1974 - Eric Clapton records "I Shot The Sheriff," a cover of a Bob Marley song. He's reluctant to do it, but it becomes the only #1 hit of his career. It edged "(You're) Having My Baby" by Paul Anka.
1981 - Kraftwerk release Computer World, featuring prescient songs about the influence of computers on society.
Thematically, the electronic music pioneers explore the promises and pitfalls that go along with the increasing reliance on technology. "Computer Love" predicts the advent of online dating, while "Pocket Calculator" praises the convenience of the portable device that solves mathematical problems and makes music (Kraftwerk uses a Casio calculator as an instrument on the track). The title track, however, hints at a sinister side effect of a computerized world with the lyric "Interpol and Deutsche Bank, FBI and Scotland Yard," noting the international agencies that keep tabs on the public by storing their personal information in computers.
Kraftwerk saw the future...
1994 - Philadelphia rhymers G. Love & Special Sauce release their self-titled debut album, featuring "Cold Beverage" and "Baby's Got Sauce."
1999 - Singer, songwriter poet, cartoonist, screenwriter, and author of children's books Shel Silverstein died of a heart attack aged 57. Wrote, 'A Boy Named Sue' for Johnny Cash (which Silverstein won a Grammy for in 1970) and many songs for Dr Hook including 'Sylvia's Mother' and 'The Cover of the Rolling Stone.' he was also one of Playboy's leading cartoonists.
Bono is 63. Singer, poet, activist, believer: few icons in the history of rock & roll have created art with the consciousness and passion of Bono (allegedly picked up his nickname from the Latin phrase Bono Vox ("good voice"), and only a handful have done it as successfully. Whether preaching about "three chords and the truth" or donning ironic personas, the first and only frontman for seminal Irish rock band U2 has always stood unequivocally for hope, faith, and love -- and in so doing has touched millions of fans, as well as sold millions of records. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Sid Vicious was born on this day in 1957. While he was the bassist for the Sex Pistols, his command of the instrument was minimal. Instead he became a caricature of the essence of what punk rock was all about -- anarchy, violence (especially at gigs), nihilism, wild excess, an apathetic lack of concern with everyone and everything, and dying young. A tragic tale.
Sly Dunbar is 71. The foundations of Jamaica's drumming style were set by the innovative playing of Sly Dunbar (born: Lowell Fillmore Dunbar). As one-half of the Riddim Twins, Dunbar joined with bassist Robbie Shakespeare to provide the rhythm section and/or production for recordings by reggae artists including Peter Tosh, Black Uhuru, the Mighty Diamonds, and U-Roy and non-Jamaican performers including Bob Dylan, Grace Jones, the Rolling Stones, and many more.
Dave Mason is 77. Mason made his initial splash as a key member, alongside Steve Winwood, of the beloved '60s rock band Traffic, penning one of their biggest songs, "Feelin' All Right." After a brief stint with the band, he grew restless and left to pursue his own vision.
Jay Ferguson is 76. Best known as the lead singer of Spirit and Jo Jo Gunne, Jay Ferguson pursued a solo career in the late '70s before eventually moving into film scoring work. He composed the theme for the hit comedy show, "The Office".
Donovan is 77. Upon his emergence during the mid-'60s, Donovan was anointed "Britain's answer to Bob Dylan," a facile but largely unfounded comparison which compromised the Scottish folk-pop troubadour's own unique vision. Where the thrust of Dylan's music remains its bleak introspection and bitter realism, Donovan fully embraced the wide-eyed optimism of the flower power movement, his ethereal, ornate songs radiating a mystical beauty and childlike wonder; for better or worse, his recordings remain quintessential artifacts of the psychedelic era, capturing the peace and love idealism of their time to perfection.
On This Day In Music History was sourced from Allmusic, Tunefind, Songfacts, This Day In Music, and Audacy.