1962 - Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt Kickers started a two-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Monster Mash." The original title was "Monster Twist" in an attempt to jump on the Twist craze, but that fad was fading so they tried calling it "Monster Mashed Potato," then settled on "Monster Mash." Pickett's vocals are his impression of Boris Karloff, who was known for his role as Frankenstein's monster.

1973 - The Rolling Stones were at No. 1 with "Angie." The song came off of the album Goats Head Soup. There was speculation that David Bowie's wife, Angela, inspired this song, but Keith cleared it up in his 2010 autobiography Life, where he wrote: "While I was in the [Vevey drug] clinic (in March-April 1972), Anita was down the road having our daughter, Angela. Once I came out of the usual trauma, I had a guitar with me and I wrote 'Angie' in an afternoon, sitting in bed, because I could finally move my fingers and put them in the right place again, and I didn't feel like I had to s--t the bed or climb the walls or feel manic anymore. I just went, 'Angie, Angie.' It was not about any particular person; it was a name, like ohhh, Diana. I didn't know Angela was going to be called Angela when I wrote 'Angie.' In those days you didn't know what sex the thing was going to be until it popped out." (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)

1977 - Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines from Lynyrd Skynyrd, along with manager Dean Kilpatrick, were all killed when their rented plane crashed into a densely wooded thicket in the middle of a swamp in Gillsburg, Miss. The crash seriously injured the rest of the band and crew, who were due to play at Louisiana University that evening.

1977I - In town for a gig with The Police, Sting kills some time by walking through the red light district of Paris. Watching the ladies of the night ply their trade gives him the inspiration for what becomes the band's first hit: "Roxanne."

1980 - U2 release their debut album, Boy, produced by Steve Lillywhite. From the outset, U2 went for the big message -- every song on their debut album Boy sounds huge, with oceans of processed guitars cascading around Bono's impassioned wail. It was an inspired combination of large, stadium-rock beats and post-punk textures. It doesn't yield any hits but "I Will Follow" becomes one of their most popular songs.

2003 - Amy Winehouse released her debut album Frank in the UK, (named after Frank Sinatra). Frank wasn't released in the US till 2007, after Back to Black had made her a global star.

2014 - John Holt, reggae singer and songwriter who first found fame as a member of the Paragons, died at age 67. Holt penned "The Tide Is High" made famous by Blondie.


Tom Petty was born today in 1950. Tom Petty straddled the divide separating classic rock and new wave, revitalizing and reinvigorating the big jangle of the Byrds and the garage rock roar of the Rolling Stones with his earliest records with the Heartbreakers in the late 1970s. His passing in 2017 helped put in perspective how he was one of the greatest rockers and singer/songwriters of his time, amassing a body of work that managed to sound simultaneously timeless and fresh.

Jelly Roll Morton, considered the first great jazz composer, was born today in 1890. He passed away in 1941.

Snoop Dogg is 50.

Paul Wilson, Snow Patrol Bassist, is 43.

Wanda Jackson is 84.

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

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