1942, ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’ by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra became the first recording to be awarded a Gold record. It was actually just a master copy of the disc sprayed with gold lacquer by RCA as a publicity stunt. The actual award recognized today as a Gold Record would not be initiated for another sixteen years when the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) borrowed the idea and trademarked the Gold Record. The first Gold single was awarded to Perry Como in 1958 for ‘Catch A Falling Star’ and the first Gold album was given to Gordon McRae for the soundtrack to ‘Oklahoma’.
1967, The Beatles recorded the orchestral build-up for the middle and end of ‘A Day in the Life’. At the Beatles’ request, the orchestra members arrived in full evening dress along with novelty items. One violinist wore a red clown’s nose, while another, a fake gorilla’s paw on his bow hand. Others were wearing funny hats and other assorted novelties. The recording was filmed for a possible ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ television special which was ultimately abandoned. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mike Nesmith from The Monkees and Donovan also attended the session.
1968, The Four Tops ‘Greatest Hits’ was at No.1 on the UK album chart, the first No.1 album for the Tamla Motown label.
1971, American singer-songwriter Carole King released her second studio album Tapestry. It is one of the best-selling albums of all time, with over 25 million copies sold worldwide. The lead single from the album ‘It’s Too Late’/’I Feel the Earth Move’ spent five weeks at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The cover photograph was taken at King’s Laurel Canyon home. It shows her sitting in a window frame, holding a tapestry she hand-stitched herself, with her cat Telemachus at her feet.
1972, David Bowie appeared at the Tolworth Toby Jug, London, on the opening date of his Ziggy Stardust tour playing to around 60 people in the room. The character of Ziggy was initially inspired by British rock ‘n’ roll singer Vince Taylor. The Ziggy Stardust tour played a total of 182 dates.
1973, Elton John had his first UK No.1 album when ‘Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player’ started a six-week run at the top of the charts.
1974, Record producer Phil Spector was injured in a car crash. He needed extensive plastic surgery that dramatically altered his looks. Details of how the accident happened were kept secret.
1975, Dave Alexander, the original bassist for The Stooges died from pneumonia aged 27. Alexander met Iggy Pop and formed The Stooges in 1967 and had a hand in arranging, composing and performing all of the songs that appeared on the band’s first two albums, The Stooges and Fun House. He was fired from the band in August 1970 after showing up at a gig too drunk to play.
1977, The Clash started recording their debut album at CBS studios in London, England. The album was recorded over three weekend sessions at CBS Studio 3 in February 1977. By the third of these sessions the album was recorded and mixed to completion, with the tapes being delivered to CBS at the start of March. It cost just £4000 to produce.
1979, Rod Stewart started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy’, his third US No.1. (and a No.1 hit in the UK). Also today Rod started a three-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Blondes Have More Fun.’
1984, Frankie Goes To Hollywood were at No.1 on the UK singles chart for the third week with ‘Relax.’ Eurythmics had the UK No.1 album with ‘Touch.’
1990, Paula Abdul started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Opposites Attract’, her fourth US No.1, a No.2 hit in the UK.
1993, On a special edition of the Oprah Winfrey show, Michael Jackson gave his first TV interview for 14 years, live from his Neverland Valley Ranch.
1997, Blur released their eponymous fifth studio album. As well as lead single, ‘Beetlebum’, reaching the top of the UK charts the album also reached the top 20 in six other countries. The success of ‘Song 2’ led to Blur becoming the band’s most successful album in the US where the Britpop scene had been largely unsuccessful.
1998, Axl Rose was charged with disorderly conduct following a row with a baggage handler at Arizona Airport, Rose was later released on bail.
2001, Police were investigating Eminem over suspected drugs offences after he appeared to consume Ecstasy pills and encouraged the audience at his Manchester show to take drugs. Over 100 gay rights protesters picketed the show.
2002, American folk singer Dave Van Ronk died aged 65. An important figure in the American folk music revival and New York City’s Greenwich Village scene in the Sixties, he was nicknamed the “Mayor of MacDougal Street”. Bob Dylan recorded Van Ronk’s arrangement of the traditional song ‘House of the Rising Sun’ on his first album, which The Animals turned into a No.1 UK single in 1964, helping inaugurate the folk-rock movement.
2004, Diana Ross was sentenced to two days in jail after pleading ‘no contest’ to a drink driving charge. She was allowed to enter her plea over the telephone from New York; her lawyer said the singer would serve her term at a prison near her Los Angeles home. Ross was arrested in December
2002 after tests indicated she was twice over the drink- drive limit.
2005, Prince topped Rolling Stone magazine’s annual list of the years biggest money earners after his 2004 tour grossed over $90 million. Madonna came in second place after earning $54.9 million and Metallica came third with $43 million.
2005, Who singer Roger Daltrey was awarded the CBE by The Queen at Buckingham Palace for services to the music industry.
2006, American record producer and MC James Dewitt Yancey, (A.K.A. J Dilla or Jay Dee), died of a rare blood disease, at his home in Los Angeles, California. Yancey had toured Europe in 2005 performing from a wheelchair.
2008, Amy Winehouse won five prizes at this year’s Grammy Awards, including song of the year and record of the year, both for her single ‘Rehab’, and best new artist. The UK singer was not at the Los Angeles ceremony to collect them due to visa problems. Instead, she made an acceptance speech by satellite, paying tribute to her husband, “my Blake incarcerated”, who was in custody awaiting trial on charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice and grievous bodily harm. Kanye West scooped four Grammy Awards, while Bruce Springsteen won three.
2014, A Seattle woman was charged for allegedly sending Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell a number of chilling death threats and threats to harm his children. The singer was sent over 100 different messages by Elizabeth Walden who had nine different Twitter accounts. Prosecutors said the tweets constituted cyber-stalking and filed criminal charges against her.
2017, Universal Records struck a deal to release much of the late musician Prince’s private archive. Universal said the deal gave it exclusive licensing rights to Prince’s “highly anticipated trove of unreleased works”. It has also acquired the rights to 25 albums that Prince released through NPG Records, the label that he founded.