1953 – Lita Roza was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘(How Much) Is That Doggie In Window.’ The 27 year old singer was the NME readers’ Top Female artist of 1953 and with this single became the first British female singer to top the UK singles Chart, (and the first Liverpudlian to do so).
1963 – The Rolling Stones played at The Crawdaddy Club, Richmond. All four members of The Beatles were in the audience. The name of the club derived from Bo Diddley’s 1960 song ‘Doing the CrawDaddy’, which The Rolling Stones regularly performed as part of their set. In turn the club would inspire the name of the American music magazine Crawdaddy!
1966 – The Spencer Davis Group were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Somebody Help Me’, the group’s second UK No.1.
1967 – David Bowie’s novelty record ‘The Laughing Gnome’ was released in the UK. The track consisted of the singer meeting and conversing with the creature of the title, whose sped-up voice (created by Bowie and studio engineer Gus Dudgeon) delivered several puns on the word “gnome”. The song became a hit when reissued in 1973, despite it being radically different to his material at the time, the single made No. 6 in the UK charts.
1967 – A riot broke out at Warsaw’s Palace Of Culture as The Rolling Stones made their first appearance in an Iron curtain Country; police used tear gas in a battle with 2,000 fans.
1967 – Polydor Records released The Bee Gees ‘New York mining Disaster 1941’ It was released with a promotional slogan announcing ‘The most significant talent since The Beatles. The record became a Top 20 hit in the UK and US.
1969 – The recording of ‘The Ballad Of John and Yoko’ took place, with just two Beatles, Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Paul played bass, drums and piano with John on guitars and lead vocals. The song was banned from many radio stations as being blasphemous. On some stations, the word ‘Christ’ was edited in backwards to avoid the ban.
1970 – Creedence Clearwater Revival made their live UK debut when they played the first of two nights at The Royal Albert Hall, London.
1971 – The Illinois Crime Commission issued a list of ‘drug-oriented records’ including ‘White Rabbit’ by Jefferson Airplane, ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’ by Procol Harum and The Beatles ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.’
1972 – David Bowie released ‘Starman’ as a single in the UK, which became his first hit since 1969’s ‘Space Oddity’ three years before. The song was a late addition to the album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars included at the insistence of RCA’s Dennis Katz, who heard a demo and loved the track, believing it would make a great single. The lyrics describe Ziggy Stardust bringing a message of hope to Earth’s youth through the radio, salvation by an alien ‘Starman’.
1973 – Led Zeppelin started a two-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with Houses Of The Holy also a No.1 in the US. The young girl featured on the cover of the album climbing naked up Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland is Samantha Gates who was 6 years old at the time of the photo shoot.
1975 – After rumours that Jimmy Page, Steve Marriott, Jeff Beck or Chris Spedding variously would replace Mick Taylor as guitarist in The Rolling Stones, a press release confirmed that Ronnie Wood would be joining the band for their forthcoming American tour.
1976 – Eric Faulkner of The Bay City Rollers reportedly came close to death after taking a drug overdose at their manager’s house while in a state of exhaustion.
1978 – Art Garfunkel started a six week run at No.1 in the UK with the theme from the film ‘Watership Down’, ‘Bright Eyes’ which went on to become the biggest selling single of the year. The song was written by the man behind The Wombles, Mike Batt.
1978 – Joy Division played at the Stiff Test Chiswick Challenge, at Raffters in Manchester, England. Future managers Rob Gretton and then journalist Tony Wilson saw the band for the first time.
1980 – Gary Numan released ‘The Touring Principle’, the first long-form rock video to be made commercially available in the UK.
1983 – The Pretenders bass player Pete Farndon died from a drug overdose. He was sacked from the group on June 14th 1982, (two days before Pretenders guitarist James Honeyman-Scott was found dead of heart failure). Farndon was in the midst of forming a new band with former Clash drummer Topper Headon when he died.
1994 – Kurt Cobain was cremated at the Bleitz Funeral Home, Seattle. The death certificate listed Cobain’s occupation as Poet/Musician and his type of business as Punk Rock.
1995 – American actor, writer and folk singer Burl Ives died of cancer aged 85. Had hits with ‘Funny Way Of Laughing’, ‘The Blue Tail Fly’ and ‘Little Bitty Tear’, won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1958 film The Big Country.
1999 – UK singer, songwriter and actor Anthony Newley died of cancer. Scored 12 UK Top 40 singles from 1959-1962 including the No.1 single ‘Why.’ He won the 1963 Grammy Award for Song of the Year for “What Kind of Fool Am I?”, he was married to the actress Joan Collins from 1963 to 1971.
2001 – Sean Puffy Combs, (P. Diddy), was arrested in Miami for riding a scooter in South Beach on a suspended driver’s license. He was released 20 minutes later after signing a promise to appear in court.
2003 – A man was arrested accused of making up a Bjork concert then selling tickets. Alex Conate allegedly sold tickets worth $14,000 at $40 each after persuading a San Diego nightclub owner that Bjork had agreed to play there. He was accused of taking the money and moving to Hawaii, where he was arrested.
2009 – A planned auction of nearly 1,400 items from the former home of Michael Jackson was cancelled. A public preview of the collection had already begun in Los Angeles and the exhibition of Jackson’s possessions would stay open until the end of next week. A last-minute settlement meant Jackson’s belongings would now be returned to him. In response, he had dropped a lawsuit against Juliens Auctions.
2009 – Former Beatle George Harrison was honoured with a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. Sir Paul McCartney attended the unveiling outside the landmark Capitol Records building, joining Harrison’s widow Olivia and son Dhani. Eric Idle, Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and musician Tom Petty also attended the ceremony.
2013 – Justin Bieber caused outrage after writing a message in a guestbook at the Anne Frank Museum, which stated he hoped the Holocaust victim would have been a fan. The 19-year-old wrote: “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.” It provoked fierce online criticism of the Canadian singer, who was in Amsterdam as part of a tour.
2014 – Latin jazz percussionist Armando Peraza died of pneumonia at the age of 89. He was a member of Santana from 1972 until the early 90s appearing on over 15 of the groups albums. Born in Lawton Batista, Havana, Cuba, Pereza played congas, bongos, and timbales.
2015 – American R&B and soul singer Percy Sledge died of liver cancer at his home in Baton Rouge aged 73. The inspiration behind his 1966 US No.1 hit ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’, came when Sledge’s girlfriend left him for a modelling career after he was laid off from a construction job in late 1965.
2017 – Harry Styles’s debut single ‘Sign of the Times’ broke Ed Sheeran’s 13-week run at the top of the UK charts. The One Direction star achieved his first No.1 as a solo artist with this release – the first from his self-titled debut album.