January 5 – Buddy Holly, Mr. Ed, Phil Collins, Van Halen


Phenomenal Texas rockabilly pioneer Buddy Holly releases his last US top-20 single, It Doesn’t Matter Anymore. ▷Songfacts▹
Written by Paul Anka, the Coral Records single reaches US#13, UK#1. Holly, 22, dies in an Iowa plane crash on Feb. 3.  ( Website


Popular TV sitcom about a talking palomino, Mr. Ed debuts in syndication.
It is picked up by CBS in the fall. Starring Alan Young — fresh from a role in George Pal film The Time Machine — as Ed’s owner, the show has a six-year run.
The horse’s voice is that of B-movie cowboy Allan ‘Rocky’ Lane. The catchy theme song is by 3-Oscar songwriting team Jay Livingston and Ray Evans (following up the catchy 1959 Bonanza theme). It explains that ‘A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and noone can talk to a horse, of course.’


Single In the Air Tonight by Brit musician Phil Collins is released. It reaches US#19, UK#2.

I was there and I saw what you did
Saw it with my own two eyes
So you can wipe off that grin
I know where you’ve been
It’s all been a pack of lies

It appears on his debut solo album Face Value released Feb. 9. The track, recorded in 1979, includes the sound of a Roland CR-78 drum machine(*), heard in 1979’s Blondie chart-topper Heart of Glass, released on Jan. 3. It becomes a bit of a signature song for Collins, a drummer and singer for prog rock band Genesis through 1996.
 ( Website

US rockers Van Halen release their single of Jump, their only US#1 hit. But -what- a #1!

Selling 3 million copies as a single, it’s also heard on the album 1984. In the UK a sticker was used to cover the cherub’s hand. No kidding.
Central to its fame is a memorable synth line played on an Oberheim OB-Xa. Dutch-American guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter, producer Eddie says that the synth part comes from US#1 (April 11, 1981) hit Kiss on My List by Hall & Oates. Van Halen is inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame in 2007.  ( Website 1984 (instrumental)   ~ RRHF inductees