March 31 in Music History: Chuck Berry releases Johnny B. Goode, Prince releases Sign O' The Times - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

1949 – RCA Victor introduces the 45rpm single record. The 7-inch disc is designed to compete with the Long Playing record introduced by Columbia a year earlier. Both formats offer better fidelity and longer playing time than the 78rpm record that is currently in use.

1958 – Chuck Berry releases his first single, “Johnny B. Goode.”

1964 – While filming for A Hard Day’s Night, The Beatles play a “live television performance” in front of a studio of screaming fans (one of whom is Phil Collins). The four songs used in the film are “Tell Me Why,” “I Should Have Known Better,” “And I Love Her,” and “She Loves You.”

1967 – Jimi Hendrix sets fire to his guitar live on stage for the first time at The Astoria in London, England. It is the first night of a 24-date tour with The Walker Brothers, Cat Stevens, and Engelbert Humperdink. He goes to the hospital after the show for minor burns. The Fender Stratocaster burned on stage sells for more than $450,000 at a 2008 auction of rock memorabilia.

1976 – Led Zeppelin’s album Presence is released.

1987 – Prince releases Sign O’ The Times.

1992 – Bruce Springsteen releases two albums on the same day: Human Touch and Lucky Town.

1995 – Selena is killed by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar. Saldivar had been fired for embezzlement.

2011 – The Australian band Men at Work lose an appeal against a ruling which found their 1983 hit single “Down Under” to be partly copied from a folk song. Australia’s Federal Court upholds the decision which states part of the song’s melody came from the tune “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.”

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

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