March 16 in Music History: The Smithereens release Green Thoughts, the RIAA presents the first diamond awards
1964 – The Beatles set a new record in the US when their fans place more than two million preorders for their latest single, “Can’t Buy Me Love.”
1968 – “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” becomes the first posthumous #1 single in US chart history, where it stays for five weeks. Otis Redding had been killed in a plane crash just three months earlier on December 10, 1967; three days after recording the song.
1977 – The Sex Pistols are fired from A&M only 6 days after signing due to pressure from other artists on the label and its Los Angeles head office. The band made $127,500 from the deal and 25,000 copies of “God Save The Queen” were pressed.
1979 – Twisted Sister becomes the first band to sell out New York City’s Palladium without ever releasing a record. The band did not sign a record deal for another three years.
1988 – The Smithereens release Green Thoughts.
1999 – The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) presents the first Diamond Awards. The awards are given in recognition of albums and singles that have sold 10 million copies or more.