6 July

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2020 On his 85th birthday, The Dalai Lama releases the album Inner World, a collection of Buddhist mantras and prayers set to music.

2020 Charlie Daniels dies at 83 after suffering a stroke.

2019 With 13 weeks at #1, "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X breaks the record for longest-running hip-hop song on the Hot 100. "Lose Yourself," "Boom Boom Pow" and "See You Again" all had runs of 12 weeks.

2016 In a small ceremony at Peckforton Castle in Liverpool, England, Ciara marries Russell Wilson, quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks.

2009 Alanis Morissette begins an eight-episode stint on the Showtime drama Weeds, playing obstetrician Audra Kitson.

2009 Guitarist Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker announce they are leaving Panic At The Disco. That leaves vocalist Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith to continue the band.

2003 Skip Battin (bassist for The Byrds, NRPS, Flying Burrito Brothers) dies of complications from Alzheimer's disease at age 69.

1999 Folk singer Richie Havens publishes his autobiography, They Can't Hide Us Anymore.

1998 Roy Rogers, star of many Western films in which he sang, dies of heart failure at 86. The other singing cowboy of his era, Gene Autry, dies a few months later.

1994 The light-hearted drama Forrest Gump hits theaters. Aside from becoming the top-grossing film of the year in North America and winning multiple Academy Awards, the movie spawns a hit soundtrack with songs from Elvis Presley, Three Dog Night, The Doors, The Byrds, The Mamas & the Papas, Buffalo Springfield, and more.More

1991 Grunge music takes baby steps into the mainstream as the Alice in Chains album Facelift peaks at #42 in the US, and "Man In The Box" goes to #18 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

1987 Neil Young & Crazy Horse release Life, their last album under the Geffen label. With the exceptions of studio recordings "Cryin' Eyes" and "We Never Danced," the tracks are all taken from live performances.

1985 Phil Collins' "Sussudio" - a song about a girl with a funny name - hits #1. It holds the position for one week.

1979 The B-52s release their self-titled debut album, featuring one of their signature songs in "Rock Lobster."

1979 Van McCoy, known for the 1975 disco hit "The Hustle," dies of a heart attack at age 39.

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Louis Armstrong Dies


Louis Armstrong dies of a heart attack in his sleep in Corona, Queens, New York, a month shy of his 70th birthday.

Armstrong's poor health had been catching up with him since March, when he suffered a heart attack after a two-week engagement at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, his final performance. Despite further health issues with liver and kidney disorders, Armstrong is more than ready to pick up his trumpet again that summer. The night before a fatal heart attack strikes him in his sleep, he's busy scheduling rehearsals. Remembered by many as the frog-throated singer of "What A Wonderful World," and "Hello, Dolly!" – known as "Satchmo" or "Pops" to his pals – Armstrong has a legacy that extends far beyond dreamy ballads and show tunes. Born in the slums of New Orleans on August 4, 1901, young Satchmo earns his keep with the local boys by entertaining passersby with singing and dancing. His performances stand out when he adds a cheap tin horn to his repertoire. In 1913, the 12 year old celebrates the new year by firing his stepfather's pistol and is sent to the Colored Waifs Home. Here, he receives formal music training and proves his mastery on the cornet. By the early 1920's, Armstrong brings the hot rhythms of the New Orleans honky tonks to Chicago, where he meets his mentor Joe "King" Oliver and joins Oliver's influential Creole Jazz Band. His cuts with the band feature groundbreaking extended trumpet solos and make him a hot commodity in the burgeoning jazz scene. He bounces around to other groups before recording a string of hits with his own studio groups, the Hot Five and the Hot Seven, for Okeh Records, including "Heebie Jeebies" (a famous example of his scat-singing prowess), "Potato Head Blues," and "West End Blues." A move to Columbia Records brings more pop-oriented tunes and in 1932 yields his first #1 hit: "All Of Me." His unmistakable voice becomes as popular as his innovative trumpet playing, with his improvised melodies and vocal interpretations laying the foundation for up-and-coming singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby. Despite the deep-seated prejudices against African Americans in the racially divided US, Armstrong manages to transcend the barrier, at least professionally. White audiences latch on to Armstrong's larger-than-life persona when he takes over Rudy Vallee's national radio show in 1937 and mugs for the camera in several small film roles. Critics sneer at his crowd-pleasing antics, but it matters little to old Satchmo. "I never tried to prove nothing, just always wanted to give a good show," he said. "My life has been my music, it's always come first, but the music ain't worth nothing if you can't lay it on the public. The main thing is to live for that audience, 'cause what you're there for is to please the people." The '50s see a Top 20 hit with "Mack The Knife" and a trio of popular standards albums with Ella Fitzgerald. In 1964, Armstrong proves he's more than a loveable relic when he knocks the Beatles from the #1 spot with his biggest-selling record, "Hello, Dolly!"



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