1958: A new artist was introduced that would continue to hit the charts for the next 30 years. Neil Sedaka debuted with his first career single "The Diary".
1958: "A Lover's Question" by Clyde McPhatter was the #1 song on the R&B chart.
1960: Fabian visited Elvis Presley at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.
1962: A new talent appeared on the scene on this date as Dionne Warwick debuted on the chart with her first single--"Don't Make Me Over".
1962: "All Alone Am I' by Brenda Lee spent a fifth week at #1 on the Easy Listening chart.
Elvis continued to be #2...
1962: The 4 Seasons owned the #1 song for the fourth week with "Big Girls Don't Cry". Elvis Presley's "Return To Sender" had been runner-up every one of those weeks while Marcie Blane was stuck at 3 with "Bobby's Girl". The Orlons moved up to #4 with "Don't Hang Up" and Dee Dee Sharp coasted up with "Ride!". The rest of the Top 10: Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass with their classic "The Lonely Bull", an even bigger instrumental from the Tornadoes--"Telstar", came blasting into the Top 10 (13-7), Chubby Checker told of "Limbo Rock", Brenda Lee was on her way down with "All Alone Am I" and Little Esther Phillips cracked the list with "Release Me".
1963: Frank Sinatra's son, Frank Sinatra Jr. was kidnapped.
1965: The Mamas and the Papas released their first career single, and it was a big one--"California Dreamin'".
1965: The Rolling Stones finally finished recording "19th Nervous Breakdown" after six days at RCA Studios in Hollywood, California.
1965: The Spencer Davis Group appeared at the Top Rank in Southampton, England.
1965: "Day Tripper" by the Beatles pulled off a rare feat by debuting at #1 in the U.K.
1966: Paul McCartney overdubbed his lead vocal for "When I'm Sixty-Four" at Abbey Road Studios in London. The Beatles then worked on a new John Lennon song--"Strawberry Fields Forever".
1967: The Beatles released the album Magical Mystery Tour in the United States.
1967: The Rolling Stones released the album Their Satanic Majesties Request. (Note: some websites list the date of release as December 20, but it was the 8th, according to the newspaper 'The Examiner' and other credible sources.)
1967: Traffic released the album Mr. Fantasy.
1969: Joe South released this single--"Walk A Mile In My Shoes".
1968: Graham Nash announced the formation of supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash.
1969: Jimi Hendrix testified that he had "outgrown drugs" at his trial for possession of hashish and heroin in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada Supreme Court. He was found not guilty.
1970: Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, recorded an album of spoken words from his poetry. Following Morrison's death the following July, the surviving members of the group composed music to the poetry and released it as the album An American Prayer.
Chicago was #1 in many markets...
1973: The Carpenters remained perched at the pinnacle with "Top Of The World", although Elton John was #1 in several markets with "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road". Charlie Rich's search for "The Most Beautiful Girl" took him from 10 to 3, Chicago's great "Just You 'N' Me" was up to 4 and Ringo Starr's former #1 "Photograph" was now at 5. The rest of the Top 10: "Space Race" from Billy Preston, Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes inched up with "The Love I Lost", Todd Rundgren found the Top 10 with "Hello It's Me", Eddie Kendricks was at 9 with "Keep On Truckin'" and Helen Reddy joined the group with "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)".
1973: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John topped the Album chart for a fifth week.
1975: Neil Sedaka released the single "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do", a slower version of his 1962 hit of the same name.
1975: Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue played a benefit at Madison Square Garden in New York City for Hurricane Carter, the boxer unjustly jailed for murder who is featured in Dylan's song "Hurricane". Carter phoned in and his voice was patched into the Garden.
1975: Gary Thain, bassist of Uriah Heap, died of drugs at the age of 28 in London.
1976: John Denver was a guest on the Carpenters' television special on ABC.
1977: The Paul Simon Special aired on NBC-TV with former partner Art Garfunkel joining Paul.
1979: Rod Stewart had his seventh #1 album in the U.K. with his Greatest Hits.
1979: J.D. Souther prevailed at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for a fourth week with the great song "You're Only Lonely".
1979: It was a long climb up for Styx, and although they had recorded several better songs in the past, it was "Babe" that officially gave them their first #1.
"Sisters of the Moon" helped make 'Tusk' one of Fleetwood Mac's best albums.
1979: Nothing could beat The Long Run, the great last album by the Eagles before they split the next year. It held on to #1 for a sixth week. On the Radio -Greatest Hits - Volumes I & II by Donna Summer was second while Cornerstone from Styx came in #3. Stevie Wonder had the #4 album with Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants. The rest of the Top 10: The phenomenal In Through the Out Door by Led Zeppelin, Bee Gees Greatest was up to #6, Barbra Streisand slid up one with Wet, Tusk, the incredibly underrated album from Fleetwood Mac, was #8, Rise from Herb Alpert was #9 and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers finally had their breakthrough album with Damn the Torpedoes.
1980: John Lennon autographed an album for a man in the morning. At 10:50 that night, as John and wife Yoko returned to their apartment in The Dakota, New York City, the man came back and shot Lennon four times in the back. Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at 11:07 at Roosevelt Hospital in New York.
1982: Marty Robbins ("El Paso") died at the age of 57 from heart failure after cardiac surgery in Nashville, Tennessee.
1983: Abbacadabra, the first musical based on ABBA's hits, opened at Lyric Hammersmith Theatre in London.
1984: Patrick Cavanaugh, one-time manager of the Coasters, was convicted of first degree murder of group member Buster Wilson.
1984: Ashford & Simpson ruled the R&B chart for the second week with "Solid".
1984: Hall & Oates were as hot as anyone at the time, collecting their 25th hit, with an amazing 14 of those reaching the Top 10, and sixth #1--"Out of Touch". It was the duo's 11th Top 10 out of their last 12 releases.
1984: Lionel Richie remained at the top of the AC chart for a fourth week with "Penny Lover".
Madonna's "Love Don't Live Here Anymore", a top track on Like a Virgin...
1984: Purple Rain logged a 21st week at #1 on the Album chart for Prince, making it the fourth-longest running #1 in the Rock Era. It was a tremendous Top 10--Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen was still at #2 after 25 weeks, while a determined Tina Turner was third with Private Dancer. Volume One from the Honeydrippers remained in the #4 position while Big Bam Boom by Hall & Oates was #5. The rest of the Top 10: "The Woman in Red" Soundtrack, Lionel Richie was at #7 after 57 weeks with Can't Slow Down, Sports, the monumental album from Huey Lewis & the News, was #8 after 62 weeks, Arena by Duran Duran was a new entry while Madonna catapulted from 70 to 10 with Like a Virgin.
1990: A newcomer first appeared on the chart on this date with the song "Where Does My Heart Beat Now". She would become one of the biggest stars the world has ever known. Celine Dion debuted with her first career single.
1990: Bette Midler had the biggest hit of her career as "From A Distance" held on to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for the sixth straight week.
1990: Stevie B turned in a vocal performance for the ages with "Because I Love You (The Postman Song)", which moved into the #1 spot on this date. Whitney Houston took a back seat with "I'm Your Baby Tonight" and Bette Midler was third with "From A Distance". Poison had #4 with "Something To Believe In" while Mariah Carey's great #1 "Love Takes Time" fell to #5. The rest of the Top 10: "Groove Is In The Heart" by Deee-Lite, Wilson Phillips and "Impulsive" at #7, UB40 with "The Way You Do The Things You Do", D.N.A. with Suzanne Vega moved into the Top 10 with "Tom's Diner" and Madonna scored her 24th career hit with "Justify My Love", amazingly her 21st to reach the Top 10.
1994: Antonio Carlos Jobim, who wrote "Desafinado" and many other songs, died in Manhattan of heart failure at age 67.
1995: Courtney Love was interviewed by Barbra Walters on ABC-TV. Love said she wished she had done "eight thousand million things" differently to prevent husband Kurt Cobain's death.
1995: Four months after founder Jerry Garcia's death, the surviving members of the Grateful Dead announced they were quitting.
1998: The FBI opened its file of 1,300 pages on Frank Sinatra to the public.
1998: Bruce Springsteen announced that he would tour again with the E Street Band for the first time in a decade.
1999: Prince was on Today on NBC-TV.
2000: A plaque was placed outside John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool, England to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his death.
2000: Sting was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard.
2002: Baz Luhrmann's musical La Boheme opened on Broadway in New York City.
2003: In today's Rappers Have No Clue segment, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of activist Rosa Parks, saying she could sue OutKast for using her name as the title of a song without her permission.
2003: Ozzy Osbourne fractured a collarbone, six ribs and one of the vertebrae in his neck in an all-terrain vehicle accident on his estate in Buckinghamshire, England.
2003: The album Back In Black by AC/DC was certified by the Record Industry Association of America as the second-best-selling album in the world (42 million units) behind Thriller by Michael Jackson, which to that point had sold 56 million. (Note: several websites claim this happened on December 11, but the first reports of the event occurring are on December 8, 2003.)
2004: Usher won 11 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada, including Artist of the Year and Hot 100 Single of the Year for "Yeah!". Alicia Keys captured seven awards while Stevie Wonder received the Century Award.
2004: In today's Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music, DMX pleaded guilty to DUI and reckless endangerment in criminal court in Queens, New York, after being arrested at Kennedy International Airport for trying to break into a car.
2004: Elite guitarist Dimebag Darrell of Pantera, who was playing with Damageplan in Columbus Ohio, was shot to death as a gunman jumped on stage and shot him as well as two others.
Born This Day:
1925: Sammy Davis, Jr.was born in Harlem, New York; died of cancer from smoking on May 16, 1990 in Beverly Hills, California.
1939: Jerry Butler, lead singer of the Impressions and a solo star, was born in Sunflower, Mississippi.
1942: Bobby Elliott, drummer of the Hollies, was born in Burnley, England. (Note: some websites claim his birth year was 1941, but according to the band's official website, Bobby was born in 1942.)
1943: Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, was born in Melbourne, Florida; died July 3, 1971 from drugs.
1944: Mike Botts, drummer of Bread, who also recorded and toured with Linda Ronstadt, Karla Bonoff, Andrew Gold, Dan Fogelberg and Richard Carpenter, was born in Oakland, California; died December 9, 2005, one day after his 61st birthday, in Burbank, California of colon cancer.
1944: Bertie Higgins ("Key Largo from 1982) was born in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
1944: George Baker (real name Johannes Bouwens) of the George Baker Selection was born in Hoorn, North Holland, the Netherlands.
1946: Graham Knight, bass guitarist with Marmalade ("Reflections Of My Life") from 1969, was born in Glasgow, Scotland.
1947: Gregg Allman, vocalist, organist, and a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, was born in Nashville, Tennessee.
1947: Geoff Daking, drummer of Blues Magoos ("We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet"), was born in Wilmington, Delaware.
1950: Dan Hartman of the Edgar Winter Group and later a solo star ("I Can Dream About You" and "Instant Replay") was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; died March 22, 1994 of an AIDS-related brain tumor in Westport, Connecticut.
1956: Warren Cuccurullo, a guitarist for Frank Zappa, Missing Persons ("Destination Unknown") and longtime member of Duran Duran, was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1957: Phil Collen, the great co-lead guitarist of Def Leppard, was born in Hackney, London.
1959: Paul Rutherford of Frankie Goes to Hollywood was born in Liverpool, England.
1962: Marty Friedman, elite lead and rhythm guitarist with Megadeth, was born in Laurel, Maryland. (Note: 'Allmusic.com' and some other websites claim that Marty was born in Washington D.C.; this is at odds with the Laurel Historical Society's web page, which reports that Friedman was born in Laurel.)
1966: Sinead O'Connor ("Nothing Compares To You") was born in Glenageary, County Dublin, Ireland.
1972: Ryan Newell, lead guitarist of Sister Hazel ("All For You")
1973: Corey Taylor, guitarist and lead singer of Slipknot, was born in Des Moines, Iowa.