November 23rd: The Biggest Music Headlines

Scroll down the page to see all the music headlines, stories and events for November 23 throughout music history

Roy Acuff

Roy Acuff, The King Of Country Music, Dies At 89

On November 23, 1992, the “King of Country Music,” Roy Acuff, died at the age of 89. The singer-songwriter was a highly influential force in the genre, who transformed country music from its instrumental roots into its hugely-popular, singer-based format. In addition to releasing dozens of albums and scoring such hits as “Prodigal Son,” “I’ll Forgive You But I Can’t Forget,” and “Our Own (Jole Blon),” Acuff also formed Acuff-Rose Music, the first Nashville-based country music publishing company with songwriter Fred Rose. Together, they signed such stars as Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, and the Everly Brothers. In 1962, Acuff became the first living artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In 1979, Pink Floyd released their signature track, “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)” in the UK. Featuring haunting vocals from local school children and a disco-influenced bassline, the song was an immediate hit, topping the charts in the UK, US, and across Europe, and selling more than four million copies around the globe. The song marks the second of a three-part composition on the band’s rock opera, The Wall, and is a biting commentary on strict rules and abusive punishment in school.

In 1975, Queen began a nine-week run at the top of the UK pop chart with their operatic masterpiece, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” While record execs were wary of releasing the nearly six-minute-long single (a track off A Night at the Opera), the band had the last laugh. In addition to its chart success in Britain, the song also hit No.1 in Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands, among other countries, while today, it remains the third best-selling single of all time in the UK.

In 2008, after 15 years between full-lengths, Guns N’ Roses released Chinese Democracy, their sixth studio album and their long-awaited follow-up to The Spaghetti Incident?.

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1925: Johnny Mandel (composer)
1939: Betty Everett
1949: Maria Griffiths
1954: Bruce Hornsby
1978: Alison Mosshart (The Kills, The Dead Weather)
1988: Ed Irwin-Singer (Glass Animals)
1992: Miley Cyrus

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November 23rd

On this day in music
23 Nov 2019
Accounts showed that Guns N’ Roses Not In This Lifetime tour had raked in more than half a billion dollars during it's three-year run grossing $584.2 million (£455.1m). The tour, which kicked off in 2016, sold 5,371,891 tickets, making it the third highest-grossing tour, according to Billboard Boxscore.
23 Nov 2016
Joe Esposito, a close friend and aide of Elvis Presley died at the age of 78. Esposito was Presley's professional assistant and a member of his inner circle, known as the "Memphis Mafia". He was one of two best men at the star's wedding to Priscilla in 1967 and a pallbearer at his funeral in 1977.
23 Nov 2015
Taylor Swift dominated the American Music Awards, winning three prizes, including album of the year and song of the year. One Direction were named favourite group and artist of the year, for the second year in a row and Ariana Grande was the surprise winner of best female, beating Taylor Swift.
23 Nov 2012
According to a new list of the 200 rarest records published in Record Collector magazine, the original acetate of the pre Beatles demo by the Quarrymen of 'That'll Be The Day' was worth £200,000 ($320,630). Several other Beatles records figured in the top 20. Low-numbered copies of The Beatles The White Album was said to be worth £7,000 ($11,222 USD), though a copy of a mono White Album #0000005 sold for £19,201 ($30,782 USD) in 2009.
23 Nov 2008
15 years after their last album, Guns N' Roses released Chinese Democracy in the US, exclusively via the electronics retailer Best Buy. Nine years previously, Geffen Records had reportedly paid Axl Rose $1 million to finish the album, with a further $1 million if he handed it in to them by March 1, 1999.
23 Nov 2008
Leona Lewis was at No.1 on the UK album chart with her debut album 'Spirit'. The album held the record for the biggest digital album sales in a week ever for a new artist and was the 6th biggest selling of 2008 in the world. It has gone on to sell over seven million copies worldwide.
23 Nov 2005
Dan McTeague a Toronto MP tried to have 50 Cent barred from entering Canada to perform a series of concerts later this year. McTeague had sent a letter to Immigration Minister Joe Volpe claiming that the controversial rapper shouldn't be permitted to cross the border because he promotes gun violence.
23 Nov 2002
Otis Reddings' widow and his former manager filed a lawsuit against the author of a biography written in 2001 about the R&B legend, claiming the book was filled with lies. The lawsuit, filed in Atlanta's Fulton County, sought $15 million in damages and claimed that the book detailed rumors about the singer's drug use, extramarital affairs and divorce, causing "harm to the plaintiffs." It also cites rumors that Otis' manager plotted with the Mafia to kill Otis by causing the plane to crash in order to claim $1 million in life insurance.
23 Nov 2001
Singer O.C. Smith died aged 65. Famous for his 1968 US No.1 single 'Little Green Apples' and 1968 UK No.2 single 'The Son Of Hickory Holler's Tramp'. Smith became pastor and founder of The City Of Angels Church in Los Angeles, California.
23 Nov 1995
American soul singer and saxophonist Junior Walker died of cancer aged 64. Had the 1966 US & UK Top 20 single 'How Sweet It Is', and the 1969 US No.4 single 'What Does It Take, To Win Your Love'. Walker also played sax on Foreigner's 1981 hit ‘Urgent.’
23 Nov 1994
Tommy Boyce, singer, songwriter, committed suicide. (1968 US No. 8 single with Bobby Hart, 'I Wonder What She's Doing Tonite', also wrote 'Last Train To Clarksville', 'I'm Not Your Stepping Stone' and 'Scooby- Doo Where Are You.' Sold over 40m records.
23 Nov 1992
American country music singer Roy Acuff died aged 89. Known as the "King of Country Music," he was the first living artist elected to the Country Music Hall Of Fame. Acuff started his career in 1932 working for Dr. Hauer's medicine show, hired as one of its entertainers to draw a crowd to whom Hauer could sell medicines.
23 Nov 1991
Genesis scored their 5th UK No.1 album with 'We Can't Dance', featuring the singles 'Jesus He Knows Me' and 'I Can't Dance'.
23 Nov 1991
Michael Jackson had his fourth UK No.1 single with 'Black or White' which featured Slash on guitar. Also a No.1 hit in the US.
23 Nov 1985
American blues artist Big Joe Turner died of a heart attack aged 75. Wrote 'Shake Rattle and Roll', (a hit for Bill Haley and His Comets) and 'Sweet Sixteen.'
23 Nov 1979
Pink Floyd released 'Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)' in the UK. The song rapidly topped the charts in the UK, followed by the US and a further 9 countries. Featuring children from Islington Green School in North London, close to Floyd's Britannia Row Studios, it was the group’s first UK single since Point Me At The Sky in 1968, and their first chart hit since See Emily Play in 1967.
23 Nov 1979
Keith Richard's girlfriend Anita Pallenburg was cleared by a court of shooting a man found dead at her home. A 17-year-old, Scott Cantrell, had shot himself in the head with a gun owned by Keith Richards, while in Pallenberg's bed, at the South Salem, New York house shared by Richards and Pallenberg. Cantrell had been employed as a part-time groundskeeper at the estate and was involved in a sexual relationship with Pallenberg.
23 Nov 1976
Ten hours after his last arrest, Jerry Lee Lewis was nicked again after brandishing a Derringer pistol outside Elvis Presley's Graceland's home in Memphis, demanding to see the 'King'. When police arrived they found Lewis sat in his car with the loaded Derringer pistol resting on his knee.
23 Nov 1975
Queen started a nine-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with Bohemian Rhapsody. The promotional video that accompanied the song is generally acknowledged as being the first pop video and only cost £5,000 to produce. When the band wanted to release the single various record executives suggested to them that, at 5 minutes and 55 seconds, it was too long and would never be a hit.
23 Nov 1974
One Hit Wonder Billy Swan started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'I Can Help'. The song was a hit throughout most of Europe and also reached No.1 in Australia. It was so successful in Norway that it charted for 37 weeks on the Norwegian charts making it the 4th best-performing single of all time in that country.
23 Nov 1974
The Rolling Stones scored their fifth US No.1 album with 'It's Only Rock 'N Roll'. The album which was the last Stones album for guitarist Mick Taylor peaked at No.2 in the UK.
23 Nov 1967
A 16 date UK package tour played its 7th night at the Sophia Gardens Pavilion, Cardiff. Featuring The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, The Move, The Nice, The Outer Limits, The Eire Apparent and Amen Corner, the entourage performed twice nightly. In 1974, Pink Floyd returned to the venue, which has since been demolished, to be replaced by the 'Really Welsh Pavilion'.
23 Nov 1965
Marc Bolan appeared live on the UK TV show Five O'Clock Funfair, performing 'The Wizard'.
23 Nov 1962
The Beatles travelled to St. James' Church Hall, London, for a ten-minute audition with BBC Television. The audition came about when Beatles fan, David Smith of Preston, Lancashire wrote to the BBC asking for The Beatles to be featured on BBC television. Assuming that Smith was The Beatles' manager, the BBC wrote back to him, offering The Beatles an audition. Smith brought his letter to NEMS Enterprises, and Clive Epstein (Brian's brother) arranged for audition to take place. Four days later, Brian Epstein received a polite "thumbs-down" letter from the BBC.
23 Nov 1956
Sheet metal worker Louis Balint was arrested after punching Elvis Presley at a Hotel in Toledo. Balint claimed that his wife's love for Elvis had caused his marriage to break up. He was fined $19.60 but ended up being jailed because he was unable to pay the fine.
Born on this day in music
23 Nov 1992
Miley Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus), American actress, singer and songwriter. She emerged as a teen idol while portraying the title character of the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana. Cyrus scored the 2013 US No.1 hit 'Wrecking Ball' and her 2023 single 'Flowers' became a massive commercial success, setting several records. It broke the record as the most streamed song in a week on Spotify during both its first and second week, and broke the record as the fastest song in Spotify history to surpass one billion streams, doing so in 112 days. It debuted atop the Billboard Global 200 chart and reached number one in 35 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
23 Nov 1988
Edmund Irwin-Singer, bassist with Glass Animals. Their song 'Heat Waves' reached No.1 in Australia in February 2021 and eventually reached No.1 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and No.5 on the UK Singles Chart. At the 2022 Brit Awards, Glass Animals were nominated for two Brit Awards (Best British Rock Act and 'Heat Waves' for Best British Single).
23 Nov 1984
Lucas Stephen Grabeel, American actor and singer High School Musical, as part of the cast had the 2006 US No.1 ‘High School Musical’ album and 2007, US No.1 ‘High School Musical 2’ album. Over 17 million viewers in the United States watched the TV premier of High School Musical; making it the highest rated basic cable broadcast in U.S. history.
23 Nov 1983
Thomas Pridgen, American drummer with The Mars Volta from 2006 until October 2009. Also worked with The Memorials and the California hardcore band, Trash Talk.
23 Nov 1978
Alison Mosshart, American singer, songwriter with The Kills and blues rock band The Dead Weather with Jack White.
23 Nov 1978
American saxophone player Tommy Marth who worked with The Killers. On April 23, 2012, Marth's body was discovered in his Las Vegas, Nevada home with a gunshot wound to the head. The Clark County Coroner subsequently ruled that the gunshot wound was self-inflicted and the cause of death was suicide.
23 Nov 1972
American drummer Chris Adler who has worked with Lamb of God, Megadeth, Burn the Priest, Testament and Protest The Hero.
23 Nov 1962
Chris Bostock, bassist with British new wave group Jo Boxers, who had the 1983 UK No.3 single 'Boxer Beat'.
23 Nov 1954
Bruce Hornsby, keyboards, vocals, The Range, (1986 US No.1 & UK No.15 single 'The Way It Is').
23 Nov 1949
Marcia Griffiths, singer, also called the "Queen of Reggae". With Bob Andy as a duo (Bob and Marcia), she had the 1970 UK hit with 'Young, Gifted and Black'.
23 Nov 1949
Sandra Stevens, Brotherhood Of Man, (1976 UK No.1 single 'Save Your Kisses For Me').
23 Nov 1949
Alan Paul, singer, Manhattan Transfer, (1977 UK No.1 'Chanson D'amour', 1981 US No.7 single 'Boy From New York City').
23 Nov 1939
Betty Everett, soul singer, (1964 US No. 6 single 'The Shoop Shoop Song, It's In His Kiss', 1965 UK No. 29 single 'Getting Mighty Crowded'). She died on 19th August 2001 aged 61.
23 Nov 1925
Grammy and Oscar-winning American composer and arranger Johnny Mandel. His most famous composition is 'Suicide Is Painless' (theme from the movie and TV series M*A*S*H) and Mandel also worked with Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett as well as providing strings arrangement on Michael Jackson's Off The Wall album. Mandel died on 29 June 2020, at his home in Ojai, California age 94.
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