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Today In Music History

September 22 in Music History: Happy Birthday, Joan Jett

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 06: Joan Jett attends the Bvlgari B.zero1 Rock collection event at Duggal Greenhouse on February 06, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York.
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 06: Joan Jett attends the Bvlgari B.zero1 Rock collection event at Duggal Greenhouse on February 06, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York.Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

September 22, 2023

History Highlight:

On this day in 1958, Joan Jett was born, making her 65 today. Born Joan Marie Larkin in the Philadelphia suburb of Wynnewood, Pa., Jett is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer and occasional actress, best known for her work with the Runaways and with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Among Jett's best-known tracks are the Runaways' single "Cherry Bomb" and the Blackhearts' hits "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "I Hate Myself for Loving You," "Do You Wanna Touch Me", "Light of Day" and "Bad Reputation." She has three albums that have been certified Platinum or Gold, and has played an important role as a feminist icon throughout her career. In 2015, Jett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Also, Today In: 

1958 - After receiving special permission from the U.S. Army, Elvis Presley gave one last press conference at the Military Ocean Terminal in Brooklyn, N.Y. He then joined the rest of the Third Armored Division on the U.S.S. General Randall for a voyage to Bremerhaven, Germany. 

1962 - The Springfields (Dusty Springfield, her brother, Tom, and their friend, Tim Field) entered the U.S. top 20 with their song, "Silver Threads and Golden Needles," thereby becoming the first British vocal group to chart that high in America. 

1969 - The Band released their self-titled album, which peaked at No. 9 on the U.S. chart, and included "Rag Mama Rag," "Up on Cripple Creek" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." In 2009, the album was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry because it was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and reflects life in the United States." 

1976 - Bob Dylan's live album, Hard Rain, was certified Gold (500,000 copies sold) just nine days after its release. 

1978 - Tom Waits makes his film debut in Paradise Alley, written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, playing a bar-dwelling piano player named Mumbles. 

1980 - Geffen Records is formed. 

1981 - Composer Harry Warren died at age 88. Warren wrote more than 800 songs, including "I Only Have Eyes For You," (a hit for The Flamingos and for Art Garfunkel), "That's Amore" and "Chattanooga Choo Choo." Warren's songs have been featured in more than 300 films. 

1984 - John Waite went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Missing You." 

1985 - The first Farm Aid benefit concert was held before a crowd of 80,000 people at the Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. Organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, the event had been spurred on by Bob Dylan's comments at Live Aid earlier in that year that he hoped some of the money would help American farmers. The star-studded line-up of country stars included Alabama, Hoyt Axton, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, the Charlie Daniels Band, John Denver, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn, Roger Miller, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Willie Nelson, Charley Pride, Bonnie Raitt and Kenny Rogers. 

1990 - After parting with original drummer Chad Channing, Nirvana plays their one and only show with Dan Peters of Mudhoney on drums (at the Motor Sports International Garage in Seattle). He is replaced by Dave Grohl, who mans the kit henceforth. 

1990 - The N.W.A. EP 100 Miles and Runnin' (their first release without Ice Cube, who left the group several months earlier to pursue a successful solo career) debuts at #27 on the Billboard 200 chart. 

1992 - Vice President Dan Quayle says that Tupac Shakur's 2Pacalypse Now album "has no place in our society" and calls on record stores to stop selling it. Quayle has beef with Tupac's lyrics about "dropping a cop," as heard in the track "Soulja's Story." Many of the rapper's songs deal with police racism and brutality. 

1994 - Friends debuts on NBC, accompanied by a catchy theme song by The Rembrandts that becomes an unexpected hit. 

1995 - Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting System agree to a $7.5 million merger. 

1998 - The Goo Goo Dolls release their smash album Dizzy Up The Girl, which includes the singles "Iris," "Slide," and "Black Balloon." 

1999 - Diana Ross was arrested on the Concorde aircraft after an incident at Heathrow Airport. The singer claimed that a female security guard had touched her breasts while Ross was being frisked; Ross retaliated by rubbing her hands down the security guard. 

2004 - Cat Stevens, who now goes by the name of Yusuf Islam, was escorted from a diverted transatlantic flight and refused entry into America by FBI agents. The singer's name showed up on a U.S. watch list after United Airlines Flight 919 had taken off from London. The flight landed in Maine where Islam, who was traveling with his 21-year-old daughter, was detained and questioned. 

2010 - Eddie Fisher, one of the biggest pop stars of the '50s, dies of complications from hip surgery in Berkeley, California, at age 82. 

2012 - Taylor Swift's single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" notches its third week at #1 on the Hot 100. Swift is still considered a country artist (the song also hits #1 on the Country chart), which puts her in company with Kenny Rogers in terms of crossover appeal; the last country song to spend at least three weeks at #1 was Rogers' "Lady" back in 1980. 

2015 - A U.S. District Judge ruled that the original copyright to "Happy Birthday" was invalid and the song would now be entirely in the public domain. The copyright was obtained by the Clayton F. Summy Co. from the song's writers, sisters Mildred and Patty Hill, and bought for $15 million in 1988 by Warner / Chappell Music Inc. 

2018 - Chas Hodges of Chas & Dave dies at 74. 

2018 - Paul McCartney's album Egypt Station hits #1 in America, his first chart-topper on that tally since Tug of War in 1982. 


Deep Purple and Whitesnake vocalist David Coverdale is 72. 

Debby Boone is 67. 

Nick Cave is 66. 

Andrea Bocelli is 65. 

Christian Wargo guitarist for Fleet Foxes is 43. 

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