December 7th: The Biggest Music Headlines

Scroll down the page to see all the music headlines, stories and events for December 7 throughout music history

Otis Redding

Otis Redding Makes His Final, Iconic Recording

On this day in music, December 7, 1967, Otis Redding entered Stax Records’ Memphis studios to lay down vocal tracks for “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay.” It would turn out to be his final session, taking place just three days before a plane crash claimed his life. Redding began writing the soulful song in August 1967, while staying on a houseboat in Sausalito. When he returned to Memphis, he recruited producer and guitarist Steve Cropper to help him finish the track. Redding’s now-familiar whistling that ends the song was initially used as a placeholder for lyrics, which he planned to add at a later date. Released in 1968, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” became the first-ever posthumous single to top the charts in the US. Today, it endures as the legendary singer’s signature hit.

In 1963, The Beatles’ second LP, With The Beatles, began a 21-week run atop the UK album chart. Across the Atlantic, With The Beatles would mark the band’s first full-length release, while in Canada, it was titled Beatlemania! With the Beatles.

In 1974, Carl Douglas scored a No.1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Kung Fu Fighting.” The song eventually went on to sell a staggering eleven million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.

In 2003, Britney Spears became the first female artist to have four consecutive No.1 albums on the Billboard 200 when her fourth LP, In The Zone, debuted atop the chart.

In 1968, The Beatles’ self-titled double LP (colloquially known as “The White Album”) began a seven-week run at No.1 in the UK. The album, which marked the band’s ninth, features 30 songs, 19 of which were written in the spring of 1968, while the group attended a Transcendental Meditation course in Rishikesh, India. The album also reached the top of the charts in the US, Spain, France, Sweden, and beyond.

In 1974, Barry White scored his first No.1 in the UK with “You’re The First, The Last, My Everything.” The song reached No.2 in the US.

In 1991, George Michael and Elton John topped the UK pop chart with a live duet of the latter artist’s “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.” The pair first performed the song together at Live Aid in July 1985.

In 1963, Belgian singer-songwriter and member of the Dominican order, Jeanne-Paule Marie “Jeannine” Deckers (often known as “The Singing Nun”), began a four-week run atop the Billboard Hot 100 with “Dominique.” The track won a Grammy for Best Gospel Song in 1964 and was a Top Ten record in more than a dozen countries.

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1941: Harry Chapin
1949: Tom Waits
1958: Tim Butler (The Psychedelic Furs)
1973: Damien Rice
1974: Nicole Appleton (All Saints)
1979: Sara Bareilles

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Keep scrolling for all of our December 7 birthdays.

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December 7th

On this day in music
7 Dec 2021
Scottish singer-songwriter Steve Bronski died from smoke inhalation in a fire at his home in Soho, London age 61. He was a co-founder and keyboard player of the group Bronski Beat, known for the singles ‘Smalltown Boy’ and ‘Why?’. He was also well known as an LGBTQ activist and was openly gay himself from an early age.
7 Dec 2019
Ozzy Osbourne offered $25,000 as a reward for the return of stolen instruments previously owned by his late guitarist Randy Rhoads after the Musonia School of Music in N. Hollywood, was robbed on Thanksgiving night. The stolen instruments included Rhoads’ first electric guitar, a 1963 Harmony Rocket, as well as a rare Marshall prototype made specifically for Rhoads.
7 Dec 2016
Greg Lake, who fronted both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, died aged 69 after a battle with cancer. One of the founding fathers of progressive rock, the band combined heavy rock riffs with a classical influence. They scored hit albums with Pictures at an Exhibition, Trilogy and Brain Salad Surgery and Lake had his solo hit 'I Believe in Father Christmas'. Jimi Hendrix considered joining ELP in their earliest incarnation, and if this had happened, the band would've been known as HELP.
7 Dec 2016
An inquest into the deaths of British band Viola Beach after a crash in Sweden heard that "none of the young men suffered". The four-piece group and their manager, who were aged between 19 and 32, died in the early hours of 13 February 2016, following a gig in Stockholm. Their car crashed into a raised section of a bridge and plummeted into a canal.
7 Dec 2015
David Bowie made his last public appearance when he attended the opening night of the Lazarus production at the New York Theatre Workshop in Manhattan. Tickets to the entire run of the musical (which ran until 20th Jan 2016), sold out within hours of being made available.
7 Dec 2014
Pink Floyd's classic album, The Dark Side Of The Moon made a surprise return to the Billboard chart when it landed at No.13, thanks to ultra-cheap pricing in the Google Play store where the album was discounted to 99-cents. Although it held the No.1 spot in the US for only a week when released in 1973, it remained in the Billboard album chart for 741 weeks.
7 Dec 2008
Leona Lewis went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Run’ which became the fastest-selling digital-only track. Take That went to No.1 on the UK album after selling over 432,000 copies of their new album The Circus. Britney Spears album Circus, released on the same day as Take That's album entered the chart at number four.
7 Dec 2005
The MBE medal that John Lennon returned to the Queen was found in a royal vault at St James' Palace. Lennon returned his medal in November, 1969 with a letter accompanying saying, "Your Majesty, I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts. With Love, John Lennon." Historians were calling for the medal to be put on public display.
7 Dec 2003
Britney Spears was at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘In The Zone’ the singer's fourth US No.1 album. The singer broke her own record from being the first female artist to have three albums enter the US chart at No.1 to being the first female artist to have 4 albums enter at No.1 consecutively.
7 Dec 1993
Manic Street Preachers co-manager Phillip Hall died from cancer. Hall was a former Record Mirror journalist and had also worked in PR for Stiff Records. Represented many acts including The Stone Roses, The Pogues, James, The Waterboys, The Beautiful South and Radiohead.
7 Dec 1992
Mariah Carey's MTV Unplugged EP became the first Sony Minidisc to be released in the US.
7 Dec 1991
George Michael and Elton John were at No.1 in the UK with a live version of 'Don't Let The Sun Go down On Me', (a hit for Elton in 1974). All proceeds from the hit went to aids charities.
7 Dec 1991
U2 went to No.1 on the US album charts with 'Achtung Baby'. Featuring 'One', Zoo Station', 'The Fly' and 'Even Better Than The Real Thing'.
7 Dec 1985
Mr Mister started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Broken Wings', a UK No.4 hit.
7 Dec 1979
The Police had their second UK No.1 single with 'Walking on the Moon', taken from their second album 'Reggatta De Blanc'. The video for the song was filmed at Kennedy Space Center interspersed with NASA footage.
7 Dec 1977
Inventor Dr Peter Carl Goldmark was killed in a car crash aged 71. Goldmark invented the long-playing microgroove record in 1945 that went on to revolutionise the way people listened to music.
7 Dec 1976
The Eagles released 'New Kid in Town', which became the group's third US No.1 in February the following year. The single written by Don Henley, Glenn Frey and J.D. Souther was released as the first single from their fifth album Hotel California.
7 Dec 1974
Barry White was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'You're The First, The Last, My Everything', the singers first UK No.1. Originally written in the 1950s as a country song with the title 'You're My First, You're My Last, My In-Between.'
7 Dec 1974
Carl Douglas started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Kung Fu Fighting'. The song was recorded in 10 minutes, had started out as a B-side and went on to sell over 10 million.
7 Dec 1968
The Beatles White Album started a seven-week run at No.1 on the UK chart. The double set was the first on the Apple label and featured 'Back In The USSR', 'Dear Prudence', and the Harrison song 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps.'
7 Dec 1967
Otis Redding went into the studio to record '(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay'. The song went on to be his biggest hit. Redding didn't see its release; he was killed three days later in a plane crash. Redding wrote the first verse of the song, under the abbreviated title 'Dock of the Bay', on a houseboat at Waldo Point in Sausalito, California a short time after his appearance at The Monterey pop festival. Redding's familiar whistling, heard before the song's fade was the singer fooling around, he had intended to return to the studio at a later date to add words in place of the whistling.
7 Dec 1967
The Beatles Apple boutique on 94 Baker Street, London, opened its doors. The store closed seven months later when it fell foul of council objections over the psychedelic mural painted on the outside. All the goods from the shop were given away free to passers by and to people who had queued throughout the night for a chance of getting a free item.
7 Dec 1964
Beach Boy Brian Wilson married Marilyn Rovell in L.A. The couple divorced in 1979. Marilyn and her sister and cousin were in a group, the Honeys, who were produced by Brian Wilson. Marilyn and Brian had two daughters, Carnie and Wendy, who became members of Wilson Phillips.
7 Dec 1963
The Beatles second album 'With The Beatles' started a 21-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart. It replaced their first album 'Please Please Me' which had been at the top of the charts since it's release 30 weeks previously. Also today, all four Beatles appeared on BBC TV's 'Juke Box Dury'. Some of the songs The Beatles judged were ‘Kiss Me Quick’ by Elvis Presley, ‘The Hippy Hippy Shake’ by the Swinging Blue Jeans. ‘Did You Have a Happy Birthday’ by Paul Anka and ‘Where Have You Been All My Life’ by Gene Vincent.
7 Dec 1963
The Singing Nun started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Dominique', it reached No.7 on the UK chart. The song sold over 1.5 million copies in the US, winning a Grammy Award for the year's best Gospel song.
Born on this day in music
7 Dec 1987
American singer and songwriter Aaron Carter He began performing at age seven, after the formation of his brother Nick's group the Backstreet Boys, and released his self-titled debut album in 1997 at age nine, selling a million copies worldwide. He died on November 5, 2022, aged 34.
7 Dec 1986
Jonathan "JB" Benjamin Gill, singer from English boy band JLS, runners-up of the fifth series of The X Factor. Their first two singles 'Beat Again' and 'Everybody in Love' both went to No.1 on the UK singles chart.
7 Dec 1979
Sara Bareilles, American singer-songwriter. She achieved mainstream success in 2007 with the hit single ‘Love Song’, which reached No.4 on the US chart. Bareilles has sold over one million albums and over nine million singles and downloads in the US.
7 Dec 1974
Nicole Appleton, singer from British girl group All Saints, who had the 1998 UK No.1 and US No.4 single 'Never Ever'. The group's debut album, All Saints (1997), went on to become the third best-selling girl group album of all time in the UK.
7 Dec 1973
Damien Rice, Irish singer, songwriter, former member of Juniper, now solo, (2003 album 'O' featuring the single 'Cannonball', 2006 UK No.1 album '9').
7 Dec 1965
Brian Futter, guitar, Catherine Wheel, (1992 UK No.35 single 'I Want To Touch You').
7 Dec 1963
Huw Chadbourne, keyboards, from British indie band Babybird, who had the 996 UK No.3 single ‘You’re Gorgeous’, and the 1996 UK No. 9 album Ugly Beautiful.
7 Dec 1963
American R&B/soul singer, Barbara Weathers, from American band Atlantic Starr who had the 1987 US No.1 & UK No.3 single 'Always'.
7 Dec 1961
Robert Downes, guitarist with English rock band Then Jerico who had the 1989 UK No.13 single 'Big Area'.
7 Dec 1958
Tim Butler, bassist with English rock band The Psychedelic Furs. Film director John Hughes used their song 'Pretty in Pink' for his 1986 movie of the same name.
7 Dec 1954
Mike Nolan, singer with British pop group Bucks Fizz who had the UK hits 'Making Your Mind Up' (1981), 'The Land of Make Believe' (1981) and 'My Camera Never Lies' (1982) and became one of the top-selling groups of the 1980s.
7 Dec 1949
Tom Waits, American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. His songs are best-known through cover versions by other artists: 'Jersey Girl', performed by Bruce Springsteen, 'Ol' '55', by the Eagles and 'Downtown Train', by Rod Stewart.
7 Dec 1942
Harry Chapin, US singer, songwriter, (1974 UK No.34 single 'W.O.L.D. & 1974 US No.1 single 'Cat's In The Cradle'). Killed on 16th July 1981, when a tractor-trailer crashed into the car he was driving.
7 Dec 1931
American bluegrass musician Bobby Osborne. He was the co-founder (with his brother Sonny) of the Osborne Brothers, a member of the Grand Ole Opry and the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. Osborne died on 27 June 2023, at a hospital in Gallatin, Tennessee, at the age of 91.
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