In 1961, Roy Orbison was wrapping up a week atop the Billboard pop chart with Running Scared, his first number one hit. Orbison recorded 23 hits for the pop charts, but only one other song made it to number one: Oh Pretty Woman in 1964.
In 1962, Pete Best was on drums for the last time as The Beatles taped several numbers for the BBC radio show “Here We Go.” The session was recorded at the Playhouse Theatre in Manchester.
In 1964, The Rolling Stones held an attention-grabbing “press conference” in the middle of Michigan Avenue in Chicago, just outside Chess Studios. Local police promptly broke it up.
Also in 1964, the UK band Manfred Mann recorded their first #1 single “Do Wah Diddy Diddy.”
In 1965, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Back in My Arms Again,” by The Supremes
Also in 1965, the Rolling Stones released the EP “Got LIVE If You Want It.”
In 1966, actor Wallace Ford, who co-starred with Henry Fonda in the TV series The Deputy, died after a heart attack at age 68.
Also in 1966, European radio stations falsely reported that Roger Daltrey of The Who was dead. The truth was that Pete Townshend had minor injuries from a car accident a few days earlier and the stations reported bad information.
Still in 1966, the UK publication Melody Maker reported that Eric Clapton had split from John Mayall’s Bluebreakers, Jack Bruce had left Manfred Mann and Ginger Baker quit the Graham Bond Organization to form a new group called Cream.
Again in 1966, “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks. That same day “I Am A Rock” by Simon & Garfunkel peaked at #3.
In 1967, the Mamas & the Papas were featured guests on CBS-TV’s Ed Sullivan Show, singing “Dedicated To The One I Love” and “Creeque Alley.” Comedians Richard Pryor and Alan King also performed.
In 1968, at the Abbey Road studios in London on the Beatles next LP ‘The White Album’, John Lennon worked on ‘Revolution 9’ in studio 3, while Paul McCartney was in studio 2 recording ‘Blackbird.’
In 1969, “The Ballad Of John and Yoko” by The Beatles hit #1 in the UK.
Also in 1969, David Bowie’s single, “Space Oddity,” was released to coincide with the first lunar landing.
In 1970, actor Frank Silvera, a regular on the western TV series High Chaparral, died in an accidental electrocution in his home at age 55, while trying to repair a garbage disposal.
Also in 1970, a U-S tour by Ginger Baker‘s Air Force was cancelled eight days before the first concert because of what was termed the “political situation in America.” Not mentioned was that only three-thousand tickets were sold for the opening date. Baker, the former drummer for Cream, later opened a recording studio in Nigeria.
In 1971, a somewhat drunken Dennis Wilson, drummer for the Beach Boys, accidentally put his hand through the glass door of his home, severing nerves that kept him from drumming for the better part of three years.
In 1976, the TV game show based on pinball, “The Magnificent Marble Machine” with host Art James, aired for the last time on NBC, after an 11 month run.
Also in 1976, Wild Cherry‘s future #1 single “Play That Funky Music” was released. It eventually had sales totals of 2.5 million.
In 1977, KC and the Sunshine Band became only the second group after The Jackson Five to achieve four Billboard chart toppers when ‘I’m Your Boogie Man’ went to #1.
In 1978, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Shadow Dancing,” by Andy Gibb.
Also in 1978, the Rolling Stones released “Some Girls.”
In 1979, one of America’s greatest legends, both as a movie star and as a symbol of patriotism, died this day. Marion Michael Morrison, known as John Wayne, died following a courageous fight with stomach cancer. “The Duke” was 72. He had been a Hollywood hero for almost 50 years, with some 200 movies to his credit. Many of them continued to be staples of television programmers for another ten years.
Also in 1979, Chuck Berry pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to income tax evasion. The charge stemmed from a 1973 debt of 110-thousand dollars. Berry served four months in prison.
In 1983, “My Love” by Lionel Richie peaked at #5.
In 1986, the short lived mystery series “Blacke’s Magic,” co-starring Hal Linden & Harry Morgan, aired for the last time on NBC-TV.
Also in 1986, The Police reunited at an Amnesty International show in Atlanta, performing five songs.
In 1988, actor Nathan Cook, a regular on TV’s White Shadow, died of an allergic reaction to penicillin at age 38.
Also in 1988, a huge charity rock concert was staged at London’s Wembley Stadium. Sting, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Bryan Adams, Phil Collins and other singers gathered to denounce South African apartheid and honour jailed black leader Nelson Mandela on his 70th birthday. More than 70-thousand fans paid 45-dollars U-S each to attend the nearly 11-hour concert.
In 1989, a who’s who of Canadian folk music turned out on the banks of the Oldman River in Alberta to help protest construction of a dam. Ian and Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot and Murray McLauchlan treated about eight-thousand people to a free concert.
In 1990, trumpeter and bandleader Clyde McCoy died in Memphis at age 86. Famed for his “wah-wah” trumpet sound, McCoy was best known for his 1931 hit “Sugar Blues.”
Also in 1990, singer Olivia Newton-John became a United Nations environmental ambassador.
In 1992, during their worldwide Zoo TV tour, U2 invited ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Anderson to join them onstage at their concert in Stockholm for a rock rendition of ABBA’s hit “Dancing Queen.”
Also in 1992, a Kitchener, Ontario, nightclub that billed itself as the world’s largest bar, Lulu’s Roadhouse, closed after declaring bankruptcy. The three-thousand-seat club owed more than 3.5-million dollars to its creditors. During its eight years, Lulu’s hosted such legends as the Everly Brothers, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. The club re-opened several weeks later under new owners.
In 1993, two short-lived NBC TV game shows aired for the final time; “Scattergories,” & “Scrabble,” after a 6 month run. It had been the second run for Scrabble, which was first on the network between 1984 & 1990.
In 1994, actor Herbert Anderson, best remembered as the father of TV’s “Dennis the Menace,” died of complications from a stroke at age 77.
Also in 1994, Frank Virtue, leader of the Philadelphia-based instrumental trio the Virtues, died at age 67. The combo’s recording of “Guitar Boogie Shuffle,” featuring the twin lead guitars of Virtue and Jimmy Bruno, was a top-five hit in 1959.
In 1995, Hole lead singer Courtney Love (below), widow of Nirvana star Kurt Cobain, was treated in a Seattle hospital for an apparent overdose of prescription drugs. Emergency workers were called to Love’s home, where Cobain had shot himself the previous year.
In 1996, Garth Brooks signed autographs for 23 straight hours in Nashville. Some fans waited in line for up to 15 hours.
Also in 1996, a Metallica concert at a small club in San Francisco was broadcast live via the Internet.
In 1998, Stone Temple Pilots lead Scott Weiland skipped a scheduled Superior Court date in Los Angeles and checked himself into a drug treatment facility. The court date stemmed from charges filed in the beginning of the year for possession of heroin.
Also in 1998, following much fanfare, Seattle-based Amazon.comanded its operation from books only to music as well. Amazon.com’s online CD seller opened for business with a list of titles numbered at 120,000 divided among 14 genres.
In 1999, actor DeForest Kelley who played Dr. McCoy on “Star Trek,” died outside Los Angeles after a long battle with stomach cancer. He was 79.
In 2000, Aaliyah went to No.1 on the Billboard singles chart with ‘Try Again’. It became the first “airplay-only” song to reach No.1 on the singles chart (no points from the sales of a single release).
In 2001, Sir Paul McCartney married Heather Mills at St Salvator Church, Ireland. Heather walked down the aisle clutching a bouquet of 11 ‘McCartney’ roses.
Also in 2001, the first episode of “Fear Factor” aired on NBC-TV.
Still in 2001, Depeche Mode opened their Exciter world tour with a concert at the Coliseum in Quebec City.
In 2002, in Ireland, three hundred guests, including Elton John, David Gilmour, Chrissie Hynde, and former bandmate Ringo Starr, attended the wedding of Paul McCartney to former model and current activist Heather Mills.
Also in 2002, the live Bee Gees album “One Night Only” was released on CD.
In 2003, veteran NBC and ABC television newsman & anchor David Brinkley died of complications from a fall at age 82.
In 2004, Courtney Love surrendered to LA police after allegedly assaulting a woman at the home of her former manager and ex-boyfriend Jim Barber. She was later released on bail. The charges related to an incident six weeks earlier, when Ms Love allegedly assaulted a woman with a bottle and a torch.
In 2005, Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin founding member and guitarist, was awarded an OBE in the Queen of England’s Birthday Honours list, and Queen guitarist and founding member Brian May was awarded a CBE.
In 2006, Victoria’s Nelly Furtado was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Maneater’, the Canadian’s first No.1 hit since her first hit ‘I’m Like A Bird’ five years earlier.
In 2007, the final episode of “The Sopranos” aired on HBO (Movie Central in Canada.)
In 2008, The American Federation of Musicians filed a federal lawsuit against the producers of American Idol, claiming musicians were underpaid because the show’s live music had been recorded for re-runs. The union filed the suit seeking unspecified damages in the US District Court in Los Angeles.
Also in 2008, Frank’s daughter Nancy Sinatra appeared before a U.S. House subcommittee. pleading for legislation that would require all performers, not just songwriters, to be paid a fee whenever their recordings air on commercial radio.
In 2009, in Britain Peter Doherty was released on £50,000 bail to await trial accused of driving dangerously after a gig. The Babyshambles frontman pleaded guilty to possessing heroin and to having no driving licence or insurance.
Also in 2009, in London, John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono received a lifetime achievement honor at the Mojo magazine awards, the first trophy in her 41-year music career.
In 2012, Vancouver-born film actress Ann Rutherford, who was Scarlett O’Hara’s sister in Gone With the Wind, and appeared in four Perry Mason TV hours as well as two dozen other TV roles late in her career, died at age 91.
In 2013, guitarist Johnny Smith, who was equally at home playing hillbilly music and cool jazz as with the New York Philharmonic, died 12 days short of his 91st birthday.
2014 – Ruby Dee, American actress, dies at 91