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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Michael Jackson Rings Paul McCartney With Suggestion

1980

Michael Jackson calls Paul McCartney to wish him Merry Christmas and suggest they write some songs together. They end up recording three duets together (including the lead single to Thriller), but their friendship ends when Jackson buys the publishing rights to McCartney's songs.


The pair only know each other casually; Jackson recorded McCartney's song "Girlfriend" for his 1979 album Off The Wall, but they've never worked together. But they are both signed to divisions of Columbia Records and have a lot to gain from collaborating; Jackson loves the idea of working with a Beatle, and McCartney is coming off a top-selling duet with Stevie Wonder: "Ebony and Ivory." Working with Jackson will expose him to a much younger audience. They decide to give it a go, and in the autumn of 1981, Jackson flies to England where they work on "Say Say Say." They spend a lot of time at McCartney's home in Peasmarsh, where Paul explains the importance of publishing rights. They get most of "Say Say Say" recorded with producer George Martin, and when McCartney comes to America in December to spend time at his Tucson, Arizona ranch, Jackson and his producer, Quincy Jones, pay him a visit, where they discuss more songs. In April 1982, McCartney comes to Los Angeles, where they finish recording "Say Say Say," shoot a video for the song, and record two new ones: a song they wrote together called "The Man" and one that Jackson wrote called "The Girl Is Mine." Jackson and Jones get to work on the Thriller and issue "The Girl Is Mine" as the first single in October while they furiously finish the rest of the album, which is released six weeks later. "Say Say Say" and "The Man" go to McCartney, who releases them on his Pipes of Peace album in October 1983. When the ATV catalog, which owns the rights to about 250 Beatles songs, goes up for sale in 1985, Jackson buys it for $47.5 million, infuriating McCartney, who tried to acquire it in 1981 and again in 1983. McCartney didn't make an offer, but still sees it as treason, even though Jackson warned him of his plans. The catalog proves a great investment; Jackson merges it with Sony in 1995 in a deal valued at $600 million. When Jackson dies in 2009, McCartney releases a statement recalling the Christmas phone call that was the beginning of their friendship. He doesn't mention anything about publishing rights.

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