13 August

Pick a Day

13 AUGUST

In Music History

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2022 Beyoncé's album Renaissance goes to #1 in America, making her the first female solo artist to have her first seven albums top the chart.

2017 David Bowie makes a posthumous appearance in the TV series Twin Peaks: The Return. The late singer, who made a cameo appearance as a deranged FBI agent in the cult classic's 1991 prequel, Fire Walk With Me, was supposed to return for the show's revival but died before filming. Director David Lynch used archive footage from the movie to bring Bowie to life in the episode.

2011 At the Indiana State Fair, tragedy strikes before a Sugarland performance when a gust of high wind blows off rigging, causing the stage to collapse on the crowd, killing five attendees and injuring dozens more. Janet Jackson and Lady Antebellum, both of whom were scheduled to perform, cancel their appearances.

2009 Allen Shellenberger (drummer for Lit) dies of cancer at age 39 in Artesia, California.

2005 Francine Barker (the original Peaches of Peaches & Herb) dies after a long illness in Hyattsville, Maryland, at age 58.

2003 Songwriter/producer Ed Townsend dies of a heart attack at age 74 in San Bernardino, California. He co-wrote Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On."

1994 Day 2 of Woodstock '94 welcomes Irish rockers The Cranberries, who entertain the crowd with their forthcoming single "Zombie" and a rendition of the Carpenters' "(They Long to Be) Close to You." In a nod to his 1969 performance, original Woodstock veteran Joe Cocker revisits "With A Little Help From My Friends" on the more prestigious North Stage.

1993 The fantasy-comedy movie Heart and Souls premieres in US theaters. Star Robert Downey Jr. sings the US national anthem in the film, backed by B.B. King on guitar. King also performs his classic "The Thrill is Gone."

1989 After floating down the Moskva River and passing Gorky Park, the Scorpions play the Moscow Music Peace Festival, inspiring their song "Wind Of Change."More

1988 Robert Smith of The Cure marries his childhood sweetheart, Mary Poole, at the Benedictine Monastery in Sussex, England. Poole appeared in the "Just Like Heaven" video and inspired the hit "Lovesong."

1982 In response to plummeting record sales (which the industry blames on the sale of blank cassette tapes), major labels CBS, Atlantic, and Warner Brothers announce a series of major staff cuts.

1982 Southern Soul singer Joe Tex dies of a heart attack at age 47 in Navasota, Texas.

1980 At his home in Woodstock, New York, Todd Rundgren and four guests are victims of an invasion when four masked men break in and strip it of anything valuable.

1977 Bachman-Turner Overdrive announce that the group is splitting up. They reunite five years later.

1971 Saxophonist King Curtis dies at age 37 after being stabbed outside of his apartment in New York City. Known for his distinctive playing on The Coasters' "Yakety Yak."

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Lynyrd Skynyrd Release Debut Album

1973

Lynyrd Skynyrd release their debut album, Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd. It's an impressive set, containing the Skynyrd classics "Tuesday's Gone," "Simple Man" and "Free Bird."


The album is produced by Blood, Sweat & Tears founder Al Kooper, a New York native who came up with the organ part on Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." Kooper came across the band in 1972 when he saw them performing at a bar in Atlanta. By that time, the band had been around for a few years and had recorded a demo of their first album that failed to find a taker in any record company. Seeing the band live, Kooper knew they had the talent to make it big. He signed them to his Sound Of The South label and did a proper recording of their album. "Free Bird" is one the band had been developing for years with a piano off the top. Kooper swaps that out for organ and extends the song to 9:08, letting the instrumental section at the end breathe as their three guitarists have at it. It becomes their closing number and a rock cliché, shouted as a request by drunks and rabble-rousers at concerts by bands of all ilk for the rest of time. The band spends the summer of 1973 opening for The Who. When the album is released, it comes titled as a handy pronunciation guide (they are named after a gym teacher at their high school who gave lead singer Ronnie Van Zant a hard time for his long hair: Leonard Skinner). The first single released from the album is "Gimme Three Steps," a song inspired by run-in with the boyfriend of a girl Ronnie was dancing with. It doesn't chart, but the band gradually builds a following and in 1974 issues their next album, Second Helping, also produced by Kooper. That one contains "Sweet Home Alabama," which climbs to #8 in the US, prompting Epic to finally release "Free Bird" as a single, which goes to #19 despite having four minutes of instrumental excellence chopped out of it (the album version runs a little over nine minutes).

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