November-This day in Music
January in Music
Music Stuff December 12th 1957, Still married to his first wife Jane Mitcham, Jerry Lee
Lewis secretly married his 13-year old second cousin Myra Gale Brown.This probably wouldn’
t be the outrage today it was then
1957, Al Priddy a DJ on US radio station KEX in Portland was fired after playing Elvis Presley’
s version of ‘White Christmas’ The station management said, ‘it’s not in the spirit we associate
with Christmas’. This would be ridiculed today almost as bad as Radio 1 not playing Cliff
1962, The Beatles played two shows at the Cavern Club, Liverpool at lunchtime and then
again that night.Making the pennies
1963, The Beatles were UK No.1 with ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, the group’s third No.1 -first
US No.1 and this year’s UK Christmas No.1.Good song
1967, Rolling Stone Brian Jones was given 3 years probation and a £1,000 fine for drug
offences. Three psychiatrists agreed that Jones was an extremely frightened young man with
suicidal tendencies. Sadly, they would be proven correct
1970, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles
chart with ‘Tears Of A Clown’…..also a No.1 hit in the UK.Great intro..
1981, The Human League had their only UK No.1 single with ‘Don’t You Want Me.’ The
Christmas hit of 81, the biggest seller of 1981 and Virgin Records first No.1 UK single. The
group’s singer Phil Oakey disliked the song so much that it was relegated to the last track on
their latest album’ Dare’.Phil, I cannot understand why you disliked the song
1985, Dionne Warwick received a star on ‘Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame’.She deserved this
1985, Scottish keyboard player Ian Stewart died of a heart attack in his doctor’s Harley Street
waiting room in London. Co-founder of The Rolling Stones (Stewart was the first to respond to
Brian Jones’s advertisement in Jazz News of 2 May 1962 seeking musicians to form a rhythm
& blues group). Stewart was dismissed from the line-up by the band’s manager, Andrew Loog
Oldham, in May 1963 but remained as road manager and piano player. He played on all The
Rolling Stones albums between 1964 and 1983, except for Beggars Banquet.He was one of
the truly unsung heroes of the pop world
1987, George Michael US No.1 with ‘Faith’. Good song
1998, A seven inch single by the Quarry Men featuring John Lennon, Paul McCartney and
George Harrison was named as the rarest record of all time, only 50 copies were made with
each copy being valued at £10,000-I wish I’d had one…’ ‘
2003, Mick Jagger became a Sir after being knighted by Prince Charles at Buckingham
Palace. Jagger’s 92-year-old father was at the Palace to see his son receive the award. His
dad was a fitness fanatic and schoolteacher which helped form Mick’s uniqueness
2007, Ike Turner, the former husband of Tina Turner died at the age of 76 at his home near
San Diego, California.- is credited by many music historians with making the first rock ‘n’ roll
record in 1951. He didn’t come over too well in his relationship with Tina as portrayed in the
2007, A copy of John Lennon’s book, A Spaniard in the Works, which contained a lock of
Lennon’s hair, sold at Gorringes Auction House for £24,000. Lennon gave the book and the
hair to Betty Glasow, the Fab Four’s hairdresser during their heyday. He wrote in the book,
“To Betty, Lots of Love and Hair, John Lennon xx.” The strands of hair and book had been
expected to sell for between £2,000 and £4,000.
2008, the town where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards grew up announced it was to name
streets in a new estate after Rolling Stones hits. - police were concerned the street signs
might be stolen by fans.Sounded like a good idea…did it go ahead?
Birthday Boys and Girls December 12th
1915,Frank Albert Sinatra, US singer, actor, made his first record in 1939. First singer to
encounter ‘pop hysteria’. Sinatra died on 14th May 1998.
1938, Connie Francis
1940, Dionne Warwick
1942, Declan Clusky, The Bachelors…he’s been on my show and the podcast is on my
1943, Grover Washington Jr
1943, Mike Smith, Dave Clark Five-died on 29th Feb 2008 from pneumonia at Stoke
Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, England at the age of 64
Music Stuff December 11th
1961, Elvis Presley No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Blue Hawaii’, his seventh US No.
1 album.Not my favourite Elvis stuff
1961, The Marvelettes went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Please Mr
Postman’. The session musicians on the track included 22 year old Marvin Gaye on
drums. The song gave the Carpenters a US No.1 and UK No.2 single in 1975. This
has always been a favourite with the Beatles doing a nice version. I hadn’t realised
Marvin Gaye was on the drums.
1964, Soul singer Sam Cooke was shot dead by his manager Bertha Franklin, who
claimed to have been assaulted by Cooke while staying at the Hacienda Hotel, Los
Angeles. Cooke was 33 years old.Mysterious stuff…
1968, Liverpool folk group The Scaffold were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with
‘Lily The Pink’, this year’s Christmas No.1. Graham Nash sang backing vocals on the
track. All three have been on my radio show and we have three great podcasts with
Roger McGough, Mike McGear and John Gorman. Just put the names into the site’s
1968, filming began for The Rolling Stones ‘Rock & Roll Circus.’ As well as clowns
and acrobats, John & Yoko, The Who, Eric Clapton and Jethro Tull all took part. The
film was eventually released in 1996……and there’s me thinking Take That had a
1971, UK comedian Benny Hill was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Ernie (The
Fastest Milkman In The West)’, giving Hill his only No.1 and the Christmas No.1 hit of
1971.I didn’t like this song much but Benny Hill was a genius.
1973, Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley was nearly electrocuted during a concert in Florida
when he touched a short-circuited light. The guitarist was carried from the stage
but returned 10 minutes later to finish the show. His performance was electrifying….
1982, Singer, TV actress and dancer Toni Basil went to No.1 on the US singles chart
with ‘Mickey’, making her a US one hit wonder. It made No.2 hit in the UK.
1983, The Flying Pickets were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of
the Yazoo song ‘Only You’. Also this years Christmas No.1 and the first a cappella
chart-topper in the UK. Great song and I remember it well
1989, The Recording Industry Association of America certified four Led Zeppelin
albums as multi-platinum: ‘Presence’ (2 million), ‘Led Zeppelin’ (4 million), ‘Physical
Graffiti’ (4 million) and ‘In Through The Out Door’ (5 million).How cool is this?
1992, Manic Street Preacher Nicky Wire was quoted as saying ‘I hope Michael Stipe
goes the same way as Freddie Mercury’.I bet he regretted that comment if it was
1993, The character Mr Blobby as featured on UK TV’s ‘The Noel Edmunds House
Party’, started a one-week run as the UK No.1 single with the novelty song ‘Mr
Blobby’. The single later received the dubious honour of being voted the most
irritating Christmas No.1 single in a HMV poll.It really was awful but the character
made us laugh
2001, Brian Harvey underwent surgery after suffering a serious head injury in an
attack. The former East 17 singer was attacked by a group of youths as he left the
Works nightclub in Nottingham, having appeared at a promotional event. This is
never a nice happening…
2001, David Soul won a lawsuit against Matthew Wright, a London theatre critic who
criticised Soul’s stage performance without even seeing it. Wright’s column had
made reference to the Monday performance, when in fact, the play did not run on
Mondays. I’m glad he won this case against pomposity ...
2008, Simon Cowell said he was “very embarrassed” after contracts signed by this
year’s X Factor contestants were leaked to the Daily Mirror newspaper. The 80-page
document, which is enforceable “anywhere in the world or the solar system” was
signed by all 12 finalists before the live shows began. It included a clause that
prevents them from saying anything “unduly negative, critical or derogatory” about
Cowell. Also the show claimed the prize as a “£1m recording contract”, but the
contestants’ contract said the prize money was £150,000.The whole thing is about
money but it is a bit naive to think Simon Cowell would not cover his own back…
Birthday Boys and Girls December 11th
1916, Perez Prado, (1955 US & UK No.1 single ‘Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White’).
He died on 14th September 1989.
1926, Big Mama Thornton, singer, songwriter, Janis Joplin cover her song ‘Ball And
Chain’, had the 1953 version of ‘Hound Dog’ before Elvis Presley. She died in 1984.
1940, David Gates, Bread, (1970 US No.1 & UK No.5 single ‘Make It With You’).
1944, Brenda Lee, singer, (1960 US No.1 single ‘I’m Sorry’, UK No.4 single ‘Sweet
Nothin’s', plus 27 US & 18 other UK Top 40 singles).
1951, Born on this day, Philip ‘Spike’ Edney, keyboard player, was known as the fifth
member of Queen. Also worked with Duran Duran, Boomtown Rats, Dexy’s Midnight
Runners, Haircut 100, The Cross, Brian May and the Rolling Stones.
1954, Jermaine Jackson, The Jackson Five
1961, Darryl Jones also known as “The Munch.” American bassist who has played
with the Rolling Stones since Bill Wyman’s departure in 1993. Also worked with
Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Madonna, Eric Clapton and Joan
Music Stuff December 10th
1949, Fats Domino recorded his first tracks for Imperial Records. I prefer his Hello
1959, the four male members of The Platters were acquitted of charges of aiding
and abetting prostitution, lewdness and assignation after an incident on August
10th in Cincinnati. Despite the outcome of the trial, the scandal would severely
damage the group’s career.I think we have to remember these years were
especially difficult with colour issues….
. 1961, The film ‘The Young Ones’, featuring Cliff Richard premiered in London.Most
of Britain’s nubile young men began cultivating their quifs around this time…
1961, The Beatles appeared at Hambleton Hall, Huyton in Liverpool after returning
to Liverpool from their first live performances in south England and London. The
Beatles arrived so late for their appearance in Huyton that they only had time to play
for 15 minutes. The promoters, having to pay The Beatles their full £15 were very
unhappy. It’s tough at the top…
1964, The Beatles had their sixth UK No.1 single with ‘I Feel Fine’, also a US No.1. I
can immediately hear that guitar rif………..
1966, The Beach Boys went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Good Vibrations’,
the group’s third US No.1. Also No.1 in the UK. This was so different and I loved the
1967, American soul singer, songwriter Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash,
aged 26. Redding and his band had made an appearance in Cleveland, Ohio on the
local ‘Upbeat’ television show the previous day. The plane carrying Otis Redding
and his band crashed at 3.28.pm into icy waters of Lake Monoma near Madison.
Redding was killed in the crash along with members from the The Bar-Kays…..there
is more to this story on the websites found at the foot of the page as source
1983, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson US No.1 with ‘Say Say Say’. It was
Jackson’s 10th No.1 and McCartney’s 29th. This is both solo and part of their groups
1983, The first ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ compilation album went to No.1 on the
UK album chart.I bought every album since as they are great value for money
1988, Cliff Richard had his 12th UK No.1 single with ‘Mistletoe And Wine.’ His first
solo No.1 for 9 years and the best selling single of 1988.This guy has been
phenomenal and why can’t radio stations and tv stations acknowlege his brilliance?
I don’t like everything he’s ever done but the public has always put him where he
ended in chart positions.
1998, Bruce Springsteen won a £2 million court battle to ban an album of his early
songs. The case revolved around a dispute over copyright ownership between
Bruce and a former manager. Where there’s muck there’s money….
1998, A recording of a 1963 Beatles concert was sold at auction at Christies in
London for £25,300. The tape of The Beatles’ 10-song concert was recorded by the
chief technician at the Gaumont Theatre in Bournemouth during one of six
consecutive nights which The Beatles had played. Also sold for £5,195 was a set of
autographs of five Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete
Best, and Stuart Sutcliffe. The autographs had been obtained by a fan in Liverpool
in 1961. I know it’s pop memorabelia but people have more money than sense
1999, Rick Danko died in his sleep at his home near Woodstock, New York. The
Canadian guitarist and singer joined The Hawks in 1963 who went on to work as Bob
Dylan’s backing band, (with Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson).
Renamed The Band who released their 1968 debut Music from Big Pink (featuring
the single ‘The Weight’). The Band released the 1978 concert film-documentary
triple-LP soundtrack ‘The Last Waltz.’ I bought the single of the Band without
realising who they were or what their connection to Bob Dylan implied. I would be
surprised if many British people had ever heard of Rick Danko.
1999, A war of words broke out between Cliff Richard and George Michael after
George branded Cliff Richards hit ‘Millennium Prayer’ as ‘vile’. Cliff hit back by
saying that his single was a Christian celebration. In the light of Cliff’s lifestyle and
the reputation of George Michael through various sleazy episodes I know where I
would prefer to offer my support. I would add that I like most of George Michael’s
music and some of Cliff’s are dreadful for me…
2000, Westlife scooped the Record of the Year award at the Smash Hits awards for
2004, one of three RCA microphones used by radio station KWKH for the historic
Elvis Presley appearance at the Louisiana Hayride was sold for $37,500. The
microphone was one of three used during 50 performances by Elvis Presley when
he performed for the radio show in Shreveport from 1954 to 1956. Great…..
however, a Shure SM58 is availabe at around 150 Euros and is possibly a better
2005, Queen overtook The Beatles to become the third most successful act of all
time. Sales in 2005 showed that Queen had now overtaken The Beatles to make it
into third place on the British singles and album charts. The Beatles slipped to
fourth place behind Elvis and Cliff Richard. Whichever way you look at this…they’re
all brilliant. I would imagine the picture would change drastically if you added all
Beatle’s member’s hits into the equation.
2007, Led Zeppelin played their first concert in 19 years, at London’s 02 arena.
Original band members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were joined
on stage by Jason Bonham, the son of their late drummer John Bonham. More than
one million people had taken part in a ballot for the 20,000 tickets available for the
show.This was a wonderful reunion and well overdue…
Birthday Boys and Girls December 10th
1910, Born on this day, ohn Hammond, producer, A&R scout. Worked with Bob Dylan,
Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, George Benson and Janis Joplin. Hammond
died on 10th July 1987.
1926, Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones, New Orleans blues guitar player from the 1940s
and 1950s best known for the million-selling song ‘The Things That I Used to Do’, a
song that is listed in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock
1941, Ralph Tavares, Tavares, (1976 UK No.4 ‘Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel’).
1946, Ace Kefford, The Move, (1969 UK No.1 single ‘Blackberry Way’).
1948, Jessica Cleaves, The Friends Of Distinction, (1969 US No.3 single ‘Grazing In
1957, Paul Hardcastle, producer, (1985 UK No.1 single ‘Nineteen’).
Music Stuff December 9th
1955, Johnny Cash played two shows at Arkansas High School, in Swifton, Elvis
Presley opened the show.Not a bad first act….you ain’t nothing but a hound dog
1961, The Beatles played at the Palais Ballroom in Aldershot to a crowd of just 18
people.We’ve all had nights like this..
1966, The Beatles album ‘A Collection Of Beatles Oldies’ was released in the UK.
1967, The Doors appeared at the New Haven Arena, New Haven, Connecticut. Jim
Morrison was making out with an 18 year-old girl in a backstage shower and after an
argument the policeman sprayed mace in Morrison’s face. ……………
1975, The Sex Pistols appeared at Ravensbourne College, Chistlehurst, London.
Noticethe report is that they appeared………..what a row!
1978, Boney M had their second UK No.1 single with their version of the Harry
Belafonte 1957 hit ‘Mary’s Boy Child’. Boney M were a lot better than many realise..
1978, Chic started a seven week run at US No.1 with ‘Le Freak’, a No.7 hit in the UK.
This was a great disco hit
1988, According to a poll released in the US, the music of Neil Diamond was
favoured as the best background music for sex, Beethoven was the second choice
and Luther Vandross was voted third. These sort of polls are absolutely worthless
unless you use song titles…….(example Love me like a Rock)
1989, Billy Joel US No.1 with ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’, a No.7 hit in the UK. Another
song that I love and play on my radio show.
1995, Michael Jackson scored his 6th solo UK No.1 single when ‘Earth Song’ started
a 6-week run at the top of the charts. Jackson was the UK Christmas No.1 of 1995
and his best-selling UK single ever. The song kept the first single released by The
Beatles in 25 years, ‘Free as a Bird’, off the No.1 position. It was a fabulous song…
. 2000, Sharon Corr of The Corrs called for the legalisation of cannabis, claiming that
the drug has medicinal properties. Sharon said, ‘Some people with certain
conditions can get a brief reprieve from their symptoms through cannabis’. She’s
got every right to express her opinion. I feel medical purposes can be the only area
for discussion but on balance all drugs harbour problems
2001, Channel 4 TV apologised to viewers after Madonna said ‘motherfucker’ during
live UK TV coverage at The Tate Gallery, London. Madonna was presenting a prize
to artist Martin Creed. A TV spokesman said that did have a bleeper system but they
missed the offending word. Any excuse to improve the ratings. You always have the
chance of offensive behaviour when Madonna is around….
2001, winners at The Smash Hits awards included Atomic Kitten, Best single for
‘Whole Again’, Westlife won Best band and Best album for ‘World Of Our Own’, and
Blue won Best newcomer………..
2002, Stereolab singer Mary Hanson was killed in a cycling accident after colliding
with a tipper truck in East London….another tragedy from the world of pop music
2003, Ozzy Osbourne was admitted to Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, Berkshire
after being injured in a quad bike accident at his UK home. The 55 year-old singer
broke his collarbone, eight ribs and a vertebra in his neck. News of Osbourne’s
accident reached the House of Commons, where the government sent a goodwill
message. Why not?
2003, ‘A Celebrity Thumbprints’ auction took place on ebayliveauctions.com.
Beyonce, Kelly Osbourne, Coldplay, Blue and Westlife were among the stars whose
thumbprints went under the hammer. The sale was given the thumbs up
2005, Joss Stone, Lemar and Ms. Dynamite backed by the African Children’s Choir
and 1,200 school children set a new world record for the most children singing
simultaneously. The ‘Big Sing’ was held at The Royal Albert Hall, London. The
singers led a performance of ‘Lean On Me’ which was broadcast to more than half a
million people.Fair enough
’ 2006, Mariah Carey threatened legal action against porn star Mary Carey in an
attempt to stop her trademarking her similar-sounding stage name. The singer
believed fans could get the two performers confused if the adult film actress Mary
Carey’s trademark application was successful.You can see her point can’t you?
Birthday Boys and Girls December 9th
1932, Born on this day, Junior Wells, US blues singer, harmonica player. Worked
with Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, toured with The
Rolling Stones in 1970. He died on 5th January 1998.
1941, Sam Strain, The O’Jays,(1973 US No.1 – UK No.9 ‘Love Train).
1943, Rick Danko, guitar, vocals, The Band, (1970 UK No.16 single ‘Rag Mama Rag’).
Died 10th December 1999.
1944, Neil Innes, vocals, guitar, Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, 1968 UK No.5 single ‘I’m
The Urban Spaceman’. Composed music for Monty Python’s Flying Circus wrote and
performed The Rutles a TV spoof on The Beatles.
Music Stuff December 8th
1963, Frank Sinatra Jr was kidnapped at gunpoint from a hotel in Lake Tahoe. He
was released two days later after his father paid out the $240,000 ransom demanded
by the kidnappers, who were later captured, and sentenced to long prison terms. In
order to communicate with the kidnappers via a payphone the senior Sinatra
carried a roll of dimes with him throughout this ordeal, which became a lifetime
habit, he is said to have been buried with a roll of dimes.What a wonderful piece of
1965, The Rolling Stones recorded their ninth UK single ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’
at RCA studios in Hollywood, California. It was OK
1968, Graham Nash left The Hollies and went on to form Crosby Stills and Nash.
Fabulous musician and great trio
1969, Mick Jagger was quoted saying ‘I don’t really like singing very much, I enjoy
playing the guitar more than I enjoy singing and I can’t play the guitar either’. This is
not really true as he’s pretty good at both and has written some great songs with
1971, This weeks Top selling 8-Track cartridges chart: No.5, Frank Sinatra’s Greatest
Hits Vol 2, No.4, Carole King, Tapestry, No.3, Simon and Garfunkel, Bridge Over
Troubled Water, No.2, Motown Chartbusters Vol 6 and No.1, John Lennon, Imagine.
These cartridges were a bit of a flop
1973, Roxy Music had their first UK No.1 album when ‘Stranded’ went to the top for
one week. A great album and a great career ahead..
1975, Gary Thain bass player with Uriah Heep died of a drug overdose aged 28.
Another pop casualty
1977, four people were arrested after a riot broke out when Blondie didn’t arrive for
a gig in Brisbane. The gig was cancelled due to singer Debbie Harry being unwell.
1979, Rod Stewart UK No.1 album – ‘Greatest Hits’s. 1979, Styx US No.1- a No.6 hit in
1980, John Lennon was shot five times by 25 year old Mark Chapman outside the
Dakota building in New York City where John and Yoko lived. Chapman asked for an
autograph as Lennon walked through the courtyard. As he signed a piece of paper
Chapman fired. Lennon was pronounced dead at 11.30pm. We’ll never know
whether there was more to this than met the eye or what was really in the madman’s
1982, American country singer, songwriter Marty Robbins died aged 57.
1984, Frankie Goes To Hollywood No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘The Power Of
Love’. The group’s third No.1 of the year and final UK No.1. This made them the first
group since Gerry And The Pacemakers to have a UK No.1 with their first three
singles. How weird that the same great feat happened to another group from
1984, One time Coasters manager Patrick Cavanaugh was convicted of first degree
murder of group member Buster Wilson whose dismembered body was discovered
in Modesto, California, in 1980. How weird and horrible was that?
1999, 1960′s singer Heinz was given a formal caution by magistrates in Southampton
for playing music too loud in his flat. The singer who scored 4 Top 40 singles in the
60′s is now wheelchair bound.Whoever complained must not have been a fan of the
2000, a plaque to commemorate the 20th anniversary of John Lennon’s death was
unveiled outside his childhood home in Liverpool.What a life he had and now he
has this plaque and an airport named after him. Not bad for a working class hero
2000, Sting joined the ranks of Tinseltown’s greatest when his star was unveiled on
the celebrated Walk Of Fame in Hollywood. He has had a great career
Birthday Boys and Girls December 8th
1925, Sammy Davis Jr, singer, actor, (1972 US No.1 single ‘The Candy Man’). Died of
throat cancer on 16th May 1990.
1939, James Galway, Irish musician, (1978 UK No.3 single ‘Annie’s Song’,)
1939, Jerry Butler, vocals, The Impressions
1943,Jim Morrison, vocals, The Doors. Morrison died of heart failure in a bathtub in
a Paris hotel room on 3rd July 1971.
1944, Mike Botts, drums, Bread
1946, Graham Knight, Marmalade
1947, Gregg Allman, keyboards, guitar, vocals, Allman Brothers Band, (1973 US No.12
single ‘Ramblin Man’).
1951, Dan Hartman, multi- instrumentalist, producer, worked with Edgar Winter. He
died on 22nd March 1994. Wrote ‘Relight My Fire’ a UK No.1 for Take That and Lulu,
collaborated with Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Tyler, Paul
Young, James Brown, Holly Johnson and Steve Winwood.
1953, Colin Routh, Black Lace, (1984 UK No.2 single ‘Agadoo’).
1959, Paul Rutherford, vocals, Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Music Stuff December 7th
1961, Frankie Vaughan scored his second and last UK No.1 with ‘Tower Of Strength’
a song written by Burt Bacharach.Great track and I loved the Gene Alxander original
1963, The Beatles second album ‘With The Beatles’ UK No.1 album. Also today, all
four Beatles appeared on BBC TV’s ‘Juke Box Jury’. …what a panel!
1963, The Singing Nun No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Dominique’, it reached No.
7 on the UK chart. The song won a Grammy Award for the year’s best Gospel song.
How on earth this was gospel music is beyond me….
1967, Otis Redding went into the studio to record ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’.
The song went on to be his biggest hit. Redding didn’t see its release; he was killed
three days later in a plane crash.Another sad pop story…
1967, The Beatles Apple boutique opened its doors. The store closed seven months
later when all the goods were given away free to passers by.Good business, eh?
1968, The Beatles ‘White Album’ UK No.1.
1974, Barry White UK No.1 -’You’re The First, The Last, My Everything’, the singers
first UK No.1. Originally written in the 1950′s as a country song with the title ‘You’re
My First, You’re My Last, My In-Between.’ Big Barry…
1974, Carl Douglas No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Kung Fu Fighting’. The song
was recorded in 10 minutes, had started out as a B-side and went on to sell over 10
million.Not really a classic was it..
1979, The Police second UK No.1 ‘Walking on the Moon’, taken from their second
album ‘Reggatta De Blanc’. The video for the song was filmed at Kennedy Space
Center interspersed with NASA footage.
1984, a benefit concert for Ethiopia was held at The Royal Albert Hall, London,
featuring, Nick Heyward, Feargal Sharkey, Julian Lennon, Mike Rutherford and
others.Did the money help..….
1985, Mr Mister No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Broken Wings’, a UK No.4 hit.I
loved this hit song..
1987, Richard Taylor from The Manhattans died aged 47. This was a great soul ballad
1991, George Michael and Elton John were at No.1 in the UK with a live version of
‘Don’t Let The Sun Go down On Me’, (a hit for Elton in 1974). All proceeds from the
hit went to aids charities.
1991, Michael Jackson No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Black Or White’, his 12th
solo No.1, also a No.1 in the UK.Great production on this song…
1991, Two weeks after Freddie Mercury’s death ‘Queen’s Greatest Hits II’ started a
four week run at No.1 on the UK album chart 1991, U2 went to No.1 on the US album
charts with ‘Achtung Baby’. Featuring ‘One’, Zoo Station’, ‘The Fly’ and ‘Even Better
Than The Real Thing’. Two fabulous albums…
1992, Mariah Carey’s MTV Unplugged EP became the first Sony Minidisc to be
released in the US.Good quiz question..
1993, Manic Street Preachers co-manager Phillip Hall died from cancer. Hall was a
former Record Mirror journalist and had also worked in PR for Stiff Records.
Represented many acts including The Stone Roses, The Pogues, James, The
Waterboys, The Beautiful South and Radiohead.
1996, Toni Braxton US No.1 ‘Un- Break My Heart’. Written by Dianne Warren it gave
Braxton her second US solo No.1, a No.2 hit in the UK.Good song.
‘ 2005, The MBE medal that John Lennon returned to the Queen was found in a royal
vault at St James’ Palace. Lennon returned his medal in November, 1969 with a
letter accompanying saying, “Your Majesty, I am returning my MBE as a protest
against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of
America in Vietnam and against Cold Turky slipping down the charts. With Love,
John Lennon.” Historians were calling for the medal to be put on public display.
2007, Ray Charles Plaza was opened in Albany, Georgia, with a revolving, bronze
sculpture of Charles seated at a piano. Brilliant tribute
2008, Leona Lewis UK No.1 with ‘Run’ -the fastest-selling digital-only track. Take
That UK No.1 album after selling over 432,000 copies of The Circus.
2008, Take That UK No.1 album with ‘The Circus’ the group’s fifth studio album.
Birthday Boys and Girls December 7th
1942, Harry Chapin, US singer, songwriter, (1974 UK No.34 single ‘W.O.L.D. & 1974
US No.1 single ‘Cat’s In The Cradle’). Killed on 16th July 1981, when a tractor-trailer
crashed into the car he was driving. 1949, Tom Waits, US singer, songwriter, actor,
(1980 album ‘Heart Attack And Vine’, as used in a Levi’s TV ad. Wrote ‘Ol’ 55′, 1974 US
No.17 single for The Eagles). 1954, Mike Nolan, vocals, Bucks Fizz, (1981 UK No.1
single ‘Making Your Mind Up’, plus 12 other UK Top 40 singles’).
1963, Huw Chadbourne, keyboards, Babybird, 1996 UK No.3 single ‘You’re Gorgeous’
Music Stuff December 6th
1949, American blues artist, Leadbelly died. Huddie William Ledbetter wrote many
songs including ‘Goodnight Irene’, ‘Cotton Fields’, ‘The Rock Island Line’, and ‘The
Midnight Special’. Leadbelly was jailed several times for fights and knife related
incidents, he was once jailed for shooting a man dead during an argument over a
woman. The behaviour of some music heroes often sours the music
1959, Gene Vincent made his UK live debut at The Tooting Granada, London, when
he was a guest on The Marty Wilde Show. I missed out on seeing him ‘ live’
1961, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best met with Brian
Epstein for further discussions about his proposal to manage them. Epstein wanted
25% of their gross fees each week. He promised that their bookings will be better
organised, more prestigious, and will expand beyond the Liverpool area. He also
promised that they will never again play for less than £15, except for Cavern
lunchtime sessions, for which he will get their fee doubled to ten pounds. Lennon,
as leader of The Beatles, accepted on their behalf.Epstein has never really been
remembered for his role in the Beatle’s success. There is a move afoot to get a
plaque dedicated to him.
1962, Bob Dylan recorded ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ during a session at Columbia
Recording Studios in New York City. Nice cover version by Bryan Ferry.
1964, the film ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey’ premiered in London. Featuring Gerry And
The Pacemakers, Cilla Black and other Liverpool acts. It was written by Tony Warren,
creator of the UK’s longest running TV soap ‘Coronation Street’.I hadn’t realised it
was written by Tony Warren.
1966, The Beatles recorded Christmas and New Year’s greetings for pirate radio
stations Radio Caroline and Radio London. Both stations were broadcasting from
ships anchored off the British coastline.
1967, Cliff Richard was confirmed into membership of The Church Of England at St.
Paul’s Church, Finchley, London.He has been a wonderful role model throughout
1967, The Beatles UK No.1 with ‘Hello Goodbye’.
1969, Led Zeppelin made their debut on the US singles chart with ‘Whole Lotta
Love’, it went on to make No.4 on the chart and was the first of six Top 40 singles
for the group in the US. During the bands career, Zeppelin never released any
singles in the UK. This is not true as I had a 7″ vinyl copy of Whole Lotta Love on
1975, Rev Charles Boykin of Tallahassee, Florida organised the burning of Elton
John and Rolling Stones records, claiming they were sinful. Boykin was reacting to
the results from a survey that said, 984 of the 1,000 local unmarried mothers had
sex when listening to rock music.
1976, Showaddywaddy were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Under The Moon
Of Love’, (originally a hit in 1961 for Curtis Lee).
1978, Sex Pistol Sid Vicious smashed a glass in the face of Patti Smith’s brother
Todd Smith during a fight at New York City club Hurrah. I hated the Sex Pistols and
everything they stood for. History will show they should never have been given any
publicity and maybe imprisoned for their behaviour.
1986, Europe were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘The Final Countdown’. They
became only the second Swedish act to score a UK No.1. The song reached No.1 in
25 countries and the song’s lyrics were inspired by David Bowie’s song ‘Space
Oddity’. This is a brilliant track well produced and a brilliant concept
1988, American singer songwriter Roy Orbison died of a heart attack aged 52.
Scored the 1964 UK & US No.1 single ‘Pretty Woman’, plus over 20 US & 30 UK Top
40 singles including ‘Only the Lonely’ and ‘Crying’. Formed his first band The Wink
Westerners in 1949, was a member of The Traveling Wilburys (known as Lefty
Wilbury) with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty and had the
1988 UK No.21 single ‘Handle With Care’. Orbison endured a great deal of tragedy in
his life. His first wife, Claudette died in a motorcycle accident in 1966 and two of his
three sons, died in a house fire.He had a phenomenal voice and my first memory of
his work was a song called Blue Angel. He was a man who deserved the title of
2003, Elvis Costello married jazz artist Diana Krall in a ceremony at Elton John’s UK
Birthday Boys and Girls December 6th
1916, Hugo Peretti, songwriter, producer. Wrote many classic hits including,
‘Twistin’ The Night Away’, ‘Shout’, ‘You Make Me Feel Brand New.’ Died on 1st May
1986. 1920, Dave Brubeck, jazz pianist,
1943, Keith West, (Keith Hopkins), UK singer, (1967 UK No.2 single ‘Excerpt From A
1944, Jonathan King, UK pop mogul, singer, producer, TV presenter, (1965 UK No.4
single ‘Everyone’s Gone To The Moon’, plus 12 other UK Top 40 singles under
various names, Bubblerock, Shag, Weathermen, Father Abraphart, Sakkarin). King
was jailed for seven years in 2001 for sex attacks on five boys.
December 5th: On this Day 1960, Elvis Presley started a ten-week run at No.1 on the US
album chart with 'G.I. Blues'. 1965, The Beatles played their last ever show in their hometown
of Liverpool when they appeared at The Liverpool Empire during the group's final UK tour.
1968, the release of The Rolling Stones’ new album Beggar’s Banquet, was celebrated at a
party in London. 1970, Amazing Grace' by Judy Collins entered the UK singles chart for
the first of eight times, it spent a total of 67 weeks on the chart never making the No.1
position. 1981, Julio Iglesias was at No.1 in the UK singles chart with 'Begin The Beguine.'
1987, Belinda Carlisle went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Heaven Is a Place on
Earth',1992, Whitney Houston started a ten-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'I
Will Always Love You'. The longest ever run at No.1 for a female artist the Dolly Parton
penned song was taken from the Bodyguard soundtrack. 2004, Band Aid 20 started a four
week at No.1 on the UK singles chart with a new version of 'Do They Know It’s Christmas.'
2004, U2 started a two week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with 'How To Dismantle An
Atomic Bomb', 2006, Beatles lyrics handwritten by Sir Paul McCartney to an early version of
Maxwell's Silver Hammer sold for $192,000 (£97,000) at an auction in New York. 2007,
Robbie Williams apologised to Nigel Martin-Smith the ex-manager of Take That and agreed to
pay undisclosed damages over an allegation he made about him in a song. 1899, Born on
this day, Sonny Boy Williamson, Blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter. Van
Morrison, The Who, The Animals, Yardbirds and Moody Blues all covered his songs. He died
on 25th May 1965.
December 4th: On this Day 1956, The so-called 'Million Dollar Quartet' jam session took
place at Sun Studios in Memphis with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and
Carl Perkins. 1962, The Beatles made their London-area debut on television when they
appeared in a live broadcast from Wembley on ‘Tuesday Rendezvous’, on ITV station
Rediffusion. 1965, The Byrds started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with
'Turn! Turn! Turn!' 1971, Led Zeppelin started a two-week run at No.1 on the UK chart
with the 'Four Symbols' album. Featuring the 8-minute track 'Stairway To Heaven', 1971, Don
McLean's ‘American Pie’ entered the US Hot 100. 1976, American guitarist Tommy Bolin
died from a heroin overdose aged 25. 1976, workers at EMI records went on strike, refusing
to package the Sex Pistols single 'Anarchy In The UK.' 1980, Prince played the first night on
his 31 date Dirty Mind North American tour at Shea’s in Buffalo, New York performing in a
long trench coat, black high heeled boots and leggings, and bikini brief trunks. 1987,
Madonna filed for divorce from actor Sean Penn and then changed her mind a week later.
1988, Roy Orbison played his final ever gig and died of a heart attack two days later. 1993,
Frank Zappa died of prostrate cancer. 2000, Irish singer Ronan Keating was dumped as
chart topping boy band Westlife's manager.
December 3rd: On this Day 1955, Elvis Presley's first release on RCA Victor Records was
announced. 1956, Guy Mitchell was at No.1 on the US singles chart with his version of the
Marty Robbins song 'Singing The Blues'. 1961, Brian Epstein invited The Beatles into his
office to discuss the possibility of becoming their manager. 1964, The Rolling Stones had
their second UK No.1 single with their version of 'Little Red Rooster'. 1966, British act The
New Vaudeville Band started a three-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with
'Winchester Cathedral'. 1966, The Monkees made their live debut at the International Arena,
Honolulu. 1971, The Montreux Casino in Switzerland burnt to the ground during a gig by
Frank Zappa. The incident is immortalized by Deep Purple's 1973 hit, 'Smoke on the Water.'
1976, a giant 40ft inflatable pig could be seen floating above London after breaking free from
its moorings. 1976, an attempt was made on Bob Marley's life when seven gunmen burst
into his Kingston home 1986, Judas Priest were sued by two family's, alleging that the band
were responsible for their son's forming a suicide pact and shooting themselves after listening
to Judas Priest records. 1999, U2 singer Bono had his missing laptop computer returned after
losing it. 2000, American composer Hoyt Curtin died of heart failure aged 78. He was the
composer of many of the Hanna-Barbera cartoons' theme songs, 2001, American session
guitarist Grady Martin died aged 72. Member of the legendary Nashville A-Team 2006, The
reformed Take That topped the UK singles and album charts simultaneously for the first time
ever in their career. The single ‘Patience’ remained at number for the second week, and
Beautiful World the group’s new album entered the chart at No.1.2007, Diana Ross and the
Beach Boys' Brian Wilson both collected awards for contributions to US culture 2008,
composer, keyboardist and arranger Derek Wadsworth died in Oxfordshire, England.
December 2nd: On this Day 1963, The Beatles recorded an appearance on the UK TV
comedy program The Morecambe and Wise Show. 1969, Cindy Birdsong of the
Supremes was kidnapped at knifepoint by a maintenance man who worked in the building she
lived in. 1978, Rod Stewart was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Da Ya Think I'm Sexy',
the singers fifth UK chart topper. 1979, Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand's ‘You Don't Bring
Me Flowers’ was at No.1 on the US singles chart. 1982, US folk singer David Blue died of a
heart attack aged 41 while jogging in New York's Washington Square Park. Member of Bob
Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue during the late 70's. He wrote ‘Outlaw Man’ covered by The
Eagles on their 1973 Desperado album. 1983, MTV aired the full 14-minute version of
Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' video for the first time. 1995, Mariah Carey went to No.1 on the
US singles chart with her duet with Boyz II Men 'One Sweet Day'. 2000, thieves broke into
the London home Madonna shares with Guy Ritchie. 2001, Daniel Bedingfield scored his first
UK No.1 single with 'Gotta Get Thru This', the single went back to No.1 in January 2002. The
track was recorded in Bedingfield's bedroom with his PC and a microphone, using music
software. 2002, Oasis singer Liam Gallagher was arrested and charged with assault after he
Kung-Fu kicked a police officer. 2006, David Mount the drummer with Mud died in
London. They had the 1974 UK No.1 single 'Tiger Feet' (best-selling single of 1974). Plus 14
other UK Top 40 singles. 2006, 25 year old singer and actress Beyonce was set to earn
more money than any other black actress for her performance in her latest film ‘Dreamgirls.’
The musical based on the history of Diana Ross and the Supremes would earn the singer a
£5m fee. 2006, Dutch singer Mariska Veres from Shocking Blue died of cancer at the
age of 59. Had the 1970 US No.1 & UK No.8 single 'Venus', 2007, Sharon and Ozzy
Osbourne made more than $800,000 (£389,032) for charity after they sold off some of their
possessions from their former US home.
December 1st: On this Day
1957, Buddy Holly and the Crickets appeared on 'The Ed Sullivan Show',
1958, The Teddy Bears were at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘To Know Him is to Love
Him.’ 1966, Tom Jones was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with his version of 'Green
Green Grass Of Home.' 1973, The Carpenters went to No.1 on the US singles chart with
'Top Of The World'.,....1976, The Sex Pistols appeared on ITV's live early evening 'Today'
show (in place of Queen who had pulled out following a trip to the dentists by Freddie
Mercury). Taunted by interviewer Bill Grundy who asked the band to say something
outrageous, guitarist Steve Jones came out with a foul tirade....
1981, keyboard player Vince Clarke announced he was quitting Depeche Mode to form
Yazoo with Alison Moyet. 1982, Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' album was released. It became
the biggest selling pop album of all time, with sales over 50 million copies. 1984, Jim
Diamond was at No.1 in the UK singles chart with 'I Should Have Known Better.'
1997, Kenny G set a new world record when he held a note on his saxophone for 45 minutes
and 47 seconds. 2002, Shania Twain started a five week run at No.1 on the US album chart
with ‘Up!’ a No.4 hit in the UK. 2006, an Oasis fan enjoyed "the best day of his life" when
Noel Gallagher popped round to his house in Poynton, Cheshire to play an intimate gig.
2008, Wham's Last Christmas was the most played festive track of the last five years.
December 31st: On this Day
1955, Based on sales from stores, radio and jukebox plays Billboard named 'Unchained
Melody' by Les Baxter the number 1 US song of 1955.
1961, The Four Freshmen made their live debut using their new name; The Beach Boys at
the Municipal Auditorium, Long Beach, California.
1963, The Kinks made their live debut when they played at the Lotus House Restaurant,
1966, The Monkees started a 7-week run at No.1 on the US singles charts with the Neil
Diamond song 'I'm A Believer'. Also No.1 in the UK in 1967.
1967, American songwriter and producer Bert Berns died of heart failure aged 38. He wrote
many classic songs including 'Twist And Shout', 'Hang On Sloopy', ‘Here Comes the Night’, ‘I
Want Candy’ and 'Brown Eyed Girl'.
1970, Paul McCartney filed a suit against the rest of The Beatles to dissolve their
1979, Blondie's gig at The Apollo Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland was broadcast live on BBC
2's 'Old Grey Whistle Test'.
1979, David Bowie performed an acoustic version of 'Space Oddity' on the UK TV 'Kenny
Everett New Year's Show'.
1984, Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen, crashed his Corvette Stingray, on the A57 outside
Sheffield, Allen lost his left arm in the accident. Allen was on his way to a New Year's Eve
party at his family's home when a Jaguar passed him.
1985, Ricky Nelson was killed along with six others, when his charted light aircraft crashed in
1996, Paul McCartney became a Sir after he was listed in the Queens New Year's Honours
1999, The Manic Street Preachers performed to 57,000 fans at the Millennium Stadium,
Cardiff. The Guinness Book of Records confirmed that the concert set a new record as the
biggest indoor show ever staged in Europe, tickets £30.
2003, Kevin MacMichael, guitarist with Cutting Crew died of lung cancer aged 51. (1987 US
No.1 & 1986 UK No.4 single 'I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight').
2004, Pete Waterman was awarded an OBE for his services to music. Once part of the
Stock, Aitken & Waterman team he also booked the first ever tour for The Bay City Rollers,
signed Musical Youth and Nik Kershaw during the 70’s and was promotion consultant for John
2005, The John Lennon song Imagine was voted the nations favourite song a quarter of a
century after his death.
2006, George Michael was paid a reported £1.5m for an hour's concert at a Russian
billionaire's New Year party.
1943, Born on this day, Henry John Deutschendorf, (John Denver), singer, songwriter.
1974 UK & US No.1 single 'Annie's Song'. Killed in a plane crash on 12th October 1997.
1948, Born on this day, US singer Donna Summer, (1977 UK No.1 single 'I Feel Love'
1979 US No.1 & UK No.11 single 'Hot Stuff, over 25 other top 40 hits).
December 29th: On this Day
1956, Elvis Presley made chart history by having 10 songs on Billboards Top 100 for week
ending Dec 19th. 1960, Cliff Richard was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'I Love You'.
The singers fourth UK No.1 and his first Xmas No.1.
1964, The Liverpool Youth Employment Service announced that some school leavers
were finding it difficult to get jobs because their ‘Beatle’ style haircuts and clothing were
unacceptable to employers.
1973, Jim Croce scored his second No.1 US single of the year when 'Time In A Bottle' went
to the top of the charts. Croce was killed in a plane crash on 29th September 1973.
1980, American singer, songwriter Tim Hardin died of a heroin overdose. Hardin wrote the
songs 'If I Were A Carpenter' (covered by Bobby Darin, Johnny Cash and June Carter, The
Four Tops, Leon Russell, Small Faces, Robert Plant and Bob Seger,) and 'Reason To
Believe', (covered by Rod Stewart).
1984, Band Aid were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' and
Madonna was at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Like A Virgin.'
1990, Cliff Richard has his 12th UK No.1 single with 'Saviour's Day', his 13th UK No.1 single
and his second Christmas chart topper.
1999, three ferrets named Beckham, Posh Spice and Baby Spice were used to lay power
cables for a rock concert being held in Greenwich, London. Workers were not allowed to dig
the turf at the Royal Park.
December 29th: Born on this day
1946, Born on this day, Marianne Faithfull, UK singer, one time girlfriend of Mick Jagger,
(1965 UK No.4 single 'Come And Stay With Me').
[1947, Born on this day, Cozy Powell, drummer, Whitesnake, ELP & solo, (1973 UK No.3
single 'Dance With The Devil'). Powell was killed in a car crash in England on 5th April 1998.
1951, Born on this day, Yvonne Elliman, singer, (1978 US No.1 & UK No.4 single 'If I Can't
Have You', also worked with Eric Clapton).
December 28th: On this Day
1961, Danny Williams was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Moon River', the Oscar-
winning song was from the film Breakfast At Tiffany's. The Tokens were at No.1 on the US
singles chart with 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight.'
1974, Helen Reddy went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Angie Baby', the singers third
US No.1. The song was turned down by Cher.
1980, St Winifred's School Choir were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'There's No
One Quite Like Grandma.'
1983, after a heavy day's drinking Beach Boy Dennis Wilson drowned while swimming from
his boat moored in Marina Del Rey, California. With the help of President Reagan he was
given a burial at sea, normally reserved for Navel personnel. Dennis was the only genuine
surfer in The Beach Boys.
1985, Shakin' Stevens was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Merry Christmas Everyone'.
The Welsh singers fourth and final UK No.1.
1996, The Spice Girls scored their third UK No.1 single with '2 Become 1'. The ballad from
their debut album became their first Christmas No.1.
1998, UK radio station BBC Radio 1 aired the 100 National Anthems, songs voted by
listeners. At No.5 Radiohead, 'Creep', No.4 Underworld 'Born Slippy', No.3 The Verve 'Bitter
Sweet Symphony', No.2 Nirvana 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', No.1 Massive Attack 'Unfinished
2005, Pink Floyd were voted the greatest rock stars ever in a survey of 58,000 listeners from
UK radio station Planet Rock. Led Zeppelin were voted into second place, 3rd was The
Rolling Stones, 4th The Who, 5th, AC/DC, 6th, U2, 7th, Guns N’ Roses, 8th, Nirvana, 9th, Bon
Jovi and in 10th place Jimi Hendrix.
December 24th: On this Day
1954, Johnny Ace shot himself dead backstage at the City Auditorium in Houston, Texas.
1963, The first night of The Beatles Christmas show at The Finsbury Park Astoria, London
with Billy J. Kramer, The Fourmost, Cilla Black and Rolf Harris.
1967, The Bee Gees performed their Christmas special 'live' from Liverpool Cathedral,
England which was broadcast on UK TV.
1977, The Bee Gees started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'How
Deep Is Your Love', the group's 4th US No.1. 1977, The Sex Pistols played their last ever
UK gig, (until 1996), before splitting, at Ivanhoes in Huddersfield.
1988, Cliff Richard started a two-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with 'Private
Collection.' 1988, Poison started a three-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with
'Every Rose Has Its Thorn.'
1990, Dave Clark's company 'Right Time' took out double page ad's in the press thanking
those who helped him win £665,000 damages against Rank Theatres who he claimed had
been responsible for the closure of the 'Time' musical.
1999, Zeke Carey of The Flamingos died. Had the 1959 US No.11 single 'I Only Have Eyes
For You', (which was also a 1975 UK No.1 hit for Art Garfunkel).
2000, Four Seasons bassist Nick Massi died of cancer. They scored the 1976 UK & US No.1
single 'December 1963, Oh What A Night', as well as hits with ‘Sherry,’ and ‘Rag Doll.’
2005, Winner of the second series of the X-Factor TV show, Shayne Ward was at No.1 on
the UK singles chart with ‘That’s My Goal’ the second biggest selling single of 2005.
1924, Born on this day, Lee Dorsey, US singer, (1966 US & UK No.8 single 'Working In The
1945, Born on this day, Lemmy, Hawkwind, (1972 UK No.3 single 'Silver Machine'),
Motorhead, (1980 UK No.15 single 'Ace Of Spades').
1946, Born on this day, Jan Akkerman, guitar, Focus, (1973 UK No.4 single 'Sylvia', 1973
US No. 9 single 'Hocus Pocus').
1971, Born on this day, Ricky Martin, singer, (1999, US & UK No.1 single 'Livin' La Vida
Loca'. Recorded the world's biggest selling football song 'The Cup Of Life').
December 23rd: On this Day
1959, Chuck Berry was arrested after taking 14 year old Janice Norine (who unbeknown to
Berry was working as a prostitute), across a state line. He was sentenced to 5 years jail but
after racist comments by the judge Berry was freed.
1962, The Beatles appeared at the Star-Club, Hamburg, West Germany.
1964, Pirate station 'Radio London', started broadcasting from the former US Minesweeper
1964, during a US tour Beach Boy Brian Wilson had a nervous breakdown during a flight
from Los Angeles to Houston. Wilson left the band to concentrate on writing and producing.
Glen Campbell replaced Wilson for the bands live shows.
1966, BBC-TV broadcast Ready, Steady Go! for the last time, after the Musicians Union
enforced a ban on miming.
1977, Cat Stevens formally changed his name to Yusef Islam.
1985, Judas Priest fans Raymond Belknap and James Vance shot themselves after listening
to the Judas Priest album ‘Stained Class.’ The two had drunk beer, smoked marijuana and
then listened to hours of the album.
1989, Phil Collins started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Another Day
In Paradise', his 7th US solo No.1, a No.2 hit in the UK. 1989, The second version of 'Do
They Know It's Christmas' by Band Aid II, went to No.1 on the UK singles chart.
2000, Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall was given a police caution for possessing cocaine
and cannabis. Police found the Class A and Class B drugs at his Surrey home after a woman
falsely accused him of rape in November. 2002, Sir Paul McCartney was granted his own coat
of arms by the College of Arms.
2006, it was reported that U2 singer Bono was to given an honorary knighthood in
recognition of his outstanding contribution to music and humanitarian work.
2007, The Police were named as the highest earning touring group for the past year,
bringing in nearly £66.5m, ($132m). The band's 54 date North American tour had generated
almost double the total of the second-placed act, Country star Kenny Chesney.
2007, The 2007 X-Factor winner Leon Jackson went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with
'When You Believe', the singers only No.1 hit.
2008, a spokesman for Michael Jackson denied reports the singer was suffering from a rare
respiratory disease and was in need of a lung transplant.
2008, Clint Ballard Jr. died. He wrote ‘Game Of Love’ a hit for Wayne Fontana And The
Mindbenders', and Linda Ronstadt's, ‘You're No Good’. His songs have been recorded by
The Hollies, Frankie Avalon, Ricky Nelson, The Zombies and Jan And Dean.
December 23rd: Born on this day
1935, Born on this day, Esther Phillips, US soul singer, (1975 US No. 20 & UK No.6 single
'What A Difference A Day Makes'). She died on 7th August 1984.
1939, Born on this day, Johnny Kidd, singer, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, (1960 UK No.1
single 'Shakin' All Over'). Killed in a car crash while on tour in Manchester, England on 7th
December 22nd: On this Day
1962, The Tornadoes started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Telstar'.
1963, The Dave Clark Five scored their only US No.1 single with 'Over And Over', a No.5 in
the UK. 1972, Little Jimmy Osmond was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Long
Haired Lover From Liverpool.' At nine years eight months of age it made him the youngest
person to have a No.1 record, also the biggest seller of 1972.
1973, Elton John at No.1 on the UK album chart with 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road'
1979, Rupert Holmes started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Escape,
(The Pina Colada Song). His only US No.1 solo hit, a No.23 hit in the UK.
1981, at a rock & roll memorabilia auction in London, a stage suit worn by John Lennon sold
for £2,300, a letter from Paul McCartney to a fan sold for £2,200 and a Perspex sculpture of
John & Yoko was bought by singer Kate Bush for £4,200.
1984, Madonna started a six-week run at No.1 in the US charts with 'Like A Virgin'
2002, Former Clash singer and guitarist Joe Strummer (John Graham Mellor) died of a
suspected heart attack aged 50. 2002, Pop Stars: The Rivals winners Girls Aloud started
a four-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their debut release 'Sound Of The
2003, the annual list of all-time music greats by the Guinness book of hit singles was
again topped by Elvis Presley. The list based on the number of weeks spent on the UK
singles chart looked like this; 1. Elvis Presley (1193), 2. Cliff Richard (1152), 3. The Shadows
(771), 4. Elton John (623), 5. Madonna (606), 6. Diana Ross (560), 7. Michael Jackson (509),
8. Rod Stewart (477), 9. Beatles (456) and 10. David Bowie (452).
2006, American songwriter Dennis Linde died aged 63 from a rare lung disease. Linde
wrote one of Elvis Presley's last major hits, 'Burning Love' and also wrote 'Goodbye Earl' for
the Dixie Chicks, and 'Callin' Baton Rouge' for Garth Brooks.
1949, Born on this day, Robin and Maurice Gibb, The Bee Gees, singers, songwriters,
producers, Robin was the eldest by 1 hour. (1967 UK No.1 single 'Massachusetts', 1978 UK &
US No.1 single 'Night Fever', over 30 UK Top 40 hits and 9 US No.1's over 4 decades).
Maurice died on 12th January 2003 of a heart attack.
December 21st: On this Day
1967, The Beatles held a party at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London to preview their new
movie ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. 1968, Glen Campbell topped the US album chart with
1969, The Supremes made their last TV appearance together with Diana Ross on 'The Ed
Sullivan show', singing their last No.1 'Someday We'll Be Together'.
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.
1974, Mud were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with the Chinn & Chapman song 'Lonely
This Christmas'. 1985, Lionel Richie started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles
chart with 'Say You, Say Me', a No.8 hit in the UK. 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.
1988, Ex Cockney Rebel bass player Paul Jeffreys was one of the passengers killed by a
terrorist bomb on Pan Am flight 103. The plane crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland.
1991, 'Bohemian Rhapsody / These Are The Days Of Our Lives' by Queen started a five
week run at No.1 in the UK,
1996, The charity record Knockin' on Heaven's Door' went to No.1 on the UK singles chart.
With the consent of Bob Dylan, musician Ted Christopher of Dunblane, Scotland wrote a
new verse for the song in memory of the schoolchildren and teacher killed in the Dunblane
massacre. The cover version of the song included brothers and sisters of the victims singing
the chorus and Mark Knopfler on guitar. 1998, Scottish singer Karl Denver died from a
brain tumour aged 67. Had the 1962 UK No.4 single 'Wimoweh' and 1990 UK hit 'Lazyitis- One
Armed Boxer' with Happy Mondays. 2001, police launched an investigation into why Olivia
Harrison listed a non-existent Beverly Hills address as the place of George Harrison's death.
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.'
2005, The Sugababes unveiled their new member just a day after Mutya Buena announced
she was leaving. Self-confessed Sugababes fan Amelle Berrabah, 21, from Hampshire, was
named as the new singer in the group. 2008, The 2008 X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke
started a three week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Hallelujah'. Three versions of
the same song were in the chart at once, something not seen since the 1950s.
December 20th: On this Day
1958, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison appeared as The Quarry Men at
the wedding reception of George's older brother, Harry.
1959, Emile Ford and the Checkmates were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'What Do
You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For.'
1968, Glen Campbell went to No.1 on the US album chart with 'Wichita Lineman'.
1969, Peter Paul and Mary went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Leavin' On A Jet Plane'.
1969, Rolf Harris was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Two Little Boys',
1973, American singer Bobby Darin died aged 37. One of the first teen idols, he had the
1959 No.1 with 'Dream Lover' plus 20 other US Top 40 hits during the 60's including ‘Mack
the Knife’, (Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1960). 1980, Twelve days after John
Lennon was shot dead in New York City, (Just Like) Starting Over gave the former Beatle his
first ever UK solo No.1 single. Taken from his Double Fantasy album.
1986, The Bangles started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Walk Like An
1986, The Housemartins were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of The Isley
Brothers 'Caravan Of Love.'
1992, American blues singer and guitarist, Albert King died from a heart attack in Memphis,
Tennessee. 1999, Canadian Country singer Hank Snow died. 'The Singing Ranger' released
over 100 albums and scored more than seventy singles on the Billboard country charts from
1950 until 1980. A regular at the Grand Ole Opry, in 1954 Snow persuaded the directors to
allow a new singer by the name of Elvis Presley to appear at the Grand Ole Opry.
2006, Matthew Fisher, a founding member of Procol Harum, won a High Court battle over
who wrote their song A Whiter Shade of Pale. He played organ on the 1967 hit and argued he
wrote the distinctive organ melody. Mr Justice Blackburne ruled he was entitled to 40% of the
copyright. Fisher had wanted half but the court decided lead singer Gary Brooker's input was
more substantial. Fisher's claim for back royalties - of up to £1m - was also rejected. For
almost 40 years, the song has been credited to lead singer Gary Brooker and lyricist Keith
December 19th: On this Day
1958, Conway Twitty was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'It's Only Make Believe'.
1964, The Beatles fourth album 'Beatles For Sale' started a seven-week run at No.1 on the
UK album charts.
1964, The Supremes scored their third US No.1 single of the year when 'Come See About
Me', went to the top of the charts. It made No.27 on the UK chart.
1969, Mick Jagger was fined £200 plus 50 guineas costs at Marlborough Magistrates
Court for illegal possession of cannabis.
1970, Elton John's first US hit, ‘Your Song’ entered the Billboard Hot 100,
1979, Elvis Presley's personal physician, George Nichopoulos, was charged with 'illegally
and indiscriminately' prescribing over 12,000 tablets of uppers, downers, and painkillers for
the star during the 20 months preceding his untimely death.
1987, The Pet Shop Boys had their third UK No.1 single with their version of 'Always On My
Mind. 1998, Irish girl group B*Witched scored their third consecutive UK No.1 single with
'To You I Belong'
1999, Irish boyband Westlife started a four week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with
their versions of the Abba song 'I Have A Dream' and the Terry Jacks hit 'Seasons In The
2000, Songwriter, guitarist and singer and founder member of The Staple Singers, Roebuck
'pop' Staples died.
2005, Sir Elton John turned down £5.7m for the exclusive rights to his civil union to his
partner David Furnish. 2006, two giant eyeballs donated by Pink Floyd raised £16,500 for the
homeless charity Crisis.
December 18th: On this Day
1961, The Tokens started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'The Lion
1962, on their fifth visit to West Germany The Beatles played the first night of a two-week
engagement at the Star-Club, Hamburg. The final night's performance was recorded and
became known as ‘The Star-Club Tapes’,
1971, Jerry Lee Lewis and his wife Myra who he married when she was 13 divorced
1972, Bob Dylan starting filming his role in the film 'Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid.'
1982, Hall and Oates started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Maneater',
1982, UK-based Italian tenor and English girl Renee And Renato were at No.1 on the UK
singles chart with 'Save Your Love' 1983, American guitarist Jimmy Nolan, died of a heart
attack in Atlanta, Georgia, aged 47. Known for his distinctive ‘chicken scratch’ lead guitar
playing, he worked with James Brown from 1965 until his death.
1983, Keith Richards married model Patti Hansen during a ceremony in Cabo San Lucas,
Mexico. Mick Jagger was the best man.
1993, Take That had their third UK No.1 single with the Gary Barlow penned song 'Babe'.
2000, UK singer, songwriter Kirsty MacColl was killed in a boating accident off the coast of
Mexico when a speedboat hit her. MacColl was aged 41.
2001, English singer songwriter Clifford T. Ward died aged 57 after suffering from multiple
sclerosis since 1984.
2003, Out on bail, Michael Jackson was formally charged with seven counts of child
molestation and two counts of administering intoxicating liquor to a minor with the intent of
committing a crime.
2003, James Brown and country music star Loretta Lynn were honoured for their
contributions to US culture.
2004, a guitar played by George Harrison and John Lennon sold for £294,000 ($570,000) at
auction in New York.
2005, ‘Fairytale of New York’ was voted the favourite Christmas song ever in a VH1 poll.
The song by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl took the top spot, Mariah Carey's ‘All I Want for
Christmas is You’, was voted into 2nd place and Wham's ‘Last Christmas’ came third.
2005, UK pop-folk act Nizlopi were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'JCB Song', their only
December 18th: Born on this day
1938, Born on this day, Chas Chandler, bass, The Animals, (1964 UK & US No.1 single
'House Of The Rising Sun'). Chandler became the manager of Jimi Hendrix and Slade, he
died on 17th July 1996.
1943, Born on this day, Keith Richards, 'The Human Riff', guitar, vocals, The Rolling
Stones, (1969 UK & US No.1 single 'Honky Tonk Women' and over 35 other Top 40 singles
and albums). Solo, (1988 album 'Talk Is Cheap').
December 17th: On this Day
1960, returning from Hamburg, The Beatles appeared at the Casbah Coffee Club in
Liverpool. Chas Newby joined The Beatles on bass guitar (to replace Stuart Sutcliffe, who
had remained in Hamburg), a position he would hold for only two weeks and four
performances. When Newby bowed out to return to college, Paul McCartney became The
Beatles' bass player.
1963, James Carroll at WWDC in Washington, DC, became the first disc jockey to broadcast
a Beatles record on American radio. Carroll played 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', which he had
obtained from his stewardess girlfriend, who brought the single back from the UK. Due to
listener demand, the song was played daily, every hour.
1973, Slade were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Merry Xmas Everybody' their sixth
1977, Mr David Ackroyd purchased the one-millionth copy of 'Mull Of Kintyre', by Wings in the
UK and became the first record buyer to receive a Gold Disc.
1982, American Delta blues musician and songwriter Big Joe Williams died in Macon,
Mississippi aged 79. Wrote 'Baby Please Don't Go', a 1965 UK Top 10 for Them, (featuring
1982, Karen Carpenter made her last live appearance with The Carpenters when she
performed in Sherman, California.
1994, a remixed version of The Four Seasons' "December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)" re-
entered the US Hot 100, where it stayed for another 27 weeks, just as it did when it first
charted in 1976.
1999, American jazz-funk, soul-jazz saxophonist Grover Washington Jr died of a heart
attack aged 56.
2000, Bob The Builder started a three-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Can
We Fix It'.
2004, Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley agreed to sell 85% of his estate to
businessman Robert Sillerman in a deal worth $100m.
2006, English saxophonist Denis Payton died. Member of Dave Clark Five
2006, The first winner of American Idol Leona Lewis started a 4 week run at No.1 on the UK
singles chart with 'A Moment Like This',
December 17th: Born on this day
1926, Born on this day, Bill Black, bass player, Elvis Presley from 1954-1957,
1936, Born on this day, Tommy Steele, singer, actor,
1939, Born on this day, Eddie Kendricks, vocals, The Temptations,
December 16th: On this Day
1965, released as a double A side The Beatles 'Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out', became
their ninth UK No.1 and their third Christmas chart topper in a row.
1966, the first Jimi Hendrix Experience single 'Hey Joe', was released in the UK on Polydor
1967, The Rolling Stones announced that Marianne Faithfull was the first signing to their
'Mother Earth' label.
1970, five singles and five albums by Credence Clearwater Revival were certified gold in
the US. The singles were: ‘Down on the Corner’, ‘Lookin out My Back Door’, ‘Travelin' Band’,
‘Bad Moon Rising’ and ‘Up around the Bend’. The LPs were ‘Cosmo's Factory’, ‘Willy and the
Poor Boys’, ‘Green River’, ‘Bayou Country’ and ‘Credence Clearwater Revival’.
1972, Billy Paul started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Me and Mrs
Jones', a No.12 hit in the UK.
1974, guitarist Mick Taylor announced he was leaving The Rolling Stones, saying he felt that
now was the time to move on and do something new. UK group Mott The Hoople announced
they had split up.
1983, The Who announced that they were splitting up.
[1988, American soul and disco singer Sylvester James died of complications from AIDS in
San Francisco aged 41.
1989, Billy Joel went to No.1 on the US album chart with 'Storm Front'.
1989, Jive Bunny and The Mastermixes had their third and final UK No.1 single with 'Let's
Party'. With their first three releases making No.1, they equalled the record set by Gerry &
The Pacemakers in 1963 and Frankie Goes To Hollywood in 1984.
1991, Chubby Checker filed a lawsuit against McDonald's in Canada seeking $14million for
it's alleged use of an imitation of his voice. The song 'The Twist' had been used on a French
1993, with stories beginning to surface about Michael Jackson's alleged improprieties with
young boys, St. Louis radio station KEZK announced that it would be no longer playing the
1997, American singer songwriter Nicolette Larson died aged 45 of complications arising
from cerebral edema.
1999, A 28 year-old man died after falling more than 80ft at Earls Court, London, while
dismantling the set at a Spice Girls concert.
2001, Stuart Adamson, lead singer of Big Country was found dead in Hawaii a month after
disappearing from his home in the US.
2001, Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman started a three-week run at No.1 on the UK singles
chart with their version of the Frank and Nancy Sinatra 1967 No.1 hit 'Somethin' Stupid'.
2003, Michael Jackson was out on police bail of $3m after being arrested following allegations
of child abuse. The 45-year-old singer strenuously denied the allegations, calling them a big
lie. Following the allegations of child abuse a special information web site was set up by the
District Attorney's office because of the level of media interest in the case. Mr Jackson, who
was arrested, cited and released after surrendering to police on 20th November, was due to
appear in court on 9 January.
2004, Gold and silver Black Sabbath discs were stolen from the Kent home of Ozzy
Osbourne's former manager Patrick Meehan. Police recovered the discs a week later after
they were offered for sale on the internet auction site eBay.
2005, the surviving Beatles and relatives of the band's late members began legal action
against EMI to get royalties allegedly worth £30m. Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and
relations of George Harrison and John Lennon claimed EMI owed record royalties to their
company Apple Corps.
2007, American singer songwriter Dan Fogelberg died at his home in Maine at the age of
2007, Sir Paul McCartney said he left EMI, his record label of 45 years, as it had become
"boring" and he had "dreaded going to see" its executives. McCartney told The Times that the
company's handling of his music had become "symbolic of the treadmill". The ex-Beatle went
on to sign a deal with Starbucks' label, Hear Music.
2007, Katie Melua & Eva Cassidy went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of
'What A Wonderful World' the version was released to raise money for the Red Cross.
December 15th: On this Day 1943, American jazz musician, singer and composer, Fats
Waller died of pneumonia 1956, Elvis Presley gave his final performance on Louisiana
Hayride1962, The Beatles played two separate shows at the same venue, the Majestic
Ballroom in Birkenhead, Merseyside. 1969, John Lennon played what would be his final
ever gig in the UK when he appeared at The Lyceum Ballroom, London, with the Plastic
Ono Band in a UNICEF 'Peace For Christmas' benefit. 1973, Charlie Rich started a two
week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'The Most Beautiful Girl', the singers only No.1
single, a No.2 hit in the UK. 1973, David Cassidy went to No.1 on the UK album chart 1977,
The Sex Pistols were refused entry into the USA 1979, Pink Floyd started a five week run at
No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Another Brick In The Wall, 1984, 'Do They Know It's
Christmas' by Band Aid entered the UK chart at No.1 and stayed at the top for five weeks.
1997, 'Spice World The Movie', featuring The Spice Girls premiered at The Empire, Leicester
Sq, London. 1999, former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren announced that he was
running for the Mayor of London. 2001, American funk and soul singer Rufus Thomas died
of heart failure aged 84. 2002, Blue featuring Elton John went to No.1 on the UK singles
chart with 'Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.' 2006, the co-founder of Atlantic Records
Ahmet Ertegun died, aged 83. Ertegun who founded Atlantic Records with Herb Abramson
in 1947 helped make Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin stars and signed the Rolling Stones
and Led Zeppelin in the early 70s. Born on this day 1919, Born on this day, Max Yasgur,
owner of the Woodstock farm where the 1969 festival was held. 1922, Born on this day, Alan
Freed, American DJ. The man who gave 'Rock 'n' Roll' its name. 1939, Born on this day,
Cindy Birdsong, The Supremes, (joined in 1967, 1969 UK No.3 single 'I'm Gonna make You
Love Me'). Labelle, (1975 US No.1 & UK No.17, single 'Lady Marmalade'). 1942, Born on this
day, Dave Clark, Dave Clark Five, (1964 UK No.1 single 'Glad All Over', 1965 US No.1 single
'Over And Over', plus over 15 other UK Top 40 singles).
December 14th: On this Day 1959, The Kingston Trio started an eight-week run at No.1 on
the US album chart 1962, Bill Wyman made his live debut with The Rollin' Stones 1963,
American blues and jazz singer Dinah Washington died aged 39. 1968, Marvin Gaye
scored his first US No.1 single when 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' started a five-week
run at the top. 1972, 'Born To Boogie' the Ringo Starr directed movie featuring T Rex
premiered in London. 1977, The film 'Saturday Night Fever' starring John Travolta
premiered in New York. 1980, Yoko Ono called on fans to observe ten minutes of silence in
memory of John Lennon. 30,000 gathered outside St George's Hall in Liverpool, while nearly
100,000 attend a memorial in New York's Central Park. 1985, Whitney Houston scored her
first UK No.1 single with 'Saving All My Love For You'. 1996, after presenting this week's
edition of 'Top Of The Pops', John Peel was surprised to find he was the subject of the TV
show 'This Is Your Life'. 1996, Boyzone scored their second UK No.1 single when 'A Different
Beat', 1997, Garth Brooks was at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Sevens’ his fourth US No.1
album. 1998, Billy Preston pleaded guilty to insurance fraud in a Los Angeles court and
agreed to testify against six other defendants who allegedly participated in starting fires,
staging thefts and rigging car crashes for which a total of 18 fraudulent insurance claims were
filed. 1999, Sir Paul McCartney appeared at The Cavern Club Liverpool 2003, Ozzy &
Kelly Osbourne went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Changes' 2003, Alicia Keys was
at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘The Diary Of Alicia Keys’ the singers second US No.1. [
December 13th: On this Day 1955, Dickie Valentine was at No.1 on the UK singles chart
with 'Christmas Alphabet', the first Christmas song to reach the No.1 position. 1962, Elvis
Presley was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Return To Sender', 1970, Dave Edmunds
was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with his version of the 1955 Smiley Lewis hit 'I Hear You
Knocking.' 1980, Kenny Roger's Greatest Hits started a two-week run at No.1 on the US
album chart. 1986, Bruce Hornsby & The Range went to No.1 on the US singles chart, with
'The Way It Is', a No.15 hit in the UK. 1997, Children's TV characters The Teletubbies went
to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Teletubbies Say-eh-oh'. 2000, it was announced that
after 74 years the UK rock weekly Melody Maker was to close down. The Christmas edition
would be the last one then it would merge with the NME creating a more sizeable broad-based
magazine. [more] 2002, Canadian guitarist and singer Zal Yanovsky of The Lovin Spoonful
died of a heart attack. 2002, David Sneddon an unemployed busker and former children's
TV presenter won a £1 million pound record deal after winning the BBC TV Fame Academy
final. 2002, UK music channel Music Choice concluded that Sir Cliff Richards 1988 hit
'Mistletoe and Wine' was the perfect Christmas hit. 2003, Lauryn Hill launched a blistering
attack on the Catholic church, urging religious figures to "repent" whilst speaking on a stage
regularly used by the Pope. 2005, A cheque signed by John Lennon made out to the Inland
Revenue sold for £2,000 at a UK auction. It was sold by former madam Lindi St Clair, 2008,
Alexandra Burke was voted the winner of The X Factor 2008, Kanye West went to No.1 on
the US album chart with ‘808s & Heartbreak’, his fourth studio album.
December 12th: On this Day 1957, Al Priddy a DJ on US radio station KEX in Portland was
fired after playing Elvis Presley's version of 'White Christmas' 1963, The Beatles were at No.1
on the UK singles chart with 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', 1967, Rolling Stone Brian Jones was
given 3 years probation and a £1,000 fine for drug offences. 1970, Smokey Robinson and
the Miracles started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Tears Of A Clown'.
1981, The Human League had their only UK No.1 single with 'Don't You Want Me.' The
Christmas hit of 81, the biggest seller of 1981 and Virgin Records first No.1 UK single. 1985,
Dionne Warwick received a star on 'Hollywood's Walk Of Fame'. 1985, Scottish keyboard
played Ian Stewart died of a heart attack in his doctor's Harley Street waiting room in
London. Co-founder of The Rolling Stones (Stewart was the first to respond to Brian Jones's
advertisement in Jazz News of 2 May 1962 seeking musicians to form a rhythm & blues group).
1987, George Michael started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Faith'.
1992, Whitney Houston started a twenty-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with 'The
Bodyguard'. 1998, a seven inch single by the Quarry Men featuring John Lennon, Paul
McCartney and George Harrison was named as the rarest record of all time 2003, Mick
Jagger became a Sir after being knighted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. 2007,
Ike Turner, the former husband of Tina Turner died at the age of 76 at his home near San
Diego, California. 2007, a copy of John Lennon's book, A Spaniard in the Works, which
contained a lock of Lennon's hair, sold at Gorringes Auction House for £24,000, ($48,000).
2008, the town where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards grew up announced it was to name
streets in a new estate after Rolling Stones hits. December 12th: Born on this day 1915,
Frank Albert Sinatra, US singer, actor, made his first record in 1939. First singer to
encounter 'pop hysteria', 1938, Born on this day, Connie Francis, 1940, Born on this day,
Dionne Warwick, US singer, 1942, Born on this day, Declan Clusky, The Bachelors, (1964
UK No.1 single 'Diane', plus 16 other UK Top 40 singles).
December 11th: On this Day 1961, Elvis Presley started a 20-week run at No.1 on the US
album chart with 'Blue Hawaii', 1961, The Marvelettes went to No.1 on the US singles chart
with 'Please Mr Postman'. 1975. 1964, Soul singer Sam Cooke was shot dead by his
manager Bertha Franklin 1968, Liverpool folk group The Scaffold were at No.1 on the UK
singles chart with 'Lily The Pink' 1971, UK comedian Benny Hill was at No.1 on the UK
singles chart with 'Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)' 1982, Singer, TV actress and
dancer Toni Basil went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Mickey'1983, The Flying Pickets
were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of the Yazoo song 'Only You'. 1993,
Janet Jackson started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Again'1993, The
character Mr Blobby as featured on UK TV's 'The Noel Edmunds House Party', started a one-
week run as the UK No.1 single with the novelty song 'Mr Blobby'. 2001, Brian Harvey
underwent surgery after suffering a serious head injury in an attack. The former East 17
singer was attacked by a group of youths as he left the Works nightclub in Nottingham,
2001, David Soul won a lawsuit against Matthew Wright, a London theatre critic who criticised
Soul's stage performance without even seeing it. . 2003, Bobby Brown was charged with
battery after allegedly hitting wife Whitney Houston in the face. 2008, Simon Cowell said he
was "very embarrassed" after contracts signed by this year's X Factor contestants were
leaked to the Daily Mirror newspaper.
December 11th: Born on this day 1916, Born on this day, Perez Prado, (1955 US & UK
No.1 single 'Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White'). 1926, Born on this day, Big Mama
Thornton, singer, songwriter, Janis Joplin cover her song 'Ball And Chain', had the 1953
version of 'Hound Dog' before Elvis Presley. 1940, Born on this day, David Gates, vocals,
bass, Bread, 1944, Born on this day, Brenda Lee, singer. 1951, Born on this day, Philip
'Spike' Edney, keyboard player, was known as the fifth member of Queen.
December 10th: On this Day
1949, Fats Domino recorded his first tracks for Imperial Records. 1959, the four male
members of The Platters were acquitted of charges of aiding and abetting prostitution,
lewdness and assignation after an incident on August 10th in Cincinnati.
1961, The film 'The Young Ones', featuring Cliff Richard premiered in London.
1964, The Beatles had their sixth UK No.1 single with 'I Feel Fine', also a US No.1.
1966, The Beach Boys No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Good Vibrations', No.1 in the UK.
1967, American soul singer, songwriter Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash, aged 26.
1983, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson started a six week run at No.1 on the US singles
chart with 'Say Say Say'. 1983, The first 'Now That's What I Call Music' compilation album
went to No.1 on the UK album chart. 1988, Cliff Richard had his 12th UK No.1 single with
'Mistletoe And Wine.' His first solo No.1 for 9 years and the best selling single of 1988.
1994, East 17 started a five-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Stay Another
Day'. It also gave them the UK Christmas No.1 of 1994.
1999, A war of words broke out between Cliff Richard and George Michael after George
branded Cliff Richards hit 'Millennium Prayer' as 'vile'.
2000, Westlife scooped the Record of the Year
2004, one of three RCA microphones used by radio station KWKH for the historic Elvis
Presley appearance at the Louisiana Hayride was sold for $37,500. The microphone was
one of three used during 50 performances by Elvis Presley when he performed for the radio
show in Shreveport from 1954 to 1956. 2005, Queen overtook The Beatles to become the
third most successful act of all time. Elvis had spent 2,574 weeks on the singles and album
charts, making him number one in the Top 100 most successful acts of all time. Sir Cliff
Richard remained in second place, clinching 1,982 weeks.
2007, Led Zeppelin played their first concert in 19 years, at London's 02 arena. Original
band members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were joined on stage by
Jason Bonham, the son of their late drummer John Bonham.
December 9th: On this Day 1955, Johnny Cash played two shows at Arkansas High
School, in Swifton, Elvis Presley opened the show. 1961, The Beatles played at the Palais
Ballroom in Aldershot to a crowd of just 18 people. T 1966, The Beatles album 'A
Collection Of Beatles Oldies' was released in the UK. 1967, The Doors appeared at the New
Haven Arena, New Haven, Connecticut. 1972, Helen Reddy went to No.1 on the US singles
chart with 'I Am Woman', didn't chart in the UK. 1978, Boney M had their second UK No.1
single with their version of the Harry Belafonte 1957 hit 'Mary's Boy Child'. 1978, Chic
started a seven week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Le Freak', a No.7 hit in the
UK. 1 1988, According to a poll released in the US, the music of Neil Diamond was favoured
as the best background music for sex, 1988, Michael Jackson played the first of nine sold-out
nights on his Bad World Tour at the Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan. 1989, Billy Joel started a
two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'We Didn't Start The Fire', a No.7 hit in the
UK. 1995, Darren Robinson, founder member of The Fat Boys died of a heart attack,
weighing 450lb (204kg) at the time of his death. 1995, Michael Jackson scored his 6th solo
UK No.1 single when 'Earth Song' started a 6-week run at the top of the charts. 1997, Oasis
played the first of three sold out nights at Wembley Arena, London, supported by
Supergrass. 2000, Sharon Corr of The Corrs called for the legalisation of cannabis,
claiming that the drug has medicinal properties. U2 made their first-ever appearance on the
long-running NBC program 'Saturday Night Live.' 2001, winners at The Smash Hits awards
included Atomic Kitten, Best single for 'Whole Again', Westlife won Best band and Best album
for 'World Of Our Own', and Blue won Best newcomer, 2003, Ozzy Osbourne was admitted
to Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, Berkshire after being injured in a quad bike accident at
his UK home. The 55 year-old singer broke his collarbone, eight ribs and a vertebra in his
neck. News of Osbourne's accident reached the House of Commons, where the
government sent a goodwill message. 2005, Joss Stone, Lemar and Ms. Dynamite backed by
the African Children's Choir and 1,200 school children set a new world record for the most
children singing simultaneously. The ‘Big Sing’ was held at The Royal Albert Hall, London.
2006, Mariah Carey threatened legal action against porn star Mary Carey in an attempt to
stop her trademarking her similar-sounding stage name. The singer believed fans could get
the two performers confused if the adult film actress Mary Carey's trademark application was
December 8th: On this Day 1961, The Beach Boys first single 'Surfin' was released
1963, Frank Sinatra Jr was kidnapped at gunpoint from a hotel in Lake Tahoe. 1965, The
Rolling Stones recorded their ninth UK single ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’ at RCA studios in
Hollywood, California. 1966, working at Abbey Road in London, Paul McCartney overdubbed
his lead vocal for ‘When I'm Sixty-Four’. 1969, Mick Jagger was quoted saying 'I don't really
like singing very much, I enjoy playing the guitar more than I enjoy singing and I can't play the
guitar either'. 1973, Roxy Music had their first UK No.1 1979, Rod Stewart scored his
seventh UK No.1 album when his 'Greatest Hits' started a five-week run at the top of the
charts. 1979, Styx went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Babe',1980, John Lennon was
shot five times by 25 year old Mark Chapman outside the Dakota building in New York City
where John and Yoko lived. Chapman had been stalking Lennon for days outside the Dakota
apartments and asked for an autograph as Lennon walked through the courtyard. As he
signed a piece of paper Chapman fired. Lennon was pronounced dead from a massive loss
of blood at 11.30pm. 1982, American country singer, songwriter Marty Robbins died
aged 57 of complications following cardiac surgery. Had the first No.1 of the 60's in the US
with 'El Paso', (winning him a Grammy Award). 1984, Frankie Goes To Hollywood were at
No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'The Power Of Love'. The group's third No.1 of the year and
final UK No.1. This made them the first group since Gerry And The Pacemakers to have a UK
No.1 with their first three singles. 1990, Stevie B started a four week run at No.1 on the US
singles chart with 'Because I Love You, (The Postman Song)', a No.6 hit in the UK. 1995,
Courtney Love appeared on the ABC TV show '10 Most Fascinating People', telling the
presenter that she wished she had done 'eight thousand million things differently' to have
prevented the death of her husband Kurt Cobain. 1999, 1960's singer Heinz was given a
formal caution by magistrates in Southampton for playing music to loud in his flat. 2000, a
plaque to commemorate the 20th anniversary of John Lennon's death was unveiled outside
his childhood home in Liverpool. 2000, Sting joined the ranks of Tinseltown's greatest when
his star was unveiled on the celebrated Walk Of Fame in Hollywood.
December 7th: On this Day
1961, Frankie Vaughan scored his second and last UK No.1 with 'Tower Of Strength' a song
written by Burt Bacharach.
1963, The Beatles second album 'With The Beatles' started a 21-week run at No.1 on the UK
1963, The Singing Nun started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with
1967, Otis Redding went into the studio to record '(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay'. The
song went on to be his biggest hit. Redding didn't see its release; he was killed three days
later in a plane crash. 1967, The Beatles Apple boutique opened its doors. The store closed
seven months later when all the goods were given away free to passers by.
1968, The Beatles 'White Album' started a seven-week run at No.1 on the UK chart.
1974, Barry White was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'You're The First, The Last, My
Everything', the singers first UK No.1974, Carl Douglas started a two week run at No.1 on the
US singles chart with 'Kung Fu Fighting'. The song was recorded in 10 minutes, had started
out as a B-side and went on to sell over 10 million. 1977, Inventor Dr Peter Carl Goldmark
was killed in a car crash aged 71. Goldmark invented the long-playing microgroove record in
1945 that went on to revolutionise the way people listened to music. 1979, The Police had
their second UK No.1 single with 'Walking on the Moon', taken from their debut album
'Reggatta De Blanc'. The video for the song was filmed at Kennedy Space Center
interspersed with NASA footage. 1987, Richard Taylor from The Manhattans died aged
47. Scored the 1976 US No.1 & UK No.4 single 'Kiss And Say Goodbye'. 1991, George
Michael and Elton John were at No.1 in the UK with a live version of 'Don't Let The Sun Go
down On Me', All proceeds from the hit went to aids charities. 1991, Michael Jackson
started a 7 week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Black Or White', his 12th solo No.1,
also a No.1 in the UK. 1993, Manic Street Preachers co-manager Phillip Hall died from
cancer. Hall was a former Record Mirror journalist and had also worked in PR for Stiff
Records. Represented many acts including The Stone Roses, The Pogues, James, The
Waterboys, The Beautiful South and Radiohead. 1996, Australian singer Peter Andre
scored his second No.1 UK single when 'I Feel You'. 2003, Britney Spears was at No.1 on the
US album chart with ‘In The Zone’ the singer's fourth US No.1 album. 2005, the MBE medal
that John Lennon returned to the Queen was found in a royal vault at St James' Palace.
Lennon returned his medal in November, 1969 with a letter accompanying saying, "Your
Majesty, I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra
thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turky slipping down the
charts. With Love, John Lennon." Historians were calling for the medal to be put on public
display. 2007, Ray Charles Plaza was opened in Albany, Georgia, with a revolving, bronze
sculpture of Charles seated at a piano. 2008, Leona Lewis went to No.1 on the UK singles
chart with ‘Run’ which became the fastest-selling digital-only track. 2008, Take That started a
five week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘The Circus’ the group’s fifth studio album.
December 6th: On this Day 1949, American blues artist, Leadbelly died. Huddie William
Ledbetter wrote many songs including 'Goodnight Irene', ‘Cotton Fields’, 'The Rock Island
Line', and ‘The Midnight Special'. 1961, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison,
and Pete Best met with Brian Epstein for further discussions about his proposal to manage
them. 1964, the film 'Ferry Cross The Mersey' premiered in London. Featuring Gerry And
The Pacemakers, Cilla Black and other Liverpool acts. It was written by Tony Warren, creator
of the UK's longest running TV soap 'Coronation Street'. 1967, Cliff Richard was confirmed
into membership of The Church Of England at St. Paul's Church, Finchley, London. 1975,
Paul Simon went to No.1 on the US album chart with 'Still Crazy After All These Years', 1976,
Showaddywaddy were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Under The Moon Of Love',
(originally a hit in 1961 for Curtis Lee). 1986, Europe were at No.1 on the UK singles chart
with 'The Final Countdown'. They became only the second Swedish act to score a UK No.1.
1988, American singer songwriter Roy Orbison died of a heart attack aged 52. 1995, Michael
Jackson collapsed and was treated for dehydration while rehearsing for the HBO special
Michael Jackson: One Night Only at The Beacon Theater in New York. 2005, Robbie Williams
accepted substantial libel damages over claims that he is secretly homosexual. T2008,
Beyoncé went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘I Am… Sasha Fierce’, the singers third
studio album. It debuted at No.1, making Knowles the third female artist this decade after
Britney Spears and Alicia Keys to have her first three albums debut in the top spot.