1956 - The "Million Dollar Quartet" impromptu jam session took place at Sun Studios in Memphis with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins. The jam session seems to have happened by pure chance. The recording was first released in Europe in 1981, then a few years later more tracks were discovered and released as The Complete Million Dollar Session. In 1990, the recordings were released as Elvis Presley - The Million Dollar Quartet.
1965 - The Rolling Stones release December's Children (And Everybody's) in the US. It is the last of the group's early albums to feature numerous cover songs; writers Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote only half of the songs themselves. The title of the album came from the band's manager, Andrew Loog Oldham. According to Jagger, it was Oldham's idea of hip, Beat poetry.
1969 - President Richard Nixon, Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew, and forty US governors view "simulated acid trip" films and listen to rock music in order to comprehend the generation gap.
1976 - Future Colorado Music Hall Of Fame member Tommy Bolin died from a heroin overdose aged 25 the day after opening a show for Jeff Beck in Miami, Florida. Hours before the guitarist's death, Bolin responded to a news reporter's well wishes by saying, "I've been taking care of myself my whole life. Don't worry about me. I'm going to be around for a long time." Bolin was a member of Zephyr (1969 to 1971), The James Gang (1973 to 1974) and Deep Purple (1975 to 1976).
1979 - U2 appeared at The Hope and Anchor in London. Misnamed "The U2s", they played to only nine people and the show ended abruptly after The Edge broke a guitar string.
1980 - Two months after the tragic death of drummer John Bonham Led Zeppelin made decision to break up. The surviving members decided that it was not right to tamper with their legacy by bringing someone else in to play drums. In a statement, the band explained their decision: "We wish it to be known, that the loss of our dear friend and the deep respect we have for his family, together with the deep sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were."
1980 - Prince played the first night on his 31 date Dirty Mind North American tour at Shea's Theater in Buffalo, New York. After being told by his managers he couldn't wear spandex pants without any underwear, Prince began performing in a long trench coat, black high heeled boots and leggings, and bikini brief trunks. (Photo BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)
1993 - Multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer, Frank Zappa died of prostate cancer. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, jazz and orchestral works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa was a self-taught composer and performer, and his diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often difficult to categorize.
Singer Freddy Cannon was born today in 1940.
Beach Boy Dennis Wilson was born on this date in 1944.
Chris Hillman of The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers is 76.
Lynyrd Skynyrd guitar player Gary Rossington is 69.
Rapper Jay-Z is 51.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.