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1964 - The Animals hit #1 in America with "The House Of The Rising Sun," a folk song set in New Orleans about either a brothel or a prison.

1976 - Garry Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd falls asleep at the wheel of his new Ford Torino and hits a tree and a house. The incident inspires their song "That Smell."

1986 - Dire Straits won the MTV award for Best Video for "Money For Nothing."

The two delivery men ( who complained “That ain’t workin’/That’s the way you do it/Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free”, and their immediate surroundings, were all done in crude CGI, widely considered to be the first instance of computer-animated characters on the television network.

1989 - Soundgarden release Louder Than Love, the first grunge album on a major label (A&M). It's built on a slow, grinding, detuned mountain of Sabbath/Zeppelin riffs and Chris Cornell wailing. Includes "Hands All Over" and "Big Dumb Sex."


1946 - Rock drummer Buddy Miles (of The Electric Flag and Jimi Hendrix's Band Of Gypsys) is born George Allen Miles Jr. in Omaha, Nebraska. His grandmother calls him "Buddy" after jazz drummer Buddy Rich.

Freddy Mercury was born on this day in 1946. Combining an outrageously flamboyant stage persona with an immense talent for writing catchy and complex songs -- in addition to possessing one of the greatest voices in modern music -- vocalist Freddie Mercury remains one of rock’s all-time greatest entertainers.

Born Farrokh Bulsara, he along with the rest of Queen, Inspired by the heavy rock of Led Zeppelin/Hendrix as well as the vocal harmonies of the Beatles and the over the top look of the burgeoning glam rock movement), the new group decided to mix up all these influences in one big melting pot, resulting in the formation of Queen. Sensing that it was only natural that a soon-to-be rock star should have an equally grand name, Bulsara adopted a new last name, becoming Freddie Mercury.Photo by JEAN-CLAUDE COUTAUSSE/AFP via Getty Images)

Rock guitarist and son of Frank Zappa, Dweezil Zappa is 54. Real name: Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa

Loudon Wainwright III, singer/songwriter and father of Martha and Rufus Wainwright, is 76. An accomplished and versatile singer/songwriter, author, and actor, Loudon Wainwright III emerged in the early 1970s with a sound that combined elements of folk, blues, and rock, and a lyrical style steeped in cynical humor, candid personal observations, and social commentary.

John Cage, experimental composer, was born today in 1912. The most influential and controversial American experimental composer of the 20th century, John Cage was the father of indeterminism, a Zen-inspired aesthetic which expelled all notions of choice from the creative process. Rejecting the most deeply held compositional principles of the past -- logical consequence, vertical sensitivity, and tonality among them -- Cage created a groundbreaking alternative to the serialist method, deconstructing traditions established hundreds and even thousands of years earlier; the end result was a radical new artistic approach which impacted all of the music composed in its wake, forever altering not only the ways in which sounds are created but also how they're absorbed by audiences. Indeed, it's often been suggested that he did to music what Karl Marx did to government -- he leveled it.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Allmusic, Vice,, Song Facts and Wikipedia.


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