3 April

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2014 Arthur Smith, one of postwar country music's finest guitar pickers, dies at age 93 of natural causes. His 1949 instrumental "Guitar Boogie" was one of the first to showcase the electric guitar and as such had a major influence on the development of rockabilly and rock in general.

2007 During a Season 6 episode of American Idol, Ryan Seacrest announces the American Idol Songwriter Competition. The entry fee is $10, and the winning song gets to be the winner's first single. After judges cull the 25,000 entries to 20 finalists, it's put to an online vote and the winner is "This is My Now."More

1999 British composer Lionel Bart, known for the Broadway smash Oliver!, dies at age 68 of cancer.

1990 Jazz singer Sarah Vaughan dies at age 66 of lung cancer.

1985 Pop/R&B singer Leona Lewis is born in Islington, London, England.

1983 Danny Rapp (of Danny & the Juniors) dies at age 41 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He's discovered in a hotel room in Quartzsite, Arizona.

1982 Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager marry. Five days earlier, the songwriters took home Oscars for Best Original Song for their work on "Arthur's Theme (The Best That You Can Do)" from the movie Arthur.

1981 The Elvis Presley documentary movie This Is Elvis (with Ral Donner narrating) premieres in Memphis.

1974 Drew Shirley (guitarist for Switchfoot) is born in Key West, Florida.

1971 The Temptations' "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" hits #1 for the first of two weeks.

1968 Skid Row lead singer Sebastian Bach is born Sebastian Philip Bierk is born in Freeport, Bahamas, raised in Canada.

1963 Elvis Presley's It Happened At The World's Fair movie opens in Los Angeles (it opens nationally a week later).

1961 Eddie Murphy is born in New York City. In 1985, he has a hit with "Party All The Time," written and produced by Rick James. Murphy also makes the charts with the novelty song "Put Your Mouth On Me" and the Michael Jackson collaboration "Whatzupwitu."

1961 The Marcels' "Blue Moon" hits #1 in America.

1960 Elvis Presley records "It's Now or Never" in Nashville at RCA Studio B. With a melody lifted from the 1907 song "O Sole Mio," it veers away from rock and roll but is a huge hit and the song Elvis later says is his favorite of all his recordings.

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Jay Z Gets His Own Record Label


Jay-Z joins Madonna and U2 in signing a huge contract with Live Nation; he scores a 360 deal that includes his own label.

A 360 deal extends beyond a traditional recording contract, with the company agreeing to provide financial support to the artist in all areas of music production and promotion - including publishing, recording, touring, and marketing - with the guarantee of receiving a higher percentage of profits from the various revenue streams. It's an enticing proposition in an age where artists can't rely on income from record sales alone. With Jay-Z's new multi-million dollar deal with Live Nation, he resigns as president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings, where he had launched the careers of hot R&B artists like Rihanna and Ne-Yo, and forms Roc Nation. The entertainment company will manage a slew of artists, like Big Sean, Kanye West, Demi Lovato, and Shakira, while also functioning as a record label. One of the first signees to the label is British singer Rita Ora. But some critics warn that a 360 deal takes much more than it gives. Need proof? Look no further than Motown in the '60s, says Panos Panay, CEO of the music platform Sonicbids: "Motown was the pioneer of a 360° deal... They owned your likeness, your touring, publishing, record royalties, told you what to wear, told you how to walk... It made for great entertainment but if you look at every one of those artists, what happened? Sooner or later they said, 'I’m not going to go on the road for 200 shows because you tell me so. I'm an artist! I'm a creative person!' Eventually all these artists left... There's two things we know about creativity: you can't force it and you can't really control it."



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