Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry Image Credit: Facebook/@Chuck Berry


The day classical music was told off

The late American singer-songwriter Chuck Berry recorded his epic hit ‘Roll over Beethoven’, a song that he wrote as a response to his sister’s obsession with classic music.

Berry used to argue with her over who could use the family piano and when he did get the chance, he came up with this song that was telling classic music to make way for rock ‘n’ roll and contained the lyric, "roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news".

It became one of the most widely covered songs and was described as a masterpiece that helped define rock ‘n’ roll.

The Beatles released a version of this song in 1963, which they played at most of their early live shows. In 1973, the Electric Light Rochester rerecorded the song, cleverly mixing it with some of Beethoven’s music and it became the band’s biggest hit at the time, making the number 10 spot.

‘Roll over Beethoven’ also featured in the 1992 movie ‘Beethoven’, which is about a Saint Bernard.


Jeff Lyne’s Electric Light Orchestra makes London debut

The Electric Light Orchestra made their hotly anticipated live debut at The Fox and Greyhounds in Croydon, London, some 43 years ago.

The band took their name from ‘light orchestras’, which were popular in England during the 60s.

ELO was formed by former Move members Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood, and with the aim of creating modern rock and pop songs with classical overtones. Lynne wrote and arranged most of the group's original compositions and produced every album.

However, during the early live shows the band used some backing tracks on tape to help create the orchestral parts and were also accused of lip-synching.

But their template for recording songs led to huge fan following. ELO often used drums and bass to launch a song that was followed by piano music and then by guitars and finally vocals.

The iconic Fox and Greyhounds has hosted several major rock bands including Roxy Music, Mott the Hoople and Thin Lizzy.


Henry Mancini is born

American composer, conductor and arranger, Henry Mancini who came to fame as the composer of the music for the hugely popular ‘The Pink Panther’ film series.

Mancini also penned the beautiful ‘Moon River’, which was actress Audrey Hepburn’s theme song in the 1961 cult classic ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’

Moon River is a real river in Savannah, Georgia, where lyricist Mercer grew up. It became known as the Moon River House.

Mancini, who died in June 1994, is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers in the history of film. He won four Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, and twenty Grammy Awards, plus a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.


Akon is born

Akon, whose real name is Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam, was born in Senegal.

Akon is the first solo artist to hold both the No.1 and No.2 spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice. He was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the No.1 selling artist for master ringtones in the world.

As a songwriter, producer or performer, he has worked with artists like Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Quincy Jones, Eminem, Snoop Dogg and many others. Some of his more popular projects include Gwen Stefani's ‘The Sweet Escape’, Lady Gaga's ‘Just Dance’, and David Guetta's ‘Sexy Bitch’.

Akon spent several years in jail for a car theft and is known to begin many of his songs with the clank of jail cell door and the word ‘Konvict.’

He also has his own clothing company and started a charity organisation for underprivileged children in Africa called the Konfidence Foundation.