1955: Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins opened an eleven-date tour of the southern US in Abilene, Texas.
1957: Sun Records released one of the first albums issued on the label, Johnny Cash’s debut album, Johnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar!.
1960: Eighteen-year old Aretha Franklin made her stage debut at New York’s famed jazz club, The Village Vanguard. Prior to the show, Franklin had only performed gospel music live.
1962: The Beatles appeared for the first time on any music chart when they entered the UK chart with their debut single, “Love Me Do.” On the same day, the Beatles played the third date of their British tour at the Odeon Cinema in Birmingham.
1967: The Bee Gees scored their first UK #1 single with “Massachusetts.” In the US, the song reached #11.
1968: The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band released “I’m the Urban Spaceman” from the group’s third studio album, “Tadpoles.” Produced by Paul McCartney and Gus Dudgeon under the pseudonym “Apollo C. Vermouth,” it became their biggest hit, reaching #5 on the UK chart. Writer and vocalist Neil Innes also won an Ivor Novello Award for the song.
1969: Grand Funk Railroad’s debut album, On Time, entered the Billboard chart, where it ultimately reached #27.
1971: John Lennon’s single “Imagine” was released in US following the release of his album of the same name in September. Just under two weeks later the record was issued in the UK. The song became the best-selling single of Lennon’s solo career, and shortly before his death, Lennon stated that much of the song’s lyric and content had come from his wife Yoko Ono, who received a co-writing credit in 2017.
1971: Harry Nilsson’s released his cover version of Badfinger’s “Without You” as the lead single from his seventh studio album, Nilsson Schmilsson. It became his biggest hit, reaching #1 on both the US and UK charts.
1972: Santana released their fourth studio album, Caravanserai. The album marked a departure from Carlos Santana’s three previous albums, focusing on jazz-like instrumental passages.
1974: Queen released “Killer Queen,” the lead single from their third studio album, Sheer Heart Attack. It reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart and became their first US hit, reaching #12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
1974: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band released their fifth studio album, The Good Earth. Early owners of each copy of the LP were entitled to rights over one square foot of the earth situated at Llanerchyrfa in the County of Brecon, in Wales. The inner sleeve included a coupon that had to be sent for registration on or before December 31, 1975.
1974: Billy Joel released his third studio album, Streetlife Serenade.
1975: “Bad Blood” by Neil Sedaka reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100. It was Sedaka’s second #1 hit of the year and features backing vocals by Elton John.
1975: The first episode of Saturday Night Live aired on NBC with musical guests Billy Preston and Janis Ian.
1976: Hot Tuna released their seven studio album, Hoppkorv.
1977: Hall & Oates released their sixth studio album, Beauty on a Back Street.
1978: Billy Joel released his sixth studio album, 52nd Street.
1985: Former Bauhaus members Daniel Ash, David J, and Kevin Haskins released their debut album as Love and Rockets, Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven.
1985: Thompson Twins released “King for a Day,” the fourth single from their fifth studio album, Here’s to Future Days.
1988: Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan released her debut album, Touch.
1988: Pet Shop Boys released their third studio album, Introspective.
1993: Jackson Browne released his tenth studio album, I’m Alive.
1980: The Police had their second #1 album on the UK chart with their third studio album, Zenyatta Mondatta.
1997: Elton John debuted at #1 on Billboard Hot 100 with the Princess Diana version of “Candle in the Wind.” It was his eighth stateside chart-topping single.
2005: Jackson Browne released his first live release since 1977, Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1, which comprises performances recorded at various locations in the US and Europe during Browne’s 2004 solo acoustic tour. A similar follow-up album was released in 2008.
2012: The Rolling Stones released “Doom and Gloom,” the lead single from the band’s 50th anniversary compilation album, GRRR!. The song’s recording marked the first time that Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood had been in the studio together for seven years.
Art Blakey, jazz drummer, bandleader, and member of Bluesiana Triangle, was born Abdullah Ibn Buhaina in Pittsburgh, PA in 1919.
Gary Mallaber, drummer, percussionist, keyboardist, backup singer, and co-composer for The Steve Miller Band from 1976-1987 who, as a session drummer, has also worked with Peter Frampton, Poco, Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Joan Armatrading, The Beach Boys, John Lennon, Gene Clark, David Cassidy, Warren Zevon, Bob Seger, Tom Rush, Barbara Streisand, Dave Mason, and others, was born in Buffalo, NY in 1946.
Daryl Hall, singer, songwriter, keyboardist, guitarist, producer, and the co-founder and lead singer of Hall & Oates, was born Daryl Franklin Hohl in Pottstown, PA in 1946.
George McCorkle, guitarist and founding member of the Marshall Tucker Band, was born in Chester, SC in 1946.
Andrew Woolfolk, flautist, percussionist, and saxophone player for Earth, Wind & Fire, was born in Texas in 1950.
Blair Cunningham, drummer who has played with artists that include Echo & the Bunnymen, The Pretenders, Paul McCartney, Sade, Indigo Girls, Roxy Music, Tina Turner, Mick Jagger, and Ray Davis, was born in Memphis, TN in 1957.
Scott Johnson, guitarist for Gin Blossoms, was born in Denver, CO in 1962.
Todd Snider, singer-songwriter who was initially hired as an assistant to John Prine, was born in Portland, OR in 1966.