16 January

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2021 Renowned producer Phil Spector, 81, dies after getting coronavirus in prison, where he was serving time for killing the actress Lana Clarkson in 2003.

2019 At the Forum in Los Angeles, the surviving members of Soundgarden play their first show together since Chris Cornell's passing as part of the star-studded I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell concert.More

2016 Alanis Morissette debuts her advice column for The Guardian, answering a plight from a woman on the brink of an emotional affair.

2016 Bruce Springsteen begins The River Tour with a show in Pittsburgh. His 1980 album The River is the centerpiece of the tour, played start to finish at many stops. The tour is the year's most successful, grossing over $268 million.

2015 Puddle of Mudd frontman Wesley Scantlin is arrested at the Denver International Airport after he takes a baggage carousel for a joyride into a restricted area. A local fan bails him out, but the band is still hours late for their performance, and an angry promoter tells the audience he will never book the act again.

2014 Toni Tennille files for divorce from husband Daryl Dragon. The Captain & Tennille duo had been married for 39 years.

2008 Radiohead is slated to perform a free gig at a small record store in London, but nearly 1,500 fans turn up, forcing the band to move the show to a nearby club.

2002 A section of Interstate 80 in California is renamed the "Sonny Bono Memorial Freeway."

1999 The inaugural ball for Minnesota Governor (and former professional wrestler) Jesse Ventura goes down at the Target Center in Minneapolis. America play "Ventura Highway," and Warren Zevon does "Werewolves Of London" with Ventura, wearing his trademark bandana and feather boa, howling along on stage.

1991 The Byrds, LaVern Baker, John Lee Hooker, The Impressions, Wilson Pickett, Jimmy Reed, and Ike and Tina Turner are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the sixth class. The event is overshadowed by news that America has launched airstrikes on Iraq, starting the Persian Gulf War.

1981 The TV series Harper Valley P.T.A., inspired by the Jeannie C. Riley song and the 1978 movie of the same name, debuts on NBC. Barbara Eden, who played scandalous single mom Stella Johnson in the movie, reprises her role. The show lasts two seasons.

1980 Paul McCartney packs about half a pound of marijuana in his luggage, which lands him 10 days in a Tokyo jail upon arrival. He had the weed in New York and wanted to bring it with him to smoke on tour, saying, "This stuff was too good to flush down the toilet, so I thought I'd take it with me."

1979 Cher's divorce from Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers becomes final.

1979 Aaliyah is born Aaliyah Haughton in Brooklyn, New York.

1979 Roger Miller sings a medley of songs on The Muppet Show. He also sings "In the Summertime" in a patch of musically skilled watermelons and drops the bombshell news that he, like the all-chicken cast of Vet's Hospital, once suffered from "Cluckitis."

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Benny Goodman Brings Jazz To Carnegie Hall


Clarinetist Benny Goodman, who many call an improvisational genius, breaks through cultural barriers to play the first-ever jazz concert at Carnegie Hall.

Having already conquered radio, film, and the stage, Goodman's publicist suggests in 1937 that Goodman play Carnegie Hall. At first, Goodman does not take him seriously. Jazz at Carnegie Hall? The pinnacle of all that is pure and proper in American music? However, Goodman reconsiders and agrees. Weeks before the show, tickets are already sold out. Like much of America, jazz is still, by and large, segregated in the 1930s. Musicians like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington are appreciated, they are just not taken as seriously as the likes of Goodman or George Gershwin, who are white. Goodman borrows liberally from African-American musicians to construct his own swing style. He invites soloists from The Count Basie and Duke Ellington Orchestras to perform at the Carnegie Hall show. When the crowd gathers, they are initially unsure how to react because the music is unfamiliar to most patrons of grand institution. By the end of the show, they are excited and on their feet. One of the most notable performances of the night is what Goodman calls a "killer diller." The high-powered swing classic, "Sing Sing Sing," is propelled by the driving drum beats of Gene Krupa and a memorable solo by pianist Jess Stacy, legitimizing jazz as an American art form.



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