This Day in Music History: The Beach Boys release Surfin' USA, Michael Jackson does the Moonwalk for the first time - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

1958 – Ray Charles records “Georgia On My Mind.”

1960 – Roy Orbison records “Only the Lonely.”

1963 – The Beach Boys release the album Surfin’ U.S.A.

1966 – At a photo session at Bob Whitaker’s studio in London, The Beatles pose in white coats using sides of meat with mutilated and butchered dolls for the cover of their next American album, Yesterday and Today. After advance copies are sent to disc jockeys and record reviewers, negative reaction to the cover photo is so strong that Capitol recalls 750,000 copies from distributors. The total cost to replace the cover and promotional materials is $250,000, wiping out their initial profit.

1968 – The 58th and final episode of The Monkees TV show is aired.

1975 – Jimi Hendrix releases the live album Band of Gypsys.

1983 – Motown Records celebrated its 25 anniversary with a concert in Pasadena featuring The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Jr. Walker, The Commodores, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and The Jackson 5. Michael does the Moonwalk for the very first time.

1985 – Prince wins an Oscar for Best Original Score for the soundtrack for the movie Purple Rain.

1986 – Guns N’ Roses sign with Geffen Records. (The band has now sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. Their 1987 debut album, Appetite For Destruction, has sold in excess of 28 million copies.)

2001 – At the Academy Awards, where she is nominated for Best Original Song from her movie Dancer In The Dark, Bjork wears a swan dress complete with a purse that looks like an egg, which she “lays” on the red carpet. Such bold fashion would not be seen again until Lady Gaga’s emergence (perhaps her meat dress was inspired by the Beatles album cover above). Bob Dylan ends up winning the award for “Things Have Changed” from the movie Wonder Boys.

2004 – “Suspicion,” the final ever episode of the adult comedy, The Chris Isaak Show, airs on Showtime.

2007 – Elton John sets the record for the most performances at New York’s Madison Square Garden when he performs there for the 60th time on his 60th birthday.

2008 – The Raconteurs release Consolers of the Lonely.

2015 – Radiohead’s seminal album, OK Computer, becomes one of 25 recordings to be preserved by the US Library of Congress. It is joined by Ben E King’s “Stand By Me” and recordings by Joan Baez, The Doors, The Righteous Brothers, and Steve Martin.


1942 – Aretha Franklin

1947 – Elton John

1960 – Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet)

Information for this post was gathered from This Day in Music, The Music History Calendar, On This Day, and Wikipedia.

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