January 11, 2003: Pete Townshend issues a public statement denying that he's a pedophile, after he's caught up in a child porn investigation. He acknowledges researching child porn online, however. On the same date in 2000, Gary Glitter gets out of jail after serving a sentence for possessing child porn.
January 11, 1992: A new era arrives, as Nirvana appears on Saturday Night Live the same day Nevermind hits Number One on the American album chart.
January 11, 1967: Jimi Hendrix records "Purple Haze." On the same day one year later, Hendrix moves into a London townhouse were composer George Frederick Handel was believed to have composed some of his famous works, including The Messiah. Hendrix promises he will "not let the tradition down."
January 11, 1958: The UK release date for Elvis Presley's new single, "Jailhouse Rock" is pushed back a week because the record company can't press copies fast enough to meet the demand for advance orders.
Clarence Clemons is 64. It's impossible to imagine Bruce Springsteen's megahits of the 1970s and 1980s without the Big Man's big saxophone. Twenty years ago this week, Clemons was enjoying a Top-40 hit under his own name. Title? Answer below.
Laurens Hammond, inventor of the Hammond organ, would be 111, if he hadn't died in 1973. No instrument better captures the churchy intersection of gospel, soul, and jazz--but progressive rockers liked it, too.
Number One Songs on This Date:
1988: "Got My Mind Set on You"/George Harrison. The last song by a Beatle to reach Number One on the Hot 100. (His "My Sweet Lord," which was Number One on this date in 1971, was the first.) It was parodied (accurately) by Weird Al Yankovic as "This Song Is Just Six Words Long."
1973: "You're So Vain"/Carly Simon. The most overrated mystery in pop music might be who this song is about. Carly has told only one person who it is--the winner of a charity auction in 2003--but has often said who it isn't.
1968: "Hello Goodbye"/The Beatles. Few Beatles tunes have brought me more consistent pleasure in hearing them over the years than this one. It's rarely on anyone's list of the best Beatles singles, but it should be.
1960: "El Paso"/Marty Robbins. Possibly the greatest story/song ever, "El Paso" inspired a sequel. In Robbins' 1976 hit "El Paso City," a guy flying over El Paso in an airplane gets the weird feeling he's been there before.
1928: "My Blue Heaven"/Gene Austin. This song was first made famous in vaudeville's dying days by Eddie Cantor. A couple of years later, Austin's recording sold five million copies, making it the top-selling single of all time until Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" came along in 1942.
Trivia answer: Clarence Clemons and Jackson Browne teamed up on "You're a Friend of Mine," which would peak at Number 18 for the week of January 18, 1986.