This Day in Music History — August 23

1968 : Ringo Starr walks out on the White Album sessions and takes a vacation. Paul McCartney takes his place on drums for “Back In The U.S.S.R.” and “Dear Prudence,” but The Beatles welcome Ringo back with flowers on his drum kit when he returns.

1969 : Johnny Cash’s album Johnny Cash At San Quentin, which is the soundtrack to a documentary of the same name featuring Cash performing at the prison, hits #1 for the first of four weeks.

1970 : Lou Reed plays his last gig with The Velvet Underground at the club Max’s Kansas City in New York. His father brings him home to Long Island and puts him to work in his accounting firm, where he stays for two years before signing a solo deal.

2004 : Queen becomes the first band officially sanctioned by the Iranian government since the 1979 cultural revolution that outlawed rock groups. Lead singer Freddie Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar of Indian parents, had remained quite popular in the country.

2007 : Brian May of Queen gets a degree from London’s Imperial College. It’s not one of those honorary degrees either – he earned a PhD in astrophysics. He would have gotten it sooner, but he was busy being a rock star.

2008 : Erykah Badu joins My Morning Jacket during their performance in Dallas to perform her song Tyrone.