December 2 – 8-THIS WEEK IN ROCK



Taj Mahal performs a special show at Wilmington State Penitentiary for the prisoners on death row on December 2, 1971. 


Tal Wilkenfeld: December 2, 1986 (bass, Jeff Beck)
Ozzy Osbourne: December 3, 1948
Duane Roland: December 3, 1953 (guitar, Molly Hatchet)
Jim Hall: December 4, 1930 (jazz guitarist)
Chris Hillman: December 4, 1944 (bass, The Byrds)
Dennis Wilson: December 4, 1944 (drums, The Beach Boys)
Gary Rossington: December 4, 1951 (guitar, Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Sonny Boy Williamson (II): December 5, 1912 (blues musician, blues harp and vocals)
Little Richard: December 5, 1935 (rock and roll pioneer, vocals and piano)
Jim Messina: December 5, 1947 (guitar, Loggins and Messina)
Dave Brubeck: December 6, 1920 (pivotal jazz pianist)
Randy Rhodes: December 6, 1956 (guitar, Ozzy Osbourne)
Jim Morrison: December 8, 1943 (vocals, The Doors)
Gregg Allman: December 8, 1947 (vocals, organ, and keys, The Allman Brothers Band)


Michael Hedges: December 2, 1997 (amazing guitarist)

Ian McLagan: December 3, 2014 (keyboards, the Small Faces)

Tommy Bolin: December 4, 1976 (guitar, Deep Purple)

Frank Zappa: December 4, 1993 (vocals and guitar, The Mothers of Invention)

Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter: December 6, 1949 (blues and folk musician, vocals and guitar)

Roy Orbison: December 6, 1988 (rock and roll musician, vocals and guitar)

Dee Clark: December 7, 1990 (R&B and soul vocalist)

Greg Lake: December 7, 2016 (guitar, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer)

John Lennon: December 8, 1980 (vocals and guitar, The Beatles)


The Temptation’s “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” hits number 1: December 2, 1972

The Beatles releases “Rubber Soul” in the UK: December 3, 1965

Cream’s album “Fresh Cream” is certified Gold: December 3, 1968

Santana is certified gold: December 4, 1969

The Byrds’ “Turn! Turn! Turn!” hits #1: December 4, 1965

Fleetwood Mac is certified Gold: December 5, 1975

The Beatles releaseThe First Christmas Record is released on December 6, 1963.

Steve Miller’s The Joker album is certified gold: December 6, 1973

Paul McCartney’s band Wings release their debut album: December 7, 1971

The band Traffic releases their debut album Mr. Fantasy: December 8, 1967


Taj Mahal performs a special show at Wilmington State Penitentiary for the prisoners on death row on December 2, 1971 

The Beatles meet their future manager, Brian Epstein for the very first time on December 3, 1961.

On December 3,1976 while shooting their album cover “Animals” Pink Floyd has a major mishap when a 40-foot inflatable pig gets loose.

Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash record the “Million Dollar Quartet” sessions, which is produced by the legendary Sam Phillips on December 4, 1956. The songs, mostly spirituals, are released publicly in the early 1980’s.

Led Zeppelin disbands in the wake of John Bonham’s tragic death on December 4, 1980.

On December 4, 1987, 16-year-old Alison Krauss releases her debut album entitled “Too Late To Cry”.

Graham Nash quits The Hollies and soon after forms his new supergroup, Crosby, Stills and Nash on December 5, 1968.

The Altamont concert is held in Altamont,California at a speedway on December 6, 1969. The show is organized by headlining act The Rolling Stones and includes Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Santana, and Jefferson Airplane. The show is conceived of as a “Woodstock West.” Unfortunately, unlike Woodstock, the show is an unmitigated disaster. Part of the issue stems from the presence of Hell’s Angels, who are working security for the show. Four people in the crowd of 300,000 died, including Meredith Hunter who is stabbed to death.

John Lennon is murdered in New York City. The terrible occurrence takes place outside of the Dakota Hotel, at 11:07pm on December 8,1980. Lennon sustains several gunshot wounds and is pronounced dead. Considered by many to be the greatest rock band of all time,The Beatles and Lennon helped produced an unfathomable amount of beloved songs in the rock catalog.

Lead singer Eric Burdon announces that The Animals are calling it quits by the end of the year. Afterwards, Burdon joins the band “War” on December 7, 1968. 

The famous trio Crosby, Stills, and Nash officially form and announce that they will begin touring on December 8, 1968.

That’s all for This Week in Rock History! Furthermore, be sure to check back next week for the latest Rock history tidbits!