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This Weekend in Music History

Billy Swan – Photo from

November 23rd, 1974 –  Billy Swan becomes a one hit wonder with the start of his two week run at No. 1 with ‘I Can Help’. The song was also a hit in Australia and Europe, and  was shockingly successful in Norway, where it charted for 37 weeks making it the 4th best-performing single of all time in that country.

November 23rd, 1975Queen start a 9 week run at No.1 in the UK with ‘bohemian Rhapsody.’ The promotional video for this song is generally acknowledged as being the first pop video ever. When they first decided to release the 5min and 55sec single, various record executives suggested to them that it was too long to ever be a hit, they didn’t listen and the rest is history.

November 24th, 1966The Beatles spend the day working entirely on ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. It’s their first time recording since they returned home from the summer tour in the United States, and the start of a brand new album. ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ wouldn’t end up on the album but rather on The Beatles’ next single.

November 24th, 1991Freddie Mercury dies of complications from AIDS at his home in London’s Holland park at the age of 45 and just one day after he publicly announced he was HIV positive.

November 25th, 1976The Band played their final live performance on Thanksgiving Day at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The show also featured Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton and others. The event was filmed by director Martin Scorsese and made into a documentary of the name ‘The Last Waltz’ which was released in 1978.

November 25th, 1984 –  British pop stars gather at S.A.R.M. Studios in London to record the historic ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ The single, written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, featured Paul Young, Bono, Boy George, Sting and George Michael. It would go on to sell over 3 million copies in the UK alone, becoming the best selling record ever, and raising over $13.6 million worldwide.

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