1939 - The real Eleanor Rigby died in her sleep of unknown causes at the age of 44. The 1966 Beatles' song that featured her name wasn't written about her, as Paul McCartney's first draft of the song named the character Miss Daisy Hawkins. Eleanor Rigby's tombstone was noticed in the 1980s in the graveyard of St. Peter's Parish Church in Woolton, Liverpool, a few feet from where McCartney and Lennon had met for the first time in 1957.
1969 - King Crimson released In the Court of the Crimson King, one of the most daring debut albums ever recorded by anybody. It's fierce and overpowering, an album highlighted by strong songwriting (most of it filled with dark and doom-laden visions), the strongest singing of Greg Lake's entire career, and Fripp's guitar playing that strangely mixed elegant classical, Hendrix-like rock explosions, and jazz noodling. Rolling Stone named In the Court of the Crimson King the second greatest progressive rock album of all time, behind Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon.
1975 - The only Deep Purple studio album to feature guitarist Tommy Bolin, a member of the Colorado Music Hall Of Fame, Come Taste the Band, is released. The album also features a pre-Whitesnake David Coverdale on vocals.
1979 - The Rose, starring Bette Midler as a self-destructive 1960s Rock star, (transparently based on Janis Joplin) premiered in Los Angeles. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Frederic Forrest), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Bette Midler, in her screen debut), Best Film Editing and Best Sound.
1980 - Bruce Springsteen releases The River. Springsteen sought to expand on the theme of his previous album, Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Jersey street kids a few years down the line, now saddled with adult responsibilities and realizing that the American Dream was increasingly out of their grasp. The River still dealt weighty subjects, while also offering more of the tough, bar-band rock that was his trademark. Springsteen rises to his own challenges as a songwriter, penning a set of tunes that are heartfelt and literate but unpretentious while rocking hard, and the E Street Band were never used to better advantage, capturing the taut, swaggering force of their live shows in the studio with superb accuracy
1986 - The film True Stories, directed by and starring David Byrne, is released in theaters. David Byrne plays host to this bizarre patchwork of tabloid-inspired tales, set in the fictional town of Virgil, Texas. Cruising the streets in his cherry-red drop-top, Byrne introduces viewers to the local eccentrics gearing up for the town's 150th anniversary. They include a community leader (Spalding Gray) with a thing for veggies, a woman (Swoosie Kurtz) so lazy she won't leave her bed, a lovelorn country singer (John Goodman) and more! The soundtrack serves as Talking Heads' seventh album.
1995 - No Doubt release their breakthrough album Tragic Kingdom, straddling the line between '90s punk, third-wave ska, and pop sensibility. Tragic Kingdom might not have made much of an impact upon its initial release in late 1995, but throughout 1996 "Just a Girl" and "Spiderwebs" positively ruled the airwaves, and in 1997 No Doubt cemented their cross-generational appeal with the ballad hit "Don't Speak."
2007 -Radiohead takes an innovative approach with the release of their seventh studio album, In Rainbows, by offering it as a pay-what-you-want download. Most people pay nothing for the download, but the album still fares well, because it's pretty good. The album is very song-oriented, with each track constantly moving forward and developing, yet there are abstract electronic layers and studio-as-instrument elements to prevent it from sounding like a regression.
The jazz great Thelonious Monk was born today in 1917. Recognized as one of the most original musicians in American history, Thelonious Sphere Monk fashioned a startlingly unique, inimitable playing and composing style that influenced virtually every succeeding jazz generation. His playing technique offered a percussive approach to the piano, identified by sparse, complex, sometimes dissonant harmonies, developed from unusual intervals and rhythms, and imbued with warmth and playfulness. (His motto was "There are no wrong notes on the piano.")
John Prine was born on this day in 1946. One of the most celebrated singer/songwriters of his generation, John Prine was a master storyteller whose work was often witty and always heartfelt, frequently offering a sly but sincere reflection of his Midwestern roots, writing about the lives of ordinary people in a remarkable and perceptive way. "Prine's stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs."- Bob Dylan (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
Cyril Neville is 74. Was a member of The Meters and The Neville Brothers.
Midge Ure, Ultravox. is 69. Ure co-wrote and produced the 1985 charity single Do They Know It's Christmas?
David Lee Roth is 68.
Kirsty MacColl, singer-songwriter, was born on this day in 1959. Dueted with The Pogues on 'Fairytale Of New York'.
Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet is 61.
On this Day in Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, Allmusic John Prine's Facebook page, Song Facts and Wikipedia.