ON THIS DAY IN MUSIC HISTORY:
1964 - 'Louie Louie' by The Kingsmen was the No. 1 song on the U.S. Cash Box music chart. For a while, the record was banned by a handful of U.S. radio stations because of its indecipherable lyrics, which were rumored to contain some "naughty words". Even the F.B.I. investigated the song, but finally concluded that they could find nothing wrong.
1967 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded "Purple Haze" at Olympic Studios in London. Hendrix explained that the idea for the words to "Purple Haze" came to him in a dream after he had read a science fiction novel. Fans and critics have spent years trying to decipher the song's meaning. Hendrix himself pointed to the one line at the end of the second verse: "Never happy or in misery / Whatever it is, that girl put a spell on me." "Oh, ooh, you should hear the real 'Purple Haze,'" Hendrix said in a vintage interview. "It has about 10 verses. But it goes into different changes. You know, it isn't just 'Purple haze, all in my' --you know, blah, blah, blah." Hendrix edited the song down to three minutes and the Experience cut a demo.
1992 - Nirvana make their first appearance on Saturday Night Live. They leave a mark: after performing their hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit," they play "Territorial Pissings" for their second song, then trash their instruments and anything else they can find on stage.
1992 - Paul Simon becomes the first international artist to perform in Johannesburg, South Africa, since the lifting of the UN boycott. Simon had violated the UN ban by traveling to South Africa years earlier to find musicians for his Graceland album.
1998 - Nike debuts its "I Can" commercial, introducing the British band The Verve to a wide American audience with the song "Bitter Sweet Symphony." The song becomes the band's only hit in the States, which is bittersweet because they had to sign away royalties to the song to get the publishing rights to the string sample, a symphonic version of The Last Time. But in 2019 Ashcroft says, "Mick Jagger and Keith Richards signed over all their publishing for 'Bitter Sweet Symphony,' which was a truly kind and magnanimous thing for them to do."
Slim Harpo, blues musician ("Baby Scratch My Back", "Shake Your Hips", I'm A King Bee), was born today in 1924.
Clarence Clemons, saxophonist for the E Street Band, was born today in 1942. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
Vicki Peterson of The Bangles is 63.
Big Bank Hank (Henry Lee Jackson), rapper from The Sugarhill Gang, was born today in 1956.
Tom Dumont of No Doubt is 53.
Mary J. Blige is 50.
Tom Rowlands of The Chemical Brothers is 50.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts, NPR, and Wikipedia.