December 19 – Today in Music History

1915 Charlie Ryan, who co-wrote and was the first to record the 1955 rockabilly hit “Hot Rod Lincoln,” is born in Graceville, Minnesota. He died on February 16, 2008 in Spokane, Washington. 
1918 Professor Longhair born (Henry Roeland “Roy” Byrd) in Bogalusa, Louisiana. US rock & roll piano player. Influenced Fat’s Domino and Dr John. Died on 30th Jan 1980. 
1940 Phil Ochs born in El Paso, Texas. US folk singer songwriter. Wrote ‘There But A Fortune’, hit for Joan Baez. Hung himself on 9th April 1976 suffering from chronic depression. 
1941 Maurice White born in Memphis, Tennessee. US Singer/Drummer/Songwriter & Founder member of Earth, Wind & Fire (1975 US No.1 single ‘Shining Star’, 1981 UK o.3 single ‘Let’s Groove’). White died in his sleep from the effects of Parkinson’s disease at his home in Los Angeles, California, on the morning of February 4, 2016. He was 74 years old.
1944 Alvin Lee born in Nottingham, England. UK Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter with Ten Years After, (UK rock group, 1970 UK No.10 single ‘Love Like A Man’). Lee died on 6 March 2013 in Spain. According to his website, he died from “unforeseen complications following a routine surgical procedure”. He was 68. 
1944 Zal Yanovsky born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Canadian Guitarist/Songwriter with the Lovin’ Spoonful until 1967.(1966 US No.1 & UK No.8 single ‘Summer In The City’). Died of a heart attack on 13th December 2002. 
1949 John McEuen born in Garden Grove, California. US Guitarist/Violinist/Singer with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, (1971 US No.9 single ‘Mr Bojangles’). 
1955 Carl Perkins recorded ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ on this day. 
1957 Elvis Presley had his draft notice served on him for the US Army. He went on to join the 32nd Tank Battalion third Armor Corps based in Germany. 
1957 Doug Johnnson born in New Westminster, B.C. Canadian Keyboard Player with Loverboy
1958 Limahl (Christopher Hamill) born in Wigan, England. Former vocalist with British band Kajagoogoo. He had a solo hit in 1985 with Never Ending Story.(1983 UK No.1 single ‘Too Shy’). 
1958 Conway Twitty was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘It’s Only Make Believe’. The first song to reach the UK Top 10 in four different years: Billy Fury (1964), Glen Campbell (1970) and Child (1978). 
1964 The Beatles fourth album ‘Beatles For Sale’ started a seven-week run at No.1 on the UK album charts. Recorded when Beatlemania was just past its peak ‘Beatles for Sale’ was The Beatles’ fourth album in just 21 months. 
1964 The Supremes scored their third US No.1 single of the year when ‘Come See About Me’, went to the top of the charts. It made No.27 on the UK chart. 
1964 “Dance, Dance, Dance” by The Beach Boys peaked at #8 on the US singles chart.
1965 Keith Moon collapses during a Whoconcert in Ontario. 
1967 “The Rain, The Park & Other Things” single by The Cowsills was certified Gold by the RIAA
1967 The Strawberry Alarm Clock grabbed a Gold Record when their number one hit, “Incense and Peppermints”, was certified as a million seller.
1968 “Over You” single by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap was certified Gold by the RIAA
1968 The Friends of Distinction record “Grazin’ In The Grass.” 
1969 Mick Jagger was fined £200 plus 50 guineas costs at Marlborough Magistrates Court for illegal possession of cannabis. 
1969 The Beatles’ latest Christmas record, ‘The Beatles’ Seventh Christmas Record’ was released to members of their fan club in the UK and the US. 
1970 “Stoned Love” by Supremes peaked at #7 on the US singles chart. Diana Ross left the group earlier for a solo career.
1970 Elton John’s first US hit, ‘Your Song’ entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it went on to reach number eight. The Hollies had been offered the song and Three Dog Night had already recorded a version which was included on their ‘It Ain’t Easy’ album. 
1973 “If You’re Ready” single by Staple Singers was certified Gold by the RIAA
1975 “Atlantic Crossing” album by Rod Stewart was certified Gold by the RIAA
1975 C.W. McCall earns a Gold record by the RIAA for his novelty hits “Convoy,” which climbs to Number One on the pop chart early next year. The song is a saga of interstate truck drivers and their run-ins with the law. It makes extensive use of, and helps popularize, CB radio language.
1975 Ronnie Wood leaves The Faces and joins The Rolling Stones. 
1976 During an interview with UK daily newspaper The Daily Mail, Sex Pistol Paul Cook’s mother said he was no longer welcome at home and she was going to turn his bedroom in a dining room. 
1976 Al Green, recently ordained as a minister, opens the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church in Memphis, where he preaches most Sundays. 
1978 “Let’s Keep It That Way” album by Anne Murray was certified Platinum by the RIAA. Including “You Needed Me’, “Walk Right Back” & “Tennessee Waltz”. 
1978 The Carpenters: A Christmas Portrait airs on ABC. 
1979 Elvis Presley’s personal physician, George Nichopoulos, was charged with ‘illegally and indiscriminately’ prescribing over 12,000 tablets of uppers, downers, and painkillers for the star during the 20 months preceding his untimely death. Although he was acquitted this time, he was charged again in 1980 and again in 1992 and was stripped of his medical license in July 1995. 
1980 9 to 5, starring Dolly Parton and featuring the classic theme song by the singer (where she uses her fingernails as an instrument), opens in theaters. Parton, in her first acting role, stars alongside Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda as disgruntled secretaries who get even with their sexist boss. 
1981 Abba scored their seventh UK No.1 album with ‘The Visitors’, the Swedish pop group’s eighth and final studio album. It was one of the first records to be recorded and mixed digitally, and was the first in history to be manufactured on the new CD format in 1982 on Atlantic. Including “Head Over Heels”, “One Of Us” & “When All Is Said And Done”. 
1981 “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey peaked at #9 on the US singles chart.
1981 “Young Turks” by Rod Stewart peaked at #5 on the US singles chart.
1981 The Rolling Stones played the last show of their 1981 U.S. tour in Hampton, Virginia. This show was televised via closed-circuit cable and viewed by thousands across the country.
1981 “Let’s Groove” by Earth Wind & Fire peaked at #3 on the US singles chart and stayed there for five weeks.
1981 “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” by Diana Ross peaked at #7 on the US singles chart.
1983 “Genesis” album by Genesis was certified Gold by the RIAA. Including “That’s All”, “Mama” & “Mama”. 
1983 “Colour By Numbers” album by Culture Club was certified Gold and Platinum by the RIAA. Including “Karma Chameleon”, “It’s a Miracle”, “Miss Me Blind”, “Church of the Poison Mind” & “Victims”. 
1984 “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” single by Band Aid was certified Gold by the RIAA
1984 Marillion Appearing at the Glasgow Barrowlands, Scotland, Marillion. 
1985 Johnny Paycheck is drinking at a bar in Hillsboro, Ohio when two guys recognize him and sit near him. Things get tense, and Paycheck pulls out a .22 pistol and shoots one of them, grazing his head. That man, Larry Wise, claims that Paycheck got testy after they offered him a meal of deer meat and turtle soup. Wise says Paycheck yelled, “What do you think I am, a country hick?,” and shot him. The country singer is convicted and serves 22 months in jail.
1987 The Pet Shop Boys had their third UK No.1 single with their version of ‘Always On My Mind. The duo had performed a version of ‘Always on My Mind’ on Love Me Tender, an TV special commemorating the tenth anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, their performance was so well-received that the group decided to record the song and release it as a single. 
1987 “Shake Your Love” by Debbie Gibson peaked at #4 on the US singles chart.
1987 “Is This Love” by Whitesnake peaked at #2 on the US singles chart.
1987 “Valerie” (new version) by Steve Winwood peaked at #9 on the US singles chart.
1987 Two teenage girls died in a crush at a Public Enemy gig at the Municipal Auditorium, Nashville. 
1992 “The Last Song” by Elton John peaked at #23 on the US singles chart.
1993 Michael Clarke drummer with The Byrds died of liver failure aged 47. Also worked with the Flying Burrito Brothers and Jerry Jeff Walker. Before his death Clarke had expressed a wish of alerting children to the dangers of alcoholism. Following his wishes, Clarke’s girlfriend Susan Paul started a foundation in Clarke’s name, called the Campaign for Alcohol-free Kids. 
1994 The Manic Street Preachers played the first of three nights at The Astoria, London, the last shows Richey Edwards made with the band before disappearing. Edwards vanished on February 1st 1995 leaving no clues to his whereabouts and has never been seen since. 
1994 “Fruitcakes” album by Jimmy Buffett was certified Platinum by the RIAA
1994 “Crossroad” album by Bon Jovi was certified Gold and Platinum by the RIAA. The album contains hits from between Bon Jovi (1984) and Keep the Faith (1992) and two new tracks: the hit singles “Always” and “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night. 
1994 “Laid” album by James was certified Gold by the RIAA
1996 Avenue H in Lubbock, Texas, is renamed Buddy Holly Avenue in honor of the city’s hometown hero. 
1997 Titanic opens in theaters. It becomes the top-grossing movie of all time, with a soundtrack that sells about 15 million copies, thanks mostly to the Celine Dion hit, “My Heart Will Go On.” 
1997 The founder of Sony Corp., Masaru Ibuka dies at the age of 89 from heart failure. Ibuka, one of the leading engineer-entrepreneurs of post-World War II Japan, helped transform modern culture with the world’s first pocket transistor radio.
1998 B*Witched scored their third consecutive UK No.1 single with ‘To You I Belong’. 
1999 Irish boyband Westlife started a four week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their versions of the Abba song ‘I Have A Dream’ and the Terry Jacks hit (written in French by Belgian, Jacques Brel and English lyrics by poet Rod McKuen), ‘Seasons In The Sun’. It gave the group the Christmas No.1 and the last No.1 of the century. 
2000 10,000 Maniacs guitarist Robert Buck died of liver failure aged 42. Best know for ‘Hey Jack Kerouac’, ‘What’s The Matter Here’ and ‘Candy Everybody Wants’. 
2000 Goo Goo Dolls narrowly avoid serious injury when the military plane they are aboard skids off the runway at a U.S. Naval Air Station in Sicily, Italy. The group is on its way back from Bosnia, where they had just performed for soldiers at Tuzla army base.
2000 Songwriter, guitarist and singer and founder member of The Staple Singers, Roebuck ‘pop’ Staples died. Best known for their 1970s hits ‘I’ll Take You There’, ‘Respect Yourself’, and ‘Let’s Do It Again’. 
2000 Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol Dirty Bastard was returned to New York from Philadelphia in police custody, in order to face outstanding drug charges for possessing crack cocaine. 
2001 Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton paid £3,000 for a custom built toilet. The singer ordered the hand painted porcelain loo complete with hand crafted toilet roll holder for her new £500,000 seaside apartment. 
2005 Sir Elton John turned down £5.7m for the exclusive rights to his civil union to his partner David Furnish. The couple had considered the offer from a US television channel, putting the money in the Elton John Aids Foundation, but they told Attitude magazine they had decided to keep the day private. 
2006 Two giant eyeballs donated by Pink Floyd raised £16,500 for the homeless charity Crisis. The 6ft-high props, made to promote the Pulse DVD, were on the auction site eBay for a week and attracted 46 bids. Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, a vice-president of Crisis, said extra help was needed in the winter months. 
2012 Madonna’s MDNA World Tour made more money than any other during 2012. The tour grossed $228m (£141m), according to figures complied by Billboard after more than 1.6 million fans paid to see her perform in 65 cities worldwide since last June. She beat Bruce Springsteen into first place on the highest-grossing tour list, who earned $198 million (£123 million). Also in the top 25 were Coldplay, who took fifth place, and Lady Gaga at number six, who attracted audiences reaching 1.1 million people in comparison. Jay-Z and Kanye West came in at number nine, while Justin Bieber’s tour was the 20th highest-earning at $30.6 million (£18.9m). 
2012 Nick Mason stepped in to help save Foote’s, the historic London music shop where he bought his first ever drum kit. The Pink Floyd drummer, along with the store’s sales director, Rob Wilson, were buying the business (which will now re-open in a new location at 41 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London) from the family who has owned it since the ’30s. 
2015 Thirty-three years after it was released, Michael Jackson’s classic album Thriller became the first to sell more than 30 million copies in the US. The Recording Industry Association of America reported latest sales figures showing The Eagles Their Greatest Hits 1971-75 had now sold 29m and Billy Joel Greatest Hits Volume I & Volume II, 23m copies. 
2016 Country songwriter Andrew Dorff, brother of actor Stephen Dorff, dies at age 40. Penned hits for artists such as Martina McBride (“Ride”), Kenny Chesney (“Save It for a Rainy Day”), Blake Shelton (“Neon Light”) and Hunter Hayes (“Somebody’s Heartbreak”). 
2016 The Official Chart Company announced it was changing the way it calculated the Top 40 to reflect the rise in streaming. Currently, 100 streams counted as one “sale” of a song. From January 2017, the ratio will become 150:1. It was hoped that the change would break the bottleneck at the top of the charts, as hits on streaming services linger for weeks on end.

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