1956 - Elvis Presley released his self titled studio album in mono on RCA Victor. The album spent ten weeks at No.1 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart in 1956, the first rock and roll album ever to make it to the top of the charts, and the first million-selling album of that genre. The iconic cover photograph was taken at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa, Florida, on July 31, 1955. It would later inspire the album cover of London Calling by the Clash.
1956 - Fats Domino headlined the first day of a 3-day concert organized by the DJ Alan Freed in Hartford, Connecticut. Over the course of the shows, 11 fans were arrested by overzealous police. It was a litmus test for rock concerts and their effect on young people, as psychiatrist Francis Braceland testified afterwards that rock music is "a communicable disease with music appealing to adolescent insecurity and driving teenagers to do outlandish things. It is cannibalistic and tribalistic."
1972 - The film of The Concert For Bangladesh featuring George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton premiered in New York. The event was the first benefit concert of this magnitude in world history. The concert, which was administered by UNICEF, raised $243,418.51 to aid victims of famine and war in Bangladesh. To this day, sales of the album and DVD continue to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.
1973 - U.S. immigration authorities ordered John Lennon to leave the United States within 60 days. Lennon then began a long battle to earn his Green Card. Lennon was challenging the order by a federal immigration judge that required him to leave the country because of his UK conviction in 1968 for possession of marijuana. Plus, John’s high profile, anti-Vietnam War protests and peace campaigning had made him a thorn in the side of the US authorities for years. He was finally granted his green card on July 27, 1976.
1978 - A&M Records sign a new, young band called The Police. During the recording of their debut, Outlandos d'Amour, "Roxanne" was issued as a single. It failed to make the BBC's playlist, which the band attributed to the song's depiction of prostitution. A&M consequently promoted the single with posters claiming "Banned by the BBC", though it was never really banned, just not play-listed. Manager Miles Copeland later admitted, "We got a lot of mileage out of it being supposedly banned by the BBC." (Photo credit HECTOR MATA/AFP via Getty Images)
2002 - The O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack, featuring a popular revival of the mountain ballad "Man of Constant Sorrow," takes bluegrass to #1 in America. Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen brought in producer T Bone Burnett to compile traditional bluegrass and country songs for the soundtrack before filming even began. Burnett gathered some of the most celebrated artists from the bluegrass community, from Ralph Stanley, of the Stanley Brothers who first brought "Man of Constant Sorrow" into the mainstream in 1951, to Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, John Hartford, Alison Krauss and her Union Station bandmate Dan Tyminski (who dubbed Clooney's vocals as the lead Soggy Bottom Boy).
2011 - Guitarist Pete Townshend told Uncut magazine that he regretted ever forming the band, The Who. "What would I have done differently? I would never have joined a band," Townshend was quoted as saying. "Even though I am quite a good gang member and a good trooper on the road, I am bad at creative collaboration."
Ric Ocasek of The Cars was born today in 1944.
Chaka Khan (born Yvette Marie Stevens) is 68.
Damon Albarn of Blur is 53.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.