1955: Bo Diddley achieved his only #1 single when his self-titled debut single hit the top of Billboard’s R&B chart.
1963: “Farewell My Love” by The Temptations was released. Released during the period of the group’s “Original 5” lineup, it was the last single written and produced by Motown president Berry Gordy for over a decade. At the time, the group was jokingly referred to as the “Hitless Temptations” by Motown staff. “Farewell My Love,” however, was their last single to not enter the Billboard top 40 until 1971 and last not to make it onto any US charts for over twenty years. Their “hitless” streaky was broken with the release of their next single, the Smokey Robinson-produced song “The Way You Do The Things You Do.”
1966: Neil Diamond made his national television debut lip-syncing to his first hit single, “Solitary Man,” on ABC’s American Bandstand.
1966: The Beatles topped the Billboard Hot 100 with “Paperback Writer.”
1967: The Beatles performed “All You Need Is Love” as Britain’s representatives during the Our World television special. The program, in which fourteen different countries took part, was the first live, world-wide satellite broadcast, and was seen by an estimated audience of between 400 and 700 million people across five continents. John Lennon wrote the song especially for the occasion after being instructed to create a song with a simple and positive message. Friends such as Eric Clapton, Marianne Faithfull, Mike McCartney, Graham Nash, Keith Moon, Gary Leeds, and members of the Rollings Stones were invited to sing along with the band at EMI Studios in London.
1968: Elvis Presley’s seventeenth soundtrack album, Speedway, was released.
1969: The Hollies began recording “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” with pre-fame Elton John on piano at EMI Studios in London.
1969: Guitarist Mick Taylor made his public debut as a member of the Rolling Stones at the band’s first of two live shows at the Colosseum in Rome.
1970: “Everybody’s Got the Right to Love” by The Supremes was released as the second single from their nineteenth studio album, Right On.
1971: “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who was released as the lead single from the band’s fifth studio album, Who’s Next. It reached #9 on both the UK chart and the Cash Box chart in the US.
1971: Supertramp released their second studio album, Indelibly Stamped. The album marked a transition to a more straightforward rock sound and was the band’s first LP issued in the US.
1972: Led Zeppelin played at the L.A. Forum during a tour of the US. Recordings from of the concert and another show two days later at the Long Beach Arena were released 31 years later as part of the triple live album How the West Was Won.
1973: Chicago released their fifth studio album, Chicago VI. It became the bands second in a string of five albums to reach #1 in the US.
1973: Aretha Franklin’s nineteenth studio album, Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky), was released. Produced by both Franklin and Quincy Jones, the album was Franklin’s first since moving to Atlantic Records to not reach the top 25 on the US pop charts, but it did reach #2 on the Billboard R&B chart.
1975: Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention released One Size Fits All, their tenth album and Zappa’s last with the band.
1976: The Alan Parsons Project released their debut studio album, Tales of Mystery and Imagination. Based on the horror stories of Edgar Allen Poe, the LP features guest musicians Arthur Brown, John Miles, Terry Sylvester, Francis Monkman, and the complete line-up of bands Ambrosia and Pilot.
1977: Marvin Gaye went to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Got To Give It Up,” his third #1 single on the US pop charts.
1977: Chicago R&B girl group The Emotions had their only #1 single with “Best of My Love” when it reached the top of Billboard’s R&B chart. In August, the record also went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
1980: Split Enz released their fifth studio album, True Colours. It became the group’s first major commercial success, reaching #1 on both the New Zealand and Australian charts, and was their first to chart in the US and UK, where it peaked at #40 and #38, respectively.
1983: The Police had their fourth straight #1 album on the UK chart with their fifth and final studio album, Synchronicity.
1984: Prince released his sixth studio album, Purple Rain, five weeks before the premiere of the film of the same name. It was Prince’s first LP to feature his band the Revolution, and the first two singles from the album, “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy,” both topped the US singles charts and were hits around the world, while the title track reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. As of 2008, it had sold over twenty-five million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling soundtrack albums of all time.
1984: After the breakup of English new wave band Japan, frontman David Sylvian released his first solo album, Brilliant Trees.
1990: Dusty Springfield released Reputation, her thirteenth studio album, first released in eight years, and first LP issued in the UK since “Living Without Your Love” in 1979. After several commercially overlooked releases, Reputation resurrected Springfield’s career. Largely produced by Pet Shop Boys, Julian Mendelsohn, and Dan Hartman, it also became her highest charting and best-selling album in the UK since From Dusty with Love in 1970.
1991: Bonnie Raitt released her eleventh album, Luck of the Draw. Raitt had begun work on the album after her previous album and commercial breakthrough, Nick of Time was nominated for four Grammy awards. The album surpassed Nick of Time’s commercial success and remains her biggest-selling recording to date. Guests on the album include Richard Thompson, John Hiatt, Bruce Hornsby, Ian McLagan, Scott Thurston, Benmont Tench, Delbert McClinton, Tower of Power, and Kris Kristofferson. Raitt also dedicated the album to late blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, who had encouraged her to stop abusing alcohol.
1991: The Moody Blues released their fourteenth studio album, Keys of the Kingdom.
2001: U2 released “Elevation,” the third single from their tenth studio album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind.
2005: Coldplay’s third studio album, X&Y, debuted at the top of the Billboard pop chart two weeks after similarly entering the UK chart at #1. The last time a British artist had a simultaneous #1 LP in the US and UK was in November of 2000 when 1, a compilation of hits by the Beatles, topped both charts.
Clifton Chenier, accordion player, songwriter, and bandleader known as the “King of Zydeco,” was born in Opelousas, LA in 1925.
Eddie Floyd, R&B singer and songwriter best known for his 1966 #1 hit “Knock on Wood,” was born in Montgomery, AL in 1937.
Harold Melvin, founding member and leader of soul group Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1939.
Clint Warwick, original bassist for The Moody Blues, was born Albert Eccles in Aston, Birmingham, England in 1940.
Chris Huston, guitarist and co-founder of Merseybeat band The Undertakers who, as a recording engineer and producer, worked with The Rascals, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Todd Rundgren, War, Eric Burdon, and others, was born in England in 1943.
Carly Simon, singer-songwriter, was born in The Bronx, NY in 1945.
Ian McDonald, multi-instrumentalist, session musician, and founding member of King Crimson, was born in Osterley, Middlesex, England in 1946.
Tim Finn, singer, musician, solo artist, and member of Split Enz, Crowded House, and the Finn Brothers, all of which alongside his brother Neil, was born Brian Timothy Finn in Te Awamutu, New Zealand in 1952.
David Paich, keyboardist, singer, composer, and recording producer, best known for his work with Toto who has also worked with several artists including Boz Scaggs, Michael Jackson, Glen Campbell, Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan, Elton John, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Don Henley, and Chicago, was born in Los Angeles County, CA in 1954.
George Michael, singer, songwriter, record producer, and co-founder of Wham!, was born in East Finchley, London, England in 1963.
Mario Calire, drummer for The Wallflowers, was born in Buffalo, NY in 1974.