September 20th: The Biggest Music Headlines

Scroll down the page to see all the music headlines, stories and events for September 20 throughout music history

John Lennon

John Lennon Leaves The Beatles

On September 20, 1969, during a meeting in London between John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr, Lennon announced he was leaving The Beatles. Initially, the news was kept quiet, because the band was on the verge of signing a new label contract. But word eventually got out. McCartney reflected on the conversation they had in his book Anthology, recalling that he told Lennon, “‘I think we should go back to little gigs – I really think we’re a great little band. We should find our basic roots, and then who knows what will happen? We may want to fold after that, or we may really think we’ve still got it.’ John looked me in the eye and said: ‘Well, I think you’re daft.’” The group would officially disband in April 1970.

In 1968, Led Zeppelin (recording under the name of The Yardbirds) began recording their debut album at London’s Olympic Studios. Bandleader and vocalist Jimmy Page served as the album’s producer and also paid for its costs upfront – a factor that informed the group’s breakneck speed in the studio, taking just 36 hours to record and mix the project.

In 1975, David Bowie earned his first US No.1 with his now-classic single, “Fame.” The song came together at Electric Lady Studios in January of 1975 after a jam session between Bowie and John Lennon, accented by a guitar riff from Carlos Alomar.

In 1980, Kate Bush scored her first UK No.1 album with Never For Ever. It was the first album by a British female solo artist to top the UK album chart and the first album by any female solo artist to debut on the chart at No.1.

In 1997, Elton John began a six-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with “Something About The Way You Look Tonight,” and “Candle In The Wind 97.” The latter single – a reimagined version of 1973’s “Candle in the Wind” – was performed weeks earlier at the funeral of the singer’s friend, Princess Diana. While the ballad was initially written in honor of actress Marilyn Monroe, the singer-songwriter altered the lyrics to create a loving tribute to the late Princess of Wales after her tragic death.

In 1957, Buddy Holly released his hit single, “Peggy Sue.” The song was originally named “Cindy Lou,” after Holly’s niece, but the artist later changed the name to “Peggy Sue,” for Peggy Sue Gerron, the future wife of Crickets drummer, Jerry Allison.

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1949: Chuck and John Panozzo (Styx)
1960: Keef Cowboy (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five)
1966: Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme)
1967: Matthew and Gunnar Nelson
1968: Ben Shepherd (Soundgarden)

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September 20th

On this day in music
20 Sep 2021
American singer and actress Sarah Dash died unexpectedly at the age of 76. She first appeared on the music scene as a member of Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles and later was Dash was a member of Labelle, and worked as a singer, session musician, and sideman for The Rolling Stones, and Keith Richards.
20 Sep 2020
American musician and singer Tommy DeVito died age 92 after contracting COVID-19. He is best known as a founding member, vocalist, and lead guitarist of the Four Seasons who were one of only two American bands (the other being the Beach Boys) to enjoy substantial chart success before, during, and after the British Invasion. The Four Seasons are one of the best-selling musical groups of all time, having sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide.
20 Sep 2012
The former north London home of the original band members of Pink Floyd was bought by a Singaporean developer. Sham Masterman, who admitted not being a big fan of the rock band, bought the Highgate house and the one next door for £1.2m each. Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and Syd Barrett had all lived in the house in the 1960s. The previous owner, lighting technician Mike Leonard, was landlord and friend to the band and even inspired their earliest name, Leonard's Lodgers.
20 Sep 2009
Muse went to No.1 on the UK album chart with 'The Resistance' the bands fifth studio album.
20 Sep 2007
Stereophonics singer Kelly Jones was admitted to hospital when he was injured during an altercation with a member of a club's security team. The band had gone to a west London club after appearing at the Vodafone Live Music Awards.
20 Sep 2005
Canadian JD Fortune, beat two other finalists to become the new lead singer with INXS after a worldwide search to replace the late Michael Hutchence. INXS held auditions in six continents as part of a reality TV series.
20 Sep 1997
Elton John started a six week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Something About The Way You Look Tonight', and 'Candle In The Wind 97.' A re-write of his 1974 hit about Marilyn Monroe. This version was raising funds for the Diana, Princess of Wales charity, following her death in Paris. It went on to become the biggest selling single in the world ever.
20 Sep 1997
Pearl Jam's 'Jeremy' video was cited as one of the reasons American teenager Barry Loukaitis had snapped into a violent rage that left three people dead. Defence attorneys took the unprecedented step of playing the video in a Washington court.
20 Sep 1995
The Daily Mirror ran a front page story 'ban this sick stunt' referring to the new single from Pulp 'Sorted For E's & Wizz.' The artwork showed how to fold a 'speed' wrap, the sleeve was changed, the single entered the UK chart at No.8.
20 Sep 1994
The Dave Matthews Band released ‘Under the Table and Dreaming’, the album featured their first commercial hits ‘What Would You Say,’ ‘Satellite,’ and ‘Ants Marching.’ The album was dedicated to Matthews' older sister Anne, who was killed by her husband in 1994 in a murder-suicide.
20 Sep 1993
Just back from a tour of Japan, keyboard player with The Charlatans Rob Collins was out with an old friend. They stopped at an off-licence and his friend went in, half-jokingly saying he could rob the place. When he came out with a loud bang, Collins stupidly picked him up. The police arrested the pair the next day and charged them both with attempted robbery and possession of a firearm (it was a replica gun).
20 Sep 1986
Huey Lewis and the News started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Stuck With You', a No.12 hit in the UK.
20 Sep 1980
Kate Bush scored her first UK No.1 album with 'Never For Ever.' It was the first ever album by a British female solo artist to top the UK album chart as well as being the first album by any female solo artist to enter the chart at No.1.
20 Sep 1976
AC/DC released their third studio album 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap'. The album has been certified 6x Platinum in the United States, which means that it has sold at least 6 million copies, becoming the third highest sold album by AC/DC in the US after 'Highway To Hell' and 'Back In Black'.
20 Sep 1976
The first of the two night 100 Club Punk Festival, Oxford St, London, featuring the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Sub Way Sect, Suzie (spelling on the poster), And The Banshees, The Buzzcocks, Vibrators and Stinky Toys. Admission £1.50.
20 Sep 1976
The Captain and Tennille musical variety show premiered on ABC TV in the US.
20 Sep 1975
Winners in this year’s Melody Makers Readers poll included, Robert Plant who won Best singer, Joni Mitchell, Best female singer, Yes won Best band, Genesis won Best live act, Best single, ‘I’m Not In Love, by 10cc, Best album Led Zeppelin, and Brightest hope went to Camel.
20 Sep 1975
'Fame' gave David Bowie his first No.1 in the US. The song was co-written with John Lennon. Lennon's voice is heard towards the ending of the song repeating the words: "Fame, Fame, Fame" from a fast track, through a regular track, to a slow track, before Bowie finished the lyrics.
20 Sep 1975
The Bay City Rollers made their US TV debut when they appeared on the 'Saturday Night Variety Show'.
20 Sep 1973
On his way to perform his second concert of the day, US singer, songwriter Jim Croce was killed with five others when his chartered aircraft hit a tree on take off in Louisiana.
20 Sep 1972
Paul and Linda McCartney were arrested for the second time in four weeks for possession of cannabis this time at their Scottish farmhouse in Campbeltown.
20 Sep 1970
Jim Morrison of The Doors was acquitted on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior, but was found guilty of exposing himself during a concert at The Dinner Key Auditorium in Coconut Grove a year and a half earlier. At his trial at the Dade County Courthouse in Miami, Judge Goodman sentenced Morrison to six months hard labor and a $500 (£270), fine for public exposure and sixty days hard labor for profanity. The sentence was appealed, but Morrison was never brought to trial, as he would die in Paris France on July 3, 1971.
20 Sep 1970
The Rolling Stones live album 'Get Your Ya-Yas Out' started a two-week run at No.1 on the UK chart. Recorded at New York's Madison Sq Gardens on 27th & 28th Nov 1969, featuring 'Jumpin Jack Flash', 'Honky Tonk Woman' and 'Midnight Rambler'.
20 Sep 1969
Based on the comic-book TV series Archie and his friends The Archie's started a four-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with Sugar Sugar. It became the longest running One Hit Wonder in the UK after spending eight weeks at the top of the charts.
20 Sep 1969
Blind Faith started a two-week run at No.1 on the UK chart with their self-titled debut album. The only release from the Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker and Rick Grech line-up also reached No.1 in the US. Their only UK gig was in Hyde Park, London on 7th Jun 1969.
20 Sep 1969
UK music paper Melody Maker readers poll results were published. Winners included Eric Clapton who won best musician, Bob Dylan best male singer and best album for 'Nashville Skyline'. Best group went to The Beatles, Best single went to Simon And Garfunkel for 'The Boxer' and Janis Joplin won Best female singer.
20 Sep 1969
During a meeting in London between John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Lennon announced he was leaving The Beatles.
20 Sep 1968
Led Zeppelin (recording under the name of The Yardbirds) started recording their debut album at Olympic Studios, Barnes, London, England. The album took only about 36 hours of studio time to complete at a cost of around £1,782, with most of the tracks being recorded 'live' in the studio with very few overdubs.
20 Sep 1964
At the end of the North American tour The Beatles played a Charity concert at the Paramount Theatre in New York City, the 3,682 audience each paid $100 a ticket.
20 Sep 1957
Buddy Holly released the single 'Peggy Sue' with 'Everyday' as the B-side. The song was originally entitled 'Cindy Lou', after Holly's niece, but was later changed to 'Peggy Sue' in reference to Peggy Sue Gerron the girlfriend (and future wife) of Jerry Allison, the drummer for the Crickets, after the couple had temporarily broken up.
Born on this day in music
20 Sep 1982
American record producer and songwriter Ian Kirkpatrick. He has produced and written music for many high-profile artists such as Backstreet Boys, Jason Derulo, Shakira, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Dua Lipa, The Chainsmokers and Miley Cyrus.
20 Sep 1981
Keith Semple, from British boy band One True Voice, created on the ITV television series Popstars: The Rivals who had the 2002 UK No.2 single 'Sacred Trust / After You're Gone'.
20 Sep 1979
Rick Woolstenhulme, drummer with American rock band Lifehouse who had the 2001 US No.10 & UK No.25 single 'Hanging By A Moment' from their debut studio album, No Name Face.
20 Sep 1968
Ben Shepherd, Soundgarden, (1994 UK No.12 single 'Black Hole Sun').
20 Sep 1967
Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, twin sons of 60s singer Ricky Nelson, (1990 US No.1 & UK No.54 single, 'Can't Live Without Your Love and Affection).
20 Sep 1966
Nuno Bettencourt, Extreme, (1991 US No.1 & UK No.2 single 'More Than Words').
20 Sep 1960
David Hemmingway who with The Housemartins had the 1986 UK No.1 single 'Caravan Of Love' and with The Beautiful South the 1990 UK No.1 single 'A Little Time' plus over fifteen other UK Top 40 singles.
20 Sep 1960
Keef Cowboy (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five). (1982 UK No.8 single 'The Message'). Died of a heart attack 8th September 1989.
20 Sep 1959
Alannah Currie Vocals, sax, The Thompson Twins, (1984 UK No.2 single 'You Take Me Up', 1984 US No.3 single 'Hold Me Now').
20 Sep 1949
Chuck and John Panozzo, bass and drums, Styx. John Panozzo died on 16th July 1996. (1979 US No.1 & 1980 UK No.6 single 'Babe').
20 Sep 1946
Mick Rogers, English rock guitarist, singer and songwriter, chiefly known for his time with Manfred Mann's Earth Band. Their hits include covers of Bruce Springsteen's 'For You', 'Blinded by the Light' and 'Spirit in the Night'.
20 Sep 1945
American R&B singer Sweet Pea Atkinson from Was Not Was, who had the 1992 UK No.4 single 'Shake Your Head'. He died from a heart attack in Los Angeles, on 5 May 2020 aged 74.
20 Sep 1937
American songwriter, singer, musician and lyricist Margo Guryan. Her 1960s song ‘Sunday Mornin'‘, was hit for both Spanky and Our Gang and Oliver. Her songs have also been recorded by Cass Elliot, Glen Campbell amongst others. She died age 84 on 8 November 2021.
20 Sep 1925
Bobby Nunn, who was a member of The Robins and The Coasters who scored the 1958 US No.1 single 'Yakety Yak', the 1959 US No.2 and UK No.6 single 'Charlie Brown', as well as 'Young Blood' and 'Poison Ivy'. Nunn died on nov 5th 1986.
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