on this day

January 20 – Today in Music History

1924 Slim Whitman (Otis Whitman) born in Florida. US Singer. (1955 UK No.1 single ‘Rose Marie’, 1977 UK No.1 album ‘Red River Valley’). He died of heart failure on June 19, 2013, at age 90, surrounded by family at Orange Park Medical Center in Orange Park, Florida.
1941 Ron Townson born in St. Louis, Missouri. US Singer with The 5th Dimension, died 3/8/2001, (1969 US No.1 & UK No.11 single ‘Aquarius’). 
1942 Billy Powell born in Canton, Ohio. US Singer with the O’Jays until 1976. The O’Jays, died of Cancer, May 26, 1977 (1973 US No.1 & UK No.9 single ‘Love Train’). 
1943 Rick Evans born in Lincoln, Nebraska. US Guitarist/Singer with Zager and Evans, (1969 US & UK No.1 single ‘In The Year 2525’). 
1945 Eric Stewart born in Manchester, England. Guitar/Keyboards/Vocalist who with the Mindbenders had the 1966 UK No.2 single ‘Groovy Kind Of Love’. With Hotlegs the 1970 UK No.2 single ‘Neanderthal Man’ and as a member of 10cc the 1975 UK No.1 & US No. 2 single ‘I’m Not In Love’ plus 10 other Top 30 hits). Stewart co-owned Strawberry Studios in Stockport, England from 1968 to the early 1980s. He also collaborated with Paul McCartney extensively in the mid-1980s, playing on or co-writing songs for McCartney’s solo albums Tug of War (1982), Pipes of Peace (1983), Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984), and Press to Play (1986).
1946 Jimmy Chambers born in Trinidad – Drummer with Londonbeat, (1990 UK No.2 & 1991 US No.1 single ‘I’ve Been Thinking About You’). 
1947 Malcolm McLaren born in London, England. English vocalist & one time manager for the Sex Postols. 
1947 George Grantham born in Cordell, Oklahoma. US Drummer & one of the founder member of Poco. 
1948 Mel Pritchard born in Oldham, England. UK Drummer with Barclay James Harvest, 8 UK Top 40 albums from 1974-87. 
1950 Paul Stanley (Stanley Eisen) born in New York. Rhythm Guitarist/Vocalist with Kiss, (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’). 
1951 Ian Hill born in West Bromwich, England. Bass Guitarist with Judas Priest, (1980 UK No.12 single ‘Living After Midnight’, 1980 UK No.4 album ‘British Steel’). 
1953 Billy Field born in Wagga, Wagga, NSW. Australian Singer/Songwriter & Producer. 
1954 Michael Anthony born in Chicago, Illinois. Bass Guitarist with Van Halen from 1974 – 2004. 
1958 Rick Nelson started a two-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Ricky’. 
1959 American guitarist and singer-songwriter, Rusty Anderson, best known as the accompanying lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s tours since 2001. Anderson has also worked with Gwen Stefani, Steven Tyler, Richie Sambora, Regina Spektor, Dido, Cat Stevens, Miley Cyrus, Eros Ramazzotti, Nelly Furtado and Meat Loaf. 
1960 Elvis Presley is promoted to sergeant in the U.S. Army.
1962 Cliff Richard & The Shadows went to No.1 in the Australian Singles Chart with ‘When The Girl In Your Ams Is The Girl In Your Heart’, staying at the top spot for 2wks
1965 Heather Small born in West London council estate, England. UK Singer/Songwriter with M People, (1993 UK No.2 single ‘Moving On Up’ plus over 15 other UK Top 40 singles). 
1965 Gregory David Kriesel born in Glendale, California. Known professionally as Greg K. Bass Guitarist and a backing vocalist for the punk band The Offspring.(1999 UK No.1 & US No. 59 single ‘Pretty Fly, (For A White Guy’), 1999 US No.6 & UK No.10 album ‘Americana’). 
1965 Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs went to No.1 in the Australian Singles Chart with ‘Over The Rainbow/That I Love’, staying at the top spot for 2wks. 
1965 American disc-jockey Alan Freed died from uraemia at the age of 42. Freed called himself the “father of rock and roll”, appeared in the movies such as Rock Around The Clock and Don’t Knock the Rock. His career was destroyed by the payola scandal that hit the broadcasting industry in the early 1960s. 
1965 The Byrds recorded the Bob Dylan song Mr Tambourine Man. 
1966 The Spencer Davis Group were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Keep On Running’. 
1967 The Monkees TV show was shown for the first time in the UK. 
1968 One hit wonders John Fred and the Playboy Band started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Judy In Disguise, (With Glasses)’, it made No.3 in the UK. The song was inspired by The Beatles ‘Lucy In The Sky’. 
1968 Fleetwood Mac, The Move, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and Fairport Convention all appeared at the Roundhouse Chalk Farm in London, England. 
1969 Nicholas Allen Jones born in Blackwood, Wales Manic Street Preachers. Kknown as Nicky Wire, is the lyricist, bassist and occasional vocalist with the Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers. (1996 UK No.2 single ‘A Design For Life’ 1998 UK No.1 album ‘This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours’). 
1969 Tina O’Neill born in Birmingham, England. Drums, Percussion, Saxophone player with We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It, (1989 UK No.11 single ‘International Rescue’). 
1969 Bruce Springsteen had two of his poems published in the Ocean County College Literary Yearbook Seascapes. Springsteen was in his second semester at the Toms River, New Jersey College. 
1970 Led Zeppelin appeared at the Wheaton Youth Center, Wheaton, during their first North American tour. Some reports suggest that only 55 fans attended this show, (if so, this would make it the smallest audience they ever played to). This show was on a Monday and the night of Richard Nixon’s inauguration. Zeppelin were paid $250 to appear. 
1971 Gary Barlow born in Cheshire, Manchester, England. Vocals/Piano/Songwriter, Take That, (1995 UK No.1 single ‘Back For Good’ plus eight other UK No.1 singles, 1993 UK No.1 album ‘Everything Changes spent 78 weeks on the UK chart). Solo, (1996 UK No.1 single ‘Forever Love’). Written songs for Donny Osmond, Charlotte Church, Bryan McFadden and Atomic Kitten. Re-formed Take That without Robbie Williams in 2006 for a sold-out European tour. Topped the UK singles and album charts simultaneously for the first time in their career when the single ‘Patience’ and album ‘Beautiful World’ both reached No.1 in Dec 2006.
1972 On the first date of a UK tour at The Dome, Brighton, England, Pink Floyd attempted to premiere their new album The Dark Side Of The Moon but due to technical problems this was abandoned after a performance of the track ‘Money’. 
1975 The US Top 5 singles: No.5, Stevie Wonder, ‘Boogie On Reggae Woman’, No.4, Ohio Players, ‘Fire’, No.3, Barry Manilow, ‘Mandy’, No.2, Neil Sedaka, ‘Laughter In The Rain’, No.1, The Carpenters, ‘Please Mr Postman’. 
1979 Will Young born in Wokingham, Berkshire. UK Singer, UK TV’s Pop Idol winner, (2002 UK No.1 single ‘Anything Is Possible / Evergreen’). 
1979 Rob Bourdon born in Calabasas, California. Drummer with Linkin Park, (2002 US No.2 & UK No.4 single ‘In The End’, 2002 US No.2 & 2001 UK No.4 album ‘Hybrid Theory’). 
1979 Appearing at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, Chic. The group’s latest single ‘Le Freak’ had reached No.7 on the UK chart. 
1981 Nathan Connolly born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Lead guitarist and backing vocalist for alternative rock band Snow Patrol. (2006 UK No.1 album ‘Eyes Open’, 2006 UK No.6 single ‘Chasing Cars’). 
1982 During an Ozzy Osbourne concert in Des Moines, Iowa, a member of the audience threw a bat onto the stage. Stunned by the light, the bat lay motionless, and thinking it was a rubber fake, the singer picked it up and attempted to bite its head off. As he did this, the bat started to flap its wings and Ozzy soon realized it wasn’t fake but in fact a living thing. After the show Ozzy was immediately rushed to the nearest hospital for rabies shots. 
1982 Lindsay Buckingham went to No.1 in the Australian Singles Chart with ‘Trouble’, staying at the top spot for 4wks. 
1982 Stiff Little Fingers played the first night of an 11-date tour at The Tower in Hull, promoting their new 4-track EP. The press ads said, ‘Pay no more than £1.10, more cuts than Maggie Thatcher.’ 
1983 Def Leppard released their third studio album ‘Pyromania’ which featured new guitarist Phil Collen and was produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange. The album has now sold over 10 million copies in the US. 
1984 Jackie Wilson – US Soul Singer, died aged 49 after several years in a coma following a heart attack. Death Anniversary also noted as the 21st Jan 1984. 
1985 Foreigner had their only UK No.1 single with ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’. London-born Mick Jones wrote the song and sang lead vocals with the British-American rock band. 
1985 Brantley Keith Gilbert born in Jefferson, Georgia. An American country rock artist.
1986 Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan appeared at a concert to celebrate the first Martin Luther King day in the US. 
1988 The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Drifters, Bob Dylan, and The Supremes are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the third class. Mike Love of The Beach Boys gives a Ricky Gervais-at-the-Golden Globes-style speech, insulting many in attendance. 
1988 Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes went to No.1 in the Australian Singles Chart with ‘I’ve Had The Time Of My Life’. Staying at the top spot for 7wks. Featured in the movie Dirty Dancing. 
1988 The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Yoko, Sean, and Julian Lennon all attend. Paul McCartney does not attend, sending instead a letter stating that continuing business differences with the other ex-Beatles was the reason for his absence. 
1990 Michael Bolton started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘How Am I Supposed To Live Without You’, the singers first No.1 and the first No.1 single of the 90’s in the US. 
1992 Salt’n’Pepa went to No.1 in the Australian Singles Chart with ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’. Staying at the top spot for 3wks. 
1994 Cut’N’Move went to No.1 in the Australian Singles Chart with ‘Give It Up’. Staying at the top spot for 5wks. 
1996 Bobby Brown was fined $1,000 (£560), sentenced to two years probation and ordered to attend anger management classes after assaulting a security guard. 
1996 George Michael scored his 6th solo UK No.1 single when ‘Jesus To A Child’ went to the top of the charts for one week. 
1997 Ben and Jerry’s introduced ‘Phish food’, a new flavor of ice cream named after the rock group Phish. The ingredients were chocolate ice cream, marshmallows, caramel and fish-shaped fudge. 
1999 Bill Albaugh drummer from the 1960’s psychedelic group The Lemon Pipers died aged 53. The Lemon Pipers scored the 1967 US No.1 single ‘Green Tambourine’. Albaugh died on 20th Jan 1999 at the age of 53. 
2000 Ray Jones, bass player with Billy J Kramer and the The Dakotas died. They had the 1964 UK No.1 & US N0.7 single ‘Little Children’. 
2000 Tourism chiefs in Liverpool were banned from putting up motorway signs saying ‘Liverpool, the Birthplace Of The Beatles’, because the Highways Agency thought the signs would distract motorists. 
2001 A memorial service was held for Kirsty MacColl who was killed in a boating accident off the coast of Mexico in December 2000. Bono from U2 and Billy Bragg were among friends and fans that packed St Martin-in-the-fields church in London. 
2002 George Harrison had the posthumous UK No.1 single with the re-release of the 1971 former No.1 ‘My Sweet Lord’. Harrison’s single replaced Aaliyah’s ‘More Than A Woman’, the only time in chart history that one deceased artist had taken over from another at No.1. 
2002 Stereophonics started a two-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with their second No.1 ‘Just Enough Education To Perform.’ 
2003 8 Mile, starring Eminem toppled The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers from its four-week hold at the top of the UK box office. The story of a Detroit rapper took £4,440,334 at 423 cinemas in the UK and Ireland. 
2006 American music executive Johnny Bienstock died of complications from heart disease aged 83. Owned Moss Rose Music, worked with Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, Elvis Presley, The Bee Gees, Eric Clapton, Del Shannon and Meat Loaf. 
2008 Scouting For Girls went to No.1 on the UK album chart with their debut and self titled album. 
2012 Etta James, most often remembered for her signature song, ‘At Last’, which reached No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart, died from complications of leukemia at the age of 73. She also placed nine other songs in the American Top 40, won three Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. 
2013 Bobby Engemann died in Provo, Utah, of complications from his 13 December 2012 heart bypass surgery. He was an original member of the Lettermen. He resigned from the group in 1967. 
2014 Pharrell Williams went to No.1 on the Australian Singles Chart with “Happy”. Staying at No.1 for 5 weeks in a row. The song was featured in the Despicable Me soundtrack. 
2015 Edgar Froese (drummer for Tangerine Dream) dies of a pulmonary embolism at age 70 in Austria. 
2017 Sir Paul McCartney was suing Sony over control of The Beatles’ back catalogue. McCartney had gone to a US court, seeking to regain the publishing rights to 267 of the band’s classic songs. He had been trying to get them back since the 1980s, when Michael Jackson famously out-bid him for the rights. Jackson’s debt-ridden estate sold the songs to Sony in 2016.

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