This Day in Music History — December 12

1915 : Frank Sinatra is born Francis Albert Sinatra in Hoboken, New Jersey.

1974 : Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor leaves the band. Ron Wood will eventually replace him after several candidates are auditioned.

1980 : Four days after John Lennon’s murder, thousands of marchers make their way from down Fifth Avenue to the Dakota Building, where he lived and was killed.

1998 : Luciano Pavarotti becomes the first classical musician to perform on Saturday Night Live when he sings ”Adeste Fideles” with Vanessa Williams.

2007 : Ike Turner dies of a cocaine overdose in San Marcos, California, at age 76. He was also struggling with emphysema and cardiovascular disease.

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This Day in Music History — December 8

1963 : Frank Sinatra Jr. is kidnapped in Lake Tahoe, NV, and freed three days later after his famous father pays the $240,000 ransom. The three men responsible are eventually caught and incarcerated.

1969 : Testifying at his trial for possesion of hashish and heroin in the Toronto Supreme Court, Jimi Hendrix claimed that he had now “outgrown” drugs. The jury found him not guilty after eight hours of deliberations.

1980 : At 11:07 PM EST, John Lennon is murdered in New York by a deranged fan just outside the Dakota Hotel, New York City. Lennon was shot in his chest, back and left arm and was pronounced dead thirty minutes later. Earlier that day, the killer had met Lennon outside the Dakota and had him sign a copy of his latest album, Double Fantasy.

1995 : Four months after the death of founding member Jerry Garcia, The Grateful Dead officially announce their breakup.

2004 : Dimebag Darrell is shot dead on stage while performing with his band Damageplan at Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio. The murderer, Nathan Gray, kills three others, before being shot dead himself by a police officer.

This Day in Music History — November 7

1951 : Frank Sinatra marries his second wife, actress Ava Gardner. The marriage, her third, lasts six years and is credited for moving Sinatra into his “mature” phase as a singer, with Nelson Riddle stating: “It was Ava who did that, who taught him how to sing a torch song. That’s how he learned. She was the greatest love of his life and he lost her.”

1974 : Hard rocker Ted Nugent (The Amboy Dukes) becomes national squirrel shooting champion.

2003 : With tourism suffering because of the SARS outbreak, the Hong Kong government hires The Rolling Stones to perform a concert there to assure people it is safe. The rockers play to 13,000 people at the city’s Harbourfest.

2011 : Adele, just 23, has laser surgery on her vocal chords at a hospital in Boston. The singer had to cancel many tour dates in 2011 because of her throat problems.

This Day in Music History — September 11

1967 : Frank Sinatra, who is playing at The Sands casino in Las Vegas, gets in a fight when he is denied credit as part of a policy put in by the new owners. He breaks two teeth in the altercation and soon takes his talents (and money) to Caesar’s Palace.

1971 : The Jackson 5 cartoon series, called The Jackson 5ive, debuts on ABC. Each episode shows various adventures with animated versions of the group, along with Michael’s pet mice Ray and Charles, and his snake Rosie. The cartoon runs from 1971-1973.

1977 : David Bowie appears on Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas special. Bowie refuses to sing “Little Drummer Boy” with Crosby, so his part is rewritten as “Peace On Earth.” Crosby dies a month later, and the duet becomes a Christmas classic, growing even more popular when MTV starts playing the clip a few years later.

2001 : Most radio stations simulcast news after the terrorist attacks take place. As stations gradually return to music, they try to be sensitive about what songs they play, but Clear Channel Communications goes overboard with a list of 165 songs they ask their stations to avoid, including “Smooth Criminal” and “What A Wonderful World.”

This Day in Music History — July 19

1966– Doing it his way, the 50-year-old Frank Sinatra marries the 20-year-old actress Mia Farrow in New York, causing a predictable media event. The marriage lasts just two years.

1977 : Steve Martin appears on The Muppet Show. He performs “Dueling Banjos” and makes balloon animals.

2008 Billy Joel plays the “Last Play at Shea” concert – the final show before Shea Stadium is closed down. Joel is joined on stage by Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, and The Who’s Roger Daltry.

2011  Rebecca Black, the world’s most ironic celebrity, cashes in on her worldwide viral Internet fame by launching her own record label, RB Records, and her first single on the label, “My Moment.” The song fails to get the same hipster fame her former single “Friday” did; “Friday” is reportedly still played for years to come.