1961 – The Temptations auditioned for Motown Records. They were then known as the Elgins but soon changed their name. Now having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are one of the most successful groups in music history, known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and flashy wardrobe, the group was highly influential in the evolution of R&B and soul music.
1964 – Billboard reported that sales of Beatles singles currently accounted for 60 percent of the US singles market and The Beatles album Meet the Beatles had reached a record 3.5 million copies sold.
1965 – Eric Clapton quit The Yardbirds due to musical differences with the other band members. Clapton wanted to continue in a blues type vein, while the rest of the band preferred the more commercial style of their first hit, ‘For Your Love’.
1965 – The Beatles started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Eight Days A Week’, the group’s 7th US No.1. Paul McCartney would later say the name of the song came from a chauffeur who drove him one day. “I said, ‘How’ve you been?’. ‘Oh working hard,’ he said, ‘Working eight days a week.'”
1966 – Rod Stewart left the British blues band Steampacket to work as a solo artist. Arguably, the UK’s first “supergroup” Steampacket was formed in 1965 by Long John Baldry and also featured singer Julie Driscoll, organist Brian Auger and guitarist Vic Briggs.
1966 – Pink Floyd appeared for the first time at The The Marquee Club in Wardour Street, London, England. The Marquee became the most important venue for the emerging British scene and witnessed the rise of some of the most important artists in the 1960s and 1970s, such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Manfred Mann, The Who, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, King Crimson and Genesis.
1967 – Working at Abbey Road studios in London, six members of Sounds, Inc. recorded the horn parts for The Beatles song ‘Good Morning Good Morning’ (three saxophones, two trombones, and one french horn).
1971 – Brewer and Shipley entered the US singles chart with ‘One Toke Over The Line’. The song, which featured Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia on steel guitar, peaked at No.10 despite being banned by radio stations for its drug references. Brewer and Shipley maintained that the word “toke” meant “token” as in ticket, hence the line “waitin’ downtown at the railway station, one toke over the line.”
1976 – The Four Seasons started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘December 1963, (Oh What A Night)’, the group’s 5th US No.1, also their only UK No.1.
1977 – Manhattan Transfer were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Chanson D’amour’, the group’s only UK No.1. The retro Jazz vocal harmony group had been working in New York gay bars, singing 40s and 50s swing classics.
1977 – Iggy Pop kicked off a the North American leg of The Idiot World Tour at Le Plateau Theatre, Montreal, Canada (with David Bowie in the band playing keyboards and backing vocals). Blondie were the opening act on this lag of the tour.
1985 – Bob Geldof and Midge Ure received the Best Selling A Side award at the 30th Ivor Novello Awards for Do They Know It’s Christmas?
1993 – Eric Clapton started a three-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with Unplugged. It remains the most successful and best-selling live album ever, winning two Grammy awards at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in 1993. It is also Clapton’s best-selling album ever, having sold 26 million copies worldwide.
1995 – Radiohead released their second studio album The Bends. In the UK, The Bends, which features the tracks ‘High and Dry’ and ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ reached No.4 and stayed on the chart for 160 weeks. In 2006, British Hit Singles & Albums and NME organised a poll in which 40,000 people worldwide voted for the 100 best albums ever. The Bends was placed at No.10.
1998 – English reggae and ska artist Judge Dread (Alex Hughes) died after collapsing as he walked off stage in Canterbury, England. He achieved 10 UK hit singles during the 70s and was the first white recording artist to have a reggae hit in Jamaica. Dread has the most banned songs at radio of all time.
1999 – Cher started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Believe’, making the singer the oldest woman to top the Hot 100 at the age of 53. The song reached No.1 in almost every country it charted, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, Spain, France, Germany and Italy. It also became the highest-selling single by a solo female artist in the United Kingdom. ‘Believe’ remains one of the best-selling singles of all time with sales of over 11 million copies worldwide.
2006 – The Sex Pistols refused to attend their own induction into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Blondie, Herb Alpert and Black Sabbath were all inducted but the Pistols posted a handwritten note on their website, calling the institution “urine in wine”, adding “We’re not your monkeys, we’re not coming. You’re not paying attention”.
2006 – The Kinks came out the top earners for music used in TV adverts in the US, earning them £6m a year. The sixties group were enjoying a resurgence with their music being used to sell washing powder, computers and medicines. Led Zeppelin came in second place with £4m and The Rolling Stones third with £2.3m.
2008 – Michael Jackson refinanced his Neverland ranch to save it from being auctioned off, after being told that if he failed to pay $25m he owed on the California property, it would be auctioned within a week. Jackson bought Neverland in 1987 intending to create a fantasy land for children naming it after an island in the story Peter Pan, where children never grow up.
2013 – Jimi Hendrix scored his highest chart debut since 1969 when his new studio album, People, Hell & Angels, consisting of unreleased tracks recorded with a variety of musicians between 1968 and 1970, sold 72,000 copies in the US on the week of release and made its debut at No.2 on the charts.
2014 – Two people were killed and 23 injured after a drunk driver crashed through barricades set up for the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. The driver was thought to have been trying to escape from the police when the accident happened. Two other people later died in hospital.