Rock 'n' Roll History for
January 1






1936 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Billboard magazine issued its first record sales chart, with "Stop! Look! Listen!" by Jazz artist Joe Venuti listed as the number one record.

1940 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
NBC begins regular FM transmission from New York's Empire State Building on W2XDG. In October of the same year, the FCC granted 15 stations the first construction permits for commercial FM operation. Edwin Armstrong, the inventor of FM (Frequency Modulation) first demonstrated the technology to executives and engineers of RCA in 1933.

1950 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
26 year old Sam Phillips opens his Memphis Recording Service at the corner of Union and Marshall in Memphis, Tennessee. The new venture's slogan is "We Record Anything - Anywhere - Anytime." Elvis Presley will spend $3.98 to make his first recording there in July, 1953.

1953 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
29 year old Hank Williams died of heart failure while on his way to a show in Canton Ohio. Ironically, he had the number 1 song that week on the Country chart called, "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive".

1956 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
On the first day of the new year, RCA released Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel". In 1999, the single would be certified multi-platinum for the second time.

1959 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
TV ratings for December 1958 listed Dick Clark's American Bandstand as the United States' most popular daytime show.

January 1
Vernon Presley smashes his son's black Mercedes into a tree in Germany. Local newspapers mistakenly print that Elvis has been killed, but Vernon walked away without a scratch.

1960 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Johnny Cash gave his first of many performances at San Quentin Prison. In the audience that night was Merle Haggard, who was serving just under three years for burglary.

1962 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
The Beatles attend a New Year's Day audition for Decca Records where they record 15 songs. After reviewing their material, the company decided to sign Brian Poole And The Tremeloes instead. A record company executive tells Brian Epstein, "These boys won't make it. Guitar groups are out. Go back to Liverpool, Mr. Epstein. You have a good business there."

1964 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
George Hamilton is chosen in favor of Elvis Presley for the title role in the Hank Williams bio, Your Cheatin' Heart. William's widow felt that the appearance of Elvis would overshadow her husband's memory.

January 1
The British TV program, The Top of the Pops, aired its first show, featuring The Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield and The Dave Clark Five miming to their latest releases.

1965 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
The Beatles had three L.P.s in the Top 10 of the US albums chart, with "Beatles '65" (number 1), "A Hard Day's Night" (number 6) and "Beatles' Story" (peaking at number 7).

1966 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
The final episode of the US TV show, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet (with Rick Nelson) is filmed. The show began as a radio series in 1944 and moved to television in 1952.

January 1
A New Jersey quintet who called themselves The Knickerbockers enter the Billboard Top 40 with a Beatles-sound-alike song called "Lies". The record will climb to #20 during its nine week chart run.

1970 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Elvis' last non-documentary film, Change of Habit, hit theatres in the US. The movie paired Elvis as an inner-city doctor and Mary Tyler Moore as a nun. Director William A. Graham would later say "Elvis was the nicest man I ever worked with."

1971 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Radio Luxembourg aired over seven hours of continuous Beatles' music to celebrate the group's tenth year in the music business. Every song played was a single or LP track by The Beatles or from their solo albums.

1972 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Three Dog Night becomes the first Rock band to appear on a Tournament of Roses Parade float. Lawrence Welk was the Grand Marshall of the parade that year.

1980 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Cliff Richard is awarded the MBE by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the British Empire. Before this, the title was held by the Beatles and Elton John alone among Pop musicians.

January 1
John Denver's album, "A Christmas Together with The Muppets" reached number 26 on the US album chart and would go on to sell over a million copies. John had recently appeared on a Christmas special with Jim Henson's creations.

1987 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Elton John was admitted to a Sydney hospital for throat surgery and would not be able to perform again until the following April. He had just recorded the album, "Live in Australia" the month before, that would produce the Top 10 hit "Candle in the Wind".

1990 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
American radio station WKRL in Florida played Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" for 24 hours straight, as a prelude to an all Zeppelin format.

1993 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Elton John breaks Elvis Presley's record for the most consecutive years having a US Top 40 hit when "The Last Song" peaks at number 24, giving him a string of 23 straight hit making years.

1994 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Diana Ross is named to Mr. Blackwell's worst-dressed women list. Richard Blackwell (August 29, 1922 - October 19, 2008) was an American fashion critic, journalist, television and radio personality.

1997 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Ron Holden, an R&B singer who reached #7 on the Billboard Pop chart in 1960 with "Love You So", suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 57.

1999 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Tom Jones and Dusty Springfield receive the Order Of The British Empire for their services to music, as does David Essex, commended for his charitable work with Voluntary Service Overseas.

2002 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
56 year old Eric Clapton married his 25-year-old American girlfriend, Melia McEnery in a private ceremony on New Year's Day that included the christening of their infant daughter, Julie Rose.

2003 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Capitol Records announced that Lisa Marie Presley's first album, "To Whom It May Concern" was set for release on April 8th of this year. The LP would go on to reach #5 on the Billboard Hot 200 and be certified Platinum in 2007.

2005 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Roger Daltrey, the sixty-one year old lead singer of the legendary English rock band, The Who, was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

January 1
The copyright on songs recorded in 1954 and earlier expired in most of Europe, including Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" and "Only You" by The Platters.

2009 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Although the number of viewers dropped for the third straight year, Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve With Ryan Seacrest was still the most-watched New Year's Eve countdown special in America with an 8.5 rating. Primary competitor, New Year's Eve With Carson Daly, earned a 5.0 rating during its telecast.

January 1
Ron Asheton, guitarist and founding member of The Stooges, died of natural causes at the age of 60. In 2003, he was named the 29th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.

2012 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Fred Milano, tenor vocalist for Dion And The Belmonts on their hits "A Teenager in Love" and "Where or When", died at the age of 72, just three weeks after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

2014 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
Patti Page, the best selling female artist in America in the 1950s, earning 15 Gold singles and 3 Gold albums, passed away at the age of 85.

2016 - ClassicBands.com

January 1
According to industry figures, AC/DC sold 2.31 million tickets during 2015, more than any other touring act. The band took in about $180 million.






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