1953 - America learns of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's death when Air Force Staff Sergeant Johnny Cash intercepts a coded message from Russia. Cash enlisted in 1950 after he turned 18 and was assigned to the 12th Radio Squadron Mobile of the US Air Force Security Service at Landsberg, West Germany, where he proved his skill as a Morse Code operator.
1955 - Elvis Presley made his TV debut when he appeared on the weekend show Louisiana Hayride on KWKH TV, broadcast from Shreveport Auditorium in Shreveport, La. Gyrating like a dervish, Elvis burned through That's Alright Mama and Blue Moon of Kentucky. The Hayride had birthed its greatest star. Elvis signed a contract to appear on the Louisiana Hayride every Saturday night for a year. He was nineteen years old. Elvis was paid eighteen dollars per performance and his band, Scotty Moore and Bill Black, twelve dollars each.
1969 - The rock magazine Creem is published for the first time. It billed itself as "America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine". Influential critic Lester Bangs served as the magazine's editor from 1971 to 1976. The magazine is noted for having been an early champion of various heavy metal, punk rock, new wave and alternative bands, especially bands based in Detroit. The term "punk rock" was coined in the May 1971 issue of CREEM, in Dave Marsh's Looney Tunes column about ? and the Mysterians. That same issue is sometimes credited with having originated the term "heavy metal" as well; in fact, the term had been used earlier, though CREEM did help to popularize the term throughout the 1970s.
1982 - Actor/comedian and Blues Brother John Belushi died of an overdose in Los Angeles. He was only 33. Belushi had ensconced himself in bungalow number three at the Chateau Marmont in order to work on the script for, and take meetings about Noble Rot, a romantic comedy set in the early years of the California wine industry. Belushi was one of the original cast members on US TV's Saturday Night Live, played Joliet 'Jake' Blues in The Blues Brothers and also appeared in the film Animal House. His tombstone reads "I may be gone, but rock n roll lives on."
2002 - The first episode of The Osbournes aired on MTV. In the blink of an eye, The Osbournes transforms Ozzy from heavy metal's legendary Prince of Darkness into a bumbling, muttering dad trying to get respect in a comically dysfunctional family. Viewers love it.
2007 - Records by the Rolling Stones and Paul Simon were chosen for preservation by the US Library of Congress. The Stones ’(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ and Paul Simon's Graceland album entered the National Recordings Registry, which preserves historic works for future generations.
2007 - Arcade Fire release Neon Bible. Win Butler cited Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Presley being cited as influences. The band was further inspired after they, according to Butler, "watched a lot of TV preachers, get-rich-quick schemes on YouTube."(Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)
2016 - Visiting a music-production class at N.Y.U., Pharrell Williams is blown away by a song called "Alaska" by Maggie Rogers, a senior at the university. "It's singular... your whole story I can hear it in the music," he tells her. Maggie's KBCO Studio C performance of "Alaska" was on KBCO Studio C Volume 29.
Eddy Grant, "Electric Avenue" singer is 73. He was also in The Equals, whose "Police On My Back" was covered by the Clash on 'Sandinista!'.
The youngest Bee Gee, Andy Gibb, was born today in 1958.
Mark E. Smith, lead singer of The Fall, was born today in 1957.
Teena Marie, "Behind The Groove" singer, was born on this day in 1956.
Craig and Charlie Reid (twins) of The Proclaimers are 59.
John Frusciante, guitarist with Red Hot Chili Peppers is 51.
Amanda Shires is 39.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts, Biography, Elvis Presley Music, and Wikipedia.