1938 - Robert Johnson, famous for his song "Crossroads," where he sings about making a deal with the Devil to attain his musical prowess, is poisoned during a gig in Greenwood, Mississippi. Most accounts claim the guy who owned the club put the poison in Johnson's whiskey bottle because Johnson was having an affair with his wife. He dies three days later at age 27.
1971 - John Lennon flew from London's Heathrow Airport to New York, never to return to Britain.
1973 - Lynyrd Skynyrd release their debut album, Pronounced ('Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd). It's an impressive set, containing the Skynyrd classics "Tuesday's Gone," "Simple Man" and "Free Bird." The genius of Skynyrd is that they un-self-consciously blended album-oriented hard rock, blues, country, and garage rock, turning it all into a distinctive sound that sounds familiar but thoroughly unique. It's the birth of a great band that birthed an entire genre with this album.
1979 - Cheap Trick enjoyed their biggest hit with the live version of "I Want You to Want Me." Recorded for their 1977 self-titled debut album, but it didn't make the cut. The song was included on their second album, In Color, with a country feel and a honky tonk piano. By 1978, the band had dropped it from their setlist, but restored it when they toured Japan that year, since Japanese audiences loved the song. The concert version on Live At Budakon turned their fortunes around in America and sold over 3 million copies.
1988 - Robert Smith of The Cure marries his childhood sweetheart, Mary Poole. Poole inspired the hit "Lovesong." (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
2017 - David Bowie made a posthumous appearance in the TV series Twin Peaks: The Return. The late singer, who made a cameo appearance as a deranged FBI agent in the cult classic's 1991 prequel, Fire Walk With Me, was supposed to return for the show's revival but died before filming. Director David Lynch used archive footage from the movie to bring Bowie to life in the episode.
Dan Fogelburg, singer-songwriter and member of the Colorado Music Hall Of Fame, was born on this day in 1951.
Feargal Sharkey of The Undertones ("Teenage Kicks") is 63.
Danny Bonaduce, known for his work on TV's The Partridge Family, is 62.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Song Facts, Allmusic, and Wikipedia.