This Day in Music History: January 1

This Day in Music History: January 1January 1, 2017

We cover all sorts of news, facts and historical and interesting facts that happened on this day in music history.


Today: January 1.


1953: Country singer Hank Williams, died of a heart attack due to a lethal cocktail of pills and alcohol at the age of 29. Williams made his first record in 1946, and scored 36 Top 10 US country hits. His best Known song was 'Your Cheatin Heart.' Over 20,000 people attended his funeral.


1959: Johnny Cash played a free concert for the San Quentin Prison inmates in California. One of the inmates was 19 year-old Merle Haggard, who was in the midst of a 15 year sentence (he eventually served only 3 years) for grand theft auto and armed robbery.


1962: The Beatles auditioned for Decca Records in West Hampstead, London. A&R boss at Decca Dick Rowe turned them down. This was later considered as one of the biggest mistakes in music industry history. Decca decided to reject The Beatles, and instead selected Brian Poole and the Tremeloes.

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Compare ticket prices to Ringo Starr concerts


1966: Simon and Garfunkel began a two week run at the top of the US singles chart with 'The Sounds Of Silence', also a No.13 hit in the UK.

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Compare ticket prices to Art Garfunkel concerts


1967: The Doors made their first live television appearance. They lip-synched their first single 'Break on Through' on Shebang, KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles. The song peaked at the No.126 spot on the US chart, mainly due to lack of airplay after censors objected to the drug use implied by the line "she gets high", that is repeated in the middle section of the song.


1982: ABBA made their final live appearance as a band. They made their last performance in Stockholm, Sweden.

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1989: Nirvana signed a one-year recording contract with Sub Pop records. The Seattle based label began not as a record label but as a fanzine that was called Subterranean Pop, in the early 80's. They also signed Soundgarden and Mudhoney.


2007: Queen passed The Beatles as the greatest British band of all time by BBC Radio 2 listeners in the UK. They pipped The Beatles in a live contest, trouncing other finalists The Rolling Stones, Oasis and Take That. The bands were judged on categories like song-writing, lyrics, live performances, originality and showmanship. More than 20,000 listeners voted on this poll by email, text and phone.

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Think we left some interesting fact out? You have anything to add? Is there anything else worth mentioning that happened on this day in music history? Write us in the comments below.


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