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, Elvis Prelsey’s “It’s Now Or Never” 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,” taught to Dylan his friend and mentor, folksinger 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, the Supremes’ next single, “Come See About Me” entered the chart, on it’s way to becoming their next #1 that December.
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 in the UK. Since then subsequent reissues of the album have used the Space Oddity title as well as its original eponymous title.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.