January 7th: The Biggest Music Headlines

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

Neil Peart

Rush Drummer Neil Peart Passes Away

On this day in music, January 7, 2020, Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for Rush and one of rock’s greatest percussionists, died at 67, following a battle with brain cancer. Known for his technical prowess, Peart was revered for his epic live solos, which would often include unusual time signatures and complex arrangements. During their 50-year tenure, Rush became one of the most respected and musically dynamic bands of the prog-rock era, transcending genre and influencing multiple generations of artists, including Metallica, Iron Maiden, Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Nine Inch Nails. The Juno Award-winning band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994.

In 1971, Black Sabbath released their second studio album, Paranoid, in the US. With fan favorites like “War Pigs,” “Iron Man,” and the title track, the album cemented their status as heavy metal giants.

In 1980, Pink Floyd released “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” in the US. Featuring an eerie children’s choir echoing the song’s legendary chorus (“we don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control”), paired with a disco-influenced bassline, the anthemic track would become the British band’s only No.1 hit in America.

In 1994, future Britpop superstars, Oasis, began recording their debut, Definitely Maybe, at Monnow Valley Studio in South Wales. Released in August of that same year, the album became a global phenomenon, eventually selling over 12 million copies.

In 1972, David Bowie released “Changes,” a single off his fourth studio album, Hunky Dory. Considered to be among the artist’s best works, the song offers a reflection on creative reinvention and individualism. Decades later, in 2006, Bowie would close his final live performance with the tune.

In 1955, Bill Haley & His Comets’ foundational tune, “Rock Around the Clock,” entered the UK chart for the first time, where it peaked at No.17. Seven months later, it would be the first rock’n’roll song to top the US charts, while in November, it would also hit No.1 in the UK. Over the next few years, the track would continue to re-enter the UK charts, eventually becoming the territory’s first single to sell one million copies.

In 1998, record producer Owen Bradley died at the age of 82. As an architect of country music, Bradley collaborated with such foundational artists as Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Lenny Dee, and Conway Twitty.

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1937: Paul Revere (Paul Revere and the Raiders)
1948: Kenny Loggins
1959: Kathy Valentine (Go-Go’s)
1965: John Ondrasik (Five For Fighting)
1974: Jon Rich (Lonestar)

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January 7th

On this day in music
7 Jan 2022
Canadian musician R. Dean Taylor died at home at the age of 82. The singer, songwriter, and record producer worked for Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. He co-wrote hits for the Four Tops, Temptations and Diana Ross & the Supremes. As a singer, Taylor is best known for his chart-topping 1970 hit 'Indiana Wants Me' and the 1974 hit 'There's a Ghost in My House' (first released in 1967).
7 Jan 2020
Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for Canadian rock band Rush, died from brain cancer aged 67. Placed at No.4 in Rolling Stone's list of all-time greatest drummers, Peart was well-known for his technical proficiency and animated live performances.
7 Jan 2016
American singer Troy Shondell died from complications of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease aged 76. He became a transatlantic one-hit wonder, with his 1961 'This Time', which topped the charts in both US and the UK, selling over one million records. He also recorded under the name of Gary Shelton.
7 Jan 2010
According to Nielsen SoundScan's final 2009 figures, Michael Jackson was the best selling artist of the year, moving 8,286,000 units. Forty years after their break-up, The Beatles were still the best selling group, thanks to their remastered catalog which sold 3,282,000 copies. Digital downloads however, were a different story. Lady Gaga was the queen of the downloads, selling 15,297,000 digital tracks. The Black Eyed Peas, Michael Jackson and Taylor Swift all finished in the vicinity of 12 million digital units.
7 Jan 2006
Pink married her motocross racer boyfriend Carey Hart on a beach in Costa Rica. More than 100 people attended the singer's big day, including Lisa-Marie Presley. Pink proposed to him during one of his races in Mammoth Lakes, California, by holding up a sign that read "Will you marry me?" Hart pulled out of the race to say yes.
7 Jan 2004
Drummer John Guerin died of pneumonia aged 64. Worked with Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, Linda Rondstadt, Gram Parsons, Todd Rundgren. He also played on the original title tune for the television series Hawaii Five-O.
7 Jan 2003
The Beatles Book Monthly closed down after 40 years. Author Sean O'Mahony who set up the magazine in 1963 said there was nothing more to say as the number of things the former Beatles were doing gets less and less as the years go on.
7 Jan 2001
American rhythm and blues and soul singer James Carr died aged 58. After being turned down by Stax, he made his first recordings for Goldwax Records in 1964. He released several singles for the label before achieving his first success in 1966, when ‘You've Got My Mind Messed Up’ reached No.7 on the Billboard R&B chart.
7 Jan 1998
American record producer Owen Bradley died aged 82. Along with Chet Atkins and Bob Ferguson, he was one of the chief architects of the 1950s and 1960s Nashville sound in country music and rockabilly. Bradley produced artists such as Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Lenny Dee, and Conway Twitty.
7 Jan 1994
Oasis started recording their debut album Definitely Maybe at Monnow Valley Studio in South Wales. When released in August 1994, it became the fastest selling debut album of all time in the UK, (being surpassed in 2006 by Arctic Monkeys debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not). The album went on to sell over 12 million copies worldwide.
7 Jan 1981
The Police played the first night of a North American tour at The University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada during their Zenyatta Mondatta World Tour.
7 Jan 1980
Pink Floyd released 'Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)' in the US. The single peaked at No.1 on both the US and UK charts, giving Pink Floyd their first and only No.1 hit single. The single went to No.1 in many other countries, including Australia, Germany and Italy.
7 Jan 1980
Hugh Cornwall of The Stranglers was found guilty of possession of heroin, cocaine and cannabis. He was fined £300 ($510) and sentenced to three months in Pentonville prison.
7 Jan 1974
Aerosmith played at the Michigan Theatre in Detroit, the first date on their 56 date North American Get Your Wings Tour.
7 Jan 1972
David Bowie released 'Changes' as a single in the UK. The track peaked at No.49 on the UK chart and later at No.41 on the US chart. This was the last song Bowie performed live on stage before his retirement from live performances at the end of 2006 when he joined Alicia Keys at the Black Ball fundraiser at New York's Hammersmith Ballroom.
7 Jan 1971
Black Sabbath released 'Paranoid' their second studio album in the US. The album features the band's best-known signature songs, including the title track, 'Iron Man' and 'War Pigs'. The album was originally titled War Pigs, but allegedly the record company changed it to Paranoid, fearing backlash from supporters of the ongoing Vietnam War.
7 Jan 1970
Led Zeppelin kicked off an 8-date UK tour at Birmingham Town Hall. The set list included: I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed And Confused, Heartbreaker, Since I've Been Loving You, Thank You, Moby Dick, How Many More Times, Whole Lotta Love and Communication Breakdown.
7 Jan 1964
The Beatles recorded a seven-song appearance for the BBC Radio program Saturday Club. They played ‘All My Loving’, ‘Money’, ‘The Hippy Hippy Shake’, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’, ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘Johnny B. Goode’, and ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’. The show was broadcast on February 15, while the Beatles were in the US.
7 Jan 1964
English blues musician Cyril Davies died of leukaemia aged 32. Davies was a driving force in the early Sixties blues movement forming Blues Incorporated with Alexis Korner. Davies and Korner opened a London Rhythm and Blues club "England's Firstest and Bestest Skiffle Club", later known as the "London Blues and Barrelhouse Club". Popular with other musicians, the club hosted gigs by blues musicians such as Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Memphis Slim.
7 Jan 1955
'Rock Around the Clock' by Bill Haley and his Comets, entered the UK chart for the first time. The original full title of the song was 'We're Gonna Rock Around the Clock Tonight!' and is often cited as the biggest-selling vinyl rock and roll single of all time with sales over 25m.
Born on this day in music
7 Jan 1986
Jeremy Miles Ferguson, American musician, better known by the stage name Jinxx, with American rock band Black Veil Brides.
7 Jan 1974
John Rich, bass, vocals, with American country group Lonestar who had the 2000 US No.1 & UK No.21 single 'Amazed'. Lonestar has charted more than 20 singles on the Hot Country Songs chart, including 9 that reached No.1.
7 Jan 1972
American singer Taja Sevelle, (Nancy Richardson). She signed a recording contract with Prince's Paisley Park Records in 1987. She was first featured on Prince and the Revolution's 1985 album Around the World in a Day, singing backing vocals on the song 'The Ladder'. Sevelle scored the 1988 solo UK No.7 single 'Love Is Contagious'.
7 Jan 1965
John Ondrasik, known by his stage name Five for Fighting, American singer, songwriter and record producer. He is best known for his piano-based rock, such as the top 40 hits, 'Superman (It's Not Easy)' (2001), '100 Years' (2003) and 'The Riddle' (2006).
7 Jan 1959
American musician Kathy Valentine who is the bassist for the rock band the Go-Go's. They had the 1982 US No.2 single 'We Got The Beat' and the 1982 UK No.47 single 'Our Lips Our Sealed'. The Go-Go's supported the Specials on the latter's 1980 Seaside tour of England. According to Jane Wiedlin, she and Terry Hall had a brief affair. After Wiedlin returned to the US, Hall mailed her some lyrics, and this led to their co-writing the song. The Go-Go's version is significantly more upbeat than Fun Boy Three's.
7 Jan 1948
American singer, guitarist and songwriter Kenny Loggins. He was one half of Loggins & Messina from 1972 to 1977. As a solo artists he had the 1984 US No.1 & UK No. 6 single 'Footlose' from the film of the same name. Loggins wrote many successful songs for film soundtracks and became known as the King of the Movie Soundtrack. He worte 'I'm Alright' from Caddyshack, 'I'm Free (Heaven Helps the Man)' from Footloose; 'Meet Me Half Way' from Over the Top and 'Danger Zone' and 'Playing with the Boys' from Top Gun.
7 Jan 1946
Andy Brown, drummer from English harmony beat group The Fortunes, who had the 1965 UK No.2 & US No.7 single 'You've Got Your Troubles' and the hits 'Here It Comes Again and 'Storm in a Teacup'.
7 Jan 1945
Dave Cousins, singer songwriter with English folk rock group The Strawbs. They formed in 1964 as the Strawberry Hill Boys while the founder members were at St Mary's Teacher Training College, Strawberry Hill, London. The Strawbs scored two hits in 1973, the UK No.2 single with 'Part Of The Union' and the UK No.12 hit 'Lay Down'.
7 Jan 1944
English performing artist and photographer Mike McGear, the younger brother of Paul McCartney. Mike decided to use a stage name, so as not to appear to be riding his brother's coattails and he settled on "Mike McGear", "gear" being the Liverpudlian equivalent of "fab". With The Scaffold he had the 1968 Christmas UK No.1 single 'Lily The Pink'. McGear composed the band's next biggest hit, 'Thank U Very Much'.
7 Jan 1942
South African-born British pop singer Danny Williams, who had the 1961 UK No. 1 'Moon River'. The Oscar-winning song composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer was from the film Breakfast At Tiffany's. In 1963, Williams joined a UK 20-city tour which starred Helen Shapiro and featured The Beatles as a support act on the bill. Williams died on 6 December 2005 of lung cancer, at the age of 63.
7 Jan 1937
Paul Revere, keyboards, Paul Revere and the Raiders, (1971 US No.1 single 'Indian Reservation', plus 14 other US Top 30 hit singles. He died on 4th Oct 2014.
7 Jan 1936
American musician, record producer and songwriter Richard Podolor. His career started as a session musician in the 1950s, and by the mid-1960s, he increasingly worked as an audio engineer as well as a musician, on recordings by the Monkees, the Turtles, the Electric Prunes, Grateful Dead, Donovan, and others. He produced two studio albums for Steppenwolf, engineered all their early hits including 'Born to Be Wild', (1968) and produced Three Dog Night's 'Mama Told Me Not to Come' and 'Joy to the World'. He died on 9 March 2022, at the age of 86.
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