Rock 'n' Roll History for
December 25






1954 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" enters the Billboard Pop chart for the first time, seven years after it was recorded. According to Guinness World Records, Bing's rendition has sold over 100 million copies around the world, with at least 50 million sales as singles. It was the largest selling single in the US and the UK until it was surpassed by Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997". (Princess Diana version)

1957 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
For their first Christmas as a married couple, Jerry Lee Lewis gives his thirteen-year-old wife Myra a red Cadillac convertible with a white leather interior. Although she routinely drove it around Coro Lake, Tennessee, she wouldn't be of age to get her driver's licence for another three years.

1958 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
Chuck Berry, Jackie Wilson, Frankie Avalon, Eddie Cochran, Dion, Bo Diddley and The Everly Brothers, kicked off Alan Freed's Christmas Rock 'n' Roll Spectacular at Loews State Theatre in New York.

1965 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
Lou Christie's biggest song, "Lightning Strikes" enters Billboard's Hot 100 for a 15 week stay. Although he would have many other hits, this would be Christie's only number one.

December 25
Having topped out at #45 in Great Britain, The Dave Clark Five's "Over and Over" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It would prove to be their only US chart topper, although they would place sixteen songs in the Top 30 during their career. They became the 7th UK act of the year to score a #1 single in America.

December 25
The Young Rascals enter the Hot 100 for the first time with "I Ain't Gonna Eat My Heart Out Anymore", which will peak at #52.

1967 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
On Christmas Day, Paul McCartney becomes engaged to actress Jane Asher. She would end the relationship in early 1968 because of Paul's alleged infidelities.

1971 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
Melanie Safka led both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Cashbox Best Sellers chart with "Brand New Key", a song that she would later say took her only fifteen minutes to write.

1976 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
In an article in the UK's New Musical Express, The Pat Travers Band, newcomers to the British music scene themselves, say they can outplay The Sex Pistols using minimal equipment, anytime, anywhere.

1977 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
In a move that defied all logic, an audience that consisted mainly of children was treated to a Christmas Day concert at Ivanhoe's in Huddersfield, England by The Sex Pistols.

1981 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
Michael Jackson called Paul McCartney and suggested they write and record together. Their first effort would result in a US #2 and UK #8 hit, "The Girl Is Mine" in late 1982.

December 25
The J. Geils Band played a Christmas concert for the inmates of Norfolk Correctional Center near Boston, the group's hometown. Following the show, lead singer Peter Wolf tells the audience, "We wanna be the first to buy you all a free drink on the outside."

1982

December 25
In one of the most successful duets in Christmas music history, and surely the strangest, 30-year-old David Bowie and 73-year-old Bing Crosby achieved the number one song in the UK with "Peace On Earth / Little Drummer Boy". The song had been recorded in September, 1977 when Crosby was in Great Britain to tape a TV special called Merrie Olde Christmas. Having him share a number with Bowie was the brainchild of producers Gary Smith and Dwight Hemion. After the recording circulated as a bootleg for several years, RCA decided to issue it as a single. It has since become a holiday standard, but it is entirely possible that neither Crosby or Bowie were familiar with each other's work.

1989 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
Cher had her last US Top Ten single for nine years when "Just Like Jesse James" hit number 8. She didn't crack the Top Ten again until "Believe" in 1998.

1990 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
On Christmas Day, James Brown is given a four day furlough from prison, during which time he gives his first concert in two years. Brown performed for a crowd of Ft. Jackson, South Carolina soldiers whose leave had been cancelled because of the impending Gulf War.

1994 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
Eugene "Bird" Daughtry, vocalist for The Intruders, who scored a Billboard #6 hit in 1968 with "Cowboys To Girls", died of cancer at the age of 55.

1995 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
Dean Martin, who recorded such standards as "Memories Are Made of This" (#1 in 1955), "Return To Me" (#4 in 1958) and "Everybody Loves Somebody" (#1 in 1964), died of acute respiratory failure on Christmas morning at the age of 78. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer two years earlier. During his career, Dean recorded over 100 albums and placed 17 songs on the Billboard Top 40 between 1955 and 1967. He also starred in a popular TV variety show that ran from 1965 to 1974 for 264 episodes.

1998 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
Bryan MacLean, guitarist for the Rock group Love, died in Los Angeles of a massive heart attack while having Christmas dinner with a young fan who was researching a book about the band. He was 61.

2006 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
James Brown, known by all as The Godfather of Soul, died of pneumonia on Christmas morning at the age of 73. He recorded more than 50 albums and had well over 100 songs that hit the US charts, including "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" (#8) in 1965), "I Got You" (#3 in 1965), "Cold Sweat" (#7 in 1967), "Say It Loud" (#10 in 1968) and "Living In America" (#4 in 1986). His final words were reported to have been, "I'm going away tonight."

2010 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
Elton John and his partner David Furnish become the proud parents of a son, born to a surrogate. Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John was the first for the pair who have been together since the early 1990s. A second son, Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John, was born to the couple by the same surrogate mother on January 11th, 2013.

2016 - ClassicBands.com

December 25
Vocalist George Michael passed away at the age of 53. In the mid-1980s he paired with Andrew Ridgeley in Wham! to score eight Billboard Top 10 hits, including "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"" (#1), "Careless Whisper" (#1), "Everything She Wants" (#1), "Freedom" (#3) and "I'm Your Man" (#3). As a solo artist, he reached the US Top 40 fifteen more times, including six number one records, "Faith", "Father Figure", "One More Try", "Monkey", "Praying For Time" and "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me".






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