On This Day, August 4 in Music History


On this day August 4 in 1958 – Ricky Nelson became the first artist to top the newly formed US Billboard Hot 100 chart with ‘Poor Little Fellow’. The single was also a chart-topper in the UK.

1961 – Johnny Kidd & the Pirates reached number one on the UK Singles chart with ‘Shakin’ All Over’.

1964 – Rock band The Kinks released the single ‘You Really Got Me’. It became their first chart topper in the United Kingdom.

1966 – The Troggs hit number one in the UK with the single ‘With a Girl Like You’ on this day August 4. In the US the song peaked at No.29.

1973 – With ‘The Morning After’Maureen McGovern topped the US Singles chart. Also a chart-topper in Australia that year.

1984 – Prince started a twenty-four-week run at No.1 on the US Billboard 200 chart with his sixth studio album ‘Purple Rain’ on this day August 4 in music history. He topped the chart until January 12, 1985. The album also reached number one in the Netherlands, Australia, Zimbabwe, and Canada.

1990 – With her debut single ‘Vision of Love’, Mariah Carey started a four-week run at No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song won her a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and it also topped the singles chart in Canada and New Zealand.

2001 – Girl group Destiny’s Child topped the US Singles chart with ‘Bootylicious’ on this day August 4 in music history. It was the group’s fourth chart-topper in the country.

2001 – With their version of The Bangel‘s hit song ‘Eternal Flame’, girl group Atomic Kitten topped the UK Singles chart. They also topped the charts in Belgium and New Zealand.

2005 – American blues singer and guitarist James Milton Campbell also known by his stage name Little Milton died on this day August 4, aged 70. Best remembered for hit songs such as ‘We’re Gonna Make It’ and ‘Baby, I Love You’.

2006 – American keyboardist John Locke died at the age of 62 from cancer. Best remembered for his work with the bands Spirit and Nazareth.

2007 – The 25th edition of the US Now! series ‘Now That’s What I Call Music! 25’ by various artists went to No.1 in the United States. It features songs by artists such as Avril Lavigne, P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Ne-Yo, Beyonce, Shakira, etc.

2007 – Timbaland and Keri Hilson started a two-week run at No.1 in the UK with ‘The Way I Are’. The song also reached No.1 in seven other countries worldwide, including the US, Canada and Australia.

Timbaland – The Way I Are

YouTube player

2007 – American county and pop music singer, songwriter, and producer Barton Lee Hazlewood died on this day August 4, aged 78. Best remembered for penning and producing Nancy Sinatra’s biggest hit ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin”.

2012 – Rapper and singer Plan B went to No.1 in the UK with the soundtrack album for the film ‘Ill Manors’. Also a Top 10 hit in Australia and Ireland.

2012 – Electric blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter Johnnie Bassett died on this day at the age of 76.

2012 – American rapper Nas went to number one in the US with his eleventh studio album ‘Life Is Good’ on this day August 4 in music history.

2012 – Indie rock band Florence & the Machine scored their first number one single in the UK with ‘Spectrum (Say My Name)’. It also reached No.1 in Hungary, Ireland, Poland, and Scotland.

2016 – Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) topped the UK Albums chart with their compilation album ‘All Over the World’. The album was originally released in 2005 but it re-entered the chart after the band’s appearance at the Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, England.

2016 – Electronic dance music group Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber and MO started a five-week run at No.1 in the UK with ‘Cold Water’. The song was an international hit and it topped the charts in eighteen countries.


1901 – American jazz trumpeter and vocalist Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on this day August 4 in music history.

1921 – American jazz guitarist Mitchell Herbert Ellis was born on this day August 4 in Farmersville, Texas. Best known for co-writing the jazz standards ‘I Told Ya I Love Ya, Now Get Out’ and ‘Detour Ahead’.

1939 – Rock and roll and R&B singer Frankie Ford was born in Gretna, Louisiana. Best known for his 1959 hit single ‘Sea Cruise’.

1940 – Singer-songwriter Rosemary Timothy Yuro also known professionally as Timi Yuro was born in Los Angeles, California.

1940 – Multi-instrumentalist Lawrence “Larry” Knechtel was born on this day August 4 in Bell, California. Best known as a member of the Wrecking Crew.

1947 – German electronic music pioneer Klaus Schulze also known by his stage name Richard Wahnfried was born in Berlin. As a solo artist he has released over 60 albums and has also played with bands such as Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel, and The Cosmic Jokers.

1947 – English musician Paul Layton was born in Beaconsfield on this day August 4 in music history. He rose to fame as a member of the pop group The New Seekers.

1952 – Irish folk singer, songwriter, and harpist Moya Brennan was born in Dublin. She rose to fame as a member of the family band Clannad before embarking on a solo career.

1953 – Multi-instrumentalist and founder of the post-punk band The Durutti ColumnVini Reilly was born in Manchester, England.

1958 – English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Ian Broudie was born on this day August 4 in Liverpool. He rose to fame as a member of the punk band Big in Japan.

1959 – American musician Robbin Crosby was born on this day in La Jolla, California. He came to prominence as the guitarist for the glam metal band Ratt.

1962 – Lead guitarist of the new wave band A Flock of SeagullsPaul Reynolds was born in Liverpool, England on this day August 4 in music history.

1969 – Co-founder and original frontman of the heavy metal band SepulturaMax Cavalera was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

1971 – American rapper and actress Yolanda Whitaker also known as Yo-Yo was born on this day in Compton, California.

1981 – R&B singer and actor Marques Houston was born on this day August 4 in Los Angeles, California. He rose to fame as a member of the group Immature.

1988 – English singer Thomas “Tom” Parker was born in Bolton. Best known as a member of the boy band The Wanted.

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