1958 - Prince was born. No other artist of the rock & roll era compares to Prince. He was the rare combination of a visionary pop conceptualist and master musician who could capture the sounds he imagined, a quality that fueled his remarkable success in the 1980s. Ideas came to Prince so quickly, they couldn't be contained on his own records, either with or without his backing band the Revolution. He masterminded albums by the Time and Sheila E, and gave away hit songs to the Bangles and Sheena Easton, shaping the sound of popular music in the process. There wasn't an area of pop music in the '80s that didn't bear his influence: it could be heard in freaky funk and R&B slow jams, in thick electro-techno and neo-psychedelic rock, and right at the top of the pop charts. (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)
1969 - The Who's rock opera Tommy entered the Billboard charts at No. 96; it would peak at No. 4. The double album tells a loose story about a "deaf, dumb and blind boy" who becomes the leader of a messianic movement, Tommy was the first musical work to be billed overtly as a rock opera.
1969 - Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell both appeared on the first ABC TV Johnny Cash Show from Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Dylan sang I Threw It All Away and Living The Blues and duetted with Johnny Cash on Girl From The North Country.
1975 - Elton John's Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy, with the hit "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," became the first album to debut at No. 1 in the US. It held the top spot for seven (non-consecutive) weeks. Recorded at Caribou Ranch, , Elton and Bernie Taupin recalled their rise to power with their first explicitly conceptual effort since Tumbleweed Connection. It's no coincidence that it's their best album since then, showcasing each at the peak of his power, as John crafts supple, elastic, versatile pop and Taupin's inscrutable wordplay is evocative, even moving.
2012 - Bob Welch, an early member of Fleetwood Mac who enjoyed a successful solo career with hits such as "Ebony Eyes", was found dead at home in Nashville. In 1971, Welch replaced Jeremy Spencer and stayed for the albums Future Games (1971), Bare Trees (1972), Penguin (1973), Mystery to Me (1973), and Heroes Are Hard to Find (1974). Welch's finest Fleetwood Mac moment was the dreamily jazzy "Hypnotized" on Mystery to Me. Welch was asked to stay despite the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, but he departed. Welch also publicly clashed with his former Fleetwood Mac bandmates. In 1994, he filed a lawsuit claiming he was underpaid royalties during his tenure. The case was settled out of court, but Welch says Fleetwood Mac retaliated by having him excluded from the band's 1998 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Welch was the only early member not honored.
Dean Martin was born today in 1917.
Tom Jones is 81.
Johnny Clegg (Juluka) was born on this day in 1953.
Eric Kretz, Stone Temple Pilots drummer, is 55.
Guitarist Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers) is 54.
George Ezra is 28.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Allmusic, Song Facts and Wikipedia.