2015 A live adaptation of The Wiz airs on NBC. Based on the book (but not the film) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Wiz began as a stage production in 1975, and was made into a movie (with Michael Jackson and Diana Ross) in 1978.More
1994 Adam Sandler performs "The Chanukah Song" on the Weekend Update segment of Saturday Night Live, enlightening us to the fact that Harrison Ford, Paul Newman and David Lee Roth (among many others) are, in fact, Jewish. Released as a single the following year, the song reaches #10 US and becomes a seasonal favorite.More
1990 Madonna appears on the news program Nightline, where she debuts her video for "Justify My Love," which MTV has refused to play. As the lascivious clip plays, Madonna provides commentary, answering questions from host Forrest Sawyer.More
1979 Before The Who concert at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, 11 people are trampled to death and dozens are injured in a rush to enter the arena. Like many concerts of the day, there are no reserved seats, a practice known as "festival seating." The resulting controversy (and lawsuits) force promoters to rethink the practice.More
1968 A TV special simply called Elvis airs on NBC, drawing a huge audience and revitalizing the career of Elvis Presley. Footage from two June concerts makes up most of the special, which pays tribute to Bobby Kennedy with the closing number, "If I Can Dream."
1964 The animated TV special Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer debuts on CBS, with Burl Ives as the voice of Sam the Snowman. The special is based on the 1949 song, which has become a perennial favorite.More
1947 Patti Page records her first hit single, "Confess." Unable to find background singers due to a strike, Mercury Records sound engineer Bill Putnam overdubs Page's own vocals. It's the first-ever recording with overdubbed vocals.
2015 Crosby, Stills & Nash, which formed in 1968, finally implode at the White House National Christmas Tree Lighting concert when Stephen Stills throws a pick at David Crosby for talking over him. They get though a performance of "Silent Night," but never play together again.
2014 Sonny Bivins, leader of The Manhattans, dies at age 78.
2014 Graeme Goodall, an Australian recording engineer and co-founder of Island Records, dies at age 82.
2014 A fake MSNBC report claims that Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose has been found dead in his West Hollywood home. The band's official Facebook page posts photos of the singer with the caption "Ha! They say I'm dead -- again… Wait, what? WTF? It's a hoax. Guys. Get a life at ParadiseCity.com." The link references the band's online fan community.
2000 Kevin Mills, Newsboys' former bassist, is killed in a motorbike accident. He was 32.
1992 Mick Jagger and Keith Richards confirm the rumors that Bill Wyman, their bass player since 1962, will be leaving The Rolling Stones.
1988 Carole King and Gerry Goffin receive a Lifetime Achievement award from the US National Academy of Songwriters.
1984 "Do They Know It's Christmas?," the first charity single on a grand scale, is released in the UK with proceeds going to help famine victims in Ethiopia. It becomes the biggest-selling single in UK history, a record that stands until 1997 when it's overtaken by Elton John's updated version of "Candle In The Wind." The single is released in America a week later.
1983 Songwriter Irving Taylor dies in Los Angeles. He co-wrote "Everybody Loves Somebody," which later became a hit for Dean Martin.
1981 At a show in Hartford, Connecticut, AC/DC is prohibited from firing their cannons during "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)," as police enforce an ordinance banning stage weaponry.
1978 The Cure drummer Lol Tolhurst accidentally pees on Billy Idol backstage after a show in Bristol, England, where The Cure are opening for Idol's band Generation X. Idol is entertaining a young lady in a men's room stall when Tolhurst unloads his lager, missing the urinal and hitting Idol's leg. The Cure are kicked off the tour the next day.
1976 It's a Spinal Tap moment for Pink Floyd when during the shoot for their Animals album cover, a 40-foot inflatable pig being photographed at Battersea Power Station on the River Thames in London breaks free. Pilots in the area are warned of a pig loose in the skies, which reaches a height of 18,000 feet before coming down in Kent.More
Scott Weiland dies at age 48 when he suffers cardiac arrest on his tour bus in Bloomington, Minnesota, where his band The Wildabouts are scheduled to perform.
In the mid-'90s, Weiland's group Stone Temple Pilots (he was the lead singer and lyricist), became one of the most popular bands in America. Their breakthrough was an acoustic version of "Plush" (one of many STP songs with a title that doesn't appear in the lyrics) that got picked up by hundreds of radio stations in 1993, driving sales of their first album, Core, past 8 million. Their next album, Purple, did nearly as well thanks to "Vasoline" and "Interstate Love Song." Fame and fortune were toxic to Weiland, who had a highly addictive personality. Now with easy access to drugs, he took up heroin, which he felt was a right of passage for a rock star. "On dope I could be Superman or any man," he wrote in his autobiography. "I didn't care what anyone thought of me. Dope was my savior. The ultimate equalizer, or so I thought." Weiland was blatant as a junkie (the Purple album cover design came from a package of China White he scored), but there was little anyone could do to help. He bounced in and out of rehab centers, unable to rein in his addiction. He was married three times (the photographer Jamie Wachtel was his wife at the time of his death) and had two children. After Stone Temple Pilots disbanded in 2002, he fronted the band Velvet Revolver, which also included former Guns N' Roses members Slash, Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan. STP reformed in 2008, but Weiland was booted from the band in 2013, replaced by Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington. Photo: Jamie Wachtel
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