1959 - Ray Charles records "What'd I Say." The call-and-response style was inspired by church music Charles grew up with. When the preacher said something, the congregation shouted it back. "What'd I Say" stands as the epitome of call-and-response in secular music.
Charles improvised this onstage at a club in Brownsville, Pennsylvania in December 1958 after he played every song he knew and still had 12 minutes to fill. The singer remembered: "I had sung everything I could think of. So I said to the guys, 'Look, I'm going to start this thing off, I don't know where I'm going, so y'all just follow me.' And I said to the girls, 'Whatever I say, just repeat after me.'" (Photo credit STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)
1968 - Syd Barrett, one of the founding members of Pink Floyd, left the band and checked into a psychiatric hospital before going into complete seclusion for the rest of his life.
Barrett was responsible for most of their brilliant first album, 1967's The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, but left and/or was fired from the band in early 1968 after his erratic behavior had made him too difficult to deal with (he appears on a couple tracks on their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets). Such was his stature within the original lineup that few observers thought the band could survive his departure; in fact, the original group's management decided to keep Syd on and leave the rest of the band to their own devices. Pink Floyd never recaptured the playful humor and mad energy of their work with Barrett.
He was replaced by guitarist David Gilmour.
1995 - Guitarist Bob Stinson, a founding member of the Replacements, passed away. Stinson formed a group called Dogbreath in 1978, which changed its name to the Replacements shortly after Paul Westerberg joined the band.
1998 - Robert Smith of The Cure battles Barbra Streisand on the show South Park. Smith battled a mutated Barbra Streisand in South Park” where Streisand obtains the Diamond of Panthios from Stan, Cartman, Kyle and Kenny, and transforms into a giant mechanical dinosaur called Mecha-Streisand. She is ultimately defeated by Smith, who himself transforms into a giant moth monster. When Smith walks off into the sunset, Kyle shouts at him “Disintegration is the best album ever!”
2017 - Clyde Stubblefield, the funky drummer who played on many tracks for James Brown, dies at age 73.
His playing on (James Brown's) Cold Sweat established the rhythmic template for funk and is rightly regarded as being pivotal in the history of popular music. But it was his work on Brown’s Funky Drummer that would echo through the ages. A 20-second drum loop that would go on to be sampled on over 1,300 songs, from Public Enemy and Beastie Boys to George Michael, Britney Spears and Ed Sheeran.
He was never properly compensated financially. Before the end of his life had unpaid medical bills of $90,000. Before he died, Stubblefield revealed that his bills were settled by the late great Prince in an act of charity. He was one of the drummer’s greatest fans.
On this Day In Music History is sourced from Post-Punk, MTV News, The Conversation, This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.