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July 8th: The Biggest Music Headlines

Scroll down the page to see all the music headlines, stories and events for July 8 throughout music history

Elvis Presley

Elvis Mania Begins in Memphis

On this day in music, July 8, 1954, Elvis Presley’s debut single, “That’s All Right,” was played for the very first time on Memphis’ WHBQ. Recorded three days earlier, Elvis’ rendition of the Arthur Crudup song was born out of improvisation, while he and his band, The Blue Moon Boys, were in between takes at Sun Studio. Elvis led the band through an up-tempo version of the blues tune, catching the ear of Sun founder and producer, Sam Phillips, who recorded the song. Ahead of its release, Phillips shared acetates of the song with several local radio stations. DJ Dewey Phillips (no relation) played it that night on his show “Red, Hot & Blue.” The station was flooded with calls, asking for him to play the song again, which he did, more than a dozen times that evening. With that, Elvis mania was born.

In 1958, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) presented its very first Gold Album to the Oklahoma! soundtrack, which commemorated the sale of 500,000 copies. Several months earlier, the RIAA presented its first Gold Record to a single – Perry Como’s “Catch a Falling Star.”

In 1995, TLC owned the airwaves and the Billboard charts with “Waterfalls,” which began its seven-week run at the top of the Hot 100. The song, which marked the group’s second No.1 hit and one of their signature songs, later earned the trio two Grammy nods. Its video, meanwhile, won four MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year, making TLC the first Black act to take home the top honor.

In 1972, Bill Withers began a three-week run at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with his poignant and enduring hit, “Lean on Me.” The song, which also topped the soul chart, would return to the No.1 spot once again when Club Nouveau covered it in 1987.

In 1978, Gerry Rafferty’s City to City had the honor of being the sole title to break Saturday Night Fever’s seemingly unstoppable 24-week run at the top of the US album charts. The LP featured the hits “Baker Street” and “Right Down the Line.”

In 1997, sisters Mykel and Carli Allan, who founded Weezer’s official fan club, were killed in a car accident. The girls, along with their younger sister, Trysta, were leaving a Weezer concert in Colorado when tragedy struck. Famous among the band’s global community of fans, the Allans were the subject of Weezer’s 1994 song, “Mykel & Carli” (a B-side to “Undone (The Sweater Song)”). The sisters, who were also early supporters of Jimmy Eat World, were canonized in the band’s 2001 song, “Hear You Me.”

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BORN ON JULY 8:

1930: Earl Van Dyke
1944: Jaimoe Johanson (Allman Brothers Band)
1960: Andy Fletcher (Depeche Mode)
1961: Graham Jones (Haircut 100)
1961: Toby Keith
1963: Joan Osborne
1970: Beck
1985: Jamie Cook (Arctic Monkeys)

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July 8th

On this day in music
8 Jul 2023
Elton John told his millions of fans that they would remain in his "head, heart and soul" when concluding his marathon farewell tour at Sweden's Tele2 Arena in Stockholm. Elton closed the show with one of his biggest hits - 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road'. His Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour began in North America in 2018, and this was his second night performing in Stockholm.
8 Jul 2016
Canadian rapper and singer Drake was at No.1 on the US chart with his fourth studio album Views. With Views, Drake also joined Adele, Michael Bublé and Taylor Swift as the only artists in the 2010s decade to have an album remain at No.1 on the Billboard 200 for six consecutive weeks.
8 Jul 2007
Chemical Brothers went to No.1 on the UK album chart with We Are The Night the duo's sixth studio album, (and the band's fifth consecutive album to top the chart). The album won a Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album at the 50th Grammy Awards.
8 Jul 2007
Prince was forced off stage by police halfway through his set at the First Avenue nightclub during a late-night gig in his home town of Minneapolis. The club was only allowed to stay open until 3.am but Prince took to the stage at 2.45am. The singer had already played two concerts in Minneapolis before his late-night club appearance; His first performance was at a department store, where he promoted his new cologne with a nine-song, 45-minute set.
8 Jul 2006
Queen guitarist Brian May made a "substantial" donation to save hedgehogs from slaughter in the Outer Hebrides. Although the exact amount was not revealed it was said to be enough to pay for the rescue of hundreds of hedgehogs from the Uists, where Scottish Natural Heritage has been culling the animals for the past four years. May's money would go towards funding cash rewards for islanders so hundreds more hedgehogs can be saved.
8 Jul 2004
Mark Purseglove known as the world's ‘biggest bootlegger’ was sentenced to 3 years 6 months jail by Blackfriars Crown Court. Purseglove had built up a £15 million pirate CD empire by bootlegging live concerts of some of the world's biggest stars including The Beatles, David Bowie and Pink Floyd
8 Jul 2002
Michael Jackson spoke out against the music industry's treatment of artists, alleging that the business was rife with racism. Speaking at a civil rights meeting in New York, Jackson claimed there was a 'conspiracy' among record companies, especially towards black artists. A spokesman for Jackson's record label said the remarks were 'ludicrous, spiteful and hurtful.'
8 Jul 1997
Weezer fan club founders Mykel Allan and her sister Carli both died along with their younger sister, Trysta, in a car accident in Colorado on the way back from one of the band's shows. The girls, who were the subject of Weezer’s 1994 B-side "Mykel and Carli," were posthumously honored through several tribute songs, including Jimmy Eat World's "Hear You Me."
8 Jul 1995
TLC started a seven week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Waterfalls', the group's second US No.1, and a No.4 hit in the UK. The music video for the song reflected its socially conscious lyrics. With a million-dollar budget, the video was an MTV staple that boosted the song's success. The video won four MTV Video Music Awards in 1995, including Video of the Year. TLC was the first African-American act to receive the trophy.
8 Jul 1984
Bob Dylan's current European tour came to an end at Slane Castle, County Meath in Ireland. Dylan was joined on stage by Van Morrison and they duetted on It’s All Over Now Baby Blue. U2's Bono, who was sent to interview Dylan for the Irish rock magazine Hot Press, ended up duetting with Dylan on Blowin’ In The Wind and Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat. Carlos Santana also joined Dylan on stage and played guitar on the last seven songs of the set.
8 Jul 1979
The B-52's made their UK live debut at London's Lyceum Ballroom, supported by The Tourists.
8 Jul 1978
Gerry Rafferty's album City To City went to No.1 on the US chart, knocking off 'Saturday Night Fever', which had been at the top of the charts for almost six months.
8 Jul 1978
Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon from The Clash were arrested for being drunk and disorderly after a gig at the Apollo in Glasgow, both were fined.
8 Jul 1973
Led Zeppelin's fifth album Houses Of The Holy was on both the US and UK album charts. The album spent a total of 39 weeks on the US chart. The cover art for Houses Of The Holy was inspired by the ending of Arthur C. Clarke's novel Childhood's End. It is a collage of several photographs which were taken at the Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland, by Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis.
8 Jul 1972
Bill Withers started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Lean On Me', his only No.1 hit, it made No.18 in the UK.
8 Jul 1972
Donny Osmond was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with his version of the Paul Anka song 'Puppy Love.' The first of three solo No.1's for Donny.
8 Jul 1971
Over-enthusiastic fans at a Mott The Hoople gig at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England, caused some injuries and two damaged boxes, prompting a temporary ban on rock gigs at the venue. The group paid £1,467 for damages to property.
8 Jul 1970
The Everly Brothers Show, started an eleven-week prime time slot on ABC- TV in the US. It began as a summer replacement in 1970 for The Johnny Cash Show.
8 Jul 1969
Marianne Faithfull collapsed on the set of 'Ned Kelly' after taking a drug overdose. She was admitted to a Sydney Hospital, (she was later dropped from the movie).
8 Jul 1968
Pink Floyd kicked off their first 20-date North American tour at the Kinetic Playground in Chicago. The club became a driving force in the music business, hosting famous rock acts such as The Doors, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Byrds, Janis Joplin, The Mothers of Invention, Grateful Dead, MC5, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly, Fleetwood Mac, Muddy Waters, Vanilla Fudge and Jefferson Airplane.
8 Jul 1967
UK music weekly the Melody Maker ran a front-page comment condemning the 3-month jail sentence given to Rolling Stone Mick Jagger for possession of Benzedrine tablets. Jagger was later given a conditional discharge.
8 Jul 1967
The Monkees began a 29-date tour with The Jimi Hendrix Experience as support act. Hendrix was dropped after six shows after being told his act was not suitable for their teenybopper audience.
8 Jul 1966
The Beatles released the ‘Nowhere Man’ 4-track EP in the UK, which included: ‘Drive My Car’, ‘Michelle’ and ‘You Won't See Me’. All four tracks were taken from The Beatles sixth UK studio album, Rubber Soul.
8 Jul 1965
The Dave Clark Five had their movie, Catch Us If You Can, premiere in London. The film was renamed to Having a Wild Weekend for its US release. Songs featured by the group in the movie included 'Catch Us If You Can,' 'Having a Wild Weekend' and 'I Can't Stand It.'
8 Jul 1958
The first Gold record album presented by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was awarded to the soundtrack LP, 'Oklahoma'. The honor signified that the album had sold 500,000 copies. The first Gold single issued by the RIAA was 'Catch a Falling Star' by Perry Como in March of 1958. A Gold single represented sales of 500,000 records.
8 Jul 1954
Producer Sam Phillips took an acetate recording of Elvis Presley singing 'That's All Right' to Memphis radio station WHBQ DJ Dewey Phillips. He played the song just after 9.30 that evening, the phone lines lit up asking the DJ to play the song again.
Born on this day in music
8 Jul 1985
Jamie Cook, guitarist, with English rock band Arctic Monkeys who had the 2005, UK No.1 single ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, and the 2006 UK No.1 album Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not. The band has won six Brit Awards – winning both Best British Group and Best British Album three times, and have been nominated for three Grammy Awards.
8 Jul 1976
David Kennedy, American guitarist, songwriter who was a member of Box Car Racer, a band formed by Blink-182 members Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker.
8 Jul 1971
English drummer Neil Mavers from The La's, (rock band from Liverpool), originally active from 1983 until 1992. They had the 1990 UK No.13 single 'There She Goes'.
8 Jul 1970
American singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Beck David Campbell, 1994 UK No.15 single 'Loser' from his 1994 album 'Mellow Gold'. His second official studio album Odelay has appeared in numerous publications' lists of the greatest records of the 1990s. His 2017 album, Colors, won awards for Best Alternative Album and Best Engineered Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.
8 Jul 1963
Joan Osborne, American singer, songwriter who had the 1996 UK No.6 single 'One Of Us'. She toured with Motown sidemen the Funk Brothers and was featured in the documentary film about them, Standing in the Shadows of Motown.
8 Jul 1961
American country music singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor Toby Keith. His chart-topping debut 'Should've Been a Cowboy', topped the US country charts and was the most-played country song of the 1990s. The song has received three million spins since then, according to Broadcast Music Incorporated. Keith released 19 studio albums and charted 61 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including 20 No.1 hits. In June 2022, Keith announced that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer, he died in his sleep in Oklahoma, on 5 February 2024, at the age of 62.
8 Jul 1961
Graham Jones, guitar, Haircut 100. The band had four UK Top 10 hit singles between 1981 and 1982, including 'Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)', 'Love Plus One' and 'Fantastic Day'.
8 Jul 1960
Andy Fletcher, bass, synth, and a founding member with English electronic band Depeche Mode. The group have had 50 songs in the UK Singles Chart and seventeen top 10 albums in the UK chart and have sold over 100 million records worldwide. Hit singles included 'New Life', 'Enjoy the Silence' and 'Just Can't Get Enough.' He died on 26 May 2022 age 60.
8 Jul 1955
Russell Christian, singer with English group The Christians who had the 1988 UK No.8 single 'Harvest For The World'. The name of the band refers to the surname of the three brothers that were originally in the line-up.
8 Jul 1946
Finnish rock drummer Pentti Glan, best known for his work with Alice Cooper and Lou Reed. He also appeared in the movie The Rose as the drummer of The Rose Band. He died on November 7, 2017 of lung cancer at the age of 71.
8 Jul 1945
Ricky Wolf, from English pop group The Flowerpot Men who had the 1967 UK No.4 single 'Let's Go To San Francisco'.
8 Jul 1944
Jaimoe Johanson, American drummer and percussionist, and one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band who released the classic album Eat a Peach in 1972 and had the 1973 US No.12 single 'Ramblin Man'.
8 Jul 1940
American bass player, songwriter, Joe B. Mauldin, best known as the bassist for the early rock and roll group The Crickets. He later became a recording engineer at Gold Star Studios, the Los Angeles studio which became the "hit factory" for Phil Spector, Brian Wilson and other major 1960s rock performers. Mauldin died on 7 Feb 2015 aged 74.
8 Jul 1930
American soul musician Earl Van Dyke, most notable as the main keyboardist for Motown Records' in-house Funk Brothers band during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Van Dyke died of prostate cancer on 18 September 1992 age 62.
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