21 December – Today in Music History

1926 Freddie Hart (Frederick Segrest) born in Loachapoka, Alabama. US country Singer/Guitarist/Songwriter. He had a hit in 1971 with ‘Easy Loving’. Hart died as a result of pneumonia on October 27, 2018 in Burbank, California aged 91.
1940 Frank Zappa born in Baltimore, Maryland. multi’ instrumentalist, producer and composer. Recorded with The Mothers Of Invention and solo, 1969 album ‘Hot Rats’, 1974 album ‘Apostrophe’, featuring ‘Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow’. First band was The Blackouts, recorded one of the first concept albums ‘Freak Out’. Zappa died of prostate cancer on 4th December 1993.
1940 Ray Hilderbrand born in Joshua, Texas. US Singer with Paul and Paula, (1963 US No.1 & UK No.8 single, ‘Hey Paula’). 
1942 Carla Thomas born in Memphis, Tennessee. American singer, who is often referred to as the Queen of Memphis Soul. She is the daughter of Rufus Thomas.
1943 Albert Lee born in Lingen, Herefordshire, England. UK country guitarist. Worked with Emmylou Harris Hot Band, Eric Clapton, Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker. One time member of Heads Hands And Feet. 
1943 Gwen McCrae born in Pensacola, Florida. Best known for the 1975 hit “Rockin’ Chair,” 
1946 Carl Wilson born in Los Angeles, California. Lead Guitarist/Vocalist with The Beach Boys, (1966 UK & US No.1 single ‘Good Vibrations’, plus over 25 other UK Top 40 singles’). Died 6th February 1998 after a long battle with lung cancer. 
1953 Betty Wright born in Miami, Florida. US Soul Singer. (1971 US No. 6 single ‘Clean Up Woman’, 1975 UK No. 27 single ‘Shoorah! Shoorah!). 
1957 Allan Johnson – Australian Bassist with Real Life
1957 Paul Anka went to No.1 on the Australian Singles Chart with ‘Dianna’. Staying at No.1 for 8wks. 
1963 “Be True To Your School” by The Beach Boys peaked at #6 on the US singles chart.
1963 “Loddy Lo” by Chubby Checker peaked at #12 on the US singles chart.
1964 Emmett Murphy (Murph) born in Washington, DC. Drummer with Dinosaur Jr, (1993 UK No.20 single ‘Start Choppin’). 
1964 Patrick Murphy – Drummer with The Lemmonheads from 1996-1998. 
1964 The Temptations recorded ‘My Girl’ Written by Smokey Robinson, it was their first No.1 Hit. 
1966 Gabrielle Glaser born in New York. US singer, Luscious Jackson, (1997 UK No.25 single ‘Naked Eye’). 
1966 Appearing live in Lymington, Long John Baldry with Elton John. 
1966 “Winchester Cathedral” album by New Vaudeville Band was certified Gold by the RIAA
1966 The Who played at The Uppercut, London, tickets 17/6. 
1966 The Beach Boys receive three gold-record citations by the RIAA for the single “Good Vibrations,” which hit Number One eleven days ago and the albums “Little Deuce Coupe” and “Shut Down, Vol. 2.
1967 The Beatles held a party at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London to preview their new movie ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. 
1968 Glen Campbell topped the US album chart with ‘Wichita Lineman’. Although the LP would stay on the chart for 46 weeks, it would be Campbell’s only No.1 album.Including ‘Dreams Of The Everyday Housewife’ & ‘Reason To Believe’. 
1968 “Both Sides Now” by Judy Collins peaked at #8 on the US singles chart.
1969 The Supremes made their last TV appearance together with Diana Ross on ‘The Ed Sullivan show’, singing their last No.1 ‘Someday We’ll Be Together’. 
1970 A stretch limousine carrying Elvis Presley pulled up outside the White House in Washington, D.C. The driver handed over a letter from Elvis addressed to President Nixon requesting a meeting to discuss how the King of Rock and Roll could help Nixon fight drugs. The President agreed to give Presley a Narcotics Bureau badge – but only after learning that the chief of the narcotics bureau had turned down the same request earlier that day and told Presley the only person who could overrule his decision was the President. At Elvis’ request, the meeting remained secret for more than a year, until the Washington Post broke the story on January 27th, 1972. 
1971 Brett Scallions is born in Brownsville, Tennessee. Lead Vocalist with Fuel.
1972 Michael Jackson went to No.1 on the Australian Singles Chart with ‘Ben’. Staying at No.1 for 6wks. 
1972 “Manna” album by Bread was certified Gold by the RIAA. Including ‘Let Your Love Go’, & ‘If’. 
1972 “On The Waters” album by Bread was certified Gold by the RIAA
1973 “Snowbird” album by Anne Murray was certified Gold by the RIAA
1974 Mud were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with the Chinn & Chapman song ‘Lonely This Christmas’. The group’s second No.1 and third chart topper for Chinn & Chapman in 1974. 
1974 Adam Harvey born in Geelong, Victoria. Australian Country Singer. 
1974 “Lonely This Christmas” by Mud peaked at #1 on the U.K. pop singles chart.
1974 “Cat’s In The Cradle” by Harry Chapin peaked at #1 on the US singles chart.
1974 “Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)” by Al Green peaked at #7 on the US singles chart.
1976 Appearing on the first night of a two-week residency, Barry Manilow at The Uris Theatre On Broadway, New York, tickets $20. 
1976 “Car Wash (soundtrack)” album by Rose Royce was certified Gold by the RIAA
1976 “Car Wash” single by Rose Royce was certified Gold by the RIAA
1979 At the San Diego Sports Arena, Linda Ronstadt holds a fundraising concert for her boyfriend, California governor Jerry Brown, who is running for president. Chicago and the Eagles also perform. 
1979 Willie Nelson makes his acting debut in the Sydney Pollack film The Electric Horseman, starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. He also sings five songs for the soundtrack, including the #1 country hit “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys.” 
1982 “Mickey” single by Toni Basil was certified Gold by the RIAA
1983 “Little Robbers” album by The Motels was certified Gold by the RIAA
1984 Frankie Goes To Hollywood played the first of 3 sold out nights at Liverpool Royal Court, tickets £5.30. 
1985 Heart went to No.1 on the US album chart with their self- titled album. Including ‘What About Love’, ‘These Dreams’ & ‘Never’. 
1985 Lionel Richie started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Say You, Say Me’, a No.8 hit in the UK. 
1985 Bruce Springsteen’s album, ‘Born in the USA’ passed Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ to become the second longest-lasting LP on the Billboard US Top 10. It stayed there for 79 weeks. Only ‘The Sound of Music’ with Julie Andrews lasted longer at 109 weeks. 
1985 “Perfect Way” by Scritti Politti peaked at #11 on the US singles chart.
1987 John Spence, singer, original member of No Doubt in the late 80’s, committed suicide. 
1988 Ex Cockney Rebel bass player Paul Jeffreys was one of the passengers killed by a terrorist bomb on Pan Am flight 103. The plane crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland. 
1988 “Everything” album by Bangles was certified Gold by the RIAA
1991 ‘Bohemian Rhapsody / These Are The Days Of Our Lives’ by Queen started a five week run at No.1 in the UK, the 1975 word-wide hit had been re-released following the death of Freddie Mercury. 
1992 Albert King died from a heart attack in his Memphis, Tennessee home aged 69. He was an American blues guitarist and singer, whose playing influenced many other blues guitarists. One of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” (along with B.B. King and Freddie King), he is perhaps best known for the 1967 single “Born Under a Bad Sign”. In May 2013, King was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
1992 Whitney Houston went to No.1 on the Australian Singles Chart with ‘I Will Always Love You’. Staying at No.1 for 10wks
1995 Former Oasis drummer Tony McCarrol, issued a writ against the band seeking damages and royalties from his work on (‘What’s The Story) Morning Glory’. 
1996 The charity record ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ went to No.1 on the UK singles chart. With the consent of Bob Dylan, musician Ted Christopher of Dunblane, Scotland wrote a new verse for the song in memory of the schoolchildren and teacher killed in the Dunblane massacre. The cover version of the song included brothers and sisters of the victims singing the chorus and Mark Knopfler on guitar. 
1996 The charity record Dunblane ‘Throw These Guns Away’, went to No.1 on the UK singles chart for 1 week. 
1998 Scottish singer Karl Denver died from a brain tumour aged 67. Had the 1962 UK No.4 single ‘Wimoweh’ and 1990 UK hit ‘Lazyitis- One Armed Boxer’ with Happy Mondays. 
1999 Readers of 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. 
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 Police launched an investigation into why Olivia Harrison listed a non-existent Beverly Hills address as the place of George Harrison’s death. 
2003 Eminem’s ex-wife Kimberley Mathers pleaded guilty to a drug and driving offences. Mathers had been pulled by traffic police in June and was charged with possession of cocaine, two other charges driving with a suspended license and maintaining a drug house in which police discovered marijuana and Ecstasy were dropped. The 28 year-old mother appeared in a Michigan court after turning herself in, having previously failed to attend a November 1 hearing and removed an electronic tagging device used to monitor her movements. 
2003 Michael Andrews feat Gary Jules went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of the Tears For Fears song ‘Mad World.’ The song took just 90 minutes to record in 2001 and was featured in the film ‘Donnie Darko.’ 
2003 American Idol winner Ruben Studdard was at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Soulful.’ 
2003 Tommy Hubbard from Whitby, aged 14, won the 2003 Riffathon, a nationwide guitar competition in aid of Action For Brazil’s Children Trust. The final was held at the University of Surrey and was judged by Jimmy Page and Brian May. The ten Riffathon finalists each performed a Led Zeppelin classic track with a full live band. Tommy’s performance of ‘Ramble On’ won him the star prize of a 1958 re-issue Gibson Les Paul standard guitar, donated by Gibson Guitars. 
2005 The Sugababes unveiled their new member just a day after Mutya Buena announced she was leaving. Self-confessed Sugababes fan Amelle Berrabah, 21, from Hampshire, was named as the new singer in the group. “For years I’ve dreamt of breaking into the music business but never did I dream of waking up one day to be the third Sugababe,” she said. Buena said she left because she wanted a break from promoting the band’s album Taller in More Ways. 
2005 Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish became the first gay celebrities to register their relationship as a civil partnership. The 20 minute ceremony took place at The Guild Hall, Windsor, England, guest’s included Ringo Starr, Victoria Beckham, Joss Stone, Sting, Elvis Costello, Jamie Cullum, George Michael and The Osbournes – Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly. 
2005 Madonna was forced to cancel a romantic holiday at Skibo Castle in Scotland after her private jet broke down with technical difficulties at London Airport. 
2008 The 2008 X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke started a three week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Hallelujah’. The song was written by Leonard Cohen, and his version charted at the same time, and Jeff Buckley’s cover reached No 2, just being held off by Alexandra. Three versions of the same song were in the chart at once, something not seen since the 1950s. 
2010 A concert by Kings of Leon was postponed after a fire broke out on two of their tour buses which were parked at The O2 arena in London. The blaze began on one coach before spreading to another tour bus in the loading bay of the venue in Greenwich. About 60 firefighters were at the scene and ambulance crews treated six people for smoke inhalation. An O2 spokesman said the fire meant there was not enough time to rig the arena for the sell-out concert. 
2012 Paul Simon performed his classic track The Sound of Silence at the funeral of a teacher who died in the school shooting in Connecticut on 14 December of this year. The 1966 song was understood to be a favourite of 27-year-old Victoria Soto, a first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The singer, a family friend, performed the song in front of some 400 mourners, at Soto’s local church on Wednesday. Twenty six people were killed by Adam Lanza in the mass shooting the previous week. 
2012 ‘Gangnam Style’ by South Korean musician Psy became the first YouTube video to reach a billion views. By the end of 2012, the song had topped the music charts of more than 30 countries. 
2012 Rolling Stones guitarist, 65-year-old Ronnie Wood married his fiancee Sally Humphreys during a private ceremony in London. Keith Richards, Rod Stewart andPaul McCartney all attended the wedding. 
2013 After five years and 387 shows, Leonard Cohen wraps up his “Grand Tour” in Auckland, New Zealand. It’s the last concert he ever plays, as he dies three years later. 
2014 Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish formally converted their civil partnership to a marriage hosting a ceremony at their Windsor estate in Berkshire. David and Victoria Beckham, Ed Sheeran, Lulu and actor David Walliams were among the guests. 
2016 American singer Richard Marx told of how he had to restrain a fellow passenger on a Korean Air flight after the man, who was drunk allegedly attacked others onboard. The incident happened as Marx and his wife were travelling from Hanoi to Seoul. The man was arrested upon landing and South Korean.

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