December 23 – Today in Music History

1926 Harold Dorman, known for the 1960 hit “Mountain of Love,” is born in Drew, Mississippi. Dorman died in October 1988, at the age of 61.
1929 Jazz singer/trumpeter Chet Baker is born Chesney Henry Baker Jr. in Yale, Oklahoma. He hits his stride in the ’50s when he joins the Gerry Mulligan Quartet and releases his signature hit “My Funny Valentine.” 
Plaque at the Hotel Prins Hendrik, in Amsterdam
Early on May 13, 1988, Baker was found dead on the street below his hotel room in Amsterdam, with serious wounds to his head, apparently having fallen from the second floor window. Heroin and cocaine were found in his room and in his body. There was no evidence of a struggle, and the death was ruled an accident. 
1935 Esther Phillips (Esther Mae Jones) born in Galveston, Texas. US soul singer, (1975 US No. 20 & UK No.6 single ‘What A Difference A Day Makes’). She died on 7th August 1984. 
1939 Johnny Kidd (Frederick Heath) born in Willesden, North London. UK Singer/Guitarist/Songwriter with Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, (1960 UK No.1 single ‘Shakin’ All Over’). Killed in a car crash while on tour in Manchester, England on 7th October 1966. 
1940 Eugene Record born in Chicago, Iiiinois. US Singer/songwriter with the The Chi-lites, (1972 US No.1 single ‘Oh Girl’, 1972 UK No.3 single ‘Have You Seen Her’). He died of cancer on 22nd July 2005. 
1940 Jorma Kaukonen born in Washington, D.C. US Guitarist with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. (1967 US No.18 single ‘White Rabbit’). Then with Hot Tuna from 1972. 
1941 Tim Hardin born in Eugene, Oregon. US Songwriter/Singer/Guitarist (1967 UK No.50 single ‘Hang On To A Dream’). Wrote ‘Reason To Believe’ and ‘If I Were A Carpenter.’ Died of a heroin overdose on 29th December 1980. 
1943 Harry Shearer (aka Derek Smalls of Spinal Tap) is born in Los Angeles, California. (1984 rock film ‘This Is Spinal Tap’). Shearer is also known for voicing a number of characters on The Simpsons, including Principal Skinner and Ned Flanders.
1943 Graham Bonnet born in Skegness, Lincolnshire. English rock singer and songwriter. He has recorded and performed as a solo artist and as a member of several hard rock and heavy metal bands including Rainbow, the Michael Schenker Group, Alcatrazz, and Impellitteri. Bonnet is known for his powerful voice and wide vocal range. He was also lead vocalist with the Marbles and In 1977 he released an eponymous album, which was certified gold in Australia. The single, “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”, a cover version of the Bob Dylan song, also reached the top five in Australia in 1977, and the following year the single “Warm Ride”, written by the Bee Gees, a leftover from the Saturday Night Fever sessions, reached number one there.
1946 Luther Grosvenor born in Evesham, Worcestershire, England. English rock musician, who played guitar in Spooky Tooth,[1] briefly in Stealers Wheel and, under the pseudonym Ariel Bender, in Mott the Hoople and Widowmaker.
1946 Singer-songwriter Robbie Dupree, known for the 1980 hit “Steal Away,” is born Robert Dupuis in Brooklyn, New York. 
1947 Three scientists at Bell Labs in New Jersey demonstrate the transistor, which leads to the invention of small, portable “transistor” radios. The scientists win the 1956 Nobel Prize for their work. 
1949 Luther James Grosvenor (Ariel Bender) born in Evesham, Worcestershire, England. Guitarist with Mott The Hoople. For contractual reasons, he changed his name to Ariel Bender at the suggestion of singer-songwriter Lynsey De Paul for his stint with the Mott the Hoople.(1972 UK No.3 single ‘All The Young Dudes’), Spooky Tooth. 
1949 Adrian Belew born in Covington, Kentucky. American guitarist and singer, worked with King Crimson and David Bowie. 
1951 Johnny Contardo – Vocalist with Sha Na Na is born in Boston, Massachusetts. 
1955 Grace Knight born in Manchester, Lancashire, England. Australian Singer & Lead Vocalist with Perth band the Eurogliders. 
1956 Dave Murray born in Edmonton, London. UK Lead Guitarist/Songwriter with Iron Maiden, (1982 UK No.1 album ‘The Number Of The Beast’, 1991 UK No.1 single ‘Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter’). 
1956 Martin Plaza (Martin Murphy) born in Sydney. Guitarist/Vocalist with Australian Band Mental As Anything. 
1959 Chuck Berry was arrested after taking 14 year old Janice Norine (who unbeknown to Berry was working as a prostitute), across a state line. He was sentenced to 5 years jail but after racist comments by the judge Berry was freed. 
1964 Will Sinnott born in Glasgow, Scotland. Bass guitar/Keyboards/Vocals with The Shamen (1991 UK No.4 single ‘Move Any Mountain’). Tragically he drowned on May 22nd 1991 while swimming off the coast of La Gomera when he was pulled under by strong currents. The Shamen were in Tenerife filming a video for their new single ‘Move Any Mountain.’
1962 During his first visit to the UK Bob Dylan performed at the King and Queen pub in London’s West End, the singer songwriter’s third UK gig. 
1964 Pirate station ‘Radio London’, started broadcasting from the former US Minesweeper ‘Mv Galaxy’. 
1964 During a US tour Beach Boy Brian Wilson had a nervous breakdown during aflight from Los Angeles to Houston. Wilson left the band to concentrate on writing and producing. Glen Campbell replaced Wilson for the bands live shows. 
1964 Eddie Vedder (Edward Severson 111) born in Evanston, IIIinois. Lead Singer with rock group Pearl Jam, (1992 UK No.15 single ‘Jeremy’, 1993 US No.1 album ‘Vs’.). 
1966 ITV (Redifusion) broadcast Ready, Steady Go! for the last time, after the Musicians Union enforced a ban on miming. The special guests for the farewellshow were Mick Jagger, The Who, Eric Burdon, The Spencer Davis Group, Donovan and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich. 
1967 John Lennon makes the first contact with his estranged father, Alf, in years: after hearing that he’s taken ill, John sends him a get well note and a car so that he can visit his famous son. 
1969 Elton John & Bernie Taupin began their song writing partnership. The pair came together via an advertisement for artists & writers in a British music magazine. They began to write by correspondence & didn’t meet until they’d written about 20 songs together. 
1971 John Lennon started a 5 week run at No.1 on the Australian Singles Chart with “Imagine”. 
1972 Former Grand Funk Railroad manager Terry Knight arrived during a concert by the band with a court order to seize $1m in money or assets. Police inform the ex manager that he couldn’t take anything until after the show.
1974 Montsho Eshe born in Georgia. Member of Arrested Development, (1992 UK No.2 single ‘People Everyday’). 
1975 Katie Underwood born in Adelaide, South Australia is an Australian singer-songwriter, best known for being a member of Bardot, winners of the first Australian series of Popstars in 2000.2000 Australian No.1 single ‘Poison’, and 2000 Australian No.1 self-titled album). 
1977 English singer-songwriter, Cat Stevens formally changed his name to Yusef Islam. 
1982 The Culture Club started at 5 week run at the No.1 in the Australian Singles Chart with “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me”. 
1984 Howard Jones played the first of three sold out shows at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, with support band Strawberry Switchblade. 
1985 Harry Judd, drummer, McFly, (2004 UK No.1 single ‘Colours In Her Hair’, 2004 UK No.1 album ‘Room On The 3rd Floor’). 
1985 During a concert by LL Cool J at a Rollerrink in Baltimore, a fight broke out, one person was trampled underfoot and three people were shot. 
1985 Judas Priest fans Raymond Belknap and James Vance shot themselves after listening to the Judas Priest album ‘Stained Class.’ The two had drunk beer, smoked marijuana and then listened to hours of the album. Afterwards they took a shotgun to a nearby school playground where Belknap shot and killed himself. Vance then blew away his jaw, mouth and nose but lived for more than three years before dying of effects of the shooting. 
1985 Harry Judd born in Chelmsford, Essex, in southern England. Drummer with McFly, (2004 UK No.1 single ‘Colours In Her Hair’, 2004 UK No.1 album ‘Room On The 3rd Floor’). 
1989 Phil Collins started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Another Day In Paradise’, his 7th US solo No.1 Taken from his No.1 album …But Seriously ‘Another Day in Paradise’ was written to bring attention to the problem of homelessness. 
1989 Band Aid II The second version of ‘Do They Know Its Christmas’ by Band Aid II, went to No.1 on the UK singles chart. 
1994 Dan Hamilton (Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds) dies of Cushing’s syndrome in Los Angeles, California, at age 48. 
1996 Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx married TV’s ‘Baywatch’ star and former Playboy Playmate of the Month, Donna Deruico. 
1996 Tony Bennett is released from a Washington, DC, hospital after an emergency hernia operation (he was stricken while preparing to perform at the White House.) 
1996 Two weeks after his divorce from PlayboyPlaymate Brandi Brandt is finalized, Mötley Crüe bass player Nikki Sixx marries Baywatch star Donna D’Errico. 
1999 George Harrison’s home in Maui in the Hawaiian Islands was broken into by Cristin Keleher, who cooked a frozen pizza, drank beer from the fridge, started some laundry and phoned her mother in New Jersey. Keleher was arrested and charged with burglary and theft. 
2000 Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall was given a police caution for possessing cocaine and cannabis. Police found the Class A and Class B drugs at his Surrey home after a woman falsely accused him of rape in November. 
2002 Sir Paul McCartney was granted his own coat of arms by the College of Arms, the English heraldic body formed in 1484. The crest featured a bird that appeared to be holding a guitar in its claw. The motto is “Ecce Cor Meum”, Latin for ‘Behold My Heart’, which is the title of an oratorio he composed. 
2003 Simon & Garfunkel donate a million dollars to the Children’s Health Fund (started by Paul six years earlier.) 
2005 Geezer Butler, the bass player with Black Sabbath offered £5,000 for any information leading to the safe return of Toga, the three-month-old penguin that had been stolen from a zoo on the Isle of Wight a few days earlier. 
2006 It was reported that U2 singer Bono was to be given an honorary knighthood in recognition of his outstanding contribution to music and humanitarian work. 
2006 English entertainer Charlie Drake dies in Twickenham, Middlesex, England, after suffering multiple strokes at age 81. 
2007 The Police were named as the highest earning touring group for the past year, bringing in nearly £66.5m, ($132m). The band’s 54 date North American tour had generated almost double the total of the second-placed act, Country star Kenny Chesney. 
2007 The 2007 X-Factor winner Leon Jackson went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘When You Believe’, the singers only No.1 hit. 
2008 A spokesman for Michael Jackson denied reports the singer was suffering from a rare respiratory disease and was in need of a lung transplant. Dr Tohme Tohme said in a statement issued to Reuters that stories claiming the singer was unwell were not true. He added that author Ian Halperin had made the claims to promote his unauthorised biography of the 50-year-old singer. 
2008 Clint Ballard Jr. died. He wrote ‘Game Of Love’ a hit for Wayne Fontana And The Mindbenders’, and Linda Ronstadt’s, ‘You’re No Good’. His songs have been recorded by The Hollies, Frankie Avalon, Ricky Nelson, The Zombies and Jan And Dean. 
2013 The Mail On Sunday reported that documents they obtained from the Cabinet Office via the Freedom Of Information Act showed that George Harrison,who passed away in 2001, turned down the chance to be included in the New Year’s Honours List in 2000. The OBE was recommended by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport who said that Harrison should be recognised for his contribution to the music industry. The citation read: “He was a member of a band that many people would say is the best thing that Britain has ever produced, and possibly the best in the world, The Beatles”.

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