1966 - The Monkees released their first single, "Last Train to Clarksville." Critics called them "The Pre-Fab Four". This was written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart as a protest to the Vietnam War. They had to keep this quiet in order to get it recorded, but it is about a guy who gets drafted and goes to fight in the war. The train is taking him to an army base, and he knows he may die in Vietnam. At the end of the song he states, "I don't know if I'm ever coming home."

1969 - During a North American tour Led Zeppelin appeared at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park with Joe Cocker as support. Zeppelin had been asked to perform at Woodstock but due to this gig commitment were unable to attend. And down the road Bruce Springsteen's band Child played the first of two shows over two days at the Student Prince, Ashbury Park. Springsteen was also unable to attend Woodstock due to these gigs.

1975 - Peter Gabriel split from Genesis. At the time, a record company spokesman issued a statement that Gabriel was leaving to concentrate on "other literary and experimental interests outside of music." Add to that, the fact that Gabriel and his wife had recently had their first child, and it was obvious something was going to come to a head. "For me there was no question about priorities," Gabriel added. "That I think pissed off the band too. I was the first to have a baby, and they didn't have any understanding how it changes the way you feel." (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

1977- Elvis Presley died. Elvis belongs on the short list of artists who changed the course of popular music in the 20th century. He may not have invented rock & roll, but he was indisputably its first rock star, a singer whose charisma intertwined tightly with his natural talent for a combination that seemed combustible, sexy, and dangerous.

1983 - Paul Simon married actress Carrie Fisher. They divorced two years later.

1985 - Madonna married actor Sean Penn. The marriage lasted four years.

1994 - Neil Young releases Sleeps with Angels, the title of which is inspired by the death of Kurt Cobain. Young's 20th studio album, its dark, brooding sound contrasts sharply with his previous album, Harvest Moon.

2018 - Singer and songwriter Aretha Franklin died in Detroit at the age of 76. She was known as "The Queen of Soul" and one of the best-selling musical artists of all time. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged.


Al Hibbler, the singer of "Unchained Melody", was born today in 1915. He passed away in 2001.

Scott Asheton, drummer for Iggy Pop and the Stooges, was born today in 1949. He passed away in 2014.

James "J.T." Taylor of Kool & The Gang is 68.

Madonna is 63.

Emily Robinson, singer songwriter with Dixie Chicks is 49.

Bob Hardy, bassist for Franz Ferdinand is 41.

Vanessa Carlton, singer of "A Thousand Miles", is 41.

On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Song Facts, Ultimate Classic Rock, Allmusic, and Wikipedia.

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