1965 - Queen Elizabeth II awarded The Beatles with MBEs — Member of the British Empire, an order of chivalry of British democracy — at Buckingham Palace in London. According to an account by John Lennon, the group smoked marijuana in one of the palace bathrooms to calm their nerves. Following the Beatles' investiture, many previous recipients returned their MBEs in protest, to which John Lennon responded, "Lots of people who complained about us receiving the MBE received theirs for heroism in the war, for killing people … We received ours for entertaining other people. I'd say we deserve ours more."

1970 -A wake was held at the Lion's Share in San Anselmo, California to celebrate the life of Janis Joplin. The singer who died of an accidental drugs overdose had left $2,500 in her will to throw a wake party in the event of her demise. The party was attended by her sister Laura and Joplin's close friends; Brownies laced with hashish were unknowingly passed around amongst the guests.

1970 - Elton John released "Your Song,” which becomes his first hit.

Bernie Taupin wrote the words for this song over breakfast at Elton's parents' house, where he was staying. The original lyrics have coffee stains on them.

"The original lyric was written very rapidly on the kitchen table of Elton's mother's apartment in Northwood Hills in the suburbs of London, if I recall, on a particularly grubby piece of exercise paper," said Taupin.

Elton wrote the music in about 20 minutes, as he often did with Taupin's lyrics in their early days. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Harlequins)

2004 - Apple launched the U2 Special Edition iPod as part of a partnership between Apple, U2 and Universal Music Group. The new U2 iPod held up to 5,000 songs and featured a red Click Wheel and custom engraving of U2 band member signatures. The iPod was being introduced as the band released their new album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

2010 - Keith Richards releases his autobiography, Life. A book of amazing moments of excess, abandon and infinite good luck from a life well lived. His drug use is a big topic - here's a quote: "I loved a good high. And if you stay up, you get the songs that everyone else misses because they're asleep."

2011 - A coroner's inquest on the death of Amy Winehouse reached a verdict of misadventure. The report explained that Winehouse's blood alcohol content was more than five times the legal drink-drive limit. According to the coroner ‘The unintended consequences of such potentially fatal levels was her sudden death’.

2019 - Paul Barrere died at age 71. He was a member of Little Feat, which he joined in 1972. Barrere later played with Phil Lesh and Friends and also toured with Bob Dylan.

2019- The beat-up sweater Kurt Cobain wore on Nirvana's MTV Unplugged special sells at auction for $334,000. After Cobain died, Courtney Love gave it to the family's nanny, who sold it to pay for cancer treatments.


Mahalia Jackson referred to as "The Queen of Gospel" was born on this day in 1911.

Maggie Roche, singer/songwriter of The Roches, was born on this day in 1951.

Bootsy Collins, bassist in James Brown's backing band in the '70s before joining Funkadelic. is 70.

B-52s guitarist Keith Strickland is 68.

Natalie Merchant is 58.

Country star Keith Urban is 54.

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

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