16 August

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2014 To announce Syro, his first Aphex Twin album in 13 years, Richard James arranges for a blimp to fly over London with his iconic logo on one side and the year on the other. The same logo is also spraypainted on New York sidewalks.

2008 Noah and the Whale make a splash when their debut single "5 Years Time" peaks at #7 on the UK Singles Chart. It proves to be the biggest hit for the British group.

2005 Country/Bluegrass fiddler Vassar Clements (of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys) dies of lung cancer in Jamestown, New York, at age 77.

2003 The USPS unveils a new commemorative postage stamp of recently deceased composer Henry Mancini, famous for the Pink Panther theme and several other film works.

2002 Twenty-five years after the death of Elvis Presley, an album containing 30 of his #1 hits is released with "A Little Less Conversation" as a bonus track - a remix of that one went to #1 UK in June.

2000 Guitarist Alan Caddy (of The Tornados) dies at age 60 after a lifelong battle with alcoholism.

1997 A tribute concert is held in Memphis, Tennessee, remembering Elvis Presley on the 20th anniversary of his death. Daughter Lisa Marie unveils the music video "Don't Cry Daddy," a virtual duet with her father that features his original vocals from the 1969 tune along with her own.

1997 Greyson Chance is born in Wichita Falls, Texas. After finding success on YouTube, he releases his first album at age 13.

1996 With the help of Broadway star Chita Rivera, over 50,000 baseball fans at Yankee Stadium break the record for the largest group dance when they bust a move to the "Macarena," the decade's latest dance craze.

1995 Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys performs live for the first time with his daughters Carnie and Wendy, recently famous for their stint in the trio Wilson Phillips.

1994 Barenaked Ladies release their second studio album, Maybe You Should Drive.

1994 Neil Young releases Sleeps with Angels, the title of which is inspired by the death of Kurt Cobain. Young's 20th studio album, its dark, brooding sound contrasts sharply with his previous album, Harvest Moon.

1991 Wilfrid Thomas, broadcaster and radio commentator, dies in London, England, at age 87. Wrote the English lyrics to "Rose, Rose, I Love You," recorded by Frankie Laine in 1951.

1985 Red Hot Chili Peppers release the cocaine-fueled funk album Freaky Styley, produced by Parliament-Funkadelic founder George Clinton, and welcome back guitarist Hillel Slovak.More

1980 "A Thousand Miles" singer Vanessa Carlton is born in Milford, Pennsylvania.

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Aretha Franklin Dies


Aretha Franklin dies after a long battle with pancreatic cancer at age 76.

They didn't call her the Queen of Soul for nothing. Franklin's death also marks the end of a career that spanned more than six decades with a catalog of 112 charted singles, including 77 entries on the Hot 100 and 20 #1 R&B hits, along with 18 Grammy Awards to her credit. Born in Memphis but raised in Detroit, Franklin found her voice at the New Bethel Baptist Church, where her father was the minister. After years of belting out bluesy gospel numbers, the 18-year-old singer signed with Columbia Records but the label's efforts to shape her into a jazz-pop chanteuse fell flat. A fortuitous move to Atlantic in the mid-'60s forged her reputation as the Queen of Soul. Producer Jerry Wexler augmented her powerhouse vocals with Alabama's famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and Franklin set the charts on fire with hit singles like "Respect," "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman," "Chain Of Fools," and "I Say a Little Prayer." Her hot streak continued in the early '70s with Young, Gifted & Black, named for Nina Simone's Civil Rights anthem, and the acclaimed gospel album Amazing Grace, until a mid-decade chart slump made her reexamine her career. Franklin came back strong in the '80s with a rejuvenated sound at Clive Davis' Arista Records through a string of hit albums, including her first platinum seller, Who's Zoomin' Who?, which surpassed the threshold with more than a million sales. Her appearance as a feisty waitress in The Blues Brothers also furthered her popularity with a new generation of fans. In 1987, she became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In the latter part of her career, some of Franklin's most iconic performances occurred outside of the studio, singing "My Country, 'Tis Of Thee" at President Barack Obama's 2009 inaugural ceremony and performing "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman" at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors for honoree Carole King, who co-wrote the tune. She never seriously considered hanging up her microphone for good because, as she told NPR, "I love what I do and I wouldn't be doing anything else."



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