2007 For the first time, country(ish) artists occupy the top three spots on the US albums chart: 1) Carrie Underwood - Carnival Ride 2) Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Raising Sand 3) Gary Allan - Living Hard
2002 Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravitz, and Brian Setzer guest star on The Simpsons in an episode where they run a rock and roll fantasy camp. The first rule of the camp: There are no rules! Second rule: No outside food.More
1992 Ween's major-label debut, Pure Guava, is released on Elektra records. The album features the single "Push th' Little Daisies," which gets them attention on MTV after being featured on the channel's animated series Beavis and Butt-head. During the clip, Butt-head quips, "These guys have no future."More
1988 After a 6-year hiatus where he waits out the '80s, Steve Miller starts touring again, kicking off with a show in Burlington, Vermont.
1969 Sesame Street debuts on American public television. Many of the lessons are taught with songs, and in later seasons, musicians drop by to help out: Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Ray Charles, Dixie Chicks and Alicia Keys are among the many to appear on the show. The two big names that turn down offers: Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand.More
1938 On her radio show, Kate Smith sings the Irving Berlin song "God Bless America" for the first time, introducing it to the country. Berlin composed the song for a 1918 musical he wrote, but decided not to use it.More
2012 No longer an item: Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. The pair announce their break-up after dating for about a year. Bieber plays an acoustic version of "Cry Me A River" at his show in Boston. A decade earlier, Justin Timberlake wrote the song about his split with Britney Spears.
2006 R&B singer-songwriter Gerald Levert, age 40, dies of acute intoxication after taking various prescription painkillers combined with Xanax and antihistamines. The death is ruled accidental.
2003 The paperback version of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain's Journals is released, sparking renewed interest in the dead rock star. A disorganized collection of his writings and drawings, the front cover warns, "if you read, you'll judge."
2003 An emotional tribute to the recently deceased Johnny Cash is held at Nashville's famous Ryman Auditorium, featuring classic Cash songs performed by Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Kid Rock, and Steve Earle, among others.
2002 Johnny Griffith dies of a heart attack at age 66. As a keyboardist for Motown's in-house band, The Funk Brothers, he played on several of the label's hits, including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "Stop! In the Name of Love."
2001 Country singer Chalee Tennison and guitarist Mark Gillespie marry following a three-year courtship. The marriage is Tennison's fourth and Gillespie's first.
2000 Singer-songwriter Billy Yates makes his Grand Ole Opry debut, performing his single "What Do You Want From Me Now."
1998 On their way to perform at the 1998 MTV Europe Music Awards at Milan's Fila Forum, British girl group All Saints are held up for six hours in London by a walkout of Milan airport employees.
1997 Hollywood session guitarist Tommy Tedesco dies of lung cancer at age 67. Aside from playing on classic TV themes such as The Twilight Zone, Batman, and M*A*S*H, he recorded with a number of artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, and Elvis Presley.
1994 Jazz singer Carmen McRae dies at age 72, a month after suffering a stroke.
1994 Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Robert Plant perform an all-acoustic version of "Stairway To Heaven" while visiting a Japanese talk show.
1990 Ronnie Dyson dies of heart failure at age 40. The stage actor, known for his lead vocal on the Hair theme "Aquarius," launched his recording career with the Top 10 hit "(If You Let Me Make Love to You Then) Why Can't I Touch You?" in 1970.
Once DJs like Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash figured out how to loop the instrumental breaks on records, rappers could step up to the mic for as long as their rhymes could take them. Crews of rappers formed in New York City, where they wowed the crowds at block parties. Sylvia Robinson, an R&B singer who had a hit record in 1956 with "Love Is Strange," owned the New Jersey label Sugarhill Records and took notice. She set out to make a rap record suitable for radio. The first challenge was making the track. She chose "Good Times" by Chic as the anchor, sampling the disco hit to form the beat, which was augmented by a live bass interpolation played by Chip Shearin, a 17-year-old who was paid $70 to play the bass loop for 15 minutes straight. The other challenge was finding rappers. Instead of working with an established crew, Robinson created one with help from her 18-year-old son, who found three guys in Englewood, New Jersey who could rap: Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright, Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson, and Guy "Master Gee" O'Brien. They were dubbed "The Sugarhill Gang" (named for the label) and sent to rhyme over the track. The hook is based on some common patter heard at the block parties: "hip hop and you don't stop." The verses are a combination of stories and word-salad that flow with the beat. A lot of it is benignly braggadocious ("I'm going down in history as the baddest rapper there ever could be"), but most of it is pure fun. Wonder Mike rhymes about going to a friend's house and having to eat his mama's nasty food; Hank raps about Lois Lane dumping Superman for him, a bit lifted from a more legitimate MC: Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush crew. Released on September 16, 1979, the 12-inch single, which runs nearly 15 minutes, catches on in clubs around New York City. The 7-inch single, edited to just under five minutes, becomes a brisk seller in the area. On the chart dated November 10, "Rapper's Delight" becomes the first rap song to enter the Hot 100. It moves steadily up the chart, becoming the first rap Top 40 on January 5, 1980, when it hits #37. A week later, it peaks at #36. One of the club-goers to hear the song early on is Nile Rodgers of Chic, who threatens a lawsuit. He and his co-writer Bernard Edwards cut a deal, making them co-authors of "Rapper's Delight" so they earn royalties. It is another decade before cases of sampling are sorted out in court. The Sugarhill Gang return to the chart in 1981 with "8th Wonder" (#82) and the following year with "Apache (Jump On It)" (#53). Sugarhill Records signs more rap acts, most notably Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Groups like Whodini and Afrika Bambaataa have some success on major labels, but it takes a while for rap to find a wider audience, since very few radio stations will play it. When it does catch on, "Rapper's Delight" is fondly remembered as a classic of the genre, a throwback to when the beats were basic and the rhymes were fun.
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