February 20th: On this day
1958, Billed as ‘The Big Gold Record Stars’ Bill Haley and his Comets, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmie Rodgers all appeared on the first date of a six day tour of Florida.
1959, 16 year old Jimi Hendrix made his stage debut when he played a show at the Temple De Hirsch Sinai synagogue in Seattle
1963, The Beatles drove through the night from Liverpool to London to appear on the live lunchtime BBC radio program “Parade of the Pops.” Performing ‘Love Me Do’ and ‘Please Please Me’, the appearance lasted just over 4 minutes. They then drove another 180 mile trip back north for their performance that night at the Swimming Baths, Doncaster, Yorkshire.
1970, The single ‘Instant Karma!’ by The Plastic Ono Band was released in the US. John Lennon had written, recorded and mixed the track all in one day on the 27th January 1970.
1972, Chicory Tip were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Son Of My Father.’ Written by Giorgio Moroder, it was the first UK number one single to prominently feature a synthesizer, in this case a Moog synthesizer.
1976, All four members of KISS had their footprints implanted on the pavement outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
1977, Winners at this years Grammy Awards included Stevie Wonder for Best album with ‘Songs In The Key Of Life’, and Best Vocal performance for ‘I Wish.’ Best album went to Chicago for ‘Chicago X’ and Best new artist went to the Starland Vocal Band.
1980, AC/DC singer Bon Scott was pronounced dead on arrival at a London hospital after a heavy night’s drinking. Scott was found in the passenger seat of a friend’s parked car. The official coroner’s report stated that he had “drunk himself to death”, after suffocating on his own vomit.
1988, Kylie Minogue was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘I Should Be So Lucky.’ Minogue had become a household name playing Charlene Ramsey in Australian soap Neighbours. After every major UK record company turned down the track, producer Pete Waterman released the single on his own PWL label. Kylie has gone on to score over 30 hit singles.
1991, Bob Dylan was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the 33rd annual Grammy’ Awards.
2003, Winners at this years Bit Awards included Robbie Williams for British solo artist, Ms Dynamite won British female artist, Best British album went to Coldplay for A Rush Of Blood, Best British group went to Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers won International Group, Blue won Best Pop Act and Liberty X won Best single for ‘Just A Little.’
2003, 100 people died after pyrotechnics ignited a club during a gig by Great White in West Warwick, Rhode Island. Great White singer Ty Longley was also killed in the accident. Two brothers who owned the club were charged, along with the former tour manager with involuntary manslaughter. Foam soundproofing material at the edge of the stage set alight and the blaze spread quickly in the one-storey wooden building as fans all tried to escape through the same exit. Great White began a tour in July 2003 to raise money for the survivors and families of victims.
2004, Brian Wilson kicked off an 11-date UK tour at London’s Royal Festival Hall. The shows saw Wilson performing the full suite of songs from his unreleased masterpiece ‘Smile’ Wilson’s ‘teenage symphony to God.
2007, The US hair salon where pop star Britney Spears shaved her head set up a website to auction her hair for more than $1m (£512,500). The website, buybritneyshair.com, claimed to have been set up by salon owner Esther Tognozzi included photos of the hair, saying it was “absolutely authentic”. As well as the hair, the winning bidder would also get the hair clippers Spears used, a blue lighter she left at the salon and the can of Red Bull she was drinking at the time. Meanwhile, Spears has been spotted in Hollywood sporting a short blonde wig.
2008, Winners at this year’s Brit Awards in London, included Take That who won the trophies for best British live act and British single, The Arctic Monkeys won best British group and album – both for the second year in a row and Foo Fighters won best international group and album. Kate Nash won best British female and Mark Ronson was named best British male. Kylie Minogue won best international female and Mika was named best British breakthrough act. Sir Paul McCartney performed a medley of hits, including Live and Let Die, Hey Jude and Lady Madonna after he was honoured with an outstanding contribution award. The show was presented by Sharon Osbourne.
2008, A 1976 Rolling Stones album bought for £2 at a car boot sale sold for £4,000 at an auction. The ‘Black and Blue’ LP was signed by John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Paul and Linda McCartney and George Harrison as well as members of the Rolling Stones. The seller obtained the album after haggling the cost down from £3.
2010, An event was staged at The Barbican in London where 40 zebra finches made music by landing on guitars and cymbals. The flock of finches would land on Gibson Les Paul guitars, which were plugged into amplifiers and land on upturned cymbals being used as bird feeders to make random sounds. A video clip of the installation, on YouTube had been watched more than 520,000 times.
2014, The British Phonographic Industry reported that Digital revenues now accounted for 50% of the total UK record industry income. Digital album sales and a surge in streaming had boosted total digital revenue in 2013 to £365m – up from £326m (a 45.5% share) in 2012. Streaming revenue increased by 41%, bringing total UK revenue to £730.4m – the first growth since 2009.
February 20th: Born on this day
1941, Born on this day, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Canadian singer, songwriter who had the 1971 UK No.7 single ‘Soldier Blue’. She wrote ‘Up Where We Belong’ the 1982 US No.1 & UK No.7 for Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes.
1945, Born on this day, Alan Hull, guitarist, singer, songwriter, with English group Lindisfarne who had the 1972 UK No.3 single ‘Lady Eleanor’. Hull also worked as a solo artist. Hull died of a heart attack on 17th November 1996.
1946, Born on this day, J Geils, guitarist, with The J. Geils Band who had the 1982 US No.1 & UK No.3 single ‘Centerfold’, which was taken from their US No.1 1981 album ‘Centerfold’.
1950, Born on this day, Walter Becker, bass, guitar, vocals, songwriter with American group Steely Dan who had the 1973 US No.11 single ‘Reeling In The Years’ and nine other US Top 30 hits. Steely Dan’s ‘Two Against Nature’ won a Grammy in 2001 for Album of the year. Becker has produced records for Rickie Lee Jones, China Crisis and Michael Franks.
1951, Born on this day, Randy California, guitarist, singer with Spirit, who had the 1969 US No.25 single ‘I Got A Line On You’, and the 1981 UK No.40 album ‘Potato Land’). He died on 2nd January 1997 when rescuing his 12 year-old son after he was sucked into a riptide in surf off Hawaii.
1953, Born on this day, Poison Ivy, (Kristy Wallace), guitar, The Cramps. Wallace was married to Cramps singer Lux Interior who died in Glendale, California on February 4, 2009.
1954, Born on this day, Jon Brant from Cheap Trick who had the 1979 UK No.29 & US No.17 single ‘I Want You To Want Me’, and the 1988 US No.1 single ‘The Flame’.
1967, Born on this day, Kurt Cobain guitarist, singer, songwriter with Nirvana who had the 1991 hit ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. Their 1991 album ‘Nevermind’ spent over two years on the UK chart. During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with heroin addiction, illness and depression. Cobain committed suicide on April 5th 1994. Cobain has been remembered as one of the most iconic rock musicians in the history of alternative music.
1972, Born on this day, Neil Primrose, drummer with Scottish group Travis who had the 1999 UK No.1 album ‘The Man Who’, and the 1999 UK No.10 single ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me’ plus over 10 other UK Top 40 singles.
1975, Born on this day, Brian Littrell, singer with Backstreet Boys who had the 1997 US No.2 single ‘Quit appearing Games With My Heart’ and the 1999 UK No.1 single ‘I Want It That Way’.
1977, Born on this day, Edwin Graham, drummer with The Darkness who had the 2003 UK No.2 single ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’, 2003 UK No.1 album ‘Permission To Land’.
1985, Born on this day, Volkova Olegovna, singer, with Russian music duo Tatu who had the 2003 UK No.1 single ‘All The Things She Said’ which also topped the charts in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Switzerland and other European countries.
1988, Born on this day, Rihanna (Robyn Rihanna Fenty), Barbadian R&B singer who had 2007 world-wide No.1 single ‘Umbrella’ featuring Jay-Z. ‘Umbrella’ became the longest running UK No.1 in the 21st Century. The song debuted at No.1 on the chart based on digital sales alone. Rihanna has sold more than 20 million albums and 60 million singles which makes her one of the best selling artists of all time. She is the youngest solo artist in Billboard charts history to achieve eleven number-one singles.