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January 19, 1935 – Birth of Johnny O’Keefe, Australian singer-songwriter


John Michael O’Keefe was an Australian rock and roll singer, born in Bondi Junction on January 19, 1935. His career began in the 1950s. Some of his hits include “Wild One” (1958), “Shout!” and “She’s My Baby”. In his twenty-year career, O’Keefe released over fifty singles, 50 EPs and 100 albums. O’Keefe was also a radio and television entertainer and … Continue reading

January 17, 1966 – NBC greenlights “The Monkees”


The inspiration came from the Beatles, the financing came from Screen Gems, the music came from Don Kirshner and the stars came from an exhaustive audition process that began with this ad in Daily Variety in September 1965: Madness! Auditions For Acting Roles in New TV Series Running Parts for 4 Insane Boys, Age 17-21 The ad … Continue reading

January 15, 1972 – “American Pie” hits #1 on the US pop charts


On January 15, 1972, “American Pie,”, an epic poem in musical form that has long been etched in the American popular consciousness, hits #1 on the Billboard charts. The story of Don McLean’s magnum opus begins almost 13 years before its release, on a date with significance well-known to any American who was alive and … Continue reading

January 14, 1970 – Diana Ross and the Supremes perform their final concert


They were the most successful American pop group of the 1960s—a group whose 12 #1 hits in the first full decade of the rock and roll era places them behind only Elvis and the Beatles in terms of chart dominance. They helped define the very sound of the 60s, but like fellow icons the Beatles … Continue reading

January 8, 1946 – Elvis Presley receives his first guitar for 11th birthday


In competing versions of the story, what Elvis Presley really wanted for his birthday was a rifle or a bicycle—both fairly typical choices for a boy his age growing up on the outskirts of Tupelo, Mississippi. Instead, Elvis’s highly protective mother, Gladys—”She never let me out of her sight,” Elvis would later say—took him to the Tupelo Hardware … Continue reading

January 6, 1953 – Birth of Malcolm Young, Scottish-Australian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer


Malcolm Mitchell Young (6 January 1953 – 18 November 2017) was an Australian musician and songwriter. He was best known as the co-founder, rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist, and songwriter of the rock band AC/DC. Except for a brief absence in 1988, he was with the band from its beginning in 1973 until retiring in 2014 due to health reasons. … Continue reading

January 3, 1987 – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts first woman


In 1986, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its first group of inductees: Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and the Everly Brothers. Since then, the Hall has added a new class of inductees each year, expanding by January 2008 … Continue reading

December 8, 1980 – John Lennon shot dead in New York City


John Lennon, a former member of the Beatles, the rock group that transformed popular music in the 1960s, was shot and killed by an obsessed fan in New York City.  The 40-year-old artist was entering his luxury Manhattan apartment building when Mark David Chapman shot him four times at close range with a .38-caliber revolver. Lennon, bleeding profusely, … Continue reading

Thousands flee London as Andrew Lloyd Webber announces return of Cats and Evita


Thousands of Londoners have been filmed leaving the capital in fear for their musical sanity this week, as rumours surfaced that Andrew Lloyd Webber intends to carpet bomb the West End with ‘theatrical turds’ from the 1980s.  Not since the Great Fire of 1666 have so many people abandoned their homes so readily. One eyewitness … Continue reading

Britney Spears concedes white trash title to Miley Cyrus


Following an appearance at the MTV Europe Music Awards where she smoked a joint on stage while accepting an award, Miley Cyrus has officially taken the reigns as the country’s top white trash celebrity. “I feel like I’m the biggest white trash in the world because ain’t nobody dumb enough to do the shit I … Continue reading

Court orders Justin Bieber to stop making music


A court in Canada has ordered teen pop sensation Justin Bieber to stop making music for the next three years as restitution for a recent assault charge. In a plea deal with the prosecution today, 19-year-old Bieber agreed to refrain from touring or recording new material in exchange for keeping himself out of jail. The … Continue reading

Justin Bieber may buy land In Colorado and become a pot farmer


Justin Bieber recently announced that he was retiring from the music business. The iRumors News Agency is now reporting that the Canadian singer is considering purchasing some land in the marijuana haven state of Colorado and becoming a pot farmer. Bieber spoke with Vodka Vermicelli of iRumors and said that he figures that by being … Continue reading

December 27 1932 Radio City Music Hall opens


On December 27th 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, thousands turned out for the opening of Radio City Music Hall, a magnificent Art Deco theatre in New York City. Radio City Music Hall was designed as a palace for the people, a place of beauty where ordinary people could see high-quality entertainment. Since … Continue reading

December 18 1961 “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” reaches number 1


On December 18th 1961, The Lion Sleeps Tonight hit number one on the Billboard Charts. It was an instant classic that endured to become one of the most successful pop songs of all time. Few realise, however, that its true originator saw only a minuscule portion of the song’s massive profits. The story began in … Continue reading

October 28 1961 Chuck Berry goes on trial for the second time


On October 28th 1961, the second so-called “Apache trial” began for rock-and-roller Chuck Berry. Although his earlier conviction for transporting a minor across state lines for immoral purposes in violation of the Mann Act was thrown out on appeal, the prosecution decided to retry Berry. Born October 18th 1926 into a middle-class family in St. … Continue reading

October 27 1970 Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber release Jesus Christ Superstar


On October 27th 1970, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who would go on to become the most successful composer-lyricist team in modern theatre history, released a double-LP “concept” album called Jesus Christ Superstar, which only later would become the smash-hit Broadway musical of the same name. From the late 1950s to the mid 1960s, … Continue reading

October 25 1980 AC/DC earn their first Top 40 hit with “You Shook Me All Night Long”


On October 25th 1980, AC/DC earned their first pop Top 40 hit with “You Shook Me All Night Long.” Back when they were releasing albums like Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1977), AC/DC would have seemed an unlikely candidate to become one of the top-selling pop-music acts of all time. But over the course of … Continue reading

October 24 1962 James Brown records breakthrough Live at the Apollo album


On October 24th 1962, James Brown took a major step toward his eventual crossover to, and conquest of, the mainstream with an electrifying performance on black America’s most famous stage—a performance recorded and later released as Live at the Apollo (1963), the first breakthrough album of his career. James Brown began his professional career at … Continue reading

October 11 1975 Bruce Springsteen has first pop hit with “Born to Run”


On October 11th 1975, the epic single “Born to Run” became Bruce Springsteen‘s first-ever Top 40 hit, marking the start of his eventual transition from little-known cult figure to international superstar. By 1975, 26-year-old Bruce Springsteen had two heavily promoted major-label albums behind him, but nothing approaching a popular hit. Tapped by Columbia Records as … Continue reading

October 4 1970 Janis Joplin dies of a heroin overdose


On October 4th 1970, Janis Joplin died of an accidental heroin overdose, and was discovered in her Los Angeles hotel room after failing to show for a scheduled recording session. She was 27 years old. In the summer of 1966, Janis Joplin was a drifter; four years later, she was a rock-and-roll legend. She’d gone … Continue reading

October 2 1971 Rod Stewart earns his first #1 hit with “Maggie May”


On October 2nd 1971, one of the greatest rock songs of all time, “Maggie May,” became Rod Stewart’s first #1 hit. If living well is the best revenge, then Rod Stewart has long since avenged the critical barbs he’s suffered through the years. Still active in his fifth decade as a recording star, he can … Continue reading

September 24 1966 The Monkees get their first real-life pop hit


On September 24th 1966, the made-for-television Monkees smashed into the real world when their first single, “Last Train To Clarksville,” entered the Billboard Top 40. When producers Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson conceived a situation comedy called The Monkees in 1965, they hoped to create a ratings success by blurring the line between pop music … Continue reading

September 4 2002 Kelly Clarkson wins first American Idol


On September 4th 2002, Kelly Clarkson, a 20-year-old cocktail waitress from Texas, won Season One of American Idol in a live television broadcast from Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre. Clarkson came out on top in the amateur singing contest over 23-year-old runner-up Justin Guarini after millions of viewers cast their votes for her by phone. She was … Continue reading

August 26 1978 Grease movie soundtrack earns its second #1 hit


On August 29th 1978, the album Grease earned its second chart-topping hit when its third single, Frankie Valli’s “Grease”, reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The 1960s was the final decade in which the musical hits of Broadway were routinely and successfully adapted by Hollywood into big-budget screen versions. West Side Story … Continue reading

August 16 1977 Elvis Presley dies


On August 16th 1977, popular music icon Elvis Presley died in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 42. The death of the “King of Rock and Roll” brought legions of mourning fans to Graceland, his mansion in Memphis. Doctors said he died of a heart attack, likely brought on by his addiction to prescription barbiturates. Elvis Presley … Continue reading

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