This Day in Music
 
December 13th: On this Day
1955, Dickie Valentine was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Christmas Alphabet', the first Christmas song to reach the No.1 position. It was the first Christmas No.1 that was actually about Christmas, a trend that would continue off and on over the next several decades.
1961, The Beatles performed at the The Cavern Club Liverpool playing two shows at lunchtime and then again at night. Decca Records' Mike Smith attended the night performance with a view to offering The Beatles a recording contract.
1962, Elvis Presley was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Return To Sender', his 13th UK No.1. Elvis performed 'Return To Sender' in the film Girls! Girls! Girls!. The opening bars and backing on baritone saxophone was performed by Bobby Keys who later went on to work with The Rolling Stones, The Who, Harry Nilsson, George Harrison and Eric Clapton.
1966, Jimi Hendrix made his TV debut on ITV's 'Ready Steady Go!' (Marc Bolan was also on the show). The Jimi Hendrix Experience also recorded 'Foxy Lady' on this day. The United States version of Are You Experienced listed the song with a spelling mistake as 'Foxey Lady' and this is how it is still known among many North American fans.
1969, Diana Ross took the Latino Casino in Philadelphia to court for $27,500 after her two pet dogs died after eating cyanide tablets left by an exterminator in her dressing room.
1970, Dave Edmunds was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with his version of the 1955 Smiley Lewis hit 'I Hear You Knocking.' The Welsh singer, songwriter and producers only No.1 hit.
1975, Patti Smith released her debut studio album Horses. Produced by John Cale, Horses has since been viewed by critics as one of the greatest and most influential albums in the history of the American punk rock movement, as well as one of the greatest albums of all time. Horses has also been cited as a key influence on a number of acts, including Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Smiths, R.E.M. and PJ Harvey.
1986, Bruce Hornsby & The Range went to No.1 on the US singles chart, with 'The Way It Is', a No.15 hit in the UK. Written by Bruce Hornsby and his brother John Hornsby, it made explicit reference to the American Civil Rights Movement. The song was heavily sampled by Tupac Shakur in his song, 'Changes' from 1998.
1997, Children's TV characters The Teletubbies went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Teletubbies Say-eh-oh'. The single spent a total of 32 weeks on the chart.
1999, Winners in the Smash Hits readers poll included, Backstreet Boys who won Best band, best album & best single, Britney Spears won best female singer, Robbie Williams best male singer, S Club 7 won best new band and worst group went to the Spice Girls.
1999, Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder was ordered to pay £160,000 to his ex management team over a dispute in his contract. Ryder said he was so high after a 'joint' he didn't bother to read the small print; the court was told the contract had 'done his nut in'.
2000, It was announced that after 74 years the UK rock weekly Melody Maker was to close down. The Christmas edition would be the last one then it would merge with the NME creating a more sizeable broad-based magazine.
2000, Sir Paul McCartney held his first-ever London book signing at Waterstone's in Piccadilly. Sir Paul was in the store to sign copies of his new book, Paul McCartney Paintings.
2001, American singer, songwriter, and guitarist Chuck Schuldiner died of brain cancer. He founded the pioneering band Death in 1983. Schuldiner is often referred to as "The Godfather of death metal". Death's best-selling album is the 1991 release Human.
2002, Canadian guitarist and singer Zal Yanovsky of The Lovin Spoonful died of a heart attack. Was a member of The Mugwumps with Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot. Formed Lovin Spoonful with John Sebastian in 1964, they scored the 1966 US No.1 & UK No.8 single 'Summer In The City'.
2002, UK music channel Music Choice analysed all the Christmas No.1 singles from the past 30 years and identified criteria for their success. These included the use of sleigh bells, children singing, church bells harmony and references to love. They concluded that Sir Cliff Richards 1988 hit 'Mistletoe and Wine' was the perfect Christmas hit.
2003, Lauryn Hill launched a blistering attack on the Catholic church, urging religious figures to "repent" whilst speaking on a stage regularly used by the Pope. The former Fugees singer was playing at a Christmas show in Vatican City and took the opportunity to speak her mind about allegations of sexual abuse in America, before an audience that included top Vatican cardinals, bishops and the cream of Italian society.
2005, A cheque signed by John Lennon made out to the Inland Revenue sold for £2,000 at a UK auction. It was sold by former madam Lindi St Clair, (formerly known as Miss Whiplash), after she decided she had no use for it. Clair who now runs a duck farm in Herefordshire had bought the cheque for £4,000 in 1988. It was signed by Lennon on 23rd January 1968 on a District Bank Limited form and made out for £6,946.
2008, Dizzee Rascal was arrested in south-east London following an incident involving a baseball bat. The rapper allegedly approached another motorist with a baseball bat after a road rage incident. Rascal whose real name is Dylan Mills, was held on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon in Sevenoaks Way, Orpington.
2012, A collection of love letters written by Mick Jagger to American singer Marsha Hunt sold at auction for £187,250. The letters were penned in the summer of 1969 while The Rolling Stones frontman was in Australia. They are believed to be the inspiration for the band's hit single 'Brown Sugar'.


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