Jeff Buckley (1966 - 1997).
Jeffrey Scott Buckley, raised as Scott Moorhead, was an American musician and singer. After a decade as a session guitarist in Los Angeles, Buckley amassed a following in the early 1990s by performing cover songs at venues in East Village, Manhattan, such as Sin-e, while gradually focusing more on his own material. After rebuffing interest from record labels and Herb Cohen—the manager of his father, singer Tim Buckley - he signed with Columbia, recruited a band, and recorded what would be his only studio album, Grace, in 1994.
Over the following three years, the band toured extensively to promote Grace, including concerts in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Australia. In 1996, they stopped touring and made sporadic attempts to record Buckley's second album in New York City with Tom Verlaine as the producer.
In 1997, Buckley moved to Memphis, Tennessee, to resume work on the album, to be titled My Sweetheart the Drunk, recording many four-track demos while also playing weekly solo shows at a local venue. On May 29, 1997, while awaiting the arrival of his band from New York, he drowned during a spontaneous evening swim, fully clothed, in the Mississippi River, where he was caught in the wake of a passing boat; his body was found on June 4.
Since his death, there have been many posthumous releases of his material, including a four-track collection of demos and studio recordings of his unfinished second album My Sweetheart the Drunk, expansions of Grace, and the Live at Sin-e EP. Chart success for Buckley came posthumously; with his cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", Buckley attained his first number one on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs in March 2008 and reached number two in the UK Singles Chart that December. Rolling Stone included Grace in its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and included Buckley in their list of the greatest singers.
On this day today:
1938 - Gordon Lightfoot is born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He breaks through in America with his 1970 song "If You Could Read My Mind," inspired by the breakdown of his first marriage.
1946 - Martin Barre (guitarist for Jethro Tull) is born in Kings Heath, Birmingham, England.
1953 - "Rags to Riches" by Tony Bennett is #1 on all three US Billboard charts (jukeboxes, sales, radio).
1970 - Elton John plays live in a recording studio, accompanied by just two musicians: Dee Murray on bass and Nigel Olsson on drums. Broadcast on WABC-FM (which would later become WPLJ), it's the first live FM broadcast from a music studio. The recording is later released as 17-11-70, Elton's first live album.
1971 - The Faces release A Nod Is As Good As A Wink... To A Blind Horse.
1974 - ABBA play their first gig outside Sweden, opening at the Kalkonerteater in Copenhagen on their first European tour.
1979 - The Guinness Book of World Records verifies ABBA as the biggest-selling recording group in history.
1980 - John Lennon releases Double Fantasy. A few weeks later, he is shot and killed, and the album quickly goes to #1 in many countries.
1984 - Ten weeks after its first appearance in the Hot 100 at #80, Wham!'s single "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" reaches #1. George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley hold their lead for three weeks.
1986 - Thanks to the hit "You're The Voice," John Farnham's album Whispering Jack goes to #1 in Australia, where it spends an astounding 25 (non-consecutive) weeks.
1988 - Guns N' Roses get the cover of Rolling Stone with the headline, "Hard-Rock Heroes." The magazine compiled the story that summer when the band was on tour as the opening act for Aerosmith. Aerosmith assumed they were getting the cover, but by the end of the tour, their opening act had become much more popular.
1992 - Kenny G releases Breathless, which sells over 12 million copies in America to become the best-selling mostly instrumental album in history (two of the tracks have vocals).
1993 - Ritchie Blackmore plays a concert in Helsinki with Deep Purple, then quits the band for the second and final time, in the middle of a tour.
1994 - Bob Dylan begins taping his episode of MTV's Unplugged at New York's Sony Studios.
1997 - An all-star rendition of Lou Reed's 1972 song "Perfect Day" featuring Reed, Elton John, David Bowie, Tammy Wynette, Joan Armatrading and several other stars, is released as a single in the UK, with proceeds going to the BBC's Children In Need charity. It debuts at #1 on the UK singles chart and raises over £2 million for the appeal.
1997 - Shania Twain's second album, The Woman in Me, is certified Diamond for sales of 10 million copies.
1998 - Retailers in the US are hit with a wave of superstar releases on what the industry dubs "Super Tuesday." Among the sets released are Garth Brooks: Double Live, Whitney Houston's My Love is Your Love, Mariah Carey's #1's, Jewel's Spirit, and three soundtracks associated with the animated film The Prince of Egypt.
1998 - The Offspring release their fourth studio album, Americana, with the hit "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)."
2003 - Tori Amos releases her first compilation album, Tales Of A Librarian.
2006 - Icelandic rock act the Sugarcubes take the stage in Reykjavik for the first time in 14 years. The group, whose most famous alumnus is Bjork, reassembles to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its debut single, "Birthday."
2007 - Twenty-eight years after their last #1 album (The Long Run), the Eagles return to the top spot in America with Long Road Out Of Eden, a double album initially sold only at Walmart for the bargain price of $11.88. The group released the album on their own label, allowing them to keep a hearty chunk of the profits.
2020 - Shazam announces the most-Shazamed songs in history. The Top 5: 1) "Dance Monkey" - Tones and I 2) "Prayer In C" - Lilly Wood & The Prick 3) "Let Her Go" - Passenger 4) "Wake Me Up" - Avicii 5) "Lean On" by Major Lazer.