The Current

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

June 18 in Music History: Happy birthday, Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartneyMary McCartney

June 18, 2024

History Highlight:

Sir James Paul McCartney was born today in 1942, making him 82 today. He is best-known for being a bassist and singer with The Beatles, but also for his successful solo career which is still going strong to this day as he sells out stadium shows all over the world. You can't talk about McCartney without mentioning his songwriting abilities - his song "Yesterday" alone has been covered by more than 2,200 artists, he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, and has won 18 Grammys. He received appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1965 and, in 1997, he was knighted for services to music.

Also, Today In:

1948 - Columbia Records started the first mass production of the 33-RPM long-playing record (or "LP"). The new format could contain up to 23 minutes of music per side versus the three-minute capacity of a 78-RPM disc.

1974 - Rare Earth drummer Peter Rivera (whose real name is Peter Hoorelbeke) was arrested after a concert for throwing his drumsticks into the crowd.

1975 - Elvis Presley had a facelift at Mid South hospital in Memphis.

1976 - Abba gave a special live performance in Stockholm for Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf and Silvia Sommerlath on the eve of their wedding.

1977 - Fleetwood Mac went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Dreams", from their eleventh studio album Rumours, and the group's first and only U.S. No. 1 single. Nicks said she wrote the song at the Record Plant studio in Sausalito, CA, in about 10 minutes. In the U.S., the song sold over a million copies.

1977 - Johnny Rotten and Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols were stabbed and beaten when they were attacked in a parking lot by thugs who apparently objected to the Pistols' anti-monarchist song, "God Save the Queen." The next day, another member of the Pistols, Paul Cook, was beaten by a gang armed with iron pipes.

1980 - The Blues Brothers film made its New York premiere.

1984 - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds released their debut studio album, From Her to Eternity.

1984 - Elvis Costello and the Attractions released Goodbye Cruel World. It’s his eighth with the Attractions and ninth overall. It features “I Wanna Be Loved” and “The Only Flame in Town.”

1993 - A&M Records chairman Jerry Moss and vice-chairman Herb Alpert announced they were leaving the company they founded more than 30 years earlier. In 1990, Moss and Alpert had sold A&M to Polygram Records for $500 million. The label was home to such acts as The Police, Bryan Adams, Joan Baez, Flying Burrito Brothers, The Carpenters, Joe Cocker, Supertramp and Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass.

2010 - John Lennon's handwritten lyrics to The Beatles song, "A Day In The Life," sold for $1.2 million at an auction at Sotheby's in New York.

2015 - Van Morrison, Cyndi Lauper and Toby Keith were among the inductees into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia was also inducted posthumously alongside the band's lyricist Robert Hunter.

2016 - Adele was named songwriter of the year at the Ivor Novello Awards, which recognizes achievement in songwriting. The singer was honored for her multi-million selling album, 25, which emerged after the artist struggled with writer's block.

2018 - Rapper XXXTentacion died due to multiple gunshot wounds at the age of 20.

2020 - English singer, songwriter and entertainer Vera Lynn died at her home in East Sussex aged 103. She was popular during the Second World War and was widely referred to as the "Forces' Sweetheart" giving outdoor concerts for the British troops overseas. The songs most associated with her are 'We'll Meet Again', and '(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover'. On their 1979 album The Wall, Pink Floyd released a song titled "Vera", referencing Vera Lynn and the song 'We'll Meet Again'.

2020 - Jamaican guitarist Hux Brown died in Oakland, California, at age 75. He was featured on many successful rocksteady and reggae records in the '60s and '70s, and was later a member of Toots and the Maytals.


Sammy Cahn — songwriter of the Oscar-winning song “Three Coins in the Fountain,” as well as “Love and Marriage,” “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head?” “Come Fly With Me,” and “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” — was born today in 1913.

Tommy Hunt, singer in the Flamingos (“I Only Have Eyes for You”), is 91.

Richard Perry — record producer who worked with Captain Beefheart, Tiny Tim, Harry Nilsson, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Carly Simon, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, and many more — is 82.

Carl Radle — bassist for Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Kris Kristofferson, George Harrison, and more — was born today in 1942.

Alison Moyet is 63.

Sandy Posey (“Born a Woman”) is 80.

Dizzy Reed, keyboardist for Guns N' Roses, is 61.

Guitarist Simon “Sice” Rowbottom of the Boo Radleys is 55.

Nathan Morris of Boys II Men is 53.

Ray LaMontagne is 51.

Country singer Blake Shelton is 48.

Music exec Scooter Braun is 43.

Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots is 36.

Takeoff of Migos was born today in 1994.

Trippie Redd is 25.

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