9 July

Pick a Day

9 JULY

In Music History

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2019 After years of animosity that kept Ann and Nancy Wilson apart, Heart regroup for their Love Alive tour, which kicks off with a show in St. Louis. Support acts are all women: Joan Jett, Sheryl Crow, Brandi Carlile and Elle King.

2017 The radio station Mansfield 103.2 in England is hijacked by a transmitter hacker who engages in some monkeyshines, saying, "I'm a w--ker, I'm a w--ker" in a Nottinghamshire accent before playing the "The Winker's Song (Misprint)" by Ivor Biggun, a paean to self-pleasure that repeats the phrase over and over.More

2012 Soul singer Linda "Kay Kay" Greenwade (of Kay Kay and the Rays) dies at age 56 after a long period of ill health, including diabetes and a brain tumor.

2011 Matt Bellamy of Muse and his fiancé Kate Hudson welcome a baby boy. Hudson had a boy with Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson seven years earlier.

2006 Milan B. Williams (keyboardist for The Commodores) dies of cancer at age 58.

2003 Buzzcocks play Madison Square Garden for the first time ever in their career, opening for Pearl Jam.

2001 During an appearance on MTV's TRL, four of the Backstreet Boys announce their Black & Blue tour will be put on hold so their fifth member, AJ McLean, can enter rehab to treat alcoholism and depression.

1999 Avoiding a legal battle over whether or not they were ever legally married (they had a ceremony in Bali in 1991), Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall reach a settlement, calling their split an annulment.

1995 Hootie & the Blowfish play the first-ever concert at the Meadows Music Theater in Hartford, Connecticut, drawing a crowd of 17,000.

1981 The ABC News show 20/20 runs a story called "Rappin' To The Beat," becoming the first national TV news magazine to cover rap music. "You never miss the fact there's no melody," Hugh Downs says in his introduction. "It's all beat and talk." The coverage suggests rap may be more than just a passing fad.

1978 Andy Gibb and his brothers, the Bee Gees, perform together for the first time when Barry, Robin and Maurice join him at his concert in Miami to sing his hit "Shadow Dancing," which they wrote together.

1977 Alan O'Day's "Undercover Angel" hits #1. It will hold the position for one week.

1974 Rush sign a deal with Mercury Records, who are impressed by their debut album, a self-titled independent release with the track "Working Man."

1971 Grand Funk Railroad play to a sold-out crowd of 55,000 at Shea Stadium in New York City. They have no hit singles, but are well known in the area thanks to a block-long billboard that ran in Times Square for much of the previous year.

1969 The Beatles start recording "Maxwell's Silver Hammer."

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Rock Around The Clock Becomes The First #1 Rock Song

1955

Bill Haley & His Comets' "Rock Around The Clock" becomes the first Rock song to hit #1 on the Billboard Pop chart, where it stays for eight weeks. The song was originally released as a the B-side of "Thirteen Women," but became a massive hit after it appeared in the film Blackboard Jungle.

When "Rock Around The Clock" quietly entered the charts in 1954, it was only a minor hit for Bill Haley & His Comets, who had their first chart entry the year before with "Crazy Man, Crazy" (the first rock record in chart history) and would soon gain national acclaim with their cover of Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle And Roll." But New York publisher Jimmy Myers, who penned the song with Philadelphia songwriter Max Freedman under the pseudonym Jimmy DeKnight, wasn't willing to give up on "Rock Around The Clock." Myers and Freedman had an instinct about Haley. The Michigan-born singer who started his career as a singing yodeler for a country act was making his mark on R&B covers by adding a western swing element, retaining an edge that would otherwise be dulled when salacious blues lyrics were sanitized for white audiences. For teens growing up on a steady diet of traditional pop, the likes of the Comets and, later, Elvis Presley, would cause pandemonium. But not so fast. Haley was signed to a label owned by Dave Miller, who happened to hate Myers. If he wanted to record the song, he'd have to wait until his contract with Miller expired. He did, and "Rock Around The Clock" was recorded at his first session as a Decca artist. When it failed to make an impression on the charts, Myers started shopping the song around Hollywood, where MGM was preparing to release Blackboard Jungle. Starring Glenn Ford, the film is about an English teacher struggling to keep his delinquent students, including Sidney Poitier in a breakout role, in line at an inner-city school. With "Rock Around The Clock" spinning over the opening credits, the movie launches the rock and roll era and sends the single to the top of the Billboard charts. Haley's comet will fade with the rise of Elvis, but his name will forever be synonymous with rock and roll's seminal hit. The song will represent the era as the original theme to Happy Days, a '50s nostalgia sitcom that makes its debut in 1974 and gives the single another chart run at #39.

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