1984The Prince album Purple Rain, which also serves as the soundtrack to the film of the same name, hits #1 in the US, where it stays for an amazing 22 weeks.
1975While vacationing on the Greek Island of Rhodes, Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant and his family are badly injured in a car accident, forcing the cancellation of an upcoming US tour. Doctors tell Plant he may never walk again.
1963The Beatles crack the US charts for the first time with "From Me To You," which bubbles under at #116 on the Hot 100. It's not until five months later that "I Want To Hold Your Hand" becomes their breakout hit in America.
1958Billboard combines its unwieldy system of five separate sales, jukebox, and DJ charts to make one master chart, the Billboard Hot 100 we know today. The first #1 is Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool."
1958Bobby Darin has his first hit as "Splish Splash" reaches #3 in America. The song is later used on Sesame Street as a way to encourage kids to get in the tub.
2012Electric blues guitarist Johnnie Bassett dies of cancer at age 76.
2011Rapper Big Sean is arrested in Lewiston, New York, after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman during a Wiz Khalifa concert, where he was performing. He is eventually fined $750 for second degree unlawful imprisonment.
2008Bono proves he reads RollingStone.com as the U2 frontman posts a long comment reminiscing about the band's first album, Boy.
The movie Super Fly is released, along with a soundtrack by Curtis Mayfield that becomes a soul music landmark, taking on the drug culture portrayed in the film with vivid commentary.
The film is about a cocaine dealer in New York City named Priest who is looking for one last score so he can get out of the business before it kills him. He is a complex character at a time when African Americans are rarely portrayed as such on film. He's a drug dealer, but he's also winning the game, and thus admired. Mayfield, who with his band The Impressions had a huge impact on the Civil Rights movement with songs like "Keep On Pushing" and "People Get Ready," gives Priest a musical voice through the songs. In the title song "Superfly," he sings:
The game he plays he plays for keeps Hustlin' times and ghetto streets Trying to get over
In "Pusherman," we hear about how Priest reveals himself - he can be whatever you need him to be, and he has what you need. Despite a chorus containing the N-word, the song gets lots of airplay.
While Mayfield's soundtrack is filled with incisive social commentary, it's also funky as hell, with Latin rhythms peppering the percussion.
The film, a low-budget affair, is very popular in the black community, but the soundtrack has a far greater reach, climbing to #1 in America, where it stays for four weeks. Mayfield's music far outlasts the film, which follows Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song and Shaft in the blaxploitation genre.
Mayfield was brought into the production after the movie started shooting. After looking over the screenplay, he came on board and started writing the songs while filming continued. As he completed them, he brought them to the set, and in the case of "Pusherman," appeared in the scene in which it was used. The whole thing was done on the fly, and it was super.