29 July

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2016 Nearly six months after all four members of the British group Viola Beach were killed in a car accident, their self-titled debut album is released. It debuts at #1 in the UK.

2014 Jazz drummer Idris Muhammad, born Leo Morris, dies at age 74.

2014 After 36 years of marriage, Neil Young files for divorce from his second wife, Pegi.

2011 Gene McDaniels, known for singing the 1961 hit "A Hundred Pounds Of Clay" and writing Roberta Flack's 1974 hit "Feel Like Makin' Love," dies at age 76 at his home in Maine.

2011 At a Dallas concert, Kings Of Leon frontman Caleb Followill leaves the stage after complaining about the heat. He never returns, and the band cancels the rest of their tour. The incident is officially blamed on "dehydration," but Caleb's brother (and bass player) Jared later Tweets: "There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade."

2005 An anonymous bidder pays one million dollars for the original handwritten lyrics to The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" at the Hippodrome nightclub in London.

2004 Cincinnati-born singer, songwriter, and musician Huby Heard dies of a heart attack at age 53. As a keyboardist, he played with Billy Preston's group The God Squad, Leon Russell's Gap Band, and toured with The Rolling Stones.

1999 Anita Carter (of The Carter Family) dies at age 66 after years of drug treatment for rheumatoid arthritis irreparably damages her liver, kidneys, and pancreas.

1995 Les Elgart, swing jazz bandleader and trumpeter who performed the American Bandstand theme "Bandstand Boogie," dies of heart failure shortly before his 78th birthday.

1993 Eddie Guzman (drummer for Rare Earth) dies from complications of diabetes at age 49.

1988 Pete Drake, Nashville record producer and session guitarist who played with the likes of Bob Dylan, Don Gibson, and Marty Robbins, dies of emphysema at age 55. Known for the 1964 hit "Forever" with his groundbreaking use of a talk box for the pedal steel guitar.

1987 Michigan governor James Blanchard declares today "Four Tops Day" in honor of the Motown legends.

1986 Seventies soft-rocker Paul Davis is gutshot during an attempted robbery at a Nashville hotel. He eventually recovers.

1978 Publicist Peter Meaden (former manager of The Who) dies from a barbiturate overdose at age 36 in Edmonton, London, England.

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Katy Perry Found Guilty Of Infringement For "Dark Horse"


In a unanimous verdict, a jury rules that Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" copied the electronic melody from the 2008 song "Joyful Noise" by the Christian hip-hop artist Flame. Three days later, the jury awards $2.78 million in damages, but in March 2020, a federal judge overturns the verdict on appeal.

"Dark Horse" was released in 2013 and hit #1 in February 2014 after Perry performed the song at the Grammy Awards. The underlying beat is very similar to the one heard in "Joyful Noise," but slowed down. At the trial, Perry's team argues that the beat is common, and the plaintiffs are "trying to own basic building blocks of music." Named in the lawsuit are Perry and her five co-writers on the song, including three producers: Max Martin, Dr. Luke and Cirkut. Perry and Dr. Luke claim that when they wrote "Dark Horse," they hadn't heard "Joyful Noise," which was nominated for a Dove award for Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year. A subplot to the case is the religious aspect of the songs: "Joyful Noise" is a praise song exalting Jesus Christ; "Dark Horse" is a relationship song where Perry plays the part of a seductress willing to use black magic on her man. The "Dark Horse" video dabbles in the occult, with Perry at one point turing a suitor to dust. "The devoutly religious message of 'Joyful Nose' has been irreparably tarnished by its association with the witchcraft, paganism, black magic and Illuminati imagery evoked by the same music in 'Dark Horse,'" Flame's lawyers allege in the suit. Perry, who started out as a gospel singer, fell out of favor with the Christian community when she released her first secular single, "I Kissed a Girl." On March 17, 2020, a judge overturns the verdict on appeal, saying the disputed section of the song was "not a particularly unique or rare combination." Eight days earlier, Led Zeppelin prevailed against a lawsuit claiming their song "Stairway To Heaven" plagiarized "Taurus" by Spirit.



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