Home Day In Music History This Day In Rock History: Jan 4th

This Day In Rock History: Jan 4th


Elton John
Elton John

  • 1936, Billboard Magazine introduced the first ever-pop music chart that ranked records on national sales; big band violinist Joe Venuti was the first No.1.
  • 1960, Marty Robbins started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘El Paso’. A No.19 in the UK.
  • 1962, Liverpool’s Mersey Beat published its first popularity poll, with The Beatles coming in first place and Gerry and the Pacemakers voted second.
  • 1965,  was bought by CBS for $13 million (£7.6 million).
  • 1967, The Doors released their self-titled debut album The Doors. Unique packaging of the album included each band members bio.
  • 1970, The Beatles (without John Lennon) re-record vocals and a new guitar solo on the Paul McCartney song ‘Let It Be’ at Studio Two, EMI Studios, London. This session will be the final studio appearance for The Beatles, as a group. (The final date that all four of The Beatles were in the studio together is August 20, 1969).
  • 1975, Elton John started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with his version of The Beatles ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’. His third US No.1, the song featured John Lennon on guitar.
  • 1986, Irish singer, songwriter and bassist Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy died of heart failure and pneumonia after being in a coma for eight days following a drug overdose. Had the 1973 hit ‘Whiskey in the Jar’, (their version of the traditional Irish song), 1978 album ‘Live and Dangerous’ spent 62 weeks on the UK chart. A life-size bronze statue of Phil Lynott was unveiled on Harry Street in Dublin in 2005.
  • 2001, Courtney Love filed a lawsuit against her alleged stalker claiming that Lesley Barber, the ex-wife of her current boyfriend Jim Barber, drove over her foot. This had forced her to forfeit her role in a forthcoming film and lost her the £200,000, ($340,000) fee that went with it.
  • 2006, The house where Johnny Cash  lived for 35 years was bought by Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb. The rustic house near Nashville, Tennessee went on the market in June 2005 with an asking price of $2.9m (£1.7m). Gibb said he planned to preserve the house to honour the Cash memory. Unfortunately Gibb’s ownership of the house was short-lived. In April 2007, the house burned to the ground. Gibb was having the house renovated when a flammable spray sealer caused fire to break out during construction.
  • 2009, Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant was voted the Greatest Voice In Rock by listeners of radio station Planet Rock. Plant beat Queen’s Freddie Mercury,  Free’s Paul Rodgers and Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan to the top spot in the UK poll.
  • 2010, MP3 players given as presents helped boost UK single sales to an all-time high in the week after Christmas. According to Official Charts Company figures, 4.22m singles were sold in the last week of 2009, beating the previous record of 4.03m over Christmas 2008. The Christmas chart battle between X Factor and Rage Against the Machine had helped boost sales.
  • 2011, Scottish singer songwriter Gerry Rafferty died aged 63 after a long illness. Rafferty had been a member of Stealers Wheel, who had the 1973 US No.3 & UK No.8 single ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ and had the solo 1978 UK No.3 and US No.2 single ‘Baker Street.’

Born on this day:

  • 1937, Born on this day, John Gorman, singer, The Scaffold, (1968 Christmas UK No.1 single ‘Lily The Pink’).
  • 1942, Born on this day in Doncaster, England, John McLaughlin, who formed the Mahavishnu Orchestra and has also worked with Carlos Santana, Stanley Clark and Jaco Pastorius. Prior to the Mahavishnu Orchestra, in the 1960s, he played with Alexis Korner, Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, the Graham Bond Organisation and Brian Auger. In 1969 he moved to New York to join Tony Williams’ Lifetime. On March 25th of that year he jammed with Jimi Hendrix at the Record Plant, recalling ‘we played from 2 until 8 in the morning. In 2010, Jeff Beck called McLaughlin ‘the best guitarist alive’.
  • 1946, Born on this day, Arthur Conley, US soul singer, (1967 US No.2 & UK No.7 single ‘Sweet Soul Music). He died of cancer on 17th November 2003.
  • 1955, Born on this day, Clive Gregson, singer, songwriter, and leader of late 70’s Stiff Records band Any Trouble, one half of Gregson & Collister folk duo.
  • 1955, Born on this day, American session musician, guitarist, bassist, singer–songwriter and musical director, Brian Ray, best known for his work as a rhythm guitarist and bassist with Paul McCartney.
  • 1956, Born on this day, Bernard Sumner, guitar, vocals, Warsaw, Joy Division, (1980 UK No.13 single ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’), New Order, (1983 UK No.9 single ‘Blue Monday’), Electronic, (1991 UK No.8 single ‘Get The Message’),
  • 1956, Born on this day, Nels Cline, guitarist, songwriter, Wilco, (2004 album ‘A Ghost Is Born’).
  • 1958, Born on this day, Macel King, singer, Sweet Sensation, (1974 UK No.1 single ‘Sad Sweet Dreamer’).
  • 1960, Born on this day, Michael Stipe, vocals, R.E.M. (1991 UK No.6 & US No.10 single ‘Shiny Happy People’ plus over 20 Top 40 UK singles. 1992 UK No.1 & US No.2 album ‘Automatic For The People’).
  • 1962, Born on this day, Martin Mcaloon, bass, Prefab Sprout, (1988 UK No.7 single ‘The King Of Rock ‘N’ Roll’).
  • 1962, Born on this day, Robin Guthrie, guitar, keyboards, programming, Cocteau Twins, (1984 UK No.29 single ‘Pearly- dewdrops’ Drops’).
  • 1962, Born on this day, Till Lindemann poet, lead vocalist for the German rock band Rammstein.
  • 1965, Born on this day, Beth Gibbons, vocals, Portishead, (1995 UK No.13 single ‘Glory Box’).
  • 1965, Born on this day, Cait O’Riordan, bass, The Pogues, (1987 UK No.8 single ‘The Irish Rover’).
  • 1965, Born on this day, David Glasper, Breathe, (1988 US No.2 & UK No.4 single ‘Hands To Heaven’).
  • 1967, Born on this day, Ben Darvill, harmonica, Crash Test Dummies, (1994 UK No.2 & US No.4 single ‘MMM MMM MMM MMM’).
  • 1977, Born on this day, Timothy Wheeler, guitar, vocals, Ash, (1995 UK No.11 single ‘Girl From Mars’).

Photos: Getty


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