2002 – James Blackwood, the last founding member of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet and one of the giants of Southern gospel music, dies in Memphis of complications of a stroke. He is 82.
2001 – James Louis “J.J.” Johnson, the father of modern jazz trombone, dies at home in Indianapolis of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had been suffering from prostate cancer. He is 77.
1999 – Trace Adkins ruins any chance fans have of seeing him dance on stage for a while when the singer seriously injures his ankle. The country singer is surveying some property outside Nashville when his truck gets stuck in the mud. Working to get it out, he steps into a sinkhole, fracturing and dislocating his ankle. He undergoes surgery the following day.
1996 – Blues guitarist Wild Jimmy Spruill dies at the age of 62.
1993 – Grammy-winning singer and pianist Harry Connick Jr. enters a plea bargain with New York authorities stemming from his arrest in December for having a gun in his carry-on luggage at New York’s Kennedy Airport. Under the deal, Connick did not have to plead guilty to the crime, avoids going to jail and will make – at his own expense – a public service announcement about carrying guns in the city.
1993 – Gloria Estefan receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The pop star receives the 1,974th star on the famous avenue, in front of the Hollywood Galaxy Shopping Complex on Hollywood Boulevard.
1991 – Sinead O’Connor says she won’t accept any Grammy Awards or attend the ceremony because the show reflects “false and destructive materialistic values.” The Irish pop singer had been nominated in four Grammy categories.
1982 – No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: “Centerfold,” The J. Geils Band. Band member Peter Wolf once said the group turned down an offer to perform at Woodstock because the musicians didn’t want to spend three days in the mud.
1973 – No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: “Crocodile Rock,” Elton John. The single is the singer’s first No. 1 song in the United States.
1961 – Bob Dylan makes his first recording, taping “San Francisco Bay Blues” in New York.
1959 – An airplane crash near Mason City, Iowa, kills Buddy Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Ritchie Valens.
1947 – Melanie (Melanie Safka) is born in Astoria, Queens, N.Y. Her biggest hit is the million-selling song “Brand New Key,” which tops Billboard’s Hot 100 for three weeks in 1971.
1942 – No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: “A String of Pearls,” Glenn Miller Orchestra.