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George D. Smith of Buffalo, New York State, USA, is awarded Patent No. US700986A, in respect of his invention of an improved type of kazoo. This is the first submarine-shaped kazoo and also the first metal kazoo.
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.
Mamie Smith records Crazy Blues and It's Right Here For You, If You Don't Get It, 'Tain't No Fault of Mine, for Okeh Records in New York City, USA. These are the first recordings of vocal blues by an African American singer - arguably the first blues recordings - and Crazy Blues will become an explosive best seller, selling a million copies in one year.
Jimmy Yancey records Cryin' In My Sleep, Death Letter Blues, Yancey's Bugle Call and 35th And Dearborn for Victor Records in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
A three-year-old girl named Kathy Fiscus falls into an abandoned well and, despite rescue attemps, dies of suffocation in San Marino, California, USA. Within ten days Jimmie Osborne will be inspired to write and recorded the song The Death Of Little Kathy Fiscus in the style of the classic 'event ballads' of the 1920's. It was Osborne's 5th single release and within eight months it sold over a million copies.
Sun Records of Memphis, Tennessee, USA, releases That's All Right/Blue Moon Of Kentucky on SUN209 as Elvis Presley's first single.
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Elvis Presley is in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA, re-shooting the ending of Wild In The Country, because pre-release screening audiences did not like the original ending in which Hope Lange committed suicide.
Nina Simone, Odetta, Lionel Hampton, Brock Peters, local Atilogu dancers and Natalie Hinderas perform at the American Society of African Culture (AMSAC) Festival in the King George V Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria, Africa. This is the first AMSAC event to be held on African soil.
World Welterweight Boxing Champion Benny 'Kid' Paret is so seriously injured in a championship fight in Madison Square Garden, New York City, USA, against challenger Emile Griffith III that he is taken to hospital. He will die ten days later at Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan from massive brain hemorrhaging. The grim circumstances of his death will inspire folk singer Gil Turner to compose the song Benny 'Kid' Paret, which he will record later in the year.
Bob Dylan begins recording sessions for his second album, Freewheelin', at Columbia Records Studio, New York City, USA. On this day he records Corinna Corinna, The Death Of Emmett Till, Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues and other tracks.
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Stock car racer Edward Glenn "Fireball" Roberts Jr. dies aged 35 from burns sustained in a recent crash at the World 600 in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. His death will inspire the 1975 hit Fireball Rolled A Seven by Dave Dudley.
After strangling his mother to death and stabbing his wife, engineering student and former US Marine Charles Whitman kills fourteen people and wounds 32 others during a random shooting spree from the top of a tower at The University Of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA. The incident will inspire Harry Chapin to write his 1972 song Sniper. Other songs referring to Whitman include Psycho by Leon Payne, Down There By The Train by Tom Waits, The Ballad of Charles Whitman by Kinky Friedman and The Tower by Insane Clown Posse.
Country music star Moon Mullican dies of a heart attack, aged 57, in Beaumont, Texas, USA.
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Having consumed some seconals and alcohol, Beat Generation icon Neal Cassady, an associate of The Grateful Dead, sets off from San Miguel de Allende in Mexico to walk fifteen miles to Celaya, along the railroad tracks in driving rain. He will be found in a coma the next morning, and will die the following day. His life and death will inspire several songs including Jack And Neal (1977) by Tom Waits, Styrofoam Plates (2001) by Death Cab For Cutie, Neal Cassady Drops Dead (2014) by Morrissey, Neal Cassady (1989) by The Washington Squares.
Rosemary Clooney is playing during an engagement at Harold's Club, Reno, Nevada, USA. However, she is seriously dependent on pills and will walk out of the club before many days have passed. At some point in this residency, she will also drive her white Cadillac Eldorado up the wrong side of a winding, two-lane mountain road, hoping in her deteriorating mental state, to test God's love. If He lets her survive after courting death from Reno to Lake Tahoe, it will mean that He loves her. She survives.
Led Zeppelin are playing at Salem Armoury Auditorium, Salem, Oregon, USA. This is the most significant rock gig of this day, heralding the birth of heavy metal music which will flourish as 1969 proceeds.
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While attempting to escape from San Quentin Prison in California, USA, militant Black Panther George Jackson is shot dead by prison guards. Jackson's life and death will inspire the song George Jackson by Bob Dylan.
Elvis Presley collapses while sitting on his toilet in Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, after ingesting a cocktail of drugs including Morphine, Demerol, Chloropheniramine, Placidyl, Valium, Codeine, Ethinamate, Quaaludes and an unidentified barbiturate. He dies later in the day at the Baptist Memorial Hospital.
His death will inspire numerous songs including Elvis Ain't Dead by Scouting For Girls, Elvis Is Dead by Peter And The Test Tube Babies, Elvis Is Dead by Living Colour, Dead Elvis by The Doug Anthony All Stars, Dead Elvis by Michael Daugherty and The Day Elvis Died by Boxcar Willie.
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Anti-apartheid campaigner Steve Biko dies shortly after arrival at Pretoria prison, Pretoria, South Africa. Police claim his death was caused by an extended hunger strike, but the autopsy will reveal that he died because of a brain hemorrhage resulting from massive injuries to the head while in police custody. Peter Gabriel and the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest will each write songs inspired by Biko's life and death.
Californian teenager John McCollum commits suicide while listening to the Ozzy Osbourne song Suicide Solution. His parents will later sue Osbourne.
In Reno, Nevada, USA, after listening to the Judas Priest album Stained Class, heavy metal fans Raymond Belknap and Jay Vance attempt suicide with a sawn-off shotgun. Belknap dies instantly. Vance survives but is horribly disfigured.
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A California appeals court upholds the decision to dismiss the lawsuit brought against Ozzy Osbourne by the parents of Jack McCollum, a young man who had killed himself while listening to Ozzy's song Suicide Solution.
Puerto Rican singer, trovador, and composer Ramito, often described as the king of Jíbaro music, commits suicide by shooting himself in his in-law's house, after learning that a cancer he is suffering has metastasized.
Jeremy Wade Delle, a student at Richardson High School, 1250 W. Belt Line Road, Dallas, Texas, USA, shoots himself in the head in front of his classmates. His tragic death will become the subject of the 1992 song Jeremy by Pearl Jam.
The United States Supreme Court upholds rulings that the first amendment protects Ozzy Osbourne against lawsuits alleging that his music encouraged suicide. This decision relates back to the lawsuit brought against Ozzy Osbourne by the parents of 19-year old John McCollum, a young man who had committed suicide after listening to Ozzy's song Suicide Solution.
Mia Zapata, lead singer for Seattle-based punk band The Gits is beaten, strangled and possibly raped, in the Central District of Seattle, Washington, USA. The Seattle music community, including its most famous bands - Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden - will help raise $70,000 to hire a private investigator for three years, but no killer is ever identified.
Seriously alcoholic Doug Hopkins, guitarist and songwriter of The Gin Blossoms, commits suicide by shooting himself in the head with a .38-cal. special pistol on the bed of his apartment in Tempe, Arizona, USA.
Alan Vega of pioneering electro-punk duo Suicide dies in his sleep, aged 72, in New York City, USA.
Billy Mackenzie of The Associates commits suicide by overdosing on a combination of paracetamol and prescription medication in the garden shed of his father's house in Auchterhouse, Scotland, UK, Europe. Depression and the death of his mother are believed to have been contributing factors. At least two songs will be inspired by MacKenzie, including Cut Here (2001) by The Cure and Say (1999) by The Creatures.
Christopher George Latore Wallace, best known as rapper The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, is shot dead in a drive-by killing in Los Angeles, California, USA. His death will inspire Puff Daddy to write the song I'll Be Missing You, which draws much of its musical inspiration from Every Breath You Take by The Police.
Wes Berggren, guitarist and founding member of Tripping Daisy, is found dead of a drug overdose in his apartment in Dallas, Texas, USA. Traces of cocaine, propoxyphene, and benzodiazepine are found in his body. After his death, the group will disband.
It is announced that the Country Cow Creamery in New Jersey, USA, will be producing the ice cream flavors Ozzy's Carnivorous Carrot Cake and Death By Sharon in honour of Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon.
Innovative rock guitarist Robert Quine dies aged 61 in New York City, USA. Depressed by the death of his wife, Alice, he deliberately takes an overdose of heroin at his New York City apartment. Quine worked with Richard Hell, Lou Reed, Brian Eno, Tom Waits and many others.
Damien Patrick Holland, the son of R'n'B vocalist Chaka Khan surrenders to police in Los Angeles, California, USA, after he learns that prosecutors have charged him with murder in the shooting death of a 17-year-old boy.
The Ordinary Boys release a new single, Life Will Be The Death Of Me, on b-unique Records in the UK.
Actor Mark Lester, a close friend of Michael Jackson, claims in a News Of The World interview that he was the sperm-donor responsible for the birth of Jackson's daughter Paris.
The American Film Institute recognizes Michael Jackson's passing as a "moment of significance" saying, "Michael Jackson's sudden death in June at age 50 was notable for the worldwide outpouring of grief and the unprecedented global eulogy of his posthumous concert rehearsal movie This Is It.".
Multiple Grammy-winning singer Amy Winehouse is found dead at her flat in Camden, London, England, UK. The 2012 song Amy by Green Day will be inspired by Billie Joe Armstrong hearing of Winehouse's death.
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During the Earth Is On Hell tour, Anthrax, Death Angel and Testament play at Piere's Entertainment Center, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA.
Just days after the death of David Bowie, his 1972 single Starman re-enters the Official UK Singles Chart at No1. Also, his latest album, Blackstar, debuts at No1 with combined sales approaching 150,000, giving him his tenth chart-topping record and the fastest-selling album of the year so far.
Serve The People! Serve The Rock! China's Post-Cultural Revolution Yaogun, is held in New York City, USA. The event is an exhibition celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the birth of Chinese rock music.
Signe Toly Anderson, the original vocalist for Jefferson Airplane, dies at her home in Beaverton, Oregon, USA, aged 74, having suffered chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for some while. Her death comes on the same day as former bandmate Paul Kantner.
73-year-old Rolling Stones' singer Mick Jagger becomes a father for the eighth time when 29-year-old Melani e Hamrick, give birth to a baby boy. Jagger is at the hospital for the birth in New York City, USA.
A statistical report by data analytics engineer Jason Crease confirms that, as widely believed, 2016 included an unusually high number of celebrity deaths. According to Crease's figures the number of celebrity deaths in 2016 is likely to occur only once in every 200 years.
In Manhattan, New York City, USA, Paul McCartney files a federal lawsuit against music publisher Sony/ATV to "confirm his ownership" of 267 songs by The Beatles. He has been trying to get these rights back since the 1980s, when Michael Jackson famously out-bid him for the rights. However, Jackson's debt-ridden estate subsequently sold the songs to Sony.
Guitarist Deke Leonard, who played with Man and Iceberg, dies aged 72. No cause of death is given.
Mike Shinoda releases his second solo project, the three-track EP, Post Traumatic, whose songs focus on Shinoda's feelings after the death by suicide of his Linkin Park colleague and longtime friend Chester Bennington, on July 20, 2017.
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Roky Erickson, best-known as leader of the 60s psychedelic band The 13th Floor Elevators, dies aged 71 in Austin, Texas, USA. No cause of death is released at this time.
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Hilton Valentine, best-known as the guitarist of 60s band The Animals, dies aged 77, in Connecticut, USA. No cause of his death is released.