1963 - The Beatles appeared on London's U.K. Royal Variety Show. The show was attended by the Queen Mother. This was the famous show where John Lennon thanked the audience for the applause and made the quip: ‘In the cheaper seats you clap your hands. The rest of you, just rattle your jewelry’.
1970 - David Bowie released his third studio album, The Man Who Sold the World, the first with the nucleus of what would become the "Spiders from Mars", backing band. Musically, there isn't much innovation on The Man Who Sold the World -- it is almost all hard blues-rock or psychedelic folk-rock -- but there's an unsettling edge to the band's performance, which makes the record one of Bowie's best albums.
1972 - With reggae catching fire in America, "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash (an American singer) hits #1 on the Hot 100, becoming the first reggae tune to top the chart. Primarily a reggae and pop singer, Nash was one of the first non-Jamaican artists to record reggae music in Kingston.
Nash had legitimate reggae credentials: Bob Marley (before he became crazy famous) was an assistant producer and session player on the album ( along with members of the Average White Band) and also wrote three of the songs, including "Stir It Up," which became Nash's next - and final - hit.
1979 - The Police released 'Walking on the Moon' from their album, Reggatta de Blanc. Sting has said that he came up with the song when he was drunk one night after a schnapps drinking session in Munich. The following morning, he remembered the song and wrote it down. The song is set in space, but it's an allegory for how Sting felt when he was on the road, confined to hotel rooms and stages as the world kept turning.
1980 - An ailing Bob Marley was baptized at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Kingston, on this day, converting to a Christian Rastafarian and taking on the new name Berhane Selassie, which means Light of the Trinity.
1993 - Depeche Mode's Martin Gore was arrested at the Denver Westin Hotel after refusing to turn down his music.
"The night before I got arrested, I had a party in my room and there were about 50 people and it was really loud," Depeche Mode leader Martin Gore recalled to the magazine Pavement in 1997: "The night of the arrest, it was me and a friend and the music was really quiet. They rang me and asked me to turn it down, so I turned it off. Next thing I know there's complete silence and the police knocked on the door. I stupidly opened it. They burst in, threw me on the bed and handcuffed me. There was no music whatsoever playing. I think they were out to get me for the night before." (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Press Here)
Singer-songwriter Delbert McClinton is 82. The venerable Delbert McClinton is a legend among Texas roots music aficionados, not only for his amazing longevity, but for his ability to combine country, blues, soul, and rock & roll as if there were no distinctions between any of them -- in the best time-honored Texas tradition. McClinton's harmonica was prominently featured on Fort Worth native Bruce Channel's 1962 number one smash "Hey! Baby"; brought along for Channel's tour of England, McClinton wound up giving harp lessons to a young John Lennon.
Chris Difford of Squeeze is 68.
James Honeyman-Scott, guitarist from The Pretenders, was born today in 1956.
On This Day In Music History was sourced from Totally 80s, This Day in Music, Allmusic, Song Facts, Carribean National Weekly, and Wikipedia.