Today in Music History: Remembering Joey Ramone

The Ramones 1981
The Ramones in a 1981 promotional photograph. (Sire Records/Getty Images)

History Highlight:

Today in 2001, Joey Ramone, singer-songwriter and lead vocalist of punk-rock band the Ramones, died at age 49. Born Jeffrey Ross Hyman in Queens, N.Y., he co-founded the punk rock band the Ramones with friends John Cummings and Douglas Colvin. Colvin was already using the pseudonym Dee Dee Ramone and the others also adopted stage names using "Ramone" as their surname, so Jeff Hyman became Joey Ramone. The name "Ramone" was inspired by Paul McCartney, who briefly used the name "Paul Ramon" during 1960 and 1961, when the Beatles, still unknowns, did a tour of Ireland and used pseudonyms. The Ramones are often cited among the first to define the punk rock sound, and although they enjoyed only limited commercial success, the Ramones heavily influenced the 1970s punk movement in both the United States and United Kingdom. Recognition of the band's importance developed over time, and they are now considered among rock's all-time greats; as such, the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

Also, Today In:

1894 - "Empress Of The Blues" Bessie Smith was born on this day. She was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and '30s and is widely regarded as one of the greatest singers of her age.

1967 - Decca released The Who's "Happy Jack" in the U.S., the band's first single to crack the Top 40 here.

1967 - Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra started a four-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Somethin' Stupid." The song was written by C. Carson Parks and was originally recorded by Parks and his wife Gaile Foote, as Carson and Gaile, in 1966. Frank and Nancy Sinatra's hit is the best-known version of the song … but when you think about it, there's somethin' creepy about a father and daughter singing this song together.

1971 - The Beatles won their only Oscar, taking Best Original Song Score for their movie Let It Be.

1972 - Roberta Flack started a six-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face."

1987 - Queen were presented with an award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music at the 32nd annual Ivor Novello Awards held in London.

1989 - The Fine Young Cannibals went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "She Drives Me Crazy."

1995 - Montell Jordan started a seven-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "This Is How We Do It".

2001 - Joey Ramone died of complications from lymphoma. He was 49.

2015 - It was reported that digital music revenues matched physical sales for the first time in 2014, thanks to strong growth in the streaming market.


Country musician Roy Clark was born today in 1933.

Welsh singer and producer Dave Edmunds (Rockpile) is 75.

Legendary Australian hit-maker and producer Mike Chapman is 72. Chapman co-wrote Tony Basil's 'Mickey' and produced dozens of hits for Suzy Quatro, Blondie, The Knack and more.

Ed O'Brien of Radiohead is 51.

Patrick Carney of the Black Keys is 39.

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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