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After several setbacks, The Pilgrim Fathers set sail from Plymouth, England, UK, Europe, on the Mayflower, hoping to find an escape from religious persecution across the Atlantic Ocean in America. This epic adventure will inspire the song Sailing Time on the 2020 album A Pilgrim's Tale by Seth Lakeman, which tells the story of the Mayflower's journey.
The SS Great Eastern, designed by legendary engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is launched on the River Thames, London, England, UK, Europe. The largest ship ever built, it was designed to be able able to circumnavigate the globe carrying four thousand passengers without refueling. The song Oh Wot A Big One! (1975) by Jonathan Hodge, tells the story of The SS Great Eastern.
The Shipping Forecast begins as a series of telegraph messages sent to harbour towns around the United Kingdom to warn of impending storms. From 1924 it will be broadcast daily on BBC radio. The forecast will inspire many musicians, including Tears For Fears (Pharaohs), Thomas Dolby (Windpower), Radiohead, Blur, Beck, The Prodigy, Jethro Tull and Manfred Mann, to incorporate audio samples of the forecast or lyrics based on the forecast into their songs.
Popular songwriter Richard A. Whiting is born in Peoria, Illinois, USA. His best-known songs will include Hooray for Hollywood, Ain't We Got Fun? and On the Good Ship Lollipop.
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.
The Monumental Orchestra provides musical entertainment for a Grand Old Time Family excursion to Glymont, Maryland, USA, aboard the Palace Steamer Jane Mosely.
The 48-mile long Panama Canal, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is opened, in Panama, Central America. It will become a key conduit for the international maritime trade. The canal will inspire references in numerous songs (by J Church, Tempest, Redman, Rakim, Ookla The Mok, Bishop Allen and others) but perhaps the most memorable is The Panama Canal by Animaniacs.
Anita Rio records The Slumber Boat and Four-Leaf Clover for Victor 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.
Influential Latin music star Billo Frometa And His Orchestra sail from Dominica to Venezuela to accept the residency at the Roof Garden of The Hotel Madrid in Caracas.
Popular songwriter Richard A. Whiting dies, aged 46, from a heart attack in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA. His best-known songs included Hooray for Hollywood, Ain't We Got Fun? and On the Good Ship Lollipop.
The USS Reuben James is torpedoed and sunk by a German U-Boat near Iceland, Europe, with the loss of almost 100 crew members. The incident will inspire Woody Guthrie to write the song The Sinking of the Reuben James which will be released in 1942, and will be covered by The Weavers, Johnny Horton, The Kingston Trio, Country Joe McDonald and many others.
The Imperial Japanese Navy launches a surprise military strike against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, USA. The attack will lead to the United States' entry into World War II, and it will also inspire the 1942 Frank Loesser song Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition. (More specifically, the inspiration came from an apocryphal tale about a chaplain at Pearl Harbour who manned a gun turret while uttering what would become the song's title phrase).
UK weekly music paper Melody Maker carries the front page news that Duke Ellington And His Orchestra are on their way by boat from the USA to the UK.
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.
The Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra (TASPO) sails on the SS San Mateo from Trinidad, Caribbean, headed for England. Later in the month, they will perform at The South Bank Exhibition, London, UK. This is considered to have been the first exposure of white Britons to steel band music in a live context. By the end of the year, steel band music will have become hugely popular in the UK.
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 Argentina, South America.
Composer, conductor, orchestrator, and arranger, Will Vodery dies aged 67 in Farmingdale, New York State, USA. Vodery was one of the few black Americans of his time to make a name for himself as a composer on Broadway, but is best-known for the vocal and choral arrangements he created for the original Broadway stage production of the 1927 classic musical Show Boat.
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.
Anne Shelton begins appearing in a new radio series, Pleasure Boat, on the BBC Light Programme, recorded in London, UK.
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.
The transatlantic liner Andrea Doria sinks after colliding with the Swedish vessel Stockholm in fog near Nantucket Island off the coast of Massachusetts, USA. On board the Andrea Doria is songwriter Mike Stoller of the famed Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller songwriting and record production partnership. Rescued by a freighter, he is taken to New York City, USA.
The Kingston Trio record Oh Sail Away for Capitol Records in Los Angeles, California, USA.
The Jimmy Smith Quintet records Pork Chop, When My Dream Boat Comes Home, Can Heat, Trust In me and other tracks for Blue Note Records in Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA.
The Rolling Stones play on a stand beside a boating pond at the News Of The World Charity Gala at the opening of Battersea Park Pleasure Grounds, London, England, UK, Europe. Also attending the event are >Acker Bilk, Alma Cogan, Shane Fenton, Tommy Bruce and Jess Conrad.
Bill Justis, working with producer Shelby Singleton, records Gotta Travel On, Michael Row The Boat Ashore, Kisses Sweeter Than Wine and other tracks in Columbia Recording Studio, 804 16th Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
The yacht Potomac, formerly owned by president Franklin D. Roosevelt of the USA, is bought for $55,000 by Elvis Presley.
The Soul Agents play at The Riverboat Shuffle, Bournemouth, Dorset, UK.
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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Chris Farlowe plays at The Boat, Nottingham, England, UK, Europe
The Frank Sinatra movie Assault On A Queen is released to cinemas in the USA. The movie soundtrack is played by Duke Ellington.
Pirate radio ship Radio London becomes the first station to broadcast the newly-released record A Whiter Shade Of Pale by Procol Harum.
Ringo Starr of The Beatles records a farewell message for UK pirate radio station Radio London, at their premises in Curzon Street, London, England, UK, Europe. Like all pirates, the station is shortly to be forced to cease broadcasting.
Freddie Mack plays at The Ship And Rainbow, Wolverhampton, England, UK, Europe.
Robert Plant plays at Three Men In A Boat, Walsall, West Midlands, England, UK, Europe.
The Marmalade play on a 'beat cruise', setting sail from Portsmouth, England, UK, Europe.
Philip Elwood of the San Francisco Examiner attends a show by the band Steel Mill at The Matrix, San Francisco, California, USA. Elwood's review will describe the group as "the first big thing that's happened to Asbury Park since the good ship Morro Castle burned to the waterline off that Jersey beach in '34." The band includes a young guitarist/songwriter, Bruce Springsteen, who will go on to greater things.
Jazz musician Joe Silmon comes to the end of playing his flute non-stop for 48 hours under water aboard the British submarine HMS Grampus at Gosport, UK. This feat earns him an entry in the Guinness Book Of World Records.
Buddy Guy plays on the Budweiser Music Cruise, from Pier 81, New York City, USA.
Mark Knopfler begins his 80-concert Sailing To Philadelphia Tour with the first of two nights at the National Auditorium, Mexico City, Mexico, North America.
The MV Tampa, carrying over 400 distressed Indonesians, including women and children in various states of health and stress, who had been rescued from a sinking boat, is refused permission to land on the Australian territory of Christmas Island. According to a subsequent poll, 77% of Australians expressed support for their government's stance. The MV Tampa incident will become a global scandal, and is recorded in the song 77% by Australian band The Herd.
During a break in her tour schedule, Taylor Swift goes on a motor-yacht trip around Sydney Harbour, Sydney, Australia.
Tinie Tempah flies out to join Rihanna for a night of partying aboard her yacht moored off Portofino, Italy, Europe.
Cloud Boat release their second album, Model Of You, on Apollo / R&S Records in the USA.
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.
Long lens papparazzi photographs appear to show Halsey snorting an unidentified drug onboard a yacht off the coast of Miami, Florida, USA. Halsey's boyfriend, the rapper G-Eazy, later says he doesn't know what the mystery substance was.
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On the Shiprocked tour, Black Label Society, Palisades, Starset, Stone Sour and The Stowaways play at Carnival Liberty, Port Canaveral, Florida, USA.
On the third day of the 70,000 Tons Of Metal cruise, Aeternam, Amberian Dawn, Battle Beast, Belphegor, Benediction, Beyond Creation, Cannibal Corpse, Die Apokalyptischen Reiter, Evergrey, Evertale, Exodus, Freedom Call, GYZE, Goatwhore, Insomnium, Korpiklaani, Masterplan, Meshuggah, Obscura, October Tide, Psychostick, Sepultura, Seven Spires, Sinister, Sirenia, Sonata Arctica, Triosphere, Witchery and Wolfheart play aboard the Independence of the Seas, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.