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Today in Music History: A look back on the 1966 Trips Festival

1966 Trips Festival
1966 Trips FestivalWikipedia fair use

January 21, 2020

History Highlight:

Today in 1966, the Trips Festival began at the Longshoreman's Hall in San Francisco. It was a three-day event with tens of thousands of people in attendance, featuring the Grateful Dead, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane and lots and lots of LSD. The weekend was a landmark event in the evolution of psychedelic music and is largely recognized as the first to bring together what would be called the "hippie" movement.

Also, in:

1965 - The Byrds recorded Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" in Los Angeles.

1965 - Over 3,000 screaming fans met The Rolling Stones and Roy Orbison at Sydney Airport when they arrived for a 16 date tour of Australia and New Zealand.

1968 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience began recording their cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" at Olympic Studios in London. Their cover later went on to be their only top 40 single in the U.S.

1978 - The soundtrack album Saturday Night Fever started a 24-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. album charts and stayed on Billboard's album charts for an incredible 120 weeks. It is one of the best-selling albums in history, selling around 40 million copies worldwide.

1982 - B.B. King donated his entire record collection of over 20,000 discs to Mississippi University's Center for the Study of Southern Culture.

1983 - Lamar Williams (the bassist who replaced Berry Oakley in The Allman Brothers Band) died of lung cancer.

1984 - Yes reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart for the first and only time with "Owner of a Lonely Heart" which spent two weeks at No. 1.

1984 - Soul singer Jackie Wilson died at age 49. A tenor with a four octave vocal range, he was nicknamed "Mr. Excitement", and was important in the transition of rhythm and blues into soul. Gaining fame in his early years as a member of the R&B vocal group Billy Ward and His Dominoes, he went solo in 1957 and recorded over 50 hit singles that spanned R&B, pop, soul, doo-wop and easy listening. Wilson suffered a massive heart attack while playing a Dick Clark show at the Latin Casino in New Jersey on September 29, 1975, falling head-first to the stage while singing "Lonely Teardrops", and remained in a coma until his death 8 years later.

1987 - The Coasters became the first vocal group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1987 - During the second Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York City, B.B. King was inducted by Sting, ZZ Top inducted Bo Diddley, Mick Jones of Foreigner inducted Eddie Cochran, Keith Richards inducted Aretha Franklin, Ricky Nelson was posthumously inducted by John Fogerty and Roy Orbison was inducted by Bruce Springsteen.

1990 - Squeeze was the debut band on MTV's Unplugged program.

1992 - Billy Idol plead guilty to assault and battery charges after an incident outside a West Hollywood restaurant. He was fined $2,700 and ordered to appear in a series of anti-drug commercials.

2002 - American singer and actress Peggy Lee died of complications from diabetes and a heart attack at the age of 81.

2004 - The Metallica documentary "Some Kind of Monster" made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. The 141-minute film chronicles the recording of their album St. Anger (2001-2003), one of the more turbulent eras of Metallica's career. A thread throughout the film is their therapy sessions with Phil Towle, a $40,000-a-month "performance-enhancing coach" tasked with getting the band over their mountains of emotional baggage.

2007 - Mika scored his debut U.K. No. 1 hit single with "Grace Kelly", which went on to become the third biggest-selling single in the U.K. that year. Amy Winehouse kept her place at the top of the U.K. album chart with Back to Black.

2012 - Adele was at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with her second studio album 21. The album yielded five hit singles including the lead single "Rolling in the Deep".


Folk singer Richie Havens was born today in 1941.

Billy Ocean is 70.

Jason Mizell, aka Jam Master Jay from Run-D.M.C, was born today in 1965.

Charlyn Marie "Chan" Marshall, aka Cat Power, is 48.

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