2009Thanks to a surge in sales following his death on June 25, Michael Jackson holds the top nine positions on Billboard's Top Pop Catalog Albums chart.
2006During the brief time when American IdolSeason 5 winner Taylor Hicks is the most popular Taylor in music, his first single "Do I Make You Proud?" hits #1 in America.More
1987Napalm Death release their debut album, Scum, widely acknowledged as the first grindcore album. It peaks at #7 in the UK Indie chart.
1970Music video director Harold "Hype" Williams is born this month (day unknown) in Queens, New York. He'll break into directing rap videos in the early '90s with clips from Puff Daddy, The Notorious B.I.G., and Nas before adding stellar partnerships with Kanye West and Jay-Z to his resume in the ensuing decades. More
1968The Band release Music from Big Pink, their debut studio album.More
1956The family-friendly Steve Allen Show doesn't want Elvis Presleyshaking his legendary pelvis, so he sings "Hound Dog" to a basset hound. Both Elvis and the pooch are dressed in formal wear.More
1981Rushton Moreve (original bass guitarist for Steppenwolf) dies in an automobile accident at age 32.
1978The Texxas Jam takes place at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, with Aerosmith, Van Halen, Journey and Ted Nugent performing. 80,000 fans brave the 100 degree heat, cooled down by fire hoses brought in by the organizers. For Aerosmith, it marks a low point in their career as drug use and infighting are about to break up the band, and their performance suffers.
The Sony Walkman debuts in Japan, making music portable.
Sony's co-founder Masaru Ibuka liked to listen to music on his business trips and was underwhelmed by the company's array of bulky electronics. He wondered whether a sleeker, more compact model of a cassette player could be designed for music lovers on the go. Enter the Sony Walkman TPS-L2, a lightweight blue-and-silver portable tape deck with two headphone jacks that allow two people to listen at once, plus a built-in microphone with a "hotline" button for speaking over the music. All for the retail price of around $150.00. Japanese consumers go crazy for the little stereo, buying over 50,000 units in two months, way beyond Sony's 5,000 per-month estimate.
The Walkman (also marketed as the Soundabout and the Stowaway) is welcomed with equal fanfare when it's introduced in June 1980 to the US, where customers are eager to design their own soundtracks to enliven mundane daily tasks like commuting, shopping, and exercising (the '80s are also the height of the aerobics craze). For the younger generation, the device is not only a status symbol, but makes it easier to share homemade tapes, the '80s answer to bootlegs.
With record prices on the rise, cassettes are fast becoming the cheaper and more convenient alternative to spinning vinyl at home. Within the next three years, the sale of cassette tapes outranks that of vinyl for the first time, with Sony and its competitors scrambling to release new models with new features, including waterproofing and AM/FM capability, to meet the demand.