1967 - Otis Redding went into the studio to record "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay". Though the song skyrocketed to the top of the R&B and pop charts in the months after its release, Redding didn't get to enjoy its success as he died in a plane crash three days after recording the song. The hit was Otis's largest-selling to date and it's reported that the familiar whistling heard before the song's fade was the singer fooling around, as he had forgotten what he was going to do during that part. He had intended to return to the studio at a later date to add words in place of the whistling.
1974 - Carl Douglas started a two-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Kung Fu Fighting". The song was recorded in 10 minutes (with just two takes), and had started out as a B-side but went on to sell 11 million records worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.
2005 - The MBE medal that John Lennon returned to the Queen was found in a royal vault at St James' Palace. Lennon returned his medal in November, 1969 with a letter accompanying saying, "Your Majesty, I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts. With Love, John Lennon."
2015 - David Bowie made his last public appearance when he attended the opening night of the Lazarus production at the New York Theatre Workshop in Manhattan. Tickets to the entire run of the musical sold out within hours of being made available. The musical is inspired by Walter Tevis's novel "The Man Who Fell to Earth", and Bowie previously starred in the 1976 film adaptation of the same name, directed by Nicolas Roeg. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
2016 - Greg Lake, who fronted both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, died at age 69 after a battle with cancer. Jimi Hendrix considered joining ELP in their earliest incarnation, and if this had happened, the band would've been known as HELP.
Tom Waits is 72 today. In the work of American songwriter Tom Waits, swampy blues, Beat poetry, West Coast jazz, Tin Pan Alley, country, 1930s-era cabaret, and post-Civil War parlor songs meet neon-lit carnival music and wheezing, clattering, experimental rhythms (often played by makeshift musical instruments), forming a keenly individual musical universe. It has often been imitated but never replicated. Some of his best known songs were covered by others: "Jersey Girl" performed by Bruce Springsteen, "Ol' '55" by the Eagles, "Downtown Train" by Rod Stewart.
Harry Chapin ("Cats in the Cradle") was born today in 1942.
Psychedelic Furs bass player Tim Butler is 63.
Damien Rice is 48.
Winston Marshall of Mumford & Sons is 34.
On this day In Music History is sourced from Allmusic, This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.