Listen to Keefer weekday afternoons from 3pm-8pmFull Bio



1969 - John Lennon's and Yoko Ono's infamous 10-day "bed-in" for peace began at a Montreal hotel. Lennon and Ono were married in Gibraltar on March 20 of that year, and staged a first bed-in in Amsterdam a week later. They had their hearts set on a second, in New York in May, but a marijuana-related drug charge saw Lennon refused access to the U.S. So Montreal it was.

“Our talk is peace talk and our message is peace and we’re promoting a product called peace and...we’re talking to anybody who’s interested in peace, which is most people,” Lennon told The Montreal Gazette.

1971 - Marvin Gaye's album What's Going On was released. Gaye meditated on what had happened to the American dream of the past -- as it related to urban decay, environmental woes, military turbulence, police brutality, unemployment, and poverty. These feelings had been bubbling up between 1967 and 1970, during which he felt increasingly caged by Motown's behind-the-times hit machine and restrained from expressing himself seriously through his music.

The concept album consisting of nine songs tells the story from the point of view of a Vietnam veteran returning to the country he had been fighting for, and seeing only hatred, suffering, and injustice.

Alternately depressed and hopeful, angry and jubilant, Gaye saved the most sublime, deeply inspired performances of his career for "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)," "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)," and "Save the Children."

Just as he'd hoped it would be, What's Going On was Marvin Gaye's masterwork, the most perfect expression of an artist's hope, anger, and concern ever recorded.

1976 - Blue Oyster Cult releases Agents Of Fortune. If ever there were a manifesto for 1970s rock, one that prefigured both the decadence of the decade's burgeoning heavy metal and prog rock excesses and the rage of punk rock, "This Ain't the Summer of Love," the opening track from Agents of Fortune, Blue Öyster Cult's fourth album, was it. The album yielded the band's biggest single with "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," a multi-textured, deeply melodic soft rock song with psychedelic overtones. The rest of the album is ambitious in that it all but tosses aside the Cult's proto-metal stance and instead recontextualizes their entire stance. It's still rooted in rock posturing and excess, but gone is the nihilistic biker boogie in favor of a more tempered -- indeed, nearly pop arena rock.

1977 - Elvis Costello releases Alison. From his autobiography, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, he wrote: "I've always told people that I wrote the song 'Alison' after seeing a beautiful checkout girl at the local supermarket. She had a face for which a ship might have once been named. Scoundrels might once have fought mist-swathed duels to defend her honor. Now she was punching in the prices on cans of beans at a cash register and looking as if all the hopes and dreams of her youth were draining away. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

1983 - David Bowie went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Let's Dance', featuring blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was Bowie's first single to reach number one on both sides of the Atlantic.

1992 - MTV aired the first episode of The Real World, which got huge ratings and began a shift in programming away from music videos. It also encouraged other networks to try this "Reality TV" thing.

1997 - Radiohead released their third studio album OK Computer. Radiohead have stripped away many of the obvious elements of guitar rock, creating music that is subtle and textured yet still has the feeling of rock & roll. Even at its most adventurous -- such as the complex, multi-segmented "Paranoid Android" -- the band is tight, melodic, and muscular, and Thom Yorke's voice effortlessly shifts from a sweet falsetto to vicious snarls. It's a thoroughly astonishing demonstration of musical virtuosity and becomes even more impressive with repeated listens, which reveal subtleties like electronica rhythms, eerie keyboards, odd time signatures, and complex syncopations.


Jazz pianist Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller was born 120 years ago today in 1904. Not only was Fats Waller one of the greatest pianists jazz has ever known, he was also one of its most exuberantly funny entertainers -- and as so often happens, one facet tends to obscure the other. His extraordinarily light and flexible touch belied his ample physical girth; he could swing as hard as any pianist alive or dead, with a powerful left hand delivering the octaves and tenths in a tireless, rapid, seamless stream. Waller also pioneered the use of the pipe organ and Hammond organ in jazz -- he called the pipe organ the "God box" -- adapting his irresistible sense of swing to the pedals and a staccato right hand while making imaginative changes of the registration.

Ronald Isley of the Isley Brothers is 83. The longtime voice of the Isley Brothers, Ronald Isley has helmed the influential family group since the mid-'50s, a period spanning multiple generations of bandmates and cultural shifts heralding natural transformations through gritty soul, blistering funk, atmospheric quiet storm ballads, and plush contemporary R&B.

Marc Ribot is 70. A strikingly gifted guitarist whose repertoire runs the gamut from traditionalist roots music to jagged free improvisation, with stylistic fearlessness and passion the principal unifying factors, Marc Ribot has distinguished himself as both a sideman and leader of his own iconoclastic projects. He began a longstanding association with Tom Waits in 1985 and has also collaborated frequently with Elvis Costello and producer T-Bone Burnett.

The Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls / Christopher G. Wallace) was born today in 1972. In just a few short years, the Notorious B.I.G. went from a Brooklyn street hustler to the savior of East Coast hip-hop to a tragic victim of the culture of violence he depicted so realistically on his records. His all-too-brief odyssey almost immediately took on mythic proportions, especially since his murder followed the shooting of rival Tupac Shakur by only six months.

Biggie was a gifted storyteller with a sense of humor and an eye for detail, and his narratives about the often-violent life of the streets were rarely romanticized; instead, they were told with a gritty, objective realism that won him enormous respect and credibility.

Gotye is 44. A songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, Gotye (real name Wouter De Backer) earned a global audience in 2011 when his single "Someone I Used to Know" became a major international success.

On This Day In Music History was sourced, curated, copied, pasted, edited, and occasionally woven together, from This Day in Music, The Montreal Gazette Facts and Wikipedia.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content