bell where they met a lovesick octopus.
1967 : The Beatles began recording the new Paul McCartney song ‘The Fool on the Hill’ at Abbey Road, London. John and George played harmonicas, Paul played a recorder and recorded his lead vocal and Ringo played drums.
1968 : Welsh singer Mary Hopkin was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Those Were The Days’. Hopkins had signed to The Beatles Apple label after appearing on UK TV talent show Opportunity Knocks.
1968 : Recorded on this day, The Beatles – “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”
1969 : John Lennon recorded the track ‘Cold Turkey’, with Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman and Yoko. Lennon presented the song to Paul McCartney as a potential single by The Beatles, but was refused and released it as a Plastic Ono Band single with sole writing credits to him.
1970 : Janis Joplin records “Me And Bobby McGee” at Columbia Studios in Hollywood. She would die nine days later from a drug overdose.
1970 : Released on this day, Ringo Starr – “Beaucoups Of Blues” LP
1970 : The first episode of The Partridge Family was shown on US TV, featuring Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Susan Dey and Danny Bonaduce.
1971 : Deep Purple went to No.1 on the UK chart with their sixth album ‘Fireball’.
1972 : Black Sabbath released their fourth studio album, ‘Black Sabbath Vol. 4’. The album which features a monochrome photograph of Ozzy Osbourne with hands raised, taken during a Black Sabbath concert was originally to be titled ‘Snowblind’, after one of several songs referring to the band’s cocaine use.
1974 : No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: Andy Kim’s Rock Me Gently
1975 : Jackie Wilson had a heart attack while performing live on stage at the Latin Casino, New Jersey. Wilson collapsed into a coma suffering severe brain damage. Ironically, he was in the middle of singing one of his biggest hits, ‘Lonely Teardrops’ and was two words into the line, “….my heart is crying” when he collapsed to the stage, striking his head heavily. Wilson died on 21st January 1984. Van Morrison wrote the song ‘Jackie Wilson Said’, covered by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.
1976 : Blue Öyster Cult’s Agents of Fortune LP enters the charts.
1976 : Wings played a charity concert in St Marks Square, Venice to raise funds for the historic city. The night was a success but the weight of the equipment used by the group caused more damage to the square.
1980 : John Bonham, drummer with Led Zeppelin, died aged 32 after a heavy drinking session. ‘Bonzo’ was found dead at guitarists Jimmy Page’s house of what was described as asphyxiation, after inhaling his own vomit after excessive vodka consumption, (40 shots in 4 hours). During live sets his drum solo, ‘Moby Dick,’ would often last for half an hour and regularly featured his use of his bare hands. In 2007, Ludwig issued a limited edition drum kit in Bonham’s memory.
1981 : The Rolling Stones start their US tour with a concert at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, where they play to a crowd of 90,000.
1982 : Queen made a guest appearance on US TV’s Saturday Night Live, where they performed ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘Under Pressure’.
1990 : Mercer University Drive in Macon, Georgia is renamed “Little Richard Penniman Boulevard” after the famous singer who grew up there.
1990 : Drummer Dave Grohl auditioned for Nirvana and was instantly given the job. Grohl’s last band Scream had recently split-up.
1992 : Two fans were stabbed and 20 arrests were made after trouble broke out at a Ozzy Osbourne gig in Oklahoma City. The sale of alcohol at the concert was blamed for the incident.
1993 : Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince started a two week run at No.1 in the UK with the single ‘Boom! Shake The Room’. Featuring Will Smith who was a rapper and actor starring in TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air in 1993.
1993 : Nirvana went to No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘In Utero’ the bands first UK No.1 album.
1993 : Madonna played the first of two sold-out nights at Wembley Stadium, London, England. The first night of her 39-date Girlie Show World Tour.
1993 : The U.S. Postal Service issues a Patsy Cline commemorative stamp.
1995 : Courtney Love was given a one-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, fined $1000 and ordered to attend a anger management course after being found guilty of assaulting Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna.
1999 : Oasis singer, Liam Gallagher was stopped by customs officials at Heathrow airport and made to pay £1300 after not declaring a fur coat he had bought in America.
1999 : Stephen Canaday of The Ozark Mountain Daredevils was killed when the vintage WW II plane he was flying in, rolled, inverted and crashed into a tree. The pilot failed to maintain speed which resulted in a stall.
1999 : Former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman became the first major artist to release an album on his own personalized digital MP3 player. The matchbox-sized device with no moving parts was one of the smallest of its kind in the world and featured encryption software designed in the UK to prevent piracy.
2000 : Ozzy Osbourne formally requested that Black Sabbath be removed from the nomination list for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Calling the inclusion “meaningless”, Osbourne went on to say “Let’s face it. Black Sabbath have never been media darlings. We’re a people’s band and that suits us just fine.”
2000 : A collection of 1965 writings by Janis Joplin to then-fiance Peter DeBlanc go up for auction on eBay. The collection, which includes 57 letters, five cards, a telegram, a college essay and drawings, is sold by DeBlanc’s ex-wife, Mary Sullivan.
2001 : For the first time ever, the Recording Academy agrees to accept a downloadable single for Grammy consideration. Virgin Records releases two singles, “Dig In,” by Lenny Kravitz and God Gave Me Everything by Mick Jagger are released to digital retailers via Liquid Audio.
2001 : The voice of Bob Marley ushers satellite radio onto the air, promising listeners greater variety on the dial – for a price – with the launch of XM Satellite Radio. It is the first worldwide broadcast of a satellite radio station.
2008 : MySpace Music, the all-in-one music service/social network, finally becomes a reality as it launches after agreeing to a deal with EMI, the last major label holdout.
2011 : The New York Post reported that Sly Stone was living in a van, parked in the notoriously rough Los Angeles neighborhood of Crenshaw. The 68-year-old was quoted as saying “I like my small camper. I just do not want to return to a fixed home. I cannot stand being in one place. I must keep moving.”
2012 : Two con artists, Alpha Lorenzo Walker and Tamara Diaz, are sentenced to 292 days in jail and 3 years’ probation after an attempt to blackmail Stevie Wonder. The pair had somehow obtained or created a video portraying Wonder in a negative light and were demanding $5 million under threat of releasing it to the public. The pair were caught in a sting operation.