Home Day In Music History This Day In Rock History: Feb 23rd

This Day In Rock History: Feb 23rd


  • 1940, Woody Guthrie wrote the lyrics to ‘This Land Is Your Land’ in his room at the Hanover House Hotel in New York City. The song was brought back to life in the 1960s, when several artists of the new folk movement, including Bob Dylan, The Kingston Trio, Trini Lopez, Jay and the Americans, and The New Christy Minstrels all recorded versions, inspired by its political message.
  • 1961, Petula Clark had her first UK No.1 single with ‘Sailor’. During her career the former child actress achieved a total of 20 UK Top 40 hits and 2 US No.1 singles.
  • 1969, ‘If Paradise Is Half As Nice’ by Amen Corner was at No.1 on the UK singles chart, The Move were at No.2 with ‘Blackberry Way’ and Peter Sarstedt was as No.3 with ‘Where Do You Go To’.
  • 1972, After nearly five years of marriage, Priscilla Presley moved out of Elvis Presley’s California home and into a two bedroom apartment near the Pacific Ocean. Their divorce would be finalized on October 9, 1973, with Priscilla being awarded an outright cash payment of $725,000 as well as spousal support, child support, 5% of Elvis’ new publishing companies and half the income from the sale of their Beverly Hills home.
  • 1974, ‘Rebel Rebel’ by David Bowie entered the UK chart, the single reached No.5 the following month. Originally written for an aborted Ziggy Stardust musical in late 1973, ‘Rebel Rebel’ was Bowie’s last single in the glam rock style that had been his trademark. It was also his first hit since 1969 not to feature lead guitarist Mick Ronson; Bowie himself played guitar on this track.
  • 1978, Winners at this years Grammy Awards included Fleetwood Mac, Album of the year for Rumours. The Eagles, Record of the year for Hotel California and Best pop vocal performance, The Bee Gees for ‘How Deep Is Your Love.’
  • 1978, David Coverdale’s Whitesnake made their debut at the Sky Bird Club, Nottingham, England.
  • 1978, Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols and Nancy Spungen were arrested in New York for possession of drugs.
  • 1985, The Smiths scored their first UK No.1 album with ‘Meat Is Murder.’
  • 1995, American singer Melvin Franklin of The Temptations died of a brain seizure aged 52. Had the 1971 US No.1 & UK No.8 single ‘Just My Imagination’ and re-issued ‘My Girl’ UK No.2 in 1992. In 1978 Franklin was shot in the hand and the leg when trying to stop a man from stealing his car.
  • 1998, All members of Oasis were banned for life from flying Cathay Pacific Airlines after “abusive and disgusting behaviour” during a flight from Hong Kong to Perth, Australia.
  • 1999, Oasis guitarist Paul Arthurs was arrested and jailed overnight for being drunk and disorderly. Police found the guitarist outside a Tommy Hilfiger store in London.
  • 2002, The Bee Gees made their last ever concert appearance when they appeared at the Love and Hope Ball, Miami Beach, Florida.
  • 2003, Howie Epstein bassist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers died of a suspected drug overdose in New Mexico. He had replaced The Heartbreakers original bassist Ron Blair, Epstein also worked with Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Stevie Nicks, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Linda Ronstadt and Del Shannon.
  • 2003, Norah Jones cleaned up at the 45th Grammy Awards, held at Madison Square Garden, New York. The singer, songwriter won, Album of the year and Record of the year, with ‘Don’t Know Why.’ Song of the year, Best new artist and Best female pop vocal for ‘Don’t Know Why’. Other winners included Best male pop vocal, John Mayer, ‘Our Body Is A Wonderland’. Best male rock vocal, Bruce Springsteen, ‘The Rising’, Best female rock vocal, Sheryl Crow, ‘Steve McQueen’, Best rock performance by group, Coldplay ‘In My Place’, Best rap album, Eminem, ‘The Eminem Show’.
  • 2010, London’s Abbey Road studios was made a listed building, protecting it from plans to radically alter it. Culture Minister Margaret Hodge listed the studios on the advice of English Heritage saying it had “produced some of the very best music in the world”. The Beatles used Abbey Road for 90% of their recordings, naming an album after the studios in 1969.
  • 2013, Jermaine Jackson officially changed his last Name to Jacksun. The third-oldest member of the Jackson 5, who unofficially took the name Mohammad Abdul Aziz upon his 1989 conversion to Islam, said he was making the new change for “artistic reasons.”

Born on this day:

  • 1944, Born on this day, Johnny Winter, blues guitarist and singer who has worked with Rick Derringer and brother Edger Winter. He scored the 1969 US top 30 album, ‘Johnny Winter’. Winter died at the age of 70 on 16th July 2014 in Zurich, just days after playing at the Lovely Days Festival in Austria.
  • 1944, Born on this day, Mike Maxfield, from Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, who had the 1964 UK No.1 & US N0.7 single ‘Little Children’.
  • 1946, Born on this day, Rusty Young, pedal steel guitar with American group Poco who had the 1979 US No.17 single ‘Crazy Love’.
  • 1950, Born on this day, Steve Priest, guitarist with British Glam rock group Sweet who had the 1973 UK No.1 single ‘Blockbuster’, plus 14 other UK Top 40 singles.
  • 1952, Born on this day, Brad Whitford, guitarist with Aerosmith who had the 1989 UK No.13 single ‘Love In An Elevator’. Their 1989 album ‘Pump’ spent 53 weeks on the US charts. Also scored the 1998 US No.1 & UK No.4 single written by Diane Warren ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’.
  • 1955, Born on this day, Howard Jones, singer, songwriter, keyboards who had the 1983 UK No.2 single ‘What Is Love’, plus 9 other UK Top 40 singles. His 1984 album ‘Human’s Lib’ spent over a year on the UK chart. Scored the 1986 US No.4 single ‘No One Is To Blame’. Jones has also been a member of Ringo Starr’s All Star Band.
  • 1955, Born on this day, Zeke Manyika, from Orange Juice, who had the 1983 UK No.8 single ‘Rip It Up’.
  • 1958, Born on this day, David Sylvian singer with British group Japan who had the 1982 UK 5 single ‘Ghosts’. Sylvian also works as a solo artist.
  • 1963, Born on this day, Rob Collins, keyboards with British indie group The Charlatans who had the 1990 UK No.9 single ‘The Only One I Know’. In 1992 Collins was arrested and charged with armed robbery on an off-licence near his home and was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment. Collins was killed in a car crash 23rd July 1996.
  • 1967, Born on this day, Chris Vrenna, Grammy-winning producer, engineer, worked with Tweaker, Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein, U2, Weezer, David Bowie, The Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Marilyn Manson and the Japanese rock band Dir en grey.
  • 1973, Born on this day, Olaf Lasse Johansson keyboards from Swedish group The Cardigans whom had the 1997 UK No.2 single ‘Lovefool’.


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