1953 - Hank Williams died of a heart attack brought on by a lethal cocktail of pills and alcohol aged 29. Williams is regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time. 35 of his singles (five released posthumously) were placed in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, 11 of which ranked at No.1, including 'Cold, Cold Heart,' 'Hey, Good Lookin', 'I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive,' and 'Your Cheatin' Heart.' During his last years Williams's consumption of alcohol, morphine and painkillers severely compromised his professional life.

1959 - Johnny Cash played a free concert for the inmates of San Quentin Prison, California. One of the audience members was 19 year-old Merle Haggard, who was in the midst of a 15 year sentence (he served three years) for grand theft auto and armed robbery.

1968 - The Berkeley, California, swamp-rockers The Golliwogs change their name to Creedence Clearwater Revival.

1975 - Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham officially join Fleetwood Mac, bringing with them the songs "Rhiannon" and "Landslide." (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)

1997 - Townes Van Zandt died age 52. His music has been covered by such notable and varied musicians as Bob Dylan, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, Cowboy Junkies, Andrew Bird, Alison Krauss, and Gillian Welch. Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard covered his song 'Pancho and Lefty', scoring a No.1 hit on the Billboard country music charts.

2019 - Pegi Young died of cancer age 66. She first met future husband Neil Young in 1974 when she was working as a waitress at a diner near his ranch, a story he tells in the 1992 song ‘Unknown Legend’.


1942 - Joe McDonald, vocals, Country Joe and the Fish, 1968 US hit 'I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die.'

1952 - Andy Johns, producer and engineer who worked on classic albums by Led Zeppelin, (Jimi Hendrix (Axis: Bold as Love), Van Halen and many others. Johns, the younger brother of noted producer Glyn Johns died on April 7th 2013.

1956 - Andy Gill a founding member and guitarist for the English post-punk group Gang of Four. Their debut album, Entertainment!, was ranked as fifth greatest punk album of all time. He also produced albums for artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Stranglers, Michael Hutchence and Killing Joke. Gill died on 1 February 2010 age 64.

1958 - Joseph Saddler, (Grandmaster Flash), Major force in early Rap music, was given his nickname after his rapid hand movements on the record decks.

On This Day In Music History is sourced rom This Day in Music History and Song Facts.

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