1965 - Blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter Sonny Boy Williamson died in his sleep. Van Morrison, Aerosmith, The Who, the Animals, Yardbirds and Moody Blues all covered his songs. According to the Led Zeppelin biography Hammer of the Gods, touring the U.K. in the 1960s, Sonny Boy set his hotel room on fire while trying to cook a rabbit in a coffee percolator.
1977 - George Lucas' Star Wars debuted in theaters, accompanied by an instantly iconic score from John Williams.
1987 - The Cure find mainstream success in America with the double album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. Simultaneously more accessible and ambitious than any of the Cure's previous albums, the double album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me finds Robert Smith expanding his pop vocabulary by tentatively adding bigger guitars, the occasional horn section, lite-funk rhythms, and string sections. It's eclectic, to be sure, but it's also a mess, bouncing from idea to idea and refusing to develop some of the most intriguing detours. Even if Kiss Me doesn't quite gel, its best moments -- including the deceptively bouncy "Why Can't I Be You?" and the stately "Just Like Heaven" -- are remarkable and help make the album one of the group's very best.
1996 - Brad Nowell (frontman of Sublime) died of an overdose at age 28. Nowell picked up his gift for music from his parents; his mother was a singer and his father a guitar player.
By the late '80s, Nowell had formed Sublime, a trio that honed their sound by constantly playing parties and clubs. The group issued a pair of independent releases, 1992's 40 Oz. to Freedom and 1994's Robbin' the Hood which built Sublime a solid following.
Although things appeared to be promising for Nowell and his band from the outside (his fiancée just gave birth to a son), Nowell had developed a dangerous drug addiction, which worried those around him. Sublime finished off their MCA debut that same year, but before the recording could be released (and just seven days after getting married), Nowell was found dead in a San Francisco hotel room from a heroin overdose.
1997 - Bob Dylan was diagnosed as suffering from histoplasmosis pericarditis, a fungal infection of the lung, and was admitted to hospital he stayed until June 2nd. Having just turned 56, Dylan later admitted: 'I really thought I'd be seeing Elvis soon'. Treated by drugs and rest, Bob was back on the road only 10 weeks later.
2004 - In a letter to fans, Phish frontman Trey Anastasio said that after 21 years together, the band was splitting up. "We all love and respect Phish and the Phish audience far too much to stand by and allow it to drag on beyond the point of vibrancy and health. We don't want to become caricatures of ourselves, or worse yet, a nostalgia act." They wrapped things up with a show in Coventry, Vermont, in August, but it was not the final curtain. In 2009, the band reunited. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
Hal David, American songwriter, pianist and arranger, who with Burt Bacharach wrote many classic songs, including 'Close To You' and 'I Say A Little Prayer', was born on this day in 1921. He won two Oscars for the film score to 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and for 'Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head'.
Country singer-songwriter Tom T. Hall, who penned the smash hit "Harper Valley P.T.A.,” was born today in 1936.
Paul Weller, The Jam, Style Council, is 64.
Lauryn Hill, The Fugees, is 46.
Joe King, guitarist, The Fray, is 42.
On this day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Allmusic, Song Facts and Wikipedia.