Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Paul Stanley of Kiss

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Classic Rock Almanac January 20, 2019

January 20, 2019


1958-The management of St. Louis radio station KWK had all Rock 'n' Roll music removed from its play list. The disc jockeys gave every Rock 'n' Roll record in the station library a "farewell spin" before smashing it to pieces. The station manager, Robert T. Convey felt that Rock 'n' Roll had dominated the airwaves long enough and called the action "a simple weeding out of undesirable music."

1965-Alan Freed, who many credit with first associating the term "Rock and Roll" to music, died at the age of 43. Freed was a Cleveland disc jockey who started promoting dances that featured the top artists of the day, including, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis. After moving to New York and appearing in some teen movies, he was caught up in the payola scandal of 1959 for accepting money for playing certain records on his radio show. Before his death, he was virtually broke and fighting charges of tax evasion. It was a sad end for one of Rock and Roll's most important pioneers.

1982-Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off of what he thought was a plastic bat thrown at him during a concert in Des Moines. The bat turned out to be real and Ozzy later went through a series of injections against rabies.

1988-The Beach Boys, Berry Gordy, Jr., The Beatles, The Drifters, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Les Paul, Leadbelly and The Supremes are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during ceremonies at New York's Waldorf Astoria. During the Beach Boys acceptance speech, vocalist Mike Love insulted just about everybody in the music business, including Paul McCartney, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen and Mick Jagger. In later years, Love would explain sheepishly that "I hadn't meditated that morning..."

2015-Motley Crue announced that they would perform for the last time on New Year's Eve in Los Angeles. The band went so far as signing a Cessation of Touring contract during a press conference to promise they will play no more gigs after 2015.


1952-Paul Stanley
guitarist and singer with KISS

1952-Ian Hill
best known as the bassist of Judas Priest

1959-Rusty Anderson
guitarist and singer-songwriter, best known as the accompanying lead guitarist for Paul McCartney's tours since 2001.