1894 - "Empress Of The Blues" Bessie Smith was born on this day. She was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and '30s and is widely regarded as one of the greatest singers of her age.
1964 - After a long day of filming their first movie, Ringo Starr tells the other Beatles it's been "a hard day's night." John Lennon turns the phrase into a song, and the movie title is changed from Beatlemania! to A Hard Day's Night.
1966 - The Rolling Stones release Aftermath. They finally delivered a set of all-original material with this LP, which also did much to define the group as the bad boys of rock & roll with their sneering attitude toward the world in general and the female sex in particular. But on the other hand the group began incorporating the influences of psychedelia and Dylan into their material with classics like "Paint It Black," an eerily insistent number one hit graced by some of the best use of sitar (played by Brian Jones) on a rock record.
1967 - Decca released The Who's "Happy Jack" in the U.S., the band's first single to crack the Top 40 here. Townshend reported the song is about a man who slept on the beach near where Townshend vacationed as a child. Children on the beach would laugh at the man and once buried him in the sand. However, the man never seemed to mind and only smiled in response. Roger Daltrey recalled to Uncut magazine: "I remember when I first heard 'Happy Jack', I thought, 'What the f--k do I do with this? It's like a German oompah song!' I had a picture in my head that this was the kind of song that Burl Ives would sing, so 'Happy Jack' was my imitation of Burl Ives!" At the tail end of the song, you can hear Townshend yelling the phrase "I saw yer!" to Who drummer Keith Moon. Apparently, Moon had been banished from the studio and was trying to sneak back in.
1967 - Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra started a four-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Somethin' Stupid." The song was written by C. Carson Parks and was originally recorded by Parks and his wife Gaile Foote, as Carson and Gaile, in 1966. Frank and Nancy Sinatra's hit is the best-known version of the song … but when you think about it, there's somethin' creepy about a father and daughter singing this song together.
1971 - The Beatles won their only Oscar, taking Best Original Song Score for their movie Let It Be.
1986 - Nine cops raid Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra's (real name, Eric Reed Boucher, born in Boulder) apartment and arrest him for distributing "harmful matter" to minors: a poster of genitalia art included in the band's album Frankenchrist. His case becomes a test of the First Amendment and validates his position that the US government systematically oppresses the poor and outspoken (the band is on their own label and has no corporate backing). It drags on for 16 months before ending in a mistrial when the jury can't come to a verdict.
1996 - Jerry Garcia's ashes were scattered near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. A small portion had been scattered in the Ganges River in India 11 days earlier. The Grateful Dead leader had died on 9th Aug 1995.
2001 - Punk pioneer Joey Ramone (Jeffrey Ross Hyman) singer of the Ramones died after losing a long battle with lymphatic cancer aged 49. It is rumored that Joey died in his hospital bed after listening to U2’s “In a Little While,” which Bono mentions on the band’s live DVD Elevation 2001: Live from Boston, adding that “Joey turned this song about a hangover into a gospel song, because that’s the way I always hear it now.” On November 30, 2003, a block of East 2nd Street in New York City was officially renamed Joey Ramone Place. The Ramones are often cited among the first to define the punk rock sound, and although they enjoyed only limited commercial success, the Ramones heavily influenced the 1970s punk movement in both the United States and United Kingdom. (Photo by Teresa Lee/Getty Images)
Country musician Roy Clark was born today in 1933.
Welsh singer and producer Dave Edmunds (Rockpile) is 77.
Legendary Australian hit-maker and producer Mike Chapman is 74. Chapman co-wrote Tony Basil's 'Mickey' and produced dozens of hits for Suzy Quatro, Blondie, The Knack and more.
Ed O'Brien (E.O.B.) of Radiohead is 53.
Chris Stapleton is 42.
Patrick Carney of the Black Keys is 41.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts, Allmusic, Dying Scene, and Wikipedia.