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.

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This Day in Music History — November 25

1966 : The Jimi Hendrix Experience plays their first UK show at the Bag O’Nails in London.

1975 : Deep in debt, Elvis Presley takes out a $350,000 loan from the National Bank of Commerce in Memphis, TN. His Graceland estate is put up as collateral.

1976 : At the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, The Band plays their last concert, which is filmed by Martin Scorsese and released as the classic concert movie The Last Waltz. Guest performers include Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond,Van Morrison, and Neil Young.

1998 : Spin magazine editor Craig Marks tells police that shock rocker Marilyn Manson’s bodyguards pinned him against a wall and hauled him up into the air. Marks claims he was invited backstage to talk with Manson after the artist performed at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. Manson allegedly threatened Marks. “He said `You know I can kill you, your family and everyone you know,'” Marks claims.

2005 : Country music makes itself comfortable all around New York when the Country Music Association holds its 39th annual CMA Awards show at Madison Square Garden.

This Day in Music History — November 18

download1975 : Bruce Springsteen begins his first UK tour at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, where he learns that his record company has gone overboard with the hype, distributing posters that say: “At last London is ready for Bruce Springsteen.”

1985 : Seven of Jimi Hendrix’s gold records are stolen from his father’s home during a burglary. A few months later, Warner Bros. Records replaces them in a ceremony with Mo Ostin, who signed Hendrix to the label in 1967.

1994 : The Rolling Stones become the first rock act to stream a live concert on the Internet, webcasting a portion of a show from Dallas, Texas.

2003 : Acting on the sexual abuse allegations of a 12-year-old boy who had visited the home, approximately 70 members of California’s Santa Barbara County sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices raid Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. The singer is in Vegas filming a video at the time.

2006 : With the aid of a private jet, Jay-Z plays seven 30-minute sets across the US in one day to promote his comeback album, Kingdom Come.

This Day in Music History — November 12

1968 : Jimi Hendrix’s third album, Electric Ladyland, shows the famous guitarist on the cover along with a collection of naked women. You can only get it in England – the American version is released with an alternate cover.

1990 : Ron Wood, formerly of The Faces and currently of The Rolling Stones, is badly injured when hit by a car in London, breaking both legs.

1997 : Carly Simon is hospitalized with breast cancer, undergoing both chemo and a mastectomy.

2012 : After 35 years, 11 albums, and soldiering on without their lead man Michael Hutchence, INXS confirms that they are indeed hanging up their guitars and calling it quits. The band had actually announced the news days earlier at a concert in Perth, Australia, during which they broke the news onstage and drummer Jon Farriss even admitted that he was getting a little teary-eyed at the thought of their last show.

This Day in Music History — October 1

1962 : Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show makes its debut. The theme song was written by Paul Anka, but Carson wrote the drum part at the beginning so he could get some royalties from the song.

1966 : Jimi Hendrix makes his UK stage debut when he jumps onstage to jam with Cream at London Polytechnic.

1991 : The world’s most valuable golf glove – the original, crystal-studded one Michael Jackson wore – is stolen from the Motown Museum in Detroit. Police recovered the glove two days later. MC Hammer set up a phone line and offered a $50,000 reward for the glove’s return.

1995 : Farm Aid 8 takes place in Louisville, Kentucky, with Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Hootie & the Blowfish and The Dave Matthews Band raising over $1 million to support American farmers.

RIP Jimi Hendrix

unreleased jimi hendrix tracks

Jimi Hendrix dies on September 18, 1970 at 27 years old.

Hailed by Rolling Stone as the greatest guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix was also one of the biggest cultural figures of the Sixties, a psychedelic voodoo child who spewed clouds of distortion and pot smoke.

A left-hander who took a right-handed Fender Stratocaster and played it upside down, Hendrix pioneered the use of the instrument as an electronic sound source. Players before Hendrix had experimented with feedback and distortion, but he turned those effects and others into a controlled, fluid vocabulary every bit as personal as the blues with which he began.

This Day in Music History — September 18

1970 : Jimi Hendrix is found dead in his basement. He had taken 9 pills of the barbiturate vesperax, that along with alcohol, caused a fatal overdose.

1984 : At the very first MTV Video Music Awards, Madonna performs Like A Virgin in a white wedding gown accessorized by her famous “Boy Toy” belt.

1998 : On the Grand Ole Opry, Jett Williams pays tribute to her late father, Hank Williams, who would have been 75 the day before. Daughter salutes father by performing Your Cheatin’ Heart, a song released after his death on New Year’s Eve, 1952. “He never sang the song on the Opry. He never sang it live,” Williams tells the audience.

2006 : Willie Nelson’s tour bus is stopped near Lafayette, LA, and Nelson, along with four members of his band, are arrested for possession of marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms.

This Day in Music History — August 25

1970 : Jimi Hendrix opens Electric Ladyland Studios in New York City. He dies a few months later, but the studio lives on, with many major acts recording there over the years.

1970 : Elton John plays his first live show in the United States, opening for David Ackles at The Troubadour in Los Angeles. It’s the first show of a 17-night run in which Quincy Jones and Leon Russell see him perform. Elton gets great reviews and a big career boost in America.

1994 : Jimmy Buffett crashes his seaplane while trying to take off in Nantucket. He swims to safety.

1994 : Billy Joel is officially divorced from model Christie Brinkley. Their marriage lasted nine years.

2009 : Chris Brown is sentenced to five years probation and six months hard labor for beating Rihanna when he was arrested for the assault earlier in February 2009, the night of the Grammy awards. He and Rihanna, who had been dating, were in Los Angeles for the event. Chris Brown is also ordered to stay away from her for the next five years. He is also ordered to undergo a full year of domestic violence counseling. According to the Associated Press, the sentencing judge told Brown that he could be sent to state prison if he violated any terms of the sentence.

This Day in Music — August 18

1955 : Pete Seeger testifies before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he is asked if he has performed for communists. Seger replies: “I have sung for Americans of every political persuasion, and I am proud that I never refuse to sing to an audience, no matter what religion or color of their skin, or situation in life. I have sung in hobo jungles, and I have sung for the Rockefellers, and I am proud that I have never refused to sing for anybody.”

1969 : Jimi Hendrix closes out the Woodstock festival with “Hey Joe.” He was supposed to perform the previous night, but the festival ran long and he went on the morning after Woodstock was supposed to end.

1973 : Jazz drumming legend Gene Krupa plays what is to be his last live show, a gig with the Benny Goodman Quartet in New York City.

1977 : Elvis Presley’s funeral is held in at Graceland, where 150 guests are invited inside and about 75,000 fans pay their respects outside

2011 : During a severe storm, high wind and heavy rain cause a stage to collapse while Chicago band Smith Westerns are performing. Four are killed and over 70 injured. Organizers decide to cancelled the festival, where Eminem, Face to Face and Foo Fighters were scheduled to perform.