1955, Elvis Presley’s first release on RCA Victor Records was announced. The first two songs ‘Mystery Train’ and ‘I Forgot to Remember to Forget’ had been purchased from Sam Phillips of Sun Records. Elvis was described by his new record company as ‘The most talked about personality in recorded music in the last 10 years.’
1956, Guy Mitchell was at No.1 on the US singles chart with his version of ‘Singing The Blues’, which spent nine weeks at the top of the charts. Two other charting versions of the song were released almost simultaneously with Mitchell’s, one by UK singer Tommy Steele (with the Steelmen) and the other by US country singer Marty Robbins.
1961, Brian Epstein invited The Beatles into his office to discuss the possibility of becoming their manager. John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best arrived late for the 4pm meeting, (they had been drinking at the Grapes pub in Matthew Street), but Paul McCartney was not with them, because, as Harrison explained, he had just got up and was “taking a bath”.
1964, The Rolling Stones had their second UK No.1 single with their version of ‘Little Red Rooster’. The Stones had recorded the song at Chess Studios in Chicago, the same studios where Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and Little Walter had recorded their blues classics.
1965, Rolling Stone Keith Richards was knocked unconscious by an electric shock on stage at the Memorial Hall In Sacramento, California, when his guitar made contact with his microphone.
1965, The Beatles set out on what would be their last ever UK tour at Glasgow’s Odeon Cinema. Also on the bill, The Moody Blues The Koobas and Beryl Marsden. The last show was at Cardiff’s Capitol Cinema on 12th December.
1965, The Beatles sixth studio album Rubber Soul was released. Often referred to as a folk rock album, Rubber Soul incorporates a mix of pop, soul and folk musical styles. The title derives from the colloquialism “plastic soul”, which referred to soul played by English musicians.
1965, The Who released their debut studio album My Generation in the UK. In the United States, it was released by Decca Records as The Who Sings My Generation in April 1966, with a different cover and a slightly altered track listing. In 2003 it was named the second greatest guitar album of all time by Mojo magazine.
1966, British act The New Vaudeville Band started a three-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Winchester Cathedral’. A No.4 hit in the UK.
1966, Ray Charles was given a five year suspended prison sentence and a $10,000 fine after being convicted of possessing heroin and marijuana.
1966, The Monkees made their live debut at the International Arena, Honolulu. The massive success of the TV series and its spin-off records had created intense pressure to mount a touring version of the group.
1969, The Rolling Stones recorded ‘Brown Sugar’ at Muscle Shoals studios. The single went on to be a UK & US No.1. The song was written by Mick Jagger with Marsha Hunt in mind; Hunt was Jagger’s secret girlfriend and mother of his first child Karis.
1975, Ronnie Wood’s wife Krisse was arrested for alleged possession of cannabis and cocaine after a raid on the couple’s house in Richmond. Krissie’s friend Audrey Burgon was also arrested, newspapers reported that the two women were found ‘sleeping together.’
1976, A giant 40ft inflatable pig could be seen floating above London, England after breaking free from its moorings. The pig, nicknamed Algie, was being photographed for the forthcoming Pink Floyd Animals album cover. The Civil Aviation Authority issued a warning to all pilots that a flying pig was on the run, and the pig eventually crashed into a barn in Godmersham, Kent, where the farmer complained of his cows being scared by the incident.
1976, An attempt was made on Bob Marley’s life when seven gunmen burst into his Kingston home injuring Marley his wife Rita and manager Don Taylor, the attack was believed to be politically motivated.
1976, An estimated three and a half million people applied for ABBA’s forthcoming British Albert Hall concerts, there were just over 11 thousand tickets available.
1977, Wings started a nine-week run at No.1 in the UK with ‘Mull Of Kintyre’. The first single to sell over 2 million copies in the UK, (it was co-written by Denny Laine who sold his rights to the song when he became bankrupt).
1979, A concert by The Who at The Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, turned to disaster when 11 members of the audience were trampled to death after a stampede to claim unreserved seats, another 26 fans were injured. The concert was using ‘festival seating’ where seats are available on a first come-first served basis. When the waiting fans outside the Coliseum heard the band performing a late sound check, they thought that the concert was beginning and tried to rush into the still-closed doors.
1986, Judas Priest were sued by two family’s, alleging that the band were responsible for their son’s forming a suicide pact and shooting themselves after listening to Judas Priest records. The parents and their legal team alleged that a subliminal message of ‘do it’ had been included in the Judas Priest song Better By You, Better Than Me from the Stained Class album and alleged the command in the song triggered the suicide attempt. The trial lasted from 16 July to 24 August 1990, when the suit was dismissed.
1994, Boyz II Men knocked themselves off the No.1 position on the US singles chart when ‘On Bended Knee’ started a six week run a No.1. The group’s ‘I’ll Make Love To You’ had been at No.1 for a record breaking 14 weeks.
1999, It was reported that rapper Jay-Z had been arrested in connection with the stabbing of music executive Lance Rivera. The rapper was charged with first-degree assault.
1999, U2 singer Bono had his missing laptop computer returned after losing it. A young man had bought it for £300 discovered he had the missing laptop, which contained tracks from the forthcoming U2 album.
2000, American composer Hoyt Curtin died of heart failure aged 78. He was the composer of many of the Hanna-Barbera cartoons’ theme songs, including The Flintstones, Top Cat, Jonny Quest, Superfriends, The Jetsons, Josie and the Pussycats, and The New Scooby-Doo Movies.
2001, American session guitarist Grady Martin died aged 72. He was a member of the legendary Nashville A-Team, playing guitar on hits ranging from Roy Orbison’s ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’, Marty Robbins’ ‘El Paso’ and Loretta Lynn’s ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’. During a 50-year career, Martin backed such names as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Joan Baez and J. J. Cale.
2003, A Los Angeles court ruled that the privacy of singer Barbra Streisand was not violated when a picture of her Malibu estate was posted on a website. Streisand had filed a $10m action against software entrepreneur Kenneth Adelman after he posted a photo of her home on his conservation site.
2006, The reformed Take That topped the UK singles and album charts simultaneously for the first time ever in their career. The single ‘Patience’ remained at number for the second week, and Beautiful World the group’s new album entered the chart at No.1.
2007, Diana Ross and the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson both collected awards for contributions to US culture a ceremony in Washington, attended by President Bush. Hootie and the Blowfish paid tribute to Brian Wilson with a medley of some of the Beach Boys’ best-known songs.
2008, Composer, keyboardist and arranger Derek Wadsworth died in Oxfordshire, England. As a musician he worked with Georgie Fame, Alan Price, George Harrison, Mike Oldfield, Diana Ross, Tom Jones, Dionne Warwick, Simply Red. Arranger for David Essex, Dusty Springfield, Nina Simone, Judy Garland, Kate Bush, Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, Small Faces, The Rolling Stones and Manfred Mann.
2009, Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood was arrested in Esher, Surrey on suspicion of assault, after a passer-by dialled 999 as a violent argument took place between Wood and his 21-year-old on-off girlfriend Ekaterina Ivanova. He was later cautioned by police.
2014, Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran was named the most-streamed artist in the world by Spotify. The 23-year-old had racked up more than 860 million streams on the service, beating Eminem and Coldplay who came second and third respectively. Katy Perry was the year’s most streamed female artist, with Ariana Grande second and Lana Del Rey third.
2014, English keyboard instrumentalist Ian McLagan died of a stroke age 69. He was a member of Small Faces and The Faces and also worked with many other artists including with The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker, Billy Bragg, Jackson Browne, Chuck Berry and Bruce Springsteen.
2015, American musician and singer-songwriter Scott Weiland died aged 48. He was found in cardiac arrest on his tour bus in Bloomington, Minnesota, just before he was scheduled to go on stage with his band The Wildabouts. He was 48 years old. Weiland was best known as the lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots from 1986 to 2013, as well as Velvet Revolver from 2003 to 2008.
2015, Jamaican pianist, keyboard player, and singer, Gladstone Anderson (also known by his nickname “Gladdy”) died age 81. He played a major part in the island’s musical history, playing a key role in defining the ska sound and the rocksteady beat, and playing on hundreds of recordings and as leader of Gladdy’s All Stars who scored the instrumental song hit with ‘The Liquidator’ in 1969 and 1980.