Today In Oldies Music History: December 23--
Births1926: Harold Dorman
1929: Chet Baker
1935: Esther Phillips
1939: Johnny Kidd
1940: Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane)
1940: Eugene Record (The Chi-Lites)
1941: Tim Hardin
1943: Derek Smalls (Spinal Tap)
1945: Ron Bushy (Iron Butterfly)
1949: Ariel Bender (Mott The Hoople)
1949: Luther Grosvenor (Spooky Tooth)
1951: Johnny Contardo (Sha-Na-Na)
Deaths1992: Eddie Hazel (Funkadelic)
1994: Dan Hamilton (Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds)
1997: Jackie Landry (The Chantels)
Events1947: In what would be a major development for radio and other electronics, the transistor is invented by three scientists at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. The trio would win the 1956 Nobel Prize in for their discovery.
1959: Chuck Berry is arrested in St. Louis after Janice Norine, a 14-year old Apache girl he'd driven in from Mexico is revealed to be a prostitute. (Berry claims she was hired merely to be a hat check girl at his club.) Under the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to transport a minor across state line for immoral purposes, Berry is sentenced to five years in prison. He would serve less than four.
1964: Boasting a hipper, more commercial staff of on-air DJs, Radio London, Britain's third major "pirate radio" station, begins broadcasting from MV Galaxy, a former American vessel used as a minesweeper in WWII.
1964: After making their first appearance on ABC-TV's Shindig! (where they perform "Little Saint Nick," "Dance, Dance, Dance," "Papa Oom Mow Mow," and "Monster Mash"), and in flight from Los Angeles to a concert in Houston, the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson suffers a nervous breakdown, leading to his immediate retirement from touring. Glen Campbell, still a studio musician, is hired to take his place on stage, and is eventually replaced by permanent member Bruce Johnston.
1966: After union rules make it impossible to show musicians lip-syncing on TV, the BBC musical mainstay Ready Steady Go! airs its last show, featuring The Who, Mick Jagger, Eric Burdon, The Spencer Davis Group, Donovan, and the group Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich.
1966: London's premiere psychedelic hangout, the UFO club, opens on Tottenham Court Road, with Pink Floyd as the house band.
1967: John Lennon makes the first contact with his estranged father, Alf, in years: after hearing that he's taken ill, John sends him a get well note and a car so that he can visit his famous son.
1968: At Apple's Christmas party, John Lennon and Yoko Ono hand out presents to the children of the staff, dressed as Santa and Mrs Claus.
1969: Elton John meets for the first time with what would become his classic team -- songwriter Bernie Taupin, arranger Paul Buckmaster, and producer Gus Dudgeon -- to begin work on his first solo album.
1972: In an infamous episode at Madison Square Garden, ex-Grand Funk Railroad manager Terry Knight shows up at tonight's gig with a court order allowing him to seize one million dollars' worth of money and/or assets owed him by the band. Realizing that the band can't get paid if they don't perform, Knight and two deputy sheriffs wait for the end of the concert to impound the band's instruments and equipment.
1977: Cat Stevens announces that he has changed his name to Yusuf Islam and converted to the Islamic religion.
1987: Failing to stop Pink Floyd from using the name to tour without him, ex-member Roger Waters instead settles for receiving royalties whenever his image is used in any Floyd promotion.
1999: Cristin Keleher, an unemployed musician in Hawaii, breaks into George Harrison's Maui home and makes herself at home, ordering pizza, drinking root beer, doing laundry, and calling her mother before authorities arrive to arrest her. She is eventually charged with breaking and entering and theft. She would serve four months.
Releases1974: George Harrison, "Ding Dong, Ding Dong"
1978: Rod Stewart, "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?"
Recording1957: The Champs, "Tequila"
1959: The Drifters, "This Magic Moment"
Charts1957: Pat Boone's "April Love" hits #1
1973: Jim Croce's "Time In A Bottle" hits #1
1979: Rod Stewart's "I Don't Want to Talk About It," Anne Murray's "Daydream Believer," Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," and Neil Diamond's "September Morn" all enter the pop charts
Certifications1969: B.J. Thomas' "Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head" is certified gold
1970: Joni Mitchell's Ladies Of The Canyon is certified gold