1961 - The Beatles began a three-month residency at The Top Ten Club, Hamburg, playing 92 straight nights. It was during this visit that Astrid Kirchherr, a German photographer, cut Stuart Sutcliffe's hair into the style destined to become known as the "Beatle haircut" which The Beatles later adopted themselves.
1966 - Pye Records released David Bowie's first solo single, "Do Anything You Say." Bowie had previously recorded as David Jones and The Lower Third.
1966 - The Troggs recorded "Wild Thing" at Regent Sound Studio in London. The song went on to be a No. 1 hit in the U.S. A New York group called Jordan Christopher & The Wild Ones were the first to record this, but their version flopped. The Troggs were introduced to the song by their manager and considered it "so weird and unusual that we just had to record it". This was written by a songwriter named Chip Taylor. "'Wild Thing' came out in a matter of minutes. The pauses and the hesitations are a result of not knowing what I was going to do next." Taylor is the brother of actor Jon Voight and the uncle of Angelina Jolie.
1966 - John Lennon bought a copy of Timothy Leary's The Psychedelic Experience and The Tibetan Book Of The Dead, where he read near the beginning of the book's introduction; "When in doubt, relax, turn off your mind, float downstream," which captured Lennon's imagination and became the first line of 'Tomorrow Never Knows' which he recorded 5 days later.
1969 - After playing on hits for the likes of Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, four session musicians start Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, where they record The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones.
1970 - As an April Fool's joke, John Lennon and Yoko Ono issued a statement to the press that they were having dual sex-change operations.
1974 - Tom Petty and his band Mudcrutch leave Gainesville for Los Angeles, and never look back. They soon become Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.
1984 - Marvin Gaye was shot by his father at his parents' home in Los Angeles. After an argument started between his parents over misplaced business documents, Gaye attempted to intervene, and was killed by his father using a gun he had given him four months before. Marvin Sr. was sentenced to six years of probation after pleading guilty to manslaughter. Charges of first-degree murder were dropped after doctors discovered Marvin Sr. had a brain tumor.
2007 - Proving she understands irony just fine, Alanis Morissette transforms the Black Eyed Peas' booty anthem "My Humps" into a mournful piano ballad for April Fools' Day. The tongue-in-cheek cover was recorded in a slow, mournful voice, accompanied only by a piano. The accompanying YouTube video received over 15m views.
2020 - Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne dies at 52 after contracting coronavirus. He's one of the first popular entertainers to die from the virus. Fountains Of Wayne formed in New Jersey in 1995 and were named after a lawn ornament store in the state, which was seen in The Sopranos.
Isley Brother Rudolph Isley is 82.
Ronnie Lane of the Small Faces was born today in 1946.
Soul and jazz poet Gilbert "Gil" Scott-Heron was born today in 1949.
Jimmy Cliff is 73. Legendary singer, starred in "The Harder They Come", whose soundtrack helped bring reggae to America. Bob Dylan called his tune, "Vietnam" the best protest song he'd ever heard. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Billy Currie of Ultravox is 71.
Henry Gross of Sha Na Na is 70. As a solo artist, he had a hit with "Shannon." Written about the death of Beach Boys member Carl Wilson's Irish Setter of the same name.
Jeff Porcaro of Toto was born today in 1954.
Susan Boyle is 60.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.