Today in Music History: Remembering Johnny Ramone

Johnny Ramone
Johnny Ramone (American Songwriter)

History Highlight:

Today in 1948, John William Cummings - better known as Johnny Ramone - was born in Queens, N.Y. Johnny was the guitarist and a founding member of the Ramones. Known for his fast, high-energy guitar playing, his style was highly influential on many rock guitarists. In 2003, Johnny was No. 16 on Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time." He died on September 15, 2004, after battling prostate cancer. A statue was dedicated in his honor at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles in January 2005.

Also, Today In:

1957 - Working with producer Sam Phillips at Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn., Jerry Lee Lewis recorded his classic, "Great Balls Of Fire."

1966 - Cream drummer Ginger Baker collapsed during a gig at Sussex University in England after playing a 20-minute drum solo. He later recovered in a local hospital.

1980 - Prince releases his third album, Dirty Mind.

1980 - Talking Heads release their fourth album, Remain In Light, their last produced by Brian Eno.

1983 - Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish was released. Tom Waits appeared in the film as the bubblegum-chomping owner of Benny's Billiards. His character existed on the periphery of the main plot line, but he was given an extended, poetic monologue about life, time, and aging.

1987 - Chuck Berry was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His film biography, Hail, Hail Rock & Roll also premiered on the same night.

1988 - Following an unprecedented 741 weeks on the Billboard 200 Album Chart, Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd finally fell off the chart.

1988 - Def Leppard's ballad "Love Bites" hit No. 1 on the Hot 100.

1990 - The Go-Go's posed for the first "Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" poster for PETA.

1990 - Eddie Vedder flew from his home in San Diego to Seattle, where he met his Pearl Jam bandmates for the first time and started a week of recording that became the bulk of their debut album, Ten. Vedder was chosen based on vocals he added to a three-song instrumental demo the band made.

1991 -Soundgarden's second album Badmotorfinger, is released.

1992 - The U.S. Postal Service issued a set of commemorative stamps to celebrate pop music legends, including Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, Otis Redding, Ritchie Valens, Clyde McPhatter and Dinah Washington.

2004 - Ray Charles, who died in June of 2004, scored his first Platinum album when Genius Loves Company, released in September, sold over a million copies.

2007- Arctic Monkeys were named the best act in the world at the Q Awards held in London.

2011 - Weezer bass player Mikey Welsh dies of an overdose-induced heart attack at a hotel in Chicago, Illinois, at age 40.

2013 - Philip Chevron, the guitarist with Irish folk-punk band The Pogues, died of cancer at age 56.

2015 - Scottish singer-songwriter Jim Diamond died at the age of 64.

2016 - Robert Plant and St. Vincent played the Festival of Disruption in Los Angeles, an event staged by the director David Lynch that included film screenings and meditation.

2018 - Taylor Swift offered her political views for the first time, endorsing two Tennessee Democrats and urging her 112 million Instagram followers to vote.

2019 - Malcolm 'Molly' Duncan died at age 74. He was a tenor saxophonist who co-founded the Scottish funk group The Average White Band, who had the 1974 hit 'Pick up the Pieces'.


Nashville-based record producer and pedal steel guitar player Pete Drake was born today in 1932. He passed away in 1988.

Fred Cash of The Impressions is 81.

Ray Royer of Procol Harum is 76.

Tony Wilson of Hot Chocolate, who had the 1975 U.S. No. 3 single "You Sexy Thing" and over 25 other Top 40 hits, is 74.

Bruno Mars is 36.

Nick Cannon is 41.

Noelle Scaggs of Fitz and the Tantrums is 42.

Steve Perry of Cherry Poppin Daddies is 58.

Doc Green of The Drifters is born in 1934. He passed away in 1989.

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

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