11 December

Pick a Day

11 DECEMBER

In Music History

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2015 Peter Garrett, frontman for the incendiary Aussie rock band Midnight Oil, publishes his memoir, Big Blue Sky.

2014 Country singer Dawn Sears (of The Time Jumpers) dies of lung cancer at age 53. She was a member of Vince Gill's road band and sang harmony on his 1992 album, I Still Believe In You.

2013 Tommy Ruger (drummer for The Nightcrawlers) dies of multiple health issues, including diabetes, in Port Orange, Florida, at age 67.

2012 Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar dies during surgery for a heart valve replacement in San Diego, California, at age 92. He was survived by two daughters, Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar. His son, musician Shubhendra Shankar, died in 1992.

2010 Good Charlotte's Joel Madden marries Nicole Richie at the home of Richie's dad, Lionel Richie, in Los Angeles.

2006 "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey becomes the first ringtone certified Gold for sales of over 500,000.

1998 Lynn Strait (lead singer for Snot) dies in a car accident in Santa Barbara, California, at age 30.

1990 Led Zeppelin IV is certified Diamond, with sales of 10 million in America.

1989 Supporting Alice Cooper, Great White play Wembley Arena; the concert is broadcast later by The Friday Rock Show and is released the following year in Japan as Live In London.

1988 Los Angeles' Wiltern Theatre plays host to a Roy Orbison tribute concert, featuring Don Henley, Tom Petty, Graham Nash and Bonnie Raitt.

1983 Whodini release their debut album, one of the first rap LPs on a major label (Jive). The song "Magic's Wand" inspires their name, which is a play on the name of magician Harry Houdini.

1983 Run-D.M.C. release their second single, "Hard Times," a song about financial struggles. It's the first rap song to get covered by another rap group, having first appeared on Kurtis Blow's debut album in 1980.

1981 Bad Brains play the last-ever show at Max's Kansas City, a storied New York City nightclub where The Velvet Underground, David Bowie, and The New York Dolls all played early in their careers. Their opening act is a group of teenagers from Brooklyn called The Beastie Boys.

1973 The Carpenters' "Top Of The World" is certified Gold.

1973 Bobby Darin has an operation to repair his artificial heart valves at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles. He dies nine days later at age 37.

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Jerry Lee Lewis Marries His Underage Cousin

1957

In what remains one of the most shocking celebrity scandals, Jerry Lee Lewis marries 13-year-old Myra Gale Brown, who was the daughter of his cousin (and bass player), J.W. Brown. The marriage lasts 14 years but seriously damages Lewis' career.


The press gets wind of the union in London, where 22-year-old Lewis – riding high on piano-pounding hits like "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire" – is embarking on his first-ever tour. A Daily Mail reporter notices Lewis' child bride in the rocker's entourage and asks who she is. "I'm Jerry Lee's wife," she replies. The ensuing outrage forces Lewis back to the States where he quickly realizes the scandal has followed him home. His once-promising single "High School Confidential" stalls on the charts and a New York crowd boos him off the stage. Effectively blacklisted, Lewis fades from the spotlight over the next decade, but makes a surprise comeback in 1968 on the country music scene with a hit recording of Jerry Chestnut's "Another Place, Another Time." By the mid-'70s, he notches 16 more Top 10 hits on the country tally and becomes one of the biggest country singers in the world – or, as he boldly declares to the conservative Grand Ole Opry crowd: "I am a rock and rollin', country & western, rhythm & blues singing motherf--ker!" Despite the fallout from his union with Myra, Lewis doesn't shy away from wedding bells; he marries a total of six times. The rock gods also begin smiling down on Lewis again as he's one of the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, restoring his reputation as rock's original wild man.

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