This Week in Music History | June 22 – 28

From music highs with Eagles and Queen to lows with The Who & the King of Pop, get caught up on your music history now!

1970 – June 27th, The newly formed Queen played their first gig at Truro City Hall, Cornwall, England.

  • The band featured Freddie Mercury on vocals, guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and Mike Grose on bass.
  • They were billed as Smile, Brian and Roger’s previous band, for whom the booking had been made originally.
  • This was right around the time that Freddie Mercury changed his name from Freddie Bulsara.

1971 – June 22nd, Joni Mitchell released her fourth studio album Blue.

  • The NYT chose Blue as one of the 25 albums that represented “turning points and pinnacles in 20th-century popular music”.
  • In July 2017, Blue was chosen by NPR as the greatest album of all time made by a woman.
  • In 2012, Blue was rated the 30th best album ever made in Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.
  • It was the highest entry by a female artist.

1974 – June 26th, Cher divorced Sonny Bono after 10 years of marriage.

  • Cher cited “involuntary servitude” as the reason for the split.
  • She accused Sonny of withholding her fair share of earnings.
  • Then he took her to court for custody of their child Chaz Bono.
  • Four days after the divorce, Cher married guitarist Gregg Allman.

1975 – June 28th, The Eagles started a five-week run at #1 on the US album chart with their fourth studio album One Of These Nights.

  • The album became their breakthrough album, selling four million copies and was nominated for Grammy Album of the Year.
  • It released three US Top 10 singles: “Lyin’ Eyes”, “Take It To The Limit” and the title track.
  • One of These Nights is the last Eagles album to feature guitarist Bernie Leadon who was replaced by Joe Walsh.

1984 – June 25th, Prince released his sixth studio album Purple Rain.

  • It was the first album to feature his band the Revolution as well as the soundtrack to the 1984 film of the same name.
  • The first two singles from the album, ‘When Doves Cry’ and ‘Let’s Go Crazy’, topped the US singles charts.
  • Prince explained the meaning of the name “Purple Rain” as “When there’s blood in the sky – red and blue = purple.”

2002 – June 27th, The Who’s bass player John Entwistle died aged 57 in his hotel room in Las Vegas.

  • This happened one day before the scheduled first show of The Who’s 2002 US tour.
  • The medical examiner determined that death was due to a heart attack induced by cocaine.
  • In 2011, Entwistle was voted as the greatest bass guitarist of all time in a Rolling Stone magazine readers’ poll.

2009 – June 25th, Michael Jackson died at the age of 50.

  • He suffered heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills.
  • Four of his solo albums are among the world’s best-selling records: Off the Wall (‘79), Bad (‘87), Dangerous (‘91) and HIStory (‘95).
  • His 1982 Thriller is the world’s best-selling record of all time with sales of over 50 million.
  • Forbes reported in August 2018 that Jackson’s total career pretax earnings in life and death were $4.2 billion

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