Music History: April 7th:
2015 Don McLean's original manuscript to his lyric for "American Pie" sells at auction for $1.2 million. Says McLean: "I thought it would be interesting as I reach age 70 to release this work product on the song 'American Pie' so that anyone who might be interested will learn that this song was not a parlor game."
2014 25-year-old Peaches Geldof, daughter of the Live Aid mastermind Bob Geldof, is found dead in Kent, England, after overdosing on heroin. Her mother, Paula Yates, died in 2000 when Peaches was 11.
2013 Andy Johns (engineer for Led Zeppelin, Television, and The Rolling Stones) dies at age 62 of complications from a stomach ulcer.
2008 The newly reunited Stone Temple Pilots announce a 65-date reunion tour and play for the first time since 2002.
1999 Shania Twain's third album Come On Over is certified Diamond (10 million in sales) by the RIAA, making her the first female artist with back-to-back Diamond albums; her second album, The Woman in Me, was certified in 1997.
1998 Drummer Carlos Vega (James Taylor's band) dies at age 41 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound the day before he is scheduled to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show alongside James Taylor.
1987 Whitesnake slides into hair metal with their seventh, self-titled album. It's by far their most successful, with the MTV hits "Here I Go Again" and "Is This Love?"
1987 Jazz singer Maxine Sullivan, known for her 1937 swing version of "Loch Lomond," dies after suffering a seizure at age 75 in New York City.
1984 New British Invasion: 40 of the artists on the US Top 100 singles chart are Brits - a new record.
1981 Rick James releases Street Songs.
1979 Rickie Lee Jones is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. She performs her hit "Chuck E.'s In Love" and does a full-beatnik rendition of "Coolsville," complete with cigarette and beret.
1978 The Police release "Roxanne" in the UK. BBC Radio 1 refuses to play it, which tanks the song, but when the band tours America a year later it catches on in that country, becoming their first hit.
1975 After a show in Paris, Ritchie Blackmore leaves Deep Purple to form Rainbow. He is eventually replaced by Tommy Bolin.
1970 B.J. Thomas wins the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" from the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The song was written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, and hit #1 on the US charts.
1968 At the Generation Club in New York, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, B.B. King, Richie Havens and Buddy Guy take the stage for a jam session in tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., who was killed three days earlier.
1968 Three days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nina Simone performs "Why? (The King of Love Is Dead)" at the Westbury Music Fair in Long Island, New York, in his honor. The song was written by her bassist, Gene Taylor, less than 24 hours earlier.
1962 Bobby Rydell wins the role of Hugo in the movie version of Bye Bye Birdie.
1959 As the snow melts in Mason City, Iowa, Buddy Holly's glasses are found from the plane crash that killed him two months earlier. They are turned in to police, where they stay until 1980, when a sheriff finds them and returns them to Holly's widow.
1959 Marty Robbins records "El Paso."
1956 Network TV premiere: Rock & Roll Dance Party with Alan Freed, on CBS.
1956 The Platters make their national television debut on Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey's Stage Show on CBS.
1951 Janis Ian is born Janis Eddy Fink in New York City (but will be raised in New Jersey). She writes her first song at age 12 and completes her first hit, "Society's Child," at 14.
1951 Bruce Gary (drummer for The Knack) is born in Burbank, California.
1948 Rock drummer Dallas Taylor (of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) is born in Denver, Colorado.
1948 Carol Douglas, known for the pioneering disco track "Doctor's Orders," is born in Brooklyn, New York, to a musical family. Her mom is jazz performer Minnie Newsome, the supposed inspiration for Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher," and her cousin is soul singer Sam Cooke.
1948 John Oates (of Hall & Oates) is born in New York City.
1947 Pat Bennett (of The Chiffons) is born in The Bronx, New York.
1943 Rock guitarist Mick Abrahams (of Jethro Tull) is born in Luton, Bedfordshire, England.
1938 Rock drummer Spencer Dryden (of Jefferson Airplane, New Riders of the Purple Sage) is born in New York City.
1937 R&B vocalist Charlie Thomas (of The Drifters) is born in Lynchburg, Virginia.
1935 Country singer-songwriter Bobby Bare is born in Ironton, Ohio.
1920 Ravi Shankar, Hindustani classical musician and composer (and dad to Norah Jones), is born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury in Benares, India.
1917 Jazz percussionist Mongo Santamaria, known for composing the jazz standard "Afro Blue," is born Ramon Santamaria Rodriguez in Havana, Cuba.
1912 Songwriter Jack Lawrence is born Jacob Louis Schwartz in Brooklyn, New York. Co-wrote Frank Sinatra's first solo hit, "All or Nothing at All."
1908 Composer and arranger Percy Faith is born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
1805 Beethoven's 3rd Symphony (Eroica) is premiered in Vienna's Theater-an-der-Wien. Innovative in length and size of orchestra, many criticize the first movement for its dissonant chords.
After 15 years of memorable performances, cringeworthy auditions, and shocking eliminations, the American Idol stage finally goes dark, but not before one more winner is crowned: Trent Harmon.
2017 Pearl Jam, Nile Rodgers, Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, Joan Baez, Tupac Shakur and Yes are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
2009 The jukebox musical Rock of Ages, a celebration of glam metal and classic rock of the '80s, opens at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
2008 Bob Dylan gets an honorary Pulitzer Prize for his "profound impact on popular music and American culture." He's the first rock musician to win the award.
1998 Mary Bono, who was married to Sonny Bono when he died in a skiing accident four months earlier, wins a special election to claim her husband's seat in California's 44th Congressional District. Mary, who had no previous political experience, holds office until 2013.
1998 George Michael is arrested for disorderly conduct at a park restroom in Beverly Hills, California, after an undercover officer observes him performing a "lewd act." Michael comes out as gay soon after.
1990 Bonnie Raitt emerges from a career slump with her first #1 album, Nick Of Time, unseating Paula Abdul's Forever Your Girl.
1990 Farm Aid IV takes place at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis. Two very memorable events take place:
1) Guns N' Roses play their last show with drummer Steven Adler, whose drug addiction is taking a toll on his playing. He is booted from the band before their next performance.
2) Elton John arrives after holding vigil for Ryan White, an 18-year-old who is one of the first high-profile AIDS victims (he contracted the disease from a blood transfusion). Elton dedicates his performance of "Candle In The Wind" to White, who dies the next day.
1985 Wham! becomes the first Western pop group to play in China when they perform at the Worker's Gymnasium in Beijing. Footage from their trip appears in the video for their song "Freedom."
1978 Prince releases his debut album, For You. It reaches #163 in the US and contains his first Hot 100 entry: "Soft and Wet," which reaches #92.
1971 The Rolling Stones announce their own record label, Rolling Stones Records, which they vow to make a "small operation we can handle" so as not to suffer the pitfalls of The Beatles' Apple Records.
1915 Billie Holiday is born Eleanora Fagan in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.