12 October

Pick a Day

12 OCTOBER

In Music History

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2018 The biographical film First Man, inspired by the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong, debuts in US theaters. R&B singer Leon Bridges appears as jazz musician Gil Scott-Heron, reciting the poem "Whitey On The Moon."

2013 Pharrell Williams marries the model Helen Lasichanh. She inspires several tracks on his 2014 album, G I R L, including the song "It Girl."

2011 Joel 'Taz' DiGregorio, keyboard player in the Charlie Daniels Band, is killed in a car accident before the band's gig at the Cumming Country Fair in Tennessee. DiGregorio, who was 67 at the time of his death, co-wrote many songs with the group, including "The Devil Went Down To Georgia."

2011 Paul Leka, songwriter, pianist, arranger and orchestrator, dies of lung cancer in Sharon, Connecticut, at age 68. Co-wrote the '60s hits "Green Tambourine" and "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye."

2009 Blue Cheer singer/bassist Dickie Peterson dies from liver cancer at the age of 63, in Erkelenz, Germany.

2003 Rapper 50 Cent takes home all five trophies for which he is nominated at the World Music Awards, held in Monaco. Russian teen duo t.A.T.u. picks up three awards, while Norah Jones and Eminem win two.

2003 The blind Puerto Rican singer Jose Feliciano performs the "The Star Spangled Banner" for the first time since his flavorful rendition at a Tigers/Cardinals World Series game in 1968. His performance in Miami at the Marlins/Cubs playoff goes off without incident.

2002 Faith Hill is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, hosted by Sarah Michelle Gellar, and performs "Cry" and "Free."

2002 Bandleader/arranger Ray Conniff dies after he slips in his bathtub in Escondido, California, at age 85.

2002 Court-TV's crime documentary series Forensic Files depicts the murder of Walter Scott, lead singer of the '60s rock 'n' roll band Bob Kuban & the In-Men. Scott disappeared in 1983 and his body was found hidden in a cistern four years later, leading to the arrest of his widow's new husband.

2001 Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland quits the band. A post on the group's website states, "Limp Bizkit and Wes Borland have amicably decided to part ways. Both Limp Bizkit and Borland will continue to pursue their respective musical careers."

1999 Frank Frost, Delta blues harmonica player, dies of a cardiac arrest in Helena, Arkansas, at age 63.

1999 David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young (Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young) appear at New York's Madison Square Garden to announce their forthcoming album and CSNY2K tour.

1997 With Backstreet Boys mania building worldwide, the group has to cancel a free, open-air concert at the Mostenses Plaza in Madrid when too many fans show up.

1996 Though they've refused to release it on video for 27 years, largely due to dissatisfaction over their own performance, The Rolling Stones finally release their landmark 1968 all-star BBC television special, The Rolling Stones' Rock And Roll Circus.

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John Denver Dies In Plane Crash

1997

John Denver, an avid amateur pilot who loves flying experimental aircraft, dies at 53 when the plane he is flying crashes into the Pacific Ocean.


Denver's plane has a fuel selection valve behind the pilot's head, forcing him to balance on the right rudder in order to switch tanks. Denver left the airport with less fuel than he should have, and when attempting to switch tanks, he hits the right rudder, causing the crash. Denver was the aircraft's sole occupant. Although Denver was an experienced pilot who logged over 2,700 hours on various aircrafts, he wasn't actually allowed to be flying at the time of his death due to his past arrests for drunk driving, but an autopsy proves he wasn't under the influence of drugs or alcohol during his final flight. The crash is so devastating, the only way the singer's body could be identified is through his fingerprints. When his death is announced, Colorado governor Roy Romer orders the state's flags to be lowered to half staff. Colorado always held a special place in the singer's heart. Born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., the New Mexico native borrowed his new surname from his favorite state's capital, and eventually settled in Aspen after the success of his 1972 hit "Rocky Mountain High." Having released his breakthrough album, Poems, Prayers, and Promises, the previous year, Denver's crossover appeal continued throughout the '70s with a steady stream of country folk hits inspired by his love of nature, including "Sunshine On My Shoulders" and "Annie's Song" (written after an invigorating jaunt on the ski slopes). Colorado returned the favor by naming him Poet laureate of the state and making "Rocky Mountain High" one of the official state songs. As his chart success began to wane, Denver leaned into political activism and humanitarian work, founding The Hunger Project to campaign against hunger and the Windstar Foundation to promote sustainable living. His distaste for right-wing politics led to his controversial track "Let Us Begin (What Are We Making Weapons For?)" from his 1986 album, One World. In the years before his death, he remained in the public eye, publishing an autobiography, Take Me Home, that details his struggles with drug use and infidelity, and accepting a spot in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His only two Grammy Awards were given posthumously: All Aboard! took home Best Musical Album For Children in 1997 and his classic 1971 hit "Take Me Home Country Roads" was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998. photo courtesy of the John Denver Estate

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