1956, Elvis Presley’s single, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ was released by RCA Records, who had just purchased Presley’s contract from Sun Records for $35,000. The song sold 300,000 copies in its first week and would eventually sell over a million, becoming Elvis’ first Gold record.
1962, The Beatles appeared at Aintree Institute in Aintree, Liverpool. The group had played here many times before but this was their last performance at the venue. Brian Epstein became infuriated when the promoter paid The Beatles’ fee (£15 pounds) with handfuls of loose change. Epstein took this as an insult to the group, and made sure that The Beatles never played for that promoter (Brian Kelly) again.
1970, John Lennon wrote, recorded and mixed his new single ‘Instant Karma!’ all in one day. It ranks as one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history, recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios and arriving in stores only ten days later.
1971, David Bowie arrived in the US for the first time; he couldn’t play live because of work permit restrictions, but attracted publicity when he wore a dress at a promotion event.
1972, American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson died in Chicago of heart failure and diabetes complications aged 60. Known as the “Queen of Gospel Music” she recorded over 30 albums and became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist.
1973, ‘Superstition’ the lead single from Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book album became his second No.1 single in the US, 10 years after his first No.1 hit. Jeff Beck created the original drum beat while in the studio with Wonder. After writing the song, Wonder offered it to Beck to record, but at the insistence of Berry Gordy, Wonder himself recorded it first. Beck was instead offered ‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers’, which he recorded on his Blow by Blow album in 1975.
1977, The Clash signed to CBS Records in the UK for £100,000.
1979, Ian Dury And The Blockheads were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’, their only UK chart topper.
1990, Kylie Minogue had her third UK No.1 single with ‘Tears On My Pillow’, the song was originally a US hit for Little Anthony and The Imperials in 1958.
1996, Babylon Zoo started a five-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Spaceman’, the fastest selling single by a debut artist in the UK, (420,000 copies in 6 days). The song was used for a Levi Jeans TV commercial. The single also went to Number 1 in twenty-three other countries.
1998, James Brown was charged with possession of marijuana and unlawful use of a firearm after police were called to his South Carolina home. Brown later clamed the drugs were used to help his ‘eyesight.’
2004, R&B singer Faith Evans and her husband were charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana after being arrested in Atlanta, Georgia. Police pulled them over for a suspected licence plate offence.
2006, American singer, songwriter, and record producer Gene McFadden, best known as half of the Philly soul team McFadden & Whitehead, died of cancer at the age of 56. The duo who were discovered by Otis Redding, who acted as their manager had the 1979 hit ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’, which sold more than 8 million copies and was nominated for a Grammy Award.
2009, Road Chef, the Watford Gap UK Motorway services operator, paid £1,000 at an auction for a collection of celebrity signatures, which were collected by former employee, Beatrice England. The book included signatures of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, The Eagles and Dusty Springfield. The Blue Boar services as it was once known received so many famous guests in its 50-year history that Jimi Hendrix mistook it for a London nightclub as it was mentioned so often by his contemporaries.
2014, American folk singer and activist Pete Seegar died at the age of 94. He had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of the Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead Belly’s ‘Goodnight, Irene’, which topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950. Members of the Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era. In the 1960s, he re-emerged on the public scene as a prominent singer of protest music in support of international disarmament, civil rights, counterculture and environmental causes.
2015, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne were given a song writing credit on Sam Smith’s hit ‘Stay With Me’, because of the similarities to his 1989 track ‘I Won’t Back Down’. ‘Stay With Me’ had been nominated for three Grammys, including song of the year – which honours the writers of the track. Petty’s publisher had contacted Smiths publisher who made an out of court settlement.
Born On This Day
1918, Born on this day, Elmore James, US blues guitarist, singer, known as the King of the Slide Guitar. James wrote ‘Shake Your Money Maker’, which was covered by Fleetwood Mac in 1968. Influenced Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King and Keith Richards. James died 24th May 1963.
1919, Born on this day, David Seville, The Chipmunks who had the 1958 US No.1 single ‘The Chipmunk Song’, and the 1959 UK No.11 single ‘Ragtime Cowboy Joe’. Seville died on 16th January 1972.
1930, Born on this day, Bobby Bland, R&B singer,who had the 1963 US R&B No.1 single ‘That’s The Way Love Is’. Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. He died on 23rd June 2013 at his home in Memphis.
1944, Born on this day, Nick Mason: drums, percussion and tape effects, Pink Floyd. Nick is the only member of the band to play on every album since the band’s formation in 1965. He studied architecture at London’s Regent Street Polytechnic, where he teamed up with fellow students Roger Waters, Rado ‘Bob’ Klose and Richard Wright in 1964 to form Pink Floyd’s predecessor, Sigma 6. Mason is a keen auto racing enthusiast and has taken part in many racing events such as the French 24 Heures du Mans race in Le Mans.
1944, Born on this day, Kevin Coyne, singer, songwriter, film-maker, and a writer of lyrics, stories and poems. In the mid-1970s, prior to the formation of The Police, Coyne’s band included guitarist Andy Summers. Coyne died on 2nd December 2004.
1946, Born on this day, Nedra Talley American singer with the all girl group The Ronettes who had five US chart toppers including ‘Be My Baby’, ‘Baby, I Love You’, ‘(The Best Part Of) Breakin’ Up’, and ‘Walking in the Rain.’
1948, Born on this day, Kim Gardner from English group Ashton Gardner & Dyke who had the 1971 UK No.3 single ‘The Resurrection Shuffle’. Gardner died on 24/10/01,
1951, Born on this day, Brian Downey, Irish drummer and founding member of Thin Lizzy, who had the 1973 UK No.6 single ‘Whisky In The Jar’ and hits with ‘Jailbreak’ and ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’.
1951, Born on this day, Seth Justman, keyboards, vocals with American rock band The J Geils Band, who had the 1982 US No.1 & UK No.3 single ‘Centerfold’ which was taken from their US No.1 1981 album Freeze Frame.
1957, Born on this day, Janick Robert Gers English guitarist with English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, who had the 1982 UK No.1 album The Number Of The Beast, and the 1991 UK No.1 single ‘Bring Your Daughter …To The Slaughter’. Iron Maiden have sold over 100 million copies of their albums worldwide.
1961, Born on this day, Gillian Gilbert, keyboards with The Inadequates, and New Order who had the 1983 UK No.9 single ‘Blue Monday’, Also a member of The Other Two who had the 1991 UK hit single ‘Tasty Fish’.
1961, Born on this day, Martin Deguille, singer with British group Sigue Sigue Sputnik who had the 1986 UK No.3 single ‘Love Missile F1-11’.
1961, Born on this day, Margo Timmins singer with Canadian alternative country/blues/folk rock band, Cowboy Junkies.
1964, Born on this day, Migi Drummond from English pop group Curiosity Killed The Cat who had the 1989 UK No.14 single ‘Name And Number’ and the UK No.1 album Keep Your Distance.
1968, Born on this day, Adrian Thawes, (Tricky), musician and actor who had the 1996 UK No.10 single ‘Milk’. His 1995 debut album Maxinquaye was nominated for the Mercury Prize and voted Album of the Year by NME Magazine.
1968, Born on this day, Mike Patton, singer and multi-instrumentalist with American rock band Faith No More, who had the 1993 UK No.3 and US No.4 single ‘I’m Easy’. They had the best-selling albums The Real Thing (1989) and Angel Dust (1992).
1972, Born on this day, Mark Owen singer with Take That who had the 1995 UK No.1 single ‘Back For Good’. The group’s 1993 UK No.1 album ‘Everything Changes spent 78 weeks on the UK chart. Had the solo 1996 UK No.3 single ‘Child’. Was the winner of UK TV show Celebrity Big Brother in 2002. Re-formed Take That without Robbie Williams in 2006 for a sold-out European tour. Topped the UK singles and album charts simultaneously for the first time in their career when the single ‘Patience’ and album ‘Beautiful World’ both reached No.1 in Dec 2006.