1899 The world’s first jukebox, then known as a “nickel in the slot machine,” was installed at San Francisco’s’ Palais Royal Hotel. It had been created by simply adding a coin slot to an Edison phonograph. The machine had no amplification and patrons had to listen to the music using one of four listening tubes. In its first six months of service, the machine earned over $1000.
1954 Bob Neal, a 37-year-old disc jockey at WMPS in Memphis, assumes the manager’s role for Elvis, booking him as Elvis Presley, the Hillbilly Cat. Neal would stay Elvis’ manager until March, 1956, when he would give way to Colonel Tom Parker.
1956 A 19 year-old, sheet metal worker named Louis Balint was arrested after punching Elvis Presley at a hotel bar in Toledo, Ohio. Balint was upset that his wife carried a picture of Elvis in her wallet. He was fined $19.60 but ended up being jailed for seven days because he was unable to pay the fine.
1976 Queen’s, “Bohemian Rhapsody” hit number one in the UK, where it stayed until the end of January 1977, longer than any other song since Slim Whitman’s “Rose Marie” in 1955.
1994 Tommy Boyce committed suicide by shooting himself at his Nashville home. Besides writing “Last Train To Clarksville”, “Valleri” and “I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone” for The Monkees, Boyce and his partner Bobby Hart scored a hit of their own with “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight” in 1967.
2001 Singer O.C. Smith died at the age of 69. He is most often remembered for the 1968 Grammy Award winning hit “Little Green Apples” (#2).
2011 Rolling Stone magazine rated Jimi Hendrix as the greatest guitar player in history in a list which included Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Pete Townshend among the top ten.
2014 The Gretsch 6120 guitar that John Lennon used to record “Paperback Writer” in 1966 was put up for auction by the late Beatle’s cousin David Birch in London. Unfortunately, the instrument failed to sell.
2015 Cynthia Robinson, vocalist and trumpeter for Sly And The Family Stone, died of cancer at the age of 69.
2016 Elvis’ close personal friend and professional aide Joe Esposito died at the age of 78. The pair met in 1959 while both were serving in the Army. Esposito later became Presley’s road manager and professional assistant and was one of two best men at Presley’s 1967 wedding and a pallbearer at his funeral in 1977.