Today In Music History

Important events in music history for the month of December.
December 1, 1971John Lennon releases "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" in the US.
December 2, 1957Al Priddy, a disc jockey at the Portland, Oregon, radio station KEX, is fired for playing the Elvis Presley version of "White Christmas," which the station has banned, because it "desecrates the Spirit of Christmas and transgresses the composer's intent."
December 3, 1976Bob Marley is shot in the upper arm when intruders storm his house in Kingston, Jamaica, attempting to assassinate the singer. The attack was motivated by politics, as elections in Jamaica were days away and Marley was seen as supporting the ruling party.
December 4, 1969President Richard Nixon, Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew, and forty US governors view "simulated acid trip" films and listen to rock music in order to comprehend the generation gap.
December 5, 1969The Rolling Stones release the foreboding album Let It Bleed, with the classic tracks "Gimme Shelter" and "Midnight Rambler."
December 6, 1969The Rolling Stones headline the Altamont concert at a speedway in California. It's a free event with Jefferson Airplane and Santana also on the bill, but it turns violent when the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, who are hired as security, kill a crowd member. The concert is documented in The Stones movie Gimme Shelter.
December 7, 1962At a pub in Chelsea, The Rolling Stones hold auditions for a bass player. They decide that Bill Wyman will do, as he has a nice amp. Wyman doesn't tell them that he has a wife and young son.
December 8, 1980John Lennon, 40 years old, is shot and killed outside his apartment in New York City.
December 9, 1989Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire" hits #1 in America.
December 10, 2016Bob Dylan accepts the Nobel Prize in Literature. He doesn't attend the ceremony.
December 11, 1961Motown Records scores their first #1 on the Hot 100 when The Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" tops the chart.
December 12, 1969Isaac Hayes' "Hot Buttered Soul" album is certified gold.
December 13, 1999BMI publishes their list of the most-played songs on American radio and TV in the 20th century. The Top 5: "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin" "Never My Love" "Yesterday" "Stand By Me" "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You"
December 14, 1968Motown acts hold the top three spots on the Hot 100: 1) "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye 2) "Love Child" by The Supremes 3) "For Once In My Life" by Stevie Wonder
December 15, 1949The Birdland jazz club, named after Charlie Parker, opens in New York City. It quickly becomes a hotspot, with Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and many other luminaries performing there until it closes in 1965.
December 16, 1969Keith Emerson's band The Nice performs at FillMore West, in San Francisco, the same night as Greg Lake’s band, King Crimson. Before the concert, they get together for a jam session and talk about forming a band with Carl Palmer of Atomic Rooster to become Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
December 17, 1969Thanks to play on underground FM radio stations, Chicago Transit Authority's self-titled debut album goes Gold, eight months after its release. For their next album, the band shortens their name to Chicago.
December 18, 2001Billie Eilish is born in Los Angeles. Working with her brother, Finneas, she composes her Grammy-winning debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, which is released in 2019 when she's 17.
December 19, 1968The Friends of Distinction record "Grazin' In The Grass."
December 20, 1986Thanks to its use in the movie of the same name, Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," originally released in 1961, reaches #9 in the US.
December 21, 1970Music and politics collide when Elvis Presley meets President Richard Nixon at the White House. A famous photo of the two shaking hands horrifies many Elvis fans.
December 22, 1968Singer Eric Burdon leaves The Animals for a solo career.
December 23, 1966London's premiere psychedelic hangout, the UFO club, opens on Tottenham Court Road, with Pink Floyd as the house band.
December 24, 1974James Taylor, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell go Christmas carolling in Hollywood.
December 25, 1973The Sting, a crime caper starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as con men in/1930s Chicago, debuts in theaters. With Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" as its theme, the film's soundtrack goes to #1 and revives the ragtime genre.
December 26, 1963The Beatles release their first hit single in the United States: "I Want To Hold Your Hand" backed with "I Saw Her Standing There."
December 27, 1927Show Boat opens at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Broadway, changing the paradigm for modern musicals.
December 28, 1944Leonard Bernstein scores his first big hit when his musical On The Town, featuring the song "New York, New York," opens on Broadway.
December 29, 1902Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" is copyrighted.
December 30, 1967The Beatles "Hello Goodbye" becomes their 15th #1 single on the US charts.
December 31, 1967“Top Of The World” by The Carpenters reached No. 1 on the US singles chart.