1968 - The outspoken Frank Zappa performed at a dinner for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, who are the people who give us the Grammys. Zappa says the event was "a load of pompous hokum" and told the audience, "All year long you people have manufactured this crap, now for one night you're gonna have to listen to it!"

1975 - The legendary Josephine Baker died in France at the age of 68. An American-born French dancer, jazz and pop music singer, and actress, Baker was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture - Zouzou (1934). Baker refused to perform for segregated audiences in the United States and is noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.

1975 - Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom," named after the professional tennis team his friend Billie Jean King coaches, hits #1 on the Hot 100. It was recorded at Caribou Ranch.

1975 - During an interview with Playboy Magazine, David Bowie announced his second career retirement, saying, "I've rocked my roll. It's a boring dead end, there will be no more rock 'n' roll records from me. The last thing I want to be is some useless f—ing rock singer."

1983 - R.E.M. release their debut album, Murmur. Critics loved the album and though the band experienced drama with their label and producer changes during the recording process, they debuted a new quiet, introverted side of the first wave of alternative rock in the United States. Even though it is firmly in the tradition of American folk-rock, post-punk, and garage rock, Murmur sounds as if it appeared out of nowhere, without any ties to the past, present, or future. The songs on Murmur sound as if they've existed forever, yet they subvert folk and pop conventions by taking unpredictable twists and turns into melodic, evocative territory. R.E.M. may have made albums as good as Murmur in the years following its release, but they never again made anything that sounded quite like it.

2008 - Lou Reed married his third wife, the conceptual artist Laurie Anderson. The couple, who had been together since the early '90s, decided to get married the previous day, so they met at a friend's house in Boulder, Colorado and held the ceremony in the backyard. Our friend Nick Forster from e-Town presided over the wedding. (Photo by Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images)


Tiny Tim was born today in 1932.

Herbie Hancock is 81.

Steppenwolf frontman John Kay is 77.

Alex Briley, the "G.I." from The Village People is 70.

David Cassidy of The Partridge Family was born today in 1950.

Vince Gill is 64.

Will Sergeant of Echo & The Bunnymen is 63.

Art Alexakis of Everclear is 59.

Amy Elizabeth Ray, Indigo Girls, is 57.

On This Day In Music History sourced from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

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