In another somewhat cathartic recap of a year that felt downright apocalyptic at times, R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe joined Stephen Colbert on The Late Show last night to perform a reworking of “It’s the End of the World As We Know It.” The musician was on the show to talk about his new book project and the 25th anniversary of R.E.M.’s Out of Time.
1925 – The “WSM Barn Dance” debuts on the Nashville radio station WSM. Two years later, the show is rechristened “The Grand Ole Opry.”
1963 – A 17-year-old Eric Clapton makes his first appearance with The Yardbirds at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, England. He replaces their original guitarist Anthony “Top” Topham.
The year was 1992 and R.E.M. had just put out their eighth studio album Automatic for the People, featuring the ballad “Nightswimming.” Near and dear to many fan’s hearts at the time (although I cannot give a first hand account having not been born yet) the song goes down as one of the best of the decade and genre. Continue reading →
1961 – Chuck Berry opens the Berryland amusement park in Wentzville, Missouri, outside of St. Louis. The park has its own zoo, golf course, and Ferris wheel.
1968 – John Lennon, George Harrison, and their wives leave the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh, India two weeks before their study was complete. Ringo and Paul had already left. Later, all four Beatles publicly distance themselves from the Maharishi.
1936 – The SPEBSQSA (Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America), now known as the Barbershop Harmony Society, is founded.
1958 – The first “Greatest Hits” compilation is released, and it’s by Johnny Mathis. It’s a huge hit, and the format catches on quickly. The Mathis album stays in the Billboard 200 album chart for over 9 years, a record not broken until Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon.
1963 – Sixteen-year-old Lesley Gore records her breakthrough hit, “It’s My Party.” The song Quincy Jones-produced song goes on to be a US #1.