16 September

Pick a Day

16 SEPTEMBER

In Music History

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2014 At a pop-up shop in New York City that re-creates the Central Perk coffee shop from the TV show Friends, Danny Wilde and Phil Solem of The Rembrandts reunite to perform the show's theme song. The event marks the 20th anniversary of the show's first episode.

2011 Bluesman Willie "Big Eyes" Smith dies following a stroke at age 75.

2010 Country singer Justin Townes Earle is arrested in Indianapolis after storming offstage and trashing a green room. Reports say Earle was also intoxicated and he allegedly punched a woman backstage. Earle is forced to pay $200 in damages to the venue but is released from jail on a $150 bond.

2009 Mary Travers (of Peter, Paul and Mary) dies of leukemia in Danbury, Connecticut, at age 72.

2008 Motown songwriter/producer Norman Whitfield dies from diabetic complications in Los Angeles, California, at age 68. Co-wrote the hits "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," among many others.

2006 After their triumph with "Hard Rock Hallelujah" at Eurovision, Finland's leading monster Rock band Lordi record a live concert DVD Bringing Back The Balls To Stockholm in neighboring Sweden. Naturally, the band perform in (and are cheered in) English.

2003 Sheb Wooley (known for the 1958 novelty song "Purple People Eater") dies of leukemia in Nashville, Tennessee, at age 82.

1998 Lou Reed plays at a White House reception for Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel.

1994 Producer/singer/songwriter Thomas Kaye (composer for Jay and the Americans, Three Dog Night) dies of an overdose of painkillers in Warwick, New York.

1992 Nick Jonas of Jonas Brothers is born in Dallas, Texas.

1988 Phil Collins lands his first leading role in a film, playing real-life criminal Buster Edwards in the box-office bomb Buster. Musically, the movie isn't a bust, with two #1 hits on the soundtrack: "A Groovy Kind Of Love" and "Two Hearts."

1979 Flo Rida is born Tramar Lacel Dillard in, you guessed it, Florida (Carol City, to be exact).

1978 Boston's second album, Don't Look Back, hits #1 in America. Their self-titled debut sold over 17 million, but never hit the top spot.

1978 The Stranglers headline an open-air gig at Battersea Park, over Peter Gabriel, who is one of the day's special guests. During a rendition of their early classic "Nice and Sleazy," a group of strippers join The Stranglers on stage.

1977 Marc Bolan of T. Rex dies in a car accident at age 29.

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Miami Vice Debuts With "In The Air Tonight"

1984

The TV series Miami Vice makes its debut with a two-hour episode that includes a scene featuring the Phil Collins hit "In The Air Tonight."

Embracing the MTV era, the show incorporates lots of contemporary music and features appearances by many popular musicians, including Glenn Frey, Sheena Easton, Frankie Valli and Miles Davis (Collins appears in a Season 2 episode). It's clear from the intro that the show is about pretty pictures put to music: there is no voiceover in the opening theme and no shots of the actors, just glamorous Miami iconography. This style is repeated in the episode itself, as "In The Air Tonight" is used in a long, emotional scene with little dialogue in what amounts to a music video. The series pervades popular culture, influencing fashion (lots of white, no socks) and music; the theme song, written and performed by Czech keyboard wizard Jan Hammer, rises to #1 in America in November 1985. The star of the show, Don Johnson, even has a hit song (that has nothing to do with Miami Vice) called "Heartbeat," which reaches #5 in 1986. The show lasts for five seasons, leaving an indelible imprint. In 2006, it is revived as a movie starring Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell.

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