December 26th: On this day
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, 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 UK 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.
1976, The Sex Pistols recorded ‘God Save The Queen’ at Wessex Studios London, England. The song was released during Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. The record’s lyrics, as well as the cover, were controversial at the time, and both the BBC and the Independent Broadcasting Authority refused to play the song. The song reached No.1 on the NME charts.
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 No.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.
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’).
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.
December 26th: Born on this day
1935, Born on this day, Abdul ‘Duke’ Fakir, The Four Tops, (1965 US No.1 single ‘I Can’t Help Myself’, 1967 UK No.6 single ‘Standing In The Shadows of Love’).
1939, Born on this day, Phil Spector, producer, ‘The Spector Wall Of Sound’. Spector was a member of Teddy Bears, who had the 1958 US No.1 single ‘To Know Him Is To Love Him’. He went on to produce many classic songs including; Ben E King, ‘Spanish Harlem’, The Crystals, ‘Da Doo Ron Ron’, The Ronettes, ‘Baby I Love You’, The Righteous Brothers, ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling’, Ike and Tina Turner, ‘River Deep, Mountain High’. Also produced albums for The Ramones, John Lennon, George Harrison, The Beatles, Cher and Harry Nilsson. The 2003 shooting of actress Lana Clarkson in his Alhambra, California home led to his 2009 conviction of murder in the second degree. He is serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life.
1953, Born on this day, Henning Schmitz, Kraftwerk, (1982 UK No.1 single ‘Computer Love / The Model’).
1963, Born on this day, Lars Ulrich, drums, Metallica, (1991 UK No.5 single ‘Enter Sandman’, 1991 US & UK No.1 album ‘Metallica’).
1963, Born on this day, Dana Baldinger, bass, Popinjays, (1990 UK album ‘Bang Up To Date With The Popinjays’).
1966, Born on this day, Jay Farrar, American songwriter and musician who formed Uncle Tupelo (with Jeff Tweedy later of Wilco), and Son Volt.
1971, Born on this day, Jared Joseph Leto, American actor and musician, 30 Seconds to Mars.
1979, Born on this day, 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.
1990, Born on this day, Andy Biersack, American singer and pianist, founder and lead vocalist for the American rock band Black Veil Brides.