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This Week in Music History

The Yardbirds – Photo by John Pratt / Getty Images

October 19th, 1966The Yardbirds land in New York for their 1st US tour with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page on lead guitars. However, after only two dates of the tour, Beck developed acute tonsillitis and had to quit the group. He would go on to form The Jeff Beck Group, which would give Rod Stewart his first major exposure.

October 20th, 1977Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines of Lynyrd Skynyrd are all killed along with their manager Dean Kilpatrick when their rented plane ran out of fuel above Gillsburg, Missouri.  The plane crashed into a wooded area in the middle of a swamp, seriously injuring the rest of the band and crew. They were on their way to play at show at Louisiana University later that evening.

October 21st, 1997Elton John’s ‘Candle In The Wind’ was declared by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the biggest selling single record of all time. It had sold 31.8 million in less than 40 days and raised more than $32 million for charity.

October 22nd, 1966The Beach Boys ‘Good Vibrations’ makes its debut on the singles chart today. Released as a single on October 10, it was the Beach Boys’ third US number one hit after “I Get Around” and “Help Me, Rhonda”, reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 1966, as well as being their first British chart-topper. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, the track was recorded over 6 weeks in four different L.A. studios, at a cost of over $16,000.

October 23rd, 1976Chicago started a two week run at No.1 on the singles chart with ‘If You Leave Me Now’. It was the group’s 18th Top 40 and first No.1. It would go on to win a Grammy for ‘Best Pop Vocal Performance’.

October 24th, 1979Paul McCartney received a medal cast for being declared the most successful composer of all time. Between 1962 and 1978 McCartney had written or co-written 43 songs which had each sold over a million copies.

October 25th, 1986 – History is made today on the Billboard Hot 100 chart where for the first time ever, the top three spots are held by solo-female artists. Cyndi Lauper at No.1, Tina Turner at No.2, and Janet Jackson at No.3.

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