1942: Bing Crosby recorded “White Christmas” by songwriter Irving Berlin the for musical film Holiday Inn, in which Crosby also starred. The record has since become the world’s best-selling single, with estimated sales exceeding 50 million worldwide.
1961: Ricky Nelson reached the top of the US singles charts with “Travelin’ Man,” his second and last #1 on Billboard Hot 100 and first #1 on the Cash Box chart. Songwriter Jerry Fuller had originally written the song with singer Sam Cooke in mind, but after being rejected by Cooke’s manager, the demo found its way to Nelson, who recorded it with vocal quartet the Jordanaires.
1965: The Beach Boys were at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for first of two weeks with “Help Me, Rhonda,” the group’s second US #1.
1967: “Up, Up and Away,” the third single and title track from the debut album by The 5th Dimension, entered the Billboard Hot 100.
1969: The self-titled debut album by Crosby, Stills & Nash was released by Atlantic Records. The trio was joined by drummer Dallas Taylor in the studio and the LP contains many of the group’s best known songs. The album rose to #6 on the US charts, and the album’s early success increased interest in similar acts paved the way for the success of the singer-songwriter movement of the early 1970s. Soon after the album’s release, the group became a quartet with the addition of Neil Young.
1971: The Rolling Stones achieved the rare feat of having both the #1 LP with Sticky Fingers and the #1 single with “Brown Sugar” on the Billboard pop charts.
1971: Canada’s Five Man Electrical Band entered the Billboard Hot 100 with what came to be their signature tune and biggest hit in the States, “Signs.”
1972: Paul McCartney’s recording of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was released in the US, just over two weeks after being released in the UK. In a tongue-in-cheek retaliation for the BBC’s banning of his previous single, “Give Ireland Back to the Irish,” McCartney released the nursery rhyme set to music, which made it to #9 on the UK chart and #28 in the US.
1976: Poco released their ninth studio album, Rose of Cimarron.
1976: Diana Ross simultaneously topped the Billboard Hot 100, Hot Soul Singles, and Hot Dance Club Play charts with “Love Hangover.”
1977: Warsaw, later known as Joy Division, made their debut at the Electric Circus nightclub in Manchester, England supporting the Buzzcocks, Penetration, and John Cooper Clarke.
1982: Paul McCartney started three weeks at the top of the Billboard pop chart with his third solo album, Tug of War.
1982: “Abracadra,” the second single and title track from the Steve Miller Band’s twelfth studio LP, entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it became the group’s third #1 hit in September.
1984: Tina Turner released her fifth solo studio album and first with Capitol Records, Private Dancer. The album became her first to enter the top 100 on the Billboard pop chart the US, reaching #3, as well as her first #1, making it all the way to the top of the R&B chart.
1987: John Hiatt’s eighth album Bring the Family was released. It was his first LP to chart on the Billboard pop chart and features his first single entry on the mainstream rock chart, “Thank You Girl.” The album features Ry Cooder on guitar, Nick Lowe on bass guitar, and Jim Keltner on drums, and the four later reformed as Little Village.
1995: Rod Stewart’s seventeenth studio album A Spanner in the Works was released.
Sylvia Vanterpool Robinson, singer, musician, record producer, record label executive, founder and CEO of the hip hop label Sugar Hill Records, and half of the duo Mickey & Sylvia, was born in Harlem, NY in 1936.
Roy Crewdson, guitarist for Freddie and the Dreamers, was born in Manchester, England in 1941.
Gary Brooker, singer, songwriter, keyboardist, and co-founder of Procol Harum, was born in Hackney, East London, England in 1945.
Francis Rossi, co-founder, lead singer, and lead guitarist of Status Quo, was born in Forest Hill, London, England in 1949.
Danny Elfman, singer, songwriter, film composer, and former leader of Oingo Boingo, was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1953.
Mike Porcaro, bass player for Toto, was born in South Windsor, CT in 1955.
Greg Roberts, drummer for Big Audio Dynamite, was born in London, England in 1958.
Mel Gaynor, drummer for Simple Minds, was born in Balham, London, England in 1959.
Melissa Etheridge, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist, was born in Leavenworth, KS in 1961.
Noel Gallagher, singer, songwriter, guitarist, co-lead vocalist and principal songwriter of Oasis, and a solo artist, was born in Longsight, Manchester, England in 1967.
Chandler “Chan” Kinchla, guitarist for Blues Traveler, was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1969.