1968 - A group called Pogo, which includes Randy Meisner, Jim Messina and Richie Furay, debuts at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. They change their name to Poco to avoid legal action over the comic strip Pogo. Poco is in the Colorado Music Hall Of Fame.
1972 - Cat Stevens started a three-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with Catch Bull At Four. The title was taken from one of the Ten Bulls of Zen a series of short poems and accompanying pictures that are intended to illustrate the stages of a Buddhist practitioner's progression towards enlightenment.
1972 - Danny Whitten died of a drug overdose aged 29. He was a member of Neil Young's Crazy Horse and writer of 'I Don't Wanna Talk About It', covered by Rod Stewart, Rita Coolidge and Everything But The Girl. The Neil Young song ‘The Needle and the Damage Done’ was written about Whitten’s heroin use (before he died of an overdose).
1974 - Genesis released the double concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, story of a Puerto Rican hustler name Rael making his way in New York City. It was last album by the group to feature the involvement of lead singer Peter Gabriel.
1976 - Richard Hell and the Voidoids made their debut at CBGB in New York. Hell was an innovator of punk music and fashion and was one of the first to spike his hair and wear torn, cut and drawn-on shirts, often held together with safety pins.
Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols, has credited Hell as a source of inspiration for the Sex Pistols' look and attitude.
1987 - At a Los Angeles concert, U2 opened for themselves, pretending to be a country-rock band called The Dalton Brothers. The band name is a reference to the gang of bandits who appear in the Lucky Luke comic books.
1991 - U2 released Achtung Baby. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Reinventions rarely come as thorough and effective as Achtung Baby, an album that completely changed U2's sound and style. Drawing equally from Bowie's electronic, avant-garde explorations of the late '70s and the neo-psychedelic sounds of the thriving rave and Madchester club scenes of early-'90s England. The band was frustrated with each other during the recording of this album and arguing about the direction the sound should go - until an improvised writing of “One” lead to a breakthrough. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
1993 - Nirvana recorded their MTV Unplugged special at Sony Studios in New York. Nirvana played a setlist composed largely of lesser-known material and cover versions of songs by The Vaselines, David Bowie, Meat Puppets and Lead Belly. The resulting album would go on to win the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 1996.
And the stage? Kurt wanted the set to be strewn with stargazer lilies and candles, with chandeliers illuminating the band.
“You mean like a funeral?” asked the producer.
To which Kurt Cobain replied, “Exactly. Like a funeral.”
1994 - The Rolling Stones became the first major band to stream a live concert on the Web when they transmitted the first five songs from a concert in Dallas over the Internet. Although the Stones were the first major band to webcast a show, the very first band to use the technology was rock band Severe Tire Damage, who performed via Internet multicast on June 24, 1993. As a hat-tip to their predecessors' innovation, the Rolling Stones invited Severe Tire Damage to open for their 1994 Web concert.
2002 - The posthumous George Harrison album Brainwashed is released, his first since Cloud Nine in 1987. Harrison had been working on the album before his death; it was completed by his son Dhani.
2016 - Sharon Jones, who spearheaded a soul revival movement with her band the Dap-Kings, died. Jones became celebrated for her strong, emotive voice and phrasing that was powerful without showboating. At her best, Jones could evoke the sound of classic soul and R&B of the '60s and '70s while summoning an energy and confidence that made her performances feel fresh and contemporary.
Songwriter Hank Ballard, who had a No. 1 for Chubby Checker with "The Twist," was born today in 1927.
Don Cherry, jazz musician, father of Neneh and Eagle Eye Cherry, was born on this day in 1936.
Graham Parker of The Rumour is 72.
1952 – John Parr, English singer-songwriter and guitarist best known for “St. Elmo’s Fire”, is 70.
Kim Wilde is 62.
Kirk Hammett of Metallica is 60.
Tim DeLaughter, frontman of the Polyphonic Spree, is 57
Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from The thin air, Allmusic, This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.