1957: Simon & Garfunkel, then calling themselves Tom & Jerry, made their first appearance on ABC TV’s dance show American Bandstand, performing their first song “Hey Schoolgirl,” which reached #54 on national Billboard charts.
1961: Bob Dylan recorded more songs for his first album for Columbia Records: “Man of Constant Sorrow,” “Pretty Peggy-O,” “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean,” “Gospel Plow,” “Freight Train Blues,” “and Highway 51 Blues.”
1963: The Beatles second studio album, With the Beatles, was released by Parlophone Records in the UK. The album features seven original compositions by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, as well as George Harrison’s first recorded solo composition, “Don’t Bother Me.” Almost immediately, the album debuted at the top of the UK chart and soon took the #1 spot from their debut album, Please Please Me, starting twenty-one weeks at the top.
1963: Producer Phil Spector released A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records, an album of Christmas standards recorded by his regular artists such as The Crystals, The Ronettes, and Darlene Love using his “Wall of Sound” treatment.
1965: Stevie Wonder released “Uptight (Everything’s Alright),” the title track from his fifth studio album. The single reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was his second #1 on the R&B chart.
1965: The Beach Boys released “The Little Girl I Once Knew,” a single recorded between sessions for their Beach Boys Party! and Pet Sounds albums.
1967: Otis Redding recorded “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay” with producer, guitarist, and co-writer Steve Cropper at the Stax Records’ recording studios in Memphis, Tennessee. The song was Redding’s final recorded work before his death less than three weeks later. Afterward, Cropper mixed the song at Stax Studios, adding the sound of seagulls and waves crashing to the background, just as Redding had requested, recalling the houseboat in California where Redding had started writing the song’s lyrics.
1968: The Beatles’ self-titled ninth studio album, commonly referred to as the “White Album,” was released in the UK. The double album was subsequently issued in the US three days later.
1968: The Kinks released their sixth studio album, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. It was the band’s last album by the original quartet of Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Pete Quaife, and Mick Avory before Quaife’s departure in 1969. The album was assembled from songs recorded over the previous two years and failed to chart upon its initial release, leading Ray Davies to call it “the most successful ever flop.”
1968: Dusty Springfield released her fourth studio album, Dusty… Definitely.
1968: “All Along the Watchower” by Bob Dylan was released as the second single from his eighth studio album, John Wesley Harding, which had been released nearly a year earlier. Dylan’s version didn’t chart, but the song has since been covered by numerous musicians, most notably by Jimi Hendrix.
1969: Led Zeppelin debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Whole Lotta Love.” It became the group’s only song to enter the top 10 on the chart, peaking at #4.
1969: Joe Cocker’s second studio album, Joe Cocker!, entered the Billboard pop chart, where it eventually his highest charting US LP, reaching #11.
1975: The Staple Singers topped the Billboard R&B chart for the third and final time with “Let’s Do It Again.” Five weeks later the record became their last to enter the top 40 as well as their second of two #1 singles on the Hot 100 pop chart.
1981: In the middle of their American tour, the Rolling Stones arrived at Chicago. Long influenced by Muddy Waters and the Chicago blues, members of the band paid a visit to Buddy Guy’s club, the Checkerboard Lounge, to see the legendary bluesman perform. It didn’t take long before Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Ian Stewart joined Muddy Waters on stage, soon joined by Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, and Lefty Dizz. The recorded performance was released as the live album and DVD Live at the Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 1981 in July of 2012.
1982: Bruce Springsteen released “Open All Night,” the second single from his sixth studio album, Nebraska.
1984: Split Enz released their ninth studio album, See Ya ‘Round, following the departure of founding member Tim Finn, whose solo career had officially taken off the year before. Intimidated by the prospect of leading his older brother’s band, Neil Finn announced that it would be the band’s final studio recording.
1985: Lloyd Cole and the Commotions released their second studio album, Easy Pieces.
1986: The Human League scored their second of two #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Human.”
1988: Pink Floyd released Delicate Sound of Thunder, the group’s first entirely live album.
1993: Elton John released his first collaborative album, Duets, which features songs recorded with artists that include Bonnie Raitt, Leonard Cohen, Don Henley, k.d. lang, and Little Richard.
1993: U2 released “Stay (Faraway, So Close!),” the third single from their eighth studio album, Zooropa.
2002: Former Doors members Ray Manzarek and Robby Kreiger announced that they were reforming the band for the first time in twenty-seven years, replacing original drummer John Densmore with The Police’s Stewart Copeland and original frontman Jim Morrison with Ian Astbury of the Cult. The group went through a number of names: The Doors of the 21st Century, D21C, and Riders on the Storm, but ultimately settled on Manzarek–Krieger. They performed Doors material exclusively until the death of Manzarek in 2013.
2004: U2 released their eleventh studio album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, in the UK. It was released in the US a day later.
Hoagy Carmichael, singer, songwriter, actor, and one of the most successful Tin Pan Alley songwriters of the 1930s who was among the first singer-songwriters in the age of mass media to utilize new communication technologies, such as television and the use of electronic microphones and sound recordings, was born Hoagland Howard Carmichael in Bloomington, IN in 1899.
Jesse Colin Young, singer, songwriter, solo artist, founding member and lead singer of the Youngbloods, and founder of Ridgetop Records, was born Perry Miller in Queens, NY in 1941.
Stephen Caldwell, singer and member of the Orlons, was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1942.
Floyd Sneed, drummer for Three Dog Night, was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1942.
Aston “Family Man” Barrett, Reggae singer, songwriter, musician, and bassist with Bob Marley and the Wailers, was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1946.
Rod Price, lead guitarist for Foghat, was born in Willesden, North London, England in 1947.
Sonny Geraci, lead singer of The Outsiders and Climax, was born Emmett Peter Geraci in Cleveland, OH in 1947.
Dennis Larden, vocalist, guitarist, and co-founder of Every Mother’s Son, was born in New York City in 1949.
Tina Weymouth, singer, songwriter, bassist, and founding member of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, was born Martina Michèle Weymouth in Coronado, CA in 1950.
Steven Van Zandt, singer, songwriter, actor, disc jockey, solo artist, guitarist and mandolinist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, founding member of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, and frontman for Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul, was born Steven Lento in Winthrop, MA in 1950.
Craig Huxley, child actor turned film producer, soundtrack producer, and composer for projects such as the Star Trek movie series who has also worked as a session musician and produced hits for several artists, was born in Hollywood, CA in 1954.
Jason Ringenberg, musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist and the lead singer of Jason & the Scorchers, was born in Kewanee, IL in 1958.
Karen O, singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and lead singer for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, was born Karen Lee Orzolek in 1978.