1975 - David Bowie released his ninth studio album Young Americans which contained his first number one hit in the U.S. "Fame". Bowie comes up with a set of songs that approximate the sound of Philly soul and disco, yet remain detached from their inspirations. Nevertheless, the distance doesn't hurt the album -- it gives the record its own distinctive flavor, and its plastic, robotic soul helped inform generations of synthetic British soul.
1980 - The film Coal Miner's Daughter, the biography of Loretta Lynn and starring Sissy Spacek opened. Spacek won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Lynn; Tommy Lee Jones and Beverly D'Angelo also play leading roles in the film, which was a huge success with critics and at the box office.
1983 - New Order released 'Blue Monday,' as a 12-inch single through Factory Records. The track went on to become the biggest-selling 12-inch single of all time.
Drummer Stephen Morris said the title was inspired by an illustration “Goodbye Blue Monday” from Kurt Vonnegut’s book Breakfast of Champions. Bassist Peter Hook claimed it was Fat's domino's "Blue Monday". Either way, it doesn't appear in the lyrics.
1983- Tears For Fears release their debut album, The Hurting, featuring the melancholic "Mad World." It was later covered by Gary Jules for the Donnie Darko soundtrack. Their name and the album is inspired by the work of American psychologist Arthur Janov, founder of primal therapy. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
1985 - The song "We are the World" is released as a single, soon achieving massive chart success all around the world. The song, written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, is recorded for charity to help battle famine in Africa. The supergroup USA for Africa brought together for the recording features a stunning list of big names in music - everyone from Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan to Ray Charles, Cyndi Lauper and Dionne Warwick.
1987 - Beastie Boys became the first rap act to have a No. 1 album in the U.S. with their debut album, Licensed To Ill. In 2003, the album was ranked number 217 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It features hits such as "Brass Monkey", "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!) and "Girls".
1987 - The Beatles' first five studio albums were released on CD. This was the first time the original mono mixes of the first four albums were released in the U.S.
Singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt was born today in 1944. With an understated voice that quietly overflowed with melancholy, humor, and insight, Townes Van Zandt was an icon of American songwriting. His songs would become hits for other artists, but substance abuse issues, problems with record labels, and general hard luck saw him spending the majority of his life as a cult figure at best, drifting across the world playing tiny rooms up until his early death at 52.
His songs were covered by Bob Dylan, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, Cowboy Junkies, Andrew Bird, Alison Krauss, and Gillian Welch. Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard covered his song 'Pancho and Lefty'.
Arthur Lee was born on this day in 1945. Founded one of the '60s seminal garage/folk/psychedelic bands, Love, in 1965. The band recorded three amazing albums for Elektra including Forever Changes. Forever Changes only made a minor dent on the charts when it was first released in 1967, but years later it became recognized as one of the finest and most haunting albums to come out of the Summer of Love.
Peter Wolf, lead vocalist for the J. Geils Band, is 77. Wolf's earliest passion was painting, and he was accepted on a scholarship to the Museum of Modern Art's Special Studies for Children, and later to the High School of Music and Art, just blocks from the Apollo Theater, where the young Wolf would make weekly visits. Seeing performers like Jackie Wilson, Dinah Washington, Otis Redding, and James Brown sparked his early interest in blues and R&B. In 1967, he helped form the group that would go on to become the J. Geils Band.
On this Day In Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, Mental Floss, Song Meanings and Facts, Song Facts and Wikipedia.