2016 On his 79th birthday, Merle Haggard dies at his ranch in Northern California. Haggard placed 71 songs in the Top 10 of the Country chart during his lifetime.
1980 Andrew Wood forms the group Malfunkshun in Seattle, Washington, marking what some consider the beginning of grunge. The music of Malfunkshun makes an impact on Wood's roommate Chris Cornell, who forms Soundgarden. Wood moves on to Mother Love Bone, and after he dies of a heart attack in 1990, that group adds Eddie Vedder and becomes Pearl Jam.
1974 Billy Joel scores his first Top 40 hit with "Piano Man," which comes in at #33 (it peaks at #25 two weeks later).
2016 Hello Billboard, my old friend. Simon & Garfunkel's 1966 chart-topper "The Sound of Silence" peaks at #6 on the Hot Rock Songs chart thanks to its appearance in a meme involving Ben Affleck and his botched blockbuster Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.More
2004 Wilco's frontman, Jeff Tweedy, checks into a rehabilitation center after developing an addiction to painkillers. A statement released by the band reads: "The treatment follows a well-documented history of Tweedy's battle with migraine headache."
2004 Rock and roll guitarist Niki Sullivan (of Buddy Holly's backing band The Crickets) dies at age 66 of a heart attack in Sugar Creek, Missouri.
2002 Sarah McLachlan gives birth to her first child, daughter India Ann Sushil Sood.
1999 Bob Weir and Mickey Hart of Grateful Dead appear at an Al Gore presidential fundraiser, with Gore's wife, notorious anti-rock crusader Tipper, playing congas.
1998 On the TV show Murphy Brown, Candice Bergen's lead character turns 50, and her coworkers celebrate by recreating an episode of American Bandstand. Dick Clark, Chubby Checker, Fabian and Lesley Gore all make appearances.
1998 Tammy Wynette dies at age 55 after suffering numerous health problems.
1998 Wendy O. Williams (lead singer of Plasmatics) dies of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at age 48 in Storrs, Connecticut.
1997 The Michael Jackson short film/theme ride Captain EO is shown for the last time at Disneyland.
1993 Tool disrupt the grunge genre's victory parade with Undertow, their visionary debut album. Aided by the distinctive and unsettling music videos for "Sober" and "Prison Sex" (directed by Adam Jones), the album sells two million copies and earns the band an ardent fan base.
1992 George Harrison performs his first full live solo concert since 1969, appearing in London in a benefit for the Natural Law political party.
1988 Barbara "Sandi" Robison falls ill during a performance in Butte, Montana. She's rushed to a hospital but never fully recovers. She dies from toxic shock a couple of weeks later.
1986 Composer John Longmire dies at his Guernsey home at age 85.
1985 Gilbert O'Sullivan wins a two-million-dollar judgment against his manager, Gordon Mills, for royalties owed him on his 1972 smash "Alone Again (Naturally)."
Although ABBA's single "Ring Ring" made light waves throughout Europe in 1973 and came in third in their homeland's Melodifestivalen song competition, it failed to qualify for that year's Eurovision Song Contest, which would guarantee the Swedish pop quartet (made up of Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad) a smash hit and instant acclaim. Come 1974, ABBA doesn't just want to win the competition, they want to make a splash so big that it will soak the UK chart and far-flung US chart with the sounds of Swedish pop. You can't get that kind of attention by following the rules. While the contest typically favors dramatic ballads sung in the competitor's native language, ABBA offers a catchy pop tune, sung in English, while marching out a disco beat in silver platform boots. "Waterloo" wins and unleashes the floodgates to a full-on ABBA phenomenon. The song tops charts throughout Europe, and lands the coveted #1 spot on the UK chart for two weeks, while peaking at #6 in the US. It becomes one of the best-selling singles of all time and paves the way for worldwide hits like "Dancing Queen," "Mamma Mia," "Fernando," and "The Name Of The Game."
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