December 20 – Today in Music History

1939 Soul singer Kim Weston is born Agatha Nathalia Weston in Detroit, Michigan. 
1944 Bobby Colomby born in New York, NY. US Drummer with Blood Sweat & Tears, (1969 US No.12 & UK No.35 single ‘You’ve Made Me So Very Happy’). 
1947 Peter Criss (Peter Crisscoula) born in New York City, New York. Drummer/Vocalist with the original Kiss Line-Up. He left in May 1980. (1974 US No.5 single ‘On And On’ 1976 US No 11 album ‘Rock and Roll Over’ spent 26 weeks on the chart. 1987 UK No.4 single ‘Crazy Crazy Nights’).
1948 Alan Parson born in London, England. British studio audio engineer, musician, and record producer. He was involved with the production of The Beatles’ Abbey Road and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon for which Pink Floyd credit him as an important contributor. Parsons’ own group, The Alan Parsons Project released several albums. 
1948 Stevie Wright born in Leeds, England. Lead Vocalist with The Easybeats, (1966 UK No.6 & 1967 US No. 16 single ‘Friday On My Mind’). He died on 27 December 2015 at Moruya Hospital of pneumonia. Wright’s funeral was held at St Andrew’s Cathedral, in Sydney on 8 January 2016.
1952 Jimmy Boyd reached the #1 spot on the US ecord charts this day with the Christmas song of the year, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”. Kip Adotta parodied it with “I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus” in the 1980s.
1956 Guy Babylon born in New Windsor, Maryland. He was a keyboardist/composer, most noted for his work with Elton John. Died on Sept 2nd 2009 of a heart attack while swimming in his pool at his home in Los Angeles, California. 
1957 Anita Ward born in Memphis, Tennessee. US Singer, 1979 US & UK No.1 single ‘Ring My Bell’. 
1957 Billy Bragg born in Barking, Essex, England. UK Singer/Songwriter, wrote ‘New England’ 1985 hit for Kirsty MacColl, (1988 UK No.1 charity single with Wet Wet Wet, ‘She’s Leaving Home’). 
1957 Anita Baker born in Toledo, Ohio. US Singer born in this day. 
1957 Michael Watt, bassist, Firehose, Stooges, Porno For Pyros. 
1958 John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison appeared as The Quarry Men at the wedding reception of George’s older brother, Harry. The event was held at the Harrison family home at 25 Upton Green, Speke, Liverpool. 
1959 Emile Ford and the Checkmates were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For.’ 
1962 Appearing for the first time on the NBS- TV Andy Williams show, The Osmonds who performed ‘I’m A Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas’. 
1963 Brian Poole & The Tremeloes went to No.1 on the Australian Singles Chart with ‘Do You Love Me’. Staying at No.1 for 3wks. 
1966 The Beatles recorded ‘When I’m 64’ on this day. 
1966 Chris Robinson, The Black Crowes, (1991 UK No.39 single ‘Hard To Handle’, 1992 US No.1 & UK No.2 album ‘The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion’). 
1967 Folk singer Joan Baez was sentenced to 45 days in prison after being arrested during an anti-war demonstration. 
1967 The Royal Guardsmen went to No.1 on the Australian Singles Chart with ‘Snoopy’s Xmas’. It Stayed at No.1 for 3wks
1967 Jethro Tull formed. The English band was put together by Ian Anderson and Glen Cornick. 
1967 American singer Jimmie Rodgers required brain surgery after he suffered a fractured skull and a broken wrist, allegedly at the hands of three San Diego police officers. Rodgers recovered and returned to performing a little over a year later. 
1968 The Beatles sixth Christmas record ‘The Beatles’ 1968 Christmas Record’, was sent to fan club members in the UK and the US. It included the song ‘Nowhere Man’ sung by Tiny Tim. 
1969 Peter Paul and Mary went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Leavin’ On A Jet Plane’. John Denver wrote the song in 1966 with the original title of ‘Oh Babe I Hate to Go.’ 
1969 Rolf Harris was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Two Little Boys’, (the song was written in 1902). The Christmas No.1 of 1969 and the last No.1 of the 60s. The song stayed at No.1 for six weeks. 
1969 The Rolling Stones went to No.1 on the UK album chart with their 10th release ‘Let It Bleed’, featuring ‘Midnight Rambler’, and ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want.’ 
1969 “Down On The Corner” by Credence Clearwater Revival peaked at #3 on the US singles chart.
1971 The Main Ingredient recorded “Everybody Plays The Fool”
1972 Appearing at Gulliver’s Club, Liverpool, England, Stealers Wheel. 
1973 American singer Bobby Darin died aged 37. One of the first teen idols, he had the 1959 No.1 with ‘Dream Lover’ plus 20 other US Top 40 hits during the 60’s including ‘Mack the Knife’, (Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1960). Darin travelled with Robert Kennedy and worked on the latter’s 1968 presidential campaign. He was with Kennedy the day he travelled to Los Angeles on June 4, 1968 for the California Primary. Darin was at the Ambassador Hotel later that night when Kennedy was assassinated. 
1973 David Essex went to No.1 on the Australian Singles Chart with ‘Rock On’. Staying at No.1 for 2wks. 
1974 Former James Gang guitarist Joe Walsh officially replaced Bernie Leadon in The Eagles. 
1975 Graham Hopkins born in Dublin, Ireland. Drummer in The Swell Season, The Frames, and former drummer for the hard rock/punk rock band Therapy?.[1](1993 UK No.9 single ‘Screamager’). 
1974 Joe Walsh replaces Bernie Leadon in the Eagles. Walsh was previously a member of the James Gang. 
1975 “Our Day Will Come” by Frankie Valli peaked at #11 on the US singles chart.
1975 “Volare” by Al Martino peaked at #33 on the US singles chart.
1975 Graham Hopkins, drums, Therapy? (1993 UK No.9 single ‘Screamager’). 
1977 “Foot Loose & Fancy Free” album by Rod Stewart was certified Platinum by the RIAA. Inclduing ‘Hot Legs’, ‘You’re In My Heart’, ‘I Was Only Joking’, ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’ & ‘If Loving You Is Wrong I Don’t Wanna Be Right. 
1979 Appearing at London’s Rainbow, Dire Straits tickets £3.50. And at The Bath Pavilion 1979, The Jam. 
1979 Pink Floyd The Christmas album chart at Our Price Records, Michael Jackson’s ‘Off The Wall’, £3.74. The Police, ‘Regatta De Blanc’, £3.49, and the No.1 album Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’, £6.45. 
1980 Twelve days after John Lennon was shot dead in New York City, ‘(Just Like) Starting Over’, which was taken from his Double Fantasy album gave the former Beatle his first ever UK solo No.1 single. 
1980 Motorhead’s Phil Taylor accidentally broke a bone in his neck when partying after a gig in Belfast. 
1980 “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benetar peaked at #9 on the US singles chart.
1980 “(Just Like) Starting Over” gives John Lennon his first #1 single as a solo artist in the UK, 12 days after his murder. 
1980 Joe Walsh replaces Bernie Leadon in the Eagles. Walsh was previously a member of the James Gang. 
1984 Frank Kelly went to No.1 on the Australian Singles Chart with ‘Christmas Countdown (The Twelve Days Of Christmas’).
1986 The Bangles started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’. 
1986 The Housemartins were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of The Isley Brothers ‘Caravan Of Love.’ It was only the second a cappella song to be a No.1 hit after ‘Only You’ by the Flying Pickets. 
1986 Thanks to its use in the movie of the same name, Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” originally released in 1961, reaches #9 in the US. 
1986 “You Know I Love You – Don’t You?” by Howard Jones peaked at #17 on the US singles chart.
1986 “To Be A Lover” by Billy Idol peaked at #6 on the US singles chart.
1986 “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King reentered the chart and peaked at #9 on the US singles chart.
1988 “Weird Al” Yankovic recorded “Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*” for his UHF Soundtrack And Other Stuff LP and movie.
1989 The B52’s went to No.1 on the Australian Singles Chart with ‘Love Shack’. Staying at No.1 for 8wks
1989 “Another Day In Paradise” single by Phil Collins was certified Gold by the RIAA
1990 American singer-songwriter JoJo. Her debut single, ‘Leave (Get Out)’ reached No.1 on the Billboard Pop songs chart, which made her the youngest solo artist to have a No.1 single in the United States, at thirteen years old. 
1992 American blues singer and guitarist, Albert King died from a heart attack in Memphis, Tennessee. He recorded dozens of influential songs, such as ‘Crosscut Saw’ and ‘As The Years Go Passing By’, and the 1967 album, ‘Born Under a Bad Sign.’ 
1999 Readers of UK Guitar magazine voted Noel Gallagher the most overrated guitarist of the millennium. Jimi Hendrix was voted guitarist of the millennium with Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ winning best album. 
1999 Canadian Country singer Hank Snow died. ‘The Singing Ranger’ released over 100 albums and scored more than seventy singles on the Billboard country charts from 1950 until 1980. A regular at the Grand Ole Opry, in 1954 Snow persuaded the directors to allow a new singer by the name of Elvis Presley to appear at the Grand Ole Opry. 
2000 Ritchie and J from Five were remanded on bail following a court appearance in connection with a fight in a Dublin pub. They were charged with public order offences. 
2000 Figures from the RIA of America showed that Teen Pop was alive and doing very well. Pop accounted for most of the record sales in America with Jive records, home to Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC selling 31m records 
2001 Tommy Lee branded his ex-wife Pam Anderson an unfit mother. The drummer filed papers with the Los Angeles Superior Court alleging his son’s tell him ‘We hate Mommy’ and his son Brandon had been using the F-word he learned from his mommy. 
2004 Anthony Callea went to No.1 on the Australian Singles Chart with “The Prayer”, staying at No.1 for 5 weeks in a row. 
2006 Eminem and his high school sweetheart divorced for a second time, less than a year after they remarried. The couple agreed to share custody of their 10-year-old daughter, Hailie. The pair told a judge in Michigan they understood this time the divorce was final. The couple remarried in January. But the rapper filed for divorce less than three months later, saying there had been “a breakdown in the marriage relationship”. 
2006 Matthew Fisher, a founding member of Procol Harum, won a High Court battle over who wrote their song A Whiter Shade of Pale. He played organ on the 1967 hit and argued he wrote the distinctive organ melody. Mr Justice Blackburne ruled he was entitled to 40% of the copyright. Fisher had wanted half but the court decided lead singer Gary Brooker’s input was more substantial. Fisher’s claim for back royalties – of up to £1m – was also rejected. For almost 40 years, the song has been credited to lead singer Gary Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid. 
2006 Ian Halperin claimed that Michael Jackson was close to death. The Rolling Stone magazine writer said Jackson was suffering from a rare lung condition and needed a lung transplant. He also claimed that the singer had lost 95% vision in one eye and was so ill he could barley speak. 
2008 Britney Spears went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Circus’, the singer’s sixth studio album. 
2012 Adele was named Billboard’s top artist of 2012, while her hit record 21 was named top album of the year in the music magazine’s annual review. The 24-year-old was the first to receive both accolades two years in a row and the honours for Adele came in a year which saw her win six Grammy awards and dominate the US charts. Her second album 21 went straight to No.1 when it was released in March 2011 and did not leave the top 10 until the beginning of September 2012, during that time, it spent 24 weeks at the top spot. 
2013 David Richards, a producer who worked with David Bowie, Queen, Iggy Pop, and others died. Included in Richards’ lengthy discography are co-production credits on Bowie’s ‘Never Let Me Down’, ‘The Buddha of Suburbia’, and ‘Outside’. He also worked on Queen’s last four albums, A Kind of Magic, The Miracle, Innuendo, and Made in Heaven. He also dealt with live music recording in such events as Montreux Jazz Festival. 
2014 A single dubbed the rarest record in the world sold for £14,543 at auction. The London Records’ pressing of Darrell Banks’ ‘Open the Door to Your Heart’, was thought to be the only copy in circulation. Banks, who toured with soul singer Jackie Wilson, only released two albums before he was killed in Detroit in February 1970. He was shot in the neck by an off-duty policeman, who had been having an affair with Banks’s girlfriend. ‘Open the Door to Your Heart’ was his only hit, reaching No.2 on the R&B chart in the US.

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