This Day in Music History — November 4

1977 : The Last Waltz, director Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed documentary of The Band’s star-studded last concert, premieres in New York City, featuring Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Joni Mtchell, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, The Staple Singers, Dr. John, and more.

1993 : At a memorial service for the actor River Phoenix, Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys has a run in with a videographer and is later charged with battery and grand theft (for stealing his tape). He is sentenced to 200 hours of community service.

1997 : Capitol Records releases the four-disc set The Pet Sounds Sessions, chronicling the creation of The Beach Boys’ classic 1966 LP. It contains, in addition to a remastered version of the original album, as well as outtakes, unreleased tracks, and a capella tracks.

1998 : Michael Jackson announces that wife Debbie Rowe is pregnant with his first child, denying tabloid reports that Rowe was paid to be artificially impregnated and carry the child to term.

2001 : Michael Jackson proves that he’s “Invincible” in the U.K. as his Epic album Invincible goes straight to the top of the country’s album chart, earning him his seventh British No. 1 album as a solo artist.

This Day in Music History — November 3

1972 : Carly Simon and James Taylor get married, creating a musical power-couple not seen until Jay-Z and Beyonce tied the knot. The marriage lasts 11 years

1990 : After being featured prominently in the smash hit film Ghost, The Righteous Brothers’ version of Unchained Melody returns to the top of the UK charts after 25 years.

1991 : More than 300,000 people attend a free concert in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in memory of rock promoter Bill Graham. Among the acts performing are the Grateful Dead; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Joan Baez; Santana; and Journey (which reunited for the event).

1993 : Leon Theremin dies. Theremin (1896-1993) was a Russian inventor, most famous for the Theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments. Popularized in the Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations, the device was used to create those futuristic sound effects in many sci-fi movies.

2004 : Eric Clapton is made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace.

Eric Clapton Honors Jack Bruce with a New Song

Eric Clapton is a legend. Earlier this week, Clapton posted a new song on his facebook page in memory of his former Cream bandmate, Jack Bruce. Bruce passed away over the weekend from liver disease. In another Facebook post, Clapton called Bruce “a great musician and composer, and a tremendous inspiration to me.” Listen to the instrumental song below.

Former Cream Bassist Jack Bruce Dies from Liver Disease

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Jack Bruce, Cream’s former bassist, songwriter and singer, has died of liver disease at the age of 71.

“It is with great sadness that we, Jack’s family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad, and all round legend,” his family said in a statement, according to The Guardian. “The world of music will be a poorer place without him but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts.”

Bruce was the principal singer and songwriter in Cream, co-writing hits including “White Room” and “Sunshine of Your Love” with lyricist Pete Brown. He had an ongoing rivalry with drummer Ginger Baker that guitarist Eric Clapton was often helpless to stop.

Bruce struggled with drug addiction and financial troubles in the 1970s after Cream’s breakup, but continued to play as a session musician and as part of small groups. In 2003 he underwent a liver transplant after being diagnosed with cancer, and played with a reunited Cream for a series of shows in 2005.

[The Guardian]

This Day in Music History — October 20

1950 : Tom Petty is born in Gainesville, Florida. Formed The Heartbreakers in Los Angeles, California. Member of The Traveling Wilburys.

1969 : John Lennon and Yoko Ono release their Wedding Album LP (with a photo of their own wedding cake and a copy of their marriage certificate included.)

1977 : Lynyrd Skynyrd members Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines die in a plane crash in Mississippi. Gaines’ sister, Cassie, who was a backup singer with the group, is also killed along with 2 pilots and the band’s manager. Other members of the group are badly injured.

1999 : A year after nearly dying from pneumonia, Johnny Cash finds himself battling the condition again. Cash is listed in serious condition at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.

2001 : Raising money for victims of the September 11th attacks, Paul McCartney leads “The Concert For New York” in Madison Square Garden. Elton John, Billy Joel, David Bowie, The Who, and Eric Clapton all participate