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Christopher Columbus's expedition seeking a Western route from Europe to India, makes landfall in The Bahamas, thus accidentally discovering the 'new world' of North America. In 1936, Chu Berry and Andy Razaff will be inspired to write the song Christopher Columbus, which will be recorded by Fats Waller, Fletcher Henderson, Andy Kirk, Benny Goodman, The Ink Spots, Duke Ellington and many others. Adherents of the Rastafarian religion, however, see Columbus as an oppressor, thus the Burning Spear reggae song Christopher Columbus castigates the explorer for claiming to have discovered the West Indies when, in fact, they were already inhabited by the Arawak tribe. Another song inspired by Columbus is Christopho Columbo, performed by Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong in the 1951 movie Here Comes The Groom. The 1960 Jimmy Jones hit, Good Timin', also refers to Columbus' achievements, with the lines "Who in the world woulda ever known what Columbus could do, If Queen Isabella hadn't hawked her jewels in 1492".
Having recently defeated an English army at the Battle of Prestonpans, Bonnie Prince Charlie is crowned King of Scotland. Numerous songs have been inspired by Charlie's life and deeds, including Charlie Is My Darling, My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean, The Skye Boat Song and Will Ye No Come Back Again.
Thousands of spectators gather beside the Mississippi river in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, to await the arrival of the winner of "The Steamboat Race Of The Century" between The Robert E. Lee and The Natchez. The winner is the Robert E. Lee, and the event will inspire the 1912 song Waiting For The Robert E. Lee, which will become a popular standard, recorded by Dean Martin, Judy Garland, Al Jolson, Benny Goodman and many others.
Albert Snaer is born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. He will find success as a jazz trumpeter, working on riverboats on the Mississippi River in the 1920s. In a long career he will appear with the bands of Fate Marable, Dewey Jackson and George Augustin. With Augustin, he will co-lead The Moonlight Serenaders. He will also play in the Excelsior Brass Band before moving to New York City in 1928.
Collins And Harlan, a comedy duo specialising in 'coon songs', record On The Good Ship Whip-Poor-Will for Columbia Records in New York City, USA.
Country music singer and guitarist Ernest Stoneman records The Titanic and The Face That Never Returned at OKeh Recording Studio, 25 West 45th St., Manhattan, New York City, USA. Neither track is released.
Bluesman Richard 'Rabbit' Brown records The Sinking Of The Titanic, James Alley Blues, I'm Not Jealous, Never Let The Same Bee Sting You Twice, Mystery Of The Dunbar's Child and Great Northern Blues, supervised by Ralph Peer, for Victor Records in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Gil Robbins is born in Spokane, Washington, USA. He will become a singer, guitarist and songwriter with 1960s folk group The Highwaymen, whose recording of the Civil War anti-slavery song Michael [Row the Boat Ashore] will become an unexpected international pop hit in 1962.
Ambrose And His Orchestra record All Of Me, To Be Worthy Of You, He Played His Ukelele As The Ship Went Down Parts 1 And 2, You Try Somebody Else and Just Friends, at The Small Queen's Hall, London, UK, for HMV Records.
Billie Holiday And Her Orchestra record Me Myself And I, A Sailboat In The Moonlight, Born To Love and Without Your Love for Vocalion Records in New York City, USA.
Vincent Francis Guzzo, Jr. is born in Gretna, Louisiana, USA. He will find success as rock'n'roll singer Frankie Ford, whose biggest hit will be Sea Cruise in 1959.
US Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 is cut in half in a collision with the Japanese destroyer Amagiri, off Kolombangara, Solomon Islands, East of Papua, New Guinea, Oceania. The commander of the PT-109, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, will be awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his bravery in this action. Kennedy is also awarded the Purple Heart for injuries he sustained in the collision. He will, in due course, become the President of the United States Of America. The tale of PT-109 will inspire the 1961 country song PT-109 by Jimmy Dean, which will reach No8 on the Billboard pop music chart in the USA, and No3 on the country music chart.
The Empire Windrush arrives at Tilbury docks, London, England, UK, bringing with it almost 500 Jamaicans, along with a handful of Trinidadians, including the Trinidadian calypsonians Lord Kitchener and Lord Beginner. Calypso had arrived in the UK.
Popular singer Bob Scobey's Frisco Band records South, Chicago, Sailin' Down Chesapeake Bay and Melancholy for Good Time Jazz records in San Francisco, 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 Italy, 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 Japan, Asia.
Anne Shelton begins appearing in a new radio series, Pleasure Boat, on the BBC Light Programme, recorded in London, UK.
Bill Haley And The Comets arrive in the UK on board the liner Queen Elizabeth II at Southampton. A chartered train takes the band to Waterloo Station, London, where they are mobbed by fans for twenty minutes.
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Paul Barnes And His Polo Players record What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?, I Will Not Be Moved, SaySi Si, Slow Boat To China, Someday You'll Want Me and other tracks for Icon Records in the USA.
The Kingston Trio record Oh Sail Away for Capitol Records in Los Angeles, California, USA.
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 play a lunchtime session at The Cavern Club, Liverpool, UK, followed by another Riverboat Shuffle, sailing down The Mersey.
The Soul Agents play at The Riverboat Shuffle, Bournemouth, Dorset, UK.
John Coltrane records his album Sun Ship, at RCA Studios, New York City, USA. It will not be released until 1971 after his death.
UK postmaster General Tony Benn tells the House Of Commons in London that legislation will shortly be introduced to deal with the 'problem' of offshore pirate radio broadcasters.
Pirate radio ship Radio London becomes the first station to broadcast the newly-released record A Whiter Shade Of Pale by Procol Harum.
UK pirate radio station, Radio Caroline, is towed away by a Dutch salvage company, Wijsmuller Transport, from its mooring to Amsterdam, to secure unpaid bills for servicing.
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The Penny Peeps play at Nottingham Boat Club, Nottingham, England, UK, Europe.
Ringo Starr of The Beatles with his wife Maureen and the actor Peter Sellers, sails for New York City, USA, aboard the S.S.Queen Elizabeth II.
As Bob Dylan is about to leave New York aboard the QE2, to headline the Isle Of Wight Festival, his son Jesse injures his head and Dylan rushes to hospital with him.
Cado Belle play at The Boat Club, Nottingham, UK.
Def Leppard play at The Boat Club, Nottingham, England, UK, Europe.
Billy Joel marries Christie Brinkley aboard the 147-foot boat Riveranda in New York City harbour. The boat is covered with one thousand white tulips
The Moody Blues play a live show aboard a sightseeing tour boat circling the Statue of Liberty in New York City harbour.
The Moody Blues play a live show aboard a sightseeing tour boat circling the Statue of Liberty in New York City harbour.
Peter Murphy plays at The Boathouse, Norfolk, Virginia, USA, supported by Nine Inch Nails.
At a marathon fund-raising event [for the Red Cross hurricane-relief fund] in The Boat, a nightclub in Kensington Market, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a relay of DJs play just one song, Ace Of Spades by Motorhead continuously for six hours, notching up a total of 128 consecutive plays of the same track.
Noah And The Whale play at Thekla, Bristol, England, UK, Europe.
Gil Robbins, singer, guitarist and songwriter of 1960s folk group The Highwaymen, dies aged 80 of prostate cancer, at his home in Esteban Cantu, Mexico. His group's recording of the Civil War anti-slavery song Michael [Row the Boat Ashore] became an unexpected international pop hit in 1962.
The heavy metal cruise known as the 70,000 Tons Of Metal Festival, sets sail from Miami, Florida, USA. Artists appearing aboard the ship, The Majesty Of The Seas, over the next five days will include Amorphis, Exciter, Cannibal Corpse, Atheist, Stratovarius, Venom, Children Of Bodom, Crowbar, Nightwish and Hammerfall.
Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend and James Murphy [formerly of LCD Soundsystem] are among the guests attending the SKYY Vodka at Sea Governors Ball Kick Off Party aboard a yacht in New York City, USA.
Anathema play at The Thekla, Bristol, England, UK.
Sting's $15m musical The Last Ship opens at the Neil Simon Theatre on Broadway, New York City, USA. Celebrities attending the opening include Liam Neeson, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Debbie Harry, Edie Falco, Patti Scialfa and director Barry Levinson.
On its second day, Sting's $15m musical The Last Ship takes only $100,000 at the Neil Simon Theatre on Broadway, New York City, USA. It requires to take twice that amount each day to remain viable.
With his $15m musical The Last Ship failing to break even at the Neil Simon Theatre on Broadway, New York City, USA, Sting takes over the role of shipyard foreman Jackie White from Jimmy Nail.
Yacht play at Oslo, London, England, UK.
Thirty-six people die in a fire during a do-it-yourself party at the Ghost Ship Warehouse, Oakland, California, USA. The warehouse is hosting a concert featuring artists from the house music record label 100% Silk. Among the dead is musician Joey Casio.
Phish play the last of four nights at Madison Square Garden, New York City, USA. At 11.30pm, having already performed for three hours, they begin a performance of Petrichor, a track from their latest album, Big Boat, accompanied by choreographed dancers, sixteen kinetic LED umbrellas floating above the stage and synthetic rain, made of small crystals, falling from the ceiling of The Garden. On the stroke of midnight, they wish their fans a Happy New Year by unleashing a host of confetti and cat and dog balloons.