On This Day, March 31 In Music History

EVENTS THAT HAPPENED ON THIS DAY MARCH 31 IN MUSIC HISTORY

On this day March 31 in 1949 – RCA Victor changed the music industry forever by releasing the 7-inch 45 rpm record which replaced the old 78 rpm shellac discs. The new discs were smaller and more durable.

1958 – Chuck Berry released his rock and roll classic ‘Johnny B. Goode’ through Chess Records. While the song has become a rock standard of the years, at the time it peaked at “only” No.8 on the Hot 100 chart.

1960 – With ‘My Old Man’s a a Dustman’Lonnie Donegan started a four-week stint at No.1 in the UK on this day March 31 in music history.

1962 – Girl group The Shirelles released what would become their most successful single ‘Soldier Boy’. The song became a chart-topper in the US and New Zealand, and it over 1 million copies worldwide.

1962 – Pop singer Connie Francis topped the US Billboard Hot 100 with ‘Don’t Break The Heart That Loves You’ on this day March 31.

1967 – Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire at the end of a 45-minute set at the London Astoria. The reason? Hendrix wanted to increase his band’s media exposure and thought that he would achieve this by doing something dramatic on stage. It worked.

1973 – With his rendition of ‘The Twelfth of Never’, singer and actor Donny Osmond topped the UK Singles chart on this day March 31. 

1976 – Hard rock band Led Zeppelin released their seventh studio album Presence’ through Swan Song Records. The album was a commercial success and it became a chart-topper in the UK and US.

1979 – Barbara Streisand started a four-week stint at No.1 in the UK with her second compilation album ‘Barbara Streisand’s Greatest Hits Volume 2’ on this day March 31 in music history.

1984 – Singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins started a three-week stint at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with ‘Footloose’. The song also reached No.1 in Australia, Canada, new Zealand, and South Africa that year.

1984 – With his second solo studio album ‘Can’t Slow Down’Lionel Richie hit No.1 in the UK on this day March 31.

1986 – American singer and founding member of the family group The Isley BrothersO’Kelly Isley Jr. died at the age of 48 from a heart attack.

1990 – Singer and songwriter David Bowie topped the UK Albums chart with his compilation album ‘Changesbowie’ on this day March 31.

1990 – With ‘The Power’, German Eurodance group Snap started a two-week run at number one on the UK Singles chart.

1992 – Hard rock band Def Leppard released their fifth studio album ‘Adrenalizethrough Mercury Records on this day March 31 in music history. This was the group’s first release to not feature guitarist Steve Clark who died of an overdose on January 8, 1991. The album reached No.1 in the US, Australia, Finland, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the UK.

1992 – Singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen released not one, but two studio albums Human Touch’ and Lucky Town’ on this day through Columbia Records.

1993 – American lyricist and songwriter Mitchell Parish died at the of 92 on this day March 31. Best remembered for songs such as ‘Deep Purple, ‘Stardust’, ‘Sweet Lorriane’, ‘Stars Fell on Alabama’, etc.

1995 – American singer Selena Perez nicknamed the Queen of Tejano music” was murdered by her assistant at the age of 23. 

1996 – Singer-songwriter and guitarist Jeffrey Lee Pierce died on this day March 31 at the age of 37 from a brain hemorrhage. Best remembered as the co-founder and frontman of the punk rock band The Gun Club.

2001 – Reggae musician Shaggy featuring singer Rayvon reached No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 with ‘Angel’.

Shaggy ft. Rayvon – Angel

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2007 The Proclaimers featuring Brian Potter and Andy Pipkin started a three-week run at No.1 in the UK on this day March 31 in music history with a re-recorded version of their hit song ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’

2012 – American pop singer Katy Perry scored her third number one single in the United Kingdom with ‘Part of me’.

2012 – Boy band One Direction topped the US Billboard 200 with their debut studio album ‘Up All Night’ on this day March 31.

2012 – With his eleventh studio album ‘Sonik Kicks’, singer and songwriter Paul Weller topped the UK Albums chart.

2015 – British-American jazz pianist, composer, conductor and arranger Ralph Sharon died at the age of 91 on this day March 31.

2017 – With his second studio album ‘?’, rapper and singer XXXTentacion went to number one in the United States.

2022 – Singer and songwriter Charli XCX scored her first number one album in the UK with her fifth studio release ‘Crash’ on this day March 31.

BORN ON THIS DAY MARCH 31 IN MUSIC HISTORY

1685 – Influential German composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach on this day March 31 in music history.

1732 – Austrian composer of the Classical period Franz Joseph Haydn was born on this day in Rohrau, Austria.

1908 – Jazz vibraphonist Kenneth Norville also known as Red Norvo or ‘Mr. Swing’ was born on this day March 31 in Beardstown, Illinois.

1921 – American blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Lowell Fulson was born on this day in Atoka, Oklahoma.

1928 – Country music singer-songwriter and guitar player William “Lefty” Frizzell was born on this day March 31 in Corsicana, Texas.

1934 – American actress and singer Shirley Jones was born in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. Best known for starring in musicals such as Oklahoma!, Carousel, The Music Man and so on.

1935 – American jazz trumpeter and vocalist Herb Alpert was born on this day March 31 in Los Angeles, California. He is the only musician to top the Hot 100 chart as both a vocalist and an instrumentalist with the songs ‘This Guy’s in Love with You’ and ‘Rise’.

1942 – Multi-instrumentalist, session musician, arranger, and record producer Hugh McCracken was born on this day in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. 

1944 – Guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, Michael Ralphs was born in Stoke Lacy, England on this day March 31 in music history. Best known as a founding member of the bands Mott the Hoople and Bad Company,

1947 – Drummer and founding member of the sunshine pop band The BuckinghamsJohn Poulos was born on this day in Chicago, Illinois

1948 – Singer, keyboardist and flutist Thijs van Leer was born on this day March 31 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He rose to fame as a founding member of the rock band Focus.

1955 – Co-founder, lead guitarist and songwriter of the hard rock band AC/DCAngus Young was born in Glasgow, Scotland.

1958 – English drummer and backing vocalist Paul Ferguson was born on this day March 31 in London. Best known as a founding member of the post-punk/industrial rock band Killing Joke.

1974 – Multi-instrumentalist and founding member of the alternative rock band PlaceboStefan Olsdal was born on this day in Gothenburg, Sweden.

1978 – Rapper and songwriter Marvin Bernard also known professionally as Tony Yayo was born in Queens, New York City on this day March 31 in music history. He came to prominence as a founding member of the hip hop group G-Unit.

1981 – American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor Ryan Bingham was born on this day in Hobbs, New Mexico.

1984 – Multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and record producer Jack Antonoff was born on this day March 31 in Bergenfield, New Jersey.

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