This Day in Music History: Run DMC score the first platinum rap album, Columbia drops Johnny Cash
1952 – Eight-year-old prodigy Gladys Knight appears on the TV show Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour, which was a precursor to shows like Star Search and American Idol. She wins the top prize of $2,000 for her performance of Nat King Cole’s “Too Young.”
1956 – The Teenagers are at #1 on the UK singles chart with “Why Do Fools Fall In Love.” At 13, Frankie Lymon was the youngest performer to top the charts.
1958 – John Lennon’s mother Julia is killed when she’s hit by a car driven by an off-duty drunken police officer named Eric Clague, who is later acquitted of the offense. John, who was 17 at the time, later wrote the songs “Julia” and “Mother” about her.
1968 – The Beatles’ new enterprise, Apple, enters its corporate headquarters on 3 Savile Row in London, later the site of their famous “rooftop concert.”
1980 – Linda Ronstadt makes a well-received dramatic debut in Joseph Papp’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance in New York’s Central Park, setting off a “Pirates” fad that would last for the next three years.
1986 – Run-DMC’s Raising Hell becomes the first rap album to be certified platinum.
1986 – Columbia Records, Johnny Cash’s home for 28 years, drops the singer from its roster of artists. He signs with Polygram the next year.
2007 – The UK music industry reacts angrily to Prince’s decision to give away his new album Planet Earth as a “covermount” with the Mail on Sunday newspaper (the 10-track CD was not due to be released in stores until July 24). Stephen Miron, the newspaper’s managing director, said: “No one has done this before. We have always given away CD’s and DVD’s, but this is just setting a new level.”