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A fleet of ships, known as The First Fleet, leaves Portsmouth, Great Britain with a cargo of over 1,000 convicts who will found a penal colony that will become the first European settlement in Australia. They will reach Australia at Botany Bay in mid-January 1788, inspiring the oft-recorded folk song Botany Bay.
The Mary Celeste, a 282 ton brigantine merchant ship, is discovered unmanned and abandoned in the Atlantic Ocean, roughly 600 miles west of Portugal, Europe. Of the ten people known to have been aboard, nothing more is ever discovered. The mystery of this day has fired the imaginations of many songwriters and produced numerous songs including Marie Celeste by The Polecats, Marie Celeste by David Thornton, The Ballad Of The Mary Celeste by Joel Sattler and Eric Blackmer, Voyage Of The Mary Celeste by Colony Collapse and Mary Celeste by Byfist.
The Haydn Quartet (aka The Victor Male Chorus) records My Creole Sue, My Country 'Tis Of Thee, Larboard Watch, Soldiers' Chorus and Anvil Chorus for Victor Records in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
J.W. Myers records The Bell Buoy, I'll Wed My Willie When His Ship Comes In and In The Golden Field Of Grain for Victor Records in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Country-blues slide guitarist and harmonica player Frank Hutchison records The Last Scene of The Titanic, Worried Blues, All Night Long and other tracks for OKeh Records in St Louis, Missouri, USA.
The musical Show Boat by Jerome Kern plays at The Ziegfeld Theatre, Broadway, New York City, USA, during a run of 572 performances.
The musical Show Boat by Jerome Kern closes at The Ziegfeld Theatre, Broadway, New York City, USA, after a run of 572 performances.
The German battleship Bismarck is sunk in the North Atlantic by two British battle cruisers. From a crew of over 2,200 men, only 114 survive. The incident is recorded in the 1960 song Sink The Bismarck by Johnny Horton, which reached No6 in the USA and No1 in Canada.
Bill Monroe records I'll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning, Boat Of Love and The Old Fiddler, for Decca Records in Castle Studio [founded by Paul Cohen] in The Tulane Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. His band on the session includes Jimmy Martin [guitar], Rudy Lyle [banjo] and Joel Price [bass] and Vassar Clements [fiddle].
Nigerian drummer Michael Babatunde Olatunji arrives in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, aboard a cargo ship. He has come from Africa to study at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He will go on to become one of the most celebrated percussionists and composers in jazz.
Harbor Lights by Guy Lombardo And His Orchestra enters the Billboard Chart in the USA, where it will peak at No2 during a run of twenty weeks on the chart.
Cowboy Copas records Tennesse Flat Guitar, Those Gone And Left Me Blues, I'm Glad I'm On The Inside Looking Out and Four Books In The Bible, at King Recording Studio, 1540 Brewster Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Vaughn Monroe records Red Sails In The Sunset, Sound Off, Oh, Marry, Marry Me, Love And Devotion, for RCA Victor Records in New York City, USA.
MGM's movie remake of the Kern-Hammerstein musical play Show Boat, starring Howard Keel, Ava Gardner and Kathryn Grayson, is released to cinemas in the USA.
The Delmore Brothers record Steamboat Bill Boogie, Good Time Saturday Night, Heartbreak Ridge and I'll Be There for King Records in King Studio, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Shrimp Boats by Jo Stafford enters the Billboard magazine popular singles chart, where it will peak at No2 during a seventeen-week run.
Tex Williams, with Stephen Sholes as producer, records Shrimp Boats and The Urn On The Mantle in RCA Victor Studio, 1016 North Sycamore, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA.
MGM's movie remake of the Kern-Hammerstein musical play Show Boat, starring Howard Keel, Ava Gardner and Kathryn Grayson, is released to cinemas in Belgium and Netherlands, Europe.
MGM's movie remake of the Kern-Hammerstein musical play Show Boat, starring Howard Keel, Ava Gardner and Kathryn Grayson, is released to cinemas in Portugal, Europe.
MGM's movie remake of the Kern-Hammerstein musical play Show Boat, starring Howard Keel, Ava Gardner and Kathryn Grayson, is released to cinemas in Barcelona, Spain, Europe.
Jane Froman sings I'm Sittin' On Top of the World, Take A Trip in a Rocket Ship, Destination Moon, If I Loved You A Mountain, Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better and Black Magic, on the CBS-tv show USA Canteen, in the USA.
Jazz trumpet player Kenny Dorham records the album Jerome Kern - Show Boat in New York City, USA, for Time Records.
Michael [Row The Boat Ashore] by The Highwaymen enters the UK pop singles chart where it will peak at No1 during a stay of fourteen weeks.
Tennessee Ernie Ford records Waiting For The Robert E. Lee, A Straw Hat And A Cane, The Band Played On and other tracks in Capitol Recording Studio, 1750 North Vine Street, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA.
During filming of his latest movie, Summer Holiday, in Greece, Europe, Cliff Richard and various cast members charter a boat to visit the island of Hydra.
Paul Barbarin And His Jazz Band record Slide Frog Slide, Too Late, The Second Line, Give It Up and Take A Ferry Boat To New Orleans, for Atlantic Records in Preservation Hall, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
The Beatles support British jazz star Acker Bilk on the Riverboat Shuffle aboard the MV Royal Iris, sailing down The Mersey, Liverpool, UK.
The Beatles support Johnny Kidd And The Pirates on another Riverboat Shuffle aboard the MV Royal Iris, sailing down The Mersey, Liverpool, UK.
Kenyon Hopkins, with orchestra and sound effects, records Living Tomb, Ghost Ship and other tracks in New York City, USA, for Verve Records.
Pirate radio station Radio Caroline begins test broadcasts from a former Danish passenger ferry, the Fredericia, now re-named Caroline. The ship is anchored three miles off the coast of Felixstowe, Suffolk, UK, just outside British territorial waters, thus enabling the station to broadcast to the UK without breaking any laws.
Gene Pitney enters the Billboard Singles Chart in the USA with It Hurts To Be In Love, which will peak at No7.
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Six-year-old Elian Gonzalez leaves Cuba in a boat with his mother and twelve others to seek asylum in the USA. The boat does not make it and his mother dies, but Elian is rescued by fishermen and taken to live with relatives in Miami, Florida. He later became the subject of a major news story when he was ordered back to Cuba to live with his father. US marshals had to seize Elian and send him back to Cuba against the wishes of his relatives. The incident will inspire Manic Street Preachers to write their song Baby Elian.
John Coltrane records his album Sun Ship, at RCA Studios, New York City, USA. It will not be released until 1971 after his death.
By trading live performances aboard ship for tickets, Australian pop group The Bee Gees set sail to find fame and fortune in the UK on the S.S.Fairsky.
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The 'N Betweens play at Queens Beat Club, Erdington, Birmingham, England, UK, Europe. The band's members will find greater fame after a name-change to Slade.
Penny Peepshow play at The Boat Club, Nottingham, England, UK, Europe.
Led Zeppelin play at The Boat Club, Nottingham, UK.
John Lennon sails from New York City, USA, to Bermuda where, after a creative dry spell, he begins writing songs again.
Dennis Wilson, drummer of The Beach Boys, drowns while swimming near his boat moored at Marina Del Rey, California, USA.
Duran Duran star Simon Le Bon nearly drowns when his boat, Drum England, sinks two miles off the Cornish coast in the UK.
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A Celebration Of 21 Years Of Virgin Records is held at The Virgin Manor, Shipton-On-Cherwell, Gloucestershire, England, UK, Europe. Richard Branson is there in person, and artists performing include Bruce, Baker And Moore, Soul II Soul and Cracker. Jonathan King is also in attendance. Journalist Johnny Black's diary entry about the event is attached here.
Tommy Chong of hippy comedy duo Cheech and Chong appears on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on tv in the USA to explain how his California-based company was tricked into selling bongs and marijuana pipes via the internet to Drug Enforcement Agency staff in Pennsylvania and then arrested. [The same equipment can be bought legally on the street but it is illegal to ship it across state borders in the USA.] Chong was sentenced to nine months in jail and fined $20,000.
61-year-old Rod Stewart marries his third wife, 35-year-old model Penny Lancaster, on board the yacht Lady Ann Magee in Portofino, Italy, Europe.
George Michael charters a yacht, the MV Enigma, in Sydney, Australia, Oceania, and goes sailing with a group of friends. During the trip, he is spotted kissing a shaven-headed man, despite the fact that he is in a long-term relationship with Kenny Goss.
On his 80-concert Sailing To Philadelphia Tour, Mark Knopfler plays the second of two nights at The National Auditorium, Mexico City, Mexico, North America.
The heavy metal cruise known as the 70,000 Tons Of Metal Festival, comes to an end in Miami, Florida, USA. Artists appearing aboard the ship, The Majesty Of The Seas, over the past five days have included Amorphis, Exciter, Cannibal Corpse, Atheist, Stratovarius, Venom, Children Of Bodom, Crowbar, Nightwish and Hammerfall.
Taylor Swift plays at a private party organized by the NRJ aboard a yatch on the River Seine in Paris, France, Europe.
Country singing star Trace Adkins, reportedly in a drunken condition, gets into a fight with a Trace Adkins impersonator, during a cruise ship voyage to Jamaica, Caribbean. Having been sober for twelve years, Adkins checks into rehab when the ship docks in Jamaica.
INXS guitarist Tim Farriss seriously damages one finger when his hand is caught in an electric anchor winch aboard a boat on Australia Day. It is speculated that he may never be able to play guitar again.
Yacht play at Night And Day, Manchester, England, UK.