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1964 - The Rolling Stones release their first single in America, a cover of the Buddy Holly song "Not Fade Away."

Charlie Watts: "We did it with a Bo Diddley beat, which at the time was very avant-garde for a white band to be playing Bo Diddley's stuff. It was a very popular rhythm for us in clubs; looking at it from the drumming point of view. So we did it in this slightly different way than Buddy Holly did it."

1972 - Led Zeppelin released "Rock And Roll / Four Sticks" as a 7 inch single in the U.S. For rock And Roll, Robert Plant wrote the lyrics, which were a response to critics who claimed their previous album, Led Zeppelin III, wasn't really rock and roll. The song was written as a spontaneous jam session while the band was trying to finish "Four Sticks".

The drum riff was based on the intro to the 1957 Little Richard song "Keep a Knockin'". With the tapes rolling the basic song was finished fifteen minutes later.

1975 - David Bowie released "Young Americans" as a single, which became a breakthrough hit for Bowie in the United States. The backing vocal arrangement came at the suggestion of soul singer Luther Vandross. Bowie said that this was the result of cramming his "whole American experience" into one song. (Photo credit should read -/AFP via Getty Images)

1990 - Milli Vanilli are awarded the Best New Artist Grammy. It would take until the following November for producer Frank Farian to confess that the duo of Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus never actually sang a single note on their recordings, causing the award to be withdrawn.


Nina Simone was born on this day in 1933. Nina Simone was one of the most gifted vocalists of her generation, and also one of the most eclectic. Simone was a singer, pianist, and songwriter who bent genres to her will rather than allowing herself to be confined by their boundaries; her work swung back and forth between jazz, blues, soul, classical, R&B, pop, gospel, and world music, with passion, emotional honesty, and a strong grasp of technique as the constants of her musical career.

David Geffen is 80. Though not always the most popular figure in rock music, David Geffen has nevertheless been one of the most important figures in the corporate rock world of the last 30 years. He is responsible for guiding the careers of such big-name acts as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Laura Nyro, Jackson Browne and the Eagles, believing in the artists when few others did. He went on the form the Geffen label, signing Guns N' Roses, Aerosmith, Nirvana, and Sonic Youth.

Jerry Harrison is 74. Keyboard player in Talking Heads and The Modern Lovers. He also produced Beautiful World by Big Head Todd and the Monsters.

Vince Welnick was born on this day in 1951. Taking over what may have seemed a particularly doomed spot, former Tubes keyboardist Vince Welnick dodged the proverbial bullet that seemed aimed at the Grateful Dead's most fatal position when Jerry Garcia died in 1995. Until then, Welnick had spent five years covering keyboard and harmony vocal parts after Dead keyboardist Brent Mydland died of a drug overdose in 1990.

Ranking Roger of The Beat was born today in 1963. Best-known as the singer/toaster and co-frontman of the English Beat and General Public, Ranking Roger was born Roger Charlery in Birmingham, England, on February 21, 1961, and became a punk rock fan as a teenager. He joined ska revival pioneers the English Beat in 1978, where he teamed with singer Dave Wakeling to give the group a unique one-two punch out front.

On This Day In Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, Allmusic, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

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