1978 - Arista Records released the Patti Smith single "Because The Night." After Bruce Springsteen left the track off his album Darkness At The Edge Of Town, producer Jimmy Iovine convinced him to give a copy to Patti Smith, who eventually got around to filing in the verses and recording the song. Iovine was also producing Smith's Easter album and convinced her to record it for the set.
"Love is a ring, a telephone"
Smith wrote the verses in one night in 1977 while waiting for her boyfriend, Fred "Sonic" Smith, a founding member of the MC5, to call. They relied phone calls to stay in touch, but they were both poor and long distance calls were very expensive, so they limited their talks to about once a week, always at night when the rates were cheaper. One night, Patti was expecting his call at 7:30, but it didn't come. That's when she played Springsteen's cassette demo for the first time, listening to it over and over while she wrote lyrics about her yearning love.
By the time Fred called around midnight, the song was done.(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
1986 - Prince hits #1 in the US with "Kiss." The #2 song is "Manic Monday" by the Bangles, which he wrote under the pseudonym 'Christopher.'
2002 - "Jeepster" by T. Rex becomes the first song successfully identified by Shazam in a pre-launch version of the service that requires the user to call a number and receive a text message with the name of the song.
2012 - Levon Helm died of throat cancer aged 71. A drummer, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Helm formed his own high school band, the Jungle Bush Beaters, at 17. He later joined The Hawks (who became Bob Dylan's backing group), who then became known as The Band. He sang on The Band classics like "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "Up on Cripple Creek," "Rag Mama Rag," and "The Weight.”
2021 - Producer and songwriter Jim Steinman, most famous for his work on Meat Loaf's best-selling Bat Out Of Hell album, died at the age of 73. His most successful chart singles include Bonnie Tyler's 'Total Eclipse of the Heart', Air Supply's 'Making Love Out of Nothing at All', Meat Loaf's 'I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)', the Sisters of Mercy's 'This Corrosion'.
Alexis Korner, the godfather of British blues, was born today in 1928. Without Alexis Korner, there still might have been a British blues scene in the early 1960s, but chances are that it would have been very different from the one that spawned the Rolling Stones, nurtured the early talents of Eric Clapton, and made it possible for figures such as John Mayall to reach an audience.
His Blues Incorporated, a "supergroup" (for its time) consisted of the best players on the early-'60s British blues scene: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Steve Marriott, Manfred Mann, and many others.
Bernie Worrell, keyboardist and founding member of Parliament-Funkadelic, was born today in 1944. He also worked with Talking Heads.
South African producer and engineer Eddie Kramer is 81. He worked with many artists including The Beatles, (Magical Mystery Tour), David Bowie, (Young Americans), Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Carlos Santana. Kramer and his crew attended the 1969 Woodstock Festival, where they recorded the entire festival.
Tim Curry is 77. He rose to prominence for his portrayal of Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the film The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). As a singer, Curry has released three rock-focused studio albums. Curry has used a wheelchair since suffering a major stroke in July 2012.
Mark Volman of The Turtles is 76. He later worked with Frank Zappa, alongside his friend and partner Howard Kaylan who used the stage names of Flo & Eddie.
On This Day In Music History was sourced from This Day in Music, Allmusic, Song Facts and Wikipedia.