Today in Music History: Woodstock begins

Woodstock festival 1969
About 400,000 people attend the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival in Bethel, N.Y., August 16, 1969. (AP Photo)

History Highlight:

Today in 1969, "Three Days Of Peace & Music," also known as The Woodstock Music & Arts Festival, began at Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York. More than 400,000 people attended and thirty-two acts performed including Joan Baez, Santana, Grateful Dead, CCR, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, The Band, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Jimi Hendrix.

Also, Today In:

1960 - Elvis Presley started a five week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "It's Now Or Never."

1965 - 56,000 people packed Shea Stadium in New York to see, and maybe even hear, the Beatles. At the time it was the largest single audience on record to attend a pop concert. The Beatles were paid $160,000 for the show.

1967 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience played a one-night-only show at The Fifth Dimension club in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The club is now demolished.

1980 - George Harrison published a semi-autobiographical book, "I, Me, Mine". Drawn from conversations Harrison had with Beatles biographer Derek Taylor, the book took its title from Harrison's song of the same name that appeared on the Beatles' Let It Be - the last song the Beatles recorded before their breakup.

1983 - Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher married. Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels was Simon's best man; Penny Marshall was Fisher's maid of honor. Guests included Robin Williams, Billy Joel, Christie Brinkley, Randy Newman and George Lucas. The couple split up a year later, but resumed their relationship in less formal terms throughout much of the '80s.

1991 - Paul Simon drew a massive crowd, approximately 750,000, to a free concert in Central Park.

1995 - Spanish pop duo Los del Rio release the single "Macarena" in the US. Inspired by a beautiful flamenco dancer, the song lights a fire in Miami beach clubs and spreads across the country, igniting the '90s hottest dance craze.

1996 - A woman's shelter in Long Island, New York, turned down a donation from a benefit concert starring James Brown because of prior spousal abuse allegations.


Pete York, drummer for the Spencer Davis Group, is 76.

Whitesnake drummer Tommy Aldridge is 68.

Joe Jonas is 29.

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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