December 26 – Today in Music History

1935 Abdul ‘Duke’ Fakir born in Detroit, Michigan. American singer. He is best known as a member of the Motown act the Four Tops, from 1954 to the present-day. A first tenor, Fakir is the group’s only surviving original member.(1965 US No.1 single ‘I Can’t Help Myself’, 1967 UK No.6 single ‘Standing In The Shadows of Love’). 
1939 Ken Howard (Kenneth Charles “Ken” Howard) born in Worthing, West Sussex. English songwriter, lyricist and author and television director. In the 1960s and 1970s, in collaboration with Alan Blaikley, Ken Howard composed the music and words for many international top 10 hits
1940 Phil Spector, producer, ‘The Spector Wall Of Sound.’ Member of Teddy Bears, (1958 US No.1 single ‘To Know Him Is To Love Him’). Produced many classic songs including; Ben E King, ‘Spanish Harlem’, The Cr
1942 Ernie & Earl Cate – US Singer and Songwriters. 
1951 Paul Anthony Quinn – UK Lead Guitarist and songwriter with Saxon formed in 1977. 
1953 Henning Schmitz, Kraftwerk, (1982 UK No.1 single ‘Computer Love / The Model’). 
1955 Lars Ulrich, drums, Metallica, (1991 UK No.5 single ‘Enter Sandman’, 1991 US & UK No.1 album ‘Metallica’). 
1963 Dana Baldinger, bass, Popinjays, (1990 UK album ‘Bang Up To Date With The Popinjays’). 
1963 Stevie Wonder arrived in the UK for appearances on the TV shows ‘Ready Steady Go!’ and ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars.’ 
1963 Capitol Records, the EMI-affiliated company which rejected the US rights to every Beatles record that they were offered until then, finally released ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ backed with ‘I Saw Her Standing There’. The song was currently topping the UK chart with ‘This Boy’ on the flip side. Within five weeks, the record would rise to number one in the US, where it would stay for seven weeks. The song was recorded the previous October and the hit version was take number 17. 
1964 Lulu and Marty Wilde appeared in the pantomime ‘Once Upon A Fairytale’, at the Gaumont Theatre, Doncaster, England. 
1964 The Beatles started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘I Feel Fine’. It was the group’s 6th No.1 of the year in which they had 30 entries on the chart, giving them a total of 18 weeks at the top of the charts. 
1964 The Rolling Stones placed an advertisement in the music paper New Musical Express, wishing starving hairdressers and their families a Happy Christmas. 
1965 While spending Christmas at his father’s home in Cheshire, Paul McCartney crashed from the moped he was riding and suffered a five-inch cut to his mouth. 
1966 John Lennon appeared as a men’s room attendant in Peter Cook’s and Dudley Moore’s BBC TV show ‘Not only… But also’ 
1966 The Jimi Hendrix Experience played an afternoon show at The Uppercut Club, London, (where he was billed as “The American Top soul Singer – Jimi Hendrix”). Hendrix also wrote the lyrics to Purple Haze in the dressing room on the same day. 
1967 BBC Television broadcast The Beatles’ movie ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ in black and white. The next day, the British press and the viewing public pronounce the film an utter disaster. The negative reaction was so strong that a US television deal for broadcasting the movie was cancelled. 
1968 Led Zeppelin started their first North American tour supporting Vanilla Fudge and Spirit at Denver Auditorium, Colorado, tickets for this Sunday night gig cost $5. 
1970 George Harrison started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘My Sweet Lord’, making him the first Beatle to score a No.1 US hit. The song was originally intended for Billy Preston. 
1971 Jared Joseph Leto born in Bossier City, Louisiana. American actor, musician, singer and songwriter. lead vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and main songwriter for Thirty Seconds to Mars
1973 Paul and Linda McCartney presented the UK TV BBC’s ‘Disney Time’. 
1976 The Sex Pistols recorded ‘God Save The Queen’ at Wessex Studios London, England. 
1979 Chris Daughtry, American guitarist, singer. Daughtry was the fourth-place finalist on the fifth season of American Idol. His band’s self-titled debut 2007 US No.1 album sold more than 1 million copies after just five weeks of release, becoming the fastest selling debut rock album of all time. 
1979 The first night of a series of concerts were held at The Hammersmith Odeon in London for the People of Kampuchea, featuring Queen, The Clash, The Pretenders, The Who, Elvis Costello, Wings, and many more artists. The events which were organised by Paul McCartney and Kurt Waldheim were aimed to raise money for the victims of war-torn Cambodia. 
1979 Pink Floyd’s The Wall was at No.1 on the US album chart. (The album spent a total of 15 weeks at No.1 during a 35-week stay on the chart). The Wall also spent a total of 5 weeks at No.1 on the UK chart. 
1981 AC/DC started a three-week run at #1 on the US album chart with ‘For Those About To Rock We Salute You’ the follow-up to their highly successful album ‘Back In Black’. The name of the album was inspired by a book Angus Young read, entitled ‘For Those About to Die, We Salute You’, about Roman gladiators. 
1988 Shane McGowan was arrested for smashing the glass from a shop window in a drunken rage. The Pogues singer was later fined £250. 
1989 U2 started a five-night run at Dublin’s Point Depot. 
1998 The Spice Girls scored their 8th UK No.1 single with ‘Goodbye’, (the first single without Geri Halliwell). It gave the group the Christmas No.1 for the third year in a row equaling the record set by The Beatles from 1963, 64 and 65. 
1999 American soul, R&B, and funk singer, songwriter Curtis Mayfield died aged 57. He was a member of The Impressions, (1965 US No.7 single ‘Lilies Of The Field’) and solo, (1971 UK No.12 single ‘Move On Up’, 1972 US No.4 single ‘Freddie’s Dead, Theme From Superfly’). 
1999 Notorious BIG was at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Born Again.’ 
2004 2Pac went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Loyal To The Game.’ 
2006 Michael Jackson filed a lawsuit against his former accountants, claiming they withdrew $2.5 million a year from his bank accounts but did not properly pay his bills. Jackson hired the Los Angeles-based firm in 2003 for book-keeping, opening bank accounts and filing personal, corporate and real estate taxes. 
2007 Amy Winehouse’s second album ‘Back to Black’ was named as the biggest-selling album of the year. Released at the end of 2006 the album had now sold more than 1.5m copies in the UK, achieving five platinum sales awards, Winehouse was also nominated for six Grammys including song of the year. Leona Lewis’s ‘Spirit’ was the second best seller, Lewis sold 1.27m copies in just five weeks, becoming the fastest-selling debut in UK history and making the former X Factor winner the fastest female million-seller in the UK. Mika’s ‘Life in Cartoon Motion’ were the third best selling album of 2007. 
2012 Fontella Bass, the US female singer, pianist, who had the 1965 US No.4 and UK No.11 single ‘Rescue Me’ died of complications following a heart attack aged 72. 
2017 Jim Burns, the co-creator of MTV’s iconic MTV Unplugged series, famous for hosting shows by artists as diverse as Eric Clapton, Nirvana and Jay-Z died at the age of 65. He was struck by a taxi while crossing Fifth Avenue in Manhattan three days earlier walking with his seeing-eye dog near his Upper East Side home.

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