1955, American jazz saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker died of a heart attack in New York City while watching Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra on television. He was 34. The coroner who performed his autopsy mistakenly estimated Parker’s 34-year-old body to be between 50 and 60 years of age. (After years of drug and alcohol abuse).
1963, The Beatles played at the Granada Cinema in Bedford. Also on the bill, Chris Montez and Tommy Roe. John Lennon, suffering from a heavy cold, was unable to perform, so The Beatles set was rearranged so that George and Paul could sing the parts that John usually sang.
1967, The Velvet Underground & Nico the debut album by the Velvet Underground was released by Verve Records. Though the record was a commercial failure upon release and was almost entirely ignored by contemporary critics, The Velvet Underground & Nico is now widely recognised as one of the greatest and most influential albums in the history of popular music.
1968, The Rolling Stones started recording their next single ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ with new producer Jimmy Miller at Olympic studios in London. Keith Richards has stated that he and Jagger wrote the lyrics while staying at Richards’ country house, where they were awakened one morning by the sound of gardener Jack Dyer walking past the window. When Jagger asked what the noise was, Richards responded, “Oh, that’s Jack – that’s jumpin’ Jack.”
1969, Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman at Marylebone Register Office. They then held a reception lunch at The Ritz Hotel, Paul then went to Abbey Road studios in the evening to work. George Harrison and his wife Patti were arrested on the same day and charged with possession of 120 joints of marijuana.
1969, The Temptations became the first Motown recording act to win a Grammy Award – for ‘Cloud Nine’ for the Best Rhythm & Blues Group Performance. The single which reached No.2 on the US charts was the first of their singles to feature Dennis Edwards instead of David Ruffin in the lineup, and was the first of producer Norman Whitfield’s psychedelic soul tracks.
1970, James Browns backing band The J.B.’s were formed after most of the members of his previous band walked out on him over a pay dispute. The J.B.’s initial lineup included bassist William “Bootsy” Collins and his guitarist brother Phelps “Catfish” Collins, formerly of the obscure funk band The Pacemakers.
1971, The Allman Brothers Band played the first of two nights at the Fillmore East, New York. Both shows were recorded and released as The Allman Brothers live double album, which became the groups breakthrough album.
1974, John Lennon made the headlines after an incident at the Troubadour Club, LA. Out on a drinking binge with Harry Nilsson, Lennon hurled insults at the performing Smothers Brothers and punched their manager before being forcibly removed.
1977, The Sex Pistols were involved in a fight at London’s Speakeasy Club with Bob Harris, presenter of BBC 2’s The Old Grey Whistle Test, resulting in one of the shows engineers needing 14 stitches in his head. Two days later Harris’s solicitors contact Derek Green at A&M the bands record label. Harris’s management also managed Peter Frampton, one of the label’s top acts at A&M. Green discussed the matter with the company’s two founders, Jerry Moss and Herb Alpert and the decision is made to cancel the Pistols contract and halt production of the bands first single, ‘God Save The Queen’.
1983, U2 scored their first UK No.1 album with ‘War’, which went on to spend a total of 147 weeks on the chart. The album featured the singles ‘New Years Day’ and ‘Two Hearts Beat As One’.
1983, Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler had her only UK No.1 single with a song written by Meat Loaf’s producer, Jim Steinman, ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’. Also No.1 in the US, (the only Welsh artist to score a US No.1), Canada and Australia, the single sold over 5 million copies.
1988, Rick Astley started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, also a No.1 in the UK.
1994, Swedish group Ace Of Base started a six week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘The Sign’, a No.2 hit in the UK.
1995, The Spin Doctors played a gig at singer Chris Barron’s old School in Princeton and raised $10,000 towards a trip to France and the UK for the school choir.
2001, Judy Garland’s ‘Over The Rainbow’ was voted the Song Of The Century in a poll published in America. Musicians, critics and fans compiled the list by the RIA. The highest placed UK act was The Rolling Stones (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction in 16th place. The Beatles had ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ at No. 28.
2004, Rosalind Morganfield, the 34 year old daughter of Blues artist Muddy Waters, surrendered to police after a warrant was issued accusing her of being involved in the 1996 murder of 19 year old Timothy Jason Harrington during a drug deal.
2006, Former Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour went to No.1 on the UK album chart with his third solo album On An Island. In 2009 UK radio station Planet Rock held a poll asking listeners to name the ‘Greatest Solo Album Written By A Former Band Member’. David Gilmour was voted into first place with On An Island.
2007, Amy Winehouse made her US television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman performing ‘Rehab’. The song went on to win three Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and also won an Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song.
2009, Hundreds of fans queued at the O2 arena in London as Michael Jackson tickets went on sale to the public. The 50-year-old pop veteran had confirmed he would be playing a 50-date residency at the venue, beginning on 8 July 2009. Some 360,000 pre-sale tickets had already sold. Organisers said the This Is It tour had become the fastest-selling in history, with 33 seats sold each minute. Prices ranged from £170 to £10,000, but tickets bought directly from the singer’s website cost up to £75. Jackson had said this would be the last time he would perform in the UK.
2010, Over 130 people were arrested and eight people were hospitalised as fans tried to gatecrash a Metallica show in Colombia. 1,500 police and four tanks were brought in to manage the crowds as property was vandalized and destroyed, as thousands of ticketless fans rioted during Metallica’s first Colombian concert in eleven years.
2012, Country star Taylor Swift beat Adele and Lady Gaga to be named the highest-earning pop artist of 2011. The 22-year-old earned $35,719,902 in 2011 from a combination of music sales, royalties and touring. U2 took second place with $32m thanks to their 360 tour, seen by more than seven million people while Adele came 10th.
2012, Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack died at his home in Dubois, Wyoming at the age of 65. He had been battling cancer for some time and succumbed to complications of the disease with his family at his side. Hossack was a member of the Doobie Brothers between 1971 and 1973, playing on several of the band’s best-known hits, including ‘Listen to the Music’ and ‘China Grove’.
2013, Bob Dylan was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, marking the first time a rock musician had been chosen for the elite honor society. Officials in the Academy – which recognises music, literature and visual art – were unable to decide if Dylan belonged for his words or his music and instead inducted him as an honorary member like previous honorees Meryl Streep, Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese.
2016, Iron Maiden’s personal Boeing 747 was badly damaged after colliding with a tow truck while grounded at Santiago, Chile. The band’s crew and their twenty tons of equipment were not onboard at the time of the crash, but two ground crew workers were injured.