This Month in Music History: August

Posted: 28th February 2011 by Webmaster in This Month in Music History

August 1, 1971: The Concert for Bangladesh, one of the very first large rock and roll benefit concerts, is held at Madison Square Garden in New York. The effort was spearheaded by ex-Beatle George Harrison.

August 1, 1981: MTV (Music Television) debuts at 12:01a.m.. The first music video shown on it was The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”.

August 4, 1980: John Lennon and Yoko Ono begin recording Double fantasy, which would be John’s last album.

August 5, 1957: ABC Television launches American Bandstand as a national broadcast. First record played on the national show: “That’ll Be the Day” by Buddy Holly and the Crickets. First Guest: Billy Williams, performing “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter.” Dick Clark was the host and would go on to have a TV career lasting over 50 years.

August 5, 1974: Joan Jett forms The Runaways, one of the first all-girl rock bands.

August 11, 1973: Bill Aucoin sees KISS playing at a hotel in New York and becomes their manager—promising them a record deal within two weeks.

August 12, 1877: Thomas Edison invents sound recording (with a device called the Edisonphone, the recording medium being a metal cylinder). He records “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

August 15-17, 1967: The Woodstock Music and Arts Festival (“Woodstock”) takes place at Max Yasgur’s farm in New York.

August 16, 1977: Elvis Presley dies of heart failure (caused by years of drug abuse) at Graceland at age 42.

August 19, 1964: The Beatles begin their first US concert tour.

August 23, 1964: The Beatles play the Hollywood Bowl for the first time. A reserved seat ticket cost $5.50. Bob Eubanks, who later hosted The Newlywed Game, was the promoter.

August 26, 1970: Jimi Hendrix gives his last concert performance at the Isle of Wight Pop Festival. 1 million people overwhelm the festival site, causing Parliament to ban the Festival until 2002.

August 27, 1970: Elton John makes his American concert debut at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.

August 29, 1966: The Beatles play their final concert (Candlestick Park, San Francisco).

August 31, 1976: A judge rules George Harrison guilty of plagiarism, if only subconsciously, due to musical similarities between George’s “My Sweet Lord” and the Chiffons’ “He’s So Fine.”

Elvis isn’t the only one who left the building on August 16. On August 16, 1962 The Beatles sacked Pete Best in favor of Ringo Starr, on August 16, 1975 Genesis founder and vocalist Peter Gabriel left to pursue a solo career, and on August 16, 1980 the following musicians all left their bands: Bill Ward left Black Sabbath, Jools Holland left Squeeze, and Cozy Powell left Rainbow.

Happy Birthday:

August 3: James Hetfield (b. 1963, Downey, CA).
August 7: Bruce Dickinson (b. 1958, Worksop Notts, England).
August 8: The Edge (b. East London 1961)
August 10: Ronnie Spector (b. Veronica Bennett, 1947, NY, NY).
August 16: Madonna (b. Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone 1958, Bay City, MI).
August 20: Robert Plant b. 1948, W. Bromwich, Staffordshire, UK).
August 20: Fred Durst b. 1970, Gastonia, NC).
August 25: Gene Simmons (b.1949, Halfa, Israel).
August 29: Michael Jackson (b.1958, Gary,  IN).
August 31: Van Morrison (b.1945, Belfast Ireland).

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