1968 - The Rolling Stones released Beggars Banquet. For the album, the Stones had gone to great lengths to toughen their sound and banish the haze of psychedelia, and in doing so, they launched a five-year period in which they would produce their very greatest records.
1969 - The 60's come to a dark end when The Rolling Stones performed a free concert at the Altamont Speedway in northern California ( the Hells Angels were hired as security) with support from Jefferson Airplane, Santana, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The Grateful Dead were also scheduled to perform following CSNY, but declined to play shortly before their scheduled appearance due to the increasing violence at the venue. And in fact, that's what the event is best-known for -- its considerable violence, including the stabbing death of Meredith Hunter and three accidental deaths: two caused by a hit-and-run car accident, and one by LSD-induced drowning in an irrigation canal. And, two babies were born. The tour and concert is captured on the excellent documentary, "Gimme Shelter."
1969 - Led Zeppelin made their debut on the US singles chart with "Whole Lotta Love." Plant's lyrics are based on a 1962 Muddy Waters song written by Willie Dixon called "You Need Love." The band reached an agreement with Dixon, who used the settlement money to set up a program providing instruments for schools.
1971 - Deep Purple record the track to "Smoke On The Water" at a Montreux nightclub called the Pavilion, where they've been relocated after the Montreux Casino, where they planned to record, burned down. They get kicked out the next day because of noise complaints and complete the Machine Head album at their hotel, using the Rolling Stones' mobile unit to record. The song took inspiration from a fire in the Casino at Montreux, Switzerland on December 4, 1971. The band was going to start recording their Machine Head album there right after a Frank Zappa concert, but someone fired a flare gun at the ceiling during Zappa's show, which set the place on fire. Considered one of the greatest riffs in rock.
1977 - Jackson Browne releases Running On Empty, a live album compiled from performances at various stops on his summer tour. Songs were sometimes recorded on-stage and sometimes on the bus or in the hotel. Live albums typically rely on songs that have already been released, but this one features all new songs, the first major rock album to do so.
1986 - Ringo Starr became the first Beatle to get into advertising after signing a seven-figure deal to be the spokesperson for a wine cooler company, Sun Country wine coolers.
1995 - Four months after the death of guitarist Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead announced that they were splitting up. After four months of heartfelt consideration," the group said in a statement on Friday, "the remaining members of the band met yesterday and came to the conclusion that the 'long strange trip' of the uniquely wonderful beast known as the Grateful Dead is over. They would tour again from 1998-2002 as The Other Ones and in 2003 and 2009 as The Dead. Surviving members tour as Dead & Company, plus Phil Lesh and Friends.
2009 - Bruce Springsteen was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors for his contributions to American culture. President Barack Obama said "I'm the President, but he's The Boss." (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)
Randy Rhoads, guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, was born today in 1956.
Peter Buck, guitarist for R.E.M., is 65.
Pixies drummer Dave Lovering is 60.
On this day In Music History is sourced from Allmusic, This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.