Home Day In Music History This Day In Rock History: Jan 15th

This Day In Rock History: Jan 15th

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  • 1961, The Supremes signed a world wide recording contract with Motown Records. Originally founded as the Primettes, they became the most commercially successful of Motown’s acts and are, to date, America’s most successful vocal group with 12 No.1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • 1964, The Beatles performed live at the Cinema Cyrano, Versailles, France, before an audience of 2,000. The show was a warm-up for a three-week engagement at the Olympia Theatre that would start the next day in Paris.
  • 1958, The Everly Brothers made their debut on British TV appearing on The Perry Como Show.
  • 1965, The Who released their first single ‘I Can’t Explain’. With Jimmy Page on guitar and The Ivy League on backing vocals, it went on to reach No.8 on the UK chart.
  • 1967, The Rolling Stones were forced to change the lyrics of ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ to Let’s Spend Some Time Together when appearing on the US TV The Ed Sullivan Show, after the producers objected to the content of the lyrics. Jagger ostentatiously rolled his eyes at the TV camera while singing the changed lyrics, resulting in host Ed Sullivan announcing that The Rolling Stones would be banned from performing on his show ever again.
  • 1969, George Harrison had a five-hour meeting with John, Paul and Ringo where he made it clear that he was fully prepared to quit The Beatles for good. Harrison wasn’t happy with plans for live performances and the current Let It Be film project.
  • 1972, Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’ started a four week run at No.1 in the US singles chart. The song is a recounting of “The Day the Music Died” (a term taken from the song) the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper (Jiles Perry Richardson, Jr.), and the aftermath. The song was listed as the No.5 song on the RIAA project Songs of the Century.
  • 1972, Led Zeppelin’s ‘Black Dog’  made its debut on the US singles chart. The group’s third single peaked at No.15 and spent 8 weeks on the chart. The song’s title is a reference to a nameless, black Labrador retriever that wandered around the Headley Grange studios during recording.
  • 1976, Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were here was on the UK album chart. The album’s packaging, designed by Storm Thorgerson, featured an opaque black sleeve inside which was hidden the album artwork. Thorgerson had noted that, in the US, Roxy Music’s Country Life was sold in an opaque green cellophane sleeve – censoring the cover image – and he adopted the idea, concealing the artwork for Wish You Were Here in a dark-coloured shrink-wrap (making the album art ‘absent’).
  • 1977, ABBA scored their second UK No.1 album when ‘Arrival’ went to the top of the charts.
  • 1977, The Eagles were at No.1 on the US album chart with Hotel California the group’s third US No.1 album. In the 2013 documentary History of the Eagles, Don Henley said the song was about “a journey from innocence to experience…that’s all”.
  • 1977, UK singer Leo Sayer went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’, it was the first of two US No.1’s for the singer.
  • 1983, Men At Work started a four week run at No.1 in the US singles chart with ‘Down Under’ the Australian act group’s second US No.1, also a No.1 in the UK.
  • 1983, Phil Collins had his first UK No.1 single with his version of ‘You Can’t Hurry Love,’ a hit for The Supremes in 1966. Collins’ version was the first track on the very first Now That’s What I Call Music CD.
  • 1991, Sean Lennon’s updated version of his father John’s ‘Give Peace A Chance’ was released to coincide with the United Nation’s midnight deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait.
  • 1994, American singer songwriter Harry Nilsson died in his sleep of heart failure after spending the previous day in the recording studio. He recorded ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ from the film Midnight Cowboy and wrote hits for Three Dog Night and The Monkees. Had the UK & US No.1 single with his version of the Badfinger Evans & Ham song ‘Without You.’ When John Lennon and Paul McCartney held a press conference in 1968 to announce the formation of Apple Corps, John was asked to name his favorite American artist. He replied, “Nilsson”. Paul was then asked to name his favorite American group. He replied, “Nilsson”.
  • 1998, Harmonica player Junior Wells died, (born Amos Blakemore). Worked with Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt and The Rolling Stones.
  • 2002, 1980’s British pop legend Adam Ant was admitted to a mental ward 24 hours after being charged by police with pulling a gun on staff in a London pub.
  • 2004, It was announced that album sales in the UK rose by 7.6% in 2003 to a record high. Almost 121 million artist albums were sold, according to Official UK Charts Company. The Top five albums of 2003: 1. Dido, ‘Life For Rent’. 2. Justin Timberlake, ‘Justified’, 3. Christina Aguilera, ‘Stripped’, 4. Daniel Bedingfield, ‘Gotta Get Thru This’, 5. Norah Jones, ‘Come Away With Me’. UK singles sales continued to drop, down 30% on the previous year. The Black Eyed Peas had the biggest selling single of 2003 with sales over 625,000.
  • 2006, James Blunt was at No.1 on the UK album chart with his debut album and biggest selling UK album of 2005 ‘Back To Bedlam.’
  • 2008, Ronnie Wood was recovering following an operation for a hernia after he sustained the injury during the band’s recent Bigger Bang tour. The 60-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist was told to rest for two months after the procedure.
  • 2010, N-Dubz were dropped as ambassadors of anti-bullying charity Beatbullying after band member Dappy sent a woman threatening text messages. Chloe Moody texted The Chris Moyles Radio 1 Show while the band were being interviewed, calling them “losers” and labelling Dappy “repulsive”, Dappy had sent a text back to her the following day saying “Your gonna die”.
  • 2015, American record producer, singer and musician Kim Fowley died of bladder cancer in Hollywood, California at the age of 75. He is best known for his role behind a string of novelty and cult pop rock singles in the 1960s, and for managing The Runaways in the 1970s. He wrote ‘Nut Rocker’ for B. Bumble and the Stingers, which became a No.1 hit in the UK in 1962.
  • 2016, Nineteen of David Bowie’s albums entered the UK album charts in the wake of his death. His new album, Blackstar, reached No.1, and in the top 40, Nothing Has Changed – The Very Best Of was at No.5, The Best Of 1969 / 1974 was at No.11, Hunky Dory, No.14, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, No.17, Best of Bowie, No.18, Aladdin Sane, No.23, The Next Day, No.25, Low No.31 and Diamond Dogs, No. 37. Thirteen Bowie tracks also entered the top 100, led by ‘Heroes’ at No.12. Also his songs were streamed more than 19 million times on services like Apple Music and Spotify.

Born on the day:

  • 1893, Born on this day, Ivor Novello, songwriter & actor. Annual British music awards are named after him. Died 6th March 1951.
  • 1941, Born on this day, Don Van Vliet, (Captain Beefheart), American musician, singer-songwriter and artist. Released the albums ‘Safe As Milk’, ‘Trout Mask Replica’, and ‘Strictly Personal’ with his Magic Band. His expressionist paintings and drawings have been exhibited in art galleries and museums across the world. Beefheart died on 17th Dec 2010 aged 69 from complications from multiple sclerosis.
  • 1942, Born on this day, Edward Bivens, vocals, The Manhattans, (1976 US No.1 & UK No.4 single ‘Kiss And Say Goodbye’).
  • 1946, Born on this day, singer songwriter Bobby Bloom who had the 1970 US No.8 & UK No.3 single ‘Montego Bay’. Bloom suffered from depression towards the end of his life. Bloom died on February 28, 1974, at the age of 28 after he apparently shot himself while cleaning his gun.
  • 1947, Born on this day, Pete Waterman, producer, TV presenter and part of the Stock, Aitken & Waterman team. Booked the first ever tour for The Bay City Rollers, signed Musical Youth and Nik Kershaw, during the 70’s was promotion consultant for John Travolta. Had 1987 UK No.13 hit with ‘Roadblock.’ Dominated UK pop in the mid-to-late 1980s. as part of S.A.W. the most successful pop writers & producers of all time producing Bananarama, Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Jason Donovan. Judge on UK TV’s Pop Stars.
  • 1948, Born on this day, Ronnie Van Zant, vocalist with Lynyrd Skynyrd who had the 1974 US No. 8 single ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and the 1982 UK No. 21 single ‘Freebird’. Van Zant died in a plane crash between shows from Greenville, South Carolina to Baton Rouge, Louisiana on October 20th 1977 along with bandmates Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines. Remaining band members survived, although all were seriously injured.
  • 1951, Born on this day, Martha Davis, vocals, The Motels, (1981 UK No.41 single ‘Days Are OK’).
  • 1952, Born on this day, Melvyn Gale, cello, Electric Light Orchestra, (1979 UK No.3 & US No.4 single ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’, plus 26 other Top 40 hits).
  • 1953, Born on this day, Boris Blank, Yello, (1988 UK No.7 single ‘The Race’).
  • 1953, Born on this day, Douglas Elwin Erikson, Garbage, (1996 UK No. 4 single ‘Stupid Girl’).
  • 1959, Born on this day, Peter Trewavas, bass, Marillion, (1985 UK No.2 single ‘Kayleigh’).
  • 1961, Born on this day, Damian O’Neill, guitar, The Undertones, (1980 UK No.9 single ‘My Perfect Cousin’).
  • 1965, Born on this day, Adam Jones, guitarist, Tool, (2001 US No.1 album ‘Lateralus’).

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