1965 - At the Newport Folk Festival, Bob Dylan played an electric set for the first time.

Once in a blue moon, an artist changes history by giving a festival audience exactly what it doesn’t want. Bob Dylan stepped on stage July 25, 1965 at the Newport Folk Festival with an electric band in tow.

Dylan fans are expecting to hear him sing and strum his acoustic guitar to hits such as "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Blowin' In The Wind." They may sense they are in for something different when Dylan strolls onto the stage in black jeans, black boots, and black leather jacket. Their suspicions are confirmed when he plugs in a 3-tone Sunburst Fender Stratocaster.

Many folk purists in the crowd considered a heresy. For them, Dylan’s three-song, plugged-in set represented a betrayal of everything they mistakenly thought he stood for.

Backed by members of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Dylan declares, "I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more," and launches into 16 minutes of hard-rocking electric blues. "Maggie's Farm" is followed by "Like a Rolling Stone," "Phantom Engineer," and "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry." Dylan has gone electric.

Dylan tried to mollify the crowd by returning to the stage for an acoustic solo set, closing with a song that may have been directed at those who would have him remain musically moribund: “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” (Photo by Agence France Presse/Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

1968 - The Beatles recorded their first take of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Harrison had been reading the Chinese philosophical text the I Ching, which stipulates that there are no coincidences in the universe (i.e. that everything is connected and thus meant to be), and decided to use the book as inspiration to write a song. So, he opened another book and told himself he would compose a song based on the very first words his eyes landed on. The words turned out to be "gently weeps".

1969 - Neil Young appeared with Crosby, Stills and Nash for the first time at The Fillmore East in New York. Young was initially asked to help out with live material only, but ended up joining the group on and off for the next 30 years.


Folk singer-songwriter Steve Goodman was born today in 1984. A celebrated singer and songwriter whose critical acclaim and reputation among his peers far outstripped his popularity with mainstream listeners, Steve Goodman was a Chicago-based tunesmith with a gift for clever but unpretentious wit, compassionate character studies, and a sharp eye for the details of Midwestern life.

Notable songs written by Goodman: "The City of New Orleans," a Top 20 hit for Arlo Guthrie in 1972.

You Never Even Called Me by My Name" (first recorded on the Steve Goodman album, and co-written by an uncredited John Prine), a top ten country hit for David Allen Coe.

Colorado Christmas, covered by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Thurston Moore is 65. Thurston Moore's work with Sonic Youth rearranged the parameters of indie rock to an almost incalculable degree, merging experimental art rock tendencies with unconventional guitar tunings for a sound that would influence generations to come


1984 - Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton died at the age of 58. She had a No.1 R&B hit in 1953 with ‘Hound Dog’ (later covered by Elvis Presley). She also wrote and recorded ‘Ball 'n' Chain,’ which Janis Joplin recorded.

2020 - English blues rock singer-songwriter and guitarist Peter Green died in his sleep age 73. As the founder of Fleetwood Mac, his songs, such as 'Albatross', 'Black Magic Woman', 'Oh Well', 'The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)' and 'Man of the World' became worldwide hits. Green left the band in 1970 as he struggled with his mental health.

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



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