Home Day In Music History This Day In Rock History: Dec 21st

This Day In Rock History: Dec 21st


Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa

  • 1968, Glen Campbell  topped the US album chart with ‘Wichita Lineman’. Although the LP would stay on the chart for 46 weeks, it would be Campbell’s only No.1 album.
  • 1970, A stretch limousine carrying Elvis Presley pulled up outside the White House in Washington, D.C. The driver handed over a letter from Elvis addressed to President Nixon requesting a meeting to discuss how the King of Rock and Roll could help Nixon fight drugs. The President agreed to give Presley a Narcotics Bureau badge – but only after learning that the chief of the narcotics bureau had turned down the same request earlier that day and told Presley the only person who could overrule his decision was the President. At Elvis’ request, the meeting remained secret for more than a year, until the Washington Post broke the story on January 27th, 1972.
  • 1974, Mud were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with the Chinn & Chapman song ‘Lonely This Christmas’. The group’s second No.1 and third chart topper for Chinn & Chapman in 1974.
  • 1985, Bruce Springsteen’s album, ‘Born in the USA’ passed Michael Jackson’s Thriller to become the second longest-lasting LP on the Billboard US Top 10. It stayed there for 79 weeks. Only ‘The Sound of Music’ with Julie Andrews lasted longer at 109 weeks.
  • 1991, Bohemian Rhapsody  – These Are The Days Of Our Lives’ by Queen started a five week run at No.1 in the UK, the 1975 word-wide hit had been re-released following the death of Freddie Mercury.
  • 1992, American blues singer and guitarist, Albert King died from a heart attack in Memphis, Tennessee. He recorded dozens of influential songs, such as ‘Crosscut Saw’ and ‘As The Years Go Passing By’, and the 1967 album, ‘Born Under a Bad Sign.’
  • 1995, Former Oasis drummer Tony McCarrol, issued a writ against the band seeking damages and royalties from his work on (‘What’s The Story) Morning Glory’.
  • 2003, Michael Andrews feat Gary Jules went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of the Tears For Fears song ‘Mad World.’ The song took just 90 minutes to record in 2001 and was featured in the film ‘Donnie Darko.’
  • 2003, Tommy Hubbard from Whitby, aged 14, won the 2003 Riffathon, a nationwide guitar competition in aid of Action For Brazil’s Children Trust. The final was held at the University of Surrey and was judged by Jimmy Page and Brian May. The ten Riffathon finalists each performed a Led Zeppelin classic track with a full live band. Tommy’s performance of ‘Ramble On’ won him the star prize of a 1958 re-issue Gibson Les Paul standard guitar, donated by Gibson Guitars.
  • 2010, A concert by Kings of Leon was postponed after a fire broke out on two of their tour buses which were parked at The O2 arena in London. The blaze began on one coach before spreading to another tour bus in the loading bay of the venue in Greenwich. About 60 firefighters were at the scene and ambulance crews treated six people for smoke inhalation. An O2 spokesman said the fire meant there was not enough time to rig the arena for the sell-out concert.
  • 2012, Paul Simon performed his classic track The Sound of Silence at the funeral of a teacher who died in the school shooting in Connecticut on 14 December of this year. The 1966 song was understood to be a favourite of 27-year-old Victoria Soto, a first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The singer, a family friend, performed the song in front of some 400 mourners, at Soto’s local church on Wednesday. Twenty six people were killed by Adam Lanza in the mass shooting the previous week.
  • 2012, Rolling Stones guitarist, 65-year-old Ronnie Wood married his fiancee Sally Humphreys during a private ceremony in London. Keith Richards, Rod Stewart and Paul McCartney all attended the wedding.

Born on this day:

  • 1926, Born on this day, Freddie Hart, country musician and songwriter best-known for his No.1 hit ‘Easy Loving,’ which won the Country Music Association Song of the Year award in 1971 and 1972.
  • 1940, Born on this day, Frank Zappa multi’ instrumentalist, producer and composer. Recorded with The Mothers Of Invention and solo, 1969 album ‘Hot Rats’, 1974 album ‘Apostrophe’, featuring ‘Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow’. First band was The Blackouts, recorded one of the first concept albums ‘Freak Out’. Zappa died of prostate cancer on 4th December 1993.
  • 1940, Born on this day, Ray Hilderbrand, Paul and Paula, (1963 US No.1 & UK No.8 single, ‘Hey Paula’).
  • 1943, Born on this day, Albert Lee, UK country guitarist. Worked with Emmylou Harris Hot Band, Eric Clapton, Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker. One time member of Heads Hands And Feet.
  • 1946, Born on this day, Carl Wilson, guitar, vocals, The Beach Boys, (1966 UK & US No.1 single ‘Good Vibrations’, plus over 25 other UK Top 40 singles’). Died 6th February 1998 after a long battle with lung cancer.
  • 1947, Born on this day, Paco de Lucía, Spanish virtuoso flamenco guitarist, composer and producer. His collaborations with guitarists John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola and Larry Coryell in the late 1970s saw him gain wider popularity outside his native Spain and collaborated with jazz pianist Chick Corea on their 1990 album, Zyryab. Lucía died on 25th Feb 2014.
  • 1964, Born on this day, Emmett Murphy, Dinosaur Jr, (1993 UK No.20 single ‘Start Choppin’).
  • 1964, Born on this day, Patrick Murphy, The Lemonheads, (1993 UK No.14 single ‘Into Your Arms’). Dinosaur Jr.
  • 1966, Born on this day, Gabrielle Glaser, US singer, Luscious Jackson, (1997 UK No.25 single ‘Naked Eye’).

Photos: Getty


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