This Day in Music History — January 7

1968 : The influential San Francisco radio station KMPX asks listeners to select their choices for the upcoming elections. They choose Bob Dylan for President, Paul Butterfield as Vice-President, and George Harrison ambassador to the UN.

1980 : Led Zeppelin’s In Through The Out Door is certified platinum; it will be the last Zep album issued while drummer John Bonham is alive.

2006 : Pink marries the motocross rider Carey Hart in Costa Rica.

2009 : At the 35th Annual People’s Choice Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Carrie Underwood is the night’s big winner, taking home the Favorite Female Singer, Country Song (“Last Name”) and Favorite Star Under 35 Awards. Rascal Flatts also picks up an award for Favorite Group.

2012 : Katy Perry’s album Teenage Dream becomes the first album in history to have 7 songs from the same album reach #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. This was official as soon as the single “The One That Got Away” hit #1.

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This Day in Music History — December 25

1954 : Annie Lennox is born in Aberdeen, Scotland.

1959 : An apprentice engineer from Liverpool named Richard Starkey, then already eighteen, gets his first real set of drums for Christmas (the young Starkey’s family couldn’t afford a proper set when he was a child). Later, he would become known as Ringo Starr.

1981 : Michael Jackson calls Paul McCartney to wish him Merry Christmas and suggests they write and record together. The result is the hit duet “The Girl Is Mine,” the first single off of the landmark album Thriller.

1982 : David Bowie and Bing Crosby’s “The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth,” an unlikely duet broadcast five years earlier on Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas TV special, becomes an even more unlikely hit, reaching #1 in the UK.

1994 : Green Day play Madison Square Garden in New York City. It’s quite a leap for the band, which had been playing small clubs at the beginning of the year. During the show, lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong performs wearing only socks and a strategically placed guitar.

1995 : Dean Martin, also suffering from lung cancer, dies from acute respiratory failure due to emphysema at age 78. Las Vegas honors the legend by dimming the lights along the city’s famous Strip.

2008 : Eartha Kitt dies of colon cancer in Weston, Connecticut, at age 81.

This Day in Music History — December 24

1971 : Ricky Martin is born Enrique Martin Morales in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

1974 : James Taylor, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell go Christmas carolling in Hollywood.

1978 : Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog of ABBA announce they are separating and getting a divorce.

2001 : Nick Massi (The Four Seasons) dies of cancer in West Orange, New Jersey, at age 73.

 

This Day in Music History — December 22

1938 : Country singer-songwriter Red Steagall is born Russell Steagall in Gainesville, Texas. Discovered Reba McEntire in 1975.

1969 : John Lennon and Yoko Ono meet with Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Minister of Health John Munro to discuss drug abuse.

1989 : Jordin Sparks is born in Phoenix, Arizona. At age 17, she would win the sixth season of American Idol (2007).

2001 : T.I. is arrested in his native Atlanta for illegal gun possession. He allegedly tells police that his name is Douglas Morgan rather than his real name, Clifford Harris. The rapper is released without serious conviction.

2002 : Joe Strummer of The Clash dies of a heart attack at age 50. The Clash are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a few months later.

2012 : Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood marries his girlfriend Sally Humphreys; Wood at age 65 and Humphreys at 34. Coincidentally, the world did not end on the day before, as proponents of the Mayan calendar would have it. Perhaps this bolstered their optimism?

This Day in Music History — December 21

1968 : Janis Joplin makes her solo concert debut in Memphis at an event for the Stax/Volt record label. The Stax house band Booker T. & The MG’s also plays.

1970 : Elvis Presley meets President Nixon in the Oval Office at the White House, where the iconic picture of the two shaking hands is taken.

1991 : Bohemian Rhapsody goes back to #1 on the UK charts after the death of Freddie Mercury, and stays there for five weeks. In America, the song would get new life the next year when it was used in the movie Wayne’s World.

1996 : En route to a White House dinner with the Clintons, Tony Bennett suffers a ruptured hernia and is rushed to the hospital.

2005 : Elton John and his partner David Furnish take part in a civil ceremony (gay marriage was not legal in England) to make their union official. Guests at the ceremony, which takes place in Windsor, England, include George Michael, Sharon Stone, and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.

This Day in Music History — December 20

1973 : Bobby Darin dies at age 37 after 8 hours of surgery to repair his ailing heart.

1975 : Joe Walsh replaces Bernie Leadon in the Eagles. Walsh was previously a member of the James Gang.

1980 : “(Just Like) Starting Over” gives John Lennon his first #1 single as a solo artist in the UK, 12 days after his murder.

2010 : Bret Michaels, lead singer of Poison, winds up his VH1 reality TV show Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It by sticking a rock on the finger of Kristi Gibson, longtime on-and-off girlfriend for 18 years – despite his former reality TV show, Rock of Love, in which he held a contest to let women get engaged to him concurrent with this relationship. She accepts his proposal on-air. They later break the engagement off. Bret Michaels never takes off his head rag or cowboy hat the entire time. Also, Michaels has now made four subsequent relationships the subject of reality TV shows. Nobody finds anything weird about this at all.

2012 : Rapper Fat Joe pleads guilty in federal court in New Jersey to tax evasion charges. He is charged with failing to pay taxes on over $1 million of income in each of 2007 and 2008, and is expected to serve in the neighborhood of 2 years at sentencing.

This Day in Music History — December 19

1965 : Keith Moon collapses during a Who concert in Ontario.

1975 : Ronnie Wood leaves The Faces and joins The Rolling Stones.

1980 : Nine To Five, starring Dolly Parton and featuring the classic theme song by the singer (where she uses her fingernails as an instrument) opens in theaters.

2012 : Madonna gets angry at fans at a concert in Santiago, Chile, for smoking cigarettes near her against her wishes. The singer lectures the audience: “If you’re going to smoke cigarettes, I’m not doing a show. You don’t care about me, I don’t care about you. All right? Are we going to play that game? I’m not kidding. I can’t sing if you smoke.”

2014 : Darlene Love sings “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on David Letterman’s show for the final time, as the host has announced his retirement. When Love first performed the song on Letterman in 1986, it went so well that Dave made it a Christmas tradition, and every year she would come back to sing it.

This Day in Music History — December 17

1954 : Bill Haley and his Comets’ “Shake, Rattle and Roll” (originally recorded by Big Joe Turner) hits #4 on the UK charts. It is the first rock song to make that chart.

1963 : A Beatles song (“I Want To Hold Your Hand”) is played on American radio for the first time, in Washington, DC, at WWDC.

1967 : The Beatles’ John Lennon and George Harrison throw a party in London for the area secretaries of their official Fan Club. The film Magical Mystery Tour is screened here for the first time.

1977 : The Sex Pistols, booked on Saturday Night Live, are denied entry into the US based on various band members’ criminal records and “moral turpitude.” Elvis Costello takes their place and makes his last appearance on Saturday Night Live – he is banned because he performs “Radio Radio” after being told not to by the show’s producer.

1982 : The Who play the last show of their farewell tour at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens, which is filmed for an HBO special called Who’s Last. They re-form to play Live Aid in 1985, then tour again in 1989.

1986 : The Doobie Brothers reunite for a benefit concert in Palo Alto, CA, which eventually leads to a reunion tour and album.

This Day in Music History — December 15

1944 : The famous bandleader (and Major in the US Army) Glenn Miller disappears when the plane taking him from England to Paris, where he’s scheduled to perform, vanishes over the English Channel. Rumors of a cover up persist as the plane is never found.

1977 : The Who perform a secret concert for fan club members at London’s Shepperton Studios. The show is filmed for Jeff Stein’s upcoming Who documentary The Kids Are Alright.

1979 : Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall (part II)” goes to #1 on the UK singles chart.

1988 : For his interstate car chase and numerous drug, firearms, and assault offenses, James Brown is sentenced to six and one-half years in a South Carolina prison. He would serve a little more than two.

This Day in Music History — December 14

1977 : At the peak of the Disco era, the film Saturday Night Fever opens in New York City. The soundtrack contains five #1 hits, including “Stayin’ Alive.”

1980 : At widow Yoko Ono’s request, a ten-minute worldwide silent vigil is held at 2:00 PM EST for John Lennon, who had been shot down just six days earlier. Over 100,000 observe the vigil in New York’s Central Park alone, while 30,000 observe the vigil in Liverpool.

1999 : In a much-publicized show, Paul McCartney returns to play the Cavern Club in Liverpool for the first time since 1963. Joining him are Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and Deep Purple’s Ian Paice.

2012 : Stalker Jacob Nicholas Kulke is arrested outside a residence belonging to Taylor Swift and is charged with trespassing. Kulke claims that he had been in touch with Swift through social media and had been planning to show up and “surprise her for her birthday.” Though the singer had just had her birthday the previous day, she’d been overseas at the time and likely wouldn’t be too happy with Kulke scaling her fence.