This Day in Music History: David Bowie releases “Space Oddity” in the UK, Jerry Garcia releases line of neck ties
1951 – On WJW in Cleveland, Alan Freed broadcasts his first “Moondog House Rock and Roll Party,” marking the first radio show with the phrase “Rock and Roll” and giving Freed a claim on the origin of the term. More importantly, Freed plays R&B music, which introducing the sound to a new (and mostly white) audience.
1959 – Joan Baez makes her first recording. It is a duet with Bob Gibson recorded live at the Newport Folk Festival.
1964 – The Beatles appear live on the ABC Television program Lucky Stars (Summer Spin) performing “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Things We Said Today,” and “You Can’t Do That.” To avoid the crowd of fans waiting for them, the Beatles arrive at the Teddington Studio Centre by boat, traveling down the River Thames.
1967 – Kenny Rogers forms The First Edition after having just left the New Christy Minstrels.
1969 – David Bowie releases “Space Oddity” in the UK for the first time, timed to coincide with the Apollo moon landing. It is not a hit until it is re-released later in the year in the UK, and not until 1973 in the US.
1971 – The Bruce Springsteen Band opens for Humble Pie at the Sunshine Inn in Asbury Park, NJ. After the show an impressed Peter Frampton tells Springsteen and the band he’d like to have them open for them on a national basis. Frampton also says he would be happy to get the band an audition with his label, A & M Records. For no logical reason, Springsteen’s manager Tinker West declines both offers on the spot.
1979 – Skylab crashes to Earth after 6 years in orbit. Leading up to the event, Electric Light Orchestra take out ads in trade magazines dedicating their new single “Don’t Bring Me Down” to the space station.
1992 – Jerry Garcia, who has a passion for painting and studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, introduces a line of 8 neckties he designed. The collection grosses millions in the US by the end of the year – even President Bill Clinton buys a set.
1996 – Jonathan Melvoin, keyboard player with the Smashing Pumpkins, dies from a drug overdose in New York City at age 34. Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, who was with Melvoin, tries but fails to revive him after Chamberlin was allegedly advised by 911 operators to put Melvoin’s head in the shower. He was the brother of Susannah and Wendy Melvoin of Prince and the Revolution. Several songs are inspired by his death, including Sarah McLachlan’s hit single “Angel.”
1998 – MTV premieres the special “Beastiography” about the Beastie Boys.