Today in Music History: Happy Birthday Meg White

White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights
A scene from the documentary White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights. (Autumn DeWilde/Woodshed Films)

History Highlight:

Megan Martha White was born today in 1974, making her 44 today. She is best known for being the drummer of The White Stripes alongside frontman Jack White. Legend has it on an impulse she played Jack's drums in 1997 and they decided to form a band together. Though publicly insisting they were siblings, public records emerged in 2001 that indicated that she and Jack were married in 1996 and divorced in 2000, before The White Stripes ascended to international fame. In 2009, she married guitarist Jackson Smith, son of musicians Patti Smith and Fred "Sonic" Smith. They divorced in 2013. The band's discography consists of six studio albums, 26 singles, and 14 music videos. Their last three albums each won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. They disbanded in 2011.

Also, in:

1949 - Fats Domino recorded his first tracks for Imperial Records. One of those songs was called "The Fat Man", which later became his nickname.

1965 - 18-year-old David Bowie recorded "Can't Help Thinking About Me" at Pye Studios, London, England, which was later released as a single under the name David Bowie with The Lower Third. It became the first David Bowie record to be released in the U.S. as well as the first time the name "Bowie" appeared under the songwriters credit.

1966 - The Beach Boys went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Good Vibrations", the group's third U.S. No. 1. As a child, his mother told him that dogs could pick up "vibrations" from people.

1967 - Otis Redding and several members of his band died when their plane crashed into a lake near Madison, Wisconsin. His biggest hit, "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay," had been recorded just three days earlier. Redding was 26.

1971 - Playing the first of two nights at London's Rainbow Theatre, in England, Frank Zappa was pushed off stage by an audience member. Zappa fell onto the concrete-floored orchestra pit - the band thought Zappa had been killed. He suffered serious fractures, head trauma and injuries to his back, leg, and neck, as well as a crushed larynx, which ultimately caused his voice to drop a third after healing. This accident resulted in him using a wheelchair for an extended period, forcing him off the road for over half a year.

1973 - The CBGB Club (Country, BlueGrass, and Blues), opened in the lower East side of New York City. Founded by Hilly Kristal, it was originally intended to feature its namesake musical styles, but became a forum for American punk and New Wave bands such as Blondie, Television, Patti Smith and the Ramones.

1983 - Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson started a six week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Say Say Say". It was Jackson's 10th No.1 (solo and The Jackson's) and McCartney's 29th, (solo and The Beatles).

1995 - Hip hop artist Darren Robinson died age 28. He was also known as Buffy, The Human Beat Box, and DJ Doctor Nice and was a member of the 1980s hip hop group The Fat Boys. He, along with Doug E. Fresh and others, were pioneers of beatboxing, a form of vocal percussion used in many rap groups throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

1998 - Bruce Springsteen was victorious in a $4 million court battle to prevent the release of an album of his early recordings.

2007 - The surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited for their first full-length concert in nearly thirty years. Original band members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were joined on stage by Jason Bonham, the son of their late drummer John Bonham. The Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert was a benefit concert held in memory of music executive Ahmet Ertegun at the O2 Arena in London, and more than one million people had taken part in a ballot for the 20,000 tickets available for the show with all proceeds going to Ahmet's charity. Zeppelin performed 16 songs including two encores.

2008 - The Associated Press reported that the U.S. military used loud music to "create fear, disorient and prolong capture shock" for prisoners at military detention centers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Among the songs blasted 24 hours a day were "Born In The USA" by Bruce Springsteen, "Hell's Bells" by AC/DC, "White America" by Eminem, "The Theme From Sesame Street" and "I Love You" from the Barney and Friends children's TV show.

2009, In an interview with Q magazine, Paul McCartney was asked if his marriage to Heather Mills was the worst mistake of his life. He replied "OK, yeah. I suppose that has to be the prime contender." The divorce settlement had cost McCartney $38.9 million, plus annual payments for his daughter, Beatrice.

2010 - The original handwritten lyrics to Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin" sold at a New York auction for $422,500. The song, one of Dylan's most politically charged, was the title track of his 1964 album.

Birthdays:

Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones (best known for "The Things That I Used to Do") was born today in 1926.

J Mascis is 53.

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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