1956: The day after making his first national TV appearance on The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show, Elvis Presley and his band attended recording sessions at RCA Victor’s studios in New York. Over the course of seven hours, the sessions yielded “Blue Suede Shoes,” “My Baby Left Me,” “One-Sided Love Affair,” and “So Glad You’re Mine.” The next day, they recorded “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry Over You” and “Tutti Fruitti.” “Blue Suede Shoes” ended up becoming the only hit single in the bunch, but the sessions marked a departure from Presley’s sound while he had been with Sun Records and reflected the more commercial and mainstream sound RCA envisioned for his debut studio album.
1956: Billy Lee Riley and the Little Green Men recorded what become their biggest hit, a cover of Bill “The Kid” Emerson’s “Red Hot,” at Sun Studios in Memphis.
1958: Buddy Holly, Paul Anka, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others performed at Sydney Stadium in Sydney, Australia on the first of a six-day tour down under.
1961: The Kingston Trio released their ninth album, Make Way.
1961: The Shirelles became the first girl group to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart when their first major hit record “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, topped the chart.
1961: “Bye Bye Baby,” the first single by R&B singer Mary Wells, entered the Billboard Hot 100. One of Motown’s earliest hit records, it later peaked at #45 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the R&B chart.
1961: Gene Pitney debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with his first single “(I Wanna’) Love My Life Away.”
1964: Sam Cooke released “A Change Is Gonna Come” at RCA Studios in Hollywood, California. The song was inspired by various personal events in Cooke’s life, most prominently an event in which he and his entourage were turned away from a whites-only motel in Louisiana. Cooke felt compelled to write a song that spoke to his struggle and pertained to the Civil Rights Movement and African Americans.
1964: The Searchers were at the top of the UK singles chart for the first of three weeks with the Sonny Bono song “Needles and Pins.”
1965: “King of the Road” by Roger Miller entered the Billboard Hot 100. The single became Miller’s highest reaching entry on the chart, peaking at #4.
1967: The Beatles shot a promotional film for their forthcoming single, “Strawberry Fields Forever,” at Knole Park in Sevenoaks, Kent, England.
1968: After parting ways with producer Andy Warhol and singer Nico, The Velvet Underground released White Light/White Heat, their second studio album and last studio recording of new material with bassist and founding member John Cale.
1968: BBC TV aired the premiere episode of Cilla, a variety program hosted by singer Cilla Black, making her the first British female performer to have her own television show. The theme song, “Step Inside Love,” had been written by Paul McCartney. Musical guests on the show’s first episode included Tom Jones and British vocal group the Ladybirds.
1969: Moby Grape released Moby Grape ’69, their third studio album and first after the departure of founding member Skip Spence.
1969: The Temptations released “Run Away Child, Running Wild” from their ninth studio album, Cloud Nine.
1969: The Beatles made their last ever public appearance as a group, along with keyboardist Billy Preston, performing an unannounced concert atop the roof of Apple Corps headquarters at 3 Saville Row in London. The group had planned on doing a live show, but instead of having their equipment hauled off to a performance hall, they opted to simply play on the roof. Footage from the performance was later used in the 1970 documentary film Let It Be. The 42-minute show was recorded onto two eight-track machines in the basement by George Martin, engineer Glyn Johns, and tape operator Alan Parsons. After a crowd formed in the streets below and traffic came to a halt, police entered the building and demanded that the Beatles stop performing.
1970: After entering the chart just a week earlier, Edison Lighthouse was at the top of the UK chart with their only hit single, “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes),” which remained at the top spot for a total of five weeks. The song also reached #5 on the US pop charts.
1971: Ike & Tina Turner released their version of John Fogerty’s “Proud Mary” as the second single from their album Workin’ Together.
1972: T. Rex had their third #1 single in the UK with “Telegram Sam,” the band’s fifth consecutive top 2 hit on the chart.
1973: Al Green released “Call Me (Come Back Home)” as a single from his sixth studio album, Call Me.
1976: T. Rex’s eleventh studio album, Futuristic Dragon, was released everywhere except North America, where it wasn’t issued until 1987.
1982: Hall and Oates had their fourth #1 and fourth consecutive top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” which also managed to top the R&B and Dance charts.
1988: Australian band INXS had their only #1 single on the US pop charts when “Need You Tonight” topped the Billboard Hot 100.
1989: New Order released their fifth studio album, Technique. It became the group’s first album to reach #1 on the UK pop chart.
1995: Simple Minds released their tenth studio album, Good News from the Next World.
2007: Norah Jones released her third studio album, Not Too Late. It became her third consecutive LP to go to #1 in the US and UK.
2007: Perry Farrell, John Densmore of The Doors, and actor Josh Hartnett helped launch the Global Cool campaign at simultaneous press conferences in Los Angeles and London. They were joined by a host of other artists who were involved in promoting Global Cool’s mission to “save the planet” by encouraging individuals to reduce their carbon emissions by 10 billion tons over 10 years. The campaign also unveiled its theme song, “Woman in the Window,” featuring previously unreleased vocals by Jim Morrison and music recorded by Farrell’s new band, Satellite Party.
2012: Ringo Starr released his seventeenth studio album, Ringo 2012. It was issued in the US the next day.
2016: David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, posthumously debuted on the Billboard pop chart at #1, making it Bowie’s only album to reach #1 in the US.
Norma Tanega, folk and pop singer-songwriter and experimental musician who had a hit in 1966 with “Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog” and wrote songs for Dusty Springfield and other artists, was born in Vallejo, CA in 1939.
Joe Terry, lead and baritone vocalist for Danny and the Juniors, was born Joseph Terranova in Philadelphia, PA in 1941.
Marty Balin, singer, songwriter, and founder and vocalist with Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, was born Martyn Jerel Buchwald in Cincinnati, OH in 1942.
Sandy Deanne, founding member and vocalist in Jay and the Americans, was born Sandy Yaguda in Brooklyn, NY in 1943.
Steve Marriott, frontman guitarist of rock bands Small Faces and Humble Pie, was born in Manor Park, London, England in 1947.
William King, singer, musician, and founding member of the Commodores, was born in Birmingham, AL in 1949.
Phil Collins, drummer, songwriter, record producer, lead singer of Genesis, and a solo artist, was born in Chiswick, London, England in 1951.
Andy Anderson, session drummer who has worked with The Cure, Steve Hillage, Iggy Pop, Peter Gabriel, and many others, was born Clifford Leon Anderson in West Ham, Essex, England in 1951.
Steve Bartek, lead guitarist for Oingo Boingo, was born in Garfield Heights, OH in 1952.