December 15 – Today in Music History

1921 Alan Freed born in Windber, Pennsylvania. American DJ. The man who gave ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ its name. Died 20th January 1965. 1928 Jerry Wallace born in Guilford, Missouri. US Pop/Country Singer. (1959 US No.8 single ‘Primrose Lane’). He died on May 5, 2008 in Corona, California, after suffering congestive heart failure. 1939 Cindy Birdsong born in Camden, New Jersey. US Female Vocalist. In 1967 she replaced Florence Ballard in The Supremes. 1969 UK No.3 single ‘I’m Gonna make You Love Me’).She left again in June 1972. 1942 Dave Clark born in Tottenham, North London. English Musician formed the Dave Clark Five in 1958. He was their drummer & Manager. (1964 UK No.1 single ‘Glad All Over’, 1965 US No.1 single ‘Over And Over’, plus over 15 other UK Top 40 singles). 1943 American jazz musician, singer and composer, Fats Waller died of pneumonia on a train trip near Kansas City, Missouri. Wrote many songs including ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’, ‘Your Feet’s Too Big’ and ‘The Reefer Song’. In 1926 Waller was kidnapped at gunpoint in Chicago and driven to a club owned by gangster Al Capone. Inside the club he was ordered to perform at what turned out to be a surprise birthday party for the gangster. 1944 Hank Williams married Audrey Sheppard, with the ceremony taking place at a filling station Their son, Randall Hank Williams, would achieve fame in his own right as Hank Williams, Jr., who was born on May 26, 1949. The marriage ended in divorce on May 29, 1952. 1944 Glenn Miller went missing in action. US Bandleader. While looking after US troops with the Army in Europe, he was on the way from London to Paris, when his small private plane crashed in the Channel. No traces of wreckage or evidence were ever found. Born 15th Aug, 1904. 1946 Harry Rayborn in Long Branch, New Jersey. US Singer who joined The Moments in 1970, (1970 US No.3 single ‘Love On A Two-Way Street’, 1975 UK No.3 single ‘Girls’).They later became Ray, Goodman & Brown. 1946 Carmine Appice born in New York (Staten Island). US Drummer/Singer/Songwriter. In 1966 he was co-founder of Vanilla Fudge, (1968 US No.6 single ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’). Beck, Bogart and Appice. He was also a member of Rod Stewarts Band. 1948 Don Johnson (Donnie Wayne Johnson) born in Galena, Missouri. US Actor/Singer. (Miami Vice), (1986 US No.5 & UK No.46 single, ‘Heartbeat’). 1955 Paul Simonon (Paul Gustave Simonon) born in London, England. UK Bassist/Singer/Songwriter with The Clash, (1979 UK No. 11 single ‘London Calling’, 1982 US No. 8 single ‘Rock The Casbah’, 1991 UK No.1 single ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’, first released 1982, plus 15 other UK Top 40 singles). 1956 Elvis Presley gave his final performance on Louisiana Hayride, a live radio program that was broadcast on KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana. Presley made 50 appearances on the show. At the end of the show, Horace Logan first made the now legendary phrase ‘Elvis has left the building’. 1957 Tim Reynolds, American multi-instrumentalist, Dave Matthews Band. 2009 US No.1 album with Dave Matthews Band, ‘Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King’. 1961 Nick Beggs born in Winslow, Buckinghamshire, England. UK Bassist & Songwriter with Kajagoogoo, (1983 UK No.1 single ‘Too Shy’), Howard Jones Band. 1962 Bill Wyman made his live debut with The Rolling Stones at Putney Youth Club, London. 1962 The Beatles played two separate shows at the same venue, the Majestic Ballroom in Birkenhead, Merseyside. First they played a standard Majestic booking then at midnight, the first-ever “Mersey Beat” poll awards show took place. As poll winners, The Beatles closed the show (at 4:00 am). 1967 Cindy Birdsong born in Camden, New Jersey. US Female Vocalist. In 1967 she replaced Florence Ballard in The Supremes. 1969 John Lennon played what would be his final ever gig in the UK when he appeared at The Lyceum Ballroom, London, with the Plastic Ono Band in a UNICEF ‘Peace For Christmas’ benefit. George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Delaney and Bonnie, Billy Preston and The Who’s drummer, Keith Moon also took part. 1972 Appearing at Cardiff High School, Wales, Supertramp. 1973 Jermaine Jackson from The Jackson Five married the daughter of the bossof Motown Records, Hazel Gordy. 1973 Charlie Rich started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with the country & western ballad ‘The Most Beautiful Girl’, the singers only No.1 single, was also a No.2 hit in the UK. 1973 David Cassidy went to No.1 on the UK album chart with his third solo album ‘Dreams Are Nothin More Than Wishes.’ 1974 Mott The Hoople split up. Their biggest hit was in 1972 (when they first decided to split) with ‘All The Young Dudes’ written and produced by David Bowie. 1975 Appearing live Cat Stevens at London’s Royal Albert Hall, tickets £2.50. 1977 The Sex Pistols were refused entry into the USA two days before a scheduled NBC TV appearance. Johnny Rotten because of a drugs conviction, Paul Cook & Sid Vicious because of ‘moral turpitude’ and Steve Jones because of his criminal record. 1977 Abba The Movie had its world premiere in Australia on this day. 1979 Smacka Fitzgibbon – Australian Jazz Musician & Singer, died aged 49. He had his biggest hit in 1972 with The Adventures Of Barry McKenzie. 1979 Edele Lynch, and Keavy Lynch, B*Witched, (1998 UK No.1 single ‘C’est La Vie’). 1979 U2 appeared at the Windsor Castle Pub, Harrow Road, London, admission was free. 1979 Pink Floyd started a five week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Another Brick In The Wall, (Part 2),’ their only UK chart topper. The song, which was also the final No.1 single of the 1970s, received a Grammy nomination for Best Performance by a Rock Duo or Group, but Floyd lost to Bob Seger’s Against the Wind. 1980 Sergio Pizzorno born inNewton Abbot, Devon, England. Guitarist/Vocalist with Kasabian, (2005 UK No.8 single ‘Cutt Off’, 2006 UK No.1 album ‘Empire’). 1984 ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ by Band Aid entered the UK chart at No.1 and stayed at the top for five weeks. It became the biggest selling UK single of all time with sales over 3 and a half million. Band Aid was masterminded by former Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof, who had been moved by a TV news story of famine in Ethiopia. Geldof had the idea of raising funds with a one-off charity single featuring the cream of the current pop world. Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Paul Young, Culture Club, George Michael, Sting, Bono, Phil Collins, Paul Weller, Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo and Bananarama all appeared on the recording. 1988 Soul singer James Brown was sentenced to six years in prison for various offences including possession of weapons and resisting arrest. 1990 Rod Stewart married New Zealand model Rachel Hunter in Beverly Hills. Stewart was quoted as saying ‘I Found the Girl that I Want, I won’t be putting my banana in anybody’s fruit bowl from now on’. They split in 1999. 1990 Abba singer Agnetha Faltskog married Swedish surgeon Tomas Sonnenfeld. 1994 Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora married actress Heather Locklear. The couple divorced in 2006. 1997 Spice World The Movie’, featuring The Spice Girls premiered at The Empire, Leicester Sq, London. The following year it was nominated for the ‘worst film’ at the Golden Raspberry Awards. 1998 Backstreet Boys roadie Michael Barrett filed a $3 million lawsuit against the group claiming damages after a 50-pound cannon fell on his head during a show. 1999 Boy George was knocked unconscious when a mirror ball fell on his head during a show in Dorset, England. 1999 Former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren announced that he was running for the Mayor of London. He said he would be campaigning for brothels, pot shops and boozing in libraries. “I changed London with the Sex Pistols, I can change London as Mayor.” 1999 Posh Spice Victoria Beckham knocked a crazed fan to the ground after he tried to grab her baby son Brooklyn as she left Harrods in London. 2000 TV and radio star Zoe Ball gave birth to an eight and a half pound baby boy named Woody. Her husband Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), was present at the birth. 2001 American funk and soul singer Rufus Thomas died of heart failure aged 84. Recorded on Sun Records in the 1950s and on Stax Records in the 1960s and 1970s. Scored the 1963 US No.10 single ‘Walking The Dog’ and the 1970 UK No.18 & US No.28 single ‘Do The Funky Chicken’. A street is named in his honor, just off Beale Street in Memphis. 2001 Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh was given an honorary Doctorate of Music from Kent State University in Ohio. 2002 Blue featuring Elton John went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.’ Previously a No.11 hit for Elton in 1976. It gave Elton only his 5th No 1 after over 30 years of hits! 2003 Courtney Love was sentenced to 18 months in drug rehabilitation after she admitted being under the influence of cocaine and opiates. She was banned from taking non-prescription drugs, drinking alcohol or being in places that serve alcohol. 2006 The co-founder of Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegun died, aged 83. Ertegun who founded Atlantic Records with Herb Abramson in 1947 helped make Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin stars and signed the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin in the early 70s. He suffered a head injury when he fell at a Rolling Stones concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre in October, and died after slipping into a coma. 2008 Madonna paid former husband Guy Ritchie around £50m as part of their divorce settlement. The singers US spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg told The Associated Press the figure included the value of the couple’s Ashcombe home in England, and the financial part of the settlement had been worked out but custody of the couple’s children had yet to be finalised. 2010 Various Pink Floyd items were sold at an Entertainment Memorabilia auction by Bonhams in Knightsbridge London. A demo pressing of the single ‘Point Me To The Sky/Careful With That Axe Eugene’ sold for £720. Pink Floyd signatures, in various blue marker pens on four separate pieces of paper mounted and framed together with a copy of ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ sold for £624.00 and a demo pressing of the single by Syd Barrett, ‘Octopus’ / ‘Golden Hair’ from 1969, misspelt ‘Barratt’ corrected in ink on A-side, sold for £300. 2014 Taylor Swift was at No.1 on the US album chart with her fifth studio album 1989. The album eventually became the best-selling album of 2014 in the US market and had sold over 5.7 million copies by the end of 2015, while selling 9.5 million worldwide. Seven singles have been released from the set.

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