Music History: April 1
2016 Actor-turned-singer Kiefer Sutherland releases his debut single, "Not Enough Whiskey."
2015 Cynthia Lennon, John Lennon's first wife, dies of cancer at age 75 in Mallorca, Spain.
2008 The Rolling Stones release Shine A Light, the soundtrack to their concert film of the same name, directed by Martin Scorsese.
2008 Scott Weiland officially departs Velvet Revolver, effectively ending the band.
2007 The Hammersmith Palais in London, subject of The Clash song "(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais," hosts its last concert - a gig by The Fall.
2005 Jack Keller dies of leukemia at age 68 in Nashville, Tennessee. The songwriter is known for his pop collaborations with Howard Greenfield, including "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" and "Run To Him." He was also a writer and producer for The Monkees TV series.
2004 Guitarist Paul Atkinson (The Zombies) dies at age 58 from liver and kidney disease, while also suffering from cancer.
1999 "Shake, Rattle And Roll" composer Jesse Stone, aka Charles Calhoun, dies at age 97 in Alamonte Springs, Florida.
1995 Tupac Shakur is in jail (serving time for sexual abuse), but his third album Me Against the World hits #1, where it stays for four weeks.
1992 Billy Idol pleads no contest to charges of misdemeanor assault and battery and is fined $2,000. The incident happened in October, 1991, when Idol ended up in a car with two women and allegedly punched one of them. Alcohol was involved.
1992 Nigel Preston, drummer and founding member of The Cult, dies of a heroin overdose.
1991 The Rolling Stones release Flashpoint, a live album recorded throughout their Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour.
1989 Living Colour make a splash as the musical guests on Saturday Night Live, performing "Cult of Personality" and "Open Letter (To a Landlord)."
1989 N.W.A.'s "Gangsta Gangsta" becomes the group's first song to enter the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, where it debuts at #91.
1986 Bruce Hornsby and the Range release The Way It Is, an album that produces four hits (including the title track) and is certified multi-platinum.
1983 The second Men at Work album, Cargo, is released in America. The group's debut was released there less than a year earlier and is still getting airplay, leading to Men at Work saturation. Sudden success takes its toll on the group, which breaks up a few years later.
1978 The Philadelphia Fury soccer team (owned by Paul Simon, Peter Frampton, James Taylor and others) makes its debut (it lasts three seasons).
1974 #1 Billboard hit: Blue Suede's "Hooked On A Feeling"
1970 The Joni Mitchell album Ladies Of The Canyon, with the songs "Big Yellow Taxi" and "The Circle Game," is released.
1966 David Bowie's first solo single is released, "Do Anything You Say." It flops.
1965 The Rolling Stones release their third American studio album, The Rolling Stones, Now!, including the hit "Heart Of Stone."
1961 Mark White, guitarist and keyboardist for the English new wave group ABC, is born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.
1961 The Beatles begin a grueling gig at Hamburg's Top Ten Club - seven hours a day on weekdays (eight hours on weekends) for three months.
1961 Rock and roll singer Troy Shondell releases his sole hit, "This Time."
1959 Freddy Cannon releases "Tallahassee Lassie," which becomes his first hit. The song is later covered by The Rolling Stones.
1956 Elvis Presley gets his film career going with a screen test at Paramount Studios, where he performs a scene from The Rainmaker. He lands a contract and ends up starring in 31 movies.
1954 Rock drummer Jeff Porcaro (Toto) is born in South Windsor, Connecticut.
1948 Reggae musician Jimmy Cliff ("The Harder They Come," "Hakuna Matata") is born James Chambers in Somerton District, St. James, Jamaica.
1945 Rock drummer John Barbata (Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship) is born in Passaic, New Jersey.
1944 Bass guitarist Ronnie Lane (Small Faces and Faces) is born in Plaistow, London, England.
Phil Margo is born in Brooklyn, New York. He and brother Mitch will form The Tokens and release the #1 hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."
1942 Pop guitarist Alan Blakley (The Tremeloes) is born in Bromley, Kent, England.
1942 Pop singer Frank Gari ("Utopia," "Lullaby of Love") is born Frank Daniel Garofalo in New York City.
1939 Rudolph Isley (of The Isley Brothers) is born in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1934 Country singer-songwriter Jim Ed Brown (The Browns) is born in Sparkman, Arkansas. Aside from forming The Browns with his two sisters, he'll find fame as a solo artist and frequent duet partner of Helen Cornelius ("I Don't Want To Have To Marry You").
1932 Singin' in the Rain star Debbie Reynolds is born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Texas.
1917 Ragtime composer Scott Joplin dies of syphilitic dementia at age 49 in New York City.
2008On April Fools' Day, YouTube tricks users with the popular bait-and-switch prank called Rickrolling by featuring video links that actually lead to Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" music video. Several other websites have the same idea, creating an unintentional, internet-wide April Fools' joke.
2016 Guns N' Roses announce that original members Slash and Duff McKagan are returning to the group to join Axl Rose on the Not In This Lifetime stadium tour of North America. VIP packages (the "Welcome to the Jungle Pit Experience") go for $2,500, which gets you a backstage tour and access to the Paradise City Lounge, but no interaction with the band.
2006 Spin magazine publishes a review of the Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy, which Axl Rose and his gang have been working on since 1994. It's an April Fool, and the album isn't released until 2008.
1996 After blowing through more than $30 million, MC Hammer files for bankruptcy protection.
It's no joke: David Lee Roth officially leaves Van Halen to start a solo career.
1984 Marvin Gaye is fatally shot by his own father and dies at age 44. Investigation reveals that Marvin had beaten his father, who ends up serving 5 years probation for voluntary manslaughter.
1969 After playing on hits for the likes of Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, four session musicians start Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, where they record The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones.