January 3rd: On this Day
1955, Elvis Presley appeared in Boonesville, Virginia. The 20 year-old singer was still a regional star, but by the end of 56' he had become a national sensation, recording two albums, (which included 'Heartbreak Hotel' and 'Blue Suede Shoes'), appeared on national television 11 times, played over 100 concerts and signed a seven year contract with Paramount Pictures.
January 2nd: On this day
1926, The first issue of The Melody Maker went on sale priced at 3d. The monthly magazine was for 'all who are interested in the production of popular music'. In the first issue, Dance Band news, a feature on Ukuleles and how to read music by sight. Advertisements in Melody Maker helped assemble the line-ups of a number of major bands, including: The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Supertramp and The Stranglers.
January 1st: On this Day
1953, American singer-songwriter and musician singer Hank Williams died of a heart attack brought on by a lethal cocktail of pills and alcohol aged 29. Williams is regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time. 35 of his singles (five released posthumously) were placed in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, 11 of which ranked at No.1, including 'Cold, Cold Heart,' 'Hey, Good Lookin', 'I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive,' and 'Your Cheatin' Heart.' During his last years Williams's consumption of alcohol, morphine and painkillers severely compromised his professional life.
December 31st: On this Day
1961, The Beach Boys made their live debut using their new name when they appeared at Long Beach Civic Auditorium, California.
December 30th: On this day
1963, The Rolling Stones performed at Studio 51 in Soho, London, on the same bill as Jimmy Powell and the Five Dimensions, who featured a young Rod Stewart. The Stones played a regular Sunday afternoon gig at the club from 4pm until 6.30pm and were billed as Rhythm and Blues with The Rolling Stones.
December 29th: On this Day
1956, Elvis Presley made chart history by having 10 songs on Billboards Top 100 for week ending Dec 19th.
December 28th: On this day
1961, Danny Williams was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Moon River', the Oscar-winning song was from the film Breakfast At Tiffany's. The Tokens were at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight.'
December 27th: On this day
1960, The Beatles appeared at Litherland Town Hall Ballroom in Liverpool. Added to the bill at the last minute, The Beatles were not advertised to appear, so banners had been pasted onto advertising posters, saying "Direct From Hamburg, The Beatles!" Since The Beatles were playing in an area they'd only played in once before, most of the audience assumes they were a German group.
December 26th: On this Day
1963, Stevie Wonder arrived in the UK for appearances on the TV shows 'Ready Steady Go!' and 'Thank Your Lucky Stars.'
December 25th: On this day
1954, Johnny Ace shot himself dead backstage at the City Auditorium in Houston, Texas. The R&B singer was playing with a revolver during a break between sets, someone in the room said "Be careful with that thing’’ and he said ‘It’s OK the gun’s not loaded, see’’ and pointed it at himself with a smile on his face.
December 24th: On this Day
1965, The Beatles had the No.1 album in the US for the third Christmas in a row. Rubber Soul was at the top of the LP chart, following Beatles For Sale in 1964 and With The Beatles in 1963. The Fab Four would repeat this feat again in 1968 with The Beatles (The White Album) and again in 1969, with Abbey Road.
December 23rd: On this Day
1959, Chuck Berry was arrested after taking 14 year old Janice Norine (who unbeknown to Berry was working as a prostitute), across a state line. He was sentenced to 5 years jail but after racist comments by the judge Berry was freed.