14 March

Pick a Day

14 MARCH

In Music History

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2019 George Michael's art collection is auctioned at Christie's in London, raising about $12 million to continue his charity work.

2016 Sony pays $750 million to Michael Jackson's estate for the King of Pop's half of Sony/ATV Music, a publishing company that owns the rights to some 4,000 pop songs, including 250 Lennon-McCartney tunes from the Beatles catalog. Jackson bought ATV Music in 1985 for $47.5 million and merged with Sony a decade later. Jackson's estate retains the rights to songs written by Jackson.

2014 Gary Burger of The Monks dies of pancreatic cancer at age 71.

2011 Atlanta Rhythm Section lead singer Ronnie Hammond dies of heart failure at age 60.

2011 Electric blues musician Big Jack Johnson dies at age 70.

2009 French singer-songwriter Alain Bashung dies of lung cancer at age 61.

2008 In London, Ex-Foundations member Peter MacBeth is sentenced to six years on pedophilia and sexual assault charges.

2008 Stone Temple Pilots announce they are reuniting for one final tour.

2005 In New York City, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts Percy Sledge, The O'Jays, U2, Buddy Guy, and The Pretenders.

2004 Liz Phair plays '60s pop singer Jackie DeShannon on American Dreams in the episode "Can't Hold On."

1998 The Backstreet Boys appear on Saturday Night Live for the first time, performing "As Long As You Love Me" and "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)."

1995 Grunge supergroup Mad Season release their only album, Above. The group includes Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam and Barrett Martin of Screaming Trees.

1991 Rock and roll lyricist Doc Pomus dies of lung cancer at age 65.

1983 Taylor Hanson (of Hanson) is born Jordan Taylor Hanson in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

1982 At Radio City in Anaheim, California, Metallica play their first-ever show. Their first song is "Hit The Lights."

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Johnny Cash Flips Off Country Radio

1998

Weeks after Johnny Cash's Unchained wins the Grammy for Best Country Album, his producer Rick Rubin takes out a full-page ad in Billboard with a photo of the singer giving the middle finger along with the text, "American Recordings and Johnny Cash would like to acknowledge the Nashville music establishment and country radio for your support."


The photo was taken by the renowned music photographer Jim Marshall during a Johnny Cash concert at San Quentin prison in 1969. Cash made the gesture after being asked to "do a shot for the warden." The photo was not widely seen until Rubin used it in the ad to make the point that Cash got the Grammy win even without support from country radio, which had little use for the aging legend on their playlists. But while country stations remained enamored with the likes of Shania Twain and Garth Brooks, Cash found a wider audience with Unchained, which had cross-genre appeal.

For Rubin, the $20,000 it cost for the ad is money well spent, and draws a lot more attention to Cash's latest endeavors. The photo becomes what would later be called a meme, repurposed and redistributed in many forms. Willie Nelson even hangs it in his tour bus as an emblem of real country music.

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