1959 - Miles Davis released Kind of Blue. It's the Citizen Kane of jazz -- an accepted work of greatness that's innovative and entertaining. That may not mean it's the greatest jazz album ever made, but it certainly is a universally acknowledged standard of excellence.
Why does Kind of Blue posses such a mystique? Perhaps it's that this music never flaunts its genius. It lures listeners in with the slow, luxurious bassline and gentle piano chords of "So What." From that moment on, the record never really changes pace -- each tune has a similar relaxed feel, as the music flows easily. It's the pinnacle of modal jazz -- tonality and solos build from chords, not the overall key, giving the music a subtly shifting quality.
For years, my friends that are jazz aficionados recommended this record to me. I listened and just didn't get it. Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, I got. But one Sunday morning I put it on and "got it". It's a beautiful album. Thank you Richard Ray...
1960 - The Beatles perform for the first time using that name. They appear at the Indra Club in Hamburg, Germany, where they play for four and half hours a night and six hours on the weekend, during a 48 night stay.
The group name was a play on "The Crickets," who were Buddy Holly's backup band. John Lennon liked how both names had double meanings: they were both names of insects, while cricket is a popular international sport and "beat" is a musical term. When The Beatles finally met members of The Crickets, they were surprised to learn that they never thought of their band name as having anything to do with the sport - they don't play cricket in America.
1964 - Glasgow city council in Scotland announced that all boys and men with Beatle styled haircuts would have to wear swimming caps after a committee was told that hair from "Beatle-cuts" was clogging the filters in public pools.
1969 - Woodstock moves into day three, with performances by Joe Cocker; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Blood, Sweat & Tears; and Country Joe & the Fish, who perform their famous "Fish Cheer."
1977 - It's the day after Elvis Presley is found dead, and throngs of fans come to Graceland to mourn. President Jimmy Carter releases a statement saying, in part, "Elvis Presley's death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique and irreplaceable."
1991 - Nirvana shot the video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at a studio in Culver City, Calif., at a cost of less than $50,000. The video features real Nirvana fans as the audience.
The crowd knows they've gathered to make a music video, but no one in attendance expects it to take over MTV and the music world like it ultimately will.
It's set in a high school gym in what looks like the eleventh circle of hell. The "students" are bored and distracted as the song begins, and by the end, the entire gym becomes a furious mosh pit as the crowd helps the band demolish the set. Kurt Cobain is visibly distressed in the final version of the shoot, perhaps a harbinger of how his success will ultimately wear him down.
2012 - Three members of the Russian feminist punk-rock band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years' imprisonment after staging a performance in a Moscow cathedral in protest of the Orthodox Church leader's support for President Putin during Putin's election campaign.
Belinda Carlisle is 65. Lead singer of the Go-Go's. They were the most popular all-female band to emerge from the punk/new wave explosion of the late '70s and early '80s, becoming one of the first commercially successful female groups who weren't controlled by male producers or managers.
Phoebe Bridgers is 29. A Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter with a dreamy and hook-filled indie pop heart, Phoebe Bridgers' witty lyrical perspectives, sadly beautiful songs, and commanding melodies quickly jettisoned her to worldwide acclaim. Currently part of the trio, Boygenius, with Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker
Elijah Hewson (Bono’s son) frontman for the Irish rock group Inhaler is 24.
On This Day In Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, Song Facts, Allmusic, Classic Bands, and Wikipedia.
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