ON THIS DAY IN MUSIC HISTORY: 7.21.21


1956 - Elvis Presley was termed "the most controversial entertainer since Liberace" by Billboard. On the same day, Elvis was booked for three appearances on Ed Sullivan's widely watched Sunday-night variety program, even though Sullivan had declared Elvis and his gyrating hips would never be welcomed back.

1969 - Blind Faith, (the first super group?) comprised of Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech, release their self-titled debut album in the United States. As much a follow-up to Traffic's self-titled second album as it is to Cream's final output, it merges the soulful blues of the former with the heavy riffing and outsized song lengths of the latter for a very compelling sound unique to this band.

The cover is nothing exciting, just a photo of the band with the group name and lineup. The UK release in August has a far more controversial album cover: a photo of a topless 11-year-old girl. This cover appears in limited release in America.

1969 - The Beatles records "Come Together." According to the new mini series "McCartney 3,2,1, when John originally played it, Paul said it was too similar to Chuck Berry's 'You Can't Catch Me,' and suggested that they slow it down with a swampy bass and drum vibe. Lennon was still sued for stealing the guitar riff and the line "Here comes old flat-top."

1987 - Guns N' Roses released their debut album, Appetite for Destruction. With over 30 million copies sold worldwide, it is one of the best-selling records of all time, and is the best-selling debut album of all time.

1989 - Performing on the Club MTV tour at a stop in Bristol, Connecticut, Milli Vanilli's tracks went screwy when they tried to lip-synch to the song "Girl You Know It's True". As the line "girl you know it's..." repeated over and over, the duo panicked and scurried off stage. It would later be revealed that they didn't sing on their album.

2005 - Long John Baldry passed away. He was one of the founding fathers of British Rock 'n' Roll in the 1960s performing with Blues Incorporated, he later fronted the Hoochie Coochie Men with Rod Stewart, and he was a member of Bluesology with Elton John. He also narrated on Winnie The Pooh recordings for Disney and was the voice for Robotnik on the Sonic The Hedgehog computer game.

2008 - The Police played the first of two nights at Red Rocks during the final leg of their 152-date world Reunion tour. In a review of the show, the Denver Post's, The Know, said this:

Stewart Copeland started the evening off with a swing at the huge gong behind him. Guitarist Andy Summers came out and launched into the opening riff of “Message in a Bottle.”

The band sounded tight as it plowed through hit after hit. The guitar work by Summers on “Demolition Man” and “Driven to Tears” alternated between frenzied distortion and lighter rhythm playing. Sting played to the crowd throughout the evening. Looking trim and smiling, he frequently would sing half a lyric and then let the crowd finish it. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

The tour became the third highest grossing tour of all time, with revenues reaching over $340 million.

Birthdays:

Legendary American vocalist Kay Starr was born today in 1922. Billie Holiday once famously called Starr "the only white woman who could sing the blues." She passed away in 2016.

Plas Johnson is 89. He is the tenor saxophone soloist on Henry Mancini's 'The Pink Panther Theme' and he played on records by Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Ricky Nelson and Bobby Vee.

Kim Fowley, best known for his role behind a string of novelty and cult pop rock singles in the 1960s, and for managing The Runaways in the 1970s, was born today in 1939. He passed away in 2015.

Guitarist Henry McCullough was born today in 1943. He recorded with Paul McCartney and Wings, featuring on the hit James Bond theme, 'Live and Let Die' and 'My Love', the solo which he made up on the spot in front of a live orchestra. He was also a member of Spooky Tooth and The Grease Band. He passed away in 2016.

Howie Epstein, bass player for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, was born today in 1955.

Cat Stevens is 73. In 1977, he becomes a Muslim and changes his name to Yusuf Islam.

Michael Sean "Fitz" Fitzpatrick of Fitz and the Tantrums, is 51.

Damian Marley is 43.

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


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