The Current

Great Music Lives Here ®
Listener-Supported Music
Donate Now
Today In Music History

March 23 in Music History: Happy Birthday, Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn celebrates his birthday today, March 23.
Damon Albarn celebrates his birthday today, March 23.Linda Brown Lee

March 23, 2023

History highlight:

On this day in 1968, Damon Albarn was born - making him 55 today. The English-Icelandic musician, singer-songwriter and composer is the frontman of the rock band Blur and the co-creator and primary musical contributor of the virtual band Gorillaz.

Also, today in:

1956 - Fats Domino headlined the first day of a three-day concert organized by the DJ Alan Freed in Hartford, Connecticut. Over the course of the shows, 11 fans were arrested by overzealous police. It was a litmus test for rock concerts and their effect on young people, as psychiatrist Francis Braceland testified afterwards that rock music is "a communicable disease with music appealing to adolescent insecurity and driving teenagers to do outlandish things. It is cannibalistic and tribalistic."

1963 - Ruby and the Romantics went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Our Day Will Come."

1972 - The film of The Concert For Bangladesh, featuring George Harrison, Bob Dylan, and Eric Clapton, premiered in New York. The event was the first benefit concert of this magnitude in world history. The concert, which was administered by UNICEF, raised $243,418.51 to aid victims of famine and war in Bangladesh. To this day, sales of the album and DVD continue to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.

1973 - U.S. immigration authorities ordered John Lennon to leave the United States within 60 days. Lennon then began a long battle to earn his Green Card, which he was finally granted on July 27, 1976.

1977 - Elvis Presley appeared at the Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., the first show in a 49-date, three-month U.S. tour, which proved to be Presley's final tour.

1978 - A&M Records sign a young new band called The Police.

1985 - Former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty went to No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with Centerfield.

1985 - Billy Joel married the "Uptown Girl" Christie Brinkley. They remained married for nine years.

1997 - U2 were at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with Pop, the band's fifth U.S. No. 1 album.

2000 - 60-year-old Tina Turner launches her Twenty Four Seven tour at the Target Center in Minneapolis. It takes in $80 million, making it the top-grossing tour of 2000. The tour promoted her final studio album Twenty Four Seven (1999). 

2008 - Jack Johnson was at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with his fifth album, Sleep Through The Static. The album spent three weeks at the top of the charts.

2011 - Guitarist Pete Townshend told Uncut magazine that he regretted ever forming the band, The Who. "What would I have done differently? I would never have joined a band," Townshend was quoted as saying. "Even though I am quite a good gang member and a good trooper on the road, I am bad at creative collaboration."

2014 - Canadian musician Dave Brockie, best known as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Gwar, died of an apparent heroin overdose.

2016 - Gloria Gaynor's hit "I Will Survive" was selected to enter the U.S. National Recording Registry. A top-selling song after its initial release, it sold 14 million copies worldwide, has had more than 200 cover versions released in more than 20 different languages worldwide, and has been certified platinum.


Ric Ocasek of the Cars was born on this day in 1944.

Chaka Khan (born Yvette Marie Stevens) is 70.

John Strohm of the Lemonheads is 56.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.