1949, American blues artist, Leadbelly died. Huddie William Ledbetter wrote many songs including ‘Goodnight Irene’, ‘Cotton Fields’, ‘The Rock Island Line’, and ‘The Midnight Special’. Leadbelly was jailed several times for fights and knife related incidents, he was once jailed for shooting a man dead during an argument over a woman.
1961, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best met with Brian Epstein for further discussions about his proposal to manage them. Epstein wanted 25% of their gross fees each week. He promises that they will never again play for less than £15, except for The Cavern lunchtime sessions, for which he will get their fee doubled to ten pounds. Lennon, as leader of The Beatles accepts on their behalf.
1962, During sessions for the ‘Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’ album, Bob Dylan recorded ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ and versions of ‘Hero Blues’, ‘Whatcha Gonna Do’, ‘Oxford Town’, and ‘I Shall Be Free’, at Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios in New York City.
1964, The film ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey’ premiered in London. Featuring Gerry And The Pacemakers, Cilla Black and other Liverpool acts. It was written by Tony Warren, creator of the UK’s longest running TV soap ‘Coronation Street’.
1965, The Rolling Stones recorded ’19th Nervous Breakdown’ and ‘Mother’s Little Helper’ at RCA’s Hollywood Studios in Los Angeles.
1966, The Beatles recorded Christmas and New Year’s greetings for pirate radio stations Radio Caroline and Radio London. Both stations were broadcasting from ships anchored off the British coastline.
1968, The Rolling Stones released Beggars Banquet their seventh UK studio album. For the album, (which included ‘Street Fighting Man’, and ‘Sympathy for the Devil’), the Stones had gone to great lengths to toughen their sound and banish the haze of psychedelia, and in doing so, they launched a five-year period in which they would produce their very greatest records.
1969, Led Zeppelin made their debut on the US singles chart with ‘Whole Lotta Love’, it went on to make No.4 on the chart and was the first of six Top 40 singles for the group in the US. During the bands career, Zeppelin never released any singles in the UK.
1969, One Hit Wonders Steam started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye’. The song was actually recorded by Gary De Carlo, who intended it to be the “B” side of his first single. Gary didn’t like the song and when record executives wanted to issue it as the “A” side, he insisted it be released under an assumed name. The song became a UK No.5 single for girl group Bananarama in 83.
1969, The Rolling Stones played a free festival at Altamont in California, along with Jefferson Airplane, Santana, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Crosby Stills Nash & Young. Rolling Stones fan Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death as the group played by Hell’s Angels who’d been hired to police the event. It’s claimed Hunter was waving a revolver. One other man drowned, two men were killed by in a hit-and run accident and two babies were born.
1972, While reading the morning newspaper in Nice, France, Rolling Stone Keith Richards was surprised to learn that arrest warrants had been issued for him and his girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg for drug possession.
1975, Paul Simon went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’, his first US No.1 solo album.
1975, Rev Charles Boykin of Tallahassee, Florida organised the burning of Elton John and The Rolling Stones records, claiming they were sinful. Boykin was reacting to the results from a survey that said, 984 of the 1,000 local unmarried mothers had sex when listening to rock music.
1978, Sex Pistols Sid Vicious smashed a glass in the face of Patti Smith’s brother Todd Smith during a fight at New York City club Hurrah.
1983, Duran Duran appeared live at the Apollo, Manchester, England.
1986, Europe were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘The Final Countdown’. They became only the second Swedish act to score a UK No.1. The song reached No.1 in 25 countries and the song’s lyrics were inspired by David Bowie’s song ‘Space Oddity’
1988, American singer songwriter Roy Orbison died of a heart attack aged 52. Scored the 1964 UK & US No.1 single ‘Pretty Woman’, plus over 20 US & 30 UK Top 40 singles including ‘Only the Lonely’ and ‘Crying’. Formed his first band The Wink Westerners in 1949, was a member of The Traveling Wilburys (known as Lefty Wilbury) with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty and had the 1988 UK No.21 single ‘Handle With Care’. Orbison endured a great deal of tragedy in his life. His first wife, Claudette died in a motorcycle accident in 1966 and two of his three sons, died in a house fire.
1994, Tower Records released The Beatles ‘Live At The BBC’, a 69 track, double album of tunes recorded for BBC shows such as Top Gear, Easy Beat, Saturday Club and Pop Go The Beatles. The LP will rise straight to the top of the UK chart, selling over 600,000 copies by the end of the year and 2,000,000 in the US four weeks later.
2003, Elvis Costello married jazz artist Diana Krall in a ceremony at Elton John’s UK mansion. About 150 guests, including Paul McCartney attended the wedding. It was Costello’s third marriage.
2005, Robbie Williams accepted substantial libel damages over claims that he was secretly homosexual. The People newspaper, Star and Hot Stars magazines in 2004 published stories alleging Mr Williams had engaged in casual homosexual sex. The publications’ owners, MGN Limited and Northern & Shell plc, now accepted the stories were untrue and had agreed undisclosed damages. Tom Shields QC, told the court: “Mr Williams is not, and has never been, homosexual.”
2008, Beyonce went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘I Am’ Sasha Fierce’, the singers third studio album. It debuted at No.1, making Knowles the third female artist this decade after Britney Spears and Alicia Keys to have her first three albums debut in the top spot.
2011, American singer and songwriter Dobie Gray died from complications of cancer surgery in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 71. His hit records included ‘The ‘In’ Crowd’ in 1965 and ‘Drift Away’, which was one of the biggest hits of 1973, and went on to sell over one million copies.
2013, The electric guitar played by Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival was sold at auction in New York for a record $965,000. The Fender Stratocaster had been in the possession of a New Jersey family for 48 years after Dylan left it on a private plane.
2016, It was reported that more money had been spent on vinyl than downloaded albums for the first time. Vinyl sales made the record industry £2.4m, while downloads took in £2.1m, the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) said. It marked a big shift in music consumption. In the same week the previous year, vinyl albums made £1.2m while digital ones made £4.4m.