Today in Music History: Happy Birthday, Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page
Happy Birthday to guitar god Jimmy Page. (AndrewJSmith / Getty Images)

History Highlight:

Jimmy Page, guitar rock god, is 74 today. Page began his career as a studio session musician in London and by the mid-1960s had become the most sought-after session guitarists in the U.K. He was a member of The Yardbirds from 1966 to 1968, but he ultimately achieved worldwide fame as the founder, lead guitarist, and producer of Led Zeppelin beginning in late 1968. Allmusic states that "just about every rock guitarist from the late '60s/early '70s to the present day has been influenced by Page's work with Led Zeppelin".

Also, Today In:

1955 - Rosemary Clooney was at No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart with "Mambo Italiano", the singer's second No. 1. The song was banned by all ABC owned stations in the US because it "did not reach standards of good taste".

1963 - Charlie Watts left the group Blues Incorporated to join a up and coming band called The Rolling Stones.

1965 - The Beatles started a nine-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with Beatles 65, the group's fourth No. 1. Beatles '65 includes eight of the fourteen songs from Beatles for Sale and also includes "I'll Be Back" from A Hard Day's Night and the single "I Feel Fine'/'She's a Woman".

1970 - During a U.K. tour, Led Zeppelin appeared at The Royal Albert Hall in London on the night of Jimmy Page's 26th birthday. John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck were all in the audience. The two and a quarter hour set was recorded and filmed but shelved for several decades, eventually seeing a release in 2003 on an official DVD.

1973 - Lou Reed married a cocktail waitress named Betty in New York City.

1973 - Mick Jagger was refused a Japanese visa on an account of a 1969 drug conviction causing The Rolling Stones to cancel a forthcoming tour.

1976 - Queen were at No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart with "Bohemian Rhapsody". The single enjoyed a nine-week run on the chart, selling more than a million copies by the end of the month. It reached No. 1 again in 1991 for five weeks following Mercury's death, eventually becoming the UK's third best selling single of all time.

1979 - The Music for UNICEF concert took place in New York City featuring Rod Stewart, The Bee Gees, Earth Wind and Fire, ABBA and Donna Summer.

1988 - Whitney Houston scored her sixth consecutive No. 1 in the U.S. with "So Emotional". The song became her sixth consecutive No. 1 in the U.S.

1997 - David Bowie performed his 50th Birthday Bash concert (the day after his birthday) at Madison Square Garden with guests Frank Black, Sonic Youth, Robert Smith of The Cure, The Foo Fighters, Lou Reed, Billy Corgan and Placebo. Proceeds from the concert went to the Save The Children fund.

2003 - A grand piano once owned by Elvis Presley was sold for $685,000.

2005 - The Scissor Sisters went to No. 1 on the U.K. album chart with their self-titled album. They went on to win Best International Album as well as Best International Group and International Breakthrough Act at the 2005 Brit awards.

2016 - Stars paid tribute to Motorhead frontman Lemmy at his funeral at Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery. Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee, Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, Slash from Guns N' Roses, Robert Trujillo and Lars Ulrich from Metallica, Judas Priest singer Rob Halford and Anthrax frontman Scott Ian all spoke at the service. Lemmy's bass guitar was plugged in to a stack of amplifiers and the volume turned up, with the congregation applauding as feedback from the speakers filled the chapel.

Birthdays:

Joan Baez is 77.

David Johansen / Buster Poindexter of the New York Dolls is 68.

Dave Matthews is 51.

Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth is 51.

A.J. McLean if the Backstreet Boys is 40.

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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