1956: Elvis Presley recorded two blues covers, Jesse Stone’s “Shake Rattle & Roll” and Lloyd Price’s “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.” Both songs were later released by RCA Victor as either side of single.
1958: The Silhouettes started five weeks at the top of the Billboard R&B chat with their first single, “Get A Job.”
1959: “The Day the Music Died”—Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash shortly after taking off from the Mason City Municipal Airport outside of Clear Lake, Iowa. Future country star Waylon Jennings had been scheduled to be on the plane but had instead given his seat to The Big Bopper.
1961: Bob Dylan participated in his first recording session, held at the East Orange, New Jersey, home of friends Sid and Bob Gleason, in which he taped “San Francisco Bay Blues” and “Jesus Met the Woman at the Well” among other songs.
1967: Marvin Gaye started the first of five recording sessions for “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” which later became his first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart and fifth single to top the R&B chart.
1968: The Beatles started work on their single “Lady Madonna” at Abbey Road Studios in London.
1968: Oxford, Ohio band The Lemon Pipers achieved their first and only #1 single with “Green Tambourine.” The record was the group’s only single to enter the top 40 on either the Billboard Hot 100 or UK pop chart.
1969: “Time of the Season” by the Zombies was re-released on Columbia’s Records’ Date label after initially flopping in the US upon its first release in April of 1968. The re-issue went all the way to #1 on the Cash Box chart and #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 over a year after the band had broken up.
1969: The debut album by Jethro Tull This Was was released in the US, three months after the album’s British release. It became a top 10 hit in the UK and peaked at #68 in the US.
1969: The Beatles, Allen Klein, and John Eastman held a meeting at Apple Records HQ in London, where Klein was formally appointed the Beatles’ business manager. Klein’s appointment was opposed exclusively by Paul McCartney, who’d wanted Eastman, his future father-in-law, to represent the group. McCartney was outvoted 3-1 by the other Beatles.
1973: Elton John started three weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Crocodile Rock,” his first of five US #1 singles.
1978: On the 19th anniversary of Buddy Holly’s death, his birthplace in Lubbock, Texas was condemned and scheduled for demolition by the Lubbock Building Department. A campaign was organized to purchase and restore the building, and turn it into a museum. Holly’s mother objected, however, and the campaign was forgotten. Nonetheless, the landmark was wasn’t demolished, and was purchased and moved out of town.
1978: Dead Man’s Curve, the made-for-television biographical film based on the musical careers of Jan Berry and Dean Torrence, was televised on CBS. The film had been developed from a 1974 article published in Rolling Stone magazine by Paul Morantz, who also helped write the screenplay.
1978: “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty was released. The composition became a hit around the world and reached #1 on the US Cash Box chart and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later that year, Rafferty also won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.
1979: “Heart of Glass” by Blondie became the group’s first #1 single when it reached the top of the UK chart. In April, the record also became their first #1 in the US.
1979: Briefcase Full of Blues, the debut album by Dan Aykroyd and Belushi as the Blues Brothers, hit #1 on the Billboard pop chart.
Johnny “Guitar” Watson, blues, soul, and funk musician, singer, and songwriter, was born in Houston, TX in 1935.
Johnny Bristol, Motown musician, songwriter, and producer, was born in Morganton, NC in 1939.
Angelo D’Aleo, vocalist with Dion and the Belmonts, was born in the Bronx, NY in 1940.
Dennis Edwards, singer with the Temptations from 1968 through the 1980s, was born in Fairfield, AL in 1943.
Eric Haydock, original bassist for the Hollies, was born in Stockport, Chesire, Manchester, England in 1943.
Shawn Phillips, singer and songwriter, was born in Fort Worth, TX in 1943.
Stan Webb, frontman and lead guitarist with Chicken Shack, was born in Fulham, London, England in 1946.
Dave Davies, singer, songwriter, and lead guitarist and co-founder of the Kinks, was born in Fortis Green, London in 1947.
Melanie, singer-songwriter, was born Melanie Anne Safka in Astoria, Queens, NY in 1947.
Lee Ranaldo, songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, and co-founder of Sonic Youth, was born in Glen Cove, NY in 1956.
Laurence “Lol” Tolhurst, founding member, keyboardist, and, original drummer for the Cure, was born in Horley, Surrey, England in 1959.
Nick Hawkins, guitarist for Big Audio Dynamite II, was born in Luton, England in 1965.