1955 - Chuck Berry releases his first single, "Maybellene." This song tells the story of a girl who keeps cheating on her man. Various cars appear in the lyrics; Berry sings about chasing Maybellene in his V8 Ford while she drag races a man in a Cadillac with her Coupe de Ville. There are a few different stories floating around about how the song got its name. Berry has said that Maybellene was the name of a cow in child's nursery rhyme, but Johnnie Johnson (Chuck's piano player) recalled that there was a box of Maybellene mascara in the office, which gave Leonard Chess (head of Chess Records) the idea for the title.
1963 - High school student Neil Young and his band, the Squires, entered a studio in Winnipeg to record their first single, "The Sultan."
1979 - Iran's new leader, the Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, banned rock 'n' roll as a corruptive influence on the people, a decision that is said to eventually have inspired the Clash song, "Rock the Casbah."
1979 - Keith Godchaux keyboard player with the Grateful Dead died after being involved in a car accident aged 32. He had been on the way home from his birthday party at the time of the crash. He co-wrote songs with Lowell George (of Little Feat) and was a member of The New Riders of the Purple Sage.
1994 - The International Astronomical Union named an asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter after Frank Zappa, who had died the previous December.
1996 - Fiona Apple, 18, releases her debut album, Tidal, featuring "Shadowboxer" and "Criminal." It sells over 3 million copies in America.
2009 - On the afternoon of a concert at First Energy Park, Lakewood, New Jersey, Bob Dylan was picked up by a young policewoman who had been alerted of a man who was 'acting suspiciously'. The police officer drove up to Dylan, who was wearing a blue jacket, and asked him his name, but she did not recognize him. When he was unable to produce any identification, Dylan was driven to his hotel where staff were able to vouch for him. The incident happened when Dylan decided to go for a walk in the afternoon while on tour with Willie Nelson who were due to perform at the local baseball stadium with John Mellencamp.
2010 - Kings of Leon have a strange encounter during a show in St. Louis when just a few songs into their set, they abruptly leave the stage, complaining about a flurry of bird poop coming from a flock of pigeons chilling in the rafters. The band never returns, and a full refund is made available to all concertgoers.
2011 - Amy Winehouse was found dead at her north London home at age 27; the cause of death was alcohol poisoning. Known for her deep vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul, rhythm and blues, jazz and reggae, Winehouse's 2003 debut album, Frank, was a critical success in the U.K., and her 2006 follow-up album, Back to Black, led to five 2008 Grammy Awards, tying what was then a record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night, and made her the first British female to win five Grammys including three of the general field "Big Four" awards: Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. One side of Amy Winehouse that was little known to the general public was that throughout her life, Winehouse donated her money, music and time to many charities, particularly those concerned with children.
Tony Joe White, US singer, songwriter, was born on this day in 1947. Best known for his 1969 US No.8 single, 'Polk Salad Annie' (also recorded by Elvis Presley and Tom Jones) and ‘Rainy Night in Georgia’ which he wrote but was first made popular by Brook Benton in 1970.
Blair Thornton of Bachman Turner Overdrive is 71.
Martin Gore, Depeche Mode guitarist and keyboard player, is 60.
Slash (born Saul Hudson) is 56.
Alison Maria Krauss is 50.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.