Aug 16 in Music History: Elvis dies, Stevie Wonder and the Monkees release their debut singles - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

1957 – The Everly Brothers record “Wake Up Little Susie.”

1962 – Little Stevie Wonder (aged 12) releases his first single, “I Call It Pretty Music, (But The Old People Call It The Blues),” featuring Marvin Gaye on drums.

1962 – Brian Epstein tells Pete Best that the other Beatles want him out of the group, and that he is being replaced. Epstein then asks Best to perform with the band that night at the Riverpark Ballroom. When Pete Best does not show up, drummer Johnny Hutchinson of The Big Three fills in.

1966 – The Monkees release their first single, “Last Train To Clarksville.”

1968 – The Jackson 5 perform their first official live gig, opening for Diana Ross and the Supremes at the Western Forum in Los Angeles.

1969 – It’s Day 2 of Woodstock, featuring performances by the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, and Santana. During The Who’s set, activist Abbie Hoffman jumps on stage and grabs the microphone. After saying a few words about fellow activist John Sinclair, Pete Townshend uses his guitar to knock him off stage. Later, Townshend says he didn’t know it was Hoffman at the time.

1969 – Led Zeppelin appears at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park. The band had been asked to perform at Woodstock, but were unable to accept due to this gig commitment. Just down the road, Bruce Springsteen is also kept from attending the legendary festival due to his band Child playing the first of two shows over two days at the Student Prince.

1977 – Elvis Presley is found dead, lying on the bathroom floor, by his girlfriend Ginger Alden. He died of heart failure caused by prescription drug abuse at the age of 42.

1983 – After dating for six years, Paul Simon marries actress Carrie Fisher. The marriage lasts less than two years, but they continue to date off and on after they split.

1995 – Brian Wilson performs live for the first time with his daughters Carnie and Wendy, recently famous for their stint in the trio Wilson Phillips.

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

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