Today in Music History: Happy Birthday, David Ball

Soft Cell tainted love
"Tainted Love" artwork for original 1981 release (Wikipedia Fair Use)

History Highlight:

David James Ball (Dave Ball) was born today in 1959, making him 62 today. Best-known for his inclusion in bands such as Soft Cell and The Grid, he has also collaborated with other producers including Ingo Vauk and Chris Braide. The duo Soft Cell is known for their 1981 hit version of "Tainted Love" and their platinum-selling debut album Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret.

Also, Today In:

1958 - The popular disc jockey Alan Freed hosted a concert at the Boston Arena (a hockey rink) featuring Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly. Accounts vary, but the crowd rushed the stage at various times, and Freed kept imploring them to sit down. Freed was forced to stop the show, telling the crowd, "It looks like the Boston police don't want you to have a good time." Violence erupted and spilled over to the streets. Boston did not host another Rock concert until 1964, when The Beatles came through.

1967 - The Hollies recorded 'Carrie Anne'. The song reached No. 3 on the U.K. Singles Chart and was also a hit in the U.S. and Canada, peaking at No. 9 on both pop charts. It also reached No. 4 in the Irish charts. Fun fact: Actress Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix, Memento, Jessica Jones) was named by her mother in honor of the song, which was released three months before her birth.

1968 - Not to be outdone by The Beatles, The Beach Boys began an 18-date tour with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as the opening act. The plan backfired as half the dates had to be canceled due to lack of interest.

1976 - Paul McCartney's Wings Over America tour opened in Fort Worth, Texas. It was his first U.S. concert appearance in a decade.

1986 - The Rolling Stones peaked at number four on Billboard 200 Album Chart with Dirty Work. They also peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart with their cover of "Harlem Shuffle".

1986 - The Silver Dollar City Tennessee amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee was reopened as "Dollywood" after Dolly Parton took an ownership stake.

1991 - Texas Governor Ann Richards declares ZZ Top Day.

2000 - Metallica sent over 60,000 pages of information to Napster's headquarters, detailing more than 1.4 million copyright violations of the band's songs and recordings by 335,435 of the site's distinct users.

2001 - London based bank Coutts And Co. turned down applications from members of Oasis to open accounts on the grounds of the band's bad behavior.

2006 - Bob Dylan's first hosted radio show aired on XM Satellite Radio, with Dylan playing tracks by Prince, Wilco, Blur, LL Cool J and Billy Bragg, among others.

2008 - Sean 'Diddy' Combs was honored with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. The 38-year-old dedicated the star to his father, who died in 1972.

2014 - Bobby Gregg died at age 78. Gregg is best-known for his work as a drummer on several seminal 1960s songs, including Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" and Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence". He was also temporarily a member of The Hawks, which later became known as The Band.

2020 - The Stranglers' keyboard player Dave Greenfield died at the age of 71 after testing positive for coronavirus. He is best-known as a long-standing member of the rock band and penning the music for their biggest hit 'Golden Brown'.


Bing Crosby was born today in 1903.

American folk singer and social activist, Pete Seeger was born on this day in 1919.

James Brown was born today in 1933.

Four Seasons frontman Frankie Valli is 87.

Pete Staples of The Troggs is 77.

Christopher Cross is 70.

Bruce Hall, bassist for REO Speedwagon, is 68.

Drummer Sterling Campbell is 57.

John Driskell Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band is 50.

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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