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Today in Music

December 31

  • 2000 Eddy Shaver, a talented guitarist and son of Texas singer/songwriter Billy Joe Shaver, dies in his sleep while at home in Waco, Texas. Shaver, 38, played guitar with his father in the roots rock group Shaver. The duo had recently finished recording a new album, “The Earth Rolls On.”
  • 2000 Country Music Hall of Fame member Kitty Wells, 81, and her husband, Johnny Wright, 86, perform their farewell show in Nashville. Appearing at the Nashville Night Life Club, they entertain a capacity crowd that includes Connie Smith, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites, among others.
  • 1997 Country music pianist Floyd Cramer dies after a six-month battle with cancer. He is 64. His biggest hit was “Last Date,” which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart in 1960.
  • 1995 Barbra Streisand’s video of “Barbra – The Concert” is ranked the year’s top-selling music video by Billboard.
  • 1986 Guests Gary Hart and Donna Rice meet each other at Eagles singer/songwriter Don Henley’s birthday party.
  • 1985 Rick Nelson dies in an airplane crash near DeKalb, Texas.
  • 1978 Bauhaus gives its debut performance in Wellingborough, England.
  • 1976 The Cars give their debut performance at Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, N.H.
  • 1972 Joe McIntyre of New Kids on the Block is born. He is the youngest member of the pop group from Boston.
  • 1961 The Beach Boys give their debut performance at a Richie Valens memorial concert in Long Beach, Calif. They earn $300.
  • 1948 Donna Summer is born in Boston. Her biggest-selling album is the 1979 million-selling release “Bad Girls” which tops the charts for seven weeks. It includes the No. 1 singles “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff.”
  • 1943 John Denver is born John Henry Deutschendorf in Roswell, N.M. He has four No. 1 singles. His biggest album is the 1973 release “John Denver’s Greatest Hits,” which tops the Billboard chart for three weeks and stays on the chart a remarkable 175 weeks.
  • 1942 Guitarist Andy Summers of the Police is born in Blackpool, England.