Today in Music History: Happy Birthday, Ben Shepherd

Soundgarden (Courtesy of the artist)

History Highlight:

Hunter Benedict Shepherd (better known as Ben Shepherd) was born today in 1968, making him 50 today. Shepherd was the bassist for Soundgarden from 1990 on. According to Westword, Shepherd became interested in music after listening to Johnny Cash on television, and when asked his father for a guitar, his father complied only after insisting he must learn every chord in a large book with nothing but a guitar neck. Soundgarden sold more than 10.5 million records in the United States, and an estimated 25 million worldwide.

Also, Today In:

1964 - The Beatles concluded their U.S. tour with a charity show in Brooklyn. That night, they made another of their memorable appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show.

1968 - Led Zeppelin (recording under the name of The Yardbirds) started recording their debut album at Olympic Studios in London, England. The album took only about 36 hours of studio time to complete at a cost of around p1,782, with most of the tracks being recorded live in the studio with very few overdubs.

1969 - During a meeting in London between John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Lennon announced he was leaving The Beatles.

1969 - Based on the comic-book TV series Archie and his friends, The Archie's started a four-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Sugar Sugar". It became the longest running one hit wonder in the U.K. after spending eight weeks at the top of the charts.

1969 - Blind Faith started a two-week run at No. 1 on the U.K. chart with their self-titled debut album. The only release from the Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker and Rick Grech line-up also reached No. 1 in the U.S.

1973 - Neil Young & Crazy Horse played the opening night of the then brand new Roxy Club on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles.

1973 - On his way to perform his second concert of the day, U.S. singer, songwriter Jim Croce was killed with five others when his chartered aircraft hit a tree on take off in Louisiana.

1975 - "Fame" gave David Bowie his first No. 1 in the U.S. The song was co-written with John Lennon. Lennon's voice is heard towards the ending of the song repeating the words: "Fame, Fame, Fame" before Bowie finishes the lyrics.

1975 - The Bay City Rollers made their U.S. TV debut when they appeared on the "Saturday Night Variety Show".

1976 - AC/DC released their third studio album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.

1980 - Queen started a five-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with The Game, the group's only U.S. No. 1 album.

1980 - Kate Bush scored her first U.K. No. 1 album with Never For Ever. It was the first-ever album by a British female solo artist to top the U.K. album chart as well as being the first album by any female solo artist to enter the chart at No. 1.

1986 - Huey Lewis and the News started a three-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Stuck With You", a No. 12 hit in the U.K.

1994 - The Dave Matthews Band released Under the Table and Dreaming. The album featured their first commercial hits "What Would You Say", "Satellite", and "Ants Marching". The album was dedicated to Matthews' older sister Anne, who was killed by her husband in 1994.

1997 - Elton John started a six-week run at No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart with "Something About The Way You Look Tonight", and "Candle In The Wind 97", a re-write of his 1974 hit about Marilyn Monroe. This version was raising funds for the Diana, Princess of Wales charity, following her death in Paris.


Robert Wiggins of Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five was born today in 1960.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

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