1952 - Pianist Johnnie Johnson hired 26-year-old Chuck Berry as a guitarist in his band. While playing evening gigs in the St. Louis area, Berry kept his day job as a hairdresser for the next three years.
1962 - The "Monster Mash" rules the airwaves, becoming the most popular Halloween song of all time. Why are the monsters mashing? Because the Mashed Potato was the big dance craze at the time.
1963 - The Beatles returned to London from Sweden and were greeted by hundreds of screaming fans and a mob of photographers and journalists. Ed Sullivan was at Heathrow as The Beatles arrived, and was struck by the sight of Beatlemania in full swing. He decided to look into getting this group to appear on his television program.
1974 - Led Zeppelin held the U.K. launch for their new record label Swan Song in Kent, England. Drinks were served by nuns in suspenders, a naked woman lay in a coffin covered in jelly and naked male wrestlers cavorted in recesses of the caves. Label mates Bad Company, The Pretty Things and Maggie Bell also attended. The label was named after an unreleased Zeppelin instrumental track.
1975 - Queen released "Bohemian Rhapsody". It was written by Freddie Mercury for the band's 1975 album A Night at the Opera. At one time called “The Cowboy Song,” perhaps because of the line “Mama… just killed a man.”
The innovative song began with the famous a cappella intro (“Is this the real life?/Is this just fantasy?”) before embracing everything from glam-metal rock to opera. For the grand chorale, the group layered 160 tracks of vocal overdubs (using 24-track analogue recording). “We ran the tape through so many times it kept wearing out,” May said. “Once we held the tape up to the light and we could see straight through it, the music had practically vanished. Every time Fred decided to add a few more ‘Galileo’s we lost something, too.”
Mercury had supposedly written “Galileo” into the lyrics in honor of May, who had a passionate interest in astronomy and would later go on to earn a Ph.D. in astrophysics.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” brims with imaginative language and is a testament to Mercury’s talents as a songwriter. Scaramouche was a buffoonish character in 16th-century commedia dell’arte shows; “Bismillah”, which is taken from the Quran, means “in the name of Allah”; Beelzebub is an archaic name for the devil. (Photo by JEAN-CLAUDE COUTAUSSE/AFP via Getty Images)
In December 2018, “Bo Rhap” – as it is affectionately known among Queen fans – was officially proclaimed the world’s most-streamed song of the 20th Century.
1989 - The very first MTV unplugged show was recorded in New York, featuring UK band Squeeze, the program was aired on 26th Nov 1989. It almost didn't happen according to original host Jules Shear: Our coming-out party almost didn't come off at all. For rehearsals, Chris Difford and Glen Tilbrook of Squeeze showed up with electric guitars. We thought the title of the show said it all, but it turned out we needed to be a little more explicit in our instructions: Unplugged wasn't exactly part of the American vernacular at this point." But they scrambled around town and secured pair of acoustic guitars for the duo.
1991 - After meeting up at their ex-manager's funeral, Spinal Tap announce a reunion. "It was destiny and also because none of us were really making a great amount of money," bass player Derek Smalls says.The US leg of the reunion tour begins at Tap plays Arnold Hall, Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs.
Folk singer-songwriter Tom Paxton is 85.
Bernard Edwards, producer and member of Chic, was born today in 1952.
Moon Martin, singer, songwriter and guitarist was born on this day in 1950. Originally a rockabilly artist, he wrote the song ‘Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)’, made famous by Robert Palmer,
Adam Schlesinger, Fountains Of Wayne, was born today in 1967.
Ad-Rock, aka Adam Horovitz of The Beastie Boys, is 56.
U2 drummer Larry Mullen is 61. U2 used to call themselves The Larry Mullen band.
After his sister had bought him his first drum kit, Larry famously posted an ad on the noticeboard at Mount Temple Comprehensive in 1976, asking for musicians to form a band with. As he's said since, the motley crew who assembled in his kitchen for their first practice were The Larry Mullen Band for about 10 minutes....until Bono turned up.
Johnny Marr, of The Smiths and his solo career, is 59.
Vanilla Ice is 55
On this Day In Music History are gathered from U Discover Music, The TV DB, This Day in Music, Three Chords and the Truth, Song Facts, Spinal Tap Fan, and Wikipedia.