On This Day, March 3 In Music History


On this day March 3 in 1931 – Cab Calloway recorded ‘Minnie The Moocher’ which became the first jazz song to sell over million copies and was the biggest chart-topper of the year.

1972 – The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) awarded Harry Nilsson a Gold Record for his seventh studio album ‘Nilsson Schmilsson’. The album previously peaked at No.3 in the US and it features the No.1 hit and Grammy Award-winning single ‘Without You’.

1973 – With his sixth studio album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player’Elton John topped the US Billboard 200 on this day March 3 in music history. The album was a hit worldwide and it also reached No.1 in six other countries, including the UK, Canada, and Australia.

1973 – With ‘Cum On Feel the Noize’, rock band Slade hit No.1 on the UK Singles chart for the first of four weeks straight.

1973 – The 15th Annual Grammy Awards were held at the Tennessee Theatre in Nashville on this day March 3. Among the winners that night – Joel Dorn & Roberta Flack, George Harrison, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Harry Nilsson, and Billy Preston among others.

1978 – The newly formed hard rock band Whitesnake played their first live gig at the Lincoln Technical College in England.

1978 – Hard rock band Van Halen kicked off their first ever concert world tour on this day March 3 with a show at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. The band was mostly the opening act for Journey and Black Sabbath on the tour, but they also headlined a few shows in Europe and Japan.

1979 – With their fifteenth studio album ‘Spirits Having Flown’, the Bee Gees reached No.1 on the US Billboard 200. They also went to number one in the UK on this day with ‘Tragedy’, a hit song from the album.

1984 – German band Nena topped the UK Singles chart with their English-language version of ’99 Red Balloons’ / ’99 Luftballons’ on this day March 3 in music history.

1986 – Heavy metal band Metallica released their third studio album ‘Master of Puppets’ through Elektra Records. The album’s title-track became the first metal song to be added to the National Recording Registry.

1990 – The number one single in the United States on this day March 3 was ‘Escapade’ by Janet Jackson. She topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks straight.

1990 – Dub group Beats International featuring singer Lindy Layton started a four-weeks stint at No.1 on the UK Singles chart with ‘Dub Be Good to Me’.

1992 – Rock band Soundgarden released the Chris Cornell penned song ‘Rusty Cage’ as a single through A&M Records on this day March 3. The single featured on their third studio album ‘Badmotorfinger’.

15 Chris Cornell Facts You May Have Not Known

2007 – Singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake scored his third consecutive No.1 single in the US with ‘What Goes Around…Comes Around’.

2007 – Indie rock band Kaiser Chiefs scored their first number one single in the United Kingdom with ‘Ruby’ on this day March 3 in music history.

Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby

YouTube player

2008 – English record producer, engineer, and musician Norman “Hurricane” Smith died at the age of 85. Best remembered for his work as an engineer with The Beatles and Pink Floyd, and for his 1971 hit single as a recording artist ‘Don’t Let It Die’.

2012 – American guitarist Ronnie Montrose died on this day March 3 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 64. Best remembered as the founder and leader of the rock bands Gamma and Montrose.

2012 – With ‘Part of Me’Katy Perry scored her seventh number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single was an international hit and it also reached No.1 in the UK and New Zealand.

2013 – American tenor singer Robert Bobby” Rogers died on this day March 3 in music history, aged 73. Best remembered as a long-time member of The Miracles with he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

2017 – American multi-genre ukulele and bass guitar player Lyle Joseph Ritz died at the age of 87. Best known for his work with The Wrecking Crew – a loose collective of session musicians.

2017 – American singer-songwriter and pianist Thomas “Tommy” Page died on this day March 3, aged 49 of an apparent suicide. Best remembered for his 1991 chart-topping single ‘I’ll Be Your Everything’.

2017 – American guitarist and songwriter James “Jim” Fuller dubbed the ‘Godfather of surf music’ died at the age of 69. He was a founding member of the surf rock band The Surfaris.


1906 – American jazz clarinetist, tenor saxophonist, and bandleader Albany Leon “Barney” Bigard was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on this day March 3 in music history.

1934 – American jazz double bassist James “Jimmy” Garrison was born on this day in Americus, Georgia. Best known for his work with John Coltrane.

1941 – Singer, guitarist, and founding member of The SearchesMichael Prendergast also known professionally as Mike Pender was born on this day March 3 in Liverpool, England.

1947 – Grammy Award-winning American singer and songwriter Jennifer Warnes was born in Seattle, Washington.

1948 – Guitarist Terence Charles “Snowy” White was born on this day March 3 in Barnstaple, England. Best known as a member of Thin Lizzy and for his work with Pink Floyd.

1949 – American multi-instrumentalist and record producer Richie Cannata was born on this day march 3 on Long Island, New York. Best known for playing saxophone in Billy Joel’s backing band.

1953 – Bassist Rustee Allen was born in Monroe, Louisiana. He came to prominence as a member of the influential funk band Sly and the Family Stone.

1951 – English bassoonist, oboe player, and composer Lindsay Cooper was born in London on this day March 3 in music history.

1953 -Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Robyn Hitchcock was born on this day in London, England. He rose to fame as the leader of the rock band The Soft Boys.

1954 – British songwriter, drummer, and record producer Chris Hughes was born on this day March 3 in London, England.

1966 – American rapper Anthony Terrell Smith also known by his stage name Tone Loc was born in Los Angeles, California.

1977 – Irish singer and songwriter Ronan Keating was born in Dublin, Ireland on this day March 3 in music history. He came to prominence as a founding member of the boy band Boyzone.

1986 – American singer-songwriter, keyboardist, and piano player Stacie Orrico was born on this day in Seattle, Washington.

<< March 2

March 4 >>