14 November

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2012 Brian Eno is awarded the Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) distinction, established by the British Royal Society for Arts, for "his ground-breaking use of sound in technology and media and long term sustainable thinking." Eno is the only recipient awarded for sound design.

2011 Songwriter Lee Pockriss dies in Connecticut after a long illness at age 87. Known for songs like "Catch a Falling Star," "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini," and "Johnny Angel."

2005 Mark Ross, known as "Brother Marquis" from the rap group 2 Live Crew, sues Ice-T, claiming he helped write the original version of "99 Problems," which has become a hit for Jay-Z.

2004 Michel Colombier - composer, conductor, arranger, and songwriter - dies in Santa Monica, California, at age 65.

2004 Gwen Stefani performs on TV as a solo artist (no No Doubt) for the first time when she takes the stage at the American Music Awards to sing "What You Waiting For."

2000 The Offspring celebrate the release of their album Conspiracy of One by giving $1 million to 14-year-old Ashley Hitchcock, who by downloading their single "Original Prankster" was entered to win. Hitchcock beats out three other finalists in an Offspring trivia contest broadcast on MTV to take the prize. She wins by identifying Noodles as the oldest member of the band.

1999 EMI Music Distribution begins offering retailers a $3 rebate on each unit sold of the latest Garth Brooks album In... The Life Of Chris Gaines, in order to boost sales. In exchange for the rebate, retailers are asked to lower the price of the Capitol album - which lists for $17.98 on CD - as low as possible.

1997 Five weeks before the movie Titanic is released, Celine Dion issues her album Let's Talk About Love, featuring the theme song, "My Heart Will Go On." As the movie commandeers the popular culture, Dion's album rides in its wake, going on to sell over 30 million copies worldwide.More

1997 Though it's not a sell-out, The Bee Gees' show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas still manages to gross a stunning $1,681,100. Tickets ranging in price from $50-$300 give the Arena its highest gross of the year.

1987 The Dirty Dancing soundtrack hits #1 in America. Even though it was set in 1963, the movie featured modern, original songs "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" and "Hungry Eyes."

1987 "China In Your Hand" by T'Pau goes to #1 in the UK, where it stays for five weeks. The band is on tour with Bryan Adams; when they return they learn that they now have throngs of fans.

1986 Bette Midler's first and only child is born, a daughter named Sophie von Haselberg. Midler's husband is artist Martin von Haselberg.

1984 Keith Hudson, known as "The Dark Prince of Reggae," dies of lung cancer at age 38 in New York.

1979 Hot on the heels of his wildly successful Rust Never Sleeps album, Neil Young releases Live Rust, an album of live performances from the Rust Never Sleeps tour.

1979 Tobin Esperance (bassist for Papa Roach) is born in Vacaville, California.

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Millions Watch Michael Jackson Beat Up Car In "Black Or White" Debut


Michael Jackson's "Black Or White" music video, directed by John Landis, debuts simultaneously on MTV, BET and Fox - a strategic move that marks his ascension to the pop throne. The 11-minute clip, however, lands Jackson in hot water with viewers who complain about his excessive crotch-grabbing and gratuitous displays of violence.

The last time Jackson teamed up with filmmaker John Landis, the pair created a zombified mini horror flick that had the singer dancing with the undead. With a budget of $1.2 million, "Thriller" was, as of 1983, the most expensive music video ever made and set the bar high for any clips that followed - including Jackson's. By 1991, times are changing. Jackson is still undeniably a superstar, but with rap music taking a foothold on the charts, the singer wants to solidify his reputation as The King of Pop. In fact he wants the music networks to bestow the title upon him in exchange for the rights to air the hotly anticipated "Black Or White." MTV, BET, and Fox readily agree and are rewarded with nearly a half billion viewers tuning in on premiere night. The clip starts innocently enough. Macaulay Culkin gets revenge on grumpy dad George Wendt by blasting him and his easy chair all the way to Africa with the help of a set of huge speakers and a power chord. Jackson is there learning a tribal dance before he sets off on a trip around the world, singing at world famous sites like the Eiffel Tower, The Statue of Liberty, and The Parthenon, while defying any threats of racism from the KKK ("I ain't scared of no sheets"). Back at a studio, famous people of different races and ethnicities – such as model Tyra Banks and actor Glen Chin – morph into one other with ease. In the end, we're all more alike than we think – but it's not the end yet. A panther slinks off to an abandoned street and morphs into Jackson, who launches into a complex choreography sans music. He enthusiastically rubs his crotch, zips up his zipper, and goes on a screaming rampage, busting windows and demolishing a nearby car. Appalled critics blast Jackson in the press in the following days. "It was not so much what Michael was doing but the juxtaposition of simulated masturbation with the violence," Landis explains of the controversial ending. "And of course, the fact that it was Michael." Jackson agrees to excise the last four minutes of the clip, stating, "It upsets me to think that 'Black or White' could influence any child or adult to destructive behavior, either sexual or violent. I've always tried to be a good role model and therefore have made these changes to avoid any possibility of adversely affecting any individual's behavior. I deeply regret any pain or hurt that the final segment of 'Black or White' has caused children, their parents or any other viewers." But the controversy only makes the clip more popular, and it becomes the most requested and most played video on MTV (and the single is a #1 hit). The King of Pop adjusts his crown and ascends the throne.



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