On December 23, 1973, Jim Croce’s “Time In a Bottle” hit #1 on the Billboard charts. Croce is inspired to write the song’s lyrics after learning that his wife Ingrid is pregnant with his child. The theme of the song is related to mortality and wishing we had more time in this life.

Tragically, Croce’s life is lost in a plane crash in September of 1973. Although the label did not originally plan to release the song as a single, they changed their mind in light of the accident. First the song received much radio play as an album track, which had built pressure on the label to release the single. The song, once released, became Croce’s 2nd and last #1 hit. Here’s what else happened this week in rock history:

Answer To This Week’s Trivia Question:

Ready Steady Go! The last episode airs on December 23,1966. Furthermore, it features Mick Jagger,The Who, Eric Burdon,The Spencer Davis Group and Donovan.


Jorma Kaukonen: December 23, 1940 (guitar, Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna)

Dave Murray: December 23, 1956 (guitar, Iron Maiden)

Ray Tabano: December 23, 1946 (guitar, Aerosmith)

Adrian Belew: December 23, 1949 (guitar, King Crimson)

Eddie Vedder: December 23, 1964 (vocals, Pearl Jam)

Doyle Bramhall II: December 24, 1968 (blues guitarist)

Lemmy: December 24, 1945 (vocals, Motorhead)

Lee Dorsey: December 24, 1924 (R&B vocalist)

Cab Calloway: December 25, 1907 (big band leader)

Joe Louis Walker: December 25, 1949 (blues guitarist)

Noel Redding – Jimi Hendrix Experience

Noel Redding: December 25, 1945 (bass, Jimi Hendrix Experience)

Jimmy Buffett: December 25, 1946 (American musician, songwriter, author, actor)

Annie Lennox: December 25, 1954 (keyboards and vocals, Eurythmics)

David Knopfler: December 27, 1952 (guitar/vocals, Dire Straits)

Matt “Guitar” Murphy: December 27, 1929 (Blues Guitarist)

Johnny Otis: December 28, 1921 (blues guitarist)

Edgar Winter: December 28, 1946 (rock multi-instrumentalist)

Rick Danko: December 29, 1943 (bass, The Band)

Cozy Powell: December 29, 1947 (drums, Jeff Beck Group

Bo Didley: December 30, 1928 (blues musician)

Odetta: December 31, 1930 (pivotal folk musician)


Eddie Hazel: December 23, 1992 (guitar, Parliament-Funkadelic)

Oscar Peterson: December 23, 2007 (jazz pianist)

Ray Collins: December 24, 2012 (vocals, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention)

Dean Martin: December 25, 1995 (Italian American singer, actor, comedian, and producer)

James Brown December 25, 2006 (singer-songwriter, dancer, musician, and bandleader)

Johnny Ace: December 25, 1954 (R&B Singer-Songwriter)

Curtis Mayfield: December 26, 1999 (singer, The Impressions)

Freddie King: December 28, 1976 (blues guitarist and singer)

Lemmy: December 28, 2015 (singer, Motorhead)

Dennis Wilson: December 28, 1983 (musician, singer, and songwriter, Beach Boys)

Natalie Cole: December 31, 2015 (jazz singer)


Joni Mitchell’s “Ladies of the Canyon” goes gold: December 23, 1970

Rod Stewart releases “D’ya Think I’m Sexy”: December 23, 1978

“Raindrops Keep Falling On my Head” is certified Gold: December 23, 1966

The Beatles Rubber Soul tops the charts, their third year in a row with the number one album on Christmas: December 24, 1965

The Eagles’ Hotel California is certified gold: December 24, 1976.

Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” reaches #1: December 24, 1988

“My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison hits #1: December 26, 1970

The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts on December 26, 1964.

“Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross & The Supremes hit #1 on December 27, 1969.

Led Zeppelin II is #1 in the US: December 27, 1969

“Just Like Starting Over” by Lennon goes #1 in America: December 27, 1980

John Lennon releases “Mother”: December 28, 1970

The Beatles’ White Album hits #1: December 28, 1968

Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” hits #1 3 months after he died: December 29, 1973

The Beatle’s “Beatle’s ‘65” is certified gold: December 31, 1965


On December 23, 1959 Rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry is arrested for taking a 14-year-old girl, Janice Norine, across state lines. Furthermore, he is sentenced to five years in jail. Soon after, Berry is released after it’s discovered that the judge in the case made racist comments.

The Beach Boys make their live debut: December 23, 1961

Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys has a nervous breakdown on a flight from L.A. to Houston on December 23, 1964. Wilson left the band and focuses his efforts on writing and producing instead of performing.

Elton John has a first meets with Bernie Taupin, who will eventually be his star writing and producing team. December 23, 1969

Pink Floyd The House Band

A psychedelic club opens in London with Pink Floyd being the house band: December 23, 1966

Ready Steady Go! The last episode airs on December 23,1966. Furthermore, it features Mick Jagger,The Who, Eric Burdon,The Spencer Davis Group and Donovan.

A woman named Cristin Keleher breaks into George Harrison’s Maui home on December 23, 1999. Later, she cooks a frozen pizza, drinks a beer from his fridge, does her laundry and later calls her mother. She lives in New Jersey. Keleher is arrested and charged with theft and burglary.

The New York Dolls played their first show, a Christmas party at New York’s Endicott Hotel, on December 24, 1971.

Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, and James Taylor went Christmas caroling together in Hollywood on December 24, 1974.

Punk band Green Day plays a huge show at Madison Square Garden: December 25, 1994

George Harrison proposes to girlfriend Pattie Boyd on December 25, 1965.

The Grandfather of Soul James Brown dies of heart failure at the age of 73: December 25, 2006

Led Zeppelin – Opening Act

Led Zeppelin starts their first US tour in Denver and is the opening act for Vanilla Fudge: December 26, 1968

Jimi Hendrix writes the lyrics to “Purple Haze” in his dressing room between performances at London’s Uppercrust Club: December 26, 1966

The Faces formally disband December 27, 1975

The Supremes made their first live appearance ever on The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday, December 27, 1964, where they performed their #1 hit single “Come See About Me.”

Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, Steppenwolf and the Grateful Dead, land in Hallandale, Florida’s Gulfstream Park to entertain 100,000 fans at Miami Pop Festival II, the East Coast’s first major rock festival.- December 28, 1968

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer announce their breakup – December 30, 1978

Bing Crosby wins the battle of Christmas albums by overtaking Elvis’ number one spot – December 30, 1957

Motley Crue play their final show – December 31, 2015

The Band of Gypsy’s make their concert debut – December 31, 1969

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