1963, The Beatles made their third appearance on the Radio Luxembourg program The Friday Spectacular. The Beatles were interviewed by the host and played two tracks, ‘Please Please Me’ and ‘Ask Me Why.
1966, George Harrison married Patti Boyd at Leatherhead Register Office in Surrey with Paul McCartney as Best man. George had first met Patti on the set of The Beatles movie ‘A Hard Day’s Night’. She left Harrison in the mid-’70s and started an affair with Harrison’s friend Eric Clapton, who wrote the song “Layla” about her. The two married in May 1979, but split in 1988.
1968, Jimi Hendrix recorded his version of the Bob Dylan song ‘All Along the Watchtower’ at Olympic Studios in London. Rolling Stone Brian Jones (percussion) and Dave Mason from Traffic (twelve-string guitar) both played on the session. The track was released in the US as a single in 1968, peaking at No.20.
1972, Pink Floyd appeared at The Guildhall, Portsmouth, England. This was the first time that they were able to perform the whole of what became the The Dark Side of The Moon album in its entirety, the previous night’s performance in Brighton having been halted for technical reasons.
1978, The soundtrack album ‘Saturday Night Fever’ started a 24 week run at No.1 on the US album charts, it went on to sell over 30 million copies world wide, making it the best selling soundtrack album of all time.
1982, B.B. King donated his entire record collection of over 20,000 discs to Mississippi University’s centre for the Study of Southern Culture,
1983, The Allman Brothers Band bassist Lamar Williams died of lung cancer age 34. He joined the band in 1972 after the death of original bassist Berry Oakley. His doctors believed that the disease was derived from exposure to Agent Orange during his Vietnam service. Opposed to the war and to killing in general, Williams went AWOL frequently and wandered around the jungles of South Vietnam, occasionally returning to various units. He was given an honorable discharge in 1970.
1984, Soul singer Jackie Wilson died aged 49. Wilson suffered a massive heart attack while playing a Dick Clark show at the Latin Casino in New Jersey on September 29, 1975, falling head-first to the stage while singing ‘Lonely Teardrops’, and had remained in a coma until his death 8 years later. His 1957 single Reet Petite became a posthumous No.1 when re-issued in 1987 due in part to a new animated video made for the song, featuring a clay model of Wilson. Van Morrison wrote ‘Jackie Wilson Said’ which was covered by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.
1987, Keith Richards inducted Aretha Franklin at the second annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Awards, held in New York City. Keith later took part in a jam with Bruce Springsteen, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Roy Orbison, Sting, and Daryl Hall.
1989, Six weeks after his death Roy Orbison started a three-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘The Legendary Roy Orbison’ collection.
1992, Billy Idol pleaded guilty to assault and battery charges after an incident outside a West Hollywood restaurant. He was fined $2,700 (£1,588) and ordered to appear in a series of anti-drug commercials.
1997, ‘Colonel’ Tom Parker, Elvis Presley’s manager and agent died of a stroke in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the age of 87. Born Andreas van Kuijk, a Dutch immigrant who changed his name as soon as he arrived in the US, Parker never applied for a green card and feared deportation his entire life. He briefly managed country singers Eddy Arnold and Hank Snow.
1997, American songwriter Irwin Levine died of kidney failure aged 58. He co-wrote, ‘Knock Three Times’ and ‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon’ both US & UK No.1’s for Tony Orlando and Dawn in the early Seventies.
2002, American singer and actress Peggy Lee died of complications from diabetes and a heart attack at the age of 81. 1958 US No. 8 & UK No.5 single ‘Fever.’ Lee worked with Benny Goodman, Randy Newman, Quincy Jones and was nominated for 12 Grammy Awards, winning Best Contemporary Vocal Performance for her 1969 hit ‘Is That All There Is?’
2003, David Palmer, former keyboard player for Jethro Tull changed his name to Dee Palmer after a successful sex change operation. Palmer was the keyboard player for Jethro Tull between 1969 and 1980. He played on all the Tull classics including ‘Thick As A Brick’ and ‘Aqualung.’
2004, As the third season of American Idol was aired on US TV a memo was leaked showing a list of songs banned from being performed at this year’s auditions that included, Elton John’s ‘Candle In The Wind’ and ‘Fallin’ by Alicia Keys. Also all songs by Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, No Doubt, R. Kelly, Tom Petty, Korn and Linkin Park were not allowed after concerns over the cost of securing rights for the song’s use, (or the composers not wanting their song’s to be performed on the show).
2007, Mika scored his debut UK number one hit single with ‘Grace Kelly’, which went on to be became the third biggest-selling single in the UK in 2007. Amy Winehouse kept her place at the top of the UK album chart with ‘Back to Black’.
2012, Adele was at No.1 on the US album chart with her second studio album 21. The album which yielded five hit singles including the lead single ‘Rolling in the Deep’, has now sold over 26.4 million copies worldwide.
2015, An Israeli man was arrested on suspicion of hacking into the computers of pop stars including Madonna and selling unreleased songs online. During the investigation it appeared the suspect had broken into the computers of a number of international artists, stole unreleased demos and final tracks and sold them over the internet.
Born In This Day January 21
1922, Born on this day, Telly Savalas, singer, actor (1975 UK No.1 single ‘If’). Played Lt. Theo Kojak a bald New York City detective in the television series Kojak, with a fondness for lollipops and whose trademark line was “Who loves ya, baby?” Died of cancer on 22nd January 1994.
1938, Born on this day, DJ Wolfman Jack. Master of ceremonies for the rock ‘n’ roll generation of the ’60s on radio, and later on television during the ’70s. Died of a heart attack 1 July 1995.
1941, Born on this day, Placido Domingo, Spanish singer, (1994 UK No.21 single with Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti, ‘Libiamo / La Donna E Mobile’).
1941, Born on this day, Richie Havens, folk singer, (1971 US No.16 single with his version of George Harrison’s ‘Here Comes The Sun’, appeared at Woodstock, Newport, and Isle Of Wight festivals). Havens died of a heart attack at home in Jersey City, New Jersey aged 72 on 22nd April 2013.
1942, Born on this day, Edwin Starr, singer, 1970 US No.1 and UK No.3 single ‘War’). Starr died on 2nd April 2003 aged 61.
1942, Born on this day, Mac Davis, singer, songwriter. (1972 US No.1 single ‘Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me’, No.29 in the UK. Wrote ‘In The Ghetto’ and ‘Don’t Cry Daddy’ for Elvis Presley).
1942, Born on this day, Australian artist, cartoonist, songwriter and film-maker Martin Sharp – Australia’s foremost pop artist. His psychedelic posters of Bob Dylan, Donovan and others, rank as classics of the genre. Martin co-wrote one of Cream’s best known songs, ‘Tales of Brave Ulysses’, created the cover art for Cream’s Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire albums, and in the 1970s became a champion of singer Tiny Tim. Sharp died from emphysema on 1 Dec 2013 aged 71.
1947, Born on this day, Jim Ibbotson, from American country rock band, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band who scored the 1971 US No.9 single ‘Mr Bojangles’.
1950, Born on this day, Billy Ocean, singer, (1988 US No.1 & UK No.3 single ‘Get Out Of My Dreams Get Into My Car’).
1954, Born on this day, Nigel Glockler, drummer from English heavy metal band Saxon. As one of the leaders of the new wave of British heavy metal, they had eight UK Top 40 albums in the 1980s.
1956, Born on this day, Rob Brill, drummer from American new wave band Berlin, who scored the 1986 UK & US No.1 single ‘Take My Breath Away’ which was featured in the 1986 film Top Gun.
1965, Born on this day, American musician and DJ Jam Master Jay, (Jason Mizell), Run-D.M.C. He was murdered by an assassin’s single bullet on 30th Oct 2002. Run-D.M.C. had the 1986 UK No.8 single with Aerosmith ‘Walk This Way’ and the 1998 UK No.1 single ‘It’s Like That.’
1965, Born on this day, Robert Del Naja, 3- D, Massive Attack, (1991 UK No.13 single ‘Unfinished Sympathy’).
1966, Born on this day, Wendy James, singer with English group Transvision Vamp who had the 1989 UK No.3 single ‘Baby I Don’t Care’.
1973, Born on this day, Chris Kilmore, from American rock band Incubus, who had the 2001 US No.9 & UK No.40 single, ‘Drive’, and the 2004 US No.2 and UK No.6 album A Crow Left of the Murder’, and the 2006 US No.1 album Light Grenades. Worldwide, Incubus has sold over 23 million albums.
1976, Born on this day, English singer, songwriter, actress, and radio and television presenter Emma Bunton, (Baby Spice in The Spice Girls) who scored the 1996 UK No.1 & 1997 US No.1 single ‘Wannabe’. She had the 2001 UK No.1 solo single ‘What Took You So Long’.
1979, Born on this day, Nokio, Dru Hill, (1999 US No.1 & UK No.2 single with Will Smith, ‘Wild Wild West’).
1980, Born on this day, Benjamin Moody, guitar, with American rock band Evanescence who had the 2003 UK No.1 & US No.5 single ‘Bring Me To Life’, and the 2003 UK No.1 & US No.3 album Fallen.