11 August

Pick a Day

11 AUGUST

In Music History

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2016 For the second year, President Obama releases two summer playlists on Spotify. It's his last year in office, which might be why "So Very Hard To Go" is on the list.More

2011 Go-Go's receive the 2,444th star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. It is located where the legendary punk club The Masque used to stand. Go-Go's frequently played this club during their early years.

2008 Noah and the Whale debut Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down is released on the Mercury/Vertigo label. Laura Marling, who was a member of the band at the time of recording but soon left to focus on her solo career, is featured as a vocalist on the album. Fellow Indie-Folk artist Emmy the Great also contributes vocals to the album.

2006 Singer/talk show host Mike Douglas dies suddenly on his 86th birthday after a bout of dehydration in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

2004 Vanessa Williams and her basketball-player husband Rick Fox get divorced.

2003 Phish bass player Mike Gordon is arrested backstage at a Grateful Dead concert in Jones Beach after he is found taking photos of a 9-year-old girl. He is later cleared of the charges, and the girl's parents agree that it was an "unfortunate misunderstanding."

2000 Madonna gives birth to her second child, Rocco. The father is Guy Ritchie, director of the films Snatch and Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels.

1999 Kiss are awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1997 Sonny West, Red West, Lamar Fike and Marty Lacker, four of the biggest members of Elvis' "Memphis Mafia," recall the King in a one-time-only webchat.

1996 Mel Taylor (drummer for The Ventures) dies of lung cancer at age 62 in Los Angeles, California.

1995 Dangerous Minds, starring Michelle Pfeiffer as an inner-city schoolteacher, debuts in US theaters. The movie's soundtrack tops the Billboard 200 albums chart thanks to its lead single, Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise."

1992 The Mall of America opens in Bloomington, Minnesota, with Ray Charles performing "America The Beautiful."

1989 Bruce Springsteen joins Ringo Starr onstage at a concert in New Jersey, where they perform "Get Back," "Long Tall Sally," "Photograph" and "With A Little Help From My Friends."

1987 Rolling Stone magazine declares The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band the best album of the last twenty years.

1985 J-Boog (of B2K) is born Jarell Damonte Houston in Compton, California.

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Hip-Hop Born In The Bronx

1973

At a dance party in the Bronx, DJ Kool Herc plays a set with lots of instrumental breaks that his friend MCs over, marking what many consider the beginning of hip-hop.

The party takes place in the rec room of Herc's apartment in the Bronx. The 16-year-old DJ, born Clive Campbell but known as "Hercules" thanks to his size and strength, is helping his sister raise money for new school clothes: admission is 50 cents for the fellas and 25 for the ladies.

The party is advertised around the Bronx with homemade flyers - it's billed as the "Back To School Jam." About 300 people show up to hear something special: Herc plays extended intros and instrumental passages while his buddy, Coke La Rock, shouts out people in the crowd. It's a variation on the "toasting" Herc saw growing up in Jamaica, where they would talk over reggae songs.

Word gets out, and in the summer of 1974 Herc throws outdoor dance parties in Cedar Park where he develops a technique that will form the cornerstone of rap: extended breakbeats. One one turntable he plays an instrumental portion of a record, known as the "break." On the other turntable, he cues a copy of the same record to the beginning of the break and lets it fly when the first record gets to the end of the break. In this way, he can loop the beat, creating a cozy bed for an MC to talk over. He calls this the "merry-go-round."

Other DJs, notably Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa, refine the technique and add rappers to their shows, bringing the form to a new level. Eventually, the rappers become the star attraction.

Herc isn't able to cash in on his innovations, but is hailed as the father of hip-hop, cited by most early practitioners as the founder of the form.

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