1 July

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2016 30-year-old Lady Gaga finally gets her driver's license.

2009 Following Michael Jackson's death the previous week, he becomes the first act to sell more than 1 million song downloads in a week.

2008 Crüe Fest kicks off in West Palm Beach, Florida. The tour features Mötley Crüe, Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Sixx:A.M., and Trapt; it earns about $40 million.

2008 Gym Class Heroes' lead singer Travie McCoy assaults a fan who shouts out a racial slur just as their set finishes during the Warped Tour in St. Louis.

2008 Mel Galley (former Whitesnake guitarist) dies of esophageal cancer at age 60.

2007 In memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, a concert is held at the newly built Wembley Stadium in London. Acts include friends of the Princess Duran Duran and Elton John as well as artists she enjoyed such as Nelly Furtado, Tom Jones and Kanye West.

2006 The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts opens on the grounds of the 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, New York. The brainchild of Alan Gerry, who sold his company, Cablevision Industries, to Time Warner for $2.8 billion, the Center includes a performance venue, and later, a museum.

2005 Luther Vandross dies at age 54 after suffering a stroke two years earlier that left him in a wheelchair.

2003 Flute player Herbie Mann dies of prostate cancer at age 73. His best-known song is "Hijack," a dance tune that hit #14 in 1975.

2000 In London, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails overdoses on China white heroin that he believes is cocaine. Reznor, who has been battling addiction throughout the '90s, redoubles his efforts to get sober and eventually does a few years later.

1999 Jennifer Lopez releases her debut album, On The 6.

1999 Guy Mitchell, '50s pop singer and TV host, dies of complications from cancer surgery at age 72.

1997 Radiohead release OK Computer in the US. With highly emotive songs and beguiling music videos for tracks like "Karma Police" and "Paranoid Android," it lands on many lists of the year's top albums.

1995 Legendary DJ Wolfman Jack, who famously spun rock and roll records from a border blaster station in Mexico throughout the '60s, dies of a heart attack at age 57.

1986 Misfits issue their second compilation, a self-titled, 20-track release with two songs Metallica later cover: "Green Hell" and "Die, Die My Darling."

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Sony Introduces The Walkman


The Sony Walkman debuts in Japan, making music portable.

Sony's co-founder Masaru Ibuka liked to listen to music on his business trips and was underwhelmed by the company's array of bulky electronics. He wondered whether a sleeker, more compact model of a cassette player could be designed for music lovers on the go. Enter the Sony Walkman TPS-L2, a lightweight blue-and-silver portable tape deck with two headphone jacks that allow two people to listen at once, plus a built-in microphone with a "hotline" button for speaking over the music. All for the retail price of around $150.00. Japanese consumers go crazy for the little stereo, buying over 50,000 units in two months, way beyond Sony's 5,000 per-month estimate. The Walkman (also marketed as the Soundabout and the Stowaway) is welcomed with equal fanfare when it's introduced in June 1980 to the US, where customers are eager to design their own soundtracks to enliven mundane daily tasks like commuting, shopping, and exercising (the '80s are also the height of the aerobics craze). For the younger generation, the device is not only a status symbol, but makes it easier to share homemade tapes, the '80s answer to bootlegs. With record prices on the rise, cassettes are fast becoming the cheaper and more convenient alternative to spinning vinyl at home. Within the next three years, the sale of cassette tapes outranks that of vinyl for the first time, with Sony and its competitors scrambling to release new models with new features, including waterproofing and AM/FM capability, to meet the demand.



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