2014 Little Big Town release "Girl Crush," a jealousy ballad in 6/8 time. The unusual song becomes a huge hit, going to #1 on the Country chart and winning the CMA Awards for Single of the Year and Song of the Year.
1979 The Buggles song "Video Killed The Radio Star" reaches its American chart peak of #40 (in the UK, it hit #1 in September). On August 1, 1981, it becomes the first music video played on MTV. Record stores in areas with high cable penetration are baffled when folks show up looking for the song.
1979 Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall (part II)" goes to #1 on the UK singles chart.
1974 Young Frankenstein opens in theaters. When members of Aerosmith take a break from recording the Toys in the Attic album and see the film, they laugh hysterically at the scene where Igor (Marty Feldman) tells Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) to "walk this way," and the doctor imitates Igor's walk. Returning to the studio, they have the title to the track they've been working on.More
1921 Alan Freed is born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. At the Cleveland radio station WJW, he becomes the first white disc jockey to play upbeat rhythm and blues records north of the Mason Dixon line. At the time, they are called "race" records, but Freed calls the music "rock and roll."
Freed attracts a large following on WJW, and his late-night radio show, the Moondog Rock 'n' Roll Party, helps increase the popularity of rhythm and blues and makes Cleveland a trendsetter in Midwestern pop culture.
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.
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.
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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