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Today In Music History

August 30 in Music History: The Byrds release Sweetheart of the Rodeo album

American country-folk-rock band The Byrds on the eve of the 1972 Midem Festival at Cannes, they are; Skip Battin (rear), Gene Parsons (left), Clarence White (right) and Roger McGuinn (front).
American country-folk-rock band The Byrds on the eve of the 1972 Midem Festival at Cannes, they are; Skip Battin (rear), Gene Parsons (left), Clarence White (right) and Roger McGuinn (front).Michael Webb/Getty Images

August 30, 2023

History Highlight:

In 1968, The Byrds, joined by Gram Parsons, released their sixth studio album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Though the band had dabbled with a country sound on previous albums, Sweetheart of the Rodeo was a full send and became the first album widely recognized as “country rock.” It brought Parsons - the newest addition to the band at the time - into the mainstream, where he would help usher country music into a new era. (He did, however, leave the band before the album was even released.) And though it was met with some resistance by the country music establishment in Nashville, who perceived it as a bunch of hippies subverting country music, it was a seminal album that helped clear the way for non-traditional expressions of the genre. 

Also, Today In: 

1966 - The Mamas and the Papas release their self-titled album. 

1969 - The Birmingham band Earth changes its name when lead singer Ozzy Osbourne announces on stage that the band's new name is Black Sabbath. 

1969 - Santana release their self-titled debut album, with standout tracks "Evil Ways" and "Soul Sacrifice." 

1971 - The Beach Boys released the album Surf's Up

1972 - John Lennon and Yoko Ono played Madison Square Gardens to raise money for the One to One charity. Stevie Wonder, Sha Na Na and Roberta Flack also appeared at the event. Lennon personally bought $60,000 worth of tickets which were given to volunteer fund-raisers. Several of the performances were later included on Lennon's, Live in New York City album. 

1975 - James Taylor's remake of Marvin Gaye's 1965 hit "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" made the Top 5. 

1975 - KC and the Sunshine Band went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Get Down Tonight." The song was the first of their five No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. The band is also best known for "That's the Way (I Like It)", "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty", and "Boogie Shoes". 

1980 - Barclay James Harvest perform "A Concert For The People" next to the Berlin Wall to an audience of approximately 250,000. 

1989 - Izzy Stradlin from Guns N' Roses was arrested for making a public disturbance on a U.S. air flight. Stradlin had urinated on the floor, verbally abused a stewardess and smoked in the non-smoking section of the aircraft. 

1993 - Billy Joel is the first musical guest on David Letterman's first show after moving to CBS. 

1995 - Carly Simon and James Taylor performed live together in front of 10,000 fans on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. It was the first time they appeared live on the same stage since 1979. The former couple played their own solo sets before combining their efforts in raising money for the local agricultural society. 

1995 - Sleeps With Angels by Neil Young & Crazy Horse was a Top 10 album on this day. The record was Neil's reaction to the suicide death of Kurt Cobain. 

1995 - Sterling Morrison, the guitar player for The Velvet Underground, died of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma the day after his 53rd birthday. 

1997 - The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Puff Daddy and Mase went to No.1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Mo Money Mo Problems". 

2002 - Bruce Springsteen released The Rising, his first album with the E Street Band since 1987 and his first material since 9/11. 

2004 - Bjork releases Medulla, an album made up almost entirely of human voices. 

2005 - Rihanna, 17, releases her first album, Music Of The Sun. The lead single is the hit "Pon De Replay." 

2007 - Lil Wayne was sued by a woman for $1 million who claimed she was crushed at one of his concerts after a large amount of cash was thrown into the audience. Tyrique Layne, then 17, said she lost consciousness after being trampled by the crowd at a gig in Maryland in October 2006, and had suffered memory loss and severe headaches. 

2011 - Alleging that Elvis Presley "was unjustly exploited during his lifetime by his record company," his estate announced a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Arista Music, formerly RCA Records, demanding proper payment over new media income such as ringtones, downloads and entertainment apps. 

2014 - Kate Bush followed her stage comeback by becoming the first woman to have eight albums in the U.K. charts at the same time. Two of the singer's albums were in the top 10, and eight overall in the top 40. It came after she returned for her first live concerts for 35 years. The only artists ahead of Bush are Elvis Presley, who had 12 entries in the top 40 after his death in 1977 and The Beatles who had 11 in 2009. 

2016 - The 2017 edition of Guinness World Records said that Ringo Starr's copy of The Beatles' White Album was officially the most expensive LP ever sold at an auction. Guinness confirmed that a December 2015 sale set a new high for album prices when the first-edition copy with the catalog number 0000001, which was kept in a vault in perfect condition by Starr for more than 35 years, sold for $790,000. 

2019 - Tool release their first album in 13 years, "fear inoculum." 

2020 - Lady Gaga was a big winner at the MTV VMAs. 


Kitty Wells was born on this day in 1919. She passed away in 2012. 

Influential British DJ John Peel was born today in 1939. He passed away in 2004.  

Paul Oakenfold is 60. 

Rachael Price of Lake Street Dive is 38. 

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