Music history highlights on January 20th from Clarksdale, the birthplace of the blues… and rock n’ roll.
1888: Blues musician Leadbelly born in Mooringsport, Louisiana.
1895: Eva Jessye, American singer, actress, songwriter (Hallelujah) and 1st black woman to receive international distinction as a choral conductor, born in Coffeyville, Kansas.
1896: Actor, comedian and singer George Burns (Nathan Birnbaum) born in New York.
1923: Country singer Slim Whitman born in Tampa.
1942: O’Jays R&B singer William Powell born in Canton, Ohio.
1952: KISS guitarist Paul Stanley born in New York City.
1956: Buddy Holly records “Blue Days Black Night” in Nashville.
1964: “Meet the Beatles” album released in the U.S.
1965: Beatles appear on Shindig show on ABC Television Network.
1968: John Fred and the Playboys reaches no. 1 on U.S. record charts with “Judy in Disguise (with Glasses). Song was based on “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”
1988: The Beatles inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Citing “their differences”, Paul McCartney did not show up.
1969: Led Zeppelin appears at Wheaton Youth Center in Illinois on first American tour. 55 people showed up, they were paid $250 and this was night Richard Nixon inauguration.
1982: Black Sabbath heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne bits the head off a bat on stage in Des Moines, Iowa.
1991: “Les Miserables” opens at Pantages Theater in Los Angeles.
1996: Blues singer and guitarist Buster Benton passes away.
2003: Rapper Eminem tops U.K. boxoffice with his film “8 Mile.”
2009: Jazz musician David “Fathead” Newman passes on.
2012: Blues great Etta James leaves the building.