1956, “The Nat King Cole Show” debuted on NBC-TV in America. The Cole program was the first of its kind hosted by an African-American.
1960, Country & western singer Johnny Horton was killed in a car crash. He had the 1959 US No.1 & UK No.16 single ‘The Battle Of New Orleans’.
1966, The Monkees were at the top of the Billboard singles chart with ‘Last Train To Clarksville’, the group’s first No. 1. Bobby Hart who co-wrote the song got the idea for the lyrics when he turned on the radio and heard the end of The Beatles’ ‘Paperback Writer’. He thought Paul McCartney was singing “Take the last train”, and decided to use the line when he found out McCartney was actually singing ‘Paperback Writer’.
1967, Bee Gee Robin Gibb was a passenger on a train which crashed in South East London in England killing 49 people and injuring 78. Robin was treated for shock after the accident.
1971, Elvis Presley kicked off a 15-date North American tour at the Metropolitan Sports Center in Minneapolis. Announcer Al Dvorin uttered the well known phrase: “Elvis has left the building” at the end of the show. He was asked to make the announcement in an effort to quiet the fans who continued to call for an encore.
1977, The manager of the Virgin record store in Nottingham, England was arrested for displaying a large poster advertising the new Sex Pistols album, ‘Never Mind The Bollock’s, Here’s The Sex Pistols’. High street stores banned the album after police warned they could be fined under the 1898 indecent advertising act.
1982, Channel 4 TV’s The Tube had its first showing. Presented by Paula Yates and Jools Holland, the show featured The Jam and an interview with Mick Jagger. The first live act on the show was local band Toy Dolls. The show ran until 1987 and was named after the plexiglass tunnel which led down into Studio Five at Tyne Tees TV, the place where all the stars from the 80’s subsequently appeared.
1983, Billy Joel was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Uptown Girl’, which stayed at the top of the chars for five weeks. The song was initially written about his relationship with his then-girlfriend Elle Macpherson, but it ended up also becoming about his soon-to-be wife Christie Brinkley (both women being two of the most famous supermodels of the 1980s).
1983, Topper Headon of The Clash was arrested for walking his dog while drunk on London’s Fulham Road.
1986, Bobby Nunn of The Coasters died of heart failure in Los Angeles. The Coasters scored the 1958 US No.1 single ‘Yakety Yak’, 1959 US No.2 and UK No.6 single ‘Charlie Brown’ as well as ‘Young Blood’ and ‘Poison Ivy’.
1988, The Beach Boys went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Kokomo’, it peaked at No.25 in the UK. The track had been featured in the film Cocktail.
1988, ‘The Locomotion’, became the first song to reach the US Top 5 in three different versions, when Kylie Minogue’s reached No.3 on the US chart. Written by American songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King, the song is notable for appearing in the American Top 5 three times – each time in a different decade: for Little Eva in 1962 and for Grand Funk Railroad in 1974.
1989, Former US Army Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler died at a Veterans Administration hospital in Nashville from complications brought on by an un-explained gun shot wound to the head, suffered 14 months earlier in Guatemala City. Sadler is best remembered for his hit ‘The Ballad of the Green Berets’, which stayed on top of the chart for five weeks in 1966. He was 49 years old at time of his death.
1994, Sheryl Crow scored her first UK Top 10 single when ‘All I Wanna Do’ entered the charts at No.4. The US singer songwriter went on to become the first US female to score six UK hits off her debut album ‘Tuesday Night Music Club’.
1998, Former Smiths singer Morrissey lost an appeal ruling that all band profits should have been split equally and faced a backdated payout to former Smiths member Mike Joyce estimated at £1million.
2000, U2 went to No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’, the Irish group’s 8th UK No.1 album. Creed were at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘With Arms Wide Open’.
2002, The funeral took place of Jam Master Jay, (Jason Mizell) from Run-DMC who was murdered by an assassin’s single bullet on 30th October
2002. A $30,000 reward was offered in connection with the murder, to this day nobody has ever been convicted of the killing.
2003, Bobby Hatfield of The Righteous Brothers was found dead in hotel room in Michigan 30 minutes before he was due on stage, aged 63. The autopsy report from the Kalamazoo County Medical Examiner gave the opinion that Hatfield suffered a sudden, unexpected death due to acute cocaine toxicity. The Righteous Brothers had the 1965 UK & US No.1 single ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, and the 1990 UK No.1 single ‘Unchained Melody’ first released in 1965.
2005, Guitarist Link Wray died aged 76. Wray was credited with inventing ‘fuzz’ guitar after punching a hole in a speaker giving him a distorted guitar sound. Famous for his 1958 US No.16 single ‘Rumble’ which was banned on several radio stations, on the grounds that it glorified juvenile delinquency. A rare feat for a song with no lyrics.
2010, Keith Richards’ autobiography Life was at No. 1 on the New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller list. The book by The Rolling Stones guitarist went on to be a million seller.
2012, To mark the 60th anniversary of the UK singles chart the Official Charts Company published a chart which lists all the 123 songs that have sold more than a million copies since it began in 1952. Elton John was at No.1 with Candle In The Wind, No.2 was Band Aid with Do They Know It’s Christmas? followed by Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody on 2.36million copies.
2013, Lady Gaga split from Troy Carter, who had managed her since 2007. Carter was credited with masterminding some of Gaga’s success, including her massive social media audience. She had 60 million Facebook fans and was amongst the top figures on Twitter with 40 million followers.
2014, The funeral for Jack Bruce was held in London, attended by Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and noted musicians Phil Manzanera, Gary Brooker, Vernon Reid and Nitin Sawhney among others. Dozens assembled at the Golders Green Crematorium paying a last tribute singing “Morning Has Broken”, “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Theme for an Imaginary Western”. The Scottish-born bass player and singer had died last month as a result of liver disease.