Today in Music History
A look at events from past Oct. 30ths
In 1908, Patsy Montana, the first woman in country music to have a million-selling record, was born in Hot Springs, Ark. She accomplished the feat with her 1935 recording of “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” She died in Nashville on May 3, 1996.
In 1939, Eddie Holland, one-third of Motown’s famous songwriting team of Holland, Dozier and Holland, was born in Detroit. Eddie, along with his brother, Brian, and Lamont Dozier, wrote more than 25 top-10 hits for Motown between 1963 and 1966. Among their successes were “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” for “The Four Tops,” “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” and “Baby Love” for “The Supremes” and “Heat Wave” for “Martha and the Vandellas.” Holland, Dozier and Holland departed Motown in 1968 in a dispute over royalties. They set up their own label, Invictus-Hot Wax, but business was curtailed somewhat until a lawsuit alleging breach of contract was settled out of court. Invictus-Hot Wax brought stardom to such performers as Freda Payne, “Chairmen of the Board” and “Honey Cone,” whose “Want Ads” was the company’s first No. 1 record in 1971. Eddie Holland also had some success as a performer, reaching No. 30 on the Billboard chart in 1962 with “Jamie.”
In 1961, Phil Spector’s Philles label released its first single. It was a record by “The Crystals”: “Oh, Yeah, Maybe Baby.” The B-Side track “There’s No Other (Like My Baby)” ended up being their first hit reaching No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1964, “(Oh) Pretty Woman” became Roy Orbison’s last gold record.
In 1968, Johnny Cash was awarded a gold record — signifying one million in sales — for the album “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison.” It was probably the first recording made by a major artist in a prison setting.
In 1969, Irish-Canadian reggae-rap performer “Snow,” whose real name is Darrin O’Brien, was born in Toronto. “Informer,” from his million-selling debut album, “12 Inches of Snow,” topped the Billboard singles chart for seven weeks in 1993. He wrote the song in jail while awaiting trial on a pair of attempted murder charges, which were later dropped. Just before the album was released, Snow served an eight-month sentence for assault causing bodily harm.
In 1970, Jim Morrison of “The Doors” was sentenced to six months in jail and fined $500 for exposing himself in Miami.
In 1972, Elton John did a command performance benefit for Queen Elizabeth.
In 1975, Bob Dylan’s communal “Rolling Thunder Revue” tour opened in a surprise concert before 200 people in Plymouth, Mass. The revue, which was on the road until the spring of 1976, eventually played large stadiums. One concert, at Fort Collins, Colorado, was recorded for the album and TV special “Hard Rain.” Among the huge revue’s entourage, were such regulars as Joan Baez and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. The shifting guest list included poet Allen Ginsberg, Joni Mitchell and Roger McGuinn, formerly of “The Byrds.”
In 1978, the animated TV movie “Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park” aired on NBC.
In 1982, “Love Me Do” by “The Beatles” reached No. 4 on the British chart, 20 years after its original release.
In 1982, lead singer Paul Weller announced the breakup of “The Jam,” one of the most important British groups of the early ’80s. Although they were consistent hitmakers in Britain with such No. 1 singles as “Start” and “Beat Surrender,” they never reached more than cult status in North America. Weller went on to lead another band, “The Style Council.”
In 1984, Linda Ronstadt made her operatic debut in a production of “La Boheme” in New York.
In 1989, a jury in Los Angeles awarded Bette Midler $400,000 in damages after a 1985 TV ad for Ford’s Mercury Sable unlawfully copied the singer’s vocal style. The spot used a sound-alike recording of Midler’s 1972 hit “Do You Want to Dance?”
In 1997, Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx of “Motley Crue” were alleged to have assaulted a security guard during a concert in Greensboro, N.C. The guard, John Allen, filed suit against the two a year later, claiming Sixx kicked and spit on him and that Lee doused him with beer.
In 2001, after 63 years of selling music to Canadians, the Sam the Record Man retail chain declared bankruptcy. But Sam Sniderman’s sons Jason and Bob bought the company’s assets from a bankruptcy trustee and re-opened the Toronto flagship store in January, 2002. The flagship store closed in June 2007.
In 2001, Gordon Lightfoot became the fifth musician to be inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame. The first four were Anne Murray, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion and Ian Tyson.
In 2001, Michael Jackson released his first solo album in six years, “Invincible.”
In 2002, Jam Master Jay (real name Jason Mizell) of the rap trio “Run-D.M.C.,” was shot and killed at a Queens recording studio. One of the forefathers of rap, he worked the turntables for the hip-hop trio and created a new style and sound that was copied by endless DJs. The band introduced rap and hip-hop to the MTV generation through hits such as “Rock Box,” “King of Rock” and a collaboration with “Aerosmith” on “Walk This Way.” He was 37.
In 2007, Robert Goulet, the Canadian-raised singer known for his baritone voice and frequent TV appearances, died at age 73.
In 2009, guitarist Norton Buffalo of the “Steve Miller Band” died at the age of 58. He had been battling lung and brain cancer. He played in the Steve Miller Band for 34 years.
In 2010, Canadian teen pop star Justin Bieber opened Fox’s pre-game broadcast of Game 3 of the World Series with the premiere of a new baseball-themed music video for his song “Never Say Never.”
In 2011, Canadian teenage pop sensation Justin Bieber became the first person in history to reach two billion hits on YouTube.
In 2011, George Rountree, the musical leader of “The Four Tops”for more than 30 years and performed with some of the music industry’s biggest stars, died in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 61.