Today in Music History: Muddy Waters almost dies in a car crash

Muddy Waters
circa 1979: Seminal American blues singer, songwriter and guitarist McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Waters, one of the most dominant figures of post-war blues and a highly influential musician. His tour of Britain in 1958 was arguably the inspiration for the whole of the British R&B movement. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images) (Keystone/Getty Images)

History Highlight:

Today in 1969, the great blues man Muddy Waters was nearly killed in a car crash near Chicago. Three of his companions in the vehicle were killed in the crash. Waters passed away in 1983, but his influence was tremendous, not just on blues and rhythm and blues but on rock and roll, hard rock, folk music, jazz, and country music.

Also, Today In:

1960 - Aretha Franklin made her onstage debut at the Village Vanguard in New York.

1965 - The Beatles released their version of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" as a single.

1975 - Saturday Night - a title later changed to Saturday Night Live - made its debut on NBC.

1976 - The Sex Pistols recorded their first single, "Anarchy in the U.K." It would be a smash, despite being banned by the BBC. The lyrics endorse a particularly sensational, violent concept of anarchy that reflected the pervasive sense of embittered anger, confusion, restlessness, economic frustration and social alienation which was being felt by a generation of disenfranchised youth amidst the repression and squalor of British life in the 1970s.

1990 - Drummer Dave Grohl played his first gig with Nirvana when they appeared at the North Shore Surf Club in Olympia.

1991 - Apple Computers settled a lawsuit launched by The Beatles record company, Apple Corporation, over name and logo rights. The computer company reportedly paid $29 million to settle the suit.

1997 - Elton John went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Candle In The Wind 97" A re-write of his 1974 hit about Marilyn Monroe. This version was raising funds for the Diana, Princess of Wales charity, following her death in Paris. It went on to become the biggest selling single in the world.

2003 - Justin Timberlake made his first appearance on Saturday Night Live, doing double-duty as host and musical guest. It was the first of many appearances he made on the show through the coming years; his sketches eventually grew to include a Bee Gees parody, a sketch about dating Lady Gaga, a bailiff in a courtroom trial of an alligator, "the Target lady," appearing in drag onstage with Beyonce, and the infamous "In a Box" bit.

2004 - The Vote for Change tour wrapped up in Washington, DC. with a concert featuring Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., The Dave Matthews Band, Dixie Chicks and James Taylor. The goal of the tour was to get president George W. Bush voted out of office in the November elections. Bush won by a narrow margin.

2006 - Madonna adopted a one-year-old boy in Malawi, Africa. The boy's father, Yohane Banda, told reporters "I know he will be very happy in America." The boy's mother had died a week after he was born.

2009 - Barbra Streisand went to No. 1 on the U.S. album charts with "Love Is the Answer". It was Streisand's ninth No. 1 album, making her the only artist to have a No. 1 album in America in five different decades.

2010 - George Michael was released from Highpoint Prison in Suffolk, England after serving four of an eight week-sentence for driving under the influence of drugs. The singer had been arrested after crashing his car into the front of a Snappy Snaps store in Hampstead, North London in July of that year.

2012 - The Rolling Stones new single "Doom And Gloom" was released, the first new studio recordings since 2005's "A Bigger Bang". "Doom And Gloom" was the lead single from the band's most recent greatest hits collection, GRRR!

2015 - Camera Obscura keyboardist Carey Lander died from osteosarcoma, a rare form of blood cancer at age 33. The Scottish indie pop band's first album, Biggest Bluest Hi Fi, was released in 2001.

2016 - Rod Stewart was knighted at Buckingham Palace, becoming Sir Roderick David Stewart.


Gary Mallaber, writer and drummer from Steve Miller Band, is 72.

Daryl Hall of Hall and Oats is 72.

Cardi B is 26.

Andrew Woolfolk, sax player from Earth Wind and Fire is 68.

Brendan Brown of Wheatus is 46.

Scott Johnson of the Gin Blossoms is 55.

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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