Today in Music History: Happy Birthday, Greg Norton

Porcupine perform at The Current's 14th Birthday Party
Greg Norton of Porcupine performs at The Current's 14th Birthday Party at First Avenue in Minneapolis on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (Nate Ryan | MPR)

History Highlight:

Gregory James Norton was born today in 1959, making him 60 today. Norton gained notoriety with his involvement in the band Hüsker Dü which was active 1979 - 1987. Norton contributed the songs "M.T.C.," "Don't Have a Life" and "Let's Go Die" to Hüsker Dü's debut EP Land Speed Record. After the band broke up, he left the music business to focus on the restaurant business, but now is active in the Minnesota band Porcupine. Greg is known for his amazing handlebar mustache and close, personal friendship with Brian Oake.

Also, Today In:

1958 - The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) introduced its precious-metal-themed awards for record sales. The Beatles hold the record for the most awards, with 76 platinum certifications.

1965 - The Beatles started a two-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Eight Days A Week", the group's seventh No. 1 hit in America.

1975 - Tammy Wynette and George Jones divorced after six years of marriage. Although the song "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" wasn't written about her and Jones, many of Wynette's songs dealt with classic themes of loneliness, divorce and the difficulties of man-woman relationships. "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" is one of Tammy Wynette's signature tunes.

1976 - The Four Seasons started a three-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "December 1963 (Oh What A Night)", the group's fifth U.S. No. 1.

1977 - Iggy Pop and David Bowie kicked off a North American tour at Le Plateau Théâtre in Montreal, with Blondie as the opening act.

1993 - Eric Clapton started a three-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with Unplugged.

2006 - The Sex Pistols refused to attend their own induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Blondie, Herb Alpert and Black Sabbath were all inducted, but the Pistols posted a handwritten note on their website, calling the institution "urine in wine," adding, "We're not your monkeys, we're not coming. You're not paying attention."

2007 - Coffeehouse Starbucks and the Concord Music Group announced the launch of the Hear Music record label. Artists signed to this label include Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Sia, Elvis Costello, The Cars and James Taylor.

2014 - Two people were killed and 23 injured after a drunk driver crashed through barricades set up for the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas.

Birthdays:

English drummer Terry Cox is 82.

Neil Sedaka is 80.

Scatman John was born today in 1942.

Rustee Allen from Sly and the Family Stone is 66.

U2 bassist Adam Clayton is 59.

David Draiman of Disturbed is 46.

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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