Births1922: Russell Arms
1928: Frankie Vaughan
1935: Johnny "Guitar" Watson
1940: Angelo D'Aleo (Dion and The Belmonts)
1943: Dennis Edwards (The Temptations), Eric Haydock (The Hollies), Shawn Phillips
1945: Johnny Cymbal, Derek
1947: Dave Davies (The Kinks), Melanie
Deaths1959: Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, The Big Bopper
1967: Joe Meek
Events1959: Within minutes of takeoff from the Mason City, IA Airport, at around 1:00 AM CST, the chartered Beech-Craft Bonanza airplane No. N3794N containing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper crashes into the Iowa countryside, killing all three in addition to pilot Roger Peterson. The plane, headed for the next "Winter Dance Party" tour stop in Fargo, ND, had been chartered by Holly in order for the band members to travel in heated comfort and to arrive early for their next gig.
When he learns that band member Waylon Jennings, who would eventually become a country star in his own right, has decided to take the freezing bus instead, Holly jokes, "Well, I hope your old bus freezes up." Jennings jokes back, "Well, I hope your plane crashes." Another Holly band member, Tommy Allsup, flips Valens for the last available seat, losing the coin toss. Valens exclaims, "That's the first time I've won anything in my life!"
Pilot Peterson, not having been informed of worsening weather conditions, decides to fly "on instruments," meaning without visual confirmation of the horizon, which leads to the crash. The tragedy was later immortalized as "The Day The Music Died" by Don McLean in his famous song "American Pie."
1960: Frank Sinatra forms his own label, Reprise Records.
1961: Bob Dylan makes his first recordings, versions of "San Francisco Bay Blues" and "Jesus Met the Woman at the Well," at the home of friends Sid and Bob Gleason in East Orange, NJ.
1966: Paul McCartney meets Stevie Wonder for the first time after Wonder's show at London's Scotch Of St. James nightclub.
1969: Beatles John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr hire Allen Klein as the group's new manager, against the express wishes of Paul McCartney, who preferred his father-in-law Lee Eastman. The dissension would prove to be the deciding factor in the group's breakup a year later.
1976: David Bowie introduces his Thin White Duke persona at a show in Seattle, WA, the first stop on his latest tour.
1977: Elton John resumes live performing in Sweden a mere fifteen months after announcing his "retirement" from the stage.
1978: On the 19th anniversary of Buddy Holly's death, Holly's Lubbock, TX birth home is miraculously saved from demolition by its new owner, who had, a few days prior, bought the house scheduled to be demolished on this very day. Neither the city nor the new resident had any idea of the home's significance.
1978: The TV-movie Dead Man's Curve, the first to deal with the tragic Jan and Dean story, premieres on ABC.
1978: Harry Chapin meets with US President Jimmy Carter to discuss the world hunger situation.
1979: The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, IA holds a concert commemorating the 20th anniversary of the plane crash which killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. The sold-out show features host Wolfman Jack and performances by Del Shannon, Jimmy Clanton and the Drifters.
2003: Phil Spector is arrested for allegedly murdering actress Lana Clarkson in his Alhambra, CA home.
Recording1941: Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra, "Amapola"
1956: Elvis Presley, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," "Shake Rattle and Roll"
1967: The Beatles, "A Day In The Life"
1968: The Beatles, "Lady Madonna"
1969: The Steve Miller Band, "My Dark Hour"
1976: Elvis Presley: "Solitaire"
Certifications1964: The Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" b/w "I Saw Her Standing There" and their Meet The Beatles! album are both certified gold
1971: Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden" is certified gold
Charts1950: The Ames Brothers' "Rag Mop" hits #1
1968: The Lemon Pipers' "Green Tambourine" hits #1
1973: Elton John's "Crocodile Rock" hits #1
1979: The Blues Brothers' album Briefcase Full of Blues hits #1