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Acclaimed and innovative jazz cornet player Emmett Hardy dies in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, of tuberculosis just four days after his 22nd birthday.
Maurice Ravel, composer of Bolero, dies in hospital in Paris, France, Europe. The cause of his death is uncertain but experts have variously suggested frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer's disease and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. Numerous popular songs have taken inspiration from the idea of the Bolero rhythm, including Running Scared by Roy Orbison, Beck's Bolero by Jeff Beck and White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane.
Grammy Award-winning country music singer-songwriter Guy Clark, is born in Monahans, Texas, USA.
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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Ricky Valance's death disc, Tell Laura I Love Her, reaches No1 in the UK pop singles chart, making Valance the first Welsh male vocalist to reach No1 in the UK. The song is a cover version of an American hit by Ray Peterson.
Elvis Presley is recalled to Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA, to re-shoot the ending of Wild In The Country, because pre-release screening audiences did not like the original ending in which Hope Lange committed suicide.
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.
Folk musician Pete Seeger, under indictment for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955, states to a press conference in New York City, USA, that he will continue to refuse "to answer questions as to my associations, my philosophy or religious beliefs, or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs."
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Wealthy twenty-four year old tobacco farm owner Billy Zantzinger arrives, somewhat drunk, at the Spinsters Ball in the Emerson Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. After causing various disturbances, including a fist fight with another guest, Zantzinger, demands a drink from black bartender Hattie Carroll. Carroll is busy serving another guest, so Zantzinger calls her racist names and strikes her with his cane, from which she dies soon after. Zantzinger is arrested, but gets off with a minor sentence. Bob Dylan, inspired by this story, will write his song The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll.
Professional boxer Davey Moore dies as a result of inoperable brain damage at White Memorial Hospital, New York City, USA. The damage was inflicted in a featherweight championship fight four days earlier against Cuban Sugar Ramos in Dodgers Stadium. Moore's death will inspire the 1964 Bob Dylan song Who Killed Davey Moore, and also Davey Moore by Phil Ochs, which is even more scathingly critical of the boxing hierarchy.
The Case Of The Lover's Leap, an episode of the tv detective series Perry Mason, airs for the first time in the USA. The show centres on a murderer who fakes his own suicide in order to escape justice and, years later, it will inspire Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy to write the song Suicide.
While Sam And Dave are in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, to play a gig, a bomb placed by the Ku Klux Klan blows apart the 16th Street Baptist Church, killing four black schoolgirls. In 1964, Joan Baez will record Birmingham Sunday, written by Richard Farina, about the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. The song will play a key role in the eventual prosecution of the bombers. The incident will also inspire Nina Simone to write her first civil rights song, Mississippi Goddam, because she "suddenly realised what it was to be black in America in 1963." John Coltrane will record his eulogy, Alabama, two months after the event.
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Roger Alan Painter is born in Pomona, California, USA. He will find success as musician, poet, artist, and performance artist Rozz Williams, best-known for his work with the bands Christian Death, Shadow Project (with musician Eva O), and with the industrial project Premature Ejaculation.
The assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, USA, inspired almost as many songs as it did conspiracy theories. Among the most memorable are He Was A Friend Of Mine by The Byrds [and others], Abraham, Martin And John by Marvin Gaye [and others], Dallas 1pm by Saxon and November 22nd 1963 by Destroy All Monsters. And let's not forget JAMES DOTSON - A Tragedy In Dallas, THE JUSTICE BROTHERS - The Tragedy Of John F. Kennedy, THE SOUTHERN GOSPEL BAND - The Death Of John F. Kennedy, HASIL ADKINS - Memories Of Kennedy, JIM KLINK - The Death Of John F. Kennedy, BUDDY PASTUCK - John F. Kennedy, BILL KUSHNER - J.F.K.bAnd That Terrible Day, HONORABLE BOB PETERS - A Sunny Day In Dallas, HAYDEN PRIVETT - The Death Of John F. Kennedy, JOHNNY DEE - A Tribute To President Kennedy, RALPH RYAN - The Death Of John F. Kennedy, LOWELL YODER - Don't Blame The State Of Texas, HASILADKINS - Memories Of Kennedy, JOHNNY TUCKER - Mr. Kennedy, BOBBY JENZEN - Two Brothers, HOMER HENDERSON - Lee Harvey Was A Friend Of Mine. In March 2020, Bob Dylan will release a seventeen minute song, Murder Most Foul, which focuses largely on the assassination of Kennedy.
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Thousands of fans besiege the A R Leake Funeral Home in Chicago, Illinois, USA, where the first funeral service for Sam Cooke is being held. 200,000 fans line up across more than four city blocks to view his body. Afterward, his body is flown back to Los Angeles for a second service, at the Mount Sinai Baptist Church the following day.
Bob Dylan releases Like A Rolling Stone in the USA. At six minutes, it becomes the longest single ever recorded up to this date.
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Lyricist Fred Wise dies aged 50 in New York City, USA, the city of his birth. He is perhaps best-remembered as co-writer of the lyrics to the 1948 song "A — You're Adorable" with Buddy Kaye and Sid Lippman. He subsequently wrote many of the songs sung by Elvis Presley in his movies.
Rezso Seress, composer of Gloomy Sunday, a song with a reputation for causing listeners to commit suicide, kills himself in Budapest, Hungary, Europe.
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Country music star Red Foley dies, aged 58, in his sleep of respiratory failure after a gig in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA. His death will inspire Hank Williams Jr (under the pseudonym of Luke The Drifter Jr) to write the song I Was With Red Foley (The Night He Passed Away).
UK 50s pop idol Dickie Pride is found dead in bed at home. The cause of his death is determined as a combination of heroin and barbiturates.
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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.
Fifties actor/singing star Sal Mineo is stabbed to death by a pizza delivery man in the alley behind his apartment near Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, California, USA, at the age of 37.
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.
An inquest into the death of Marc Bolan of T.Rex is held at Battersea Coroner's Court, Battersea, London, England, UK, Europe. Registrar R.A. Hedge states that the cause of Bolan's death was "shock and hemorrhage due to multiple injuries consistent with road traffic accident. Passenger in a private motor car which collided witha tree. A verdict of accidental death is recorded.
Guitarist Jimmy Nolen, dies, aged 47, of a heart attack in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Nolen had worked with James Brown from 1965 until his death, and was renowned for his distinctive 'chicken scratch' guitar playing style.
European singing star Dalida, plagued by depression and a chaotic love life, commits suicide in Paris, France, Europe, with an overdose of barbiturates, leaving a note which reads, "Forgive me, life has become unbearable for me...". She had first found success in 1954 with her international hit single Bambina, and eventually sold over 85m records worldwide.
Rob Pilatus of shamed pop duo Milli Vanilli attempts suicide in the Mondrian Hotel, Sunset Strip, Los Angeles, California, USA, by taking an overdose of pills and slashing his wrists.
Darren Burn is found dead, aged 30, on the bathroom floor of his flat in London, England, UK, Europe. Unable to cope with the failure of his teenybop pop idol career, he had taken an overdose of his Dotheipin anti-depressant tablets.
AC/DC manager Crispin Dye is beaten to death by thieves in Sydney, Australia, Oceania, while on his way to visit his mother for Christmas.
Country guitar virtuoso Danny Gatton, nicknamed The Humbler, locks himself in his garage and commits suicide by shooting himself, aged 49, at his home in Newburg, Maryland, USA. No specific reason for his suicide ever emerges, although friends and relatives were of the opinion that he had suffered from depression for many years.
The Six Parts Seven and The Black Keys release a joint EP, The Six Parts Seven/The Black Keys, on Suicide S queeze records in the USA.
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.
Wealthy Maryland landowner William Zantzinger, the subject of Bob Dylan's 1963 protest song The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, dies, aged 69. In 1963, a 24-year-old Zantzinger struck and killed Hattie Carroll - a 51-year-old black barmaid - at a Baltimore hotel.
Jay Bennett, best-known as a guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, engineer, producer and singer-songwriter with the Chicago-based band Wilco, dies unexpectedly in his sleep, aged 45, in Urbana, Illinois, USA. The Champaign County coroner will conclude that Bennett's death was accidental - the result of an overdose of the prescription painkiller fentanyl, which he took to cope with severe pains in his hip.
Jay-Z premieres a new song, D.O.A. (The Death of Auto-Tune) from his forthcoming album Blueprint 3 on New York City's Hot 97 radio station. The song lambasts rappers for singing too much and exhorts rappers to get back to rapping.
Londell McMillan, lawyer for the Jackson family, refutes actor Mark Lester's claim to be the sperm-donor responsible for the birth of Michael Jackson's daughter Paris. McMillan dismisses Lester's claim as "unproven and meaningless."
Speaking at a charity event at the Magic Johnson AMC theatre, Jermaine Jackson states that the recent suicide of Evan Chandler constitutes proof that his brother Michael Jackson was not guilty of child abuse. Evan Chandler, father of Jordan Chandler, and instigator of charges against Michael Jackson of child sex abuse, had been found dead in bed at home earlier in the month, having shot himself in the head.
Newly-released legal documents reveal that the estate of Michael Jackson has earned over $300m since the singer's death in June 2009. This amount includes earnings from album sales, movies, licensing arrangements and licencing deals for Cirque du Soleil shows.
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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Sony Music are heavily criticised for having increased the price of Whitney Houston's album The Ultimate Collection by 60% on Apple's iTunes Store just hours after the singer's death.
An individual going by the name of @Gunn2urhead begins sending death threats via Twitter to Shirley Manson, the singer with Garbage. On this day alone, over 200 threats are sent.
Opening statements in the lawsuit by Katherine Jackson against concert promoter AEG Live, are made in court in Los Angeles, California, USA. Katherine Jackson is suing AEG claiming that the company's negligent behaviour led to the death of her son Michael Jackson in 2009 from an overdose of Propofol.
A widespread internet death report claiming that rapper Lil Wayne had been found dead as a result of an epileptic fit is proved to be a hoax.
David Bowie dies of liver cancer, two days after his 69th birthday, in Manhattan, New York City, USA. He had been diagnosed with the illness eighteen months earlier.
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The body of singer, songwriter, musician and producer Prince is found dead, aged 57, in a lift at his Paisley Park recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota, USA. CPR was performed but it was not possible to revive him. He is pronounced dead on the scene at 10:07 AM Central Time. The cause of his death is not immediately established.
The Eagles Of Death Metal return to The Bataclan, Paris, France, Europe, to complete the gig that was violently disrupted by a terrorist attack three months earlier. After the show, the band's vocalist-guitarist Jesse Hughes, tells a French tv reporter that guns should be available to anybody who wants them.
A surrogate mother gives birth to the third child of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, but at the time of birth no name has been chosen for the child.
Ranking Roger (Roger Charlery) of The Beat dies of lung cancer, aged 56, at his home. His death also followed a stroke and the discovery of two brain tumours.
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Peter Green, founder of Fleetwood Mac and an influential British blues guitarist, dies, aged 73, in Canvey Island, Essex, England, UK, Europe. No cause of death is immediately released, but he had suffered extensive periods of mental ilness for many years.