This Month in music history


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 Stadium.

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 Knopfler) of Dire Straits is born

December 30

•  1999: George Harrison is stabbed several times, but survives, 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

Compiled from the archives of Rock & Roll Library

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