1944 - Big-band musician, arranger, composer, bandleader and future member of the Colorado Music Hall Of Fame, Glenn Miller was killed when his aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel while traveling to entertain US troops in France during World War II. The plane is never found. Miller was the best-selling recording artist from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best-known big bands.
1956 - Elvis Presley gave his final performance on Louisiana Hayride, a live radio program that was broadcast on KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana. Presley made 50 appearances on the show. At the end of the show, Horace Logan first made the now legendary phrase ‘Elvis has left the building’.
1957 - Mitch Miller and Sammy Davis, Jr. blast rock and roll in a syndicated radio talk show hosted by Davis. However, MGM label president Arnold Maxim disagrees, stating he sees no end to the fad in the near future.
1969 - John Lennon played what would be his final ever gig in the U.K. when he appeared at The Lyceum Ballroom, London, with the Plastic Ono Band in a UNICEF "Peace For Christmas" benefit. George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Delaney and Bonnie, Billy Preston and The Who's drummer, Keith Moon also took part.
1974 - Young Frankenstein opens in theaters. When members of Aerosmith take a break from recording the Toys in the Attic album and see the film, they laugh hysterically at the scene where Igor (Marty Feldman) tells Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) to "walk this way," and the doctor imitates Igor's walk. Returning to the studio, they have the title to the track they've been working on. Steven Tyler, however, tells a different story regarding the inspiration for the title. He told writer Bruce Pollock: "The song title evolved from watching The Three Stooges on TV. They walked this way and that."
1977 - Two days before they were scheduled to appear on Saturday Night Live, their first American television appearance and the launch of their U.S. tour, the Sex Pistols were denied entry to the U.S. due to a visa problem. Johnny Rotten because of a drugs conviction, Paul Cook & Sid Vicious because of 'moral turpitude' and Steve Jones because of his criminal record. Elvis Costello filled in. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
1992 - Dr. Dre releases his debut solo album, The Chronic, a G-funk landmark featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg.
1999 - Former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren announced that he was running for the Mayor of London. He said he would be campaigning for brothels, pot shops and boozing in libraries. "I changed London with the Sex Pistols, I can change London as Mayor."
Alan Freed, the DJ who coined the phrase "Rock and Roll", was born today in 1921.
Cindy Birdsong of The Supremes is 81.
Dave Clark of Dave Clark Five is 81.
The Clash bassist Paul Simonon is 65.
Tim Reynolds of Dave Matthews Band is 63.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.