1956 - Elvis Presley makes the first of three contracted appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan had previously announced he would never have such an act on, but ratings prevailed and Sullivan offered Elvis a record $50,000 for the three shows.
1965 - The Hollywood Reporter ran the following advertisement: "Madness folk & roll musicians, singers wanted for acting roles in new TV show. Parts for 4 insane boys." 437 people applied for the job. From that advertisement, The Monkees were eventually born.
1967 - The Sam & Dave classic "Soul Man" was released. It was later successfully revived by the Blues Brothers. Co-written by Isaac Hayes, who came up with the title: "I got the idea from watching on TV the riots in Detroit. It was said that if you put 'soul' on the door of your business establishment, they wouldn't burn it. Then the word 'Soul,' it was a galvanizing kind of thing for African Americans, and it had an effect of unity, it was said with a lot of pride. So I thought, 'Why not write a tune called 'Soul Man.'
1971 - Imagine by John Lennon was released. Lennon's second solo album after the dissolution of The Beatles, Imagine is considered more commercial and less "primal" than his previous album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. While the album had a softer surface, it was only marginally less confessional than its predecessor. Underneath the sweet strings of "Jealous Guy" lies a broken and scared man, the jaunty "Crippled Inside" is a mocking assault at an acquaintance, and "Imagine" is a paean for peace in a world with no gods, possessions, or classes, where everyone is equal. A remarkable collection of songs that Lennon would never be able to better again.
1978 - The Rolling Stones release "Beast Of Burden." Whilst Richards spent much of the '70s insulating himself with drugs, Jagger was running the band. However, by the time of Some Girls, Richards wanted to share the workload. Mojo magazine January 2012 asked Richards how much this song was about his relationship with Jagger? He replied; "Mick wrote a lot of it but I laid the general idea on him. At the time Mick was getting used to running the band. Charlie was just the drummer, I was just the other guitar player. I was trying to say, 'OK I'm back, so let's share a bit more of the power, share the weight, brother."
1990 - Neil Young releases Ragged Glory. The album's dominant sound was made by Young's noisy guitar, which bordered on and sometimes slipped over into distortion, while Crazy Horse kept up the songs' bright tempos. Despite the volume, the tunes were catchy, with strong melodies and good choruses, and they were given over to love, humor, and warm reminiscence.
2014 - Who doesn't like a free gift? Apparently, about 500 million iTunes users who create an uproar when U2's latest album, Songs of Innocence, shows up sans charge and sans permission in their personal libraries.
Despite the outcry, 26 million iTunes customers, around 5 percent, download the free album within a month of its release, while the rest try to figure out how to delete the unwanted album.
In an apology, Bono said this: "Artists are prone to that kind of thing. Drop of megalomania, touch of generosity, dash of self promotion and deep fear that these songs that we poured our life into over the last few years might not be heard. There's a lot of noise out there. I guess we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it." (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Otis Ray Redding Jr. was born today in 1941. Known for his singing, songwriting, and producing, he was an important voice in the history of soul music and R&B, and shortly before his death in a plane crash in 1967, Redding wrote and recorded his iconic "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay", which became the first posthumous No. 1 record on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts.
Buffalo Springfield bassist Bruce Palmer was born today in 1946. He passed in 2004.
Pamela Des Barres, perhaps the most famous groupie of all time, also a singer and actor, is 73.
John McFee of The Doobie Brothers is 71.
Dave Stewart of Eurythmics is 69.
On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Song Facts, Allmusic, Republic World, and Wikipedia.