Aug 15 in Music History: Woodstock begins, Led Zeppelin release In Through the Out Door
1955 – Elvis Presley signs a contract that names Colonel Tom Parker his “special advisor” with control over virtually every aspect of Elvis’ career. Parker is not really a Colonel at all, but a Dutch immigrant named Andreas Cornelius van Kujik, whose honorary title was given to him in 1948 by Governor Jimmie Davis of Louisiana. Parker’s pre-Elvis experience includes promoting carnival and medicine shows such as The Great Parker Pony Circus and Tom Parker And His Dancing Turkeys. His management of Presley becomes the defining role of masterminding talent management, which involves every facet of the client’s life and is seen as central to the success of Presley’s career.
1962 – Lennon and McCartney drive from Liverpool to Skegness, where Ringo Starr is playing a residency with Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, to ask him to join the Beatles. Shortly before, Starr had agreed to join Kingsize Taylor in Hamburg at £20 a week, but Lennon and McCartney offered £25 a week, which Starr accepted.
1965 – The Beatles set a new world record for the largest attendance at a pop concert when they play in front of 55,600 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City. The band is paid $160,000 for the show; the set list includes: “Twist and Shout,” “She’s a Woman,” “I Feel Fine,” “Dizzy Miss Lizzie,” “Ticket to Ride,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Baby’s In Black,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Help!” and “I’m Down.” Two of the Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards) are in the audience and later that evening and Bob Dylan visits The Beatles at their hotel.
1969 – The Woodstock festival begins on Max Yasgur’s 60-acre farm in Bethel, New York (the festival was originally going to be in Woodstock, New York, so they kept the name).The three-day concert features 24 bands and draws over 400,000 people. Artists to appear this day include Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Tim Hardin, and Arlo Guthrie.
1975 – Peter Gabriel officially announces that he is leaving Genesis.
1979 – Led Zeppelin releases their eighth and final studio album of entirely new material, In Through The Out Door. It is also the last album released by the band while John Bonham is still alive.
1980 – George Harrison becomes the first Beatle to release an autobiography when his book I Me Mine is published.
1981 – The Pretenders release their sophomore album, Pretenders II, and the Kinks release Give the People What They Want.
1988 – Michelle Shocked releases her sophomore album, Short, Sharp, Shocked.
1991 – Paul Simon plays his free Concert in the Park, which three quarters of a million people attend. The show in Central Park is recorded and released as an album on Nov 5 of this year.
1995 – Garbage releases their self-titled, debut album.