1991 – Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is released as a single, forever changing the musical meaning of the word “Alternative.”
1982 John Mellencamp becomes the first male solo artist with a #1 album (American Fool) and two Top 10 singles, all at the same time (“Hurts So Good” at #8; “Jack & Diane” at #4).
1966 The Monkees TV show makes its debut, with four actors chosen to portray a pop band based on The Beatles. While The Monkees are a fictional band, they become very real and eventually play on their own recordings instead of studio musicians.
1969 At the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival, host Kim Fowley starts a rock tradition when he asks the crowd to hold up lighters for Eric Clapton and John Lennon.
1998 MTV debuts Total Request Live, a countdown of the Top 10 fan-requested music videos, hosted by Carson Daly. By the end of its 10-year run, the show is a cultural phenomenon.
1965 Ford offers factory-installed 8-track tape players in its Mustang, Thunderbird and Lincoln models. This marks the first time 8-track players are widely available, so you can only get the tapes in auto parts stores or Ford dealers. The players have a tendency to chew up the tapes, leading to 8-track roadkill as drivers throw the tangled tapes out their windows.
1970 After eight straight years, The Beatles are finally knocked from their perch as England’s top act in the Melody Maker fan poll… by Led Zeppelin.