1968 - Jimi Hendrix Experience released their version of the Bob Dylan song 'All Along the Watchtower'. Hendrix had been given a tape of Dylan's recording by publicist Michael Goldstein. Dave Mason from Traffic and Rolling Stone Brian Jones both played on the recording. Dylan was so impressed with Jimi's version that Dylan for years played it the way that Jimi had recorded it.
1976 - Tom Waits releases Small Change. A jazz trio backs Waits and his piano on songs steeped in whiskey and atmosphere in which he alternately sings in his broken-beaned drunk's voice and recites jazzy poetry. It's as if Waits were determined to combine the Humphrey Bogart and Dooley Wilson characters from Casablanca with a dash of On the Road's Dean Moriarty to illuminate a dark world of bars and all-night diners.
1980 - During a North American tour, Bob Marley collapsed while jogging in New York's Central Park. After hospital tests, Marley was diagnosed with cancer. Two nights later, he played his final concert at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh.
1985 - With the help of heavy MTV exposure, Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" hit No. 1 in the U.S. singles chart. Mark Knopfler wrote it after overhearing delivery men in a New York department store complain about their jobs while watching MTV. He wrote the song in the store sitting at a kitchen display they had set up. Many of the lyrics were things they actually said.
1992 - Parlophone Records released 'Creep' by Radiohead. as their debut single. Thom Yorke says this is about being in love with someone, but not feeling good enough. He describes the feeling as, "There's the beautiful people and then there's the rest of us."
Yorke based this on a song called "The Air That I Breathe," which was written by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood in 1972 (and a hit for The Hollies). After "Creep" was released, Radiohead agreed to share the songwriting royalties, so this is credited to Yorke, Hammond and Hazlewood.
1993 - Nirvana release In Utero. Nirvana probably hired Steve Albini to produce In Utero with the hopes of shoring up their indie cred after becoming a pop phenomenon with a glossy punk record. Even though the band tempered some of Albini's extreme tactics in a remix, the record remains a deliberately alienating experience, front-loaded with many of its strongest songs, then descending into a series of brief, dissonant squalls before concluding with "All Apologies," which only gets sadder with each passing year. Even without those songs, In Utero remains a shattering listen, whether it's viewed as Cobain's farewell letter or self-styled audience alienation. Few other records are as willfully difficult as this.
2004 - Green Day release American Idiot, their first album in four years. American Idiot is an unapologetic, unabashed rock opera, with nods to The Who, Husker Du, Queen, and the Clash. In its musical muscle and sweeping, politically charged narrative, it's something of a masterpiece, and one of the few -- if not the only -- records of 2004 to convey what it feels like to live in the strange, bewildering America of the early 2000s.
2011 - R.E.M. announce that they're calling it quits after more than 30 years. In a post on their website, the band members write, "To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening."(Photo credit should read Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images)
Leonard Cohen was born today in 1934. One of the most fascinating and enigmatic -- if not the most successful -- singer/songwriters of the late '60s, Leonard Cohen retained an audience across six decades of music-making, interrupted by various digressions into personal and creative exploration, all of which have only added to the mystique surrounding him. Second only to Bob Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon), he commanded the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the '60s who continued to work in the 21st century, which is all the more remarkable an achievement for someone who didn't even aspire to a musical career until he was in his thirties.
Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section bassist David Hood is 79. He has played with many artists including, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, Bob Seger, Traffic, The Staple Singers, Frank Black, Odetta, John Hiatt, Etta James and Willie Nelson. his son Patterson hood is in The Drive-By Truckers.
Don Felder of the Eagles is 75. He came up with the iconic guitar track for the classic, Hotel California.
Phil Taylor of Motorhead was born today in 1954. He passed away in 2015.
Liam Gallagher, Oasis , is 50.
On This Day In Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, Song Facts Allmusic, and Wikipedia.