January 15 – Today in Music History

1893 Ivor Novello, songwriter & actor. Annual British music awards are named after him. Died 6th March 1951. 
1929 Martin Luther King born in Atlanta, Georgia. US Black Civil Rights Leader and Nobel Peace Prize Winner’64. He was assasinated outside his hotel room in 1968. King is paid tribute to in songs like – Pride – U2, Abraham, Martin & John – Dion, What The World Needs No
1941 Don Van Vliet, (Captain Beefheart), American musician, singer-songwriter and artist. Released the albums ‘Safe As Milk’, ‘Trout Mask Replica’, and ‘Strictly Personal’ with his Magic Band. His expressionist paintings and drawings have been exhibited in art galleries and museums across the world. Beefheart died on 17th Dec 2010 aged 69 from complications from multiple sclerosis. 
1942 Edward Bivens born inMacon, Georgia. US Singer with The Manhattans, (1976 US No.1 & UK No.4 single ‘Kiss And Say Goodbye’). 
1947 Pete Waterman, producer, TV presenter and part of the Stock, Aitken & Waterman team. Booked the first ever tour for The Bay City Rollers, signed Musical Youth and Nik Kershaw, during the 70’s was promotion consultant for John Travolta. Had 1987 UK No.13 hit with ‘Roadblock.’ Dominated UK pop in the mid-to-late 1980s. as part of S.A.W. the most successful pop writers & producers of all time producing Bananarama, Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Jason Donovan. Judge on UK TV’s Pop Stars. 
1948 Ronnie Van Zant born in Gillsburg, Mississippi. US Singer with Lynyrd Skynyrd, who had the 1974 US #8 single ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and the 1982 UK #21 single ‘Freebird’. Van Zant died in a plane crash between shows from Greenville, South Carolina to Baton Rouge, Louisiana on October 20th 1977 along with bandmates Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines. Remaining band members survived, although all were seriously injured.
1951 Lance Reynolds born in Brisbane, QLD. Vocalist with the Silver Studs & one time manager of Air Supply. He later worked in Hollywood as a TV producer & manager. After 15 years overseas he returned home to Australia. 
1952 Melvyn Gale born in London, England. He joined E.L.O. in 1973 as a Cello Player. He left the group in 1977 (1979 UK No.3 & US No.4 single ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’, plus 26 other Top 40 hits). 
1953 Boris Blank born in Berne, Switzerland. Swiss Sound Technician, Songwrtier with Yello, (1988 UK No.7 single ‘The Race’). 
1953 Douglas Elwin Erikson, Garbage, (1996 UK No. 4 single ‘Stupid Girl’). 
1958 The Everly Brothers made their debut on British TV appearing on The Perry Como Show. 
1959 Pete Trewavas – UK Bass Player with Marillion founded in 1979. (1985 UK No.2 single ‘Kayleigh’). 
1961 Damian O’Neill, guitar, The Undertones, (1980 UK No.9 single ‘My Perfect Cousin’) 
1961 The Supremes signed a world wide recording contract with Motown Records. Originally founded as the Primettes, they became the most commercially successful of Motown’s acts and are, to date, America’s most successful vocal group with 12 No.1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. 
1964 The Beatles performed live at the Cinema Cyrano, Versailles, France, before an audience of 2,000. The show was a warm-up for a three-week engagement at the Olympia Theatre that would start the next day in Paris. 
1965 Adam Jones born in Park Ridge, Illinois. Guitarist with Tool, (2001 US No.1 album ‘Lateralus’). 
1965 The Who released their first single ‘I Can’t Explain’. With Jimmy Page on guitar and The Ivy League on backing vocals, it went on to reach No.8 on the UK chart. 
1966 The Rolling Stones’ December’s Children album is certified gold. 
1967 Lisa Velez, vocals, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, (1987 US No.1 single ‘Head To Toe’). 
1967 The Rolling Stones were forced to change the lyrics of ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ to Let’s Spend Some Time Together when appearing on the US TV The Ed Sullivan Show, after the producers objected to the content of the lyrics. Jagger ostentatiously rolled his eyes at the TV camera while singing the changed lyrics, resulting in host Ed Sullivan announcing that The Rolling Stones would be banned from performing on his show ever again. 
1968 John Fred and the Playboy Band’s “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” is certified gold. 
1969 George Harrison had a five-hour meeting with John, Paul and Ringo where he made it clear that he was fully prepared to quit The Beatles for good. Harrison wasn’t happy with plans for live performances and the current Let It Be film project. 
1969 Neil Sedaka went No.1 on the Australian singles chart with ‘Star Crossed Lovers. Staying at the top spot for 7wks. 
1970 Diana Ross left the Supremes and began a solo career. 
1972 Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’ started a four week run at No.1 in the US singles chart. The song is a recounting of “The Day the Music Died” (a term taken from the song) the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper (Jiles Perry Richardson, Jr.), and the aftermath. The song was listed as the No.5 song on the RIAA project Songs of the Century. 
1972 Led Zeppelin’s ‘Black Dog’ made its debut on the US singles chart. The group’s third single peaked at No.15 and spent 8 weeks on the chart. The song’s title is a reference to a nameless, black Labrador retriever that wandered around the Headley Grange studios during recording. 
1975 Belinda Chapple, Bardot, winners of the Australian Popstars reality show, (2000 Australian No.1 single ‘Poison’, and 2000 Australian No.1 self-titled album). 
1976 Paul Simonon auditioned for The London SS. The band went on to become The Clash. 
1976 Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here was on the UK album chart. The album’s packaging, designed by Storm Thorgerson, featured an opaque black sleeve inside which was hidden the album artwork. Thorgerson had noted that, in the US, Roxy Music’s Country Life was sold in an opaque green cellophane sleeve – censoring the cover image – and he adopted the idea, concealing the artwork for Wish You Were Here in a dark-coloured shrink-wrap (making the album art ‘absent’). 
1977 Abba scored their second UK No.1 album when ‘Arrival’ went to the top of the charts. 
1977 The Eagles went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Hotel California’ the group’s third US No.1 album. In the 2013 documentary History of the Eagles, Don Henley said the song was about “a journey from innocence to experience…that’s all”. 
1977 UK singer Leo Sayer went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’, it was the first of two US No.1’s for the singer. 
1981 Stevie Wonder leads a rally in Washington to get Martin Luther King’s birthday declared an official holiday. He performs his song “Happy Birthday,” written for King, which becomes a rallying call for the movement. 
1982 Harry Casey of KC and the Sunshine Band was hit head-on by another vechicle. He was confined to a wheelchair and had to learn to walk all over again.
1982 The Police kicked off the North American leg of their 119-date Ghost In The Machine world tour at Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, supported by The Go-Go’s. 
1983 A new pop music show was launched by Channel 4 TV called ‘Gastank’ hosted by ex Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman and Tony Ashton from Ashton Gardner & Dyke. 
1983 Men At Work started a four week run at No.1 in the US singles chart with ‘Down Under’ the Australian act group’s second US No.1, also a No.1 in the UK. 
1983 Phil Collins had his first UK No.1 single with his version of ‘You Can’t Hurry Love,’ a hit for The Supremes in 1966. Collins’ version was the first track on the very first Now That’s What I Call Music CD. 
1985 Singer Sheena Easton married record company executive Rob Light. 
1988 James Brown is admitted to a South Carolina hospital for addiction to painkillers. 
1991 Sean Lennon’s updated version of his father John’s ‘Give Peace A Chance’ was released to coincide with the United Nation’s midnight deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. 
1992 Dee Murray bass player with the Elton John band died after suffering a stroke aged 45. He first appeared with Elton on the 1970 album Tumbleweed Connection and the milestone albums Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. 
1994 American singer songwriter Harry Nilsson died in his sleep of heart failure after spending the previous day in the recording studio. He recorded ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ from the film ‘Midnight Cowboy’ and wrote hits for Three Dog Night and The Monkees. Had the UK & US No.1 single with his version of Badfinger Evans & Ham song ‘Without You.’ When John Lennon and Paul McCartney held a press conference in 1968 to announce the formation of Apple Corps, John was asked to name his favorite American artist. He replied, “Nilsson”. Paul was then asked to name his favorite American group. He replied, “Nilsson”. 
1996 Mariah Carey & Boyz 11 Men went No.1 on the Australian singles chart with ‘One Sweet Day’. Staying at the top spot for 1 wk. 
1998 Harmonica player Junior Wells died, (born Amos Blakemore). Worked with Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt and The Rolling Stones. 
1999 UK singer Marion Ryan died, one of the first stars to be made by television. 1958 UK No.5 single ‘Love Me Forever.’ 
2002 1980’s British pop legend Adam Ant was admitted to a mental ward 24 hours after being charged by police with pulling a gun on staff in a London pub. 
2004 It was announced that album sales in the UK rose by 7.6% in 2003 to a record high. Almost 121 million artist albums were sold, according to Official UK Charts Company. The Top five albums of 2003: 1. Dido, ‘Life For Rent’. 2. Justin Timberlake, ‘Justified’, 3. Christina Aguilera, ‘Stripped’, 4. Daniel Bedingfield, ‘Gotta Get Thru This’, 5. Norah Jones, ‘Come Away With Me’. UK singles sales continued to drop, down 30% on the previous year. The Black Eyed Peas had the biggest selling single of 2003 with sales over 625,000. 
2006 James Blunt was at No.1 on the UK album chart with his debut album and biggest selling UK album of 2005 ‘Back To Bedlam.’ 
2008 Ronnie Wood was recovering following an operation for a hernia after he sustained the injury during the band’s recent Bigger Bang tour. The 60-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist was told to rest for two months after the procedure. 
2010 N-Dubz were dropped as ambassadors of anti-bullying charity Beatbullying after band member Dappy sent a woman threatening text messages. Chloe Moody texted The Chris Moyles Radio 1 Show while the band were being interviewed, calling them “losers” and labelling Dappy “repulsive”, Dappy had sent a text back to her the following day saying “Your gonna die”. 
2010 Charlie Daniels is rushed to hospital after suffering a stroke. Daniels will recover and be released from the hospital two days later. 
2011 Harvey James – Guitarist/ Backing Vocals/ Slide Guitarist with Australian band Sherbet died age 58 of Lung Cancer. 
2015 American record producer, singer and musician Kim Fowley died of bladder cancer in Hollywood, California at the age of 75. He is best known for his role behind a string of novelty and cult pop rock singles in the 1960s, and for managing The Runaways in the 1970s. He wrote ‘Nut Rocker’ for B. Bumble and the Stingers, which became a No.1 hit in the UK in 1962. 
2017 Nineteen of David Bowie’s albums entered the UK album charts in the wake of his death. His new album, Blackstar, reached No.1, and in the top 40, Nothing Has Changed – The Very Best Of was at No.5, The Best Of 1969 / 1974 was at No.11, Hunky Dory, No.14, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, No.17, Best of Bowie, No.18, Aladdin Sane, No.23, The Next Day, No.25, Low No.31 and Diamond Dogs, No. 37. Thirteen Bowie tracks also entered the top 100, led by ‘Heroes’ at No.12. Also his songs were streamed more than 19 million times on services like Apple Music and Spotify. 
2018 Irish musician and singer-songwriter Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries died unexpectedly while she was in London, England, for a recording session. The Cranberries had the 1994 hit singles ‘Linger’, ‘Dreams’ and ‘Zombie’ and the bands 1993 album Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can’t We spent a total of 86 weeks on the UK chart.

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