1902, The Gibson Mandolin guitar company was formed. Gibson’s first electric guitar the ES-150 was produced in 1936, and in 1946 Gibson introduced the P-90 single coil pickup, which was eventually used on the first Les Paul model made in 1952.
1939, The real Eleanor Rigby died in her sleep of unknown causes at the age of 44. The 1966 Beatles’ song that featured her name wasn’t written about her, as Paul McCartney’s first draft of the song named the character Miss Daisy Hawkins. Eleanor Rigby’s tombstone was noticed in the 1980s in the graveyard of St. Peter’s Parish Church in Woolton, Liverpool, a few feet from where McCartney and Lennon had met for the first time in 1957.
1956, Elvis Presley’s ‘Love Me Tender’ entered the US chart for a 19 week stay, peaking at No.1 for 5 weeks. The song, from Presley’s first film of the same name, was adapted from the tune “Aura Lee”, written in 1861.
1959, The Quarry Men played at the Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool. Ken Brown, suffering from a heavy cold was unable to perform and after the show, an argument started when Paul McCartney said that Brown should not get a share of the performance fee since he had not performed. Lennon and Harrison side with McCartney and Brown quits The Quarry Men.
1964, During a UK tour The Beatles appeared at De Montfort Hall in Leicester. Ringo Starr drove himself to the venue after taking delivery of a brand new Facel Vega, apparently reaching speeds of 140 MPH on the M6 motorway.
1969, King Crimson released their debut studio album In the Court of the Crimson King on Island Records in England and Atlantic Records in America. Rolling Stone named In the Court of the Crimson King the second greatest progressive rock album of all time, behind Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.
1970, The Carpenters were at No.2 on the US singles chart with ‘We’ve Only Just Begun.’ The song was originally recorded by Smokey Roberds, under the name “Freddie Allen”, and was used in a wedding-themed television commercial for Crocker National Bank in California in 1970.
1970, Black Sabbath were at No.1 on the UK chart with their second album ‘Paranoid.’ The album which contains some of the band’s best-known signature songs, including the title track, ‘Iron Man’ and ‘War Pigs’ is now regarded as one of the classic Heavy Metal albums.
1970, Neil Diamond went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Cracklin’ Rosie’, his first No.1 as an artist. Diamond who had spent his early career as a songwriter in the Brill Building, wrote the 1966 No.1 hit ‘I’m A Believer’ for The Monkees.
1970, The first issue of Sounds the British music paper was published. It was intended to be a weekly rival to titles such as Melody Maker and New Musical Express and was well known initially for giving away posters in the centre of the paper. Sounds closed on April 6, 1991.
1978, Joe Perry and Steve Tyler from Aerosmith were injured after a cherry bomb was thrown on stage during a gig in Philadelphia. The group performed behind a safety fence for the rest of the tour.
1978, The second Stiff Records UK tour kicked off featuring; Wreckless Eric, Jona Lewie, Rachel Sweet, Lene Lovich and Micky Jupp. The UK tour was undertaken by train, and then continued on to the USA, without Jupp, who was afraid of flying.
1979, The Rose, starring Bette Midler as a self-destructive 1960s Rock star, (transparently based on Janis Joplin) premiered in Los Angeles. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Frederic Forrest), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Bette Midler, in her screen debut), Best Film Editing and Best Sound.
1980, The funeral took place of Led Zeppelin’s drummer John Bonham ‘Bonzo’ was found dead at guitarists Jimmy Page’s house of what was described as asphyxiation, after inhaling his own vomit after excessive vodka consumption, (40 shots in 4 hours) aged 32.
1981, The Police went to No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘Ghost In The Machine’, the bands third No.1 LP.
1987, Whitesnake went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Here I Go Again’, a No.9 hit in the UK in 1987.
1992, R.E.M. scored their second UK No.1 album with ‘Automatic For The People’, featuring the singles ‘Drive’, ‘Everybody Hurts’, ‘Man On The Moon’ and ‘The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight.’
1999, A charity auction selling Elvis Presley’s belongings was held at The Grand Hotel, Las Vegas. A wristwatch sold for $32,500, a cigar box $25,000, an autographed baseball sold for $19,000, and a 1956 Lincoln Continental sold for $250,000.
1999, US teenager Christina Aguilera went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Genie In A Bottle.’ The song spent 5 weeks at No.1 on the US chart and won Aguilera the Best New Artist Grammy for the year.
2000, Britney Spears made her UK live debut when she played the first of three sold out nights at London’s Wembley Arena.
2002, Twelve protesters dressed as monkeys picketed outside the north Wales holiday home of former Stone Roses singer Ian Brown. The demonstrators argued Brown, was selling the five-bedroom house, in the small village of Llithfaen on the Llyn Peninsula for an inflated price – £150,000 – which local people could not afford. The monkey costumes worn by the anonymous protesters, referred to the name of Brown’s recent solo album ‘Unfinished Monkey Business.’
2007, Sting topped a list of the worst lyricists ever, for such alleged sins as name-dropping Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov in the Police tune “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” quoting a Volvo bumper sticker (“If You Love Someone Set Them Free”), and co-opting the works of Chaucer, St. Augustine and Shakespeare. The survey in Blender magazine placed Rush drummer Neil Peart at No. 2, Creed frontman Scott Stapp at No. 3 and Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher at No. 4 saying Gallagher “seemed incapable of following a metaphor through a single line, let alone a whole verse.”
2009, Boyzone singer Stephen Gately died suddenly at the age of 33 while on holiday in Majorca. Spanish police said there were no signs of suspicious circumstances, but the cause of death was not yet known. Gately was on holiday with his long-term partner Andy Cowles.
2010, American preacher and singer Solomon Burke died at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport while on a plane from Washington Dulles Airport that had just landed. Known as the king of rock & soul, he had a string of hits including 1961 US No.24 single ‘Just Out Of Reach Of My Open Arms’, and the 1963 US No.1 R&B hit, ‘Got To Get You Off My Mind’.
2013, Paul McCartney and his band surprised New Yorkers by performing songs from his “New” album in a short impromptu free concert to roughly 3,000 people on a long truck parked in the middle of Times Square.
2014, Taylor Swift was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year 2014, making her the first artist to receive the award twice. The award goes to the female artist who “has shaped and inspired the music industry with her success, leadership and innovation” over the last year.
2015, American tenor saxophone player Steve Mackay who worked with the Stooges, Violent Femmes, Snakefinger, Commander Cody and others died from sepsis at a hospital in Daly City, California at the age of 66.