15 September

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2019 The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek dies at 75.

2013 Doo-wopper Bobby Mansfield (lead singer of The Wrens) dies in The Bronx, New York, at age 76. Known for the 1955 hit "Come Back My Love."

2013 Jackie Lomax (hand-picked by The Beatles to be Apple Records' first big vocal star, but that never happened) dies of cancer while visiting near Liverpool, England, at age 69. Known for the 1968 single "Sour Milk Sea."

2010 Calypso/soca musician Alphonsus "Arrow" Cassell dies at age 60 in Montserrat, West Indies, after a two-year battle with cerebral cancer.

2008 Rick Wright (keyboardist for Pink Floyd) dies of cancer in London, England, at age 65.

2004 Guitarist/songwriter Johnny Ramone (of The Ramones) dies of prostate cancer at his home in Los Angeles, California, at age 55.

2003 Madonna's first children's book is published in 42 languages in more than 100 countries. The release of The English Roses by Callaway Editions and Penguin Group, in association with various publishers around the world, is touted as the largest simultaneous worldwide release of a book in history.

2000 For the first time since learning he has Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), country singer Chris LeDoux returns to the stage while he awaits the necessary liver transplant.

1998 Reba McEntire gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Johnny Grant Building at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard.

1998 Coolio is arrested in Lawndale, California, and cited for driving on the wrong side of the road with an expired license. He is also charged with carrying a concealed weapon and possession of marijuana. His trouble with the law doesn't hurt his TV career, as he makes frequent appearances on shows like Fear Factor and Hollywood Squares.

1993 Steamboat Springs, Colorado, names their "James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge" after the singer.

1988 Mark Knopfler announces that Dire Straits has disbanded. He re-forms the group in 1991.

1982 At the Los Angeles Forum, Queen play their last American concert with Freddie Mercury, who dies nine years later. Michael Jackson joins the band backstage before the show. On Queen's subsequent tours with Mercury, they skip America.

1980 David Bowie debuts on Broadway in The Elephant Man.

1979 Led Zeppelin's LP In Through The Out Door hits #1 in the US.

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Albums Go Mobile With 8-Track Players In Cars


Ford offers factory-installed 8-track tape players in its Mustang, Thunderbird and Lincoln models. This marks the first time 8-track players are widely available, so you can only get the tapes in auto parts stores or Ford dealers. The players have a tendency to chew up the tapes, leading to 8-track roadkill as drivers throw the tangled tapes out their windows.

This is the first time 8-track players are widely available, so the tapes are sold not at record stores, but in auto parts stores or Ford dealerships. To this point, the only listening option in cars is radio, since putting a record player in a car would be a bit awkward (and skip), and the cassette format isn't ready for prime time. This means that for the first time, drivers can choose the music they listen to in the car. Before 8-track, there was 4-track, and some of those players were custom installed - Frank Sinatra had one. It was while driving in such a 4-track equipped car that Lear Jet maker Bill Lear got the idea to improve the technology and create the 8-track. The 8-track automobile revolution spills out of cars and into living rooms, making it a popular listening choice and a threat to vinyl, since it takes up less room and songs can be selected with the press of a button instead of the drop of a needle. But there are some serious flaws, most glaringly the tendency of the players to chew up the tapes, leading to piles of tangled tapes on American roadsides as drivers hurl them out their windows in frustration. And also, they only hold, er, eight tracks, so there's a good chance you'll be missing a song or two. The rise of the compact cassette dooms the 8-track to obscurity in the '80s. And unlike vinyl, there's little nostalgia for the format, since listeners don't appreciate tape hiss like they do pops and crackles. But beauty is in the ear of the beholder, and those with fond memories of the format can find 8-track players and tapes on eBay or head to the 8 Track Shack.



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