September 4th: The Biggest Music Headlines

Scroll down the page to see all the music headlines, stories and events for September 4 throughout music history

Elvis Presley

Elvis Makes His Debut At The Grand Ole Opry

On September 4, 1954 – to coincide with the release of his second Sun Records single, “Good Rockin’ Tonight” – Elvis Presley, along with his backup musicians Bill Black and Scotty Moore, made their first appearances at The Grand Ole Opry. The audience’s reaction was so harsh that the Opry’s manager, Jim Denny, told Elvis that he should return to his day job of truck driving. Two weeks later, the trio appeared at a rival venue, the Louisiana Hayride (which also broadcast weekly shows on radio and TV), and inked a deal to appear on 52 Saturday night broadcasts, which effectively launched his career.

In 1962, The Beatles had their first formal recording session at EMI’s Abbey Road studios. While the band had committed several songs to tape on June 6, producer George Martin was not thrilled with the results, so he asked the band back into the studio to try again. This time, they recorded six songs, including “Love Me Do” and “Please Please Me.” In order to prepare for the event, the band arranged a three-hour practice in Studio Three, supervised by EMI’s Ron Richards, during which they ran through the six-song set over and over again. The occasion also marked drummer Ringo Starr’s first ever session with the band.

In 1969, the film Easy Rider – starring Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, and Dennis Hopper – opened at The Classic in London, England. The movie’s soundtrack featured songs from a handful of then-current acts, including The Band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Steppenwolf.

In 1971, Paul and Linda McCartney topped the Billboard Hot 100 with “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey,” from their album Ram. Released only in the US, the track was McCartney’s first solo No.1 in the country. Paul would later explain that “Uncle Albert” was based on his real-life uncle: “He’s someone I recall fondly and when the song was coming, it was like a nostalgia thing.”

In 1976, The Bee Gees went to No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “You Should Be Dancing.” The song, which would later be featured on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, launched the trio towards disco stardom and marked the group’s first chart-topper to feature their trademark falsetto vocals.

Across the Atlantic that same year, the Sex Pistols made their television debut by appearing on the Manchester-based Granada TV program, So It Goes.

In 1982, The Steve Miller Band began a two-week run at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Abracadabra.”

Looking for more things that happened on this day in music?
Keep scrolling for all of the headlines for September 1.


1942: Bubba Knight (The Pips)
1944: Gene Parsons (The Byrds)
1946: Ronald LePread (The Commodores)
1960: Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)
1975: Mark Ronson
1981: Beyoncé

Looking for more artists born on this day?
Keep scrolling for all of our September 1 birthdays.

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September 1st

On this day in music
4 Sep 2023
American singer and songwriter Gary Wright died age 80. He was a member of Spooky Tooth and later had the 1976 solo US No.2 single 'Dream Weaver'. The song was inspired by Autobiography of a Yogi, which was given to him by George Harrison. Wright also played on Harrison's 1970 All Things Must Pass triple album. Wright turned to film soundtrack work in the early 1980s, including re-recording his most popular song, 'Dream Weaver', for the 1992 comedy Wayne's World.
4 Sep 2022
A US judge dismissed a man's lawsuit against Nirvana over the band's iconic 1991 album cover which showed him naked as a baby. Spencer Elden, 31, said his appearance on the front of the Nevermind record constituted child sexual abuse. But the judge said he had left it too late to claim he had been exploited. The lawsuit focused on a photograph of Mr Elden, which depicted him swimming naked in a pool towards a dollar bill pierced with a fish hook.
4 Sep 2015
Rolling Stones' guitarist Keith Richards told The New York Daily News that Rap music was for "tone deaf people." He went on to say "All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they're happy. There's an enormous market for people who can't tell one note from another."
4 Sep 2015
Cuban-born Jamaican ska and reggae trombonist Rico Rodriguez died aged 80. He recorded with many artists including Karl Pitterson, Prince Buster, and Lloyd "Matador" Daley. He was known as one of the first and most distinguished ska artists, and from the early 1960s performed and recorded in Britain, with the Specials, Jools Holland, Paul Young, and others.
4 Sep 2012
One Direction won a legal dispute over the right to keep using their band name. A US punk group of the same name challenged the UK boyband earlier this year, saying that they had called themselves One Direction first. One Direction US sued the British band for $1million (£630,000) in damages and asked for a share of The X Factor stars' royalties. One Direction US would now be known as Uncharted Shores.
4 Sep 2008
The first guitar torched on stage by Jimi Hendrix sold for £280,000 at an auction of rock memorabilia. The Fender Stratocaster was burned at the end of a show at the Astoria in Finsbury Park, north London, in 1967. The sale held in London also included The Beatles first management contract, signed in 1962 by all four members of the group and manager Brian Epstein, sold for £240,000.
4 Sep 2007
The Police played the first UK date on their Reunion tour when they played two nights at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England.
4 Sep 2000
American bassist David Brown died due to liver and kidney failure. He was the primary bass player with Santana from 1966 until 1971 and played in Santana at Woodstock and at Altamont festival in 1969 and on the band's first three studio albums.
4 Sep 1996
Oasis created outrage at the MTV awards held at New York's Radio City Hall. During the bands performance of 'Champagne Supernova' singer Liam spat on stage and threw a beer into the crowd.
4 Sep 1995
Blur, Oasis, Radiohead, Paul Weller, Manic St Preachers and The Stone Roses all recorded tracks for the War Child charity album, which was released five days later. All profits went to children caught up in the current war in former Yugoslavia.
4 Sep 1987
Mike Joyce drummer with The Smiths, quit the band saying that 'the present role within the group had been fulfilled'. In 1996, Joyce sued former Smiths' colleagues Johnny Marr and Morrissey for an equal share of performance and recording royalties. Joyce won the case and was awarded damages of around one million pounds.
4 Sep 1982
Survivor were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with the theme from the film Rocky III 'Eye Of The Tiger', their only chart topper. Survivor won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance for the song.
4 Sep 1982
The Steve Miller Band started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Abracadabra' the group's third US No.1, a No.2 hit in the UK. The song is said to have been inspired by Diana Ross with whom Miller had met while performing together on Hullabaloo in the 1960s.
4 Sep 1976
Fleetwood Mac went to No.1 on the US album chart with their self-titled album after being on the charts for over a year. The album went on to sell over 5 million copies in the US and was the first of three No.1 albums for the group.
4 Sep 1976
The Bee Gees went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'You Should Be Dancing', the group's third US No.1, a No.5 hit n the UK. It was this song that launched the trio into Disco stardom and is the first chart-topper in which Barry Gibb used his now-trademark falsetto.
4 Sep 1976
The Sex Pistols made their television debut when they appeared on the Manchester based Granada TV program 'So It Goes'.
4 Sep 1971
Taken from the album 'Ram', Paul and Linda McCartney went to No.1 on the US singles chart with the US only released 'Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey'. McCartney's first US solo No.1. Paul would later explain that "Uncle Albert" was based on his real-life uncle. "He's someone I recall fondly and when the song was coming, it was like a nostalgia thing... As for Admiral Halsey, he's one of yours, an American admiral", referring to Admiral William "Bull" Halsey.
4 Sep 1969
The film 'Easy Rider' starring Jack Nicholson Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper opened at The Classic in London England. The movie's soundtrack featured The Band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Steppenwolf.
4 Sep 1968
The Beatles recorded promotional videos for ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Revolution’ at Twickenham Film Studios. The vocals are recorded live over the pre-recorded instrumental tracks to get round the current British Musicians Union ban on lip-sync performances. For ‘Hey Jude’, The Beatles were accompanied by a 36-piece orchestra and 300 fans and other assorted extras who join in singing the long refrain.
4 Sep 1968
The Bee Gees had their second UK No.1 single with 'I've Gotta Get A Message To You'. The song is about a man who, awaiting his execution in the electric chair, begs the prison chaplain to pass a final message on to his wife.
4 Sep 1965
The Who had their van stolen containing over £5000 worth of equipment outside the Battersea Dogs Home. The band were inside the home at the time buying a guard dog. The van was later recovered.
4 Sep 1962
The Beatles first formal recording session at EMI's Abbey Road studios took place. George Martin was unhappy with a previous session on June 6, so he called The Beatles back into the studio to try again. They recorded six songs, including 'Love Me Do' and 'Please Please Me.'
4 Sep 1954
To coincide with the release of his second Sun single, 'Good Rockin' Tonight', Elvis Presley along with Bill Black and Scotty Moore made their first appearance at The Grand Old Opry. The audience reaction was so poor, the Opry's manager, Jim Denny told Elvis that he should go back to driving a truck.
Born on this day in music
4 Sep 1990
English singer, songwriter James Bay. His 2015 album Chaos and the Calm went to No.1 on the UK album chart.
4 Sep 1981
Beyoncé, American singer, songwriter, dancer and actress. With Destiny’s Child she had the 2000 US No.1 single with ‘Say My Name’ and the 2001 US & UK No.1 single and album 'Survivor'. Beyonce scored the 2003 US & UK No.1 single ‘Crazy In Love’ from the world-wide No.1 album Dangerously In Love. Throughout her career, she has sold an estimated 100 million records as a solo artist and a further 60 million records with the group Destiny's Child. She has won 22 Grammy Awards and is the most nominated woman in the award's history.
4 Sep 1980
Dan Miller, from American boy band O-Town, who were the winners of US TV show 'Making The Band' They scored the 2001 US No. 3 single 'All Or Nothing'.
4 Sep 1975
Mark Ronson, UK music producer, artist who had the 2007 UK No.2 album 'Version’, and has produced Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and Miley Cyrus. In 2014 his single ‘Uptown Funk’ featuring vocals from Bruno Mars spent 14 consecutive weeks at No.1 on the US chart, seven non-consecutive weeks at No.1 on the UK Singles Chart and became one of the best-selling singles of all time.
4 Sep 1974
Carmit Bachar, The Pussycat Dolls, (2005, US No.2 & UK No.1 with their debut single ‘Don't Cha’ featuring Busta Rhymes). The Pussycat Dolls became only the fourth ever girl band to enter the UK charts at No.1 with their debut single. (The other’s being the Spice Girls, B*Witched and Girls Aloud).
4 Sep 1972
Guto Pryce, bass, Super Furry Animals, (1999 UK No.11 single 'Northern Lines').
4 Sep 1971
Ty Longley, guitarist, singer, Great White. Had the 1989 hit with a cover of Ian Hunter's 'Once Bitten Twice Shy'. Longley died on 20th February 2003 along with 100 fans after pyrotechnics ignited a club during a Great White gig in West Warwick, Rhode Island.
4 Sep 1970
Igor Cavalera, from Brazilian heavy metal Sepultura. Formed in 1984 the band was a major force in the thrash metal and groove metal genres during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
4 Sep 1969
Sasha, producer, DJ, (1996 UK No. 17 single ‘Be As One’).
4 Sep 1960
Kim Thayil, Soundgarden, Guitar, (1994 UK No.12 single 'Black Hole Sun').
4 Sep 1951
Martin Chambers, drummer with English-American rock band The Pretenders, who had the 1980 UK No.1 single with ‘Brass In Pocket’ and the 1983 US No.5 single, 'Back On The Chain Gang'.
4 Sep 1946
Ronald LePread bassist from American funk/soul band, The Commodores, who had the 1978 UK & US No.1 single 'Three Times A Lady' as well as the hits 'Easy' and 'Nightshift'.
4 Sep 1946
Gary Duncan guitar, US acid rock band Quicksilver Messenger Service.
4 Sep 1944
American drummer, banjo player, guitarist, singer-songwriter, Gene Parsons who was a member of The Byrds, and a member of The Flying Burrito Brothers and Parsons Green. Parsons is credited with inventing the B-Bender (also known as the StringBender) along with Clarence White.
4 Sep 1942
Bubba Knight, singer with The Pips. Their first hit single was a version of 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine' in 1967. With Gladys Knight had the 1973 US No.1 single 'Midnight Train To Georgia', and the 1975 UK No.4 single with Gladys 'The Way We Were'.
4 Sep 1919
English singer Teddy Johnson who with his wife Pearl Carr were a English husband-and-wife team of entertainers, popular during the 1950s and early 1960s. They represented the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959 and finished second with 'Sing, Little Birdie' which was a top 20 hit. Johnson died on 6 June 2018 age 98.
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