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1966 - John Lennon bought a copy of Timothy Leary's The Psychedelic Experience and The Tibetan Book Of The Dead, where he read near the beginning of the book's introduction; "When in doubt, relax, turn off your mind, float downstream," which captured Lennon's imagination and became the first line of 'Tomorrow Never Knows' which he recorded 5 days later.

1969 - After playing on hits for the likes of Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, four session musicians start Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, where they record The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones.

1970 - The Joni Mitchell album Ladies Of The Canyon is released. This wonderfully varied release shows a number of new tendencies in Joni Mitchell's work, some of which would come to fuller fruition on subsequent albums. Songs here take many moods, ranging from the sunny, easygoing "Morning Morgantown" to the nervously energetic "Conversation" to the cryptically spooky "The Priest" to the sweetly sentimental classic "The Circle Game" to the bouncy and vibrant single "Big Yellow Taxi". This album is yet another essential listen in Mitchell's recorded canon.

1974 - Tom Petty and his band Mudcrutch leave Gainesville for Los Angeles, and never look back. They soon become Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

1984 - Marvin Gaye was fatally shot by his father at his parents' home in Los Angeles. The two had had a tumultuous relationship for most of their lives. His father, Reverend Gaye (Marvin Sr.) never approved of Marvin Jr.'s lifestyle. In 1983, Marvin had moved back in with his parents during a low point in his life and career.

On April 1, 1984, after an argument started after his parents squabbled over misplaced business documents, Gaye attempted to intervene, and was killed by his father using a gun he had given him four months before. He died one day before his 45th birthday.

1986 - Bruce Hornsby and the Range release The Way It Is. The group has a distinct sound of its own, often led by Hornsby's bright piano chords and elastic tenor, with cohesive and evocative arrangements; there is new age music here, as well as jazz and country, and the mixture is presented naturally by musicians who already have been playing with each other for some time. Bruce Hornsby & the Range went on to win the 1986 Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

2003 - The White Stripes release Elephant. It's the first album they've recorded for a major label, and it sounds even more pissed-off, paranoid, and stunning than its predecessor. Darker and more difficult than White Blood Cells, the album is more consistent, exploring disillusionment and rejection with razor-sharp focus. It's all delivered with their unique mix of blues, punk, and garage rock in an electrifying and unique way.

2007 -Proving she understands irony just fine, Alanis Morissette transforms the Black Eyed Peas' booty anthem "My Humps" into a mournful piano ballad for April Fools' Day. The accompanying YouTube video, in which she danced provocatively with a group of men received over 15m views. Watch below.


Ronnie Lane was born today in 1946. Best known as the bassist and occasional vocalist for both the Small Faces and the Faces. The Small Faces were one of the most acclaimed and influential mod groups of the 1960s. The Faces lived the rock & roll lifestyle to the extreme. The music featured a loose and joyful spirit. They never sold that many records and were never considered as important as the Stones, yet their music has proven extremely influential over the years.

Ronnie Lane's musical contributions as a solo artist ought not be overlooked, either with Slim chance or on his own. he also recorded a wonderful album with Pete Townshend, Rough Mix.

Soul and jazz poet Gilbert "Gil" Scott-Heron was born today in 1949. One of the most important progenitors of rap music, Gil Scott-Heron's aggressive, no-nonsense street poetry is equal parts politically conscious activism, cultural awareness, polemic, and social commentary, inspired a legion of intelligent rappers. His engaging songwriting skills -- often with longtime musical partner Brian Jackson -- placed him on the jazz charts, and later in his career, the R&B charts as well. Essential song: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Jimmy Cliff turns 79. A shining star of reggae since the early '60s, Jimmy Cliff was one of the most powerful factors in bringing Jamaican music to worldwide popularity with both his powerful songs of peace and unity and his lead role in the 1972 film The Harder They Come. Cliff's star power in the movie might have been his most visible contribution to making the entire world aware of reggae, but his music remained his primary focus for decades afterward. Though he wasn't quite on the same level of international crossover as Bob Marley, he wasn't terribly far behind, with consistently popular albums through the '70s and '80s.(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Henry Gross of Sha Na Na is 73. He was the youngest person, at age 18, to play on the main stage at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. He would also have a hit with 1976's "Shannon", a song written about the passing of Beach Boy Carl Wilson's Irish Setter of the same name.

D. Boon of the Minutemen was born today in 1958. More than any other hardcore band, the Minutemen epitomized the free-thinking independent ideals that formed the core of punk/alternative music. Wildy eclectic and politically revolutionary, the Minutemen never stayed in one place too long; they moved from punk to free jazz to funk to folk at a blinding speed. Essential album: Double Nickels On The Dime.

John Butler is 49. Aussie roots rock guitarist and frontman for the John Butler Trio, who emerged in the late '90s and found success with the platinum-selling albums Sunrise Over Sea, featuring a heady amalgam of reggae, political folk, blues, pop, and acoustic soul


2020 - Adam Schlesinger, best-known for his work with Fountains of Wayne ( the group first appeared in 1996 with a mix of British-influenced pop songs, lo-fi production, and wry lyrics about dead-end jobs and biker boyfriendslineup and polished up their sound and hitting gold with 2003's Welcome Interstate Managers) died at the age of 52 as a result of health complications caused by COVID-19. Fountains of Wayne formed in New Jersey in 1995 and were named after a lawn ornament store in the state, featured in The Sopranos. Over his career, Schlesinger earned nominations for an Oscar, a Golden Globe, Tonys, Grammys and Emmys, winning the latter two.

On This Day In Music History was sourced, curated, copied, pasted, edited, and occasionally woven together with my own crude prose, from This Day in Music, Music this Day, Allmusic, A&E, Song Facts and Wikipedia.


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