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French forces under Napoleon defeat Russian forces commanded by General Mikhail Kutuzov, with the loss of up to 100,000 soldiers, at The Battle Of Borodino, Borodino, to the west of Moscow. The battle will inspire Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture which depicts the military action in music. The triumphant main theme from the 1812 Overture will, in its turn, inspire the opening guitar riff for the 1966 hit single Night Of Fear by The Move.
Wenseslao Moguel is captured while fighting in the Mexican revolution. Without trial he is sentenced to be executed by firing squad and is shot nine times including a final bullet through his head at close range by an officer to ensure death. Nevertheless, miraculously, Moguel survives and manages to escape. His story will inspire the 2008 song El Fusilado by Chumbawamba.
Songwriter George M. Cohan reads a newspaper headline announcing that the United States of America has declared war on Germany. The story strikes a chord with Cohan who begins humming a tune which he completes by the end of the day. Cohan calls it Over There, and it will become a huge success, selling over two million copies by the end of the war.
Small-time crook Harry Snodgrass is sentenced to three years in Missouri State Penitentiary following a botched attempt to hold up a confectioner's shop in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. When prison officials learn he can play piano, Snodgrass is allowed to join the prison band, described by the Chicago Tribune as 'twenty-eight thugs convicted of crimes ranging from embezzlement to burglary to murder.' The band broadcasts from the studio of Radio station WOS located beneath the Capitol Building in Jefferson City, Missouri, and Snodgrass becomes exceptionally popular. After leaving prison, he will record for Brunswick Records, billed as 'King Of The Ivories'.
After a life of crime including numerous murders, Public Enemy No1 Pretty Boy Floyd is shot dead, aged 30, by police officers in East Liverpool, Ohio, USA. Floyd's life is romanicised in the 1939 Woody Guthrie song Pretty Boy Floyd, which has since been recorded in numerous versions by artists including Bob Dylan and The Byrds.
Popular Algerian singer and orchestra leader Khelifa Belkacem is shot dead aged 44 after a brawl in the Casbah near his home in Algiers, Algeria, Africa.
A riot breaks out during a Fats Domino show in the Sportatorium, Dallas, Texas, USA.
Members of the Lumbee Native American tribe break up a rally of racist KKK (Ku Klux Klan) members at Maxton Field, North Carolina, USA. Later in the year, this clash of cultures will inspire the song The Battle Of Maxton Field by prolific songwriter Malvina Reynolds.
Ray Charles and His Orchestra play at The National Guard Armory, Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA. During the show, a soldier is shot dead by a rival on the dance floor.
During an appearance by jazz saxophonist Zoot Sims at Ronnie Scott's Club in London, England, UK, Europe, a smoke bomb is thrown into the venue, necessitating the clearing of the room.
In his apartment on Fourth Street, New York City, USA, after watching a tv documentary about a convicted murderer, Bob Dylan is inspired to compose the song The Ballad Of Donald White.
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Gene Pitney enters the Billboard Singles Chart in the USA with the Burt Bacharach/Hal David song (The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance. It will become his first Top Five hit, peaking at No4.
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Pete Best fans shout rowdy support for the sacked drummer when Ringo Starr drums with The Beatles at The Cavern Club, Liverpool, UK. Also on the bill are The Swinging Blue Genes [later to become The Swinging Blue Jeans].
Four thousand fans riot in Miami Airport, Florida, USA, breaking down doors, smashing windows and trampling police officers, when The Beatles' touch down, hoping for a brief break in their hectic tour schedule.
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Seventy-six arrests are made when gangs of mods and rockers - Britain's two major youth factions - clash in two seaside towns, Margate and Brighton, in the UK.
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Two girls have their clothes ripped off during scenes of hooliganism at a Rolling Stones show in The Kurhaus, Scheveningen, The Hague, Holland, Europe.
Six hundred civil rights marchers in Selma, Alabama, USA, are attacked by state and local police with billy clubs and tear gas. Seventeen marchers are hospitalized and this incident will live on in infamy as Bloody Sunday. It will also provide the inspiration for the line "Take a look around, to Selma, Alabama" in the apocalyptic No1 hit single Eve Of Destruction by Barry McGuire.
The Talismen release their version of the Bob Dylan song Masters Of War in the UK on Stateside Records.
The Beach Boys, The Kinks, Jan And Dean, Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs and Ian Whitcomb play in Seattle, Washington, USA. When Jan Berry of Jan And Dean is refused entrance to the venue by a security man who does not recognise him, Berry hits him.
Barry McGuire, formerly of the New Christy Minstrels, releases a new single, Eve Of Destruction, on Dunhill Records in the USA.
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The Small Faces play at the Market Hall, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, UK.
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Jr Walker And The All Stars play at the California Ballroom, Dunstable, and also at The Metro, Brighton, UK.
The Royal Guardsmen perform Snoopy vs. The Red Baron in a specially-filmed sequence on the tv special Fabulous Funnies in the USA. The Monkees-like film of the band had been shot some weeks earlier at an airfield in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA.
John Lee Hooker records I Don't Wanna Go To Vietnam, Messin' Round With The Blues and Hold On Baby, at Vault Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California, USA. Earl Hooker plays guitar on these tracks.
ABC by the Jackson 5, featuring Michael Jackson, enters the UK pop singles chart where it will peak at No8 during an eleven-week run.
When Led Zeppelin play in Vigorelli Stadium, Milan, Italy, Europe, the show is abandoned because of a riot.
The hit single Backstabbers by The O'Jays is awarded a Gold Disc in the USA by the R.I.A.A.
S.A.H.B. [The Sensational Alex Harvey Band without Alex Harvey] play at Queensway Civic Hall, Dunstable, UK, supported by Bandit.
Now being managed by notorious rock entrepreneur Don Arden's daughter Sharon, Ozzy Osbourne releases the Blizzard of Ozz album. On the same day, at McNichols Arena, Denver, Colorado, USA, Van Halen are horrified to discover that their concert rider has not been met. They have specified that all backstage meals must be accompanied by M+Ms, excluding the brown ones. Naturally, the band trashes the facilities, causing over $10,000 worth of damage.
Argentina surrenders The Falkland Islands to an invading British Force, bringing The Falklands War to an end. Many songs will be written about this conflict, widely believed to be unjust, among them How Does It Feel To Be The Mother Of 1000 Dead by British anarcho-punk band Crass.
In Manhattan Supreme Court in New York City, USA, Gail Collins, wife of Felix Pappalardi of heavy rock band Mountain is found guilty of shooting him dead. Her initial charge of 2nd Degree murder is reduced to criminally negligent homicide and she is sentenced to four years in jail.
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After years of drug problems, jazz guitarist Lenny Breau is found dead in a swimming pool at his apartment complex in Los Angeles, California, USA. Breau's death is first assumed to be an accident but a coroner's report he had been strangled. No-one is ever charged and the case remains unsolved.
Trans World Airlines Flight TWA847 from Cairo, Africa, to San Diego, California, USA, is hijacked by members of Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad shortly after take off. Among the passengers is internationally successful singing star Demis Roussos.
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A memorial concert for the recently deceased Jeff Porcaro, drummer of Toto, is held at the Universal Amphitheater, Los Angeles, California, USA. An all-star lineup includes Don Henley, Michael McDonald, George Harrison, David Crosby, Eddie Van Halen, Boz Scaggs, Donald Fagen and the surviving members of Toto. The proceeds of the concert are used to establish an educational trust fund for Porcaro's sons.
The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonates two bombs in the town centre of Warrington, Cheshire, UK. The blasts kills two children: three-year-old Johnathan Ball dies instantly, and twelve-year-old Tim Parry will die five days later in hospital. Around 56 other people are injured, four seriously. The song Zombie by The Cranberries is a reaction to this horrific atrocity.
Rapper Tupac Shakur is shot four times in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, while leaving the MGM Grand hotel, after seeing the Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon boxing match, in what is apparently a drive-by shooting.
Popular singer Joni James marries retired Air Force General Bernard Adolph Schriever, twenty years her senior, and leader of the crash program that had developed U.S. ballistic missiles — both ICBMs and IRBMs.
At Isleworth Crown Court, London, England, UK, Peter Buck of R.E.M., is cleared of year-old charges of 'air rage'.
In the Superior Court, Long Beach, California, USA, Rapper Tray Deee, founder of Tha Eastsidaz with rappers Snoop Dogg and Goldie Loc, is sentenced to twelve years in prison after pleading no contest to charges arising from a 2003 shooting incident during which he fired at an occupied vehicle.
Eight years after the murder of rapper The Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls, the FBI closes its 18-month long investigation into the case. The investigation had been looking into allegations that a Los Angeles police officer and Death Row Records founder Suge Knight, plotted the murder. The case is being closed, says the head of the FBI’s Los Angeles office because there is no basis on which to prosecute.
Bill Fuller, a management and promotions entrepreneur, dies aged 91 in St. John's Hospital, Santa Monica, California, USA, after suffering a heart attack. Bill Fuller's stable of clients included Joe Loss, Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash, and he established the Electric Ballroom in Camden, London, UK, as a top rock music venue.
Rapper Drake is forced to cut short his show after a man is shot in the buttocks during his gig at the House of Blues, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Fourteen people are arrested when fighting breaks out in the crowd at an Oasis gig in Ricoh Arena, Coventry, England, UK.
Music executive John Atterberry who worked on albums by the Spice Girls and Jessica Simpson, dies in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA. Atterberry had been shot the previous Friday in an apparently random attack as he drove his Mercedes-Benz near Vine Street and Sunset Boulevard.
The Neil Diamond song Sweet Caroline is played immediately before the start of the Hamburg Marathon in Hamburg, Germany, Europe, as a gesture of solidarity with victims of the recent Boston Marathon bombings. Diamond's 1969 song has been played at every Boston Red Sox game in Fenway Park since 2002.
Trace Adkins enters a treatment facility for alcohol rehab after becoming embroiled in a fight with a Trace Adkins impersonator during a country music cruise.
It is revealed that Skinny Puppy, an industrial rock group from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has invoiced the United States Military in the amount of $666,000 for having used the band's music during the interrogation of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.
A Florida, USA, judge convicts Michael Dunn on four charges related to his shooting into an SUV full of African-American teenagers in Jacksonville, Florida, but does not decide on the most serious charge — the murder of Jordan Davis, an occupant of the car. The shooting was related to an argument over loud music.
Muse release their seventh album Drones on Warner Bros. Records in Japan, Norway and Sweden.
Brinsley Forde, 61-year-old ex-lead singer of Aswad, is arrested in connection with allegations by Jemma Payne, mother of his two-year-old son, that he recently attacked her in her home in South London, England, UK.