January 31 – Today in Music History

1797 composer Franz Schubert (“Unfinished Symphony”) was born in Vienna, Austria. He died on November 19, 1828.
1946 Terry Kath born in Chicago, IIIinois. US Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter with Chicago, (1976 UK & US No.1 single with ‘If You Leave Me Now’). Kath accidentally shot himself dead on January 23rd 1978.
1951 KC (Harry Wayne Casey) , US Singer/Songwriter with his group KC and the Sunshine Band, (1975 US No.1 single ‘That’s The Way, I Like It’, 1983 UK No.1 single ‘Give It Up’).
1951 Phil Manzanera born in London, England. UK Guitarist/Songwriter. He joined Roxy Music in (1972 UK No.4 single ‘Virginia Plain’ plus 15 other UK Top 40 singles).
1952 Curley Smith, drummer with American group Jo Jo Gunne who had the 1972 UK No.6 & US No. 27 single ‘Run Run Run.’
1953 Perry Como was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes’.
1954 Adrian Vandenburg, Dutch guitarist who was a member of Whitesnake who had the 1987 US No.1 & UK No.9 single ‘Here I Go Again’. Also a member of Manic Eden.
1956 John Lydon born in Finsbury Park, London, England. (Johnny Rotten,) singer, Sex Pistols,who had the 1977 UK No.2 single ‘God Save The Queen’ and 1977 UK No.1 album ‘Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols’. Formed Public Image Ltd who scored the 1983 UK No.5 single ‘This Is Not A Love Song’.
1956 Elvis Presley signs with the William Morris Agency in order to make himself available to film studios.
1957 Decca Records announced that Bill Haley & His Comets, ‘Rock Around The Clock’ had sold over a million copies in the UK, mostly on 10inch 78’s.
1958 Little Richard quit music at the height of his fame to attend evangelism college, where he stayed for four years.
1959 17-year-old Bob Dylan (known then as Robert Zimmerman) sees Buddy Hollyperform at the Duluth Armory in Minnesota. Three days later, Holly dies in a plane crash.
1961 Lloyd Cole born in Buxton, Derbyshire, England. Singer/Songwriter with his band Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, (1985 UK No.19 single ‘Brand New Friend’, solo, 1995 UK No.24 ‘Like Lovers Do’).
1963 Jet Harris and Tony Meehan were at No.1 on the UK single charts with ‘Diamonds’.
1963 BEACH BOYS RECORD “SURFIN USA” They cut “SHUT DOWN,” “FARMER’S DAUGHTER” and “LANA” at the same session.
1963 A seventeen-year-old Neil Young makes his stage debut at a country club in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
1964 Jeff Hanneman born in Hemet, California. Guitarist with American thrash metal band Slayer who released the 1986 album ‘Reign in Blood’. Hanneman died on 2nd May 2013 at the age of 49. Since 2011, Hanneman had been suffering from necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease that he is believed to have contracted from a spider bite.
1966 Al Jaworski, born in Plymouth, Devon, England. Bassist with English group Jesus Jones who had the 1990 US No.2 hit with ‘Right Here Right Now’ and the 1991 UK No.7 single ‘International Bright Young Thing’.
1967 Chad Channing born in Santa Rosa, California. Nirvana’s first drummer who left the band in 1990. Has since worked with The Methodists, East of the Equator and Redband. He currently sings and plays bass in the band Before Cars.
1967 The Beatles spent a second day at Knole Park, Sevenoaks, Kent, England to complete filming for the ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ promotional video. The film was shot in colour, for the benefit of the US market, since UK television was still broadcasting only in black and white. Taking time out from filming John Lennon bought a 1843 poster from an antiques shop in Surrey which provided him with most the lyrics for The Beatles song ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite’.
1967 While in Sevenoaks, Kent, England, John Lennon visits an antique shop and purchases a circus poster from 1843. It is this poster which inspires most of the lyrics to The Beatles’ “Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite.”
1968 Love Affair were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Everlasting Love’. Singer Steve Ellis was the only band member to perform on the recording.
1968 John Fred and his Playboy Band’s “Judy in Disguise” and the American Breed’s “Bend Me, Shape Me” are certified gold. Neither group came even close to selling that many records with any other release.
1968 “Bend Me, Shape Me” single by American Breed, The was certified Gold by the RIAA
1969 Bobby Darin walks off the set of The Jackie Gleason Show when he is not allowed to perform his song “Long Line Rider,” which deals with prisoner abuse.
1969 Led Zeppelin played the first of two nights at The Fillmore East, New York City during the band’s first North American tour. Porter’s Popular Preachers opened the night, then Led Zeppelin took the stage. It is alleged that Zeppelin’s show was so powerful and got such an enthusiastic audience that headliners Iron Butterfly refused to follow them.
1969 Billy Preston signs with Apple Records.
1970 Minnie Driver born in St. Marylebone, London, England. Actress, singer, songwriter who had the 2004 album ‘Everything I’ve Got In My Pocket’. Was once a member of UK band Puff, Rocks and Brown who were signed to Island records.
1970 “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin peaked at #4 on the US singles chart; it was parodied with kazoos later on.
1970 “Don’t Cry Daddy”/”Rubberneckin'” by Elvis Presley peaked at #6 on the US singles chart.
1970 “Love Grows” by Edison Lighthouse peaked at #1 on the U.K. pop singles chart and stayed there for five weeks.
1970 American blues musician Slim Harpo died of a heart attack while recording in London aged 46. Had the 1966 US No.16 single ‘Baby Scratch My Back’. The Rolling Stones, Pretty Things, Yardbirds and Them all covered his songs.
1970 The Jackson Five went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘I Want You Back’. The song was originally written for Gladys Knight & The Pips and was the first of four No.1’s for the group. It made No.2 in the UK.
1970 “Without Love (There Is Nothing)” by Tom Jones peaked at #5 on the US singles chart.
1970 Cynthia Lennon Remarries John’s ex-wife marries Roberto Bassanini in London.
1970 In New Orleans, the Grateful Dead are arrested for possession of LSD and barbiturates, an incident which would inspire one of their most famous songs, “Truckin’.” (Apparently the band had fun afoul of mob interests in Texas, and the mob alerted the NOPD. This explains lines like “Houston, too close to New Orleans” and “Set up, like a bowling pin.”)
1971 Mahalia Jackson’s funeral is held at Chicago’s Great Salem Baptist Church. Over 40,000 mourners attend the open-casket service, which features a closing version of “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” performed by Aretha Franklin. Famous mourners include Coretta Scott King, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Sammy Davis Jr.
1971 “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison peaked at #1 on the U.K. pop singles chart and stayed there for five weeks.
1971 The Jackson 5 are given the key to their hometown of Gary, Indiana, by Mayor Robert Pastrick.
1972 “Blessed Are” album by Joan Baez was certified Gold by the RIAA
1972 Joan Baez claims a gold record for her album “Any Day Now,” which was made up solely of songs by Bob Dylan. The LP went gold three years after its release.
1972 More than 40,000 mourners file past Mahalia Jackson’s open coffin in Chicago’s Great Salem Baptist Church. Funeral services are held the next day. Those in attendace are Coretta Scott King, Mayor Richard Daley and Sammy Davis, Jr. who reads a telegram from President Nixon. Aretha Franklin closed things by singing “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”
1974 COVER OF ROLLING STONE PAUL & LINDA McCARTNEY (inside, a lengthy interview with Paul)
1974 Grahame Bond went to No.1 in the Australian Singles Chart with ‘Farewell Aunty Jack’. Staying at the top spot for 10wks.
1974 “You’re Sixteen” single by Ringo Starr was certified Gold by the RIAA
1975 John Lennon releases “#9 Dream” in the UK. Part of it sounded like “My Sweet Lord” er “He’s So Fine”.
1975 “Dawn’s New Ragtime Follies” album by Dawn was certified Gold by the RIAA. ‘Say Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose’ & ‘Who’s In The Strawberry Patch With Sally’.
1975 “Heart Like A Wheel” album by Linda Ronstadt was certified Gold by the RIAA. Including ‘You’re No Good’, ‘When Will I Be loved’ & ‘It Doesn’t Matter Anymore’.
1975 “Mandy” single by Barry Manilow was certified Gold by the RIAA
1975 “Heart Like A Wheel” album by Linda Ronstadt was certified Gold by the RIAA
1975 “Mandy” single by Barry Manilow was certified Gold by the RIAA
1976 Abba knocked Queen from the UK No.1 position on the UK singles chart with ‘Mamma Mia.’ Queen’s single ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ had enjoyed a nine week run at the top of the charts, by coincidence, Queen’s single contains the famous “mamma mia, mamma mia, mamma mia let me go” line.
1976 Appearing on UK television pop show Supersonic, Alan Price, Sailor, Roy Wood and Chris Spedding.
1976 UK Music weekly Sounds readers Poll Winners included; best album ‘A Night At The Opera’, by Queen, best single ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, Queen, best band Queen, musician Mike Oldfield, female singer Maddy Prior, Steeleye, Span, new band Rainbow, bore of the year The Bay City Rollers.
1976 ‘The Best Of Roy Orbison’ went to No.1 on the UK album chart.
1976 The Ohio Players went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Love Rollercoaster’ the groups second US No.1.
1977 Claudine Longet is convicted of misdemeanor criminal negligence in relation to her shooting and killing Vladmir Sabich in March the previous year; she is given a slap on the wrist.
1978 Greg Herbert saxophone player with Blood Sweat & Tears died of an accidental drug overdose in Amsterdam, Holland aged 30. Blood, Sweat & Tears won a Grammy Award in 1969 for Album of the Year.
1978 Talking Heads made their UK TV debut on the ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’.
1978 “Leif Garrett” album by Leif Garrett was certified Gold by the RIAA. Including ‘Surfin USA’, ‘Runaround Sue’, ‘California Girl’, & ‘Put Your Head On My Shoulder’
1978 “Any Day Now,” featuring songs by Bob Dylan as sung by Joan Baez, went gold.
1979 The Clash make their North American concert debut in Vancouver, British Columbia.
1979 : Bo Diddley opens up for punk band The Clash at the beginning of their first US tour.
1981 David Lane born in Melbourne, Victoria. Australian musician. He is a solo artist and lead guitarist of You Am I (since 1999).He was also lead singer-guitarist of The Pictures (from 2000) and member of Australian supergroup, The Wrights.
1981 Blondie went to No.1 on the US singles hart with ‘The Tide Is High’, the group’s third US No.1, also a No.1 in the UK.
1981 “Every Woman In The World” by Air Supply peaked at #5 on the US singles chart.
1981 “I Made It Through The Rain” by Barry Manilow peaked at #10 on the US singles chart.
1982 Justin Timberlake born in Memphis, Tennessee. US Singer & member of band ‘N’Sync. who had the 2000 US No.1 single ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’ and the 1999 UK No.5 single ‘I Want You Back’. As a solo artist scored the 2003 UK No.2 & US No.3 single ‘Cry Me A River’. His second solo album ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’ was released in 2006 with the US No.1 hit singles ‘SexyBack’, ‘My Love’ and ‘What Goes Around… Comes Around.’ With his first two albums, Timberlake has sold over fourteen million albums worldwide. Timberlake has his own record label called Tennman Records. He also has an acting career, having starred in films such as The Social Network, Bad Teacher and Friends with Benefits.
1982 The Doobie Brothers split up, but promised they would reform for a farewell tour.
1983 “Thriller” album by Michael Jackson was certified Gold and Platinum by the RAA
1984 Queen’s ‘Radio Ga Ga’ entered the UK charts at No.4. The track which was released after Queen’s recording and touring hiatus of over a year spent eleven weeks in the chart, peaking at No.2.
1984 “Tour De Force” album by Thirty-eight Special (.38) was certified Gold by the RIAA
1985 Barbara Cowsill – Mother Of The Cowsills, died aged 56.
1985 Foreigner went to No.1 in the Australian Singles Chart with ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’. Staying at the top spot for 7wks.
1985 John Fogerty, former leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, returned to the A&M recording studios in Hollywood, CA to give his first ‘live’ performance in 14 years. Actually, Fogerty performed in a video called “Rock and Roll Girls”.
1986 “Once Upon A Time” album by Simple Minds was certified Gold by the RIAA. Including ‘All The Thing She Said’, ‘Alive & Kicking’ & ‘Sanctify Yourself’.
1986 “Once Upon A Time” album by Simple Minds was certified Gold by the RIAA
1987 “Land Of Confusion” by Genesis peaked at #4 on the pop singles chart.
1987 Marcus Mumford born in in Orange, California, to English parents. English-American singer, songwriter, musician and producer best known as the lead singer of the band Mumford & Sons. Their second studio album ‘Babel’ released in 2012 debuted at number one on both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200. It became the fastest selling album of 2012 in the UK.
1987 Paul Simon went back to No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘Graceland’, the album stayed on the chart for a total 101 weeks. ‘Graceland’ later won the 1987 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, while the title song won the 1988 Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
1987 “This Is The Time” by Billy Joel peaked at #18 on the US singles chart.
1987 Rhino Records had their first #1 hit with “At This Moment,” by Billy Vera & the Beaters. The song takes off after being featured in several episodes of the NBC-TV show “Family Ties.”
1988 Janet Jackson started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Together Again’.
1988 Herb Alpert performs the US National Anthem at Superbowl XXII in San Diego, California. (Chubby Checker performs at the halftime show.)
1990 The Stone Roses were granted conditional bail by Wolverhampton Magistrates court after the band had trashed their record company’s offices.
1993 Michael Jackson performs with 3,500 local children at the Superbowl XXVII in Pasadena, California. Bringing the highest ratings ever for the game’s half-time show.
1995 “She” album by Harry Connick Jr. was certified Platinum by the RIAA
1995 “My Life” album by Mary J. Blige was certified Gold and Platinum by the RIAA
1997 “3 Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!” album by Enigma was certified Gold by the RIAA
1997 “In My Lifetime” album by Neil Diamond was certified Gold by the RIAA
1997 “Emancipation” album by Prince was certified Gold and Platinum by the RIAA
1998 Usher went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘You Make Me Wanna’. The US hip-hop vocalist and actor was 18 at the time.
1998 “Together Again” by Janet Jackson peaked at #1 on the US singles chart.
1998 the “Come Together” benefit concert was held in New Jersey, at which Bruce Springsteen joined Jon Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny, Little Steven, Bobby Bandiera, Richie Sambora, Tico Torres, Max Weinberg, and many others to raise money for the family of slain Long Branch (New Jersey) police officer Patrick King.
1998 The Presidents of the United States of America play their final show at Seattles’s Paramount Theatre. The show benefits the Chicken Soup Brigade, which provides food and services to Seattle residents with HIV/AIDS.
1999 US dance music producer Armand Van Helden went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘You Don’t Know Me’. Helden also had a No.1 with the remix of the Tori Amos track ‘Professional Widow’.
1999 Two members and the road manager of hit Tejano band Intocable are killed in a car crash outside of Monterrey, Mexico. The are Jose Angel “Pepe” Farias, 23 the band’s onstage MC; Silvestre Rodriguez Jr., 26, the bassist; and road manager Joe Angel Gonzalez, age unkown. Lead singer/founder Ricky Munoz and other bandmembers are injured and kept overnight at a Monterrey hospital.
1999 Cher performs the US national anthem at Superbowl XXXIII in Miami, FL. (Stevie Wonder performs at the halftime show.)
2000 The Strokes played their first ever UK show when they appeared at The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth.
2000 the Smashing Pumpkins kicked off a national in-store tour in Lawrence, Kan., in support of the band’s upcoming CD “MACHINA/the Machines of God.” The road trip included autograph signings and some in-store performances.
2003 Robbie Williams topped a chart based on UK album sales from the past 5 years. The ex Take That singer had sold 9.7 million albums in Britain, an average of more than 5,000 every day. The Corrs were in second place with 5.8m sales, Westlife in third with 5.1, Madonna in fourth with 5m and The Beatles in fifth with 4.7m.
2006 Notorious Big, feat P Diddy, Nelly, Jagged Edge & Avery Storm were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Nasty Girl’. This posthumous hit had contributions from a selection of US Urban Soul and Hip Hop performers.
2006 The Johnny Cash biopic “Walk The Line” receives five Oscar nominations, with Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon up for Best Actor and Actress. Dolly Parton’s “Travellin’ Thru,” from “Transamerica,” is nominated for Best Original Song
2007 Jim Morrison was enlisted to help fight global warming more than 35 years after his death. ‘Woman in the Window’, a previously unreleased poem written and recorded by The Doors frontman shortly before he died in 1971 was being set to music and used to publicise the Global Cool campaign.
2008 Natasha Bedingfield entered the US chart at number three with her album Pocketful of Sunshine, equaling the record set by soul singer Sade in having the highest-ever US chart debut for a UK-signed female. The British singer sold 50,000 copies of the record in its first week of release.
2009 Dewey Martin drummer with The Dillards and Buffalo Springfield died aged 68. The Canadian musician had the 1967 US No.17 hit single ‘For What It’s Worth’ with Buffalo Springfield as well as working with The Monkees. In 1971, Martin retired from the music industry to become a car mechanic.
2009 David Gilmour appeared at Coldfall Primary School, Muswell Hill, London, during a charity show with The Seat Of The Pants Band. The black-tie dinner dance, at which Bob Hoskins, Suggs from Madness and comedian Les Dennis also appeared, raised over £50,000 for a cancer charity.
2010 The Record Academy honors Leonard Cohen with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. During his acceptance speech, Cohen comments on his surprise at receiving a Grammy, joking that he “was always touched by the modesty of [the Recording Academy’s] interest in my work.”
2011 English guitarist Mark Ryan died aged 51. He joined The Ants appearing with the band in the Derek Jarman movie Jubilee (released in July 1977). Subsequently, he joined The Photons, and was involved with The Moors Murderers.
2014 American businesswoman, composer and songwriter Anna Gordy Gaye died three days after her 92nd birthday. An elder sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy, she became a record executive in the mid-to-late 1950s distributing records released on Checker and Gone Records before forming the Anna label. Gordy later became known as a songwriter for several hits including the Originals’ ‘Baby, I’m for Real’, and two songs on Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On album. The first wife of Gaye, their turbulent marriage later served as inspiration for Gaye’s album, Here, My Dear. American businesswoman, composer and songwriter Anna Gordy Gaye died three days after her 92nd birthday. An elder sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy, she became a record executive in the mid-to-late 1950s distributing records released on Checker and Gone Records before forming the Anna label. Gordy later became known as a songwriter for several hits including the Originals’ ‘Baby, I’m for Real’, and two songs on Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On album. The first wife of Gaye, their turbulent marriage later served as inspiration for Gaye’s album, Here, My Dear.
2015 R&B rock and roll singer and songwriter Don Covay passed away at the age of 78. His most successful recordings include ‘Mercy, Mercy’ (1964), ‘See-Saw’ (1965), and ‘It’s Better to Have (and Don’t Need)’ (1974). He also wrote ‘Pony Time’, a US No.1 hit for Chubby Checker, and ‘Chain of Fools’, a Grammy-winning song for Aretha Franklin.
2015 Neo soul singer D’Angelo makes his debut appearance on SNL, performing “Really Love” and “The Charade” from his latest album, Black Messiah. His band, the Vanguard, wore t-shirts with the slogans “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe” in reference to the controversial deaths of unarmed black men Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of white policemen in 2014. The singer also donned a hooded sweatshirt as a nod to Trayvon Martin, who suffered a similar fate in 2012.
2017 English singer, bassist, and songwriter John Wetton died in his sleep at his home in Bournemouth, Dorset, UK from colon cancer. He rose to fame with bands Mogul Thrash, Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, and Wishbone Ash. After his period with King Crimson, Wetton formed UK, and later he was the frontman and principal songwriter of the supergroup Asia. Their biggest hit ‘Heat of the Moment’, reached No. 4 in the US in 1982.
2019 Harold Bradley the American country and pop guitarist died age 93. As a session musician into the 1970s, he performed on hundreds of albums by country stars such as Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley and Slim Whitman. Bradley was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006. A Country Music Hall of Fame member, he is believed to be one of the most recorded instrumentalist in history.

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