1956 - Elvis Presley appeared on NBC- TV's The Steve Allen Show and performed "Hound Dog" — to a live hound dog. US TV critic John Crosby panned Elvis' performance, calling him an 'unspeakable, untalented and vulgar young entertainer.'
1966 - Bob Dylan releases Blonde on Blonde, rock's first double album. Dylan says the album is the closest he has ever come to the "thin, wild mercury sound" he hears in his head. It shows influences of Memphis and Chicago blues, New Orleans processionals, pop, and good ol' rock and roll.
Comprised entirely of songs driven by inventive, surreal, and witty wordplay, not only on the rockers but also on winding, moving ballads. Throughout the record, the music matches the inventiveness of the songs, filled with cutting guitar riffs, liquid organ riffs, crisp pianos, and even woozy brass bands. It's the culmination of Dylan's electric rock & roll period -- he would never release a studio record that rocked this hard, or had such bizarre imagery, ever again. (Photo by Agence France Presse/Agence France Presse/Getty Images)
1968 - The Band released their debut album Music From Big Pink. The music was composed partly in "Big Pink," a house shared by the Band's Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson in West Saugerties, N.Y.
It was group of songs that took family, faith, and rural life as their subjects and proceeded to imbue their values with uncertainty. Some songs took on the theme of declining institutions less clearly than others, but the points were made musically as much as lyrically. The result was an album that reflected the turmoil of the late '60s in a way that emphasized the tragedy inherent in the conflicts. Music from Big Pink came off as a shockingly divergent musical statement only a year after the ornate productions of Sgt. Pepper.
Many musicians have commented how Music From Big Pink profoundly affected their own writing style and career paths: Eric Clapton said it was the album that caused him to quit Cream and pursue the styles of Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos and his debut solo album; and Roger Waters has called it "the second most influential record in the history of rock and roll" after Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and that it "affected Pink Floyd deeply, deeply, deeply."
1975 - Lou Reed releases Metal Machine Music, a double album of distortion and guitar feedback. One would be hard-pressed to name a major artist who ever released an album as thoroughly alienating. it's a densely layered soundscape constructed from feedback, distortion, and atonal guitar runs sped up or slowed down until they were all but unrecognizable. He once said, "Well, anyone who gets to side four is dumber than I am."
1982 - Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five release the early rap classic "The Message." It's the first hip-hop hit with lyrics about struggle in the inner city.
1995 - Legendary DJ Wolfman Jack, who famously spun rock and roll records from a border blaster station in Mexico throughout the '60s, dies of a heart attack at age 57.
1999 - Reggae singer Dennis Brown died aged 42, the official cause of his death was a collapsed lung. Had the 1979 UK hit 'Money In My Pocket.' Bob Marley cited Brown as his favorite singer, naming him ‘The Crown Prince of Reggae."
Blues singer and bassist Willie Dixon was born today in 1915. He passed away in 1992.
Bobby Day ("Rockin' Robin") was born today in 1930. He passed away in 1990.
Blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter James Cotton was born today in 1935. He passed away in 2017.
Delaney Bramlett, Delaney & Bonnie, worked with Eric Clapton during the early 70s), born on this day in 1939.
Fred Schneider of the B-52's is 70.
Debbie Harry is 76.
Dan Aykroyd is 69.
Missy Elliott is 50.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Song Facts, Allmusic, and Wikipedia.