1951: Eighteen-year-old Richard Penniman, already going by the stage name Little Richard, made his first recordings for RCA Camden Records at Atlanta radio station WGST.
1954: Elvis Presley made his first radio broadcast on the Louisiana Hayride program in Shreveport, Louisiana.
1957: Same Cooke’s first single, “You Send Me,” entered the Billboard Hot 100. After making it all the way to the top of Billboard’s R&B chart in November, the song also climbed to the tops of the Best Sellers, Most Played by Jockeys, and Top 100 pop charts.
1959: Bobby Darin had his second and final #1 in the UK with “Mack the Knife.” Earlier that year, the record had become Darin’s first and only single to reach the top of the Billboard and Cash Box pop charts in the US.
1964: Nineteen-year-old Rod Stewart released his first single, his take on Sonny Boy Williamson’s blues classic, “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl.” Despite his appearance on UK television program Ready Steady Go! shortly after its release, the song failed to chart.
1965: The Beatles recorded “Day Tripper” and preliminary tracks for George Harrison’s “If I Needed Someone” at EMI Studios in London.
1966: Grace Slick made her first stage appearance with Jefferson Airplane at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. Signe Anderson, the Airplane’s original female vocalist, had performed with the band the previous two nights before bidding farewell to the audience and Slick was introduced as the band’s new female lead singer. Anderson had decided the leave the group since being on the road with her husband and newborn child was not feasible.
1968: The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s third and final studio album, the double LP Electric Ladyland, was released. By mid-November, it reached #1 in the US, where it spent two weeks in the top spot. The only album produced by Hendrix, Electric Ladyland was also the Experience’s only #1 album and most commercially successful release. In the UK, it peaked at #6 and spent a total of twelve weeks on the chart.
1968: Three Dog Night released their self-titled debut album.
1972: Internal strife between the three remaining members of Creedence Clearwater Revival lead to the announcement of the band’s breakup.
1975: Aretha Franklin released her twenty-second studio album, You.
1976: Stevie Wonder’s eighteenth studio album, Songs in the Key of Life, debuted at #1 on the Billboard pop chart, making Wonder the second solo artist to have an album debut at the top of the chart after Elton John’s Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy LP the year before.
1976: Thin Lizzy released their seventh studio album, Johnny the Fox.
1978: Elton John released his twelfth studio album, A Single Man.
1981: The Jam released “Absolute Beginners.” The single reached #4 in the UK and was titled after Colin MacInnes novel of the same name, which was one of songwriter and singer Paul Weller’s favorites.
1981: Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, both former members of The Tourists, released In the Garden, their debut studio album as Eurythmics. Co-produced by Conny Plank at his studio in Cologne, Germany, the album features several guest musicians including Blondie drummer Clem Burke and Can members Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit.
1982: English band Talk Talk debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Talk Talk,” the second single from their debut album, The Party’s Over. The single was a remix of the song, which was released earlier that year, and reached #75.
1984: R.E.M. released “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville,” the second single from their second studio album, Reckoning. The song was written a few years earlier by member Mike Mills as a plea to his then girlfriend not to return to her parents in Rockville, Maryland.
1985: The soundtrack to the film White Nights was released. The album features songs recorded by artists including Phil Collins, Robert Plant, Roberta Flack, Nile Rodgers, John Hiatt, Lou Reed, Chaka Khan, and Lionel Richie.
1987: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band released their thirteenth studio album, Masque.
1989: Kate Bush released her sixth studio album, The Sensual World.
1989: Blondie lead singer Deborah Harry released her third solo studio album, Def, Dumb & Blonde.
1989: The Blue Nile released second studio album, Hats.
1989: Erasure released their fourth studio album, Wild!.
1990: Paul Simon released his eighth solo studio album, The Rhythm of the Saints.
1992: An all-star concert was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City to celebrate the music of Bob Dylan on the occasion of his 30th anniversary of recording. Musician at the event included John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson, Stevie Wonder, Lou Reed, Willie Nelson, Johnny Winter, Richie Havens, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Chrissie Hynde, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roger McGuinn, The Band, and Dylan himself—all backed by the surviving members of Booker T. & the M.G.’s. In August of 1993, a double-album and VHS collection documenting the show were released as The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration.
1995: Tears for Fears released their fifth studio album, Raoul and the Kings of Spain. Like its predecessor, 1993’s Elemental, the LP was essentially a solo effort by Roland Orzabal, as Curt Smith had left the band at the time.
2001: John Mellencamp released his seventeenth studio album, Cuttin’ Heads.
2003: Simon and Garfunkel opened their Old Friends reunion tour with a concert at Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
2007: Gov’t Mule released their eighth studio album, Mighty High, which features reggae and dub versions of covers and originals with special guest appearances by Michael Franti, Toots Hibbert, and Willi Williams.
2012: Donald Fagen released his fourth solo studio album, “Sunken Condos.”
Big Joe Williams, Delta blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, was born in Oktibbeha County, MS in 1903.
Bert Kaempfert, orchestra leader, multi-instrumentalist, music producer, arranger, and composer who hired the Beatles in 1961 to back Tony Sheridan on an album titled “My Bonnie,” which were the group’s first commercially released recordings, was born Berthold Heinrich Kämpfert in Barmbek, Hamburg, Germany in 1923.
Nico, singer, songwriter, musician, model, actress, was born Christa Päffgen in Cologne, Germany in 1938.
Emile Ford, musician, singer, leader of Emile Ford & the Checkmates, and pioneering sound engineer, was born Michael Emile Telford Miller in Castries, Saint Lucia, West Indies in 1937.
David Lovelady, drummer and vocalist for The Fourmost, was born in Litherland, Liverpool, England in 1942.
C.F. Turner, bassist, vocalist, songwriter, and founding member of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, was born Charles Frederick Turner in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1943.
Roger Hawkins, member of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as the Swampers) whose drumming can be heard on dozens of hit singles by artists that include Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, The Staple Singers, Johnnie Taylor, Cat Steves, Duane Allman, Joe Cocker, Paul Simon, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Boz Scaggs, Albert King, Traffic, and Willie Nelson, was born in Mishawaka, IN in 1945.
Bob Weir, musician, singer, songwriter, solo artist, founding member of the Grateful Dead, and member of such groups as The Other Ones, Kingfish, Bobby and the Midnites, RatDog, Furthur, and Dead & Company, was born Robert Hall Parber in San Francisco, CA in 1947.
Gary Kemp, songwriter, vocalist, and lead guitarist for Spandau Ballet, was born in Smithfield, London, England in 1959.
Bob Mould, singer, guitarist, member of Hüsker Dü, and a solo artist, was born in Malone, NY in 1960.
Flea, bassist and founding member of Red Hot Chili Peppers, was born Michael Peter Balzary in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in 1962.
John Mayer, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer, was born in Bridgeport, CT in 1977.