25 July

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2020 Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green dies at 73. Green gave the band a strident blues sound before leaving in 1970.

2019 PledgeMusic, a platform for fans to fund musicians, goes offline without delivering the money pledged to hundreds of artists.More

2017 Barbara Sinatra, widow of Frank Sinatra, dies at age 90. Barbara was married to the singer from 1976 until his 1998 death.

2012 MGA Entertainment, the toy corporation behind the "Bratz" line of dolls, files a lawsuit against Lady Gaga, alleging that her and her managers delayed approval on marketing a Lady Gaga doll. MGA calls it "breach of contract" and is asking for $10 million - this, only eight months after the deal was struck.

2009 World War I veteran Harry Patch, subject of the Radiohead song "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)," dies at age 111.

2009 Red's Recovery Room shuts its doors for good. Luckily, the beloved roadhouse has already been immortalized in Tom Waits' song "Filipino Box Spring Hog."

2003 Erik Braunn (Iron Butterfly guitarist) dies of a heart attack related to a birth defect in Los Angeles, California, at age 52.

2001 The Doors' John Densmore, Bonnie Raitt, and others are arrested in Itasca, Illinois, for demonstrating against a company which they claim destroys the rainforest.

1998 Jazz guitarist Tal "Octopus" Farlow dies from esophageal cancer at age 77 in New York City.

1995 Nina Simone is arrested for firing a pellet gun at noisy teenagers playing near her home in the south of France, for which she is placed on an 18-month probation and ordered to seek counseling.

1995 Bone Thugs-N-Harmony release their breakthrough album E. 1999 Eternal, which sells over 4 million copies. The big hit from the set is "Tha Crossroads," which wins a Grammy for Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group.

1995 Country performer Charlie Rich, known for "Behind Closed Doors" and "The Most Beautiful Girl," dies of a blood clot at age 62 at a motel in Hammond, Louisiana.

1990 Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa have their first child, Evan James.

1989 Steve Rubell, one of the owners of Studio 54, dies of AIDS-related causes at age 45.

1984 Original "Hound Dog" singer Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton dies at age 57 in a Los Angeles boarding house after a long-time struggle with alcohol abuse.

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Bob Dylan Goes Electric


Dylan plugs in! At the Newport Folk Festival, Bob Dylan plays an electric set for the first time, horrifying folkies everywhere.

Dylan's performances at the festival in 1963 and 1964 help make him a favorite among the folk music faithful. On this night, he is the headliner. Dylan fans are expecting to hear him sing and strum his acoustic guitar to hits such as "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Blowin' In The Wind." They may sense they are in for something different when Dylan strolls onto the stage in black jeans, black boots, and black leather jacket. Their suspicions are confirmed when he plugs in a 3-tone Sunburst Fender Stratocaster. Backed by members of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Dylan declares, "I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more," and launches into 16 minutes of hard-rocking electric blues. "Maggie's Farm" is followed by "Like a Rolling Stone," "Phantom Engineer," and "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry." Dylan has gone electric. Some say that a chorus of boos rain down on Dylan as he plays. The truth is that the band is so loud, the exact reaction of the crowd is still up for debate. John Hall, who later forms the group Orleans and serves in congress, is there. His recollection: "Maybe the folks in front, the folkie establishment (oxymoron?) and the music press, were upset, but back in the cheap seats, we were standing up and cheering." Nobody denies that the reaction is strong. Some are incensed and consider it a betrayal to the purity of folk. Pete Seeger frantically searches for an axe to cut the cables in the middle of Dylan's set, although years later Seeger says he just thought the sound was too distorted.



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