Friday, December 31, 2010

This Date In Music History - December 31

Dear Readers:

I have been doing this feature 'This Date In Music History' for two years now (every other day) and now have done every day in the year.  So, that said, this will be the last installment of this feature.  I hope that everyone enjoyed the fascinating facts presented and please, feel free to look back if you have any interest in a specific date. 


Andy Summers - Police (1942)

Burton Cummings - Guess Who & solo (1947)

Donna Summer (1948)

Tom Hamilton - Aerosmith (1951)

Fermin Goytisolo - KC and the Sunshine Band (1951)

George Thorogood (1952)

Paul Westerberg - Replacements (1960)

Scott Ian - Anthrax (1963)

Joey McIntrye - New Kids On The Block (1972)

Bob Bryar - My Chemical Romance (1979)

They Are Missed:

Songwriter and producer Bert Berns died of heart failure in 1967 (age 38). He wrote many classic songs including "Twist And Shout," "Hang On Sloopy," "Here Comes the Night," "I Want Candy" and "Brown Eyed Girl."

In 1985, Ricky Nelson was killed along with six others, when his charted light aircraft crashed in Texas. Nelson had played himself on his parent's US TV The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet.' Early press reports erroneously suggested that drug use, namely freebasing, might have played a role in the crash that killed Rick, his band, and his fiancée Helen Blair (the pilot and co-pilot survived). In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board's 1987 report determined that the fire began in a malfunctioning gas heater.

Born on this day in 1943, Henry John Deutschendorf, (John Denver), singer, songwriter. Killed in a plane crash on October 12, 1997.

Pianist Floyd Cramer, who scored a Billboard number 2 hit in 1960 with "Last Date", died of lung cancer in 1997 at the age of 64. As a session musician, he played on many major hits for a variety of artists, including Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel." In 2003, Cramer was inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Kevin MacMichael, guitarist with Cutting Crew, died of lung cancer in 2003 (age 51).

Pete Quaife - the original bassist for the Kinks, who played on such early hits as "You Really Got Me", "All Day and All of the Night" and "Tired of Waiting for You" before leaving the British band in 1969, died of kidney failure on June 23rd, 2010. He was 66.


In 1929, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians played "Auld Lang Syne" as a New Year's Eve song for the first time.

In 1940 - As a result of a dispute between the radio networks and ASCAP (the American Society of Composers and Publishers), the radio industry was prevented from playing any ASCAP-licensed music. The ban lasted for ten months.

Based on sales from stores, radio and jukebox plays Billboard named "Unchained Melody" by Les Baxter the number 1 US song of 1955.

The Connie Franscis movie 'Where The Boys Are' premiered in New York City in 1960.

The Beach Boys made their live debut using their new name in 1961 when they appeared at Long Beach Civic Auditorium, California.

John and Michelle Phillips get married on New Year's Eve in 1962. The pair would later co-found The Mamas and Papas.

The Kinks made their live debut in 1963 when they played at the Lotus House Restaurant, London.

The Beatles single "I Feel Fine" and album 'Beatles '65' were certified Gold in 1965.

The Monkees started a 7-week run at #1 on the US singles charts in 1966 with the Neil Diamond song "I'm A Believer."

In 1966, Ray Charles appeared at the City Center Arena in Seattle Washington, tickets cost $4.50 on the door.

In 1967, Sonny and Cher were barred from Pasadena, California's Tournament of Roses Parade for speaking out in support of the 2,000 demonstrators who protested a year-long campaign by sheriffs and police to clear the Strip of 'loitering' teenagers. Known as "the Sunset Strip rioters", the group mainly consisted of 15-year-olds with long hair and acne who were confronted by several hundred riot-helmeted sheriff's deputies.

In 1968, Joe Cocker, Amen Corner, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, the Small Faces, Free and Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band all appeared at Alexandra Palace, London. Tickets cost $3.00.

Also in 1968 - For the first time ever, Americans spent more than $1 billion on records. According to Billboard magazine, album sales were 192 million units and singles sold 187 million units.

At a New Year's Eve concert at the Fillmore East in New York City in 1969, Jimi Hendrix introduced his new side men, bassist Billy Cox and former Electric Flag drummer, Buddy Miles. The concert was recorded for the live album, 'Band of Gypsys,' which will reach #5 in the US and #6 in the UK.

In 1970, Paul McCartney filed a suit against the rest of The Beatles to dissolve their partnership. With Melody Maker magazine reporting that The Beatles were looking for a new bass player, Paul McCartney files suit to dissolve the Beatles' corporation. It would take until 1974 for the split to become final.

Dick Clark's first Rockin' New Years Eve aired on ABC-TV in 1972, starring Three Dog Night, Al Green and Blood, Sweat & Tears.

The MC5 play their farewell show at a New Years Eve bash at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit in 1972. Their take for the night was $200.

Australian band AC/DC made their live debut in 1973 when they appeared at Chequers Bar in Sydney.

Journey made their live debut at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom in 1973.

In 1974, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were invited to join Fleetwood Mac, marking the band's tenth line-up change since 1967.

In 1975, Elvis Presley performed a New Year's Eve concert before 60,000 fans at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. He earned $800,000 for the night, a then world record for a single show by a solo artist.

In 1976, the first Cars concert was held in Portsmith, New Hampshire.

In 1978, the Grateful Dead performed for the 48th and final time at Bill Graham's Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Also appearing were Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, who took their Saturday Night Live characters on the road as The Blues Brothers.

At a New Years Eve concert in Cleveland in 1979, Bruce Springsteen's cheek was ripped open by a fire-cracker thrown onstage from the audience.

Max's Kansas City in New York City closed down in 1982. The venue had been a launching pad for such artists as The New York Dolls, Bruce Springsteen and The Velvet Underground.

Van Halen’s epic LP '1984' was released in 1983.

In 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. The driver had been egging Allen on and would not allow him to pass. In his rage to pass this driver, he did not see a turn up ahead and lost control of his car. He was thrown from the car, with his left arm severed due to the seatbelt not being properly fastened.

In 1991, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers all appeared on the same bill at the Cow Palace, San Francisco, California.

Alos in 1991, Ted Nugent donated 200 pounds of venison to a Salvation Army soup kitchen in Detroit with the message 'I kill it, you grill it'.

Garth Brooks started a seven-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1994 with, 'The Hits.'

Paul McCartney became a Sir in 1996 after he was listed in the Queens New Year's Honours List.

There’s Rock all over the world to ring in Y2K (1999): Aerosmith – Osaka, Japan, the Eagles and Jackson Browne - L.A., B-52s and Hootie & The Blowfish – Orlando, FL, Goo Goo Dolls and No Doubt – New York. And the killer show of the evening... the Bay City Rollers in Edinburgh, Scotland (kidding!).

In 2004, for the first time in the last 32 years, Dick Clark wasn't in New York's Time Square to celebrate New Year's Eve. The 75 year-old TV host and producer was forced to watch the show from his hospital bed after suffering a mild stroke on December 6th. A spokesman said that Mr. Clark had been doing some rehab and that doctors were encouraged with his progress.

In 2005, Tom Jones was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony than Jones later described as " a great and humbling honor."

Also in 2005, the John Lennon song "Imagine" was voted the nations favorite song a quarter of a century after his death. A UK radio station conducted the poll of 7,000 listeners. The Beatles were voted into second and third place with "Hey Jude" and "Let It Be."

Mötley Crüe's Mick Mars was rushed backstage to receive medical attention at the end of a New Year's Eve concert in Detroit in 2005. A fan pulls the guitarist into the audience. "I am fine, I am undamaged, " Mars later claims. "To the girl that pulled me in, I hope she got my pick."

Lenny Kravitz performed from Times Square in 2007 as part of NBC's New Year's Eve With Carson Daly. Meanwhile, MTV's Tila Tequila's New Year's Eve 2008 with Kid Rock was also live from Times Square.

It was announced in 2008 that Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant has been named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire as part of Queen Elizabeth II's annual New Year Honours List. Plant is acknowledged "for services to music" in the United Kingdom.

In 2009, U2’s 360 Tour, in support of their album 'No Line On The Horizon, was named the year’s most successful by concert tracker Pollstar. U2 sold 1.3 million tickets grossing $123 million. Following U2 are Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band ($94.5 million) and Elton John & Billy Joel ($88 million). AC/DC are 5th on the list with the Dave Matthews Band, Fleetwood Mac and Metallica coming in 8th, 9th and 10th, respectively for the year.

In 2009, Green Day made a holiday appearance on NBC's New Year's Eve with Carson Daly, live from Times Square in NYC.


Shawn said...

Do you have a hard copy or a file you can send me of this? Would love to keep it for reference, radio tidbits, etc.

Robert Benson said...

Hi Shawn,

Sorry, no 'hard' copy, however, it's all here on the blog; as you can look back over the years :O)