(from the left) Ray Thomas, Justin Hayward, Graeme Edge and John Lodge

© Press Association

Classic Rock Almanac January 4, 2019

January 4, 2019


1950-Two years after Columbia Records introduced the 33 1/3 RPM long-playing vinyl record, RCA announces that they will also start using the same format.

1970-Tragedy struck The Who when a gang of teens attacked Keith Moon's Bentley limo. His chauffeur, Neil Boland got out to try to protect the car, but left it in gear, and it started moving. Moon, who had no driver's license, jumped behind the wheel. Unfortunately, the chauffeur, who was being beaten, had fallen under the car and as Keith gunned the engine, Neil was run over and killed. Though the inquest absolved Moon of blame, Neil's family didn't and neither did Moon himself, as he was been haunted by the incident for the rest of his life.

1973-The Allman Brothers name bassist Lamar Williams as the replacement for the late Berry Oakley.

1975-Elton John's remake of The Beatles' "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" becomes his tenth US Top Ten hit and his third number one. The recording included John Lennon on guitar.

1986-Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy died at the age of 36.

2004-Ray Davies of The Kinks was shot in the leg during a robbery in New Orleans when two thieves stole a lady friend's purse at gunpoint. Davies gave chase and one of the men turned and shot him in the thigh.

2011-Gerry Rafferty, the lead singer of Stealers Wheel on their 1973 hit "Stuck In The Middle With You", died after a long illness at the age of 63. After the band split up, he went on to a successful solo career, enjoying five more Billboard Top 30 hits, including "Baker Street" and "Right Down The Line".

2018-Ray Thomas, flautist, vocalist and founding member of The Moody Blues, died January 4th, 2018 at the age of 76, just three and half months before the band was due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


1955-Brian Ray
session musician, guitarist, bassist, singer–songwriter and musical director, best known for his work as a rhythm guitarist and bassist with Paul McCartney.

1960-Michael Stipe
singer, songwriter, musician, R.E.M.