December 31 : This Day in Music History Miscellaneous

This Day in Music History
December 31

1912 : A rambunctious 12-year-old named Louis Armstrong fires his stepfather's pistol during New Years Eve festivities and is sent to the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs, where he will learn to read and write music, as well as play cornet and bugle with the school band.

1940 : A legal dispute between the two entities forces all US radio stations to stop playing music licensed by ASCAP (the American Society of Publishers and Composers) for a full ten months. While strengthening new rival BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.), it also means that several radio stations keep afloat by playing public domain songs, including classical and kids' music!

1965 : The Beatles' "I Feel Fine" and "Beatles '65" are certified gold.

1967 : Sonny And Cher are suddenly disinvited to appear at tomorrow's Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, after publicly backing the "Sunset Strip Rioters", teenagers protesting the city's new curfew.

1969 : A BBC TV special declares John Lennon Man Of The Decade, on the same day that Rolling Stone names him Man Of The Year and New Musical Express quotes him as saying he's thinking of leaving The Beatles.

1969 : Jimi Hendrix's new group, Band of Gypsys, makes its onstage debut tonight at the Fillmore East ballroom in New York City. The concert is later released on LP as simply "Band Of Gypsys".

1970 : Paul McCartney sues to dissolve The Beatles partnership and breaks ties with Allen Klein, who the other three members have chosen to manage their affairs. The case drags on for years until the partnership is finally dissolved in a 1975 private agreement.

1971 : The Band – complete with a full horn section – performs at the New York Academy of Music. The result was the double album, "Rock of Ages", which was released the following year.

1971 : David Clayton-Thomas and Fred Lipsius play their last show with Blood, Sweat & Tears at a concert in Anaheim, California. Clayton-Thomas goes on to a solo career.

1971 : Elvis Presley announces to his entourage that his wife Priscilla will be divorcing him, saying simply, "She says she doesn't love me anymore". In contrast to previous years, tonight's New Year's Eve celebration is held at Graceland rather than a local club.

1973 : AC/DC make their live debut at the Chequers Bar in Sydney, Australia and Journey at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.

1974 : Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham are asked to join Fleetwood Mac.

1975 : Elvis Presley sets a new single-show solo record at a concert in Pontiac, Michigan, which earns $800,000.

1975 : Casablanca Records' single release party for Donna Summer's debut single, "Love To Love You Baby" features a life-size cake in the shape of the singer, flown in all the way from Los Angeles to New York. (It's Summer's 23rd birthday).

1978 : Bill Graham's Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco closes its doors for good after the Greateful Dead play their 48th concert there. Also appearing this night: The Blues Brothers.

1980 : Bruce Springsteen plays an epic show at the Nassau Coliseum lasting 4 hours, 38 minutes and covering 38 songs. The best we can tell, it's the longest Springsteen show ever.

1984 : Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen loses an arm when he crashes his Corvette. He continues with the band, using computer aids and relying more on his feet.

1996 : Queen Elizabeth II announces that Paul McCartney will be knighted - these announcements are traditionally made on New Year's Eve.

2008 : At halftime of the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, 40,148 fans perform the Y.M.C.A. dance while the Village People perform, establishing a Guinness World Record. It was the most memorable part of the game, which Oregon State won 3-0 over Pittsburgh.

1961 : Brian Wilson's band performs as The Beach Boys for the first time, earning $300 for a gig at Municipal Auditorium in Long Beach, California.

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