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1975 - A policeman who stopped a Lincoln Continental for running a red light in Los Angeles was surprised to find Paul McCartney at the wheel, accompanied by his wife, Linda. The cop detected the smell of marijuana, and on searching the car, found eight ounces of the substance. Linda was arrested for possession of it.

1983 - A new digital-audio format, a five-inch compact disc or "CD" containing up to one hour of music, was launched by Sony, Philips and Polygram.

1984 - "This Is Spinal Tap" was released in theaters, chronicling the hapless heavy metal band with exploding drummers and an amp that goes to 11. The film is a double parody, poking fun not only at rock bands but also at documentaries and, most especially, "rockumenteries." The film is written by Rob Reiner, but so much of its content has been improvised by Spinal Tap "members" McKean, Shearer, and Guest that they are all also given writing credits.

1999 - Dusty Springfield died after a long battle against cancer at age 59. International polls have named Springfield among the best female rock artists of all time, and she is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

2007 - Jimi Hendrix was crowned the 'wildest guitar hero' of all-time in a poll of music fans for Classic Rock magazine. Hendrix beat Keith Richards into second place, with Stevie Ray Vaughan in third. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page made it to number four, followed by Dimebag Darrell, who played for several heavy metal bands including Pantera and Damageplan.


Lou Reed was born today in 1942. The Velvet Underground leader and prolific solo artist would have been 80 today. Few rock artists have been more influential without achieving superstardom than Lou Reed. His songwriting -- unusually literate and often embracing themes that flouted society's conventions, especially in terms of drugs and sex -- broke fresh ground that other artists would follow, and his willingness to confront his audience made him a vitally important precursor to the punk revolution of the mid- to late '70s. He often said that his goal was to apply the freedom and creative sensibility of literature to rock music.

(Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)

Rory Gallagher, Irish blues guitarist, and once considered to replace Mick Taylor in the Rolling Stones, was born on this day in 1948.

Karen Carpenter was born today in 1950.

John Bon Jovi is 60.

Chris Martin of Coldplay is 45.

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

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