On This Day, July 20 In Music History


On this day July 20 in 1956 – Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers hit No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Why Do Fools Fall in Love’ for the first of three consecutive weeks.

1957 – Britain’s first teen idol and rock and roll star Tommy Steele topped the UK Albums chart with the soundtrack for the movie ‘The Tommy Steele Story’ in which he starrs.

1961 – With their rendition of ‘Temptation’, the Everly Brothers started a two-week stint at number one in the UK on this day July 20 in music history.

1963 – Pop rock duo Jan and Dean topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with ‘Surf City’. The song was written by Brian Wilson and Jan Berry, and it’s the first chart-topping surf song.

1968 – With the instrumental song ‘Grazing in the Grass’, South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela reached No.1 in the US on this day July 20 for the first of two weeks.

1975 – Steven Van Zandt performed live for the first time with Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band at a show in Rhode Island.

1991 – Alternative rock band EMF scored their first number one single in the US with ‘Unbelievable’ on this day July 20. In the UK the song peaked at No.3 a few months earlier.

1996 – American rapper Nas scored his first number one album on the US Billboard 200 chart with ‘It Was Written’. It held the top spot for four consecutive weeks.

1996 – With his debut solo single ‘Forever Love’Gary Barlow hit number one in the UK on this day July 20 in music history. He also topped the singles charts in Lithuania and Spain.

1996 – Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette started an eight-week run at number one on the UK Albums chart with ‘Jagged Little Pill’. The album peaked at No.1 on fourteen charts around the world, including in the US and her home country of Canada.

2002 – Rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers went to No.1 in the UK with their eighth studio album ‘By the Way’ on this day July 20. The album topped the charts in seventeen other countries worldwide and peaked at No.2 in the US.

2002 – With his second single ‘Anyone of Us (Stupid Mistake)’, pop singer Gareth Gates started a three-week stint at number one in the UK.

2013 – American rapper J. Cole went to number one on the US Billboard 200 chart with his second studio album ‘Born Sinner’.

J. Cole – Power Trip

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2013 – With his twelfth studio album ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’, rapper Jay-Z went to No.1 in the UK on this day July 20.

2015 – American country music multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Wayne Carson died at the age of 72. Best remembered for songs such as ‘The Letter’, ‘Soul Deep’, ‘Always on My Mind’, etc.

2017 – American singer Chester Bennington committed suicide at the age of 41 on this day July 20 in music history. Best remembered as the frontman of the rock band Linkin Park.

2019 – The compilation album ‘Revenge of the Dreamers III’ released by the record label Dreamville went to number one in the US. Also a chart-topper in Canada and a No.2 hit in New Zealand and Australia.

2021 – American songwriter and vocalist Charles Edward Weiss died on this day July 20 at the age of 76.


1928 – British jazz double bassist, record producer and sound engineer Peter Ind was born in Middlesex on this day July 20 in music history.

1933 – American singer-songwriter and guitar player Buddy Knox was born on this day in Happy, Texas. Best known for his 1957 hit song ‘Party Doll’.

1944 – Country music singer-songwriter William Browder also known professionally as T.G. Sheppard was born on this day July 20 in Humboldt, Tennessee. He has scored fourteen No.1 singles on the US country charts.

1945 – American singer and songwriter Kim Carnes was born in Los Angeles, California. Best known for her Grammy Award-winning and chart-topping album ‘Mistaken Identity’ which also features her hit rendition of ‘Bette Davis Eyes’.

1945 – English bass guitarist, singer and songwriter John Lodge was born on this day July 20 in Birmingham. He rose to fame as a member of the band The Moody Blues with whom he was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

1946 – British saxophonist Johnny Almond was born on this day in Enfield, England. Best known for his work with the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Alan Price, John Mayall, and others.

1947 – Guitarist and founder of the rock band SantanaCarlos Santana was born in Autlan, Mexico on this day July 20 in music history.

1952 – American guitarist and producer John Segall also known professionally as Jay Jay French was born in New York City. He rose to fame as a founding member of the heavy metal band Twisted Sister.

1954 – Bass guitarist and vocalist Michael Anthony was born on this day July 20 in Chicago, Illinois. Best known as a member of the hard rock band Van Halen from 1974 until 2006.

1955 – Multi-instrumentalist and founding member of The PoguesJeremy “Jem” Finer was born on this day in Stoke, England.

1956 – Drummer and founding member of the influential punk rock band Sex PistolsPaul Cook was born on this day July 20 in London, England.

1958 – Scottish songwriter and keyboardist Michael “Mick” MacNeil was born on the Isle of Barra. He came to prominence as a member of the band Simple Minds from 1978 until 1990.

1964 – American singer-songwriter and guitarist Chris Cornell was born in Seattle, Washington on this day July 20 in music history. Best known as the co-founder and frontman of the bands Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog.

15 Chris Cornell Facts You May Have Not Known

1966 – Founding member, guitarist and songwriter of the rock band Pearl JamStone Gossard was born in Seattle, Washington.

1971 – American hip hop DJ Robert Earl Davis better known professionally as DJ Screw was born on this day July 20 in Smithville, Texas.

1972 – Singer, songwriter and record producer Colleen Fitzpatrick also known by her stage name Vitamin C was born in Old Bridge, New Jersey.

1976 – Co-founder and frontman of the rock band WolfmotherAndrew Stockdale was born on this day July 20 in Brisbane, Australia.

1999 – American rapper Bashar Jackson better known professionally as Pop Smoke was born on this day in Brooklyn, New York.

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