Rock 'n' Roll History for
December 22






1955 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
Alan Freed's Rock 'n' Roll Holiday Jubilee opens in New York. The twelve day show features Count Basie, LaVern Baker, The Cadillacs, The Wrens, The Valentines, The Chuckles and a host of others.

1956 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
Billboard magazine reported that Elvis Presley had the most charting records this year with seventeen. Pat Boone was next with five, followed by Fats Domino, Little Richard and The Platters with three each.

1958 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
After just two weeks on the Billboard Pop chart, "The Chipmunk Song" was the number one tune in the US. It's creator, David Seville (Ross Bagdasarian), named the Chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore, after executives at Liberty Records.

1962 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
The Tornadoes became the first British group to have a number 1 record in the US when they hit the top with their instrumental, "Telstar". The song was named after the world's first communication satellite launched by the US earlier in the year and preceded the Beatles' chart debut by 13 months.

December 22
Acker Bilk's "Stranger On The Shore" finally drops off of the UK charts after 55 weeks. That record would stand until 1968 when Engelbert Humperdinck's "Release Me" stayed for 56. Frank Sinatra's "My Way", later charted for 124 non-consecutive weeks.

1963 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
Dion DiMucci reaches the Top Ten of the Billboard singles chart for the eighth time as a solo artist when "Drip Drop" peaks at #6. It was a feat that he wouldn't accomplish again until 1968's "Abraham, Martin And John".

1969 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
John Lennon and Yoko Ono meet for one hour with Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in Ottawa. Earlier in the day, they saw the Minister of Health, John Munro and discussed drug abuse.

1973 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
With "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" sitting atop both the US and UK charts, Elton John's show at London's Hammersmith Odeon is broadcast live by BBC Radio 1.

1975 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
Ike And Tina Turner are robbed of $86,000 when a suitcase containing concert receipts is stolen.

1978 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
33 year old Les Kummel, bassist for The New Colony Six on their Billboard Top 40 hits "I Will Always Think About You" and "Things I'd Like To Say", was killed in a violent car accident in Chicago.

December 22
Kenney Jones, formerly of The Small Faces, becomes The Who's drummer, replacing the late Keith Moon who died two months earlier.

1979 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
Former studio musician Rupert Holmes had the last number one record of the seventies with "Escape" (The Pina Colada Song). The tune stayed at the top for two weeks and the follow-up, "Him", also made the Top 10. Holmes had previously done studio work for The Drifters, The Platters and Gene Pitney. "Escape" made #23 in the UK.

1980 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
An album called "The Wit and Wisdom of Ronald Reagan" was released by London, England's Stiff Records. The entire disc contained 40 minutes of silence, but still sold over 30,000 copies.

1981 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
Sotheby's in London holds a Rock and Roll memorabilia auction. An enameled Abbey Road street sign sold for $600, John and Cynthia Lennon's marriage certificate was worth $850 and an autographed program from The Beatles' Royal Command Performance went for $2,000. Not all of the items up for bid did as well however. A jacket once worn by Tom Jones brought only $12.

1993 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
Michael Jackson issues his first public denial regarding allegations of child sexual abuse, saying "I ask all of you to wait to hear the truth before you label or condemn me. Don't treat me like a criminal, because I'm innocent."

2000 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
Madonna marries British film director Guy Ritchie at Skibo Castle in Dornoch, Scotland. The pair would split in a much publicized divorce in November, 2008.

2002 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
Joe Strummer, lead singer for the landmark British punk band The Clash, suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 50.

2003 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
Dave Dudley, the Country music singer regarded by many as the father of truck driving songs, died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 75. Dudley is most often remembered for his 1963 hit "Six Days On The Road" which crossed over to the Pop chart to reach #32.

2005 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
The internet search engine Google announced that Janet Jackson was the most-searched name during the last twelve months, with people looking for pictures from her so-called "wardrobe malfunction" at Super Bowl 38 when she exposed her right breast.

2008 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
A cassette tape of John Lennon performing Lloyd Price's "Just Because" sold at auction in Los Angeles for $30,000 (20,200 Pounds). The song was recorded 'live' with an unknown backing band in the autumn of 1973, during the 18-month period Lennon later called his "lost weekend", when he left his wife Yoko Ono and moved from New York to Los Angeles.

2009 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
The FBI released 333 pages of documents compiled about Michael Jackson between 1992 to 2005. The files revealed that they made several investigations into death threats against him made by obsessed fans, alleged inappropriate involvement between Jackson and an underage male, as well as fears that he may have become the target for terrorists.

2010 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
The British government declared the Beatles' famous Abbey Road zebra-crossing a national heritage site. Britain's Minister for Tourism and Heritage, John Penrose, said "This London zebra crossing is no castle or cathedral, but thanks to the Beatles and a 10-minute photo shoot one August morning in 1969, it has just as strong a claim as any to be seen as part of our heritage."

2014 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
Joe Cocker, whose unique, gravely voice propelled him to stardom in the late 1960s, died of lung cancer at the age of 70. During his forty year career, Cocker placed ten songs on the Billboard Top 40, including the Top 10 hits, "The Letter" (1970), "You Are So Beautiful" (1975) and "Up Where We Belong" with Jennifer Warnes in 1982.

2016 - ClassicBands.com

December 22
Rick Parfitt, original guitarist for the English Rock band Status Quo, died at the age of 68 due to a severe infection after suffering an injury to his shoulder. The band reached #12 in the US in 1968 with "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" and topped the UK chart in 1975 with "Down Down".






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