1957 - Buddy Holly and the Crickets went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "That'll Be The Day." The title of the song was inspired by a catchphrase that John Wayne uttered repeatedly in the famous John Ford film, The Searchers.
1969 - The Northern Star newspaper of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill., ran a story claiming that Paul McCartney had been killed in a car crash in 1966 and had been replaced by a lookalike. Russell Gibb of WKNR-FM in Detroit picked up on the claim and the story went worldwide. By late October 1969, the hoax was so well entrenched that McCartney came out of seclusion at his farm in Scotland to deny the story. When McCartney was asked to comment by a reporter visiting the farm, he replied, "Do I look dead? I'm as fit as a fiddle."
1977 - David Bowie released the title track from his forthcoming album, "Heroes". This song tells the story of a German couple who are so determined to be together that they meet every day under a gun turret on The Berlin Wall. Bowie, who was living in Berlin at the time, was inspired by an affair between his producer Tony Visconti and backup singer Antonia Maass, who would kiss "by the wall" in front of Bowie as he looked out of the Hansa Studio window.
1977 - Steely Dan release their sixth album, Aja. It's a measured and textured album, filled with subtle melodies and accomplished, jazzy solos that blend easily into the lush instrumental backdrops. It fuses cool jazz, blues, and pop together in a seamless, seductive fashion.
1980 - Bob Marley plays his final concert: a 20-song set at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh with his group, The Wailers.
Just after the performance, Marley, who is suffering from cancer that has spread to his brain, collapses and is taken to a hospital for treatment. The rest of the tour is canceled, and Marley dies on May 11, 1981. The last song is a six-and-a-half-minute version of "Get Up, Stand Up" that closes out his second encore.
The concert is captured on the album, 'Live Forever'.
2019 - Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead lyricist died at the age of 78. Robert Hunter is best known as a non-performing lyricist for the Grateful Dead. He is also a recording artist in his own right, a poet, and a translator. Hunter began contributing lyrics to the Dead at the invitation of his friend, Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, as of the group's third album, Aoxomoxoa, in 1969. Since then, he wrote some of the Dead's most memorable words, including "Truckin'" ("What a long, strange trip it's been") and the 1987 comeback hit "Touch of Grey." Hunter began recording solo albums on the Dead's record label in 1974 and continued sporadically since.
John Coltrane was born today in 1926. A towering musical figure of the 20th century, saxophonist John Coltrane reset the parameters of jazz during his decade as a leader. He pioneered a technique critic Ira Gitler dubbed "sheets of sound," consisting of the saxophonist playing a flurry of notes on his tenor within the confines of a few chords. His life ended prematurely: he died at the age of 40, just ten years after his first LP as a leader -- but Coltrane's legacy was so varied and rich, he remained the touchstone for creativity in jazz for decades after his passing.
Ray Charles was born today in 1930. Frank Sinatra called him “the only true genius in the business” Ray Charles was the musician most responsible for developing soul music. Singers like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson also did a great deal to pioneer the form, but Charles did even more to devise a new form of Black pop by merging '50s R&B with gospel-powered vocals, adding plenty of flavor from contemporary jazz, blues, and (in the '60s) country. Then there was his singing; his style was among the most emotional and easily identifiable of any 20th century performer, up there with the likes of Elvis and Billie Holiday. He was also a superb keyboard player, arranger, and bandleader.
Bruce Springsteen is 73. Through four decades, Bruce Springsteen has served as a cultural phenomenon, a brittle and dark acoustic storyteller, a folk revivalist, a new Dylan, a working-class hero, “rock ‘n roll future,” a force for political and social change, an eloquent songwriter and unabashed party-rocker (often in the same song), a live performer of legendary energies, and a prodigy and preacher of the “majesty, the mystery and the ministry of rock ‘n roll.” (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Bob Woodruff Foundation)
Roy Buchanan was born in on this day in 1939. Roy Buchanan has long been considered one of the finest, yet criminally overlooked guitarists of the blues rock genre whose lyrical leads and use of harmonics would later influence such guitar greats as Jeff Beck, his one-time student Robbie Robertson, and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. The legend is that the Rolling Stones invited him to join the band. he turned them down.
On this Day In Music History was sourced from Allmusic, This Day in Music, Song Facts, Bruce Springsteen.net, and Wikipedia.