Today in Music History July 14

1912, Born on this day, Woodrow Wilson ‘Woody’ Guthrie in Okemah, Oklahoma. Guthrie was a folk singer and songwriter in the 1930s and 1940s, famous for his ‘Dust Bowl Ballads’ and protest songs. One of his best known songs, This Land is Your Land, was written as a protest answer to Irving Berlin’s God Bless America. His work was a major influence on a whole generation of folk and rock musicians, including Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.  He frequently performed with a guitar with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on it. Guthrie had the neurodegenerative disorder Huntingon’s Disease, which took his life on October 3rd 1967.



1958, The Quarrymen, featuring future Beatles John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, along with John “Duff” Lowe on piano and Colin Hanton on drums, recorded a vanity disc at a electronics shop studio owned by a man named Percy Phillips. The band recorded ‘That’ll Be The Day’ and ‘In Spite Of Danger’ in one take each.


1977, Elvis Costello and The Attractions made their live debut supporting Wayne County at The Garden, Penzance, Cornwall, England.



Roughly 5 months later, he performed on SNL and famously stopped the planned song Less than Zero, and launched into Radio Radio.  This got him banned from the show for more than 12 years.


Sources: This Day in; Wikipedia; YouTube

Today in Music History July 13

1985Live Aid, held at both Wembley Stadium, London (attendance ~72,000) and  JFK Stadium, Philadelphia (attendance ~100,000). The world’s biggest rock stars took part in the worldwide event, raising over £40million. It is estimated over 1.5bn people (about 40% of the world’s population at the time!) in 160 countries tuned in, making it the biggest live broadcast ever known. Artists who appeared included Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, The Who, U2, David Bowie and Mick Jagger, Queen, Tina Turner, The Cars, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Bryan Adams, Hall and Oates, Lionel Richie and Led Zeppelin.  Of note, Phil Collins performed in both London and Philly, after catching a Concorde flight to the US after the end of the London show.  Sadly, not Bruce Springsteen, who watched it from his NJ home.  He has been quoted as saying that he regrets not “tossing his guitar in the car and driving on down.”

For more info, check out this History Channel link


Image result for live aid

(Note: poster above doesn’t include many artists who showed up to play – Bob Dylan, Madonna, etc.

Sources: This Day in; Wikipedia; History Channel


1996, Over 2,000 guitar players, including Chet Atkins and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, set a new world record for the largest jam session ever when they played ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ for 75 minutes at Nashville’s Riverfront Park. (From This Day in  Reminds me of the massive jam session that an Italian town did in 2015 to Foo Fighers Learn To Fly to beg them to play their town- and of course it worked!  Since I can’t find any video of the 1996 Heartbreak Hotel jam session, this will have to do (plus its one of the coolest things ever – it still gives me goosebumps and brings a tear to my eye its so awesome)


Today in Music History July 12

1962, The Rolling Stones made their live debut at the Marquee Jazz Club, London, with Dick Taylor on bass (later of The Pretty Things) and Mick Avory on drums, (later of The Kinks). Billed as The Rollin’ Stones, they were paid £20 for the gig From This Day in

Image result for rolling stones marquee club 1962

According to the Rolling Stone fansite, Its Only Rock and Roll, here’s the set list:

1. “Kansas City”
2. “Baby What’s Wrong”
3. “Confessin’ the Blues”
4. “Bright Lights, Big City”
5. “Dust My Broom”
6. “Down the Road Apiece”
7. “I’m a Love You”
8. “Bad Boy”
9. “I Ain’t Got You”
10. “Hush-Hush”
11. “Ride ‘Em on Down”
12. “Back in the U.S.A.”
13. “Kind of Lonesome”
14. “Blues Before Sunrise”
15. “Big Boss Man”
16. “Don’t Stay Out All Night”
17. “Tell Me You Love Me”
18. “Happy Home

For a short summary of the gig, see the article on Rolling


1969, Zager and Evans started a six week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘In The Year 2525, (Exordium And Terminus)’. The song was also No.1 in the UK, making them the only one hit wonders ever in both the US and UK singles charts. From This Day in

Today in Music History July 11

1969, David Bowie releases ‘Space Oddity” in the UK.  This is the original video from 1969.


1971, The Bruce Springsteen Band opened for Humble Pie at the Sunshine Inn, Asbury Park in New Jersey. After the show an impressed Peter Frampton from Humble Pie, tells Springsteen and the band he’d like to have them open for them on a national basis. Frampton also said he would be happy to get the band an audition with his record label, A & M Records. For no logical reason Springsteen’s manager Tinker West declined both offers on the spot. From This Day in


Today in Music History July 10

1964, The Beatles release ‘A Hard Day’s Night.


1965, The Rolling Stones ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction starts a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart.


1966, the Surf’n Sea Club in Seabright, NJ features Johnny Tilotson, The Jive Five, The Tymes, The Shangra-Las and local band The Castiles.  The Castiles features a young Bruce Springsteen on vocals.

Image result for 1966, the Surf'n See Club in Seabright, NJ


1987, John Hammond dies.  Over his long career, he discovered or worked with Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, among others.

Image result for john hammond bruce springsteen


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