1966 - At a photo session at Bob Whitaker's studio in London, The Beatles posed in white coats using sides of meat with mutilated and butchered dolls for the cover of their next American album, Yesterday and Today. After advance copies were sent to disc jockeys and record reviewers, negative reaction to the cover photo was so strong Capitol recalled 750,000 copies from distributors to replace the cover. The total cost to Capitol to replace the cover and promotional materials was $250,000, wiping out their initial profit.

A quick internet search shows copies of the album (depending on condition or sealed) can fetch tens of thousands of dollars. Some even higher.

1970 - Jimi Hendrix released Band Of Gypsys. Band of Gypsys was the only live recording authorized by Jimi Hendrix before his death. It was recorded and released in order to get Hendrix out from under a contractual obligation that had been hanging over his head for a couple years. Helping him out were longtime friends Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on the drums. These new surroundings pushed Hendrix to new creative heights. Along with this new rhythm section, Hendrix took these shows as an opportunity to showcase much of the new material he had been working on. The music was a seamless melding of rock, funk, and R&B, and tunes like "Message to Love" and "Power to Love" showed a new lyrical direction as well. And the solo on "Machine Gun" totally rewrote the book on what a man could do with an electric guitar.

1972 - Deep Purple releases Machine Head. Along with Zep's fourth and Sabbath's paranoid, some will tell you this is part of the fundamental blueprints followed by virtually every heavy rock & roll band since the early '70s. While it contains the "mother of all guitar riffs" in "Smoke on the Water", "Highway Star," "Pictures of Home" and "Never Before" remain as vital. And finally, the spectacular "Space Truckin'" drove Machine Head home with yet another tremendous Blackmore riff, providing a fitting conclusion to one of the essential hard rock albums of all time.

1985 - Prince won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score for the film Purple Rain. Even without the movie, Purple Rain is regularly called one of the great albums in music history, but as a soundtrack, it is even more highly praised; in 2007, Vanity Fair magazine named it "the best soundtrack of all time."

1985 - Tom Petty and the Heatbreakers released the song, "Southern Accents." In a 2002 interview with the Los Angeles Times, he explained: "That may be my favorite among my songs - just in terms of a piece of pure writing. I remember writing it very vividly. It was in the middle of the night and I was playing it on the piano at home in Encino. I was just singing into my cassette recorder and suddenly these words came out. I started thinking about growing up in northern Florida, which is a lot different from Miami Beach. It's close to Georgia and I came from a real Southern family, and I wanted to address that world."


Celebrated American songwriter Hoyt Axton was born on this day in 1938. First rising to prominence as a songwriter, Hoyt Axton carved out successful careers as a singer and actor as well; rooted equally in country, folk and pop, his gravelly baritone and wry, earthy songs projected an uncommon wit, warmth, and optimism, yielding a consistently engaging body of work extending across four decades. He wrote "Joy To The World" and many more hits for other artists.

Aretha Franklin was born on this day in 1942. Aretha Franklin was one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged. Her astonishing run of late-'60s hits with Atlantic Records -- "Respect," "I Never Loved a Man," "Chain of Fools," "Baby I Love You," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Think," "The House That Jack Built," and many others -- earned her the title Queen of Soul.

Franklin made a triumphant return to pop with 1985's Who's Zoomin' Who? and its Top Ten single "Freeway of Love," which was followed in 1987 by the George Michael duet "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)," which became her first number one hit on the Billboard charts since "Respect" in 1967. Franklin spent the next three decades performing and recording regularly, maintaining her status as the Queen of Soul until her death in 2018. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The Fox Theatre)

Elton John is 77. One of the greatest stars of the rock & roll era, Elton John exploded like a supernova in the early 1970s and sustained a career that kept him at the top of the charts for the next five decades. John's earliest records were part of the moody, introspective post-'60s singer/songwriter movement, but once he had a hit with "Your Song," the pianist revealed he could also craft Beatles-like pop and pound out rockers with equal aplomb.

His Colorado connection: Elton John's 1974 album Caribou was recorded at and named after the studio. John also recorded the single "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (featuring John Lennon) there, along with its b-side, the John Lennon-penned "One Day (At A Time)," and the basic tracks and vocals for the single "Philadelphia Freedom" (the orchestral parts for which were overdubbed later). He also recorded his next two albums, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy and Rock of the Westies at Caribou Ranch.


2006 - Buck Owens dies. Buck Owens, along with Merle Haggard, was the leader of the Bakersfield sound, a twangy, electrified, rock-influenced interpretation of hardcore honky tonk that emerged in the '60s. Owens was the first bona fide country star to emerge from Bakersfield, scoring a total of 15 consecutive number one hits between 1963 and 1967. In the process, he provided an edgy alternative to the string-laden Nashville country-pop that was prevalent at the time. Later in his career, his musical impact was forgotten by some due to his starring role on the country comedy program Hee Haw. Nevertheless, several generations of musicians -- from Gram Parsons in the late '60s to Dwight Yoakam in the '80s -- were influenced by his music, which wound up being one of the blueprints for modern country.

On This Day In Music History was sourced, copied, pasted, curated, edited, and occasionally woven together with my own crude prose, from This Day in Music, Music this Day, Allmusic, Song Facts and Wikipedia.



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