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Today In Music History

April 15 in Music History: Happy 80th birthday, Dave Edmunds

Musician Dave Edmunds is shown performing on stage during a "live" concert appearance Ringo Starr & the All Starr Band on August 2, 1989.
Musician Dave Edmunds is shown performing on stage during a "live" concert appearance Ringo Starr & the All Starr Band on August 2, 1989.John Atashian/Getty Images

April 15, 2024

History highlight:

Singer and producer Dave Edmunds was born in Cardiff, Wales, on April 15, 1944, making him 80 today. Edmunds has released more than a dozen albums under his own name, and had his biggest solo hit with his version of Dave Bartholomew’s “I Hear You Knocking” in 1970. Edmunds was also the frontman for power pop group Rockpile — also featuring Nick Lowe on bass — who were active sporadically between the mid-’70s to the early ‘80s. Edmunds has also played with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band and Stray Cats.

Also, today in:

1894 - Bessie Smith, the "Empress Of The Blues," was born on this day. She was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and '30s and is widely regarded as one of the greatest singers of her age.

1967 - Decca released The Who's "Happy Jack" in the U.S., the band's first single to crack the Top 40 here.

1967 - Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra started a four-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Somethin' Stupid." The song was written by C. Carson Parks and was originally recorded by Parks and his wife Gaile Foote as Carson and Gaile in 1966. Frank and Nancy Sinatra's hit is the best-known version of the song … but when you think about it, there's somethin' creepy about a father and daughter singing this song together.

1971 - The Beatles won their only Oscar, taking home Best Original Song Score for their movie Let It Be.

1972 - Roberta Flack started a six-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face."

1987 - Queen were presented with an award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music at the 32nd annual Ivor Novello Awards held in London.

1989 - The Fine Young Cannibals went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "She Drives Me Crazy."

1995 - Montell Jordan started a seven-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "This Is How We Do It."

2001 - Joey Ramone, singer-songwriter and lead vocalist of punk-rock band the Ramones, died at age 49. Born Jeffrey Ross Hyman in Queens, N.Y., he co-founded the punk rock band the Ramones with friends John Cummings and Douglas Colvin. Colvin was already using the pseudonym Dee Dee Ramone, and the others adopted stage names with the surname "Ramone,” so Jeff Hyman became Joey Ramone. The name "Ramone" was inspired by Paul McCartney, who briefly used the name "Paul Ramon" during 1960 and 1961, when the Beatles, still unknowns, did a tour of Ireland and used pseudonyms. The Ramones are often cited among the first to define the punk-rock sound, and although they enjoyed only limited commercial success, they heavily influenced the 1970s punk movement in both the United States and United Kingdom. Recognition of the band's importance developed over time, and they are now considered among rock's all-time greats; as such, the Ramones were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

2014 - The Afghan Whigs released their seventh album, Do to the Beast. It was their first album in 16 years. It features “Algiers” and “The Lottery.”

2015 - It was reported that digital music revenues matched physical sales for the first time in 2014, thanks to strong growth in the streaming market.

2019 - English songwriter Les Reed died at age 83. His major songwriting partners were Gordon Mills, Barry Mason and Geoff Stephens, although he wrote songs with many others such as Roger Greenaway, Roger Cook, Peter Callander, and Johnny Worth. Reed co-wrote around 60 hit songs, and is best known for the Tom Jones hits “It's Not Unusual,” “Green, Green Grass of Home” and “Delilah,” as well as Engelbert Humperdinck's “The Last Waltz.”


Country musician Roy Clark was born today in 1933.

Marty Wilde is 85.

Legendary Australian hit-maker and producer Mike Chapman is 77. Chapman co-wrote Tony Basil's 'Mickey' and produced dozens of hits for Suzy Quatro, Blondie, The Knack and more.

Phil Mogg, lead singer of UFO, is 76.

Linda Perry, pop songwriter and frontwoman for 4 Non Blondes, is 59.

Samantha Fox is 58.

Frankie Poullain, bassist for The Darkness, is 57.

Ed O'Brien (E.O.B.) of Radiohead is 56.

Luis Fonsi is 46.

Chris Stapleton is 46.

Patrick Carney of the Black Keys is 44.

Anthony Green of Circa Survive is 42.

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