23 January

Pick a Day

23 JANUARY

In Music History

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2018 Trumpet player Hugh Masekela, one of the most popular musicians in his native South Africa, dies at 78 after a battle with prostate cancer. In 1968, he had a #1 US hit with "Grazing In The Grass."

2017 Bobby Freeman, who had hits with "Do You Want To Dance" and "C'mon And Swim," dies of a heart attack at 76.

2015 Pop singer Mandy Moore and alt rocker Ryan Adams announce their split after nearly six years of marriage, with Moore filing the divorce proceedings. She later accuses him of psychologically abusive behavior that derailed her music career.

2010 Powered by the single "TiK ToK," Kesha's debut album, Animal, hits #1 in America.

2007 David "Disco D" Shayman, a hip-hop record producer and composer who rose to prominence with 50 Cent's "Ski Mask Way," commits suicide at age 26.

2001 Jack Johnson releases his debut album, Brushfire Fairytales, which sells over a million copies and establishes him as a leading light in the mellow surf-rock movement.

2000 Britney Spears guest stars on The Simpsons in the episode "The Mansion Family," where she presents the award for Springfield's oldest man.

1999 Eagle-Eye Cherry's debut single, "Save Tonight," peaks at #5 on the Hot 100.

1997 "Louie Louie" composer (and original performer) Richard Berry dies of heart failure at age 61.

1997 Tori Amos performs at a benefit concert for RAINN (The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) at Madison Square Garden in New York City. As a rape survivor, the cause is close to Tori's heart (she wrote her debut single, "Me And A Gun," about her rape experience).

1996 The TV series Moesha, starring Brandy as a high-school student in California, debuts on UPN, where it runs for six seasons.

1996 In America, Tori Amos releases her third album, Boys For Pele, with 18 tracks she wrote and produced herself. Pele is the Hawaiian volcano goddess; the "boys" represent the men in Amos' life whose fire she has stolen.

1991 The Albuquerque, New Mexico, radio station KLSK FM plays the Led Zeppelin song "Stairway To Heaven" over and over for 24 hours to inaugurate a format change to classic rock. It plays more than 200 times, eliciting hundreds of angry calls and letters. Police show up with guns drawn after a listener reports that the DJ had apparently suffered a heart attack, later because of suspicion that - this being eight days into the Gulf War - the radio station had been taken hostage by terrorists dispatched by Zeppelin freak Saddam Hussein. Weirdest of all, lots of listeners don't move the dial: "Turns out a lot of people listened to see when we would finally stop playing it."

1990 Original Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Allen Collins, a survivor of their 1977 plane crash, dies of pneumonia - a complication of paralysis caused by a 1986 car accident.

1988 The California Raisins' "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" peaks at #84 on Billboard's Hot 100.

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Rock Hall Inducts First Class

1986

The first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame include Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Fats Domino.

Led by Atlantic Records' founder Ahmet Ertegun, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was formed in 1983 to recognize the pioneering figures of the genre, including performers (eligible for consideration 25 years after the release of their first single), producers and engineers. The annual event becomes a point of contention for many snubbed artists who call it an over-hyped popularity contest, but no one can dispute the roster of tonight's honorees. The first induction ceremony is held at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria, and welcomes some of rock's most influential trailblazers, including Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the The Everly Brothers. Keith Richards, who joins Berry on stage with "Reelin' and Rockin'," inducts his hero, quipping, "It's very difficult for me to talk about Chuck Berry because I lifted every lick he ever played." Meanwhile, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top salutes the inaugural class for setting a crazy high standard for future rockers: "We get the beat from Bo [Diddley], we got the poetry from Chuck, and we got the insane madness vocal from Little Richard. Those three combined, if you could possibly invent something beyond that, we'd be on another planet - but I think we're already there anyway (laughs)." Non-performers also get their due, with honors for Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed, who is credited with coining the phrase "rock 'n' roll," and Sun Records founder Sam Phillips. Columbia Records A&R man John Hammond snags the first Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his keen eye for talent, with Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan among his biggest discoveries. The highlight of the evening is what becomes the most-anticipated moment in future ceremonies: the jam session. Backed by Late Night with David Letterman's house band, The World's Most Dangerous Band, rock's past and present collide onstage for an all-star jam. Inductees rock out alongside guests Billy Joel, Steve Winwood, John Fogerty, Neil Young and ZZ Top to a set packed with seminal tunes like "Johnny B. Goode," "The Twist," and "Great Balls of Fire."

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