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Jan. 24 in Music History: Paul Simon released his self-titled album -

Paul Simon released his self-titled album

Paul Simon performs in 1980.
Paul Simon performs in 1980.Keystone/Getty Images

January 24, 2023

History Highlight:

Today in 1972, Paul Simon released his self-titled album. It was technically his second solo album after he split with his musical partner Art Garfunkel, but his first solo album remained unreleased in the U.S. until 1981, when it appeared in the 5-LP Collected Works boxed set. His self-titled album topped the charts in the U.K., Japan and Norway and reached No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Pop Albums. It was certified platinum in 1986. The album produced three singles - "Mother and Child Reunion", "Duncan", and “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard".

Also, Today In:

1958 - The Quarrymen performed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool (the band's only performance at the club). It was three years later when they appeared again at the Cavern but under their new name as The Beatles.

1961 - Bob Dylan arrived in New York after dropping out of the University of Minnesota. He immediately got to work, playing a show at the club "Cafe Wha?" in Greenwich Village.

1962 - "The Twist" craze peaked, with a re-released version of Chubby Checker's song at No. 1 for the last time.

1963 - American lyricist Otto Harbach died at age 90 in New York City. He co-wrote, "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", U.S. and U.K. No. 1 for The Platters in 1958.

1967 - Aretha Franklin recorded her first Top 10 pop hit, "(I Never Loved A Man) The Way That I Love You," at a famously tumultuous session at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

1969 - The Doors appeared at Madison Square Garden, New York City. They were paid over $50,000 for the gig making them one of the highest paid acts that year.

1972 - Aretha Franklin released Young, Gifted and Black, her eighteenth studio album. The album went No. 2 on Billboard's R&B albums survey and peaked at No. 11 on the main album chart. It was certified Gold by the RIAA and its title was cut from "To Be Young, Gifted and Black", recorded and released by Nina Simone in 1969.

1976 - Bob Dylan started a five-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with his 17th studio album, Desire. The album features "Hurricane", which protests the conviction of former middleweight boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter for triple murder in 1966, arguing his innocence.

1977 - The Buzzcocks appeared at the Roxy, in London, England, supported by Chelsea.

1979 - The Clash released their first single in the U.S. with "I Fought The Law" (written by Sonny Curtis of Buddy Holly's Crickets, later popularized in a version by the Bobby Fuller Four). Joe Strummer and Mick Jones were inspired to learn the song after hearing the Bobby Fuller version on a jukebox owned by a San Francisco recording studio where they had been recording overdubs for their second album. This cover version helped gain the Clash their first taste of airplay in the States and is one of the best-known cover versions of the song.

1980 - Pink Floyd advertised their upcoming world tour to promote their album The Wall with a special billboard on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip that was gradually covered up each day with a brick until an entire wall was built over it.

1991 - The Cure film their MTV Unplugged special at Limehouse TV Studios in London. The acoustic set includes an alternate version of their new song "A Letter To Elise." Audience members are also given kazoos to replace the synthesizer riffs on "The Walk."

1998 - Oasis had a No. 1 hit single in Britain with "All Around The World." At 9:38, the song enjoyed the distinction of having the longest running time ever for a No. 1 record.

1999 - The Offspring went to No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart with "Pretty Fly, For A White Guy". Taken from their fifth studio album Americana, the single was a No. 1 hit in ten other countries.

2005 - Country-pop singer Lynn Anderson was arrested for stealing a Harry Potter DVD from a supermarket in Taos, New Mexico, and then, allegedly, punching the arresting officer in the stomach.

2008 - Amy Winehouse was admitted into rehab in a battle to kick her addiction to drugs.

2016 - David Bowie was at No. 1 on both the U.K. and U.S. album charts with his twenty-fifth and final studio album Blackstar.

2017 - Drummer Butch Trucks from The Allman Brothers Band died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at the age of 69.

2018 - English singer and songwriter Mark E. Smith from Manchester post-punk band The Fall died aged 60 after a long illness with lung and kidney cancer. Smith formed the Fall in 1976 and was the only constant member of the band. He was known for his tempestuous relationship with his bandmates, and frequently fired them - there were 66 different members over the years.

2019 - Weezer released The Teal Album, a collection of covers featuring their hit rendition of "Africa." Selections include "Take On Me," "No Scrubs" and "Billie Jean."


Ray Stevens is 84.

Aaron Neville is 82.

Neil Diamond is 82.

Warren Zevon was born today in 1947.

Blues Brother John Belushi was born today in 1949.

Jools Holland of Squeeze is 65.

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