1957 - Al Priddy, a DJ at the Portland, Oregon, radio station KEX, was fired for playing the Elvis Presley version of "White Christmas." The station's program manager had banned the song, saying it "desecrates the Spirit of Christmas and transgresses the composer's intent." The story made national news, but Priddy was back on the air two weeks later, with the station claiming letters were pouring in to support the DJ. As part of the stunt, Priddy recorded the GM calling in to "fire" him for playing the song and played the conversation on his show before he left.
1969 - On the way to their fateful Altamont concert of December 6, The Rolling Stones stop at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Alabama, where they spend three days recording the songs "Wild Horses," "You Gotta Move" and "Brown Sugar."
1976 - The first day of the photo shoot for the forthcoming Pink Floyd Animals album cover took place at Battersea Power Station in London, England with a giant inflatable pig lashed between two of the structure's tall towers. A trained marksman was hired ready to fire if the inflatable escaped, but was not needed on this, the first day. Unfortunately the following day the marksman hadn't been rebooked, so when the inflatable broke free from its moorings, it was able to float away, eventually landing in Kent where it was recovered by a local farmer, reportedly furious that it had ‘scared his cows.’
1983 - MTV aired the full 14-minute version of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video for the first time. Regarded as the most influential pop music video of all time, the video was inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2009, the first music video to ever receive this honor, for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant.
2012 - Led Zeppelin received a prestigious award from Barack Obama for their significant contribution to American culture and the arts. Dressed in black suits and bow ties, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page were among a group of artists who received Kennedy Center Honors at a dinner event at the White House. In his tribute to the band, Obama said: "When Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham burst onto the musical scene in the late 1960s, the world never saw it coming." The president thanked the former band members for behaving themselves at the White House given their history of "hotel rooms being trashed and mayhem all around". (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
2013 - Reggae singer Junior Murvin, best known for the 1976 hit song "Police and Thieves", (covered by the Clash) died in Jamaica aged 67.
2014 - American saxophone player Bobby Keys died as a result of cirrhosis at his home in Franklin, Tennessee. Keys started touring at age fifteen with Bobby Vee and fellow Texan Buddy Holly and was best known as being the main saxophone player for The Rolling Stones. Born on the same day as Keith Richards, the two became fast friends. But his wild ways became even too wild for the Stones. On their 1973 European tour, he missed a commitment and Richards found him in his bathtub full of Dom Perignon. “He’s got a cigar, bathtub full of champagne and this French chick with him,” Richards recalled in Life. “And he said, ‘Fuck off’.”
Rick Savage of Def Leppard is 60.
Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel is 52.
Singer Nelly Furtado is 42.
Britney Spears is 39.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts, Rolling Stone, Life by Keith Richards, and Wikipedia.