Rock 'n' Roll History for
December 14






1953 - ClassicBands.com

December 14
"I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas", recorded earlier in the year by 10 year old Gayla Peevey, inspired an Oklahoma City fund-raising effort to buy a hippopotamus for the Oklahoma City Zoo. Oklahomans raised $4,000 for the cause, with much of the money coming from children. The zoo bought a 3-year-old hippo named Matilda who had eight offspring and died in 1998.

1959 - ClassicBands.com

December 14
Guy Mitchell follows his chart topping "Singing The Blues" with his second Billboard number one hit, "Heartaches By The Number". In all, Mitchell, whose real name was Albert George Cernik, placed thirty songs in the US Top 100, with nine of them reaching the Top 10. Twelve of his records made the UK Top 10.

December 14
Billboard magazine reports that in the wake of the government's payola investigations, the pay-for-play phenomenon has all but ceased. One Philadelphia record distributor complained, "You can't even buy the disc jockeys lunch."

December 14
The Ohio State University Research Center finds that, although Rock 'n' Roll is the overwhelming favorite of kids aged 14 to 18, adults aged 19 to 70 list it as their least favorite form of music.

December 14
"First Name Initial" by seventeen-year-old Mouseketeer, Annette Funicello, entered the Billboard chart where it would reach #20. The song was her second of five hits to crack the Top 40.

December 14
The Kingston Trio started an eight-week run at #1 on the US album chart with "Here We Go Again!"

1963 - ClassicBands.com

December 14
Dinah Washington, best remembered for her hit, "What A Diff'Rence A Day Makes", died of an accidental overdose of alcohol and pills. She was just 39 years old.

December 14
The Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" begins a five week stretch at number one on the UK record charts, replacing their own "She Loves You" which had been at the top for two weeks.

1968 - ClassicBands.com

December 14
Just three weeks after being released, Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100, where it would stay for 7 weeks. It was Marvin's 30th US chart single, but his first number one.

December 14
Iron Butterfly's classic album, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is certified Gold. Today it is a multi-platinum album with sales of over 25 million copies.

1972 - ClassicBands.com

December 14
In a clever publicity stunt, Alexander's department store in New York stays open late especially so Alice Cooper can do his Christmas shopping.

1977 - ClassicBands.com

December 14
The movie, Saturday Night Fever premieres in New York City and is instrumental in spreading the Disco craze throughout the country. The soundtrack will go on to be one of the biggest-selling albums of all time, racking up over 15 million in sales.

1980 - ClassicBands.com

December 14
Yoko Ono called on fans to observe ten minutes of silence in memory of John Lennon. 30,000 gathered outside St George's Hall in Liverpool, while nearly 100,000 attend a memorial in New York's Central Park.

1985 - ClassicBands.com

December 14
James Taylor marries actress Kathryn Walker at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. They would divorce in 1996.

1995 - ClassicBands.com

December 14
Little Richard, along with Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen are among those who perform a tribute to Frank Sinatra on Sinatra: 80 Years My Way on ABC-TV.

1997 - ClassicBands.com

December 14
Elton John's tribute to Princess Diana, "Candle in the Wind 1997", was at its ninth week at number 1 on the Billboard chart. The song would go on to become the largest selling single of all time in the US and the UK, and sits second to Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" as the best selling record world-wide.

1998 - ClassicBands.com

December 14
Billy Preston pleads guilty to insurance fraud in a Los Angeles court and agrees to testify against six other defendants who allegedly participated in setting fires, staging thefts and rigging auto crashes for which a total of 18 fraudulent insurance claims were filed. Under a plea agreement, Preston was required to pay $60,000 in restitution and received five years of probation and one year in jail to run concurrently with a sentence he was already serving for violating probation on a prior conviction for cocaine possession.

1999 - ClassicBands.com

December 14
Paul McCartney played The New Cavern Club in Liverpool, 35 years after his last appearance at the original club. The concert is broadcast live over the Internet and attracts 50 million visits. A young fan, who changed his name to John Lennon, won a ticket to the show. The original Cavern Club closed in 1973 and was demolished to enable an underground railway to be constructed. In 1984 the present building, known as Cavern Walks, was opened on the site and contains a rebuilding of the original Cavern Club in the basement, as well as shops, offices and an internal nine-storey atrium. The edifice also includes statues of The Fab Four on the outside walls.

2007 - ClassicBands.com

December 14
The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame announced that Madonna, John Mellencamp, Leonard Cohen, The Ventures and The Dave Clark Five will be enshrined next year.






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