1956: Nat King Cole became the first major black performer to host a variety show on national television when The Nat King Cole Show premiered on NBC.
1958: “Heartbeat” by Buddy Holly was released with “Well… All Right” as its B-side. Co-written by Bob Montgomery and producer Norman Petty, “Heartbeat” was Holly’s last single released during his lifetime.
1962: The Supremes released their fourth single, “Let Me Go the Right Way,” from their debut album Meet the Supremes. It became the group’s second record to chart following the poorly received “Your Heart Belongs to Me.”
1965: Manfred Mann’s fourth American album, Mann Made, was released in the US following its release in the UK a month earlier.
1965: Small Faces released their second official song, “I’ve Got Mine.” Despite positive press in Britain, it failed to chart.
1966: Eight weeks after the debut of their television series, the Monkees had the #1 single in the US with their debut single, “Last Train to Clarksville.”
1967: Kenny Rogers and the First Edition made their television debut on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Over the next three years, seven of their songs reached the US top 40 and they had their own television show in the fall of 1971.
1968: Elvis Presley released “If I Can Dream,” the lead single from Elvis, the soundtrack album to the live television concert that marked Presley’s return to live performances after seven years in the movie business.
1970: Atlantic Records released “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin as a single in the US with “Hey, Hey, What Can I Do” as its B-side. The song was reportedly inspired by the band’s first stop on their 1970 tour in Reykjavík, Iceland.
1970: Neil Diamond entered BB Hot 100 with his version of “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”
1971: Elton John’s fourth studio album, Madman Across the Water, was released.
1971: “Jeepster” backed with “Life’s a Gas” was released as the second single from T. Rex’s sixth studio album, Electric Warrior.
1971: Cilla Black released “Something Tells Me (Something’s Gonna Happen Tonight),” a song written by Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook (known as pop duo David and Jonathan) and produced by George Martin. It became Black’s biggest hit in the 1970s as well as her last appearance in the top ten on the UK singles chart.
1972: The Grateful Dead released the triple live album Europe ‘72, which covers the band’s tour of Western Europe in April and May that year.
1976: The soundtrack album All This and World War II was released a week ahead of the musical documentary film of the same name. The album ended up being significantly more successful compared to the film, which juxtaposed covers of Beatles songs by a variety of artists with World War II newsreel footage and 20th Century Fox films.
1982: George Harrison released his tenth studio album, Gone Troppo, on his Dark Horse Records label. His last album before a five-year hiatus, it received middling commercial and critical success and reached only #108 in the US. One of the most popular tracks on the album, “Dream Away,” was originally intended to be included on the soundtrack to the 1981 film Time Bandits, directed by friend Terry Gilliam and produced by Harrison’s HandMade Films production company. Gilliam later claimed the song’s lyrics reference the friction between him and Harrison due to Gilliam’s reluctance to include any of Harrison’s songs in the film.
1982: Siouxsie and the Banshees released their fifth studio album, A Kiss in the Dreamhouse.
1974: The Eagles released “Best of My Love,” the third single from their third studio album, On the Border. It later became the band’s first of five single to go to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
1977: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers first appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Breakdown,” the first single from their eponymous debut album.
1979: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released “Don’t Do Me Like That,” the first single from their third studio album, Damn the Torpedoes.
1980: The Doobie Brothers released “One Step Closer,” the second single and title track from their ninth studio album.
1982: Phil Collins released his second solo studio album, Hello, I Must Be Going!.
1988: The Beach Boys had their first #1 single in twenty-two years with “Kokomo,” the first single from their twenty-sixth studio album, Still Cruisin’.
1990: Paul McCartney released Tripping the Live Fantastic, his first official solo live album and first release of concert material since Wings’ 1976 triple live album, Wings over America.
1996: Johnny Cash released Unchained, his eighty-second overall album and the second in his American Recordings series.
2000: U2 topped the UK chart with their tenth studio album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind. The LP reached #3 in the US and was the group’s first not to reach #1 since The Unforgettable Fire in 1984.
Ike Turner, musician, bandleader, songwriter, arranger, talent scout, and record producer, and early pioneer of 1950s rock and roll best known for his work in the 1960s and 1970s with then-wife Tina Turner, was born Izear Luster Turner, Jr. in Clarksdale, MS in 1931.
Harold McNair, saxophonist, flautist, jazz sideman, session musician for artists such as Donovan and John Martyn, and an original member of Ginger Baker’s Air Force, was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1931.
Billy Sherrill, record producer, songwriter, arranger, and one of the originators of the amalgamation of pop and country music known as the countrypolitan sound, was born in Phil Campbell, AL in 1936.
Art Garfunkel, singer, poet, teacher, actor, solo artist, and half of the folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel with Paul Simon, was born in Queens, New York City in 1941.
Pablo Gomez, drummer for Los Bravos, was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1943.
Gram Parsons, influential country and rock singer, songwriter, guitarist, pianist, solo artist, and member of The International Submarine Band, The Byrds, and The Flying Burrito Brothers, was born Ingram Cecil Connor III in Winter Haven, FL in 1946.
Peter Noone, singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist, and actor, who became the lead singer, spokesman, and frontman of Herman’s Hermits at age 15, was born in Davyhulme, Lancashire, England in 1947.
Charles Bradley, funk, soul, and R&B singer, was born in Gainesville, FL in 1948.
Donnie McDougall, singer and guitarist for the Guess Who, was born in 1948.
Peter Hammill, singer-songwriter and founding member of Van der Graaf Generator, was born in Ealing, London, England in 1948.
Helen O’Hara, vocalist and violinist for Dexys Midnight Runners, was born Helen Bevington in Bristol, England in 1956.
Mike Score, keyboardist, guitarist, and lead singer of A Flock of Seagulls, was born in Beverly, East Riding of Yorkshire, England in 1957.
Bryan Adams, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and record producer, was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada in 1959.
Ken Coomer, musician and producer best known as the drummer for Uncle Tupelo and Wilco, was born in Nashville, TN in 1960.
David Bryson, guitarist and vocalist for Counting Crows, was born in 1961.
Mark Hunter, keyboardist for James, was born in 1969.
Jonny Greenwood, lead guitarist and keyboardist of Radiohead, was born in Oxford, England in 1971.
Ryan Adams, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer, was born in Jacksonville, NC in 1974.