13 January

Pick a Day

13 JANUARY

In Music History

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2011 Ed Sheeran announces he has been signed to Atlantic Records.

2008 Over five months after its release, Amy MacDonald's This Is The Life album reaches the top of the UK albums chart.

2003 British police arrest The Who guitarist Pete Townshend as part of their "Operation Ore" sting operation to crack down on child pornography. Townshend admits to having indecent images of children, but insists that he was doing research for an upcoming book dealing with his own experience with sexual abuse. He is placed on the sex offenders' register for five years.

1979 Donny Hathaway commits suicide at age 33 by jumping from the balcony of his 15th floor room at the Essex House hotel in New York City.

1978 Elvis Presley's cover of "My Way" is certified Gold.

1976 Bic Runga is born Briolette Kah Bic Runga at Christchurch, New Zealand.

1976 Seven employees of Brunswick Records and Dakar Records are tried on charges of withholding more than $184,000 in artist royalties. The case is eventually thrown out, but the reputations of the defendants are irreparably damaged.

1975 Minnie Riperton releases "Lovin' You."

1973 Carly Simon's album No Secrets, featuring the hit single "You're So Vain," hits #1 in America.

1972 Aretha Franklin performs the first of two concerts at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles that are recorded for her live album Amazing Grace, which sells over 2 million copies when it is released in June. Film footage is also shot, but the documentary doesn't appear until 2019, after Franklin's death.

1970 John Lennon and Yoko Ono have their hair cut and donate it to a charity auction.

1968 Dr. K.C. Pollack of the University of Florida audio laboratory reports that tests have determined rock and roll concerts cause noise damage in teenagers' ears.

1965 Bob Dylan records "Farewell, Angelina," a landmark song in the evolution of his surrealist songwriting process. The recording, however, doesn't see the light of day until it's released on The Bootleg Series Volume 1-3: Rare & Unreleased over 25 years later.

1963 A pre-famous Bob Dylan appears in a British television play called The Madhouse on Castle Street, playing an itinerant musician. No recording exists, but Dylan supposedly played "Blowin' In The Wind" during the show, marking the first broadcast of the song.

1962 Gene Chandler releases "Duke Of Earl."

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Johnny Cash Plays Folsom Prison

1968

Johnny Cash plays two shows for inmates at Folsom Prison in California. Unlike his previous prison concerts, they are recorded and packaged into his acclaimed live album At Folsom Prison.

Cash was fading in the mid-'60s, with diminishing audiences and languishing record sales. To revive his career, he looks to an audience that has never let him down: inmates. Cash had been playing prisons since 1957 and had become an advocate for reform. He had never recorded one of his penitentiary shows, as his label, Columbia Records, didn't like the idea of their artist being associated with a jail. But desperate times change minds, and Columbia agrees that the ploy just might work. Folsom is a regular stop for Cash and the setting of his 1956 hit "Folsom Prison Blues." This time, he brings his wife June and a mobile recording unit. Bob Johnston, coming off Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde album, is the producer. He tells Cash to "Just go out and say who you are," so he starts the show with his soon-to-be-iconic saying, "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash." As usual, the inmates love what they hear: rough-hewn songs about hard times. The tracklist includes "Cocaine Blues," "Dirty Old Egg-Suckin' Dog" and "Dark as the Dungeon." He does two shows, getting a rapturous reception at each. Sixteen tracks are chosen for the album, all but one, "Give My Love To Rose," taken from the first show. At Folsom Prison gets his career back on track, landing at #1 on the Country chart and earning him his own TV series the following year. Cash cites it as one of his greatest accomplishments, as it helps draw attention to the plight of prisoners.

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