1952: The first UK Singles Chart was published by music journal New Musical Express with Al Martino’s “Here in My Heart” at #1.
1960: Ray Charles had his first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Georgia on My Mind,” a song originally written in 1930 by Stuart Gorrell with music by Hoagy Carmichael.
1960: After topping the charts in the US, “It’s Now Or Never” by Elvis Presley sold 780,000 copies in the UK during its first week of release, making it the fastest selling song in the country’s history at the time. The British release of the record had been delayed due to rights issues, allowing the song to build up a massive amount of advance orders and enter the UK chart at #1, a rare feat at the time. The song eventually sold over 25 million copies worldwide, making it Presley’s biggest international single as well as one of the highest selling records ever.
1962: Bob Dylan recorded “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” The composition was based on the traditional song “Who’s Gonna Buy Your Chickens When I’m Gone,” which was taught to Dylan by his friend and mentor, folk singer Paul Clayton, who had used the melody in his own song “Who’s Gonna Buy Your Ribbons When I’m Gone?.”
1964: The same week that they had the #1 record on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Baby Love,” The Supremes’ next single, “Come See About Me” entered the chart on it’s way to becoming their next #1 in December.
1966: Otis Redding released his version of “Try a Little Tenderness,” a song first recorded by British group the Ray Noble Orchestra with Val Rosing in 1932. Reddings version was arranged and co-produced by Isaac Hayes and featured backing by Booker T. & the M.G.’s. The song had been released earlier in October as part of Redding’s fifth studio album, Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul, and reached #4 on Billboard’s R&B chart and #25 on the Hot 100.
1967: Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell released “If I Could Build My Whole World Around You.” It became the duo’s third single to reach the top 10 on both Billboard’s pop and R&B charts.
1969: David Bowie’s self-titled second album was released by Philips Records in the UK. In the US, the album was issued by Mercury Records with the title Man of Words/Man of Music. In 1972, RCA Records reissued the LP as Space Oddity, based on the album’s title track which had been a #5 hit in the UK. Since then, subsequent reissues of the album have used the Space Oddity title as well as its original eponymous title.
1970: James Taylor’s debut single, “Carolina In My Mind,” entered the Billboard Hot 100. It peaked at #67.
1970: “Domino,” Van Morrison’s tribute to New Orleans R&B singer and pianist Fats Domino, entered the Billboard Hot 100. It later reached #9 and became Morrison’s highest charting US single.
1970: “We Got to Get You A Woman” from Todd Rundgren’s debut studio album, Runt, entered the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to peaking at #20.
1970: Santana’s version of Peter Green’s “Black Magic Woman” entered the Billboard Hot 100. The song became one of Santana’s biggest hits, rising to #4 on its three month chart run.
1979: Little Feat released their seventh studio album, Down on the Farm. Completed after the death of founder and frontman Lowell George, it was the band’s last original work for nine years. They had announced their breakup during the making of the album, but reformed in 1987.
1981: “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by the Police became their fourth and penultimate #1 in the UK. The song later peaked at #3 in the US in early December.
1981: “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” by Hall & Oates, the second single from their tenth studio album, Private Eyes, entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later became the duo’s fourth #1 hit.
1983: Eurythmics released their third studio album, Touch, just ten months after their breakthrough album, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). It became the duo’s first #1 album on the UK chart and first top 10 LP in the US, where it peaked at #7.
1988: Michael Jackson released “Smooth Criminal,” the seventh single from his seventh studio album, Bad.
1995: Melissa Etheridge released her fifth studio album, Your Little Secret. It became her most successful album on the Billboard pop chart, where it reached #6.
1995: Tracy Chapman released her fourth studio album, New Beginning.
1995: The Rolling Stones released Stripped, an album containing six live tracks recorded during their Voodoo Lounge Tour and eight acoustic studio re-recordings of songs from the band’s catalog.
2000: Badfinger released their tenth and final studio album, Head First. Recorded in late 1974 and early 1975, it was intended to be the group’s eighth album, but was shelved as a result of legal difficulties with Warner Bros. Records. The version that was eventually released was a rough mix of the album made in 1975 by Apple Studios engineer Phil McDonald.
2004: Band Aid 20, the third incarnation of the charity supergroup Band Aid, recorded the third version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” at AIR Studios in north London for the twentieth anniversary of the original version of the song. Like the first, the single became a #1 hit and included contributions by such artists as Paul McCarntey, Bono, Chris Martin, Dido, Snow Patrol, Joss Stone, members of Radiohead, The Darkness, and Keane, and many others.
Ellis Marsalis Jr., jazz pianist, educator, and father of Branford and Wynton Marsalis, was born in New Orleans, LA in 1934.
Cornell Gunter, R&B singer and original member of The Platters who also was a member of The Flairs and The Coasters, was born Cornelius Gunter in Coffeyville, KS in 1936.
Carey Bell, blues harmonica and bass player, was born in Macon, MS in 1936.
Freddie Garrity, frontman of Freddie and the Dreamers, was born in Crumpsall, Manchester, Lancashire in 1936.
Joe Billingslea, lead singer and the founder of The Contours, was born in Hamtramck, MI in 1937.
Buckwheat Zydeco, accordionist and one of the few zydeco artists to achieve mainstream success, was born Stanley Joseph Dural Jr. in Lafayette, LA in 1947.
Stephen Bishop, singer-songwriter, actor, and guitarist, was born Earl Stephen Bishop in San Diego, CA in 1951.
Johnny A., guitarist and songwriter who’s collaborated with such artists as Peter Wolf, Bobby Whitlock, Delaney & Bonnie, Derek & Dominos, and members of the Yardbirds, was born John Antonopoulos in Malden, MA in 1952.
Anson Funderburgh, blues guitarist and bandleader, was born James Anson Funderburgh in Plano, TX in 1954.
Yanni, eclectic composer, keyboardist, pianist, producer, and contemporary instrumentalist, was born Yiannis Chryssomallis in Kalamata, Greece in 1954.
Brendan Benson, musician, singer-songwriter, solo artist, and co-founder of The Raconteurs, was born in Royal Oak, MI in 1970.
Joy Williams, singer, songwriter, solo artist, and half of the duo the Civil Wars, was born in West Branch, MI in 1982.