1966 - The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black," featuring Brian Jones on sitar, hits #1 in America. On this track, Brian Jones played the sitar, which was introduced to pop music by The Beatles on their 1965 song Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown).

Keith Richards explained how this song came together: "We were in Fiji for about three days. They make sitars and all sorts of Indian stuff. We had the sitars, we thought we'd try them out in the studio. To get the right sound on 'Paint It Black' we found the sitar fitted perfectly. We tried a guitar but you can't bend it enough."

1969 - David Bowie released "Space Oddity" just in time for the first Apollo 11 lunar landing (re-released as a single in 1973 and became Bowie's first hit single in America.) The song was inspired by Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film "2001: A Space Odyssey", with a title that plays on the film's title.

In a 2003 interview with Performing Songwriter magazine, Bowie explained: "In England, it was always presumed that it was written about the space landing, because it kind of came to prominence around the same time. But it actually wasn't. It was written because of going to see the film 2001, which I found amazing. I was out of my gourd anyway, I was very stoned when I went to see it, several times, and it was really a revelation to me. It got the song flowing. It was picked up by the British television, and used as the background music for the landing itself. I'm sure they really weren't listening to the lyric at all (laughs). (Photo: Scott Gries/ImageDirect)

1986 - Ferris Bueller's Day Off hit theaters. When Matthew Broderick led a parade through downtown Chicago to The Beatles cover of "Twist And Shout," it renewed interest in the group, and the song soon returned to the charts.

1988 - Dozens of big-name acts, including Peter Gabriel, Sting, Dire Straits, and Stevie Wonder, rock the stage at the Free Nelson Mandela Concert at Wembley Stadium in London.

When Stevie Wonder has an equipment problem, Tracy Chapman, who released her debut album two months earlier, covers for him in prime time, giving her career a huge boost - in August her album goes to #1 in America. On February 11, 1990, Mandela is freed from prison.

2011 - Pink Floyd's 1973 album Dark Side Of The Moon re-entered the Billboard Album chart at No. 47, reaching the milestone of 1,000 weeks on Billboard's charts.


ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard is 72. Beard is notable as being the only musician in the band without a long beard, an ironic fact considering his last name.

Steven Drozd, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter for the Flaming Lips and Electric Wurms, is 52.

Stereo MC's singer Rob Birch is 60.

On This Day Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

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