1959 – Doo-wop group The Platters scored their only UK No.1 hit with ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’ (also a US No.1 hit). The song was a show tune written by American composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Otto Harbach for their 1933 musical Roberta. Paul Whiteman had the first hit recording of the song in 1934.
1964 – The Beatles set a new record for advance sales in the U.S. with 2,100,000 copies of their latest single ‘Can’t Buy Me Love.’ When pressed by American journalists in 1966 to reveal the song’s “true” meaning, Paul McCartney stated “I think you can put any interpretation you want on anything, but when someone suggests that ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ is about a prostitute, I draw the line.”
1965 – The Rolling Stones were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘The Last Time’, the bands third UK No.1 and first No.1 for songwriters Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
1968 – The posthumously released Otis Redding single ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’ started a five week run at No.1 on the US chart, (a No.3 hit the UK). Otis was killed in a plane crash on 10th December 1967 three days after recording the song. ‘Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay’, became the first posthumous No.1 single in US chart history and sold over four million copies worldwide.
1970 – Motown singer Tammi Terrell died of a brain tumour at the age of 24. She had collapsed onstage on October 14, 1967 into Marvin Gaye’s arms during a concert in Hampton, Virginia. Initially Terrell recorded solo, but from 1967 onwards she recorded a series of duets with Marvin Gaye, including the 1967 US No.5 ‘Your Precious Love’ and the 1968, ‘Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing’. Marvin Gaye reacted to her death by taking a four year hiatus from concert performance and went into self-isolation.
1971 – Winners at this years Grammy Awards included, Simon and Garfunkel who won Record of the year, Song of the year and Album of the year for Carpenters won Best new act and Best vocal performance.
1972 – John Lennon lodged an appeal with the US immigration office in New York, after he was served with deportation orders arising from his 1968 cannabis possession conviction.
1974 – During a US tour Elvis Presley played the first of four nights at the Midsouth Coliseum in Memphis Tennessee. This was the first time Elvis had played in Memphis since 1961.
1977 – Paper Lace were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with the anti-war pop song ‘Billy Don’t Be A Hero,’ the group’s only No.1. Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods scored a US No.1 with their version of the song.
1977 – After being with the label for just six days the Sex Pistols were fired from A&M due to pressure from other label artists and its Los Angeles head office. 25,000 copies of ‘God Save The Queen’ were pressed and the band made £75,000 ($127,500) from the deal.
1991 – Seven members of Country singer Reba McEntire’s band and her road manager were among 10 people who were killed when their private jet crashed in California just north of the Mexican border. McEntire, who had given a private concert in San Diego for IBM employees the night before, was not on the plane.
1992 – During a Metallica gig at Orlando Arena fans dangled an usher by his ankles from the balcony as trouble broke out at the concert. The band were charged $38,000 for repairs and cleaning after the audience trashed the building.
1996 – Charles Pope singer with the American vocal group The Tams died of heart failure. They had the 1964 US hit ‘What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I Am)’ and the 1971 UK No.1 single ‘Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me’. The group took their name from the Tam o’shanter hats they wore on stage.
2010 – ABBA were inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with Genesis and The Hollies. Abba’s Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad accepted their trophies, in New York.
2010 – A rare Led Zeppelin recording from the group’s 1971 gig at St Matthew’s Baths Hall in Ipswich, England was unearthed at a car boot sale. The bootleg copy of the audio from the group’s gig on November 16th 1971 was picked up for just “two or three pounds” by music fan Vic Kemp. “I was going through a stand of CDs at the car boot at Portman Road and the guy who was selling them said, ‘You might be interested in this,'” Vic Kemp told the Evening Star. “It must have been recorded by someone standing at the front with a microphone. You can hear Robert Plant talking to the audience quite clearly.”
2012 – A series of “medical mishaps” forced Morrissey to cancel the rest of his forthcoming concerts in the US. The ex-Smiths frontman had suffered a number of illnesses including a bleeding ulcer, Barrett’s oesophagus and double pneumonia. The 53-year-old, had already called off 21 gigs this year due to poor health.
2015 – Sam Smith stopped Madonna from topping the UK album chart, denying her the 12th No.1 of her career. Madonna’s latest album, Rebel Heart, had been in pole position throughout the week, but Smith’s In The Lonely Hour sneaked ahead at the last minute, beating Madonna by 12,000 sales. In The Lonely Hour had now spent six separate spells at No.1 – a record for a male solo artist.
2015 – Andy Fraser songwriter and bass guitarist with Free died of a heart attack caused by Atherosclerosis in California aged 62. The London-born musician became a founding member of the British group when he was just 15 and went on to write most of the material with lead singer Paul Rodgers, including Free’s 1970 hit ‘All Right Now’, ‘My Brother Jake’ and ‘The Stealer’. Fraser also penned ‘Every Kinda People’, a hit for Robert Palmer as well as songs for Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan, Rod Stewart and Paul Young.
2017 – American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter James Cotton died from pneumonia aged 81. Cotton worked in Howlin’ Wolf’s band in the early 1950s. In 1955, he was recruited by Muddy Waters to come to Chicago and join his band. In 2006, Cotton was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.