Today in Music History: Happy Birthday, PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey (Maria Mochnacz)

History Highlight:

Happy 50th birthday to PJ Harvey, who was born on this day in 1969. Born Polly Jean Harvey, she is an English musician, singer-songwriter, writer, poet, and composer. She first joined the band Automatic Dlamini as a vocalist, guitarist, and saxophone player, then released several albums with a trio, then Harvey continued as a solo artist and releasing many more albums including this year's All About Eve. She has received seven Grammy nominations and Rolling Stone awarded her 1992's Best New Artist and Best Singer Songwriter, and 1995's Artist of the Year.

Also, Today In:

1961 - Ray Charles started a two week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Hit The Road Jack."

1964 - The Beach Boys recorded "Dance Dance Dance," with Glen Campbell playing the lead-guitar intro. It would go on to become the Beach Boys' 12th Top 40 hit.

1964 - Because of an anti-apartheid embargo by the British Musicians' union, the Rolling Stones cancelled a South African tour.

1965 - The Beatles started a four-week run at No.1 on the U.S. singles chart with the Paul McCartney ballad 'Yesterday' giving the group their tenth US No.1.

1973 - Elvis Presley and Priscilla divorced after six years of marriage. Priscilla was awarded property, $725,000 cash and $4,200 a month support.

1975 - Sean Taro Ono Lennon was born, the only child of John Lennon by Yoko Ono; John and Sean share the same birthday (John was 35 when Sean was born). Sean went on to become a singer, songwriter, musician and actor.

1976 - Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "A Fifth Of Beethoven," a disco rendition of the composer's Symphony No. 5, Op. 67, First Movement.

1978 - Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel died of cancer at age 49. Artists who have recorded Brel's songs include Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield, David Bowie and Nina Simone.

1984 - The popular children's show "Thomas The Tank Engine And Friends" begins its run on BBC-TV, featuring a narrator by the name of Ringo Starr.

1985 - On what would have been John Lennon's 45th birthday, a section of Central Park in New York City was christened "Strawberry Fields" in his memory.

1993 - Nirvana entered the U.S. album chart at No. 1 with In Utero, their third and final studio album.

2000 - Dennis DeYoung of Styx, unable to tour because of debilitating fatigue, sues the band for touring without him. The suit is eventually settled, but DeYoung never returns to the fold. Styx carries on without him, but leaves most of his songs out of the setlists.

2001 - Bono, Michael Stipe, and Moby make unannounced appearances in New York at the second of two anti-violence benefit concerts organized by the Beastie Boys.

2006 - The Bad Brains kicked off a three-night residency at CBGB's, during the famed music venue's last week of operation.

2007 - The Imagine Peace Tower was officially unveiled near Reykjavik, Iceland. The memorial to John Lennon from his widow, Yoko Ono, consists of a tall "tower of light" projected from a white stone monument that has the words "Imagine Peace" carved into it in 24 languages.

2008 - Paul McCartney (a vegetarian for 30 years) was said to be furious when he heard that a Liverpool branch of McDonald's restaurant displayed his picture, accusing them of using it to attract customers. Sir Paul was quoted as saying "What sort of morons do McDonald's think Beatles fans are?"


John Lennon was born today in 1940.

The Who bassist John Entwhistle was born today in 1944.

Jackson Browne is 71.

Sharon Osbourne is 67.

Thomas Wydler from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds is 60.

Pogues accordionist James Fearnley is 65.

Sean Lennon (with the same birthday as his dad) is 44.

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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