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Today in Oldies Music History: December 15

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Births

1911: Stan Kenton
1916: Buddy Cole
1922: Alan Freed
1928: Ernest Ashworth, Jerry Wallace
1932: Jesse Belvin, Clyde McPhatter (The Dominoes, The Drifters)
1939: Cindy Birdsong (Patti LaBelle and the Blue Belles, The Supremes)
1942: Dave Clark (The Dave Clark Five)
1946: Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge), Harry Ray (The Moments)

Deaths

1943: Fats Waller
1979: Jackie Brenston
2001: Rufus Thomas

Events

1944: US Army Major and bandleader Glenn Miller's plane disappears in thick fog somewhere over the English Channel. The fate of Miller and his passengers, en route to play a Christmas concert in Paris with his Air Force band, has never been determined.
1957: Mitch Miller and Sammy Davis Jr. blast rock and roll in a syndicated radio talk show hosted by Davis. However, MGM label president Arnold Maxim disagrees, stating he sees no end to the fad in the near future.
1958: Billboard's year-end review declares Domenico Modugno's "Volare" 1958's biggest-selling pop song, and gives R&B honors to Chuck Willis' "Hang Up My Rock & Roll Shoes," LP honors to the My Fair Lady original cast recording, and EP honors to Elvis Presley's Jailhouse Rock.
1967: In Paris, the members of the Beach Boys have their own audience with guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
1968: The Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick appears on CBS' Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in blackface, mimicking the recent Olympic scandal by holding up a "black power" salute at the end of the band's song "Crown of Creation." The network is not amused.
1969: UNICEF holds a "Peace For Christmas" charity concert in London which features the debut of the Plastic Ono Band (featuring George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Keith Moon, and others). It was to be Lennon's last stage appearance in Britain. The Rascals and Desmond Dekker and the Aces also perform. That same day, John and wife Yoko Ono debut their "War Is Over" billboard campaign.
1973: Jermaine Jackson marries Hazel Gordy, daughter of Motown founder and head Berry Gordy, Jr.
1977: The Who perform a secret concert for fan club members at London's Shepperton Studios. The show is filmed for Jeff Stein's upcoming Who documentary The Kids Are Alright.
1988: For his interstate car chase and numerous drug, firearms, and assault offenses, James Brown is sentenced to six and one-half years in a South Carolina prison. He would serve a little more than two.
2001: An intruder who broke into George Harrison's home and stabbed him earlier in the year is found not guilty by reason of insanity.
2001: Joe Walsh receives an honorary doctorate of music from Kent State University.

Releases

1955: Johnny Cash, "Folsom Prison Blues"
1964: The Beatles, Beatles '65
1967: The Beatles, The Beatles' Fifth Christmas Record

Recording

1941: Lena Horne, "Stormy Weather"
1959: The Everly Brothers, "Let It Be Me"
1964: Glenn Yarbrough, "Baby The Rain Must Fall"
1966: The Beatles, "Strawberry Fields Forever"

Certifications

1967: The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour album is certified gold

Charts

1962: Vaughn Meader’s The First Family hits #1
1973: Charlie Rich's "The Most Beautiful Girl" hits #1
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