1949: Fats Domino recorded his first songs for Imperial Records, including “The Fat Man,” which gave Domino his nickname and is considered one of the first rock and roll records.
1964: The Beatles had their sixth #1 on the UK with “I Feel Fine.” The record topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the US the day after Christmas.
1965: Concert promoter Bill Graham organized his first music show, renting San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium for a benefit concert to cover the legal fees of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, who’s leader had been arrested. Groups that performed at the event included The Jefferson Airplane, the Great Society, the John Handy Quintet, Mystery Trend, Sam Thomas, the Gentlemen’s Band, and the Warlocks, who at the concert debuted their new name, the Grateful Dead.
1966: The Electric Prunes’ first nationally charting single, “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night),” entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later peaked at #11.
1966: The Blues Magoos had their chart debut on the Billboard Hot 100 with “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet,” which became their biggest and only top 40 hit, reaching #5.
1966: Brian Wilson’s ambitious composition “Good Vibrations” became the Beach Boys’ third US #1 hit.
1966: “Mellow Yellow,” the follow-up to Donovan’s first #1 in the US, “Sunshine Superman,” peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
1966: The Rolling Stones’ first live album, Got Live If You Want It!, was released in US after the release of the UK EP of the same name. Despite the album’s assertion that the recording hailed from the Royal Albert Hall, the performances captured reportedly occurred in early October in Newcastle upon Tyne and Bristol while on their last UK tour. The album had been compiled as a result of a contractual obligation with US distributor London Records and the band themselves were not happy with it. The Stones consequently disowned it and later argued that Get Yer Ya-Yas Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert, released in 1970, is their true live album debut.
1967: The Steve Miller Blues Band signed with Capitol Records. Shortly after the landmark deal, the still relatively unknown group changed their name to simply the “Steve Miller Band.”
1971: John Lennon, Phil Ochs, Stevie Wonder, Bob Seger, Commander Cody and many other performers appeared at the “Free John Sinclair Rally” at the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The rally was an effort to get poet and activist John Sinclair, who had been sentenced to ten years in prison for possession of two marijuana joints, freed from jail. Sinclair was released two days later.
1973: The CBGB music club was opened by Hilly Kristal in Manhattan’s East Village. The club’s full name, CBGB OMFUG, stood for “Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Other Music for Uplifting Gormandizers,” though it soon became a famed venue of punk rock and new wave bands like the Ramones, Television, the Patti Smith Group, Blondie, and Talking Heads.
1976: Paul McCartney and Wings’ triple live album Wings Over America was released. The album had been recorded during the American leg of the band’s Wings Over The World tour earlier that summer.
1976: Queen released their fifth studio album, A Day at the Races. It became their second #1 in the UK and their second to reach the top 5 in the US.
1983: Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson started six weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with their collaborative single, “Say, Say, Say,” one of their two duets produced by George Martin for McCartney’s fifth solo album, Pipes of Peace.
1985: English group Fine Young Cannibals released their eponymous debut album.
2002: Phish released their tenth studio album, Round Room.
2007: The surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited for their first concert in 19 years during a tribute concert honoring Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun at London’s O2 Arena. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones were joined by John Bonham’s son Jason for a sixteen-track set that spanned the band’s catalog. The performance was later released in 2012 as a CD and DVD package titled Celebration Day.
Guitar Slim, influential New Orleans blues guitarist best known for his 1953 single “The Things That I Used to Do,” was born Eddie Jones in Greenwood, MS in 1926.
Joe Olivier, guitarist with Bill Haley and the Comets, was born in 1927.
Chad Stuart, half of folk rock duo Chad and Jeremy, was born David Stuart Chadwick in Windermere, Cumbria, England in 1941.
Ace Kefford, bassist and co-founder of The Move, was born Christopher John Kefford in Moseley, Birmingham, England in 1946.
Jessica Cleaves, vocalist and member of Friends of Distinction who also worked with Earth, Wind & Fire, Parliament, and Funkadelic, was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1948.
J Mascis, musician, solo artist, and singer, guitarist and main songwriter for Dinosaur Jr., was born Joseph Donald Mascis Jr. in Amherst, MA in 1965.
Meg White, drummer for the White Stripes, was born in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI in 1974.