Music History: December 8th:
2017 Johnny Mathis releases The Voice of Romance: The Columbia Original Album Collection. The 68-disc box set includes 67 remastered albums, including two that have never been released in their entirety: I Love My Lady, a 1981 album written and produced by Chic founders Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, and The Island, a Brazilian-flavored album produced by Sérgio Mendes in 1989.
2013 Muscle Shoals alum John Wyker dies of congestive heart failure age 68. His band Sailcat had a huge hit in 1972 with "Motorcycle Mama."
2011 Sinead O'Connor marries a drug counselor named Barry Herridge in Las Vegas. The couple splits up a few weeks later but then announces they're back together shortly afterwards. Last anybody heard.
2011 Bob Burnett (of The Highwaymen) dies of brain cancer at age 71.
2007 Thanks to an appearance on Oprah where she declares it one of her "favorite things," the Josh Groban Christmas album Noël goes to #1 in America, where it becomes the top-selling album of 2007.More
2003 Ozzy Osbourne suffers several fractures in his upper body in an ATV accident.
1998 The FBI opens its 1,300 page file on Frank Sinatra to the public.
1998 Yoko Ono spreads some Christmas cheer via a billboard in New York's Times Square, reprising her 1969 campaign with the message "War is Over! If you want it. Happy Christmas from John & Yoko."
1984 Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley (of Hanoi Rocks) dies in a drunk-driving accident in Redondo Beach, California. The 24-year-old drummer is the passenger in a car driven by Motley Crue's inebriated frontman, Vince Neil.
1984 Country singer-songwriter Sam Hunt is born in Cedartown, Georgia.
1984 "Out Of Touch" hits the top spot, giving Hall & Oates their sixth and final #1.
1982 Country singer Marty Robbins dies at age 57, six days after undergoing quadruple coronary bypass surgery.
1981 Blues harmonicist Big Walter Horton dies of heart failure at age 60.
1980 John Lennon mixes Yoko Ono's "Walking On Thin Ice" at the Record Plant studio in New York. It is the last time he is in a studio, as he is shot and killed when he returns to his apartment building.
1980 Annie Leibovitz photographs John Lennonand Yoko Ono at their apartment in New York City for a feature in Rolling Stone. Lennon is shot and killed hours later.
1979 The Styx ballad "Babe," which Dennis DeYoung wrote for his wife, hits #1 in America.
1977 A riot breaks out in Brisbane, Australia, when Blondie fails to appear for a concert.
1976 The Carpenters' Very First Special, featuring guest star John Denver, airs on ABC.
1975 Gary Thain, bassist for Uriah Heep, dies of respiratory failure after a heroin overdose in Norwood Green, London, at age 27.
1975 The benefit concert "A Night of the Hurricane" is held at Madison Square Garden. The last date on Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue tour, the show features many non-musical celebrities and raises over $100,000 for the release of wrongly imprisoned boxer "Hurricane" Carter and his alleged accomplice. Carter himself calls the stage from jail.
1972 Ryan Newell (lead guitarist for Sister Hazel) is born in Gainesville, Florida.
1972 Carly Simon's No Secrets album is certified Gold.
1971 Reginald Dwight legally changes his name to Elton Hercules John. He had been using the "Elton John" name since 1968, but had never made it official. The middle name he picked in honor of the mythological hero, which also happened to be the name of a horse on one of his favorite British TV shows: Steptoe and Son.
1969 Testifying at his trial for possesion of hashish and heroin in the Toronto Supreme Court, Jimi Hendrix claims that he has now "outgrown" drugs. The jury finds him not guilty after eight hours of deliberations.
1969 The Beatles record "Octopus's Garden."
1968 David Crosby, Graham Nash and Stephen Stills announce that they'll perform together as Crosby, Stills & Nash.
1967 The Rolling Stones release Their Satanic Majesties Request, the title a play on their malevolent image. It contains a hit with a much more anodyne title: "She's A Rainbow."
1967 The Beatles release the double EP Magical Mystery Tour in the UK.
1967 Traffic release their debut album, Mr. Fantasy.
1966 Rapper Bushwick Bill (of Geto Boys) is born Richard Stephen Shaw in Jamaica.
1966 Sinead O'Connor is born in Glenageary, County Dublin, Ireland.
1962 Marty Friedman (lead guitarist for Megadeth) is born in Washington, D.C. He picks up the guitar at age 14 after seeing Kissin concert.
1962 Legendary DJ and promoter Alan Freed appears at his payola trial in New York City and testifies to receiving money from labels to play their records on the air. He is found guilty, fined $300, and given six months probation, but the irreparable damage to his career has been done.
1960 Henry Mancini records "Moon River."
1959 Paul Rutherford (of Frankie Goes to Hollywood) is born in Liverpool, England.
1957 Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen is born in Hackney, London, England. He joins the band in 1982 as a replacement for Pete Willis.
1956 Warren Cuccurullo is born in Brooklyn, New York. He joins Duran Duran in 1985 to replace guitarist Andy Taylor. He learned of the vacancy while working on Taylor's solo album - before the rest of the band had been informed.
1956 Guy Mitchell's "Singing The Blues" hits #1.
1954 The Drifters' "White Christmas" enters the R&B charts.
1950 Dan Hartman is born in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The "I Can Dream About You" singer also pens hits for other artists, including "Free Ride" for Edgar Winter Group and "Living In America" for James Brown.
1949 Ray Shulman (of Gentle Giant) is born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England.
1947 Gregg Allman (of The Allman Brothers Band) is born in Nashville, Tennessee.
1947 Geoff Daking (drummer for Blues Magoos) is born.
1944 George Baker is born Johannes Bouwens in Hoorn, Netherlands. His group George Baker Selection scores a hit with their debut single, "Little Green Bag," which is later revived in the Quentin Tarantino movie Reservoir Dogs in 1992.
1943 Jim Morrison is born James Douglas Morrison in Melbourne, Florida. He becomes lead singer of The Doors.
1943 Graham Knight (original bass player for Marmalade) is born in Glasgow, Scotland.
1941 Bobby Elliott (drummer for The Hollies) is born in Burnley, Lancashire, England.
1939 Jerry Butler (lead singer of The Impressions) is born in Sunflower, Mississippi. He moves to Chicago, where he sings in a church choir with future bandmate Curtis Mayfield.
1925 Sammy Davis, Jr. is born Samuel George Davis Jr. in New York City. By the age of 3, he is a vaudeville performer alongside his father in the Will Mastin Trio.
1925 Jazz organist Jimmy Smith is born in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He helps popularize the Hammond B-3 electric organ in the '60s.
1914 Floyd Tillman, forerunner of western swing and honky tonk, is born in Ryan, Oklahoma, and grows up in Post, Texas.
1828 Martha Ella Blocksom, subject of the song "Lorena," is born in Zanesville, Ohio.
John Lennon, 40 years old, is shot and killed outside his apartment in New York City.
2004 Dimebag Darrell is shot dead on stage while performing with his band Damageplan at Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio. The murderer, Nathan Gale, kills three others before being shot dead by a police officer.
1995 Four months after the death of founding member Jerry Garcia, The Grateful Deadannounce their breakup, stating, "The 'long strange trip' of the uniquely wonderful beast known as the Grateful Dead is over." Members Bob Weir and Vince Welnick continue as Ratdog.
1976 An updated version of the musical drama A Star is Born debuts in movie theaters, starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and featuring the Academy Award-winning chart-topper "Evergreen."
1969 The GTO's (Girls Together Outrageously) release their only album, Permanent Damage, with Frank Zappaproducing. The band is entirely made up of "groupies." The lineup consists of Pamela Miller (later Des Barres), Mercy Fontenot, Cynthia Wells (later Cale-Binion), Christine Frka, Lucy Offerall, Sandra Rowe and Sandy Parker.
1963 Frank Sinatra Jr. is kidnapped in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and freed three days later after his famous father pays the $240,000 ransom. The three men responsible are eventually caught and incarcerated.