Today In Oldies Music History: January 1--
Births1900: Xavier Cugat
1923: Milt Jackson
1942: Country Joe McDonald
1950: Morgan Fisher (Mott The Hoople)
Deaths1953: Hank Williams
1984: Alexis Korner
1991: Buck Ram
1997: Townes Van Zandt
2007: Del Reeves
Events1936: Billboard magazine publishes its very first record sales chart, with the first Number One listed as Joe Venuti's "Stop! Look! Listen!"
1940: New York radio station W2XDG, broadcasting from the Empire State Building, becomes the first to broadcast with the new Frequency Modulation technology, making it the first FM station in the world licensed by the FCC.
1950: Sam Phillips, a 26-year-old disc jockey, opens his new Memphis Recording Service -- later to be immortalized as Sun Studios -- in Memphis, TN, at the corner of Union and Marshall streets.
1957: BBC-TV premieres its new musical variety show Cool For Cats.
1959: While on furlough from his Army outfit, Elvis Presley takes his new BMW out for a spin on Germany's famed Autobahn highway and totals it (fortunately leaving the scene of the accident without a scratch).
1959: For the first time, ABC-TV's teen dance program American Bandstand leads the US daytime television ratings.
1960: Johnny Cash makes his very first appearance on stage in a prison, singing for the inmates at San Quentin prison in San Rafael, CA, including one Merle Haggard, currently serving a three-year stint for burglary.
1962: The Beatles (still with Pete Best on drums) perform at their very first major-label audition, recording "Like Dreamers Do," "Money (That's What I Want)," "Till There Was You," "The Sheik Of Araby," "To Know Her Is To Love Her," "Take Good Care Of My Baby," "Memphis, Tennessee," "Sure To Fall (In Love With You)," "Hello Little Girl," "Three Cool Cats," "Crying, Waiting, Hoping," "September In The Rain," "Besame Mucho," "Searchin'," and the lone original song, "Love Of The Loved," for Decca Records. Decca A&R man Dick Rowe, in an infamous move, passes on signing them, and instead signs Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, who had also recorded a test session this day. Rowe's infamous reasoning for the move, as he tells manager Brian Epstein: "Guitar groups are on the way out."
1964: BBC-TV premieres a new musical variety show entitled Top Of The Pops, kicked off by Dusty Springfield's "I Only Want To Be With You," followed by lip-synced performances from the Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five, The Hollies and The Swinging Blue Jeans.
1965: British acts The Zombies, The Nashville Teens, and the Hullabaloos -- all currently in the US as part of a package tour -- have their work visas denied by the US State Department.
1966: CBS-TV's Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, a mainstay on television for 14 years, and 12 before that on NBC radio, as well as the launching pad for Ricky Nelson's stardom, films its very last episode.
1967: The San Francisco chapter of the Hell's Angels holds the first annual New Year's Wail, a goodwill concert for the Haight-Ashbury hippies who bailed one of their members out of jail. Musical guests include the Grateful Dead and Big Brother and the Holding Company, featuring Janis Joplin.
1968: Berkeley, CA rock group The Golliwogs makes the momentous decision to change its name to Creedence Clearwater Revival.
1968: According to Billboard magazine, LPs are now outselling 45 rpm singles for the first time.
1972: The annual New Year's Day Tournament of Roses parade allows its first rock group on a float -- in this case, Three Dog Night.
1976: Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant walks for the first time following his horrible car accident in Greece the previous year.
1980: Cliff Richard is honored with an MBE (Member of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II, only the third rocker to be so honored, behind the Beatles and Elton John.
1987: Elton John is admitted to a hospital in Sydney, Australia, for emergency throat surgery, and is forbidden from performing for four months.
1990: Florida's WKRL-FM switches to an all-Led Zeppelin format, kicking off the change with 24 straight hours of "Stairway To Heaven."
1993: Elton John's new single "The Last Song" hits the Top 40, giving him a unbroken record-setting string of consecutive years with a chart hit -- 23, beating out Elvis Presley's old record of 22.
2000: George Harrison is informed that he will be able to play guitar again following knife injuries to his hand during Michael Abram's recent home invasion.
2002: At the christening of his daughter, Julie Rose, Eric Clapton surprises the attendees by marrying the mother, Melia McEnery, a woman almost half his age.
2003: Michigan's first female governor, Jennifer Granholm, is sworn into office, with special guest Aretha Franklin performing the US National Anthem.
2004: Charles Aznavour is named a Commander in the French Legion of Honor.
Releases1956: Carl Perkins, "Blue Suede Shoes"
Recording1964: The Beach Boys, "Fun Fun Fun"
Charts1955: Joan Weber's "Let Me Go Lover" hits #1
1966: Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sounds Of Silence" hits #1
1972: Carole King's LP Music hits #1