Lou Reed was born today in 1942. Founding member of the Velvet Underground, who did not sell a lot of records, but were enormously influential. Reed’s post-Velvets career, though erratic, saw him emerge as a star performer in his own right, albeit an unconventional one, as the chronicler of the misbegotten who trolled New York City’s sleazy after-hours bars, alleys, and drug dens. Reed’s best songs did not judge or exploit his misfit characters; instead, he infused them with a rare dignity, and his lyrics pulsed with literary ambition. Mick Jagger once called him the "Johnny Cash of New York."
1955 - Bo Diddley had his first recording session at Universal Recording Studio in Chicago, where he laid down the single, "Bo Diddley", which would go on to top the U.S. R&B chart by the following June. Diddley is known for his "Bo Diddley Beat," which is a variation on the hambone rhythm, it's origins dating back to West Africa. Also referred to "shave and a haircut, two bits". Buddy Holly, borrowed Diddley’s music for his biggest hit, “Not Fade Away”. De La Soul sampled his Seventies funk recordings; and everything from the Who’s “Magic Bus” to U2’s “Desire” to Bruce Springsteen’s “She’s the One” to George Michael’s “Faith” is based on the ubiquitous Diddley beat.
1975 - A policeman who stopped a Lincoln Continental for running a red light in Los Angeles was surprised to find Paul McCartney at the wheel, accompanied by his wife, Linda. The cop detected the smell of marijuana, and on searching the car, found eight ounces of the substance. Linda was arrested for possession of it.
1983 - A new digital-audio format, a five-inch compact disc or "CD" containing up to one hour of music, was launched by Sony, Philips and Polygram.
1984 - "This Is Spinal Tap" was released in theaters, chronicling the hapless heavy metal band with exploding drummers and an amp that goes to 11. The film is a double parody, poking fun not only at rock bands but also at documentaries and, most especially, "rockumenteries."
1991 - French singer Serge Gainsbourg — famous for his very sexy 1969 duet with Jane Birkin, "Je t'aime… Moi non plus" — died of a heart attack. During his career, Gainsbourg wrote soundtracks for more than 40 films.
Lawrence Payton of The Four Tops was born on this day in 1938.
Irish rocker Rory Gallagher is born on this day in 1948.
Karen Carpenter was born today in 1950.
Jay Osmond, drummer for The Osmonds, is 66.
Mark Evans, bass player for AC/DC, is 65.
John Cowsill of The Cowsills is 65.
Jon Bon Jovi is 59.
Chris Martin of Coldplay is 44.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts, Britannica, Rolling Stone, and Wikipedia.