1961, The Marvelettes went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Please Mr Postman’. The session musicians on the track included 22 year old Marvin Gaye on drums.
1964, Soul singer Sam Cooke was shot dead by his manager Bertha Franklin, who claimed to have been assaulted by Cooke while staying at the Hacienda Hotel, Los Angeles.
1968, filming began for The Rolling Stones ‘Rock & Roll Circus.’ As well as clowns and acrobats, John & Yoko, The Who, Eric Clapton and Jethro Tull all took part. The film was eventually released in 1996.
1972, James Brown was arrested after show in Tennessee for trying to incite a riot. Brown threatened to sue the city for $1m, the charges were later dropped.
1973, Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley was nearly electrocuted during a concert in Florida when he touched a short-circuited light. The guitarist was carried from the stage but returned 10 minutes later to finish the show.
1980, U2 appeared at The Mudd Club in New York City, the first date of four US shows which also took the band to Boston and Washington DC.
1982, Singer, TV actress and dancer Toni Basil went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Mickey’, making her a US one hit wonder.
1989, The Recording Industry Association of America certified four Led Zeppelin albums as multi-platinum: ‘Presence’ (2 million), ‘Led Zeppelin’ (4 million ), ‘Physical Graffiti’ (4 million) and ‘In Through The Out Door’ (5 million).
1998, during a gig in Tuscon, Arizona, a bottle thrown from the audience hit Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson. A security guard was then stabbed trying to eject a man from the crowd.
2003, Bobby Brown was charged with battery after allegedly hitting wife Whitney Houston in the face. Brown, turned himself in to the police three days after a reported domestic dispute at the couple’s home in Atlanta, Georgia. Houston, who accompanied her husband to court, said they were trying to work out their problems “privately.”
2008, Simon Cowell said he was “very embarrassed” after contracts signed by this year’s X Factor contestants were leaked to the Daily Mirror newspaper. The 80-page document, which is enforceable “anywhere in the world or the solar system” was signed by all 12 finalists before the live shows began. It included a clause that prevents them from saying anything “unduly negative, critical or derogatory” about Cowell. Also the show claimed the prize as a “£1m recording contract”, but the contestants’ contract said the prize money was £150,000.
Born on this day
1954, Jermaine Jackson, The Jackson Five
1958, Nikki Sixx, bass, Motley Crue
1964, Justin Currie, bass player, Del Amitri
1967, American soul singer, songwriter Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash, aged 26. Redding and his band had made an appearance in Cleveland, Ohio on the local ‘Upbeat’ television show the previous day. The plane carrying Otis Redding and his band crashed at 3.28.pm into icy waters of Lake Monoma near Madison. Redding was killed in the crash along with members from the The Bar-Kays, Jimmy King, Ron Caldwell, Phalin Jones and Carl Cunningham. Trumpet player Ben Cauley was the only person to survive the crash.
1971, playing the first of two nights at London’s Rainbow Theatre, Frank Zappa was pushed off stage by jealous boyfriend Trevor Howell. Zappa broke one of his legs and suffered a fractured scull.
1973, The CBGB Club opened in the lower eastside of New York City; it became the home of new bands such as Blondie, Television, Patti Smith and The Ramones.
1983, Keith Richards married 27-year old Patti Hansen on his 40th birthday.
1988, during their 222-date Damaged Justice world tour, Metallica played the first of two nights at Cow Place in San Francisco, California.
1988, Chicago started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Look Away’, the group’s third US No.1, not a hit in the UK.
1998, a recording of a 1963 Beatles concert was sold at auction at Christies in London for £25,300, ($41,500). The tape of The Beatles’ 10-song concert was recorded by the chief technician at the Gaumont Theatre in Bournemouth during one of six consecutive nights which The Beatles had played.
1999, Rick Danko died in his sleep at his home near Woodstock, New York. The Canadian guitarist and… Continue reading >
1955, Johnny Cash played two shows at Arkansas High School, in Swifton, Elvis Presley opened the show.
1961, The Beatles played at the Palais Ballroom in Aldershot to a crowd of just 18 people. The date had not been advertised, owing to the local newspaper’s refusal to accept the promoter’s cheque. After the show The Beatles became rowdy, getting themselves ordered out of town by the local police.
1967, The Doors appeared at the New Haven Arena, New Haven, Connecticut. Before the show a policeman found singer Jim Morrison making out with an 18 year-old girl in a backstage shower and after an argument the policeman sprays mace in Morrison’s face. Once on stage Morrison tells the story of the backstage episode and starts taunting the police who drag him off the stage and arrest him. The crowd riots leaving the venue in disarray and many are arrested. Later over 100 protestors gathered at the police station in demonstration and more arrests were made.
1968, Free appeared at the Marquee Club in London England. Other acts appearing at the club this month included Joe Cocker, The Who and Led Zeppelin.
1978, Chic started a seven week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Le Freak’, a No.7 hit in the UK.
1988, According to a poll released in the US, the music of Neil Diamond was favoured as the best background music for sex, Beethoven was the second choice and Luther Vandross was voted third.
1995, Michael Jackson scored his 6th solo UK No.1 single when ‘Earth Song’ started a 6-week run at the top of the charts. It gave Jackson the UK Christmas No.1 of 1995 and… Continue reading >
1963, Frank Sinatra Jr was kidnapped at gunpoint from a hotel in Lake Tahoe. He was released two days later after his father paid out the $240,000 ransom demanded by the kidnappers, who were later captured, and sentenced to long prison terms. In order to communicate with the kidnappers via a payphone the senior Sinatra carried a roll of dimes with him throughout this ordeal, which became a lifetime habit, he is said to have been buried with a roll of dimes.
1965, The Rolling Stones recorded their ninth UK single ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’ at RCA studios in Hollywood, California.
1968, singer and guitarist Graham Nash left The Hollies and started work with David Crosby and Stephen Stills who went on to form Crosby Stills and Nash.
1969, on trial in Canada on drug possession charges, Jimi Hendrix told a Toronto court that he had only smoked pot four times in his life, snorted cocaine twice and took LSD no more than five times. Telling the jury that he had now ‘outgrown’ drugs. They found the guitarist not guilty.
1977, four people were arrested after a riot broke out when Blondie didn’t arrive for a gig in Brisbane. Over 1,000 Australian fans had waited over an hour for the group to appear on stage, but the gig was cancelled due to singer Debbie Harry being unwell.
1973, Roxy Music had their first UK No.1 album when ‘Stranded’ went to the top for one week. The sleeve featured Playboy’s Playmate of The Year, model Marilyn Cole.
1980, John Lennon was shot five times by 25 year old Mark Chapman outside the Dakota building in New York City where John and Yoko… Continue reading >
1963, The Beatles second album ‘With The Beatles’ started a 21-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart. It replaced their first album ‘Please Please me’ which had been at the top of the charts since it’s release 30 weeks previously.
1963, The Singing Nun started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Dominique’, it reached No.7 on the UK chart. The song sold over 1.5 million copies in the US, winning a Grammy Award for the year’s best Gospel song.
1964, Beach Boy Brian Wilson married Marilyn Rovell in L.A. The couple divorced in 1979.
1967, Otis Redding went into the studio to record ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’. The song went on to be his biggest hit. Redding didn’t see its release; he was killed three days later in a plane crash.
1974, Carl Douglas started a two week run at No.1 on the US 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.
1979, The Police had their second UK No.1 single with ‘Walking on the Moon’, taken from their debut album ‘Reggatta De Blanc’. The video for the song was filmed at Kennedy Space Center interspersed with NASA footage.
1991, George Michael and Elton John were at No.1 in the UK with a live version of ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go down On Me’, (a hit for Elton in 1974). All proceeds from the hit went to aids charities.
1985, Mr Mister started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Broken Wings’, a UK No.4… Continue reading >
1949, American blues artist, Leadbelly died. Huddie William Ledbetter wrote many songs including ‘Goodnight Irene’, ‘Cotton Fields’, ‘The Rock Island Line’, and ‘The Midnight Special’. Leadbelly was jailed several times for fights and knife related incidents, he was once jailed for shooting a man dead during an argument over a woman.
1961, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best met with Brian Epstein for further discussions about his proposal to manage them. Epstein wanted 25% of their gross fees each week. He promises that their bookings will be better organised, more prestigious, and will expand beyond the Liverpool area. He also promises that they will never again play for less than £15, except for Cavern lunchtime sessions, for which he will get their fee doubled to ten pounds. Lennon, as leader of The Beatles, accepts on their behalf.
1962, Bob Dylan recorded ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ during a session at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City.
1969, Led Zeppelin made their debut on the US singles chart with ‘Whole Lotta Love’, it went on to make No.4 on the chart and was the first of six Top 40 singles for the group in the US. During the bands career, Zeppelin never released any singles in the UK.
1969, The Rolling Stones played a free festival at Altamont in California, along with Jefferson Airplane, Santana, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Crosby Stills Nash & Young. Rolling Stones fan Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death as the group played by Hell’s Angels who’d been hired to police the event. It’s claimed Hunter was waving a revolver. One other man drowned, two men were killed by in… Continue reading >
1965, The Beatles played their last ever show in their hometown of Liverpool when they appeared at The Liverpool Empire during the group’s final UK tour. Only 5,100 tickets were available, but there were 40,000 applications for tickets. The group also had the UK No.1 single with ‘We Can Work It Out / Day Tripper.’
1967, This was the final night of a 16-date UK package tour with Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Move, The Nice, The Outer Limits, The Erie Apparent and Amen Corner at Green’s Playhouse, Glasgow. All performances had two shows per night, in this case at 6.15pm, with the second at 8.45pm. Jimi Hendrix had the curtains closed on him halfway through his set, after the management at the venue regarded his movements with his guitar as having sexual overtones.
1968, the release of The Rolling Stones’ new album Beggar’s Banquet, was celebrated at a party in London. A food fight with custard pie was the highlight of the event that went on without an ill Keith Richards. The original cover for the LP was in the form of a plain white invitation, but was later changed.
1970, Amazing Grace’ by Judy Collins entered the UK singles chart for the first of eight times, it spent a total of 67 weeks on the chart never making the No.1 position.
1976, Music weekly NME reviewed the Sex Pistols debut single ‘Anarchy In The UK’ saying “Johnny Rotten sings flat, the song is laughably naive, and the overall feeling is of a third-rate Who imitation.”
1987, Fat Larry James, drummer, singer and leader of Fat Larry’s Band died of a heart attack aged 38. Scored the… Continue reading >
1956, The so-called ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ jam session took place at Sun Studios in Memphis with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins.
1965, The Byrds started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’ the group’s second No.1. A No.26 hit in the UK. Unlike their first chart topper, ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’, the entire band was allowed to play on the recording, instead of studio musicians.
1971, Led Zeppelin started a two-week run at No.1 on the UK chart with the ‘Four Symbols’ album. Featuring the 8-minute track ‘Stairway To Heaven’, the album stayed on the US chart for 1 week short of 5 years, selling over 11 million copies.
1976, workers at EMI records went on strike, refusing to package the Sex Pistols single ‘Anarchy In The UK.’
1979, U2 appeared at The Hope and Anchor, Islington, London.
1980, Prince played the first night on his 31 date Dirty Mind North American tour at Shea’s in Buffalo, New York. After being told by his managers he couldn’t wear spandex pants without any underwear, Prince began performing in a long trench coat, black high heeled boots and leggings, and bikini brief trunks.
1987, Madonna filed for divorce from actor Sean Penn and then changed her mind a week later.
1988, Roy Orbison played his final ever gig when he appeared in Cleveland, Ohio. Orbison died of a heart attack two days later.
1993, Multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer, Frank Zappa died of prostrate cancer. Zappa recorded many albums with The Mothers Of Invention and solo including the 1969 album ‘Hot Rats’ and 1974 album ‘Apostrophe.’ Zappa recorded one of the… Continue reading >
1965, The Beatles set out on what would be their last ever UK tour at Glasgow’s Odeon Cinema. Also on the bill, The Moody Blues The Koobas and Beryl Marsden. The last show was at Cardiff’s Capitol Cinema on 12th December.
1966, Ray Charles was given a five year suspended prison sentence and a $10,000 fine after being convicted of possessing heroin and marijuana.
1969, The Rolling Stones recorded ‘Brown Sugar’ at Muscle Shoals studios. The single went on to be a UK & US No.1.
1971, The Montreux Casino in Switzerland burnt to the ground during a gig by Frank Zappa. The incident is immortalized by Deep Purple‘s 1973 hit, ‘Smoke on the Water.’ (some stupid with a flare gun, burned the place to the ground…”)
1975, Ronnie Wood’s wife Krisse was arrested for alleged possession of cannabis and cocaine after a raid on the couple’s house in Richmond. Krissie’s friend Audrey Burgon was also arrested, newspapers reported that the two women were found ‘sleeping together.’
1976, a giant 40ft inflatable pig could be seen floating above London after breaking free from its moorings. The pig had been photographed for Pink Floyd’s ‘Animals’, album cover; the CAA issued a warning to all pilots that a flying pig was on the run.
1976, an attempt was made on Bob Marley‘s life when seven gunmen burst into his Kingston home injuring Marley his wife Rita and manager Don Taylor, the attack was believed to be politically motivated.
1979, a concert by The Who at The Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, turned to disaster when 11 members of the audience were trampled to death after a stampede to… Continue reading >
1969, Cindy Birdsong of the Supremes was kidnapped at knifepoint by a maintenance man who worked in the building she lived in. She later escaped unharmed by jumping out of his car on the San Diego freeway. The kidnapper was arrested in Las Vegas four days later.
1976, Elvis Presley played the first of an 11 night run at the Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas.
1978, Rod Stewart was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy’, the singers fifth UK chart topper. A plagiarism lawsuit by Brazilian musician Jorge Ben Jor confirmed that the song had been derived from his composition ‘Taj Mahal’. Stewart agreed to donate all his royalties from the song to United Nations Children’s Fund.
1979, Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand‘s ‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers’ was at No.1 on the US singles chart. A radio station engineer had spliced together Neil’s version with Barbra’s version and got such good response, the station added it to their play list. When Neil Diamond was told about it, he decided to re-record the song with Streisand herself, and within weeks of its release, the single went to No.1 in the US and No.5 in the UK.
1982, US folk singer David Blue died of a heart attack aged 41 while jogging in New York’s Washington Square Park. Member of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue during the late 70’s. He wrote ‘Outlaw Man’ covered by The Eagles on their 1973 Desperado album.
1983, MTV aired the full 14-minute version of Michael Jackson‘s ‘Thriller’ video for the first time.
1999, it was reported that Stevie Wonder was to undergo an operation to regain his… Continue reading >