Born on December 22: In 1938, Country singer-songwriter Red Steagall is born Russell Steagall in Gainesville, Texas. He is probably best known for discovering Reba McEntire in 1975. In 1948, Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick). And in 1949, Maurice and Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees. To the chagrin of parents everywhere, on December 22, 1958, The Chipmunks’ “The Chipmunk Song” hits #1 on its way to becoming the best-selling Christmas song of 1958. Also charting on this day in 1973, Elton John started a two-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, it also had a eight week run at No.1 on the US chart. The album contains the Marilyn Monroe tribute, ‘Candle in the Wind’, as well as three successful singles: ‘Bennie and the Jets’, ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, and ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’. In news of music and money: In 1981, A Sotheby’s auction in London features an enameled Abbey Road street sign ($600), an autographed program from the Beatles’ Royal Command Performance ($2,000), a letter of introduction from Buddy Holly to Decca Records (also $2,000), the marriage certificate of John Lennon and first wife Cynthia ($850), an autographed program from the world premiere of the Beatles’ movie Help! ($2,100) and a jacket once worn by Tom Jones ($12). In 1975 Ike and Tina Turner were robbed of $86,000 when a suitcase was stolen containing concert receipts. On December 22, 1976 Isaac Hayes filed for bankruptcy. In happier news from December 22, 1976, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band’s Live Bullet album is certified gold. 80s fans may remember these December 22 events:
- 1979 Rupert Holmes’ “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” hits #1 on the Hot 100. It would retain the top spot for two more weeks, becoming the last chart-topper of the ’70s and the first of the ’80s.
- In 1987, Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue was pronounced ‘dead on arrival’ in an ambulance when his heart stopped beating for two minutes. Sixx was given two shots of adrenaline in his chest to revive him. Fellow band members were prematurely informed of his death.
- 1984 Madonna started a six-week run at No.1 in the US charts with ‘Like A Virgin’, her first US No.1. Produced by Nile Rodgers, family groups sought to ban the song as they believed that the song promoted sex without marriage. Speaking of Madonna and marriage – on December 22, 2000, Madonna married film director Guy Ritchie at Skibo Castle, Scotland. Celebrities attending the wedding included Jon Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Sting and fashion designers Donatella Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier and Stellla McCartney. The couple divorced in Nov 2008.
- In 1988 During an interview, Phil Collins jokes about wanting to make a film version of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” with Danny DeVito and Bob Hoskins. DeVito later reads the interview and contacts Phil about actually making the movie. Hoskins also signs on (as well as Kim Basinger as Goldilocks) but the film is never made.