October 9 – Lennon, Hit the Road Jack, Yesterday, Phantom, Coachella


John Lennon is born in the Liverpool Maternity Hospital, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary.

Raised by his Aunt Mimi from age 5; his uncle brings him a harmonica; his mom Julia introduces him to guitar and Elvis.

In school, he is diagnosed with hyperactivity … blamed for being bored shitless. Many of his personal songs reflect the needless suffering we inflict on each other; others are visionary, playful, adventurous.


Ray Charles (with the help of The Raelettes & Margie Hendricks) scores a second US#1 hit with Percy Mayfield song Hit the Road Jack.

Hits were simpler back then! Ray was one many great artists on NYC’s ABC Records label. When he starts up his Tangerine Records label in 1962, he hires Mayfield to write for him. Some say the song’s a tribute to the 1957 Jack Kerouac novel. Hmmm?

▷Mayfield bio▹ Mayfield’s Please (Gladys & BB) 


Paul McCartney‘s solo vocal drives Yesterday to US#1 for 11 weeks.

Amazingly, he’s accompanied by a string quartet … another brill George Martin touch. The other Beatles aren’t sure it deserves an album place – feel it didn’t fit their image. As a result, it appears on the August 6 UK release of Help!, but is not released there as a single.

In the US, it doesn’t appear on the album! but Capitol releases a single. For 8 years it will be the most-played song on US radio, and has been covered thousands of times.


Rod Stewart has a #1 song in the US and UK with Maggie May.


Opening in London’s West End of English composer and Baron Andrew Lloyd Weber‘s musical The Phantom of the Opera.

The longest-running musical in Broadway history (opening 26 January 1988), based on the 1909 novel by French writer Gaston Leroux, the story of a deformed Phantom who lurks beneath the Paris Opera stage.

It celebrates its 9,000th performance in 2008, and a total worldwide boxoffice take over $5B. Music of the Night 


First Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Take a look at the lineup and ask yourself WHAT WAS I THINKING? Beck, The Chemical Brothers, Tool, Morrissey, and Rage Against the Machine, Modest Mouse, Ritchie Hawtin, DJ Shadow, Roni Size. For starters.

Ever since, the festival is held on the last weekend of April.

October 8 – Four Aces, Ginger, Pistols, Joel

1955Pennsylvania singing quartet The Four Aces top the charts with Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing.

It’s the first US#1 for a song froma movie; the romance-drama set in Hong Kong wins several Academy awards including Academy Award for Best Song for Sammy Fain‘s title song.


Amazing Cream drummer Ginger Baker collapses on stage after a 20-minute drum solo.

The ‘Supergroup’ made its debut July 29, 1966 and released its debut album on Dec. 9. After 3 more albums it breaks up in 1969. In two years Baker joins Blind Faith, then forms Ginger Baker’s Air Force.

Toad solo  Sunshine  White Room   ( Website


The Sex Pistols sign a two-year record deal with EMI Records and receive a £40,000 ($68,000) signing bonus.

In two months they’ll be sacked; their 9 March contract with A&M Records will last exactly one week, and then it’ll be on to Virgin Records. Living hard – dying young


Billy Joel‘s fifth album, The Stranger – produced by Phil Ramone – enters the charts headed for six weeks at US#2 … with four US top-30 tracks aboard.

October 7 – Bandstand, MJ, Cats


Dick Clark

Its got a good beat and you can dance to it Philadelphia television (WFIL-TV) first airs DJ Bob Horn‘s ‘Bandstand’. The 90-minute show shows teens dancing to new tunage.

After Horn is fired, it’s passed to Dick Clark in July 1956. It goes national on ABC as American Bandstand on August 5, 1957, airing just after school lets out on the east coast. In 1963 it moves to an hour on Saturday afternoons only … and lasts to 1989.


Motown Records releases Michael Jackson‘s first solo single, Got to Be There.

Of course Michael (lead singer of The Jackson 5) has US and UK top-5 hits. The album is released the following Jan. 24; it sells 5M copies, reaching US#14, UK#37.


The musical Cats opens on Broadway and runs for 18 years. What fur!

The lyrics are based on the poem collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. The show by English composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is second in history’s longest-running shows behind The Phantom of the Opera. Webber’s not worried; he wrote it too.

See also: List of the longest-running Broadway shows ( Website ) ( Fansite )

October 6 – Jazz Singer, Gathering Tribes, Modulations


Premiere of filmThe Jazz Singer, starring US singer, comedian Al Jolson, at the Warners’ Theatre on Broadway in NYC. (*)

It’s the first widely-screened feature-length ‘talkie’ (movie with spoken dialogue sequences) thanks to the Vitaphone sound-on-disc (33-1/3 rpm phonograph record) system.

The $422,000 movie, adapted from a 1925 musical stage play, includes six Jolson tunes. Audiences are more than delighted. Tootsie  Mammy 

On July 28, 1928, Warners follows up with the first all-talking feature, Lights of New York… with 3 songs. Sound arrives fast; by 1929, there were only 38 silents in 290 film releases! End of an era (5 parts) 

See also: Sound film, Film sound history, Sound films before Jazz Singer, Early Warner Talkies


23 years to the day after the Death of Hippie, a music festival called A Gathering of the Tribes is held at two locations in southern California.

The Lollapalooza precursor raises money for and awareness of Native American causes. It’s organized by The Cult‘s Ian Astbury with experienced benefit concert promoter Bill Graham (who would die in a copter crash the following year).

The phrase Gathering of the Tribes was earlier associated with a famous Jan. 14, 1967 Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park‘s Polo Grounds. While it too was a benefit (for those who attended) there was no admission charge.  ~ Hippies 

 EM films 

Release of documentary filmModulations: Cinema for the Ear.

The well-made film traces the evolution of (modern, popular) electronic music. A tie-in book ‘Modulations’ is published in 2000. Film 

Another, fictional indie film released in 2000,Groove, portrays a night in the San Francisco rave scene.

And a 2006 video doc,High Tech Soul, looks at the birth of techno in Detroit with interviews of many of the genre’s now-famous creators. Decent, if you overlook the swagger. .

See also:Scratch (2001 DJ movie)

October 5 – Schaeffer, Depeche, Basil


French composer Pierre Schaeffer originates musique concrete (*) in five works for tape alone (‘Five Studies of Noises’) premiered in a Paris radio concert.

This electroacoustic music, sound collage made without instruments, became possible with the advent of microphones, tape recorders, amplifiers and loudspeakers.

It is assembled by combining “found” environmental sounds and non-musical noises. On the primitive equipment of the (pre-tape recorder) times – Schaeffer “DJs” using records, four turntables and a mixer – it is intense, exhausting work.

Schaeffer’s experiments were assembled by splicing, speeding up, looping, and reversing recordings of trains, bells, rattling cookware, whistling tops, breaking glass, knocking doors, footsteps, and galloping horses. (*)

In 1951 Schaeffer, along with Jacques Poullin, and composer-percussionist Pierre Henry, establishes the Research Group on Concrete Music at Radiodiffusion-Television Francaise in Paris. They build the first purpose-built electroacoustic music studio.

Works are also created there by Pierre Boulez, Olivier Messiaen, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Edgard Varese, Arthur Honegger and others. The group splits in April, 1958. By then, American Raymond Scott is using noises in music for animated cartoons and advertising.

Their work is visionary. Much of today’s music is assembled; computers replace recorders. Mouse-flicks replace razor blades. Most popular music ‘borgs’ noise elements; electronic music bathes in them.

▷Musique concrete history in one page▹
 Schaeffer’s theories on instruments

Schaeffer:Etude  Modulations (beginning) 

See also: Tape music


UK synthpop, electronic music band Depeche Mode releases its first album Speak & Spell.

It climbs to UK#10; the band continues to build popular success until it has a nearly universal #1 in 1993 with Songs of Faith and Devotion. All subsequent albums have been top-10s. DM has had 48 songs in the UK Singles Chart.

They become massively popular in the US, the only Brit synth band to achieve that. With 1990 album Violator, they break into the US top-10 – and with every album since for 20 years. With over 100 million records sold worldwide –  they’re the best-selling electronic band in history.

 ( Website Can’t Get Enough  Fly on the Windscreen  Synth Brittania:Depeche 


Toni Basil joins the one-hit-wonder pantheon in the biggest way with the release of Mickey.

It climbs to US#1 (UK#2) over 3 months. It’s actually a cover of 1979 song ‘Kitty’ by the UK’s Racey.

Anniversaries from music history, links to quality articles.


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