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Today In Music History

September 26 in Music History: The Beatles released Abbey Road

Album art for 'Abbey Road'
Album art for 'Abbey Road'via NPR

September 26, 2023

History Highlight:

Today in 1969, The Beatles released their 11th studio album, Abbey Road. It's viewed as one of the Beatles' best albums, and one of the greatest albums of all time with songs such as "Something" / "Come Together", "I Want You (She's So Heavy)",  "Here Comes the Sun", "Because", and "Golden Slumbers". It is the last album the group started recording, although Let It Be was the last album completed before the band's break-up in April 1970. The album's cover, featuring the group walking across a marked crosswalk outside Abbey Road Studios, has become one of the most famous and imitated in the history of recorded music. 

Also, Today In: 

1937 - Blues singer Bessie Smith died aged 43 after being involved in a car accident while traveling along Route 61 outside Memphis, Tennessee. With the nickname "the Empress of the Blues", she was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s, and one of the greatest singers of her era. 

1956 - Fats Domino's version of "Blueberry Hill" entered the chart and zoomed to the Top 5. The song has an interesting history: It was a hit by Glenn Miller as a new tune in 1940, then, Louis Armstrong successfully revived it in the early '50s, but Fats had the big hit. 

1956 - Elvis Presley returns to his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi, to play the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show. One of the many smitten teenage girls in the audience is Wynette Pugh, who goes on to stardom as Tammy Wynette. 

1957 - The musical West Side Story, a retelling of Romeo and Juliet with New York City gang members, debuts on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre. It runs for 732 performances. 

1964 - Roy Orbison started a three week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Oh Pretty Woman". 

1965 - Queen Elizabeth II bestowed honor upon The Beatles with the Order Of The British Empire. 

1974 - John Lennon releases Walls And Bridges. 

1975 - The Rocky Horror Picture Show opens in Westwood, California. Featuring a young Meat Loaf along with Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon, the movie tanks but later becomes a cult classic, with audience members shouting back at the screen and bringing toast, toilet paper, and other assorted items to enhance the viewing experience. 

1979 - U2 made their recorded debut with Three, a three-song EP featuring the songs “Out of Control,” “Stories for Boys,” and “Boy/Girl.” Upon its release, all 1,000 copies of the 12-inch vinyl sold out instantly, making the EP the fastest-selling 12-inch record ever in Ireland. 

1981 - The Go-Go's started a six-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with Beauty And The Beat

1987 - Michael Jackson started a six-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with Bad. Released nearly five years after Jackson's previous studio album, Thriller, Bad went on to become the world's best-selling album, having sold between 30 to 45 million copies worldwide. The album produced five U.S. No. 1s. 

2000 - Good Charlotte release their self-titled debut album. 

2000 - 98 Degrees' new album Revelation is premiered in US Wal-Mart stores via an exclusive satellite broadcast concert. 

2002 - Colin Hay of Men at Work appears throughout the Scrubs episode "My Overkill," performing his song "Overkill" in various fantasy sequences. 

2003 - Singer Robert Palmer ("Addicted To Love") died of a heart attack in a Paris hotel room. He was 54. 

2008 - Clay Aiken announces he is gay in People magazine, saying: "It was the first decision I made as a father. I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn't raised that way, and I'm not going to raise a child to do that." 

2009 - Jay-Z started a two-week run at No.1 on the US album charts with 'The Blueprint 3', the rappers eleventh studio album. 

2012 - Pink, aka "P!nk," lands her first #1 album in America with The Truth About Love. Her sixth studio album, it features the hits "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" and "Just Give Me A Reason." 

2014 -  Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke releases his second solo album, Tomorrow's Modern Boxes, for just $6 on the peer-to-peer file-sharing platform BitTorrent. According to the album's producer, Nigel Godrich, "It could be an effective way of handing some control of Internet commerce back to people who are creating the work." In just over a week, the album averages 1.8 million downloads. 

2016 - Universal, Warner Brothers, Sony and several other record labels filed a lawsuit against the operators of YouTube-mp3.org, a service that allowed its users to remove audio from videos streamed on YouTube. The court action, launched against a German company, alleged that "tens, or even hundreds, of millions of tracks are illegally copied and distributed by stream ripping services each month." 

Birthdays: 

Bryan Ferry, singer for Roxy Music, is 78. 

Olivia Newton-John was born on this day in 1948. She passed away in August of 2022. 

Tracey Thorn of Everything But The Girl is 61. 

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