August 29 – Cliff Richard, Quarrymen, Roy Orbison, Theremin for Aliens

Cliff Richard and the Drifters (later The Shadows) release debut hit Move It.
Skiffle group The Quarrymen perform at the opening of The Casbah Coffee Club in Liverpool.

US rockabilly singer Roy Orbison‘s biggest hit single Oh, Pretty Woman is released on the Monument Records label. In a month it’s #1 everywhere.


The 1st Theremin Concert for Aliens is transmitted from the Evpatoria planetary radar to the Sun-like star HD 197076 in the Dolphin Constellation.

August 28 – Moog vogue


The Moog synthesizer is first heard by a small audience at the Moog plant.

The first Moog

1965 demo system

Four years later to the day, the synthesizer is heard by a large audience at a jazz concert in NYC’s Museum of Modern Art. Participating with Robert Moog is early synth collaborator (later Professor of EM at Hofstra) Herbert Deutsch. ▷Deutsch interview▹

Bob also created the modern linear ribbon controller, much easier to play than the theremin.

 ( Moog Foundation site ( Moog Archives fansite

See also: Switched-On Bach (1968), First Moog Quartet, Ondes Martenot


August 27 – Cyrkle, Tracy Chapman, Pearl Jam ‘Ten’


US r’n’r band The Cyrkle (*) return to the top-20, yes a second time, with their #16 hippie-surfer feelgood single Turn-Down Day.

Soft summer breeze and the surf rolls in
To laughter of small children playin’
Someone’s radio has the news tuned in
But nobody cares what he’s sayin’
Things that are waiting to mess my mind
Will just have to wait ’til tomorrow

It’s a turn-down day
Nothin’ on my mind
It’s a turn-down day
And I dig it

Brian Epstein‘s death … and the fact that they could and did turn down recording ” 59th Street Bridge Song” … brought an end to the band’s fortune, tho one of them went on to write the ‘Plop-plop fizz-fizz’ commercial jingle.

The fact that they got to record two complete LPs, speaks volumes about how good music was in the years 1965-1967 as even second-tier groups like this were a delight to hear.

Quiz: Name their first hit & the composer? ▷Answer▹


Eponymous alt-rock album Tracy Chapman becomes an international #1, largely on the strength of Grammy-winning single Fast Car (US#6).
Along the lines of Cat Stevens meets Janis Ian. Chapman‘s second album Crossroads also reaches UK#1 (Int’l top-10). At the 1989 Grammies Tracy wins the Best New Artist, Best Female Pop Vocal and Best Contemporary Folk awards.
She’s continued to win international awards since, getting a US#1 for Give Me One Reason from 1995 album New Beginning (US#4,CA#1,AU#6), releasing 8 albums by 2008.
 ( Website


Seattle alt-rock band Pearl Jam, formed in 1990, releases it’s debut studio album Ten. Even Flow 
The next five make US#2, or better, and do as well around the world.

At some point along the way we began feeling we wanted to give people something to believe in because we all had bands that gave that to us when we needed something to believe in. That was the big challenge for us after the first record and the response to it. — Eddie Vedder

By 2009 the band has released 9 studio albums, selling 60M worldwide. Its Pearl Jam Official Bootlegs number in the hundreds; 72 are released in 2000-1 alone. Rear View Mirror, 2006 
 ( Website ▷RS:Five Against the World▹

See also: List of best-selling albums in the United States

August 26 – Marian Anderson, Hey Jude


Privately trained (‘We don’t take colored’ she was told at an all-white music school), world-class contralto Marian Anderson debuts with the New York Philharmonic orchestra.

On January 7, 1955, she becomes the first African-American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera.

 ~ Classical music 
 ~ Select Classical Videos 


The Beatles release Hey Jude, the first song released on the new Apple Records imprint. (*)

August 25 – Bernstein to Baum to Boyd to Bruce


Birthday of Leonard Bernstein, famed US composer, conductor, pianist, teacher, in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Apart from his leadership of the New York Philharmonic, he’s perhaps best known for the music of West Side Story, and for a groundbreaking music TV series that includes 53 Young People’s Concerts beginning in 1962.

Oh yeah, and -like everything else- a classy website.

playing Gershwin  conducting Ludwig’s 5th 


MGM releases fantasy film The Wizard of Oz#132.

‘America’s greatest and best-loved homegrown fairytale’ brings color, and Judy Garland, into the mainstream. Oh … and Toto too! (Interesting: compare ‘Over the Rainbow’ to ‘Somewhere’.)

 ~ Adaptations of The Wizard of Oz    ( Website


Brit pop group The Shadows (helmed by Cliff Richard) has a rare instrumental chart-topper (*) with UK#1 hit Apache.


Little Eva (Eva Narcissus Boyd) steams to US#1 after rolling The Loco-Motion onto the tracks. Little Eva (1962) 

Singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen‘s third album Born to Run is released. Reaching US#3 it eventually sells 6M copies.


My Sharona by Los Angeles rock band The Knack starts six weeks at US#1. One of the biggest-selling singles in rock, it’s easily the top single of 1979. Lennon was a fan.

Anniversaries from music history, links to quality articles.


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