Today in Music History: Remembering Grant Hart on his birthday

Grant Hart
Grant Hart at the Hook and Ladder on July 2, 2017 (Emmet Kowler for MPR)

Birthday Highlight:

Today in 1961, Hüsker Dü drummer Grant Hart was born. After the band's breakup in 1988, Hart formed the alternative rock trio Nova Mob, where he moved to vocals and guitar. Hart's solo career became his main focus after the dissolution of Nova Mob in 1997. He passed away in September of 2017, but not before talking with The Current about his life and the legacy of Hüsker Dü for the "Do You Remember?" podcast.

Also, Today in:

1939 - Frank Sinatra made his first recording, a song called "Our Love", with the Frank Mane band.

1967 - The Beatles had their 13th U.S. No. 1 single with McCartney's "Penny Lane."

1972 - Neil Young started a three-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Heart Of Gold".

1977 - The Clash released their first single, "White Riot".

1978 - The Bee Gees held the top three positions on the U.S. singles charts, with "Night Fever" at No. 1; "(Love is) Thicker Than Water" by Andy Gibb at No. 2, which was co-written by Andy's brother, the Bee Gees' Barry Gibb; and "Emotion" by Samantha Song at No. 3, a tune that was written and produced by The Bee Gees.

1978 - Cal Jam II takes place at Ontario Motor Speedway outside of Los Angeles. The largest festival of the late '70s, performers include Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Foreigner, Santana and Heart. An estimated 350,000 fans attend; the Los Angeles Times reports that 700 of them were treated for overdoses of Angel Dust.

1991 - U2 were fined about $750 after being convicted of selling condoms illegally at the Virgin Megastore in Dublin.

1994 - Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain had four guns and 25 boxes of ammo confiscated after his wife, Courtney Love, had notified police. She was afraid he would commit suicide, which, sadly, he did about three weeks later.

1994 - After a long search and many auditions, The Rolling Stones hired Darryl Jones to replace bassist Bill Wyman; Wyman had earlier announced that he was tired of the whole thing.

1996 - The Sex Pistols announced that they were reuniting for a 20th anniversary tour.

2001 - John Phillips, singer, songwriter and leader of Southern California's The Mamas and The Papas, died at the age of 65.

2002 - The Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, a close friend of the Ramones.

2011 - Jet Harris, bass guitarist for The Shadows, died from throat cancer at the age of 71. Jet played on the hit "Apache" and during their days as Cliff Richard's backing band, performed on the chart-topper "Living Doll". In 1962 he left the group and had solo hits with "Besame Mucho" and "The Man With The Golden Arm".

2013 - David Bowie's first album in a decade become the fastest-selling of the year. The Next Day was the 66-year-old's first No. 1 since 1993's Black Tie White Noise and sold 94,000 copies in the first week.

2014 - American musician, percussionist, actor and voice actor Joe Lala died from complications of lung cancer at the age of 66. As a drummer and percussionist, he worked with The Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Manassas, The Bee Gees, Whitney Houston, Joe Walsh, Andy Gibb and many others. He played the trademark congas that drove the Bee Gees' 1976 US chart-topper "You Should Be Dancing", which was included on the multi-million selling Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

2017 - Chuck Berry died at age 90. The American guitarist, singer and songwriter was one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive.


Charley Pride is 85.

Scottish songwriter, lyricist, vocalist, producer, pianist, and co-creator of The Alan Parsons Project Eric Woolfson was born today in 1945.

Wilson Pickett, forefather in the American soul movement, was born today in 1941.

John Hartman, drummer for The Doobie Brothers, is 69.

Vanessa Williams is 56.

Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains is 53.

Queen Latifah is 49.

Stuart Zender, bassist with Jamiroquai, is 45.

Adam Levine is 40.

Lykke Li is 33.

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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