1968 Billboard magazine reports that this year, for the first time, US total music sales have topped one billion dollars.
1967 Sonny and Cher are suddenly disinvited to appear at tomorrow's Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, after publicly backing the "Sunset Strip Rioters," teenagers protesting the city's new curfew.
1965 Alf Lennon, John's estranged father, releases "That's My Life (My Love And My Home)," a single designed to ride the coattails of John's success and his recent song "In My Life." John Lennon instructs manager Brian Epstein to make sure it is blackballed in the UK.
1963 Scott Ian (guitarist, backing vocalist for Anthrax) is born Scott Ian Rosenfeld in Queens, New York.
1963 The Kinks make their stage debut at the Lotus House Restaurant in London.
1962 John Phillips and Michelle Gilliam, later of The Mamas & The Papas, are married.
1959 Paul Westerberg (lead singer, guitarist for The Replacements) is born in Minnesota.
1956 The BBC premieres its new musical variety show Cool For Cats.
1955 The first version of "Unchained Melody," recorded by Les Baxter, his Chorus and Orchestra, is named the top-selling single of 1955 by Billboard. Baxter's version was featured in the movie Unchained; The Righteous Brothers have a huge hit with the song in 1965.
1951 Fermin Goytisolo (percussionist for KC and the Sunshine Band) is born in Cuba.
1948 Donna Summer is born LaDonna Adrian Gaines in Boston, Massachusetts. She earns her new surname when a record label misprints her married name, Sommer, as Summer.
1947 Burton Cummings (lead singer, keyboardist for The Guess Who) is born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
1947 Roy Rogers marries Dale Evans. They'll pen the famous Western tune "Happy Trails" just a few years later.
Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen loses an arm when he crashes his Corvette. He continues with the band, using computer aids and relying more on his feet.Read more
2016 Taking the stage in Times Square to ring in the new year, Mariah Carey gets through "Auld Lang Syne" but then stops singing and narrates the technical problems to the crowd as the backing track plays on.More
2015 Natalie Cole dies of heart failure at age 65. The singer (daughter of Nat King Cole) battled health problems for much of her life; drug use led to hepatitis C, and in 2009 she had a kidney transplant.More
1994 Rod Stewart plays a free concert on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, drawing a crowd estimated at 3.5 million (the fireworks help goose that number). Guinness declares it the largest free rock concert ever.
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