1955 - Chuck Berry does the duck walk for the first time. Berry performs the famous move, squatting on one leg while hopping across the stage, at the Paramount Theatre in Brooklyn, New York. He was actually trying to hide the wrinkles in his suit. The crowd goes nuts, so Berry does it at the rest of the shows, where it wows the crowd every time. It became his signature move on stage. It's one of Berry's many contributions to rock and roll.
1973 - Marvin Gaye started a two-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Let's Get It On." In an article for Rolling Stone magazine, music critic Jon Landau wrote of the song: "'Let's Get It On' is a classic Motown single, endlessly repeatable and always enjoyable. It begins with three great wah-wah notes that herald the arrival of a vintage Fifties melody. But while the song centers around classically simple chord changes, the arrangement centers around a slightly eccentric rhythm pattern that deepens the song's power while covering it with a contemporary veneer. Above all, it has Marvin Gaye's best singing at its center, fine background voices on the side, and a long, moody fade-out that challenges you not to play the cut again."
1982 - Peter Gabriel released his fourth studio album, titled Security in the U.S. It was titled Peter Gabriel everywhere else like his first three. It continues where the third Gabriel album left off, sharing some of the same dense production and sense of cohesion, yet lightening the atmosphere and expanding the sonic palette somewhat. Included the hit, 'Shock The Monkey." Security remains a powerful listen, one of the better records in Gabriel's catalog, proving that he is becoming a master of tone, style, and substance, and how each part of the record enhances the other. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
1992 - Tom Waits' album Bone Machine drops a sonic avalanche of apocalyptic percussion sounds, snarls, and deathly wails. The album ditches Waits' usual gin-soaked piano in favor of a motley assortment of percussion instruments ranging from sticks to standard drums to a bizarre contraption called a "conundrum," which Waits describes as "like an iron cross with these metal things hanging off."
The cover image features a distorted image of Waits wearing goggles and a leather skull cap. The picture was taken by Bob Dylan's son Jesse.
1993 - “Watch closely. This is the first and last time you’ll see this happen,” she said before they started playing. Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain appear on stage together for the first time, performing at Club Lingerie in Los Angeles. They play "Pennyroyal Tea" and "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" The performance was for a benefit show, Rock Against Rape and came just two months before Nirvana’s famed MTV Unplugged set.
2016 - Prince Buster, a Jamaican native who popularized ska music in England, dies at age 78. Prince Buster defined the sound of ska in the 1960s before going on to inspire the Two Tone movement of the late '70s. The band Madness (Our House) took their name from one of his songs. The Specials covered 'Too Hot', 'Al Capone', and 'Enjoy Yourself.'
Benjamin Orr, bassist for The Cars, was born today in 1947.
Aimee Mann is 60.
Pink is 42.
Wiz Khalifa is 34.
Avicii was born on this day in 1989. He passed in 2018.
Pasty Cline was born on this day in 1932. She passed in 1963.
Neko Case, The New Pornographers and a solo artist, is 51.
Ron Pigpen McKernan of The Grateful Dead was born on this day in 1945. He died at 27 in 1973.
Jimmie Rodgers was born on this day in 1897. He passed in 1933. He has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Song Writers Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Song Facts, Allmusic, and Wikipedia.