This Day In Music: 1/1/12

– In 1953: Country singer Hank Williams died of a heart attack brought on by a lethal cocktail of pills and alcohol aged 29. Made his first record in 1946, scored 36 Top 10 US country hits, his best Known being ‘Your Cheatin Heart.’ Over 20,000 mourners attended his funeral.

– In 1955: Elvis Presley appeared at The Eagles Hall in Houston Texas. Presley went on to play over 250 shows in 1955.

– In 1956: Bill Haley’s ‘Rock Around The Clock’ went to No.1 on the UK singles chart for the second time.

– In 1960: Johnny Cash played a free concert for the inmates of San Quentin Prison, California.

– In 1964: The first edition of the BBC TV show Top Of The Pops was transmitted from an old church hall in Manchester, England. Introduced by DJ Jimmy Saville, acts miming to their latest releases included The Rolling Stones, (I Wanna Be Your Man), The Dave Clark Five, (Glad All Over), The Hollies, (Stay), and The Swinging Blue Jeans, (Hippy Hippy Shake). The first song played was Dusty Springfield’s ‘I Only Want To Be With You’. Also featured on disc and film, The Beatles, (I Want to Hold Your Hand), Freddie & the Dreamers, Cliff Richard and the Shadows and Gene Pitney.

– In 1965: The Yardbirds (with Eric Clapton), played two shows at The Odeon Cinema, Hammersmith in London. One at 6.15 and 8.45pm.

– In 1966: Simon and Garfunkel started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘The Sounds Of Silence’, a No.13 hit in the UK.

– In 1967: The Doors made their first live television appearance lip-synching their first single ‘Break on Through’ on Shebang, KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles. The single peaked No. 126 on the US chart mainly due to lack of airplay after censors objected to the drug use implied by the line “she gets high”, which is repeated in the middle section of the song.

– In 1972: Carole King started a three week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Music’, her second US chart topper.

– In 1972: Marc Bolan signed a deal with EMI to release records in the UK on his own T Rex Wax co. label.

– In 1989: Nirvana signed a one-year recording contract with Sub Pop records. The Seattle based label began not as a record label but as a fanzine (called Subterranean Pop), in the early 80’s, also signed Soundgarden and Mudhoney.

– In 1990: New American radio station WKRL in Florida played the Led Zeppelin track ‘Stairway To Heaven’ for 24 hours, as a prelude to an all Zeppelin format.

– In 1995: Garth Brooks started a six week run at No.1 on the US album charts with ‘The Hits.’

– In 2007: Queen beat The Beatles to be crowned greatest British band of all time by BBC Radio 2 listeners in the UK. They pipped the Fab Four in a live contest, trouncing other finalists The Rolling Stones, Oasis and Take That. The bands were judged on song-writing, lyrics, live performances, originality and showmanship. More than 20,000 listeners voted by email, text and phone.

– In 2011: Chuck Berry cut short a concert at Congress Theater, Chicago, Illinois after collapsing on stage an hour into the show. Berry slumped over a keyboard and did not move for a couple of minutes before being helped off stage, he returned 15 minutes later only to be forced off again almost immediately. The 84 year-old later re-emerged on stage but told fans he had no strength to continue performing.

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