18 December

Pick a Day

18 DECEMBER

In Music History

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2020 Paul McCartney releases McCartney III. He's a one-man band on the album, playing all the instruments and writing all the songs, which he also did on the prequels, McCartney in 1970 and McCartney II in 1980.

2016 Fifth Harmony announce that Camila Cabello has left the group. They soldier on as a quartet but keep the name; Cabello does pretty well on her own, landing a #1 with "Havana" in 2018.

2014 Larry Henley (lead singer of the '60s pop group The Newbeats) dies at age 77 after suffering with Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Co-wrote the 1989 hit "The Wind Beneath My Wings."

2012 Songwriter Earl Shuman files a copyright infringement lawsuit against singer Alicia Keys, claiming her Top 20 single "Girl On Fire" sounds too much like Shuman's 1970 song "Lonely Boy," which ended up being recorded by Eddie Holman as "Hey There Lonely Girl." The suit is kind of vague on the details, but apparently it comes down to a few notes; Keys and Shuman later settle.

2011 Ralph MacDonald, a percussionist and songwriter who composed the hit duets "Where Is the Love" (Roberta Flack/Donny Hathaway) and "Just The Two Of Us" (Bill Withers/Grover Washington Jr.), dies of lung cancer at age 67.

2011 One Direction play their first show, performing at Watford Colosseum in London. It does not go well. "We were just a joke," Niall Horan says.

2004 T.I. is arrested on gun possession charges for the third time in three years. Authorities search his home and find a silencer-enhanced weapon, several rounds of ammunition, and photos of the rapper handling guns. He is placed under house arrest after posting a $3 million bond.

2001 Billie Eilish is born in Los Angeles. Working with her brother, Finneas, she composes her Grammy-winning debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, which is released in 2019 when she's 17.

2000 British singer Kirsty MacColl, daughter of Ewan MacColl, is killed by a boat propeller while scuba diving in Cozumel, Mexico at age 41.

1981 On his 38th birthday, Keith Richards is playing with The Rolling Stones at a show in Hampton, Virginia, when a fan rushes the stage. Keith sees him coming and hits him with his guitar. As security intervenes, Richards straps his guitar back on and continues playing.More

1972 Shooting begins for Bob Dylan's part in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

1972 DJ Lethal (of Limp Bizkit, House of Pain) is born Leor Dimant in Riga, Latvia, and eventually settles in New York.

1972 The Ringo Starr-directed T. Rex documentary, Born to Boogie, premieres at Oscar's Cinema in Brewer Street, Soho (UK). In attendance are Starr, the members of T. Rex, and Elton John.

1970 Rapper DMX is born Earl Simmons in Mount Vernon, New York. He takes his stage name from the Oberheim DMX drum machine, an instrument he used as a teen.

1970 Segregationist Georgia governor Lester Maddox walks off The Dick Cavett Show when the host implies his supporters are bigots. Randy Newman writes a song about it, "Rednecks," which begins: Last night I saw Lester Maddox on a TV show

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Keith Richards Is Born

1943

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is born in Dartford, Kent, England.


Along with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, Richards forms The Stones in 1962. Steeped in American blues music, he incorporates that sound as the group's rhythm guitarist, and along with Jagger, primary songwriter. Much of his best work, including the albums Beggar's Banquet and Exile On Main Street, came when he was in the throes of heroin addiction, making it very surprising when he not only lives into old age, but remains remarkably productive. Also shocking: his memory is iron-clad. His 2010 memoir Life is filled with exacting details that survive fact checks. "The thing about Keith is that he has become very comfortable with his own legend, and rightfully so," says Robert Greenfield, who was embedded with the group in 1971. "Back then, Keith had a kind of purity about him that was undeniable. Which I don't think is something people who were not there at the time can now truly understand."

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