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 — October 12

1978 : Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols is arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, who he found dead in the bathroom of their hotel room with a stab wound to her abdomen. Vicious died of a heroin overdose before he could be tried for the murder.

1997 : John Denver, an avid amateur pilot who loves flying experimental aircraft, is the victim of a fatal plane crash. The airplane he flies has a fuel selection valve behind the pilot’s head, forcing him to balance on the right rudder in order to switch tanks. That day, Denver leaves the airport with less fuel than he should have. He hits the right rudder when attempting to switch tanks, causing him to plow into the Pacific Ocean.

2003 : Rapper 50 Cent takes home all five trophies for which he is nominated at the World Music Awards, held in Monaco. Russian teen duo t.A.T.u. picks up three awards, while Norah Jones and Eminem win two.

2013 : Pharrell Williams marries the model Helen Lasichanh. She would inspire several tracks on his 2014 album G I R L, including the song “It Girl.”