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Today in Music History: 'Georgia On My Mind' is the state song of Georgia

Ray Charles
Ray CharlesCourtesy of the artist, via NPR

April 24, 2019

History Highlight:

Today in 1979, Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind" was proclaimed the state song of Georgia. Originally written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell, many assume the song is a Ray Charles original due to his close association with the song — widely regarded as the definitive rendition.

Also, Today in:

1961 - Bob Dylan appeared on Harry Belafonte's album The Midnight Special, playing harmonica on the track "Calypso King". Dylan was paid a $50 session fee for this his first-ever recording.

1961 - Del Shannon started a four-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Runaway".

1968 - The Beatles' new company, Apple Records, turned down an offer to sign a new artist by the name of David Bowie.

1971 - Crosby Stills Nash & Young went to No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with "4 Way Street."

1975 - Pete Ham of Badfinger passed away in his London home at the age of 27.

1976 - Wings At The Speed Of Sound went to No. 1 on the U.S. album chart. Paul McCartney's fifth No. 1 album after The Beatles became his most successful American chart album, spending seven non-consecutive weeks at No. 1.

1976 - With rumors of a Beatles reunion swirling, Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels went on camera to offer the guys $3,000 (union scale) to reunite on the show. Paul McCartney and John Lennon were watching at Lennon's New York City apartment and consider showing up on a lark, but pass up the opportunity.

1981 - New Order started work on their first album at Strawberry studios in Stockport, England.

1992 - David Bowie married Somali-born supermodel and actress Iman in Switzerland. They had one daughter, Alexandria "Lexi" Zahra Jones, born in August 2000. They couple was married until Bowie passed away in 2016.

1993 - 40,000 people turned out in Ames, Iowa, for Farm Aid VI, a benefit for family farmers in the United States, organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young. Alongside Nelson and Young, other performers on the bill included Johnny Cash, Lyle Lovett, Ringo Starr, Martina McBride, and The Jayhawks.

2006 - Billy Joel became the first non-athlete to earn a banner at Madison Square Garden when he sold out the venue for the 12th time on his tour. His #12 hangs alongside retired greats who played in the Garden like Willis Reed, Walt Frazier and Mark Messier.

2007 - U.S. President George W. Bush was denied a luxury suite at the Imperial Hotel in Vienna when Mick Jagger, in town with The Rolling Stones on a tour, books it first.

2012 - Sinead O'Connor cancelled the remaining dates of her world tour, saying she was still recovering from a "very serious breakdown". In a statement on her official website, she said she had canceled all concerts that year due to her bipolar disorder. Her website was also deleted along with her Twitter account.

2012 - The Beach Boys began their 50th anniversary tour, which reunited Brian Wilson with fellow founders Mike Love and Al Jardine, along with longtime members Bruce Johnston and David Marks.

2016 - Papa Wemba, the King of Rumba Rock, died at age 66 during a show. He was one of the most popular musicians of his time in Africa and played an important role in world music.

2016 - American soul singer Billy Paul died at his home in New Jersey, from pancreatic cancer at the age of 81. He was best known for his 1972 hit "Me and Mrs. Jones", which won a Grammy and reached No. 1 in the U.S.


Barbra Streisand is 77.

Doug Clifford, drummer with Creedence Clearwater Revival, is 74.

Glenn Cornick of Jethro Tull was born today in 1947.

Nigel Harrison of Blondie is 68.

Jack Blades, bassist with Night Ranger and Damn Yankees, is 65.

Boris Williams of The Cure is 62.

David Jay of Bauhaus is 62.

Billy Gould of Faith No More is 56.

Patty Schemel of Hole is 52.

Aaron Comess of the Spin Doctors is 51.

Kelly Clarkson is 37.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.