1962 - Ray Charles started a 14-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. Charles had freedom to do whatever he wanted, and he chose to record interpretations of 12 country songs, drawing almost equally from recent hits and older standards. The sly virtuosity within Charles' approach was to treat these tunes as a a songbook to be reinvented, not as songs that were tied to their rural roots. It's music that changed the course of popular music and remains a testament to the genius of Ray Charles.
1965 - The Kinks played a show in Springfield, Illinois that they later learned was organized by John Wayne Gacy, who later became a notorious serial killer.
1980 - The Rolling Stones release Emotional Rescue. Comprised of leftovers from the previous album's sessions and hastily written new numbers, Emotional Rescue may consist mainly of filler, but it's expertly written and performed filler. The Stones toss off throwaways with an authority that makes the record a guilty pleasure, even if it's clear that only two songs -- the icy but sexy disco-rock of "Emotional Rescue" and the revamped Chuck Berry rocker "She's So Cold" -- come close to being classic Stones.
1986 - The Smiths' The Queen Is Dead was released in the U.S. It is the Smiths' great leap forward, taking the band to new musical and lyrical heights. The band, especially the guitar playing of Johnny Marr, provides Morrissey with the support for his finest set of lyrics. Shattering the myth that he is a self-pitying sap, Morrissey delivers a devastating set of clever, witty satires of British social mores, intellectualism, class, and even himself.
2015 - Leon Bridges released his debut album, Coming Home. Less than a year earlier, Bridges was still washing dishes at a restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas, and playing at open mics in his spare time. Bridges touches all the retro-soul bases. Each element of his ten-song, half-hour debut evokes early- to mid-'60s R&B: the song structures, the application of reverb, the dust-coated church organ, the doo wop background vocals, the horn charts that accent rather than dominate. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
2016 - Ralph Stanley who was known for his distinctive singing and banjo playing, died aged 89. With his brother Carter, he helped popularize the bluegrass genre. Stanley won new fans when his work featured in the Coen brothers film O Brother, Where Art Thou?
June Carter Cash was born today in 1929. She passed away on May 15, 2003. In her lifetime, she played many instruments including the guitar, banjo, harmonica, and autoharp, and was a film and television actress as well. She won five Grammys and was ranked number 31 in CMT's 40 Greatest Women in Country Music in 2003.
Stu Sutcliffe, the Beatles' original bassist, was born today in 1940. Sutcliffe died of a brain hemorrhage in 1962, at age 22.
Lyricist Robert Hunter, best known for his work with the Grateful Dead, is born on this day in 1941.
Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley is 60.
KT Tunstall is 47.
Jason Mraz is 45.
Duffy is 38.
Glenn Danzig is 67.
On this Day In Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, Allmusic, Song Facts and Wikipedia.