1968 - Marvin Gaye scored his first U.S. No. 1 single when "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" started a five-week run at the top. The song has a long history - written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966, first meant for Gladys Knight & the Pips, then recorded by The Miracles, then recorded by Marvin Gaye and placed on his 1968 album In the Groove. The Gaye recording has since become an acclaimed soul classic.
1968 - Tommy James and the Shondells release "Crimson and Clover." Tommy James constructed this slice of psychedelia from his favorite color and his favorite flower. Many songs need to be cut down before radio stations will play them, but this was the opposite. The song was only 2 1/2 minutes long, so they spliced together an extended version for FM radio. If you listen to that version, you can hear some really bad edits.
Joan Jett recorded this in 1982 as her follow-up to "I Love Rock And Roll." Her version hit #7 in the US.
1977 - At the peak of the disco era, the film Saturday Night Fever opened in theaters. The film is a true-to-life experience for disco obsessees and a fascination for the disco-curious. The soundtrack album spends a staggering 24 weeks at #1 and wins the Grammy for Album of the Year. It contains six #1 songs written by the Bee Gees.
The Bee Gees are forever associated with disco, which isn't a bad thing when the genre revives in the 2010s, but it's frustrating for them because the term didn't exist when they started making it. "We were not disco," Robin Gibb says. "People who emulated us were disco."
1980 - Yoko Ono called on fans to observe ten minutes of silence in memory of John Lennon. 30,000 gathered outside St George's Hall in Liverpool, while nearly 100,000 attend a memorial in New York's Central Park. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
1999 - In a much-publicized show, Paul McCartney returns to play the Cavern Club in Liverpool for the first time since 1963. Joining him are Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and Deep Purple's Ian Paice. Only about 300 watch from the club, but another 4,000 or so see it simulcast on big screens at a nearby park, and many more watch a webcast of the show, which is likely the most-watched internet event in history at this point (reporting is far from reliable).
Singer Charlie Rich ("The Most Beautiful Girl") was born today in 1932.
Jane Birkin is 76. Had the 1969 UK No.1 single with Serge Gainsbourg 'Je t'aime...Moi non plus', the only French language UK chart- topper. She is also known as being the namesake of the popular Hermès Birkin bag. Her daughter is actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Mike Scott, from The Waterboys, is 64.
Peter "Spider" Stacy, singer and tin whistler for The Pogues, is 64.
On This Day In Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.