1964 - Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel recorded the acoustic version of "The Sound of Silence." Later, the record company would add electric guitar, bass and drums, without the knowledge of either performer, and release the song as a single. It reached number one on New Year's Day 1966 and was also used by Mike Nichols in the 1967 film, The Graduate, alongside "Mrs. Robinson."
1967 - Aretha Franklin issues her first album on Atlantic Records, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You. It's an album that unleashes the soulful intensity so long kept under wraps during her Columbia tenure; featuring a crack Muscle Shoals backing band and an abundance of impeccable material, it creates the ideal setting to allow Aretha to ascend to the throne of Queen of Soul.
1977 - At 7am in the morning on a trestle table set up out-side Buckingham Palace, London, the Sex Pistols signed to A&M Records. An after party was held at the offices of A&M records where the group set about reeking unforeseen havoc on the posh building, with Sid Vicious smashing a toilet and cutting his foot, trailing blood everywhere he went, while Rotten cursed and threatened every upscale executive in sight and guitarist Steve Jones getting it on with an unnamed fan in the restrooms. The contract lasted for six days.
1991 - Mookie Blaylock (the band) go on the Seattle radio station KISW and announce they are changing their name to Pearl Jam. At the time Mookie was an active NBA player, his name taken from a recently purchased pack of basketball player cards. They needed a name the band for an upcoming tour with Alice In Chains.
After changing their name (take your pick of the many stories of inspiration, a grandmother named Pearl, the jamming of Neil young, etc...) Pearl Jam would title their debut "Ten", which was Blaylock's number. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images)
Edie Brickell is 56 today. She is a singer-songwriter best-known for her band Edie Brickell & New Bohemians and their hit "What I Am". She also recorded albums with Steve Martin and is married to Paul Simon.
Gary Louris is 68. Best known as one of the key members of the venerable alt-country band the Jayhawks and Golden Smog, a loose collection featuring members of Wilco, The Replacements, Soul Asylum, and others.
Producer Rick Rubin is 60. The co-founder of the legendary Def Jam label, producer Rick Rubin was among the key figures behind the commercial and artistic rise of hip-hop, lending his signature rap/metal style to many of the biggest records of the pre-gangsta era.
He also produced Johnny Cash's comeback, Tom Petty's Wildflowers, Red Hot Chili Peppers' breakthrough effort, Blood Sugar Sex Magik and many, many more.
Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from Allmusic, Deadspin, This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.