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.

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2015

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its Class of 2015. According to Rolling Stone, Green Day, Lou Reed, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bill Withers, and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band will be inducted during a ceremony held next April.

Ringo Starr will be given the Award For Musical Excellence. Starr was previously inducted as a member of The Beatles in 1988, though his three other bandmates have since entered the Hall of Fame as solo artists.

Nine Inch Nails, The Smiths, Kraftwerk, N.W.A., Chic, and Sting were among the final nominees who didn’t to make the cut. Better luck next year!

The induction ceremony will take place on April 18th at Cleveland’s Public House and broadcast on HBO in May.

This Day in Music History — September 3

1967 : A young Swedish singer named Anni-Frid Lyngstad wins a talent-show contest on the TV program Hyland’s Corner with her group the Anni-Frid Four. She would later become famous as one of the two female lead singers of ABBA.

1968 : Ringo returns to The Beatles after quitting in frustration during the White Album sessions. He finds his drum kit covered in flowers.

1982 : Fleetwood Mac plays for the first time in 2 years at the U.S. Festival in California, sponsored by the upstart Apple Computers. 400,000 people come to them play along with The Cars, Jackson Browne and The Grateful Dead.

1991 : Ike Turner is released from prison after serving 14 months for cocaine possession.