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Ten days after arriving in the UK, American bandleader Paul Specht and his band are granted work permits enabling them to perform in Britain. They had been refused work permits, but US Secretary of State, Charles Hughes, who had travelled on the same ship, used his influence with the British Government to have the permits granted.
A question is asked in the British House Of Commons about why a music hall poster in Birmingham had been removed by police. The answer given is that the poster "displayed a portion of a Treasury Note on an advertisement".
Benny Goodman And His Orchestra come to the end of a seven-month residency in The Joseph Urban Room of The Congress Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, USA. In the course of the residency, Goodman has established a popular new style of big-band music - swing.
Bing Crosby records the patriotic cantata Ballad For Americans, for Decca Records in the USA.
Son House spends the third of six days recording blues material at Klack's Store, Lake Cormorant, Mississippi, USA, for the Library of Congress Recording initiative. During these sessions, he will record Levee Camp Blues, Government Fleet Blues, Walking Blues, Shetland Pony Blues, Fo' Clock Blues, Camp Hollers and Delta Blues.
The dystopian sci-fi novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell is published in the UK. The book and its sinister character, Big Brother, will inspire numerous songs, including 1984 by Spirit and Big Brother by Stevie Wonder. In September 2009, the English alternative rock band Muse will release The Resistance, which includes songs influenced by 1984.
The Korean War, between South and North Korea, begins and will continue for three years. This horrific conflict will inspire the ultra-patriotic song The Voice Of Free America by country singer Jimmie Osborne.
Controversial American deejay Alan Freed faces the first of two days of being grilled by Senate investigators determined to get to the bottom of his involvement in the music industry's payola scandal.
When folk musician Pete Seeger plays at The Village Gate, Greenwich Village, New York City, USA, the show is recorded by producer John Hammond of Columbia Records and will be released as live album entitled Story Songs.
Petula Clark performs in a private concert for U.S. President John F. Kennedy and French President Charles de Gaulle at The Palais de Chaillot, France, Europe.
Bob Dylan plays a benefit show for CORE (the Congress of Racial Equality) at the City College Of New York, New York City.
The Dave Brubeck Quartet and Tony Bennett play in The White House, Washington, DC, USA.
The Times They Are A-Changin' by Bob Dylan enters the UK pop albums chart where it will peak at No4 during a twenty-week run.
To promote the career of Tommy Good, a white singer recently signed to Motown Records, the company's publicist Al Abrams stages a 'protest march' by white teenagers to Motown's Hitsville U.S.A. offices in Detroit, Michigan, USA. In fact, Good is conveniently in the offices and comes out to perform his single, Baby I Miss You, for the assembled crowd. The event is a parody of recent civil rights marches, and the teenagers have been specially bussed-in by Motown.
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Seeking to overcome the problems posed by the Government of the USA refusing to grant work permits to UK bands, British MP Kenneth Lomas, asks the UK Ministry of Labour to refuse permits to American artists, but his suggestion is turned down.
Bobby Vinton arrives in the UK for radio and tv dates, but is refused a work permit. This act is seen as retaliation for similar problems faced by British artists in America.
Barry McGuire spends the second of three days recording the future No1 protest-rock hit Eve Of Destruction, for Dunhill Records in Los Angeles, California, USA. The song is written by P.F. Sloan.
Bob Dylan continues recording the album Highway 61 Revisited in Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios, New York City, USA. He works on songs including Highway 61 Revisited, Desolation Row and Ballad Of A Thin Man.
The Cousin Duffy Show plays the first of three nights at The Ambassador Theatre, Washington DC, USA.
There is a violent clash in the streets of Paris, France, Europe, between revolutionary students and police. The song Street Fighting Man by The Rolling Stones will be inspired by this event, and also partly by The Stones' front man, Mick Jagger, taking part in a March 1968 anti-war protest rally at London's U.S. Embassy, during which mounted police attempted to control a crowd of 25,000 people.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience plays at The Memorial Auditorium, Syracuse, New York State, USA.
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The first of two nights by The Doors at the H.I.C. Arena, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, is cancelled by the auditorium officials who claim that the show is not 'in the best interest of the people of Hawaii, USA.' The mayor adds, 'They can keep their dirty habits to themselves.'
Dance band leader and recording artist Ted Heath dies aged 67 in Virginia Water, Surrey, UK. (N.B. He should not be confused with Edward Heath the Conservative politician, who also had musical leanings.)
Classical-rock fusion composer David Axelrod releases the album Earth Rot on Capitol Records in the USA to tie in with the first ecology-themed Earth Day.
Eleven guards and 31 prisoners die in riots at Attica State Prison, New York State, USA. Just a few weeks later, John Lennon will write the song Attica State, lamenting the deaths but also commenting on the poor living conditions and human rights violations in the prison which had led to the riot.
A No Nukes benefit concert, featuring Bruce Springsteen, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, Gary 'US' Bonds and others, takes place at Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, California, USA.
The UK's No1 Indie single is Shipbuilding by Robert Wyatt, written by Elvis Costello and Clive Langer.
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Stevie Wonder announces his intention to run for the position of Mayor Of Detroit, Michigan, USA in 1992.
Martie Erwin of The Dixie Chicks marries pharmaceutical representative Ted Seidel in the USA.
New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the city police lodge a protest against a new Bruce Springsteen song, American Skin, inspired by the 1999 police slaying of unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo.
The first wave of America's "shock and awe" bombing campaign hits Baghdad, Iraq, Western Asia, and the northern Iraqi cities of Mosul and Kirkuk. Pentagon officials stated that the campaign would send 1,500 bombs and missiles over Iraq in the first 24 hours. Deaths are estimated at 6,616. Shock And Awe by Neil Young, Shock And Awe by Teenage Fanclub and Dreaming Of Paris by Van Dyke Parks are among the many songs reflecting on the shock and awe campaign.
The US Department of Homeland Security announces that Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) has been placed on a government ‘no-fly’ list, and is not allowed to enter the USA.
Ghetto Gospel by 2Pac (aka Tupac Shakur) featuring Elton John enters the UK pop singles chart at No1.
Bono of U2 meets with US President George Bush over lunch at The White House, Washington, DC, to petition the President about the plight of the poor of the world.
Michael Jackson's 1983 Thriller video, directed by John Landis, is inducted for preservation in the 2009 National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in the USA.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange voluntarily attends a police station in England in response to a Swedish police request for questioning in relation to a sexual assault investigation. He is arrested and taken into custody, thus beginning a lengthy fight against extradition to Sweden. Folk band The Portraits will be inspired to write their 2012 song Backyard about the way in which the British Government treated Assange.
The New Deal play at The Congress Theater, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Erasure play the first of two nights at The Congress Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
It is reported that Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, is now offering a course entitled Politicizing Beyonce, in its Women And Gender Studies syllabus. Beyonce's husband, Jay-Z is already the subject of a course at Georgetown University, Washington DC.
In a letter published in The Times, Jarvis Cocker of Pulp, Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys, Pete Townshend of The Who and other British music stars call for the release of the three members of Russian band Pussy Riot who have been in jail since March for staging a protest gig against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Christ The Savior Cathedral, Moscow, Russia, Europe. The letter is timed to coincide with a visit to London by Putin.
Neil Young plays at The Conexus Arts Centre, Regina, Canada, during his four-city series of Honor The Treaties concerts, aimed at raising money for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) Legal Defense Fund. Support act on these shows is Diana Krall.
Roger Daltrey of The Who, Eliza Doolittle, Aled Jones, Harvey Goldsmith, Katherine Jenkins and others attend a 'creative industries' reception hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Whitehall, London, England, UK, Europe.
Run The Jewels play at Stage 48, New York City, USA.
Sting and Al Green are presented with Kennedy Center Honors at a gala ceremony in Washington DC, USA. During the event, four Al Green songs are performed (Can't Get Next to You / Love And Happiness by Earth, Wind and Fire; Simply Beautiful by Jennifer Hudson; Let's Stay Together by Usher and Take Me to the River by Mavis Staples and Sam Moore) and four Sting songs (If Ever I Lose My Faith in You by Lady Gaga, Fragile by Esperanza Spalding, I Hung My Head by Bruce Springsteen and So Lonely / Roxanne / Message in a Bottle by Bruno Mars.
John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen pay for several food trucks to go to Lincoln Square in New York City, USA, to provide free food for protesters demonstrating against the death of Eric Garner, racism and police brutality.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson performs a spoken version of Jessie J's Bang Bang live on the Capital Breakfast show in London, UK, to promote the New Year's Eve 2014 fireworks display in central London.
The Eagles Of Death Metal return to lay memorial wreaths outside The Bataclan theatre in Paris, France, Europe, following the terrorist attack at which ninety fans were killed.
Kylie Minogue and her British actor fiance Joshua Sasse announce that they will not marry until same-sex marriage has been legalised in Australia.
Electronic musician Moby reveals on Instagram that he has rejected an offer to provide music Donald Trump's inauguration ball. Well known to be a supporter of the Democrats, he once described Trump as an "actual sociopath" in a feature he wrote for Rolling Stone magazine.
When Stevie Wonder appears on The Tonight Show on tv in the USA, he uses the occasion to perform his classic songs Isn't She Lovely and My Cherie Amour, in honour of Michelle Obama, who is present in the studio. At the end of the songs, Wonder says, "We love you, we love you! And your husband too, of course."