30 December

Pick a Day

30 DECEMBER

In Music History

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2016 Of Mice & Men lead singer Austin Carlile posts a letter on Instagram announcing he is leaving the group for health reasons.More

2012 The Birmingham Mail reports that Jim Simpson, the record industry A&R man who discovered and signed Black Sabbath, is launching a campaign to have the airport in Birmingham, England, renamed as "The Ozzy Osbourne International Airport." No word on whether the planes would play "Flying High Again" on takeoff and landing.

2010 Boney M lead singer Bobby Farrell dies of heart failure at age 61 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on the anniversary of Rasputin's death. The notorious adviser to the tragic Romanovs was murdered in Saint Petersburg in 1916 and was also the subject of Boney M's hit single, "Rasputin."

2006 R&B superstar Brandy is involved in a car accident on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles that kills a 38-year-old woman who is struck by her Land Rover. No criminal charges are files, and a civil suit is later settled.

2004 Artie Shaw - bandleader, clarinetist and composer - dies from a culmination of health issues, including diabetes, in Thousand Oaks, California, at age 94.

2002 After being pulled over for driving erratically, Diana Ross is arrested in Tucson, Arizona, for driving under the influence, with a blood alcohol level reportedly twice the legal limit. She fails all sobriety tests at the scene, reportedly falling over when asked to walk a straight line. She is charged with three misdemeanor DUIs.

1999 Slade singer Noddy Holder is awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II, and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits is awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire).

1998 R&B singer Johnny Moore (of The Drifters) dies of respiratory failure in London, England, at age 64.

1995 Clarence "Satch" Satchell (saxophonist, guitarist for The Ohio Players) dies of a brain aneurysm at age 54.

1993 Songwriter Mack David dies at age 81. Known for his work on Disney films, such as Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland, and for hits like Duke Ellington's "I'm Just a Lucky So-and-So" (1939).

1991 Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa have their second child, daughter Jessica Rae.

1991 Doo wop singer Richard Blandon (of The Dubs, The Paragons) dies in New York at age 57.

1978 R&B singer Tyrese is born Tyrese Darnell Gibson in Watts, Los Angeles, California. He catches his break singing the slogan "Always Coca-Cola" for a 1994 Coke commercial.

1978 Emerson, Lake And Palmer publicly announce their breakup.

1974 Bob Dylan records "Tangled Up In Blue," "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts," and "If You See Her, Say Hello."

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Patti Smith Born

1946

Punk rock icon Patti Smith is born in Chicago.


In 1946, women's voices are beginning to take over the radio waves, but the songstresses of the time are still expected to present a demure, "ladylike" image, with perfectly coiffed hair, carefully applied makeup, and modest yet figure-framing fashion. Patti Smith does not adhere to these norms. Smith is raised in a working-class family, and although money is tight, her parents fill their home with books and music. After graduating from high school, Smith goes to work in a factory, a job to which she'll later pay cynical tribute in the spoken word, jazz-infused masterpiece "Piss Factory." In 1967, she moves to Manhattan, where she meets Robert Mapplethorpe, a photographer with whom she'll forge a lifelong bond. The two live together in the Chelsea Hotel (memorialized in song by artists such as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen) in the early 1970s while Smith focuses on poetry, music journalism, art, and acting. By 1974, she's contributed lyrics and vocals to the band Blue Öyster Cult, and has started her own band, The Patti Smith Group. Her band's first single relies heavily on Smith's spoken word, interspersing her ruminations on Patty Hearst into the band's darkly melodic cover of "Hey Joe." "Piss Factory" appears as the B-side to the single. In 1975, The Patti Smith Group release their first album, Horses, featuring an iconic photo by Mapplethorpe on the cover. The photo shows Smith in stark black and white, her dark hair contrasted against pale skin. Dressed in traditional menswear - dark trousers, white oxford shirt, and a blazer slung casually over her shoulder - Smith seems to mark the end of the flower-child movement, combining beauty, power and art to bring women into the world of punk music. Despite developing a wide following as a poet, singer, and Mapplethorpe's muse, Patti Smith records only one major hit: "Because The Night," a song Bruce Springsteen gave her to finish, as he was in a legal blackout that kept him from recording. That song hits #13 in the US and #5 in the UK, by far her highest tallies on either chart. In 1979, she releases her fourth studio album, Wave, before stepping away from the stage to focus on her marriage to Fred "Sonic" Smith and their growing family. In 1996, following the death of her husband, Smith returns to the world of music, releasing several more albums. In 2007, she is inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, cementing her place as one of rock music's most versatile and valued voices.

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