Today in Music History: Happy Birthday, Danger Mouse

Danger Mouse
Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) playing with Broken Bells in 2010 (musicisentropy - Flickr: Broken Bells / Wikipedia CC BY-SA 2.0)

History Spotlight:

Brian Joseph Burton better known by his stage name Danger Mouse was born on this day in 1977 making him 44 today. He is an American musician, songwriter and record producer. He came to prominence in 2004 when he released The Grey Album, which combined vocal performances from Jay-Z's The Black Album with instrumentals from the Beatles' The Beatles (aka the White Album). He formed Gnarls Barkley with CeeLo Green and in 2009 he collaborated with James Mercer of the indie rock band The Shins to form the band Broken Bells. As a producer Danger Mouse produced albums for the Gorillaz, Beck, and The Black Keys. Danger Mouse has also produced and co-written albums by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Norah Jones, Electric Guest, Portugal. The Man, Adele, and ASAP Rocky. He has been nominated for 22 Grammy Awards and has won six.

Also, Today In:

1963 - With the U.S. charts full of "hot rod" songs, Capitol Records sent disc jockeys a list of car terms and phrases to help promote the Beach Boys' latest release, "Little Deuce Coupe."

1965 - The Beatles second feature film Help! had its U.K. premiere in London.

1966 - Bob Dylan was riding his Triumph 55 motorcycle to a garage near his home in Woodstock, N.Y., for repairs when the rear wheel locked. Dylan lost control and was thrown over the handlebars, suffering a broken neck vertebra. His recuperation led to a nine-month period of reclusive inactivity.

1966 - At a club in Manchester, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker made their live debut as Cream.

1967 - The Doors started a three-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with an edited version of "Light My Fire." Eventually, many radio stations would start playing the full six-minute, 50-second album cut, which features a longer instrumental break.

1968 - Gram Parsons left The Byrds on the eve of a tour of South Africa, refusing to play to segregated audiences.

1972 - Gilbert O'Sullivan started a five-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Alone Again (Naturally)."

1974 - Mamas And The Papas singer Cass Elliot died in her sleep from a heart attack after playing a sold-out show in London. The Mamas and The Papas performed from 1965 to 1968, released five studio albums and seventeen singles, six of which made the top ten, and sold close to 40 million records worldwide. After the group broke up, Elliot released five solo albums. Interesting fact: After leaving high school, Elliot toured in "The Music Man" but lost the part of Miss Marmelstein in "I Can Get It for You Wholesale" to Barbra Streisand in 1962.

1978 - The film soundtrack to Grease, featuring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, went to No. 1 on the U.S. album chart.

1987 - Michigan governor James Blanchard declared this day "Four Tops Day" in honor of the Motown legends.

2006 - Pamela Anderson married for the second time to US rapper Kid Rock, on a yacht off the French resort of St Tropez. Anderson and Rock split after four months of marriage.

2007 - Heart problems forced Kiss singer and guitarist Paul Stanley to abandon a show in California. Paramedics stopped and restarted his heart to give it a regular rhythm after it spontaneously jumped to 190 plus beats per minute.

2010 - Trumpet player and session musician Roy Caton died at age 83. As a session player in Hollywood recording studios, Caton worked with Nancy Sinatra, The Monkees, (The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees), Harpers Bizarre, (Feelin' Groovy), The Byrds, (The Notorious Byrd Brothers), Love, (Forever Changes), The Righteous Brothers and The Beach Boys on (Pet Sounds).

2011 - Gene McDaniels, who scored the 1961 U.S. No. 3 hit "A Hundred Pounds Of Clay" died at the age of 76 after a short illness. Gene also wrote Roberta Flack's 1974 Grammy-winning No. 1 hit "Feel Like Makin' Love".

2016 - Marianne Ihlen, the subject of Leonard Cohen's song 'So Long, Marianne', died at age 81. Before her death, Cohen had sent her a letter that read, in part, "Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine." Cohen passed away four months later on November 7.

2019 - "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X, became the longest-running No. 1 in U.S. chart history after it topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 17 weeks, overtaking Luis Fonsi's "Despacito" and Mariah Carey's "One Sweet Day", which both spent 16 weeks at No. 1


REO Speedwagon keyboardist Neal Doughty is 75.

Patti Scialfa of the E Street Band is 68.

Geddy Lee, vocalist, bassist and co-founding member of Rush, is 68.

John Sykes of Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake is 62.

Simon Jones of The Verve is 49.

Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men is 48.

Brian Joseph Burton (better-known by his stage name Danger Mouse) is 44.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

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