1971 - The Concert for Bangladesh, organized by George Harrison to aid victims of famine and war in Bangladesh, took place at New York's Madison Square Garden. The event featured performances by Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton, and more.
The concerts raise about $250,000, but the album and film earn a lot more, bringing the total to about $11 million, which is given to UNICEF after a long accounting delay. The effort provides a template for Live Aid, which is done on a much larger scale but with the same concept, including an accompanying album and film and a spirit of giving.
1981- Just after midnight, MTV launched. There was a pre-launch in May, but the channel officially went live on this today. The original purpose of the channel was to play music videos guided by television personalities known as "video jockeys," or VJs. The first video they played to kick off the station was "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles.
It's followed by Pat Benatar's "You Better Run," Rod Stewart's "She Won't Dance with Me," The Who's "You Better You Bet," and "Little Suzi's On the Up" by the rather less-remembered British duo Ph.D.
MTV changes the game, making music videos a key piece of marketing strategy for singers and bands and legitimizes music video as an art form. In the '90s, MTV moves away from videos and toward reality and scripted original programming like The Real World and Teen Wolf.
1985 - Tom Waits released Rain Dogs, widely considered one of his most important and innovative works. Waits occasionally borders on the chaotic, but tracks like the catchy "Hang Down Your Head," "Time," and especially "Downtown Train" (frequently covered and finally turned into a Top Ten hit by Rod Stewart five years later) provide some relief as well as variety.
1989 - The Rolling Stones released their album Steel Wheels, which contains the hit "Mixed Emotions." After Mick and Kieth's relationship imploded, they decided they were better together than apart. Steel Wheels is -- a self-styled reunion album. Still, the Stones sound good, not great, but bad, It feels like a comeback -- which it was supposed to, after all.
Jerry Garcia was born today in 1942. Best known as a founding member of the Grateful Dead, the band for which he served as de facto leader for 30 years, from 1965 until his death in 1995. Garcia was also renowned for his musical and technical ability, particularly his ability to play a variety of instruments and sustain long improvisations with the Grateful Dead. Garcia believed that improvisation took stress away from his playing and allowed him to make spur of the moment decisions that he would not have made intentionally. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Garcia noted that "my own preferences are for improvisation, for making it up as I go along. The idea of picking, of eliminating possibilities by deciding, that's difficult for me". (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
Tommy Bolin was born today in 1951. Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Bolin was arguably the best guitarist to find a home in the Colorado music scene of the 1970s. It's hard to listen to the music of Tommy Bolin and not wonder what could've been if the exceptionally talented (and versatile) guitarist hadn't succumbed to a senseless drug overdose at the age of 25 -- just as his career appeared to be taking off. In a recording career that lasted only several years, Bolin not only touched upon several styles (blues-rock, ballads, fusion, funk, reggae, and heavy metal), but showed that he could master each one -- as evidenced by his two solo albums and various recordings with the likes of Zephyr, Billy Cobham, Alphonse Mouzon, the James Gang, Deep Purple, and Moxy.
Robert Cray is 69.
Chuck D is 62. He's is one of the most colossal figures in the history of hip-hop, not to mention its most respected intellectual. He redefined hip-hop as music with a message, along with his strident radicalism
Adam Duritz of Counting Crows is 58.
On This Day In Music History was sourced from This Day In Music, Colorado Music Hall Of Fame, Allmusic, Song Facts and Wikipedia.