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1971 - "They say this cat Shaft is a bad mother

(Shut your mouth)"...Isaac Hayes releases "Theme From Shaft." Hayes told Mojo: (The producer and director showed) "me the opening scene – footage of Shaft coming out of the subway – to take away and see how I got on. I remembered a guitar line I had in a tune I'd never used, got it off the shelf and had our guitarist play it exactly the same, but with a wah-wah". (Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

According to Q magazine, Hayes agreed to write the Shaft theme after being promised the lead role in the film, but the promise wasn't kept - he didn't even get an audition. The following year, "Theme from Shaft" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, with Hayes becoming the first African American to win that honor.

1982 - Bruce Springsteen releases Nebraska, an album made up of tunes Bruce recorded on a 4-track tape machine in his home studio. It was really the content that dictated the approach, however. Nebraska's ten songs marked a departure for Springsteen, even as they took him farther down a road he'd already been traveling. The songs were a series of portraits of small-time criminals, desperate people, and those who loved them. Within the difficult times, however, there was hope, especially as the album went on. "Open All Night" was a Chuck Berry-style rocker, and the album closed with "Reason to Believe," a song whose hard-luck verses were belied by the chorus -- even if the singer couldn't understand what it was, "people find some reason to believe."

1993 - George Harrison and David Crosby play their animated selves on the Season 5 premiere of The Simpsons, "Homer's Barbershop Quartet." They called themselves The Be Sharps. The band's story roughly parallels that of the Beatles. The episode begins at the Springfield Swap Meet, Bart and Lisa notice Homer on the cover of an LP album. Homer tells the story of how he, Principal Skinner, Barney, and Apu recorded a barbershop quartet album in 1985, which catapulted them to national fame.

2016 - A schoolboy from Philadelphia who skipped class to meet his musical hero handed his teacher an absence note with a difference. The typewritten note was signed by Bruce Springsteen. Fifth-grader Michael Fenerty met the star at a "meet-and-greet" in the Free Library of Philadelphia when Springsteen was in town signing copies of his new autobiography, Born to Run.


Cissy Houston, singer and mother of Whitney Houston, is 89. In the early '60s, she joined forces with a floating group of singers known simply as the Group to provide backup vocals on numerous soul, pop, and rock sessions, including Elvis, Paul Simon, and David Bowie.

Singer Johnny Mathis is 87. One of the last and most popular in a long line of traditional male vocalists who emerged before the rock-dominated 1960s. The first "Greatest Hits" compilation ever released, was by Johnny Mathis in 1958. It's a huge hit, and the format catches on quickly. "Johnny's Greatest Hits" stays in the Billboard 200 album chart for over nine years, a record not broken until Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon.

Marc Bolan, frontman of T. Rex, was born today in 1947. In the beginning, Tyrannosaurus Rex, was an acoustic duo, releasing three albums. By the end of 1970, the name was abbreviated to T. Rex and expanded to a full fledged rock band. One of the major glam rock figures of the early '70s, they had an influence on everyone from David Bowie to Cheap Trick.

Trey Anastasio of Phish is 58. Co-founder of Phish. Since then he has explored a wide variety of musical pathways to adventurous free jazz on his first solo project, Surrender to the Air (1996), to collaborations with the likes of Tom Marshall, Les Claypool, Philip Glass, Stewart Copeland, and others.

Ben Lovett, keyboardist for Mumford and Sons, is 36. He has also written songs, engineered, or played on other artists albums, including Maggie Rogers, Alt-J, and Ellie Goulding.

Gibby Haynes of Butthole Surfers is 65. By far one of rock's most outrageous and unpredictable performers. Whether it be performing nude or in a woman's dress, firing blanks from a shotgun into the audience, singing through a megaphone, making a complete mess of the stage, or rambling on nonsensically in interviews, Haynes never disappoints.

On this Day In Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, Song Facts, Allmusic and Wikipedia.

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