1977 - Bing Crosby's last Christmas special aired. The program was recorded in September, and Crosby died that October. The show is remembered for Crosby's unusual duet with David Bowie, where they sang a modified version of "Little Drummer Boy," with Bowie singing the new "Peace On Earth" lyrics composed by the show's writers. I'll post the story behind the pairing a little later...in the meantime, watch the clip below.
1979 - Pink Floyd released The Wall. The powerful concept album's themes of isolation and despair resonated with legions of fans. It documented the rise and fall of a rock star based on Waters' own experiences and the tendencies he'd observed in people around him. The story revolves around the fictional Pink Floyd's isolation behind a psychological wall. This ambitious concept album was an across-the-board smash and marked the last time Waters and Gilmour would work together as equal partners.
1982 - Michael Jackson releases Thriller. Nobody could have prepared anybody for the success of Thriller, since the magnitude of its success was simply unimaginable. This was a record that built on the basic blueprint of his previous album, Off the Wall by adding harder funk, hard rock, softer ballads, and smoother soul -- expanding the approach to have something for every audience. It would go on to be one of the best selling albums of all time.
2003 - A block of East 2nd Street in New York City was officially renamed Joey Ramone Place. It is the block where Joey once lived with band mate Dee Dee Ramone and is near the music club CBGB, where the Ramones played their first gigs. In 2010, it was reported that "Joey Ramone Place," was New York City's most stolen sign. The sign has since been moved to 20 feet above ground level. (Photo by Teresa Lee/Getty Images)
Dick Clark was born in 1929. Dubbed the "world's oldest teenager," he becomes a cultural icon as the longtime host of American Bandstand and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. He created and produced the annual American Music Awards show too.
Deep Purple and Rainbow bassist Roger Glover is 77.
June Pointer of the Pointer Sisters was born today in 1953.
Guitarist Shuggie Otis is 69. He is the son of R&B pioneer Johnny Otis. Shuggie composes the 1977 crossover hit "Strawberry Letter 23" for The Brothers Johnson. Once considered to replace Mick Taylor in the Rolling Stones.
Billy Idol is 67.
Cherie Currie, solo artist and former lead vocalist of the Runaways, is 63.
On This Day In Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, Song Facts Allmusic, and Wikipedia.