Rock 'n' Roll History for
January 4






1950 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
Two years after Columbia Records introduced the 33 1/3 RPM long-playing vinyl record, RCA announces that they will also start using the same format.

1953 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
Over 20,000 people jam the streets of Montgomery, Alabama, as Hank Williams' funeral is held at the City Auditorium.

1954 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
Four days before his 20th birthday, a young truck driver named Elvis Presley paid $4 to record a ten-inch acetate demo at the Memphis Recording Service, an open-to-the-public business run by Sam Phillips. The two songs Presley recorded, "Casual Love Affair" and "I'll Never Stand In Your Way", impressed Phillips enough that he had Elvis record his first professional sides for Sun Records the following August.

1959 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba" enters the Billboard Hot 100 at #81. It will peak at #22 a month later and is now regarded as a Rock 'n' Roll classic.

1961 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
After leaping from #100 to #50 last week, Mark Dinning's "Teen Angel" enters the Top 40 of the Billboard Pop chart. The teenage tragedy song will reach the top less than five weeks later.

1962 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
The British music magazine Mersey Beat publishes a group popularity poll which shows The Beatles at the top, well ahead of Gerry And The Pacemakers, The Remo Four, Rory Storm And The Hurricanes and Johnny Sandon And The Searchers. A rare copy of this edition recently sold for $2,500.

1964 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
Bobby Vinton's "There! I've Said It Again" becomes the last US number one record before the so called British Invasion. Between Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock" in July, 1955 and Vinton's hit, only five non-American artists could manage a US chart topper. All that was about to change.

January 4
New York native Lenny Welch enjoys his biggest hit when a cover version of the big band standard "Since I Fell for You" reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written in 1945 and has been recorded by over three dozen artists since then, but none have achieved the chart success of Welch's rendition.

January 4
After enjoying a #4 smash in early 1963 with "Tell Him", a Queens, New York quartet called The Exciters return to Billboard's Hot 100 with their rendition of "Doo-Wah-Diddy". Unfortunately the record stalled at #90 during a one week stay while a version of the same song, re-titled "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", would top the charts in the UK, the US and Canada for the British band Manfred Mann next October.

1965 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
CBS purchases The Fender Guitar Company for $13 million.

1970 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
Tragedy struck The Who when a gang of teens attacked Keith Moon's Bentley limo. His chauffeur, Neil Boland got out to try to protect the car, but left it in gear, and it started moving. Moon, who had no driver's license, jumped behind the wheel. Unfortunately, the chauffeur, who was being beaten, had fallen under the car and as Keith gunned the engine, Neil was run over and killed. Though the inquest absolved Moon of blame, Neil's family didn't and neither did Moon himself, as he was been haunted by the incident for the rest of his life.

1973 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
The Allman Brothers name bassist Lamar Williams as the replacement for the late Berry Oakley.

1974 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
Marvin Gaye makes his first concert appearance in over four years when he appears at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum in California to record the album "Marvin Gaye Live!".

1975 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
Elton John's remake of The Beatles' "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" becomes his tenth US Top Ten hit and his third number one. The recording included John Lennon on guitar.

1977 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
The Sex Pistols board a plane at London's Heathrow Airport and proceed to be as obnoxious as possible. A flight attendant would later tell the press "These are the most revolting people I've ever seen. They called us filthy names and insulted everyone in sight."

1986 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy died at the age of 36. A pathologist's report later indicated that he had developed multiple internal abscesses and blood poisoning, as a result of which he had suffered kidney, liver and heart failure. His last single, "Nineteen", had been released just a few weeks earlier.

2002 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
Bill "Little Bo" Savich, drummer for the instrumental group Johnny And The Hurricanes, died at the age of 62. The band placed four songs on the Billboard Top 40, including the #5 hit, "Red River Rock" in 1959.

2004 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
Ray Davies of The Kinks was shot in the leg during a robbery in New Orleans when two thieves stole a lady friend's purse at gunpoint. Davies gave chase and one of the men turned and shot him in the thigh.

2008 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
New music industry data showed the number of US albums sold last year tumbled 9.5% from 2006, even as the number of digital tracks sold soared by 45%.

2011 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
Gerry Rafferty, the lead singer of Stealers Wheel on their 1973 hit "Stuck In The Middle With You", died after a long illness at the age of 63. After the band split up, he went on to a successful solo career, enjoying five more Billboard Top 30 hits, including "Baker Street" and "Right Down The Line".

2015 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
David Cassidy won a law suit against Sony Pictures Television over non-payment of royalties from Partridge Family merchandise. The court action, first filed in 2011, was settled for $160,000, but a return court date was set to recover $58,000 in legal fees and $36,000 in interest.

2016 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
Robert Stigwood, who managed Cream and the Bee Gees before producing the Rock musicals Saturday Night Fever and Grease, passed away at the age of 81.

January 4
Robert Balser, who served as the animation director for The Beatles’ film Yellow Submarine and on the Saturday morning Jackson 5 cartoons of the early 1970s, passed away at the age of 88.

2017 - ClassicBands.com

January 4
Nielsen Music reported that sales of George Michael's music skyrocketed in the days following his death last Christmas Day. The former Wham! singer sold around 477,000 albums and songs in the week ending 29 December compared to 17,000 the week before, an increase of 2,678 per cent.

January 4
The British Phonographic Industry announced that sales of David Bowie's album "Blackstar" helped push global sales of vinyl records to a twenty-five year high. Sales in the UK topped 3.2 million, an increase of a whopping 53 percent over last year.






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