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Music History: October 20th:
2016 Little Big Town release the single "Better Man," which they later reveal was written by Taylor Swift, marking the first time she pitched a song to another artist.
2011 John Mayer has throat surgery to treat a problem with his vocal cords, pushing back the release of his album Born and Raised.
2005 Jazz singer/pianist Shirley Horn dies of complications from diabetes at age 71.
2002 A man identifying himself as Kid Rock's personal assistant is charged with felony and misdemeanor drug possession after a traffic stop on Rock's tour bus on the Florida Turnpike. Officers find a small amount of cocaine, two marijuana cigarettes, a glass pipe, and rolling papers on Kevin J. McMahon's person and in his luggage. He is released from jail on $16,000 bond.
2001 Raising money for victims of the September 11th attacks, Paul McCartney leads "The Concert For New York" in Madison Square Garden. Elton John, Billy Joel, David Bowie, The Who, and Eric Clapton all participate.
1999 John Mellencamp plays a surprise gig at the 350-person-capacity Mercury Lounge in New York.
1999 A year after nearly dying from pneumonia, Johnny Cash finds himself battling the condition again. Cash is listed in serious condition at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.
1998 98 Degrees release their breakout album, 98 Degrees and Rising, featuring the hit singles "Because Of You" and "The Hardest Thing," as well as "True To Your Heart," a duet with Stevie Wonder from the Disney movie Mulan.
1997 Canned Heat guitarist Henry "The Sunflower" Vestine, age 52, dies of respiratory and heart failure in a Paris hotel room just after finishing a European tour with the band.
1996 Carly Simon is unable to perform due to stage fright, aboard the Queen Elizabeth II in New York.
1992 Madonna releases Erotica, a concept album about the pleasures and pitfalls of sex and romance, a day before her controversial Sex book hits the market.More
1991 Country music singer Clint Black marries TV actress Lisa Hartman. The couple met when Hartman and her mother attended a New Year's concert Black gave in Houston.
1979 The instrumental "Rise" by Herb Alpert goes to #1 in America, thanks to its use on the soap opera General Hospital.
1978 The Police make their US performance debut at CBGB's in New York.
1976 The Led Zeppelin concert documentary The Song Remains The Same opens in London and New York, with the band attending the New York premiere.
1974 Eric Burdon (of The Animals) names his newborn daughter Mirage (he later changes it to Alex).
1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono release their Wedding Album LP (with a photo of their own wedding cake and a copy of their marriage certificate included).
1964 Jim Sonefeld (drummer for Hootie & the Blowfish) is born in Lansing, Michigan, but would relocate to Naperville, Illinois.
1964 Rolling Stones' first live performance in France; there are 150 arrests.
1960 Elvis Presley's film G.I. Blues premieres.
1959 Patty Duke opens on Broadway in The Miracle Worker.
1958 Mark King (lead singer, bassist for Level 42) is born in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England.
1955 Bill Haley, Pat Boone and Elvis Presley all appear together in concert at a Cleveland High School (the concert is filmed for a documentary of Cleveland DJ Bill Randle but is never released).
1955 Harry Belafonte records "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)."
1954 LaVern Baker records "Tweedle Dee."
1951 Al Greenwood (keyboardist for Foreigner) is born in New York.
1950 Tom Petty (of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, The Traveling Wilburys) is born in Gainesville, Florida.
1937 Wanda Jackson, known as The Queen of Rockabilly, is born in Maud, Oklahoma. Hits include "Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine", "A Woman Lives for Love" and "Fancy Satin Pillows."
1925 Tom Dowd is born in New York City. After giving up a career in nuclear physics, he becomes a top producer, able to coax sounds out of many famous artists with his technical expertise and agreeable personality. His production credits include Idlewild South by The Allman Brothers and 461 Ocean Boulevard by Eric Clapton.
1901 Film composer Frank Churchill is born in Rumford, Maine. Known for his work on Disney films, including memorable songs for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, like "Heigh-Ho."
1977Lynyrd Skynyrd members Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines die in a plane crash in Mississippi. Gaines' sister Cassie, a backup singer with the group, is also killed along with two pilots and the band's manager. Other members of the group are badly injured.
1977 In town for a gig with The Police, Sting kills some time by walking through the red light district of Paris. Watching the ladies of the night ply their trade gives him the inspiration for what becomes the band's first hit: "Roxanne."
1973 The Rolling Stones ballad "Angie" hits #1 in America.
1971 Snoop Dogg is born Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr. in Long Beach, California. His parents dub him "Snoopy" because of his resemblance to Charlie Brown's pet beagle.
1962 "Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers hits #1 on its way to becoming the most famous Halloween song of all time. Pickett's vocals are his impression of Boris Karloff, who was known for his role as Frankenstein's monster.