25 December

Pick a Day

25 DECEMBER

In Music History

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2015 Concussion, a biographical drama starring Will Smith as a doctor who exposes the risk of traumatic brain injuries in football players, debuts in theaters. Soul singer Leon Bridges wrote the tune "So Long" for the movie.

2010 Alanis Morissette gives birth to her first child, a son named Ever Imre. Morissette married the baby's father, rapper Mario "Souleye" Treadway, earlier in the year.

2009 Tony "T-Bone" Bellamy (frontman for Redbone) dies of liver failure in Las Vegas, Nevada, at age 63.

2009 Singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt dies from an overdose of muscle relaxants at age 45.

2008 Bluesman Robert Ward dies from a culmination of health issues, including two strokes, in Dry Branch, Georgia, at age 70.

2008 Eartha Kitt dies of colon cancer in Weston, Connecticut, at age 81.

2006 James Brown, age 73, dies of congestive heart failure resulting from complications of pneumonia.

1998 Singer/actress Damita Jo dies at age 68 following a respiratory illness in Baltimore, Maryland.

1998 Bryan MacLean (guitarist and songwriter for Love), age 52, dies of a heart attack in a Los Angeles restaurant.

1995 Dean Martin, also suffering from lung cancer, dies from acute respiratory failure due to emphysema at age 78. Las Vegas honors the legend by dimming the lights along the city's famous Strip.

1990 Soldiers in South Carolina are treated to a concert by James Brown, who is given a furlough from the work center where he is being detained so he can play for the troops. He includes his patriotic hit "Living In America" in the set.

1981 The J. Geils Band play a gig for prisoners at Boston's Norfolk Correctional Center, with lead singer Peter Wolf telling his captive audience, "We wanna be the first to buy you all a free drink on the outside."

1977 At Ivanhoe's in Huddersfield, the The Sex Pistols play their last UK gig before their split. The show is a charity benefit for firemen who are on strike.

1976 Boston's debut single, "More Than A Feeling," reaches its US chart peak at #5. When it was released, group leader Tom Scholz still had his day job working for Polaroid.

1973 Slade, Suzi Quatro and 10cc are among the performers on the BBC Top Of The Pops Christmas special. The show's dancers do a routine with dogs to Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Get Down," leading to rumors that the "bad dog baby" in the song was Sullivan's misbehaving pooch (it isn't).

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Jimmy Buffett Is Born

1946

Jimmy Buffett is born in Pascagoula, Mississippi. He's raised in Mobile, Alabama, but his true home will always be in "Margaritaville."


Buffett moves to Nashville in 1969 and lands a gig as a reporter for Billboard magazine while he writes songs. He releases his first album, Down To Earth, the following year. Far from the Gulf & Western style of his later work, the folk release garners little success - it sells only 374 copies. It does, however, offer a glimpse into his affinity for the sea with the autobiographical song "The Captain and the Kid," inspired by his close relationship with his grandfather, a restless sailor who took him out on the water. Gerry Wood, then the associate director of ASCAP, recognized Buffett as a special talent, but knew he wouldn't make it in Nashville. "He wasn't writing mainline Nashville country music, that's for sure," says Wood. "His skewed perspective gave a fresh twist to any topic he tackled, and made it impossible for him to achieve any success at that time in Nashville." After a move to Los Angeles, Buffett's pal Jerry Jeff Walker convinces him to take a busking expedition to Key West. As it turns out, Buffett's muse is hiding in the tropics; he discovers a trove of coastal elements that informs his signature style of "drunken Caribbean rock 'n roll." The change is evident on his next releases, the Keys-themed A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean (which introduces his Coral Reefer Band), Living and Dying in ¾ Time, A1A, and Havana Daydreamin' - all produced by Acuff-Rose exec Don Gant. Buffett eases into the mainstream with "Come Monday" in 1974, a ballad written for his future wife, Jane Slagsvol, but his breakthrough comes three years later with "Margaritaville." The tropical daydream, from the album Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes, peaks at #8 on the Hot 100 and establishes his image as a carefree beach bum. But Buffett isn't really a hitmaker. His biggest draw is his concerts, where droves of fans - dubbed Parrotheads - flock to hear him and the Coral Reefers perform. Because most folks can't ditch their jobs for a life of sun and sand, the closest they'll get is a Buffett show, where they live vicariously through his island adventures. "Fins," "Cheeseburger in Paradise," "Volcano," "A Pirate Looks At Forty," "Why Don't We Get Drunk," and of course "Margaritaville" are all fan favorites. He may not be a mainstay on the charts, but Buffett is one of the world's richest musicians. Bolstered by side careers as a best-selling author and restaurant owner, he has a net worth of $550 million. The key to his enduring success can be boiled down to one simple fact, he says: "I sell escapism."

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