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1959 - Berry Gordy, who had a hit as a songwriter with "Lonely Teardrops," launches the Tamla Record Company with $800 he borrowed from his family. A year later, he changes the label's name to Motown Records. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP)

1969 - Led Zeppelin release their debut album, titled Led Zeppelin. They had a fully formed, distinctive sound from the outset, as the album illustrates. Zeppelin created a majestic, powerful brand of guitar rock constructed around simple, memorable riffs and lumbering rhythms. Although the album isn't as varied as some of their later efforts, it nevertheless marked a significant turning point in the evolution of hard rock.

1974 - The Steve Miller Band reached number one for the first time with "The Joker". The line in this song, "I speak of the pompatus of love," has baffled listeners for some time. "Pompatus" does exist in the Oxford English Dictionary, and it means "to act with pomp and splendor."

The line "I'm a midnight toker", needed no explanation

1977 - The Police had their first rehearsal, held at drummer's Stewart Copeland's London apartment, with Henri Padovani on guitar.

1981 - It was reported that the White House had expanded its record library by including albums by Bob Dylan, Kiss and the Sex Pistols.

1993 - Van Morrison failed to turn up at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction dinner, making him the first living inductee not to attend. The Counting Crows stepped in and performed his classic, "Caravan".

1995 - The Allman Brothers Band, Al Green, the late Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Neil Young, The Orioles and the late Frank Zappa were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


1906 - Country bluesman Mississippi Fred McDowell is born in Rossville, Tennessee. The Rolling Stones cover his "You Gotta Move" on their 1971 album, Sticky Fingers.

Long John Baldry was born today in 1941. He would front or form bands that gave Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart and Elton John their first breaks. David Bowie covered his song, It Ain't Easy" on the Ziggy Stardust album. He was the voice of Doctor Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon. Essential song: "Don't Try to Lay No Boogie-Woogie on the King of Rock'n'Roll ".

Maggie Bell is 78. As well as being a member of Stone the Crows, she's provides the scorching duet with Rod Stewart on "Every Picture Tells A Story".

Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan is 53.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

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