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1963 - Frank Sinatra Jr. was kidnapped at gunpoint from a hotel in Lake Tahoe. He was released two days later after his father paid out the $240,000 ransom demanded by the kidnappers, who were later captured, and sentenced to long prison terms. In order to communicate with the kidnappers via a payphone the senior Sinatra carried a roll of dimes with him throughout this ordeal, which became a lifelong habit. He is said to have been buried with a roll of dimes.

1967 - The Rolling Stones release Their Satanic Majesties Request, the title a play on their malevolent image. Many dismiss the record as sub-Sgt. Pepper posturing; others confess, if only in private, to a fascination with the album's inventive arrangements, which incorporated some African rhythms, Mellotrons, and full orchestration. What's clear is that never before or after did the Stones take so many chances in the studio. In 1968, the Stones would go back to the basics, and never wander down these paths again, making this all the more of a fascinating anomaly in the group's discography.

1971 - Reginald Dwight legally changes his name to Elton Hercules John. He had been using the "Elton John" name since 1968, but had never made it official. The middle name he picked in honor of the mythological hero, which also happened to be the name of a horse on one of his favorite British TV shows: Steptoe and Son.

1976 - The Eagles released Hotel California. On the album, California is a metaphor for a dark, surreal world of dissipation; it comments on the ephemeral nature of success and the attraction of excess; branches out into romantic disappointment; and finally sketches a broad, pessimistic history of America that borders on nihilism. The result was the Eagles' biggest-selling regular album release, and one of the most successful rock albums ever.

1980 - John Lennon was shot and killed in New York City. He is shot by 25 year old Mark Chapman outside the Dakota building in New York City where John and Yoko lived. Chapman had been waiting for Lennon outside the Dakota apartments since mid-morning and had asked for an autograph earlier in the day. Chapman has since said he shot the former Beatle because he wanted to "steal" his fame — stating that now he was a bigger nobody than he was before. He also revealed he planned the killing for three months and considered murdering other celebrities who he thought were "phonies." The shocking news spreads quickly - many hear about it for the first time when Howard Cosell makes the announcement on Monday Night Football. Lennon is one of the most famous and iconic musicians of all time, best-known as one of the members of the Beatles, for his subsequent solo career and for his political activism and pacifism. John would have been 81 had his life not been taken 41 years ago. (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP via Getty Images)


Sammy Davis Jr. was born on this day in 1925.

Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals was born on this day in 1942.

The Doors singer Jim Morrison was born today in 1943.

The Allman Brothers Band keyboard player Gregg Allman was born today in 1947.

Sinead O'Connor is 55.

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

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