In 1955, based on music sales from stores, radio and jukebox plays, Billboard named “Unchained Melody” by Les Baxter the number 1 US song of 1955.
The Beach Boys made their live debut in 1961 using their new name when they appeared at Long Beach Civic Auditorium, California.
During their first visit to the UK in 1962, Bob Dylan played at the King and Queen pub in London. Dylan had arrived in the UK on the 17th of December after British TV Director Philip Saville had heard Dylan perform in Greenwich Village. Philip Saville invited him to take part in a BBV television drama: The Madhouse on Castle Street.
In 1966, The Monkees started a 7-week run at No.1 on the US singles charts with the Neil Diamond song “I’m A Believer” They also took the song to No.1 in the UK in 1967.
Ray Charles appeared at the City Center Arena in Seattle Washington in 1966. The cost of the tickets at the door that night – $4.50.
December 31, 1967, music lovers in America lost a great man. Songwriter and producer Bert Berns died of heart failure at the young age of 38. Bert Berns wrote many classic songs including: “Twist And Shout”, “Hang On Sloopy”, “Here Comes the Night”, “I Want Candy” and “Brown Eyed Girl”.
For $3.00 you could watch an all-star line-up at Alexandra Palace, London in 1968, Your $3.00 got you an night with Joe Cocker, Amen Corner, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, The Small Faces, Fee and Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.
Paul McCartney filed a suit in 1970 against the rest of The Beatles to dissolve their partnership.
The Australian band AC/DC made their live debut in 1973 when they appeared at Chequers Bar in Sydney.
In 1979, Blondie’s gig at The Apollo Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland was broadcast live on BBC 2’s “Old Grey Whistle Test”.
David Bowie performed an acoustic version of “Space Oddity” in 1979 on the UK TV Kenny Everett New Year’s Show”.
Steve Van Zandt married Maureen Santora in New Jersey in 1982. At this time, Steve Van Zandt was the guitarist with The E Street Band. The best man was none other than Bruce Springsteen.
The music would be heard no more as Max’s Kansas City in New York City closed its doors in 1982. The venue had been a launching pad for such artists as The New York Dolls, Bruce Springsteen and The Velvet Underground.
Music came to an end for Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen in 1984. While on his way to a New Year’s Eve party at his family’s home, a Jaguar passed him on the A57 outside Sheffield. The driver of the Jaguar had a bad case of road rage. Once the Jaguar passed Rick Allen who was in a Corvette Stingray, the driver of the Jaguar started driving erratically. Rick tried to pass him a couple of times only to be cutoff. The driver had been egging Allen on and at one point when Rick tried to pass, he did not see a turn up ahead and lost control of his car. He was thrown from the car, with his left arm severed due do the seatbelt not being properly fastened.
Ricky Nelson was killed along with six others in 1985 when his charted light aircraft crashed in Texas. It was rumored that freebasing cocaine caused an onboard explosion. Nelson played himself on his parent’s US TV show “The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet”. Ricky Nelson’s music included the 1958 US No.1 single “Poor Little Fool:, 1961 UK No.2 single “Hello Mary Lou”, plus over 30 US Top 40 hit singles.
The music for New Year’s Eve was hot at the Cow Palace, San Francisco, California in 1991. Appearing at the New Year’s Eve show was Pearl Jam, Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Ted Nugent donated 200 pounds of venison to the Salvation Army soup kitchen in Detroit in 1991. Along with the donation, Nugent also left a note “I kill it, you grill it”.
Paul McCartney became a Sir after he was listed in the Queens New Year’s Honor List in 1996.
And what would music be without the name of Jackson appearing at one date or another. In 2000, Janet Jackson’s estranged husband filed a lawsuit against the singer claiming that Jackson, who had sold more than 40 million records, promised to share equally any assets acquired after their relationship began in 1987.
Finally, Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson was making more than music this day in 2000. Chris Robinson married actress Kate Hudson the daughter of actress Goldie Hawn. The couple separated in 2006.