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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Beastie Boys Release Paul's Boutique


After leaving Def Jam, Beastie Boys release their second album, Paul's Boutique, on Capitol Records.

The first Beastie Boys album, Licensed to Ill, became the first rap album to hit #1 in America and eventually sold over 10 million copies. The big hit was "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)," a goofy tune that MTV played like crazy. The song broke them big, but looked like the classic "one hit" of a one-hit wonder. Def Jam, however, was the most respected label in rap, and their co-owner Russell Simmons did everything he could to establish the group in the black community: he put them on tour with Run D.M.C., got them on Soul Train, and placed them in the movie Krush Groove. According to the Beastie Boys, what Def Jam didn't do was pay them, so they bailed on their 8-album deal and left for Capitol amid a flurry of lawsuits. When Paul's Boutique is released, Def Jam expects it to kill their rap credibility and Capitol expects it to sell millions. Both expectations are unmet: the album sells poorly but is embraced by the hip-hop community. So to recap, the black-owned independent label scores big with the novelty hit, while the white-owned major label gets an acclaimed, but poor-selling follow-up album. Def Jam planned to Sabotage the Beastie Boys by having Chuck D and the Public Enemy team cobble together an album from the group's outtakes (working title: White House), but when Paul's Boutique comes out, Chuck kills the project. "Now that I know they're serious I'm not going to go ahead with White House," he says. Eventually, Paul's Boutique moves over two million copies, and the Beastie Boys prove to be a good investment for Capitol, as they become one of the most successful acts of the '90s and one of the first rap artists to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where they are inducted by... Chuck D.



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