1966, Simon and Garfunkel started a two week run at number one on the singles chart with “The Sounds Of Silence.”

1967, The Doors made their first live television appearance lip-synching their first single “Break on Through” on Shebang, on KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles. The single peaked number 126 on the chart mainly due to lack of airplay after censors objected to the drug use implied by the line “she gets high,” which is repeated in the middle section of the song.

1967,  The Grateful Dead and Big Brother & the Holding Company perform at the New Year’s Wail/Whale in San Francisco. Hell’s Angels hosts the bash to thank Haight-Ashbury hippies for bailing Angel Chocolate George from jail.

1968, Billboard magazine reported that for the first time albums had outsold singles in the US with album sales reaching over 192 million units.

1969, Marmalade were at number one on the UK singles chart with their version of The Beatles song “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da.”

1970,  Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsys appeared at the Fillmore East in New York.

1971, Radio Luxembourg aired over seven hours of continuous Beatles music to celebrate the group’s tenth year in the music business. Every track played was a single or LP track by The Beatles plus tracks from solo albums.

1972, Carole King started a three week run at number one on the US album chart with Music, her second chart topper.

1972, Marc Bolan signed a deal with EMI to release records in the UK on his own T Rex Wax co. label.

1973, The Allman Brothers Band performed at The Warehouse in New Orleans, Louisiana.

1974, Hawkwind played at King George Hall, Blackburn, England.

1976, Procol Harum, John Miles, Barclay James Harvest, Baker Gurvitz Army and Snafu all appeared at the Great British Music Festival, London.

1976, Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant walks unassisted for the first time since his August 1975 car accident in Greece. “I’m going to need physiotherapy so I should think it’ll be the beginning of the next soccer season before I’m running about again,” Plant tells reporters.

1977, Genesis played the first of three nights at the new-look Rainbow Theatre, London,

The Clash
The Clash

1977, The Clash played the opening night at punk’s first real venue, The Roxy Club in London.

1977, Wings were at number one on the singles chart with “Mull Of Kintyre.”

1982, Black Sabbath played at the Hammersmith Odeon, London.

1984, Alexis Korner died of lung cancer aged 55. He was known as “the Founding Father of British Blues”, he was a major force behind the UK early 60’s R&B scene. Formed Blues Incorporated; members at various times included Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond and Charlie Watts. Had hits with CCS, including a version of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ which was used as the theme for BBC’s Top Of The Pops for several years. Became a radio presenter in the ’70s.

1988, Prince played an after midnight New Years Eve charity gig in aid of the homeless in Minnesota. Miles Davis joined him on stage.

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 (called Subterranean Pop), in the early 80’s. They are also notable for having signed Soundgarden and Mudhoney.

2008, The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) reported that the number of music downloads sold in the UK in the final week of 2007 was double the total of 12 months earlier. In total there were 2.95 million downloads in seven days, the highest ever recorded for any weekly period. And when the whole of the year was taken into account, 77.5 million downloads were sold in the UK in 2007.

2013, Patti Page, one of the most popular artists of the 1950s, died at the age of 85. She recorded four US chart topping hits, including “Tennessee Waltz” and the novelty record “(How Much Is That) Doggie In The Window.” Page recorded her first hit single, “Confess” in 1947. Because of a strike, background singers were not available to provide harmony vocals for the song, so instead, Page decided to overdub her own, thus, Page became the first pop artist to overdub her vocals on a song.

Born on January 1st: Country Joe McDonald (1942);  Jim Gordon, drummer (co-wrote “Layla”) (1945); Andy Johns, producer and engineer (1952); and Joseph Saddler, aka Grandmaster Flash (1958)

Link to Today in Rock History archive