11 September

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2014 Songwriter Bob Crewe dies at age 83 in Scarborough, Maine, four years after suffering a brain injury from a fall. A prolific hit-maker, he was known for songs like "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

2014 Cosimo Matassa, who recorded Little Richard and Fats Domino at his New Orleans studio, dies at age 88.

2012 Johnny Perez (drummer, songwriter for the Sir Douglas Quintet) dies at age 69 of complications from cirrhosis of the liver.

2009 Punk musician Jim Carroll dies of heart attack in Manhattan, New York City, at age 60.

2007 Singer/keyboardist Willie Tee dies of colon cancer at age 63.

2003 Jewel cancels her North American tour after Terome "T-Bone" Hannon, her bassist of three years, dies suddenly of a brain aneurysm at age 39.

2001 The Strokes' debut album, Is This It, drops on vinyl in the US. It contains the song "New York City Cops," an anthem against police brutality. The defiant track is removed from the forthcoming CD release in light of the terrorist attacks and the valiant response of the NYPD.

2001 As Gerard Way watches in horror from the Manhattan ferry as the World Trade Center's Twin Towers collapse, he realizes life is too short to not follow his dream. Shortly after, he starts his own band: My Chemical Romance.

2001 Amid the chaos of terrorist attacks, PJ Harvey wins the Mercury Prize (an annual award given to the best album from the UK and Ireland) for Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. She recalls: "It was very strange, particularly since we were in Washington. I woke up to people hammering on the door, saying the Pentagon was on fire – which we could see from our hotel. Sadly I didn't I feel at all present in terms of winning the Mercury Prize. And it was an honor for me to receive it."

2001 On the afternoon of the terrorist attacks against the country, a group of US senators and congressmen gather on the Capitol steps to sing Irving Berlin's "God Bless America." The song is invoked many times in the following days.

2000 Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow release a cover of Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin'" as a duet. The single reaches #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for a week and also appears in the 2000 film Duets, which stars the pair.

1987 Reggae musician Peter Tosh is shot and killed at age 42 during a robbery in his home.

1987 Actor/musician Lorne Greene, known for his starring role on the western TV series Bonanza, dies of complications from pneumonia in Santa Monica, California, at age 72.

1981 Charles Kelley of the trio Lady A is born in Augusta, Georgia. His brother is the singer Josh Kelley.

1977 Rapper Ludacris is born Christopher Brian Bridges in Champaign, Illinois. He would be raised in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Terrorist Attacks Silence Songs, But Not For Long


Most radio stations simulcast news after terrorists attacks in America bring down the World Trade Center. Music proves vital when the healing begins.

Tuesdays are when new music is released, but that's the last thing on anyone's mind as America copes with the tragedy. Among the albums issued on this fateful day: Jay Z - The Blueprint Mariah Carey - Glitter Nickelback - Silver Side Up Bob Dylan - Love and Theft P.O.D. - Satellite Ben Folds - Rockin' The Suburbs Mick Jagger - Goddess in the Doorway Slayer - God Hates Us All There is also a live album by Dream Theater called Live Scenes From New York that shows the twin towers inside a ring of fire - that image is quickly replaced. Janet Jackson, Madonna and Aerosmith are among the artists canceling concerts. In Tuscany, Sting goes ahead with an intimate concert that becomes the live album All This Time. In the aftermath, music becomes part of the healing process, comforting many who have been immersed in the news cycle, trying to make sense of the tragedy. A number of benefit concerts take place, including America: A Tribute to Heroes, which is simulcast on all four major networks September 21, 2001. Bruce Springsteen plays "My City Of Ruins"; Billy Joel does "New York State Of Mind." Paul Simon, who was raised in New York City, performs "Bridge Over Troubled Water," the Simon & Garfunkel classic about finding the strength to make it through difficult times. On October 20, there's The Concert for New York City in Madison Square Garden, with performances by The Who, Jay Z, James Taylor and David Bowie, who opens the show with a rendition of Simon & Garfunkel's "America." Various celebrities also appear, including Spike Lee, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Meg Ryan, and Jimmy Fallon. Paul McCartney ends the show with a new song he wrote for the occasion called "Freedom." A spate of songs directly inspired by the attacks are released over the next few years. Springsteen's album The Rising, specifically the title track, deals with resilience through unity; Sarah McLachlan's "World On Fire" captures the frustrations individuals feel when faced with such horrors; Neil Young's "Let's Roll" is about the passengers aboard Flight 93 who fought the hijackers, forcing the plane to crash before it could hit its intended target. Songs of hope and unity offer comfort to many listeners, but the events of September 11 have little impact on the charts. A month later, the top of the Hot 100 looks like this: #1: "Fallin'" - Alicia Keys #2: "I'm Real" - Jennifer Lopez #3: "Where The Party At" - Jagged Edge with Nelly #4: "Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)" - Blu Cantrell #5: "Family Affair" - Mary J. Blige



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