This Month in Music History – December

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December 1
• 1983: Neil Young is sued by Geffen Records for producing albums that are “not commercial in nature and musically uncharacteristic of his previous albums”
• 1982: Epic Records releases Thriller – Michael Jackson’s first solo album in three years
December 2
• 1970: Jay-Z is born Shawn Corey Carter
• 1967: The Monkees set a record by achieving four Number One albums in the same year
December 3
• 1979: Eleven Who fans are trampled to death rushing to gain admittance for general seating at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum
December 6
• 1988: Roy Orbison dies of a massive heart attack at the age of 52
• 1969: The Rolling Stones headline a free show at Altamont Speedway in California; the Hell’s Angels handle security and stab a man to death during the show (See: Gimme Shelter)
• 1956: Randy Rhodes is born
December 7
• 1949: Tom Waits is born
December 8
• 1980: John Lennon is gunned down in front of his N.Y.C. apartment building after returning home from a recording session with his wife Yoko Ono
• 1947: Gregg Allman is born
• 1943: Jim Morrison is born
December 10
• 1967: Otis Redding dies in a plane crash
December 11
• 1964: Sam Cooke is shot and killed by hotel manager Bertha Franklin
• 1957: Jerry Lee Lewis secretly weds his third wife, third cousin Myra Gale Brown
December 18
• 1943: Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones is born
December 23
• 1966: Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam is born
• 1955: Bruce Hornsby is born
December 24
• 1945: Lemmy of Motorhead is born
December 25
• 1946: Jimmy Buffett is born
December 26
• 1968: Led Zeppelin begins its first U.S. tour
• 1940: Legendary music producer and “Wall of Sound” creator Phil Spector is born
December 27
• 1932: Radio City Music Hall opens to the public in New York City’s Rockefeller Center
• 1952: David Knopfler (the younger brother of Mark Knoplfer) of Dire Straits is born
December 30
• 1999: George Harrison is stabbed several times after he and his wife, Olivia, are attacked by an intruder in their home outside London
December 31
• 1943: John Denver is born John Henry Deutschendorf

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