Today in Music History: Happy Birthday, Wayne Coyne

Flaming Lips
The Flaming Lips performing live at Rock the Garden 2016 (MPR / Nate Ryan)

History Highlight:

Today in 1961, Wayne Coyne, Flaming Lips frontman, was born, making him 60 today. The Flaming Lips, which formed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1983, have released 15 studio albums and won three Grammys and were nominated for three more. They might be best-known, however, for their elaborate live shows, which feature costumes, balloons, puppets, video projections, complex stage light configurations, giant hands, large amounts of confetti, and Coyne's signature man-sized plastic bubble, in which he traverses the audience. We were lucky enough to have the Flaming Lips headline 2016's Rock the Garden, as seen above.

Also, in:

1962 - Chubby Checker's "The Twist" became the only single in the history of the charts to make it to #1 on two separate occasions. The first time had been in September of 1960.

1963 - The Beatles recorded a TV appearance on the ABC Television program "Thank Your Lucky Stars" in Birmingham playing their new single, "Please Please Me". The show was broadcast on January 19.

1965 - The first day of recording sessions for Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home album were held at Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios in New York City. Dylan recorded "Subterranean Homesick Blues," and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue."

1968 - Johnny Cash played a show, which was recorded for his forthcoming live album at Folsom Prison, near Sacramento, California in front of 2,000 inmates. When released, the lead single, "Folsom Prison Blues" (an update of his 1956 hit) became one of the most famous recordings of his career. The song combines elements from two popular folk styles, the train song and the prison song, both of which Cash would continue to use for the rest of his career.

1969 - Elvis Presley started recording in Memphis for the first time since the Sun sessions in 1955.

1978 - Work began on the first album by Sting (Gordon Sumner), Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland, known as The Police. The album would be titled Outlandos d'Amour.

1979 - Toto peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart with their debut single "Hold The Line".

1979 - The Y.M.C.A., unimpressed and certainly not amused by the flamboyantly gay Village People's song "Y.M.C.A.," sued the group. The action was later dropped.

1980 - The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Starship, The Beach Boys, Santana and Joan Baez performed a benefit concert for the people of Kampuchea at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, CA.

1984 - BBC Radio 1 announced a ban on "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, after DJ Mike Read called it "obscene", a BBC TV ban also followed.

2004 - The NFL rejected Bono's request to perform "American Prayer" during the Super Bowl halftime show as part of an effort to raise awareness about the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

2016 - The Rolling Stones' first manager, Giorgio Gomelsky, passed away at the age of 82. He owned the Crawdaddy Club in London where The Rolling Stones were the house band. After he was replaced by Andrew Loog Oldham in May of 1963, Gomelsky went on to manage The Yardbirds, Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger before moving to New York in 1978 and opening The Green Door nightclub.

2017 - Magic Alex (Alexis Mardas) a Greek electronics engineer died aged 74. He is best-known for his close association with the Beatles.


Laurens Hammond, inventor of the Hammond organ, was born today in 1895. The sound of the Hammond was used by many rock artists including Procol Harum, Keith Emerson, Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers and The Faces. Hammond died on July 3, 1973.

Trevor Rabin, guitarist for Yes, is 67.

Fred White, drummer with Earth, Wind & Fire, is 66.

Don Snow of Squeeze is 64.

Graham "Suggs" McPherson, the lead singer of Madness, is 60.

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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