1948, Eddy Grant, vocals, guitar, The Equals
1957, Mark E. Smith, vocals, The Fall
1962, Craig and Charlie Reid, The Proclaimers
1970, John Frusciante, guitar, Red Hot Chili Peppers
1982, Russell Leetch, bass guitar, Editors
1963, country singer Patsy Cline was killed in a plane crash near Camden, Tennessee.
1965, The Manish Boys released their debut single on Parlophone Records, “I Pity the Fool,” featuring a young David Jones – soon to become David Bowie – on lead vocals.
1971, Led Zeppelin started a twelve-date Return to the Clubs tour at the Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland as a way of thanking British fans who had supported them from the early days. The band played for their original fees and fans got in for the original admission price.
1973, Michael Jeffrey, the former manager of The Animals and Jimi Hendrix, was one of 68 people killed in a plane crash in Majorca. Jeffery was en-route to a court appearance in London related to Hendrix’s estate. Some conspiracy theorists believe Jeffrey faked his own death.
1982, actor, comedian and singer, John Belushi, died from an overdose of cocaine and heroin. Belushi was one of the original cast members on Saturday Night Live, played “Joliet” Jake Blues in The Blues Brothers movie and also appeared in the film Animal House. His tombstone reads, “I may be gone, but rock ‘n’ roll lives on.”
1983, Michael Jackson started a seven-week run at the top of the U.S. singles chart with “Billie Jean,” his fourth solo U.S. # 1 and also a chart-topper in the U.K. Also on this day, Jackson’s album, Thriller, went to # 1 on the U.K. album chart, going on to become the biggest-selling album of all time, with sales over 50 million.
1983, Wham! made their U.S. television debut when they appeared on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.
1995, Viv Stanshall, formerly of The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, died in a fire at his flat in north London.
2002, the first episode of The Osbournes reality show was aired on MTV in America, focusing on the everyday exploits of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne and two of their children, Jack and Kelly.
2007, records by Paul Simon and The Rolling Stones were chosen for preservation by the US Library of Congress. The Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and Simon’s Graceland album entered the National Recordings Registry, which preserves historic works for future generations. Other recordings chosen this year included Carl Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes, “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke and the album The Velvet Underground and Nico.