August 1st: The Biggest Music Headlines

Scroll down the page to see all the music headlines, stories and events for August 1 throughout music history

George Harrison

The First Major Benefit Concert

On this day in music – August 1, 1971 – George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh took place at New York’s Madison Square Garden. While star-studded benefit concerts would become a common occurrence over the next decade, The Concert for Bangladesh marked the very first event of its kind. Organized by the Beatles alum, alongside Ravi Shankar, the event raised funds and awareness for victims of famine and war in the South Asian country. Over two shows, 40,000 attendees enjoyed a supergroup of players, including Leon Russell, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Billy Preston, members of Badfinger, and Harrison’s former bandmate, Ringo Starr. Recordings of the concert would top the UK chart the following year and earn Harrison a Grammy Award.

Two years earlier, in 1969, the Atlantic City Pop festival kicked off in New Jersey, just two weeks before Woodstock. Taking place at the Atlantic City Race Track, the three-day event featured performances from some of music’s biggest names, including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Little Richard, Janis Joplin, Santana, The Byrds, The Mothers of Invention, Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, and Joni Mitchell, who abruptly ended her set after three songs. Allegedly, she was frustrated at the crowd’s lack of attention.

On this day in 1963, the very first edition of Beatles Monthly was published. The fan zine would continue until 1969, following the breakup of the Fab Four, with 77 total editions and a peak circulation of more than 350,000 copies per month.

In 1970, the cult classic Performance premiered in London. The stylish movie, filmed during the height of the swinging sixties, starred Rolling Stones frontman, Mick Jagger, as well as “it girl” Anita Pallenberg, the longtime romantic partner of Keith Richards.

In 1971, Sonny and Cher’s variety show, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, premiered on CBS. The show, which featured a mixture of musical performances, banter between the (soon-to-be-former) couple, and sketch comedy, would be hugely popular in the US throughout its run.

Finally, on this day in music in 1987, teenagers across Europe rejoiced as MTV Europe premiered on the continent. The first video? Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing,” which includes the ironic (and iconic) lyric, “I want my MTV.”

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1942: Jerry Garcia (The Grateful Dead)
1959: Joe Elliot (Def Leppard)
1960: Chuck D
1963: Coolio
1964: Adam Duritz (Counting Crows)
1968: Dan Donegan (Disturbed)
1981: Ashley Parker (O-Town)

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August 1st

On this day in music
1 Aug 2020
Taylor Swift was at No.1 on the UK album chart with her eighth studio album Folklore. It was a surprise album, after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, Swift cancelled the concert tour for her seventh studio album Lover (2019) and conceived Folklore during quarantine. Folklore broke the record for the biggest opening day on Spotify for an album by a female act. The single 'Exile' featuring Bon Iver, reached the top 10 on music charts in eight countries, and became Swift's sixth No.1 single on the US Billboard Hot 100.
1 Aug 2015
English singer, actress and entertainer Cilla Black died at her holiday home near Marbella, Spain, aged 72. Along with a successful recording career in the 1960s and early 1970s, Black hosted her own eponymous variety show, Cilla, for the BBC between 1968 and 1976 and later shows such as Blind Date (1985–2003) and Surprise Surprise (1984–2001).
1 Aug 2013
The British government was trying to stop American Idol singer Kelly Clarkson from taking a rare turquoise and gold ring once owned by Jane Austen out of the country. The 2002 winner of the Idol TV show bought the jewellery at auction last year for more than £150,000, but Culture minister Ed Vaizey had put a temporary export bar on it saying he wanted the "national treasure" to be "saved for the nation".
1 Aug 2007
The Police played the first of two sold out nights at Madison Square Garden, New York City on their Reunion Tour.
1 Aug 2007
Prince kicked off a series of 21 sold out UK shows at London's O2 arena. Tickets for the events cost £31.21 - the same figure used by the singer to name his album, website and perfume. After completing the 21 nights the Jehovah's Witness was planning to take time out to study the Bible.
1 Aug 2007
John Lennon's "granny" sunglasses were snapped up by a British collector at auction. The sunglasses, from one of the last Beatles concerts, were expected to fetch around £1m, but auction bosses refused to say what the actual figure was. Lennon gave the gold-rimmed glasses to his Japanese interpreter in Tokyo in 1966, and the translator removed the lenses when Lennon died.
1 Aug 2007
Eminem's publishing company were seeking more than $75,000 (£36,900) for copyright infringement and unfair competition against computer firm Apple for allegedly selling his music on iTunes without permission. Apple were paying Eminem's record label for each download - but Eight Mile Style argued it had not approved the deal.
1 Aug 2002
A new book 'Show the Girl the Door' written by a former tour manager disclosed some strange demands by female acts. It revealed that Shania Twain would travel with a sniffer dog in case of bombs. Jennifer Lopez liked her dressing room to be all white, including carpets flowers and furniture. Cher would have high-security rooms for her wigs. Janet Jackson would have a full medical team on standby including a doctor nurse and throat specialist and Britney Spears would demand her favourite Gummie Bear soft sweets.
1 Aug 2000
Madonna's forthcoming single 'Music' had its release date brought forward by two weeks after the track was made available as an illegal MP3 file on the Internet.
1 Aug 2000
AC/DC kicked off their 140 date Stiff Upper World Lip Tour at the Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.
1 Aug 1999
Ronan Keating scored his first UK No.1 solo single with 'When You Say Nothing At All'. The country song written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz was a hit for Keith Whitley, who took it to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1988. The song also gave Alison Krauss her first solo top-10 country hit in 1995.
1 Aug 1998
The Spice Girls scored their seventh UK No.1 single with 'Viva Forever'. The song was originally set to be released alongside the track 'Never Give Up on the Good Times' as a double A-Side which was pulled as member Geri Halliwell left the group.
1 Aug 1990
UB40 were deported from the Seychelles after police discovered marijuana in their hotel rooms.
1 Aug 1987
Bob Seger scored his first US No.1 single with the Harold Faltermeyer penned 'Shakedown', which was taken from the film 'Beverly Hills Cop II'. The song was nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Original Song and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, but it lost both awards to Dirty Dancing's '(I've Had) The Time of My Life'.
1 Aug 1987
Los Lobos were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of the Ritchie Valens song 'La Bamba', which was also a No.1 hit in the US. The song was the title track from the film based on Ritchie Valens who died in the same plane crash the killed Buddy Holly.
1 Aug 1987
MTV Europe was launched, the first video played being 'Money For Nothing' by Dire Straits which contained the appropriate line 'I Want My MTV'. The music video for the song features early 3D computer animation illustrating the lyrics. The video was one of the first uses of computer-animated human characters and was groundbreaking at the time of its release in June 1985.
1 Aug 1987
Eurythmics Dave Stewart married Bananarama founding member Siobham Fahey, (who later formed the BRIT Award and Ivor Novello award winning Shakespears Sister). The couple divorced in 1996.
1 Aug 1981
Australian singer Rick Springfield started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Jessie's Girl', which later won the singer a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. The song was at No.1 when MTV launched on 1 August 1981. Rick had played Noah Drake in the TV show General Hospital.
1 Aug 1981
Welsh singer Shakin' Stevens had his second UK No.1 single with his version of 'Green Door', which had been a hit in the US for Jim Lowe in 1956 (squeezing out 'Love Me Tender' by Elvis Presley). Frankie Vaughan also scored a UK No.2 hit with the song in 1956.
1 Aug 1980
Def Leppard made their US live debut when they appeared at the New York City concert opening for AC/DC. It was also Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott's 21st birthday.
1 Aug 1971
The Concert For Bangladesh organised by George Harrison to aid victims of famine and war in Bangladesh took place at New York's Madison Sq Garden. Featuring Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton, Ravi Shankar and members from Badfinger. Harrison had to shell out his own money to maintain the fund after legal problems froze all proceeds. The triple album release (the second in a row by Harrison), hit No.1 in the UK and No.2 in the US and received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
1 Aug 1971
The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour started on prime-time American TV. By this time, Sonny and Cher had stopped producing hit singles so the duo decided to sing and tell jokes in nightclubs across the country. CBS head of programming Fred Silverman saw them one evening and offered them their show. Musical guests who appeared on the show include Glen Campbell, Jackson 5, The Supremes and Chuck Berry.
1 Aug 1970
The film Performance featuring Mick Jagger in his acting debut, had its UK premiere in London. The British crime drama film directed by Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg also featured James Fox.
1 Aug 1969
The three day US Atlantic City Pop Festival took place at the Atlantic City race track with B.B. King, Janis Joplin, Santana, Three Dog Night, Dr John, Procol Harum, Arthur Brown, Iron Butterfly, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Little Richard, Tim Buckley, The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, The Mothers Of Invention and Canned Heat. Joni Mitchell started to cry and ran off stage in the middle of her third song because the crowd was not paying attention to her performance.
1 Aug 1965
During a UK tour, The Rolling Stones appeared at the London Palladium supported by The Walker Brothers, The Fourmost, Steampacket featuring Rod Stewart and Sugar Pie Desanto with The Shevelles.
1 Aug 1964
Billboard Magazine reported that the harmonica was making a comeback in a big way thanks to its use by Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Bob Dylan.
1 Aug 1964
The Beatles scored their fifth US No.1 single in seven months when 'A Hard Day's Night' went to the top of the charts. The group had now spent seventeen weeks at the No.1 position in this year.
1 Aug 1963
The first Beatles Monthly was published. A magazine devoted to the group, it continued for 77 editions until 1969 and at its peak was selling over 350,000 copies a month.
Born on this day in music
1 Aug 1981
Ashley Parker, from American boy band O-Town, who were the winners of US TV show 'Making The Band' They scored the 2001 US No. 3 single 'All Or Nothing'.
1 Aug 1970
Kenwyn House, guitarist with English band Reef who had the 1996 UK No. 6 single ‘Place Your Hands’ and the 1997 UK No.1 album ‘Glow'.
1 Aug 1968
Dan Donegan, guitar, Disturbed, (2005 US No.1 album 'Ten Thousand Fists').
1 Aug 1964
Adam Duritz, from American rock band Counting Crows, who had the 1994 UK hit single 'Mr Jones', and the 1996 US No.1 album Recovering The Satellites. They received a 2004 Academy Award nomination for their song 'Accidentally in Love', which was included in the film Shrek 2.
1 Aug 1964
Nick Christian Sayer guitar, Transvision Vamp ,(1989 UK No.3 single 'Baby I Don't Care').
1 Aug 1963
American rapper. Coolio, (Artis Ivey Jr), had the 1995 US & UK No.1 single 'Gangsta's Paradise'. On 28 September 2022 while at a friend's house in Los Angeles, California, Coolio was discovered unresponsive on a bathroom floor and was pronounced dead by first responders. He was 59 years old.
1 Aug 1960
Chuck D, (Carlton Ridenhour), Public Enemy, (1988 UK No.18 single 'Don't Believe The Hype').
1 Aug 1960
Suzi Gardner, guitar, vocals, with American rock band L7 who were associated with the grunge movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s. L7 influenced many of the riot grrrl bands of the 1990s.
1 Aug 1959
Joe Elliott, vocals, Def Leppard, who had the 1987 UK No.6 single 'Animal' and the 1987 world wide No.1 album Hysteria 1988 and the US No.1 single 'Love Bites'. As one of the world's best-selling music artists, Def Leppard have sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
1 Aug 1958
Robert buck, from American alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs that was founded in 1981. They achieved their greatest success between 1987 and 1993 when they released four albums that charted in the top 50 in the US. Buck died on 19 December 2000.
1 Aug 1958
Paul Gray, bassist for the Southend-on-Sea rock band Eddie and the Hot Rods, which had several hit singles and albums in the late 1970s, including 'Do Anything You Wanna Do'. In early 1980, he joined the punk rock band The Damned.
1 Aug 1953
Robert Cray, singer, Blues guitarist, and five times Grammy Award winner. Cray played with Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan, and Stevie Ray Vaughan at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin, performing 'Sweet Home Chicago'. This was Stevie Ray Vaughan's final performance before he died in a helicopter accident later that night.
1 Aug 1951
Canadian guitarist and vocalist Tim Bachman best known as a member of Bachman–Turner Overdrive (BTO). Bachman was one of the four founding members of BTO, a group that have sold nearly 30 million albums worldwide and also featured his brothers Randy (guitar/vocals) and Robbie (drums). He died on 28 April 2023.
1 Aug 1951
Tommy Bolin, guitarist. Joined Deep Purple in 1975, member of Zephyr and The James Gang. Bolin died of a heroin overdose on 4th December 1976.
1 Aug 1947
Canadian rock bassist Prakash John who has worked with Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer of (White Trash) as well as Bobby Whitlock (Derek & the Dominos). John was recruited in 1971 by George Clinton to work with Parliament/Funkadelic on the albums Chocolate City and America Eats Its Young while sharing bass playing duties with Bootsy Collins on tour.
1 Aug 1947
Rick Anderson bassist with American band The Tubes known for their 1977 hit single 'White Punks On Dope' and the 1983 US No.10 single 'She's A Beauty'. He died on 16 December 2022 at the age of 75.
1 Aug 1947
Ricky Coonce, who with Grass Roots had the 1968 US No.5 single 'Midnight Confessions', plus 13 other US Top 40 singles.
1 Aug 1946
English musician Boz Burrell, who with Bad Company scored the 1974 UK No.15 & US No.5 single 'Can't Get Enough'). He was also a member of King Crimson. Burrell suddenly died of a heart attack on 21 September 2006 aged 60.
1 Aug 1942
American singer-songwriter and guitarist Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead. He was ranked 13th in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" cover story. Garcia also founded a variety of side projects, including the Saunders–Garcia Band, the Jerry Garcia Band, Old and in the Way, the Garcia/Grisman acoustic duo, Legion of Mary, and the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Garcia died from a drugs-related heart attack on 9 August 1995.
1 Aug 1938
Irish musician, composer, and record producer Paddy Moloney. He co-founded and led the Irish musical group the Chieftains, playing on all of their 44 albums. He died suddenly at a hospital in Dublin on 12 October 2021 at the age of 83.
1 Aug 1898
Morris Stoloff, arranger, (1956 US No.1 & UK No.7 single 'Moonglow and Theme From Picnic', arranged film music including 'Lawrence Of Arabia'). Died 6th April 1980.
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