Today in Music History: Fans remember Michael Jackson on his first tour date

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson performing during his 13-city U.S. tour in 1988. (Cliff Schiappa/AP Photo, via NPR)

History Highlight:

Today in 2009, Michael Jackson fans from all over the world congregated at London's O2 arena, where the star had been due to begin his run of 50 concerts. Fans left messages to a wall of tributes, conducted Jackson sing-a-longs and held a minute's silence to mark the time when the doors to the concert would have opened.

Also, Today In:

1962 - Bobby Vinton started a four-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Roses Are Red, My Love."

1964 - The Rolling Stones went No. 1 in the U.K. with their cover of Bobby Womack's "It's All Over Now."

1967 - In another great concert mismatch of the rock ages, The Who opened for Herman's Hermits on their first U.S. tour.

1973 - Clarence White of The Byrds was loading equipment after a gig in Palmdale, Calif., when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver.

1973 - During a concert at the John Wayne Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., Phil Everly smashed his guitar and stormed off stage. Don Everly finished the set by himself and announced that The Everly Brothers had split.

1979 - Donna Summer scored her third No. 1 U.S. single with "Bad Girls"; the album of the same name also started a five-week run at No. 1.

1982 - The film premiere of Pink Floyd's The Wall was held at the Empire in London's Leicester Square.

1989 - "Judge Judy" Sheindlin, not yet a TV star and still a Family Court judge in New York, ordered Tom Jones to pay $200 weekly child support to model Katherine Berkery.

2005 - Joe Harnell, a pianist and composer who worked as an accompanist and arranger for Peggy Lee and others, died of heart failure at age 80.

2007 - A pair of glasses worn by former Beatle John Lennon sparked a bidding war after being offered for sale online. The circular sunglasses were worn by Lennon during The Beatles 1966 tour of Japan, where the band played some of their last ever live dates. Anonymous rival bidders had pushed the price as high as $850,000 at an online auction house.

2009 - The debut album by The Dead Weather, Horehound, was released, and spawned the singles "Hang You from the Heavens," "Treat Me Like Your Mother," and "I Cut Like A Buffalo." The band includes Alison Mosshart (The Kills and Discount), Jack White (The White Stripes and The Raconteurs), Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) and Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs, The Greenhornes and City and Colour), and has released two albums since their debut album. Fun fact: The idea for the band formed after Jack White lost his voice and The Raconteurs asked Alison Mosshart whom they were touring to fill in on some songs.

2015 - The Las Vegas coroner's office confirmed that B.B. King died of natural causes primarily stemming from Alzheimer's disease and was not murdered. Two of his daughters had alleged King was poisoned by long-time associates.


Woodrow "Woody" Guthrie, was born in Okemah, Okla., today in 1912.

Tanya Donelly, singer for The Breeders, Throwing Muses, and Belly, is 51.

Ellen Reid of Crash Test Dummies is 51.

Taboo of The Black Eyed Peas is 42.

Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons is 30.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

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