ON THIS DAY IN MUSIC HISTORY:
1973 - NBC debuts The Midnight Special rock variety show, its response to ABC's popular In Concert series. The 90-minute program followed the Friday night edition of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The Midnight Special was noted for featuring musical acts performing live, which was unusual since most television appearances during the era showed performers lip-synching to prerecorded music. The series also occasionally featured performances of comedians such as Richard Pryor, Andy Kaufman, and George Carlin.
1973 - Elvis Presley meets Muhammad Ali in Las Vegas. The two exchange gifts. Presley presented Ali with a custom-designed robe made especially for Ali. The bejeweled white robe had a similar look to the jumpsuits that Presley wore on stage at the time. Ali reciprocated by giving Elvis boxing gloves that he signed: “Elvis, You are the Greatest. From Muhammad Ali. Peace 1973.” Ali later says, "I felt sorry for him because he didn't enjoy life the way he should. He stayed indoors all the time. I told him he should go out and see people."
1976 - Genesis released 'A Trick Of The Tail', their seventh studio album and the first to feature drummer Phil Collins as full-time lead vocalist following the departure of original vocalist Peter Gabriel. After auditioning over 400 vocalists, which saw Collins teaching the potential lead singers the songs, the band decided that Collins should be the new vocalist.
1979 - Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose in New York City. There had been a party to celebrate Vicious' release on bail pending his trial for the murder of his former girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, the previous October. Party guests, said that Vicious had taken heroin at midnight. Later the Medical Examiner would estimate it to have been 80% pure.
1993 - Willie Nelson agreed to pay $9 million of the $16.7 million he owed the Internal Revenue Service. His accountants, Price Waterhouse, had not been paying Nelson's taxes for years, and in addition to the unpaid taxes, Nelson's situation was exacerbated by weak investments he had made during the early 1980s.
2011 - The White Stripes split up after six albums, ending their run as one of the most successful rock duos. The duo formed in 1997, before the proliferation of the internet. This allowed Jack and Meg to pull off a hoax: They claimed to be brother and sister when they were, in fact, husband and wife. Jack explained the name's origin:
"Meg loves peppermints, and we were going to call ourselves the Peppermints. But since our last name was White, we decided to call it the White Stripes. It revolved around this childish idea, the ideas kids have—because they are so much better than adult ideas, right?" (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
2020 - Czech-born American musician, filmmaker, record producer and singer-songwriter Ivan Kral died at age 71. He played bass with Blondie, Patti Smith and Iggy Pop. His songs have been recorded by such artists as U2, Pearl Jam, David Bowie, Simple Minds and John Waite, among others.
Graham Nash is 79.
Ross Valory, bass player for Journey, is 72.
Jazz bassist Alphonso Johnson is 70.
Eva Cassidy was born on this day in 1963.
Robert DeLeo, bassist with Stone Temple Pilots, is 55.
Ben Mize of Counting Crows is 50.
Shakira is 44.