December 4 – Musical Moments

Posted on December 4, 2018

Today, like every day in the entire year, is the anniversary of a more than a few great moments in music. Here are a few, by the decade:

December 4, 1956 - The "Million Dollar Quartet" - Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash - got together at Sun Studio for an unplanned jam session. The recording of this once-in-a-lifetime session - 17 tracks - wasn't released until 1981!

December 4, 1965 - The Grateful Dead gave their first concert (at least, the first concert with the name "Grateful Dead," because for several months they had played together under the name the Warlocks). The band went on to become one of the greatest rock bands of all time - with mega-sales, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, having one of their performances honored at the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress, and having some of the most devoted fans ("Deadheads") ever.

December 4, 1976 - Guitar player Gary Rossington of the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd celebrated his 25th birthday while shaking off the career downturn that occurred when he drove while impaired - right into a tree. The band had to postpone a tour and fined him thousands for the delay.

Lynyrd Skynrd had hits like "Sweet Home Alabama."

December 4, 1977 - Guitar player Gary Rossington of the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd celebrated his 26th birthday with a more severe career downturn. Lynyrd Skynyrd was wiped out, at the height of its success, and this time, it  was a plane crash that killed three of the band members and badly injured Rossington and others. A LOT of the bones in Rossington's body were broken, and he almost lost a leg, but he eventually recovered to go onto playing onstage, with steel rods in his right arm and leg!

December 4, 1981 - David Bowie and Queen were enjoying a hit that they'd created together - the song Under Pressure. This song became a #1 hit in the U.K. (Queen's second, a long time after their 1975 #1 hit Bohemian Rhapsody, and Bowie's third #1 single) and has been remixed, re-released, and covered by other bands.

December 4, 1995 - The not-yet-famous rapper Jay-Z celebrated his  26th birthday as one of the founders and the only artist of indie record label Roc-A-Fella. His rise to superstardom means that all those established labels that wouldn't sign him missed out!

December 4, 2001 - Gospel singer Yolanda Adams released her eighth studio album. Adams is considered the "Queen of Contemporary Gospel Music" and the "First Lady of Modern Gospel." At the end of the 2000s, Billboard named her the #1 Gospel Artist of the decade.

December 4, 2015 - Ringo Starr's 1963 drum kit was sold for $2.2 million at an auction. This drum kit was used for more than 200 performances of the Beatles and was used to record such mega-hits as "Can't Buy Me Love," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and "She Loves You."

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