15 December

Pick a Day

15 DECEMBER

In Music History

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2015 In an interview with the London commuter freesheet Metro, Carol Decker of T'Pau is asked if her autobiography gave her any insights into her personality. She replies: "It did actually. I'm a bit of a c***."

2014 After a 14-year hiatus, D'Angelo releases his third studio album, Black Messiah.

2009 The RIAA certifies 5 million ringtone sales of Lil Wayne's "Lollipop," making it the best-selling ringtone ever.

2001 Rufus Thomas - R&B, funk, and soul singer - dies of heart failure in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 84.

2001 Joe Walsh receives an honorary doctorate of music from Kent State University.

1988 For his interstate car chase and numerous drug, firearms, and assault offenses, James Brown is sentenced to six and one-half years in a South Carolina prison. He serves a little more than two.

1986 At the Oakland Coliseum Arena, the Grateful Dead play their first concert since frontman Jerry Garcia slipped into a diabetic coma six months earlier. With Garcia's heath scare, it was unclear if the band would continue, but Garcia reassures fans with the opening number, "Touch Of Grey," as he sings, "I will get by. I will survive."

1984 Olivia Newton-John marries Xanadu dancer Matt Lattanzi. They divorce in 1995.

1979 Jackie Brenston, R&B singer and saxophonist, dies of a heart attack in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 49. Recorded the original "Rocket 88" with Ike Turner.

1977 The Who perform a secret concert for fan club members at London's Shepperton Studios. The show is filmed for Jeff Stein's upcoming Who documentary The Kids Are Alright.

1973 Jermaine Jackson marries Hazel Gordy, daughter of Motown founder and head Berry Gordy, Jr.

1973 Charlie Rich's "The Most Beautiful Girl" hits #1 for the first of two weeks.

1969 John Lennon makes his last stage appearance in England when he performs with the Plastic Ono Band at the UNICEF "Peace For Christmas" charity concert in London. George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Keith Moon join him on stage.

1967 The Who release The Who Sell Out.

1967 In Paris, the members of The Beach Boys have their own audience with guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

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John And Yoko Declare Peace

1969

John Lennon and Yoko Ono launch the "War Is Over" campaign with billboards declaring peace around the world.


With the Vietnam War raging with no end in sight, John and Yoko make a bold statement, launching billboards in 11 major cities that say:

War Is Over
If You Want It
Love, John & Yoko


The couple are in London, one of the cities to get the billboards, where they play the Peace For Christmas concert at the Lyceum Ballroom to kick off the campaign. Arranged on short notice, many of the their famous friends take part, including George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bonnie and Delaney Bramlett, Billy Preston and Klaus Voormann. The stage is set up with a "War Is Over" poster as a backdrop.

Other cities to get the billboards are New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Rome, Toronto, Athens, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Berlin and Tokyo. Says Lennon: "What we're trying to promote is an awareness in people of how much power they have, and not to rely on the government, or leaders, or teachers so much that they're all passive or automatons. They have to have new hope."

The simple, straightforward message is very effective, getting loads of media attention. On New Year's Eve, 1970, John and Yoko follow by declaring the coming year, "Year 1 AP (After Peace)." They issue a statement: "We believe that the last decade was the end of the old machine crumbling to pieces. And we think we can get it together, with your help. We have great hopes for the new year."

In 1971, they turn the slogan into a song, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," which becomes a holiday favorite.

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