1956 - Elvis Presley cut his first sides for RCA Victor at the Methodist recording studios in Nashville. One of the songs recorded that day was "Heartbreak Hotel". His first number one single. Today it is considered one of Presley's signature songs.
1964 - The first U.S. Beatles album, Introducing The Beatles, was released on Vee-Jay records. The album cover showed John, Paul and George with their now famous "mop top" haircuts, but Ringo had yet to convert. Vee-Jay would be forced to stop selling the disc by the end of the year because of legal complications, but by then over 1.3 million copies had been sold.
1969 - Frustrated by a film crew recording the Let It Be sessions and plans his bandmates are making for a concert he wants no part of, George Harrison quits The Beatles, writing in his diary: "Got up. Went to Twickenham. Rehearsed until lunchtime. Left The Beatles. Went home." He is lured back a few days later.
1984 - Cyndi Lauper became the first female recording artist since Bobbie Gentry in 1967 to be nominated for five Grammy Awards. That year she won "Best New Artist" but was also nominated for Record of the Year ("Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"), Album of the Year ("She's So Unusual"), Single ("Time After Time"), and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female ("Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"). In her acceptance speech for "Best New Artist", she brought special guest Hulk Hogan with her.
1999 - The Sopranos debuts on HBO. Bruce Springsteen's guitarist, Steven Van Zandt, plays Silvio Dante, a character he modeled on his relationship with Bruce: Unlike most of Tony Soprano's inner circle, Silvio doesn't want to be the boss. Van Zandt had no acting experience, and the unusual casting choice was made by series creator David Chase.
Chase invited Van Zandt to audition after seeing him induct The Rascals at the 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and being impressed with his humorous appearance and presence. Van Zandt had never acted before; he auditioned for the role of Tony Soprano, but HBO felt that the role should go to an experienced actor, so Chase wrote him into a part that did not exist.
2008 - Radiohead topped the U.S. album charts with the physical release of In Rainbows, originally sold via the internet for a price chosen by fans. The album is very song-oriented, with each track constantly moving forward and developing, yet there are abstract electronic layers and studio-as-instrument elements to prevent it from sounding like a regression. In Rainbows will hopefully be remembered as Radiohead's most stimulating synthesis of accessible songs and abstract sounds, rather than their first pick-your-price download.
2016 - Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, artist and actor David Bowie died from liver cancer two days after releasing the album Blackstar on his 69th birthday. Bowie was a legend and a force of nature, evaded easy categorization throughout his career, operating as the artiest rocker within the mainstream and the most accessible musician on the fringe. Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images.
Producer and record company executive Jerry Wexler was born today in 1917.
Scott McKenzie, (1967 U.S. No. 4 single "San Francisco, Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair") was born today in 1939.
Jim Croce was born today in 1943.
Rod Stewart is 77.
Donald Fagen, Steely Dan, is 73.
Pat Benatar is 69.
Michael Schenker (guitarist of Scorpions and UFO) is 67.
Shawn Colvin is 66.
Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies is 58.
Joey Santiago, guitarist for the Pixies, is 57.
Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords is 48.
On this day In Music History is sourced from, Allmusic, This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.