1953, Jo Stafford was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘You Belong To Me’. Originally a singer with Tommy Dorsey until 1942, Stafford was the first female to have a No.1 on the UK singles Chart.
1956, Elvis Presley made his first recordings for RCA Records at The Methodist television, radio & TV Studios in Nashville. ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ was one of the songs recorded during this session.
1957, Tommy Steele and the Steelmen were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Singing The Blues’. Guy Mitchell had been at No.1 the previous week with his version and then returned to No.1 the following week.
1958, Jerry Lee Lewis was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Great Balls Of Fire’. Lewis was the only major white rock ‘n’ roll star to play piano rather than guitar.
1964, The Rolling Stones recorded ‘Not Fade Away’ at Olympic Studios, London, England. The song which was first recorded by Buddy Holly and his band, the Crickets, became The Stones first US single.
1964, The first US Beatles album, ‘Introducing The Beatles’, was released on Vee-Jay records. The album cover showed John, Paul and George with their now famous “mop top” haircuts, but Ringo had yet to convert. Vee-Jay would be forced to stop selling the disc by the end of the year because of legal complications, but by then over 1.3 million copies had been sold.
1976, Blues artist Howlin Wolf, (Chester Burnett), died in hospital of cancer aged 66. The guitarist, singer and harmonica player’s well known songs included ‘Smoke Stack Lightning’, ‘Little Red Rooster’ and ‘Spoonful.’
1976, CW McCall went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Convoy’, it made No.2 in the UK. CW McCall was in fact an advertising agent whose real name was Bill Fries.
1981, John Lennon’s Imagine started a four-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart, 10 years after it was recorded. Lennon had two other songs in the Top 5 this week, ‘Happy Christmas, (War Is Over’) and ‘(Just Like) Starting Over.’ ‘Imagine’ was voted by the viewers of BBC TV as the best lyrics of all time in a poll broadcast in Oct 1999. Also on this day John and Yoko’s ‘Double Fantasy’ album started an eight-week run at No.1 on the US chart. ‘Just Like Starting Over’ was at No.1 on the US singles chart.
1984, Cyndi Lauper became the first female recording artist since Bobbie Gentry in 1967 to be nominated for five Grammy Awards: Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Performance (Female), Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
2001, American guitarist and songwriter and founder member of The Cramps Bryan Gregory died after suffering a heart attack aged 46 at Anaheim Memorial Medical Center, Anaheim, California. He appeared on The Cramps first two albums Gravest Hits and Songs the Lord Taught Us. He abruptly left the band in 1980, with a van full of most of the band’s equipment; no police report or proof was established. After the Cramps, Gregory went on to play in Beast from 1980-1983.
2003, A haul of 500 Beatles tapes known as the ‘Get Back sessions’ stolen in the 1970’s were found after UK police cracked a major bootleg operation in London and Amsterdam. Five men were arrested.
2003, Bee Gee Maurice Gibb was fighting for his life after a heart attack following major stomach surgery. The 53 year-old singer had been rushed to hospital after collapsing at his Florida home.
2005, American drummer Spencer Dryden died from colon cancer at his home in California aged 66. Was the drummer for Jefferson Airplane, (replaced Skip Spence), New Riders of the Purple Sage and The Dinosaurs. Dryden was the Nephew of Charlie Chaplin.
2005, A woman was suing Gene Simmons from KISS for slander, alleging a documentary made her out to be a “sex-addicted nymphomaniac”. Georgeann Walsh Ward, 53, of New York, said during a VH1 documentary her photo was flashed up as Simmons talked about his past sexual encounters. Ms Walsh Ward had dated Simmons for three years when he was a student. In the documentary, Simmons boasted of having sex with over 4,600 women.
2006, An Australian woman appeared in court charged with repeatedly stabbing her partner with a pair of scissors in the back, shoulder and thigh because he played Elvis Presley’s song ‘Burning Love’ over and over again.
2008, Rod Allen Bainbridge, lead singer of The Fortunes, died aged 63 after battling liver cancer. The group’s biggest hit was ‘You’ve Got Your Troubles’ which was a UK No.2 hit in 1965, also reaching No.7 seven in the US.
2008, Radiohead topped the US album charts with the physical release of ‘In Rainbows’, originally sold via the internet for a price chosen by fans. The album sold 122,000 copies during its first week on release, giving the band a second US chart topper following 2000’s ‘Kid A’, which sold an initial 207,000 copies.
2013, Claude Nobs the founder and general manager of the Montreux Jazz Festival died aged 76. During a 1971 Frank Zappa concert, at the Montreux Casino the venue caught fire. Nobs saved several young people who had hidden in the casino, thinking they would be sheltered from the flames. This act earned him a mention (as Funky Claude in the line “Funky Claude was running in and out pulling kids out the ground”) in the Deep Purple song Smoke on the Water, which is about the incident.
2016, English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, painter, and actor David Bowie died from liver cancer at his New York home two days after releasing the album Blackstar on his 69th birthday. His first UK Top 40 single was the 1969 ‘Space Oddity’ which became a UK No.1 in 1975, plus over 50 other UK Top 40 hits including five No.1’s. Bowie has also scored two US No.1 singles, the 1975 ‘Fame’ and 1983 ‘Let’s Dance’. During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at 140 million albums worldwide, made him one of the world’s best-selling music artists.