Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell, and Richie-Havens at the Miami Pop Festival – December-1968. Photo © Bill Mankin. Used by special permission. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited. From original article, “We Can All Join In: How Rock Festivals Helped Change America”.

1968, The three day Miami Pop Festival took place, the first major rock festival held on the East Coast of the US, with Chuck Berry, The McCoys, Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, Marvin Gaye, The Turtles, The Box Tops, Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night, Pacific Gas and Electric, Procol Harum, Canned Heat, Iron Butterfly and The Grateful Dead. 100,000 people attended the event.

1968, The Beatles went to number one on the album chart with the White Album, the group’s twelfth US chart topping album.

1968, Pink Floyd appeared at the two day festival Flight To Lowlands Paradise II, Margriethal-Jaarbeurs, Utrecht, The Netherlands, replacing Jimi Hendrix. Other acts appearing included Jethro Tull, Jeff Beck, The Pretty Things and the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

1968, Vanilla Fudge appeared at the Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, Canada supported by Led Zeppelin on their first US tour.

1968,  The Rolling Stones enter the UK charts at number three with Beggars Banquet.

1969, The Allman Brothers Band appeared at the Fillmore East, New York.

1970, Genesis performed at the Lyceum Ballroom in London.

1971,  Sha Na Na performed at Carnegie Hall. The MC for the event is the Who’s Keith Moon, one of their biggest fans.

1971, George Harrison was at number on the US singles chart with “My Sweet Lord,” making him the first Beatle to score a number one US hit. The song was originally intended for Billy Preston.

1972, David Bowie appeared at The Hardrock, Stretford, Manchester, England on his Ziggy Stardust tour.

1972, Roxy Music played at the Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina.

1973, Queen performed at the Top Rank Club in Liverpool, England.

1974, Helen Reddy went to number one on the US singles chart with “Angie Baby,” the singer’s third US chart topper. The song was turned down by Cher.

1975, “Saturday Night” by Bay City Rollers tops the pop charts.

1976, Freddie King, bluesman, guitarist died of complications from stomach ulcers and acute pancreatitis in Dallas, Texas, aged 42. He is best known for the 1961 single “Have You Ever Loved A Woman,” covered by Eric Clapton with Derek and the Dominos.


1978, Rolling Stone magazine voted Some Girls by The Rolling Stones their “Album of the Year.” The cover designed by Peter Corriston, featured The Rolling Stones in garish drag alongside select female celebrities and lingerie ads. The cover immediately ran into trouble when Lucille Ball, Farrah Fawcett, Liza Minnelli, representing her mother Judy Garland, Raquel Welch, and the estate of Marilyn Monroe, who all threatened legal action.

1978, Rush performed at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario.

1979, The Who appeared at the Hammersmith Odeon in London.

1980, ZZ Top played at the Riverside Centroplex, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

1980, Blue Oyster Cult performed at the Civic Center, Dothan, Alabama.

1981, The Allman Brothers Band appeared at Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana.

1982, Siouxsie & the Banshees played at Hammersmith Odeon, London.

1983, Having made two successful dives below a friend’s yacht to find items he’d drunkenly thrown off his own boat three years before, Beach Boy Dennis Wilson took one last dive into the Pacific and never returned from the boat moored in Marina Del Rey, California. With the help of President Ronald Reagan he was given a burial at sea, normally reserved for Naval personnel. Dennis was the only genuine surfer in The Beach Boys.

1988, The Grateful Dead performed at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.

1991, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and Pearl Jam all appeared at Del Mar O’Brien Pavilion, San Diego, California.

1998, UK radio station BBC Radio 1 aired the 100 National Anthems, songs voted by listeners. At number 5, Radiohead, “Creep,” number 4, Underworld “Born Slippy,” number 3 The Verve “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” number two, Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” number one, Massive Attack, “Unfinished Sympathy.”

2002, Disgraced rock star Gary Glitter was deported from Cambodia after spending two nights in jail over suspected sex offenses.

2003, 50 Cent’s debut album, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ was named the biggest selling album in the US in 2003 with the album going platinum six times over. Outkast came second with Speakerboxxx’ / ‘The Love Below and Linkin Park’s Meteora was the third biggest seller. The Top 10 albums of 2003 in the USA accounted for around 30 million sales.

Born on December 28: Roebuck “Pop” Staples (1915); Johnny Otis (1921); Charles Neville, sax, The Neville Brothers (1938); Edgar Winter (1946); Dick Diamonde, The Easybeats (1947); Mary Weiss, singer, The Shangri-Las (1948); Alex Chilton, Box Tops (1950); Hugh McDonald,  bass, Bon Jovi (1950); John Legend (1978)

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