2008 Adele is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, performing "Cold Shoulder" and "Chasing Pavements." Sarah Palin is on the show, which leads to a huge audience and lots of exposure for Adele, giving her a big boost in America.
2000 Rage Against The Machine lead singer Zack De La Rocha quits the politically charged rock outfit, releasing a statement saying, "Our decision-making process has completely failed. It is no longer meeting the aspirations of all four of us collectively as a band, and from my perspective, has undermined our artistic and political ideal."
The other three members form Audioslave with Chris Cornell; Rage returns to action (with De La Rocha) in 2007.
1974 Al Green's "Grits Incident": When a stewardess friend of Green's shows up to meet the singer, he ends up at his Memphis home with her and his companion, Mary Woodson, who is dangerously obsessed with the singer. When Green goes into the bathroom to brush his teeth, Woodson bursts in and pours a pot of boiling grits on him, burning him badly before going in the next room and killing herself with his gun. Green takes these disturbing events as a sign from God and focuses his career on gospel music and preaching.More
1961 Mirisch Pictures releases the film version of the Broadway musical West Side Story, starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, and Rita Moreno. The soundtrack features music by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim - including the song "Somewhere," later recorded by Tom Waits, Aretha Franklin, Josh Groban, Kylie Minogue, and others.
1947 Celebrated songwriter Laura Nyro, whose compositions include "Wedding Bell Blues" and "And When I Die," is born in New York City. She dies of cancer in 1997 at age 49; in 2012 she is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
2013 Rockabilly guitarist Roland Janes dies at age 80 after suffering a heart attack. As a Sun Records session guitarist, he played on tracks from Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich, and Sonny Burgess, among others.
2011 A Birmingham County Court declares four of the original members of UB40 bankrupt. Even after selling 70+ million records over their 33-year career, saxophone player Brian Travers, drummer Jimmy Brown, trumpeter Terence "Astro" Wilson and percussionist Norman Hassan fail to fight off bankruptcy proceedings over debts related to the band's now defunct record label DEP International.
2011 The Stone Roses announce they are to reunite after a 15-year split. The band confirms three gigs at Heaton Park in Manchester on June 29th, 30th and July 1st 2012, and also claim a world tour and new album is in the works.
2008 R&B/soul singer Dee Dee Warwick dies after a long struggle with ill health in Essex County, New Jersey, at age 63. Known for the '60s hits "I Want to Be with You" and "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me."
2001 Mexican singer Paulina Rubio, whose languishing career made a spectacular comeback with her 2000 release, Paulina, is the big winner at the third annual El Premio de la Gente Ritmo Latino Music Awards. Rubio wins for Album of the Year and Best Female Artist of the Year, while her hit "Y Yo Sigo Aqui" wins in the music video category.
2000 Jazz/pop singer Julie London dies in Encino, California, at age 74, five years after a stroke left her in poor health. Known for her signature song, "Cry Me a River" (1955).
1994 Tenor saxophonist Lee Allen dies of cancer in Los Angeles, California, at age 68. A prominent rock-and-roll session musician, his sax playing can be heard anywhere from Little Richard's "Tutti-Frutti" to Fats Domino's "I'm Walking" to Etta James' "Tough Lover."
1991 Los Angeles declares it "Rocky Horror Picture Show Day" in honor of the 1975 cult classic musical.
1989 During a gig opening for The Rolling Stones in Los Angeles, Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses announces on stage: "Unless certain people in this band get their s--t together, these will be the last Guns N' Roses shows you'll f--king ever see. Cause I'm tired of too many people in this organization dancing with Mr. Brownstone." It's an early indicator of the fissures that will arise between the capricious Rose and his drug-addicted bandmates.
1988 Stephen M. Love, brother of Beach Boys singer Mike Love, pleads guilty in LA Municipal Court to one count of grand theft. He had embezzled $900,000 from the band he formerly managed. God only knows why.
1986 Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie marries her second husband, Portuguese music composer Eduardo Quintela.
1984 Jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding is born in Portland, Oregon. She wins the 2011 Grammy Award for Best New Artist, becoming the first Jazz artist to do so... beating out nominee Justin Bieber in the process.
1979 R&B singer Ne-Yo is born Shaffer Chimere Smith in Camden, Arkansas. He is raised in Las Vegas, Nevada.
1979 Police break up a 15-man robbery ring set up in the parking lot of Madison Square Garden during an Earth, Wind & Fire concert at the venue.
1979 After a series of renovations, New York's legendary venue Radio City Music Hall re-opens with a showing of its first film, Disney's Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.
Promoter Richard Nader puts on the first "Rock and Roll Revival" concerts, with performances by Chuck Berry, The Coasters, The Shirelles, Sha Na Na and Bill Haley. Held at Madison Square Garden's Felt Forum, the two shows sell out, leading to a series of similar concerts and the emergence of the "oldies" format.
Most hitmakers of the '50s (notable exception: Elvis Presley) enjoyed just a few years of success before fading into obscurity. Most promoters want nothing to do with them, as music fans have moved on to more contemporary acts. Nader, formerly a disc jockey, sees lots of potential in these rock pioneers, and with $35,000 in borrowed cash, puts the shows together.
Audiences are wildly enthusiastic, thrilled to see the hitmakers of their youth back on stage (Haley, in particular, gets a rousing ovation after his set). The following year, another Rock and Roll Revival show takes place, this time in the main arena at Madison Square Garden, which seats about 20,000 versus 4,500 for the Felt Forum. It is also a huge success and over the next few years, a total of 25 rock revival shows are held in the venue, with 21 of them selling out. Billed as the "Rock & Roll Revival Spectacular," the show hits the road as a touring production, with many other acts - Bo Diddley, Chubby Checker and The Crystals among them - joining at various stops.
For the artists who helped shape the sound of Rock and Roll, it's a chance to reconnect with fans and get back on stage. Some of these artists are down on their luck - Diddley was working at a restaurant and unable to pay for car repairs when he joins the show.
These nostalgia shows are similar to the early rock concerts when several artists shared a bill and did short sets, playing only their hits. It's a natural fit for most of the performers, although Rick Nelson veers from convention when he plays a revival show in 1971 and does some newer material. Roundly booed, he writes the song "Garden Party" about the incident, which becomes a hit and revives his career.
With demand for classic hits well established, a new radio format emerges: Oldies, a place where hitmakers of yesteryear are always welcome.
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