January 26th: On this day
1961, Elvis Presley was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’. The singers sixth UK No.1. The single included a spoken passage loosely based on Shakespeare.
1963, The Beatles played two gigs, the first was at the El Rio Club/Dance Hall in Macclesfield, Cheshire, supported by Wayne Fontana and the Jets. Then The Beatles drove 20 miles to their next gig at King’s Hall, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire.
1965, During a Rolling Stones tour of Australia and New Zealand, guitarist Keith Richards had his shirt torn off after 50 fans invaded the stage during the gig at The Town Hall in Brisbane.
1965, ‘Downtown’ by Petula Clark was at No. 1 on the US singles chart. A young Jimmy Page had played as a session guitarist on the track, giving him his first US No.1 hit, (and a No. 2 hit in the UK).
1968, Pink Floyd played their first gig without Syd Barrett at Southampton University. They were supported by Tyrannosaurus Rex, (later to be renamed T Rex) featuring Marc Bolan and percussionist Steve Peregrine Took.
1973, Sweet were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Blockbuster’. The glam rockers only UK No.1 of 15 Top 40 hits.
1974, Ringo Starr went to No.1 on the US singles chart with his version of the Johnny Burnette 1960 hit ‘Your Sixteen’, a No.3 hit in the UK.
1975, The BBC ‘Omnibus’ documentary ‘Cracked Actor’ a film about David Bowie was shown on UK TV. Filmed in 1974 when Bowie was was a cocaine addict, the documentary has become notorious for showing Bowie’s fragile mental state during this period.
1977, Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green was committed to a mental hospital following an incident when he threatened his accountant Clifford Adams with an air rifle when he was trying to deliver a £30,000 ($51,000) royalty cheque to him.
1980, Prince made his TV debut on the US show American Bandstand. When interviewed after his performance the singer froze and struggled to reply to the questions he was being asked.
1986, Allen Collins, guitarist from Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed his car, paralysing him from the waist down and killing his girlfriend Debra Jean Watts. Collins had survived a plane crash in 1977 that killed two other band members.
1989, American singer Donnie Elbert died of a stroke aged 52. He had the 1972 US No. 22 & UK No.11 single ‘I Can’t Help Myself’, Sugar Pie Honey Bunch’, ‘Where Did Our Love Go?’ and ‘A Little Piece of Leather’.
1991, Queen had their second UK No.1 with ‘Innuendo’. At 6 minutes 30 seconds, it exceeded their epic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by 35 seconds and became the third longest UK No.1 song of all time, behind The Beatles ‘Hey Jude’ and Simple Minds’ ‘Belfast Child’ (subsequently the 9 minutes 38 seconds ‘All Around The World’ by Oasis took over the top slot and demoted Innuendo to fourth place). For ‘Innuendo’s’ flamenco guitar solo, Brian May was joined by Yes guitarist Steve Howe.
2003, Billy Joel was airlifted to hospital after his car smashed into a tree. The singer lost control of his Mercedes S500 and skidded for 100 yards before crashing. The accident happened in The Hamptons, New York.
2004, John Lydon was one of ten contestants to take part in the latest I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here UK TV show set in the Australian outback. The former Sex Pistols singer was seen by 11 million viewers on the first night covered in bird seed being pecked by giant ostriches. Lydon who was paid £25,000 ($42,500) to appear in the show, but walked off the jungle set after four days.
2007, The Rolling Stones topped the US music rich list for the second year running after making $150.6m (£76.2m) in 2006. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were second in the poll with a combined fortune of $132m (£67.2m) and American country band Rascal Flatts appeared third, having earnt $110.5m (£56.2m) in the past year.
2008, Alicia Keys was at No.1 on the US album chart with her third album ‘As I Am’. The album sold over 742,000 copies in its first week the largest ever first week sales for any female R&B artist.
2011, American singer Gladys Horton died aged 66. She was the founder and lead singer of the Motown all-female vocal group The Marvelettes who had the hits ‘Please Mr. Postman’, ‘Playboy’, ‘Beechwood 4-5789’ and ‘Too Many Fish in the Sea’.
2016, English singer-songwriter Colin Vearncombe, who with Black had the 1987 UK No.8 single ‘Wonderful Life’, died at the age of 53. Vearncombe was involved in a road traffic accident, on Jan 10th 2016 near Cork Airport in Ireland, and placed in a medically-induced coma after sustaining serious head injuries. He died from his injuries at the intensive care unit of Cork University Hospital at the age of 53.
January 26th: Born on this day
1934, Born on this day, Huey ‘Piano’ Smith, US R&B pianist who had the 1958 US No.9 single ‘Don’t You Just Know It’. Smith also played played on Frankie Ford’s hit ‘Sea Cruise’.
1945, Born on this day, Ashley Hutchings, bassist with UK folk group Fairport Convention who had the 1969 UK No.21 single ‘Si Tu Dois Partir’.
1948, Born on this day, Corky Laing, drummer with heavy rock group Mountain who had the 1971 album ‘Nantucket Sleighride’. Also worked with Jack Bruce.
1949, Born on this day, Derek Holt, Climax Blues Band who had the 1976 UK No.10 & 1977 US No.3 single ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’.
1951, Born on this day, David Briggs, Little River Band, Australian group, (1978 US No.3 single ‘Reminiscing’ plus 12 other US Top 40 singles).
1953, Born on this day, Lucinda Williams, rock, folk, blues and country music singer and songwriter who wrote ‘Passionate Kisses’ the Grammy winning song made famous by the 1993 single version by Mary Chapin Carpenter.
1957, Born on this day, Eddie Van Halen, Dutch guitarist with Van Halen who had the 1984 US No.1 & UK No. 7 single ‘Jump’. His guitar solo in the track ‘Eruption’ was voted No.2 on Guitar World magazine’s readers poll of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos.
1957, Born on this day, Norman Hassan, percussion with UB40 who had the 1983 UK No.1 & 1988 US No.1 single ‘Red Red Wine’ and over 30 other Top 40 hit singles.
1958, Born on this day, Anita Baker, US soul singer who had the 1986 UK No.13 single ‘Sweet Love’ and the 1998 US No.1 album ‘Giving You The Best That I Got’.
1963, Born on this day, Andrew Ridgeley, singer and one half of Wham! with George Michael, who had the 1984 UK & US No.1 single ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ plus 10 other UK Top 20 hit singles. Ridgeley became a prominent environmentalist in the cause of British surfing beaches and riverways, working with the UK charity, Surfers Against Sewage. He lives with his girlfriend Keren Woodward of the pop group Bananarama.
1963, Born on this day, Jazzie B, British DJ, music producer, and entrepreneur and founding member of British group Soul II Soul who had the 1989 UK No.1 single ‘Back To Life’.
1964, Born on this day, Susannah Melvoin, American vocalist, songwriter. Worked with Prince, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton and Mike Oldfield. As a songwriter, has co-written songs performed by Madonna, Eric Clapton and Prince.