1949 - RCA introduces the 45 RPM record. It's 7 inches wide and plays at a faster speed than the traditional 33-1/3, providing better sound quality. The format takes off, and 45s become known as "singles."
1972 - Neil Young releases the album Harvest. After injuring his back trying to move some timber, Young started making the album in February 1971 when he wrangled a Nashville studio and some local musicians for a weekend and recorded the songs "Old Man" and "Heart of Gold" with some local musicians. The mellow mood is informed by his injury; he had to play an acoustic guitar because he could barely hold an electric.
Young notoriously bristled at this accessibility, writing in the liner notes of Decade that "'Heart of Gold' put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch, a rougher ride, but I saw more interesting people there."
1980 - Blondie released "Call Me", the main theme song of the 1980 film "American Gigolo". It peaked at No. 1. It was co-written with European disco producer Giorgio Moroder, originally wanted Stevie Nicks to provide vocals on the track but the Fleetwood Mac vocalist declined the offer.
1985 -The Eagles' Glenn Frey makes his acting debut on an episode of US TV's Miami Vice that was based on his song, "Smuggler's Blues".
He plays Jimmy Cole, a smuggler located in Miami, who loves to play his guitar in his hangar when he's not flying to "points south".
1994 - Green Day release their label debut, Dookie. They delivered a record that found Billie Joe Armstrong bursting into full flower as a songwriter, spitting out melodic ravers, but infused with an ironic self-loathing popularized by Nirvana, whose clean sound on Nevermind is also emulated here. Where Nirvana had weight, Green Day are deliberately adolescent here, treating nearly everything as joke and having as much fun as snotty punkers should.
2007 - Forced to do a press conference to promote his upcoming Super Bowl halftime show, Prince answers the first question with a guitar lick, then turns the event into a concert, leaving reporters stunned.
2008 - NASA announced that "Across the Universe" by The Beatles was to become the first song ever to be beamed directly into space.
In a message to NASA, Paul McCartney said the project was an "amazing" feat. "Well done, Nasa," he added. "Send my love to the aliens. All the best, Paul."
2012 - Don Cornelius, the host of "Soul Train" from 1971 until 1993, who helped break down racial barriers and broaden the reach of Black culture, died. He was 75.
2020 - Andy Gill, the founding member and guitarist of British post-punk band Gang Of Four, died aged 64. Gill's scratchy, staccato riffs provided the band with their signature sound, and influenced the likes of Nirvana, Fugazi and Franz Ferdinand.
Don Everly, guitarist/singer with The Everly Brothers, was born on this day in 1937. The music of the Everly Brothers influenced The Beatles who based the vocal arrangement of 'Please Please Me' on 'Cathy's Clown.
Rick James was born today in 1948. In the late 1970s, when the fortunes of Motown Records seemed to be flagging, Rick James came along and rescued the company, providing funky hits that updated the label's style and saw it through into the mid-'80s. He was also in a band with Neil Young, The Mynah Birds.
Mike Campbell, guitarist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, is 73. One of the great guitarists of the classic rock era, Mike Campbell served as Tom Petty's lieutenant for the better part of their careers, sticking with him alone or with the Heartbreakers. Campbell occasionally worked apart from Petty -- notably, he gave Don Henley the music for his 1984 hit "The Boys of Summer" -- but he was there even when Petty went solo or when he reunited Mudcrutch, the country-rock group the pair played in prior to the Heartbreakers. He know fronts his own band, the Dirty Knobs.
Lisa Marie Presley was born today in 1968. She married Michael Jackson and actor Nicolas Cage. Lisa Marie had a minor hit with 'Lights Out', From the album, "To Whom It may Concern".
Exene Cervenka is 67. Best known as the singer for X, one of the leaders of the late-'70s/early-'80s California punk explosion. But there was much more to their sound than the average punk band -- as country, rockabilly, and Exene's poetic lyrics set them apart from the pack.
Jason Isbell is 44. After six years with the Southern rock outfit the Drive-By Truckers, singer and guitarist Jason Isbell left the group in 2007 to pursue a solo career, becoming one of the most successful and respected figures in the alt-country and singer/songwriter communities. While full of Southern grit, Isbell's songs also show off an introspective side and a gift for nuanced storytelling. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Tibet House)
On this Day In Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, Song Facts, Allmusic, Miami Vice Fandom, and Wikipedia.