1968 - Genesis released their debut single, "The Silent Sun". The song was a fusion of folk & pop, a far cry from the progressive rock they would later be known for. At this point, the band is a 5-piece fronted by Peter Gabriel with Chris Stewart on drums. Phil Collins joins two years later.
1969 - T. Rex kicked off their tour of the U.K. at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester. Their opening act on this night was David Bowie performing a one-man mime act. According to Mental Floss, Marc Bolan "invited Bowie to open for T. Rex on the band's 1969 tour. At Bolan's insistence, Bowie performed his one-man mime routine depicting China's invasion of Tibet. Bowie was an experienced mime, having trained under choreographer (and Marcel Marceau protege) Lindsay Kemp." Concert goers were apparently not fans of the act, and Bowie was often met with boos and heckles. But Bowie would be fine, as Space Oddity was released that summer and the rest was history.
1969 - The Beatles recorded the basic track and John Lennon's vocal of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" at Trident Studios in London. The song closes side one on the Beatles' 1969 album Abbey Road. It's an unusual Beatles composition because of its length (nearly eight minutes), few lyrics (the title makes up most of the lyrics, aside from two more phrases; only 14 different words are sung), a three-minute descent through repeated guitar chords, and abrupt ending. It is one of the last songs that the Beatles mixed as a group.
1977 - The Eagles released 'Hotel California' the title track from the Eagles' album of the same name. Written by Don Felder, Don Henley, and Glenn Frey its long guitar coda was voted the best guitar solo of all time by readers of Guitarist in 1998. The song was awarded the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1978. Don Felder came up with the musical idea for this song. According to his book Heaven and Hell: My Life in The Eagles, he came up with the idea while playing on the beach. He had the chord progressions and basic guitar tracks, which he played for Don Henley and Glenn Frey, who helped finish the song, with Henley adding the lyrics.
Felder says they recorded the song about a year after he did the original demo, and in the session, he started to improvise the guitar part at the end. Henley stopped him and demanded that he do it exactly like the demo, so he had to call his wife and have her play the cassette demo over the phone so Felder could remember what he played. As far as the meaning of the song goes, Don Henley put it this way: "We were all middle-class kids from the Midwest. Hotel California was our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles."
1987 - Andy Warhol, the founder of the Pop Art movement, the artist who painted the album cover of The Velvet Underground's debut album and designed the cover of The Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers died after a gallbladder operation in New York City. He was 58 years old. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
1989 - At the 31st Grammy Awards held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Jethro Tull won the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental for their album Crest of a Knave, beating Metallica who were widely expected to win.
1993 - Radiohead released Pablo Honey. The band's debut album was released by Parlophone Records in the U.K. and by Capitol Records in the U.S. Three charting singles came off the record - "Anyone Can Play Guitar", "Stop Whispering", and "Creep". The album is named after a Jerky Boys prank call skit in which the prank caller says, "Pablo, honey? Please come to Florida!", which is sampled on the song "How Do You?".
1936 - Rhythm-and-blues singer Ernie K-Doe, who had a 1961 US No.1 single with 'Mother-in-Law', which was written by Allen Toussaint.
1950 - Singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and performance artist Genesis P-Orridge. A founding member of the cult experimental bands Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, the group played an abrasive brand of industrial rock.
1974 - Singer, songwriter James Blunt. The former Army captain had the hit 'You're Beautiful'.
1979 - Musician Tom Higgenson from Plain White T's, who had a No.1 hit with 'Hey There Delilah'.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.