~ 1949 – Tom Waits was born. Known for his distinctive deep gravelly singing voice, his lyrics are characterized by their focus on characters living on the underside of U.S. society. His early music during the 1970s was primarily in the jazz genre, but later work moved towards blues, vaudeville, and experimental music.
Waits was raised in a middle-class family in Whittier, California and then San Diego. Inspired by Bob Dylan and the Beat Generation, as a teenager he began singing on the San Diego folk music scene. Relocating to Los Angeles, he worked as a songwriter before signing a recording contract with Asylum Records. His first albums, the jazz-oriented Closing Time (1973) and The Heart of Saturday Night (1974), reflected his lyrical interest in nightlife, poverty, and criminality. Repeatedly touring the U.S., Europe, and Japan, he attracted greater critical recognition and commercial success with Small Change (1976), which he followed with Blue Valentine (1978) and Heartattack and Vine (1980). He produced the soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola’s 1982 film One from the Heart and subsequently made cameo appearances in several Coppola films.
Waits’ albums have met with mixed commercial success in the U.S., although have occasionally achieved gold album sales status in other countries. He has a cult following and has influenced subsequent singer-songwriters, despite having little radio or music video support. In 2011, Waits was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was included among the 2010 list of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers, as well as the 2015 list of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.
~ 1967 – Otis Redding goes into the studio to record “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay”
~ 1943 – Jim Morrison (of The Doors) was born
~ 1969 – Testifying at his trial for possesion of hashish and heroin in the Toronto Supreme Court, Jimi Hendrix claimed that he had now “outgrown” drugs. The jury found him not guilty after eight hours of deliberations.
~ 1978 – “Soul Man,” John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd’s version, was released under the name, “The Blues Brothers.”
~ 1967 – Otis Redding perished in a plane crash
~ 1973 – CBGB opens in New York City
~ 1965 – The Velvet Underground makes their debut at at high school in New Jersey
~ 1970 – The Doors play their last live show with Jim Morrison in New Orleans
~1915 – Frank Sinatra was born
~ 1948 – Ted Nugent was born
~ 1966 – Jimi Hendrix released the single “Foxy Lady.” The title was misprinted as “Foxey Lady” on the U.S. version of the album “Are You Experienced.”