1970 - Elton John performed in the U.S. for the first time. In the audience that night were Don Henley, Quincy Jones and Leon Russell. His gig at the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles launched a 17-date tour and the first big impact Elton John would make in America.

1975 - Bruce Springsteen released his third album and big breakthrough, Born to Run. This make-or-break third album represented a sonic leap, Born to Run had a big sound, and Springsteen wrote big songs to match it. Springsteen was thinking Roy Orison with Phil Spector's Wall O Sound. An updated West Side Story with spectacular music that owed more to Bernstein than to Berry.

1976 - Boston released their self-titled debut album, which despite being mostly recorded in Tom Scholz' basement studio, became one of the best-selling debuts of all time.

1981 - The Replacements released their first studio album, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash. Closer to amped-up Rockpile than the Ramones, they were a party spinning out of control, getting sloppier with every beer swilled. And that's what made the Replacements seem so different with their debut -- they didn't fit anywhere within American punk. Retrospectively, AllMusic considered Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash to be "one of the best LPs the entire scene produced in the early '80s." (Photo by Katie Stratton/Getty Images for Coachella)

1986 - Paul Simon released his epic Graceland album. Simon hit on the idea of combining his always perceptive songwriting with the little-heard mbaqanga music of South Africa, creating a fascinating hybrid that re-enchanted his old audience and earned him a new one. An enormously successful record, Graceland became the standard against which subsequent musical experiments by major artists were measured.

2009 - During a radio broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music, Bob Dylan revealed that he was speaking to a number of car companies about becoming the voice of their GPS systems. Dylan said he thought it would be good for drivers to hear him saying things like, "Take a left at the next street. No, a right. You know what, just go straight."


Composer Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story, others) was born today in 1918. He passed away in 1990.

Gene Simmons of KISS is 72.

Rob Halford of Judas Priest is 70.

Elvis Costello, born Declan Patrick Aloysius MacManus, is 67.

Billy Ray Cyrus is 60.

Norman Rogers known professionally as Terminator X of Public Enemy is 55.

Jeff Tweedy, Uncle Tupelo and Wilco, is 54.

On This Day In Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

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