Rock 'n' Roll History for
December 24






1954 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
Singer Johnny Ace accidentally killed himself while playing Russian Roulette backstage at a Houston concert on Christmas Eve. Ace was well known for singing and playing piano with such Blues legends as Bobby Bland and B.B. King. He later signed with Duke Records and had a string of R&B hits, including "My Song", "Saving My Love", "Please Forgive Me", "Cross My Heart" and "The Clock", along with two more hits after his death, "Pledging My Love" and "Anymore". Cashbox magazine had named Johnny Ace as its Most Promising New Artist earlier in the month.

1955 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
The Lennon Sisters make their first appearance on The Lawrence Welk Show when they perform on his Christmas Special. The Lennons would become a staple of Saturday night TV for the next 14 years and scored a #15 hit in America in 1959 with their version of "Tonight You Belong To Me".

1959 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
The Philadelphia Orphan's Court gives Chubby Checker a raise in his weekly allowance from $150 to $200. The 19 year old singer (who's real name is Ernest Evans) has already put three songs, "The Class", "The Twist" and "The Hucklebuck" in the US Top Forty.

1965 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
The Beatles had the number one album in the US for the third Christmas in a row. "Rubber Soul" sat atop the LP chart in '65, following "Beatles For Sale" in 1964 and "With The Beatles" in 1963. The Fab Four would repeat this feat again in 1968 with "The Beatles" (The White Album) and again in 1969 with "Abbey Road".

1966 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
At a Christmas Eve taping session, Tommy James And The Shondells record "I Think We're Alone Now", which will go on to be the group's forth number one song in the US, selling over a million copies.

December 24
After their million selling "96 Tears" led the Hot 100 last October, ? And The Mysterians enjoy their second and final Billboard Top 40 hit when "I Need Somebody" peaks at #22. Their next effort, "Can't Get Enough of You Baby", would stall at #56.

1972 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
Police provoked a riot in Miami, Florida, after pulling the plug during a Manfred Mann's Earth Band concert because of a noise complaint. The band was touring to promote their latest album, "Glorified Magnified". As the battle raged, the band hid in a dressing room.

1973 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
Tom Johnson of The Doobie Brothers is arrested in Visalia, California and charged with possession of marijuana. His court date is set for January 10th, the same day the band's new LP is to be released. The album is ironically titled "What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits".

1974 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
James Taylor, Carly Simon, Linda Rondstadt and Joni Mitchell are spotted crooning Christmas carols around the streets of Los Angeles.

1976 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
"Hotel California", The Eagles' sixth album, goes Platinum and begins the first of eight non-consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard chart. The effort was the band's first LP with Joe Walsh and last with bassist Randy Meisner and has now sold over 21 million copies on the strength of two Grammy winning singles, the title track and "New Kid In Town".

1977 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
The first single from the soundtrack of the film Saturday Night Fever, The Bee Gees' "How Deep Is Your Love", rises to the top of the Billboard singles chart. The song would stay in the Top 10 for an amazing 17 weeks. In the UK it reached #3.

1978 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
ABBA members Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog are granted a divorce. The group's other couple, Benny Anderson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, who had just married three months earlier, would split in 1981.

1999 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
65 year old Zeke Carey of The Flamingos passed away on Christmas Eve. The group is most often remembered for their 1959 US #11 single "I Only Have Eyes For You".

2000 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
Nick Massi, vocalist and bass guitarist for The Four Seasons, died of cancer at the age of 73. Nick was responsible for many of the group's vocal arrangements, but sadly didn't live to see the phenomenal success of their musical biography on Broadway, Jersey Boys.

2009 - ClassicBands.com.

December 24
Larry Knechtel, the keyboard player for Bread, died following a heart attack at the age of 69. Knechtel earned a Grammy award for his arrangement of Simon And Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and also performed with Neil Diamond, Randy Newman, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, The Doors, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams Jr., The Dixie Chicks and Elvis Costello.

2012 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
Ray Collins, a singer who co-founded the Mothers of Invention with Frank Zappa but left when "too much comedy" started appearing in the band's songs, passed away at the age of 75.

2015 - ClassicBands.com

December 24
William Guest of Gladys Knight And The Pips died of heart failure at the age of 74. His background vocals can be heard on all of the group's hits, including "Midnight Train To Georgia", "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" and the Grammy winning "Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)".

December 24
Music by The Beatles was finally made available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Tidal and Amazon Prime Music. The deal with the group involved the rights to stream 224 songs from the original 13 studio albums.






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