Willie Dixon is born in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Nashville's Bullet Records releases the first record by Memphis-based Riley "B.B." King, host of a popular show on WDIA.
Burl Ives has first chart hit "Lavender Blue".
Elvis Presley stops at Memphis Recording Service to record two songs, "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin," as a birthday present for his mother. Phillips notes that Presley has a good feel for ballads and should be invited back.
"Send for Me," Nat King Cole's most overtly rock & roll-oriented number, enters Billboard's R&B chart, which it will top for two weeks.
Del Shannon's version of the Beatles' "From Me to You," which he'd learned while touring with them in England, becomes the first Lennon-McCartney song to make the U.S. singles chart, reaching #77.
President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, the first major U.S. civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.
Ahmet Ertegun signs the English group Cream. Atlantic will become a major force in British rock, releasing albums by such artists as the Bee Gees, Mott the Hoople, Yes, Genesis, Derek and the Dominos, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Led Zeppelin.
Traffic hits #5 in the UK with "Paper Sun," their first single.
The Staple Singers move to the Memphis-based Stax Records, where they will remain for through 1974. Injecting soul and R&B into their "message music," the Staples enjoy their greatest period of commercial success at Stax.
Struggling with intergroup conflicts and romantic tensions, not to mention personal excesses that accompanied sudden fame and wealth, the Mamas and the Papas disband.
Sam Phillips sells Sun to Shelby Singleton.
Jim Stewart and partner Al Bell purchase Stax Records back from Gulf + Western, determined to run it themselves.
Attila, a keyboard-drums duo comprising Billy Joel and Hassles drummer Jon Small, release their obscure self-titled album on Columbia Records.
James Brown signs with Polydor Records, for which he'll record extensively throughout the decade.
John Lennon cuts 'Imagine' at his home studio. The anthemic title track is inspired by a message in Yoko Ono's book 'Grapefruit.'
America hits #9 with "I Need You".
Sweet hits #4 in the UK with "Little Willy."
Warner Bros. pays $7 million for the Asylum label. It is merged with Elektra Records, with Geffen remaining in charge.
Will It Go Round In Circles (Billy Preston) was a hit.
One of Curtis Mayfield's most unflinchingly realistic and downbeat message albums, 'There's No Place Like America Today', is released.
The Ramones perform at the Roundhouse in London. They are approached by future members of the Clash, Pretenders, Damned and Sex Pistols and asked how to form a band.
Lifelong Buddy Holly fan Paul McCartney purchases rights to the entire Holly song catalog.
Bruce Springsteen is engaged in a legal battle with manager Mike Appel, during which time an injunction prohibits Bruce Springsteen from recording with 'Born to Run' coproducer and soon-to-be manager Jon Landau.
The Grateful Dead sign to Arista after the demise of their own label; a month later, they release Terrapin Station, their first album for the label.
Performances in Santa Monica and Long Beach, 'Eagles Live'. Shortly after these dates, Glenn Frey calls Don Henley to announce that the Eagles were over. "I started the band, I got tired of it, and I quit," Frey said in 1982.
'An Innocent Man', Billy Joel's homage to the early rock and roll and doo-wop music that he grew up with, is released. It yields a staggering half-dozen Top Forty hits, including Billy Joel's second #1 single, "Tell Her About It."
When Doves Cry (Prince) was a hit.
An MTV viewers wins a house in Bloomington, IN in MTV's "Party House with John Cougar Mellencamp."
Billy Joel's 'Greatest Hits, Volume I & Volume II' is released. By 1999, the hit-filled double album will have surpassed 10 million in sales, earning the RIAA's Diamond Award.
Sub Pop 100, a vinyl sampler of the noise-band scene, is released. It includes songs by such Northwest bands as the Wipers and U-Men, as well as influential acts from outside the area, like Big Black and Sonic Youth.
Taking advantage of 'Glasnost', a new policy of cultural exchange between U.S. and the U.S.S.R., Billy Joel becomes the first American rock star to tour Russia with a fully staged show. 'Kohuept', a double live album recorded in Leningrad, is released in October.
The film biography Great Balls of Fire, with Dennis Quaid in the role of Jerry Lee Lewis, opens across the U.S.
Dusty Springfield's comeback continues with the album 'Reputation', which reaches #18 on the British chart.
'706 ReUnion: A Sentimental Journey', a collaboration between Scotty Moore and Carl Perkins, is released on Belle Meade Records.
RENALDO "OBIE" BENSON, the bass vocalist of the FOUR TOPS, passed away atthe age of sixty-nine after a brief battle with cancer.