1969 - Led Zeppelin's debut album was released. The album took only about 36 hours of studio time to complete at a cost of just a little over $2000, most of the tracks being recorded 'live' in the studio with very few overdubs. Zeppelin created a majestic, powerful brand of guitar rock constructed around simple, memorable riffs and lumbering rhythms. Although the album isn't as varied as some of their later efforts, it nevertheless marked a significant turning point in the evolution of hard rock and heavy metal.
1971 - Janis Joplin's album Pearl is released, three months after her death from a heroin overdose. It goes to #1 and yields her only chart-topping single, "Me And Bobby McGee." Joplin's trademark rasp conveys an aching, desperate passion on funked-up, bluesy rockers, ballads both dramatic and tender. Pearl's power leaves the listener to wonder what else Joplin could have accomplished, but few artists could ask for a better final statement.
1974 - The Steve Miller Band reached number one for the first time with "The Joker". The line in this song, "I speak of the pompatus of love," has baffled listeners for some time. Greil Marcus provided the best explanation we've seen in a 2002 article for Los Angeles Magazine titled "In The Secret Country." The word "Pompatus" does exist in the Oxford English Dictionary, and it means "to act with pomp and splendor."
1995 - The Allman Brothers Band, Al Green, the late Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Neil Young, The Orioles and the late Frank Zappa were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
1993 - Van Morrison failed to turn up at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction dinner, making him the first living inductee not to attend. The Counting Crows (unknown at the time) filled in, singing "Caravan." The Hall originally wanted Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to do the honors, but Robbie Robertson suggested the Counting Crows instead. Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Syracuse University)
Vampire Weekend release their second album, Contra, which goes to #1 in America. The cover girl is an unwilling subject, leading to a lawsuit.
The girl in the polo shirt is Ann Kirsten Kennis. The Contra photo comes from 1983, when she auditioned for a TV commercial. Tod Brody, who claimed he took the photo, posted it on Flickr, where the band saw it. Kennis found out about it when her 13-year-old daughter spotted the image online as part of a promotional campaign to tease the album's release.
Kennis files a $2 million lawsuit against the band. The case against the band is later settled.
Long John Baldry was born today in 1941.
George Duke, musician, composer, singer, famously played with Frank Zappa, was born on this day in 1946.
Chris Bell, Big Star, born on this day in 1951.
Felipe Rose of The Village People is 68.
Blixa Bargeld of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds is 63.
Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan is 52.
Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against The Machine is 52.
Melanie Chisholm, a.k.a. Mel C, a.k.a. Sporty Spice of The Spice Girls is 43.
On this Day in Music History is sourced from Steroegum, Allmusic, This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.