On This Day, November 20 In Music History


On this day November 20 in 1955 – Bo Diddley appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show . However, instead of playing the agreed upon song ‘Sixteen Tons’ by Ernie Ford, he played his own hit ‘Bo Diddley’. Ed Sullivan did not appreciate the act and banned him from the show.

1957The Silhouettes released “Get A Job”, which became their biggest hit. It went to No.1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart that year.

1961Bob Dylan began recording his debut album.  “You’re No good”, “Song To Woody” and “Fixing To Die” are some of the songs he recorded that day.

1965 – The Supremes scored their fourth chart-topping single of the year in the US with ‘I Hear a Symphony’ which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks straight.

1967The Beach Boys released their 12th studio album “Smiley Smile” which was co-produced by Paul McCartney. However, the album was a failure for the band’s standards as it failed to reach the Top 40 in the US.

1971 – With the ‘Theme from Shaft’ which featured in the crime action film ‘Shaft’Isaac Hayes topped the US Billboard Hot 100 on this day November 20. The song also won him an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

1973 – American singer, producer, and song parodist Allan Sherman died on this day November 30, aged 48. Best remembered for the hit single ‘Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh’ and for his chart-topping album trilogy ‘My Son –  the Folk Singer’/’the Celebrity’/’the Nut’.

1973The Who‘s drummer Keith Moon collapsed on stage and a 19-year-old fan Scot Halpin replaced him. Scott played on three songs before getting exhausted and unable to continue drumming.

Watch Pete Townshend asking if someone can play the drums

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– English guitarist Bert Weedon went to number one on the UK Albums chart with his greatest hits compilation ’22 Golden Guitar Greats’ on this day November 20.

1984Michael Jackson was awarded a star on the Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and set a record for having the largest crowd ever present on such an event.

1991The Rolling Stones signed a $20 million deal with Virgin Records that obliged them to release three studio albums in the next six years.

1993 – With his fifth solo studio album ‘Both Sides’Phil Collins went to number one on the UK Albums chart on this day November 20.

1998 -Jamaican tenor saxophonist Roland Alphonso died at the age of 67. Best remembered as a founding member of the ska band The Skatalites.

1999 – Singer-songwriter Robbie Williams reached number one on the UK Singles chart with the double A-side ‘She’s the One’/’It’s Only Us’.

1999 – With their third studio album ‘The Battle of Los Angeles’Rage Against the Machine topped the US Billboard 200 chart on this day November 20.

2004 – American rapper Eminem scored his third consecutive number one album in the UK with his fifth studio LP ‘Encore’.

2004 – The number one single in the United Kingdom on this day November 20 was ‘Vertigo’ by the Irish rock band U2.

2005Robbie Williams broke a Guinness World Record by selling more than 1.6 million tickets for his 2006 World Tour in one day.

2005 – American blues rock singer-songwriter and guitarist Christopher “Chris” Whitley died on this day November 20, aged 45 of lung cancer.

2010 – With ‘What’s My Name’Rihanna featuring Drake went to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

2010 – Scottish singer Susan Boyle topped the UK Albums chart with her second studio album ‘The Gift’ on this day November 20.

2021 – Singer-songwriter Summer Walker scored her first number one album on the US Billboard 200 with ‘Still Over It’, her second studio LP.


1925 – American cool jazz singer June Christy was born Shirley Luster in Springfield, Illinois on this day November 20 in music history. She gained popularity as a member of The Stan Kenton Orchestra before establishing herself as a solo artist.

1940 – Multi-instrumentalist and session musician Jim Horn was born on this day in Los Angeles, California. Best known for his work with artists such as John Denver, George Harrison, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, and others.

1941 – American multi-genre singer, songwriter, and pianist Malcolm John Rebennack also known as Dr. John was born on this day November 20 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

1942 – American singer-songwriter and guitarist Norman Greenbaum was born on this day November 20 in Malden, Massachusetts. Best known for his 1969 hit song ‘Spirit In The Sky’.

1946 – Founder, guitarist and leader of the Allman Brothers Band, Duane Allman was born in Nashville, Tennessee.

1947 – Singer-songwriter and guitarist Joseph “Joe” Walsh was born in Wichita, Kansas on this day November 20 in music history. Best known as a member of the James Gang, the Eagles, and Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band.

1950 – British musician Gary William Green was born in North London, England. He came to prominence as the guitarist for the rock band Gentle Giant.

1954 – Canadian guitarist and songwriter  Francesco “Frank” Marino was born in Montreal, Quebec on this day November 20 in music history. Best known as the leader of the hard rock band Mahogany Rush.

1962 – American bass guitarist, songwriter and session musician Gail Ann Dorsey was born on this day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Best known for her longtime collaboration with David Bowie.

1965 – Rapper, instrumentalist, producer and founding member of the hip hop group Beastie BoysMichael “Mike” Diamond was born in New York City on this day November 20.

1975 – American singer David Marchand also known by his stage name Davey Havok was born on this day in Rochester, New York. Best known for his work with bands such as AFI, XTRMST, Dreamcar, and Blaqk Audio.

1986 – Singer-songwriter and record producer Oliver Sykes was born in Ashford, England on this day November 20 in music history. He came to prominence as the co-founder and frontman of the band Bring Me the Horizon.

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