1944 Today is the birthday of Bobbie Gentry, US singer and songwriter, whose song ‘Ode to Billie Joe‘ came out of nowhere in 1967 and knocked the Beatles (All You Need is Love) out of the #1 spot on the US singles chart. She was one of the first female country artists to compose and produce her own material. ‘Ode to Billie Joe’s Southern gothic story line left listeners with a mystery – what was thrown off the Tallahatchie Bridge and who was with Billie Joe. The song was Gentry’s only hit. For more on the song and the artist, check out this Rolling Stone story.
1974 Paul McCartney‘s post-Beatles group Wings started a seven-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with Band On The Run. The two singles off the album, ‘Jet’, and ‘Band on the Run’ helped the album become one of the top selling albums of 1974.
1976 Bruce Springsteen sued his manager Mike Appel for fraud and breach of trust in a attempt to get out of his contract with Appel’s Laurel Canyon Ltd. Appel in turn counter sued Springsteen, leading a judge to issue an injunction against Springsteen being able to record. Coming on the heels of the success of Born to Run, this was potentially disastrous for Springsteen’s career. The case dragged on for over 10 months, resulting the year after in an out of court settlement giving Springsteen control of his recordings and career. But Springsteen’s next album, Darkness on the Edge of Town, wasn’t released until 1978, and showcased a much different writing style than Born to Run. Gone were the sweeping musical and lyrical epics, replaced with tighter, sparer, grittier character portraits.
Sources: This Day in Music.com; Wikipedia.