1958 - The Chipmunks' "The Chipmunk Song" hits #1 on the Hot 100, the last Christmas song to ever top the chart.
1967 - The Graduate, starring Anne Bancroft and newcomer Dustin Hoffman, premieres in US theaters. It spawns a hit soundtrack featuring songs from Simon & Garfunkel, including "Mrs. Robinson."
1973 - Elton John was No. 1 with 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.' It was designed to be a blockbuster and it was. Opening with the 11-minute melodramatic exercise "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" -- as prog as Elton ever got -- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road immediately embraces excess but also tunefulness, as John immediately switches over to "Candle in the Wind" and "Bennie & the Jets," two songs that form the core of his canon. This touched on everything John did before, and suggested ways he'd move in the near-future, and that sprawl is always messy but usually delightful, a testament to Elton's '70s power as a star and a musician.
1978 - One-time Faces drummer Kenney Jones became the permanent replacement for the recently deceased Keith Moon in The Who – a tough act to follow. Moon had died from an accidental overdose of anti-alcoholic medications two months earlier.
1966 - Beatles producer George Martin and his engineer Geoff Emerick pull off one of the all-time great feats of sound editing: combining two takes of "Strawberry Fields Forever" - in different keys and tempos - to make one song. The edit is 59 seconds in, just before John Lennon sings, "Going to..."
1991 - Gregg Allman makes his acting debut as a drug kingpin in the movie Rush.
2000 - The Coen Brothers movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? hits theaters. With the song "Man Of Constant Sorrow" a centerpiece of the film, it ignites interest in bluegrass music. The soundtrack, produced by T-Bone Burnett, sells over 7 million copies in America.
2002 - Former Clash singer and guitarist Joe Strummer, born John Graham Mellor, died of a suspected heart attack aged 50. As frontman and main songwriter of the Clash, Joe Strummer created some of the fieriest, most passionate punk rock -- and, indeed, rock & roll -- of all time. Strummer expanded punk's musical palette with his fondness for reggae and early rock & roll, and his signature bellow lent an impassioned urgency to the political sloganeering that filled some of his best songs.
2014 - Joe Cocker died of lung cancer in Crawford, Colorado at age 70. The Sheffield-born singer was known for his gritty voice, spasmodic body movement in performance and definitive versions of popular songs of varying genre. The singer had a career lasting more than 40 years, with hits including his cover of The Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends." After starting out as an unsuccessful pop singer (working under the name Vance Arnold), Joe Cocker found his niche singing rock and soul in the pubs of England with his superb backing group, the Grease Band. (Photo by Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images)
2020 - Leslie West died age 75. He was a founding member, guitarist, and co-lead vocalist of Mountain. Best known for their cowbell-tinged song "Mississippi Queen", as well as the heavily sampled song "Long Red"(over 700 songs borrowed it, everyone from Lana Del Rey, Kanye West, Public Enemy, Jay-Z, etc.) BTW, Mountain was my first concert. Yes, it rocked.
Rick Nielsen, lead guitarist and main songwriter for Cheap Trick, is 73.
Maurice and Robin Gibb, the twin brothers from the Bee Gees, were born today in 1949.
On this Day In Music History is sourced from Allmusic, This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.