This day in Rock: August 31


1957
August 31
Elvis Presley appeared in concert outside of the United States for the last time when he performed at Empire Stadium in Vancouver, Canada, in front of 26,000 fans. Ticket prices ranged between $1.50, $2.50 and $3.50

1958
August 31
Ricky Nelson kicks off his musical concert career by appearing at Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he sets an all time attendance record for the venue by performing in front of 44,221 people, spread out over two days. His fee for the gig was $10,000 and his supporting acts were comedian Henny Youngman and The Four Preps.
1963
August 31
The Angels become the first white girl group to have a US number one hit when “My Boyfriend’s Back” topped the Billboard Hot 100.
1968
August 31
Decca Records releases what has been called The Rolling Stones most political song, “Street Fighting Man”. The number was written after Mick Jagger attended a March 1968 anti-war rally at London’s US embassy, during which mounted police attempted to control a crowd of 25,000. The single proved to be very popular, but was kept out of the US Top 40 (reaching #48) because many radio stations refused to play it based on what were perceived as subversive lyrics
1969
August 31
Bob Dylan makes his first paid appearance at England’s Isle of Wight Pop Festival since his motorcycle accident three years earlier. He’s backed by The Band and pockets £38,000 for the one hour show.
1974
August 31
In a US federal court, John Lennon testifies that he believes the Nixon administration tried to have him deported because of his involvement with the anti-war demonstrations at the 1972 Republican convention in Miami. He also suspected his phones were tapped and that he was under surveillance by government agents.

1987
August 31
The largest pre-order of albums in the history of CBS Records occurred as 2.25 million copies of
Michael Jackson‘s “Bad” album were shipped to record stores. The LP followed the Jackson album, “Thriller”, the biggest Jackson-seller of all time. The “Bad” album went on to sell 13 million copies.
1990
August 31
At a memorial service for guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and
Stevie Wonder sing “Amazing Grace”.
Arrivals:

  • 1903 Arthur Godfrey
  • 1939 Jerry Allison (The Crickets)
  • 1945 Van Morrison
  • 1957 Gina Schock (Go-Go’s)
  • 1959 Tony DeFranco
  • 1970 Debbie Gibson
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