1966 - The brilliant but erratic guitarist Jeff Beck officially leaves The Yardbirds after a year and a half in the band. He later forms the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Gibson)
1969 - Simon & Garfunkel hosted their first television special, Songs of America, which caused controversy when it showed footage of Robert Kennedy's funeral and the Vietnam War, which led to their original sponsor to disassociate itself from the special. The program was originally to be a "Bell Telephone" TV special but when they saw the finished product they said, "No!"
1972 - Wings released the single "Hi, Hi, Hi" which was banned by the BBC due to having lyrics "unsuitable" for broadcast (I'm gonna do it to you, gonna do you sweet banana
You've never been done
We're gonna get hi, hi, hi
In the midday sun). The song would later reach number five in the U.K. & number ten in the U.S.
1977 - Bing Crosby's last Christmas special airs. The program was recorded in September, and Crosby died that October. The show is remembered for Crosby's unusual duet with David Bowie, where they sing a modified version of "Little Drummer Boy," with Bowie singing the new "Peace On Earth" lyrics.
1979 - Pink Floyd's album The Wall is released, seeing out the '70s in spectacular fashion as it sells over 13 million copies. The powerful concept album's themes of isolation and despair resonate with legions of fans, and it even spawns a #1 single - "Another Brick In The Wall (part II).
1982 - Michael Jackson's Thriller album was released. Jackson was inspired to create an album where "every song was a killer" and developed Thriller with that in mind. It spent a record 37 weeks at number one and is the 2nd biggest selling album of all time. Seven singles were released from the album, including 'Beat It', which featured Eddie Van Halen
2003 - A block of East 2nd Street in New York City was officially renamed Joey Ramone Place. It is the block where Joey once lived with band mate Dee Dee Ramone and is near the music club CBGB, where the Ramones played their first gigs. In 2010, it was reported that "Joey Ramone Place," was New York City's most stolen sign. The sign has since been moved to 20 feet above ground level.
2012 - Glen Campbell played the very last live performance of his lifetime when he appeared at Uptown Theatre in Napa, California. Campbell revealed his Alzheimer's diagnosis to the public in 2011, and had set out on his Goodbye Tour as a way to say farewell to his fans.
Dick Clark was born in 1929.
Deep Purple and Rainbow bassist Roger Glover is 75.
Guitarist Shuggie Otis is 73. Composes the 1977 crossover hit "Strawberry Letter 23" for The Brothers Johnson. In 1974, was offered to join the Rolling Stones. He declined.
June Pointer of the Pointer Sisters was born today in 1953.
Billy Idol is 65.
John Ashton, guitar player for the Psychedelic Furs, is 63.
Cherie Currie, former lead vocalist of the Runaways, is 61.
Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.