Music History: December 11th:
20 14Country singer Dawn Sears (of The Time Jumpers) dies of lung cancer at age 53. She was a member of Vince Gill's road band and sang harmony on his 1992 album, I Still Believe In You.
2013 Tommy Ruger (drummer for The Nightcrawlers) dies of multiple health issues, including diabetes, in Port Orange, Florida, at age 67.
2012 Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar dies during surgery for a heart valve replacement in San Diego, California, at age 92. He was survived by two daughters, Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar. His son, musician Shubhendra Shankar, died in 1992.
2010 Good Charlotte's Joel Madden marries Nicole Richie at the home of Richie's dad, Lionel Richie, in Los Angeles.
2006 "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey becomes the first ringtone certified Gold for sales of over 500,000.
1998 Lynn Strait (lead singer for Snot) dies in a car accident in Santa Barbara, California, at age 30.
1990 Led Zeppelin IV is certified Diamond, with sales of 10 million in America.
1989 Supporting Alice Cooper, Great White play Wembley Arena; the concert is broadcast later by The Friday Rock Show and is released the following year in Japan as Live In London.
1988 Los Angeles' Wiltern Theatre plays host to a Roy Orbison tribute concert, featuring Don Henley, Tom Petty, Graham Nashand Bonnie Raitt.
1976 Al Stewart's "Year Of The Cat" enters the pop charts.
1973 Bobby Darin has an operation to repair his artificial heart valves at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles. He dies nine days later at age 37.
1973 The Carpenters' "Top Of The World" is certified Gold.
1972 Genesis play their first-ever US show at Massachusetts' Brandeis University.
1970 John Lennon releases his debut solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.
1967 NBC airs the Nancy Sinatra television special Movin' With Nancy.
1966 Elton John's band Bluesology opens for Little Richard at a show in London. Elton would later say, "When I saw Little Richard standing on top of the piano, all lights, sequins and energy, I decided there and then that I was going to be a rock and roll piano player."
1965 The Velvet Underground play their first show: opening for a group called The Myddle Class in the auditorium of Summit High School in New Jersey. They play three songs: "There She Goes Again," "Heroin" and "Venus In Furs."
1964 Justin Currie (bassist, vocalist for Del Amitri) is born in Glasgow, Scotland.
1961 Elvis Presley's Blue Hawaii hits #1.
1958 Nikki Sixx (bassist for Mötley Crüe) is born Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna Jr. in San Jose, California.
1957 Mike Mesaros (bassist, vocalist for The Smithereens) is born in Carteret, New Jersey.
1954 Jermaine Jackson is born fourth in line (after Rebbie, Jackie and Tito) in the Jackson family clan in Gary, Indiana.
1946 Tony Brown (of J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet) is born in Greensboro, North Carolina. Known for his session work on the piano with Emmylou Harris and his production work for Vince Gill, Reba McEntire and George Strait.
1944Brenda Lee is born Brenda Mae Tarpley in Atlanta, Georgia. She is raised in Lithonia, Georgia.
1941 J. Frank Wilson (of J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers) is born in Lufkin, Texas.
1940David Gates (co-lead singer of Bread) is born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
1939 Marlene Dietrich records "Falling In Love Again" for her role as a cabaret singer in the movie The Blue Angel.
1935 Steel guitarist Tom Brumley (of Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, Stone Canyon Band) is born in Stella, Missouri.
1934 Bass baritone singer Curtis Williams (of The Penguins) is born in Los Angeles, California.
1931 Singer and actress Rita Moreno, known for her role as Anita in the Broadway smash and subsequent film West Side Story, is born Rosa Dolores Alverío in Humacao, Puerto Rico. She is raised in New York City.
1926 R&B singer Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton is born in Ariton, Alabama. She was the first to record "Hound Dog," made famous by Elvis Presley.
1916 Perez Prado, the "King of Mambo," is born in Matanzas, Cuba.
1803 Composer Louis-Hector Berlioz is born in Isere, France. Known for his Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts.
Jerry Lee Lewis Marries His Underage Cousin
In what remains one of the most shocking celebrity scandals, Jerry Lee Lewis marries 13-year-old Myra Gale Brown, who was the daughter of his cousin (and bass player), J.W. Brown. The marriage lasts 14 years but seriously damages Lewis' career.
2010 The Billboard Social 50 chart debuts, ranking artists by popularity on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vevo, Myspace, and iLike. Rihanna comes in at #1, followed by Justin Bieber and Eminem.
1968 The Rolling Stonesrecord their Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll CircusTV special - and then bury it for nearly 30 years.
1964 Sam Cooke is killed at age 33 when the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles (where rooms cost $3 a night) shoots him three times. The manager claims that Cooke assaulted her and that he tried to rape his companion. The incident was ruled a justifiable homicide.
1961 Motown Records scores their first #1 on the Hot 100 when The Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" tops the chart.
1960 Aretha Franklin plays her first concert, performing at the Village Vanguard in New York City.