In 1977, the film “Saturday Night Fever,” starring John Travolta as a disco dancer, premiered in New York. The movie was largely responsible for the spread of the disco craze. Its soundtrack, featuring hits by the Bee Gees, Kool & The Gang and KC & The Sunshine Band, would become the best-selling LP of all time until Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was released in 1984.
In 1980, fans around the world paid tribute to John Lennon, six days after he was shot to death in New York City. A 10-minute silent vigil was held at the request of Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Radio stations either observed the silence or played Beatles records.
In 1984, Madonna scored her first number-one hit, “Like a Virgin.”
In 1991, the Scorpions rocked the Kremlin with a private performance of their hit song “Wind of Change.” The German heavy metal band also presented Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev with $62 thousand dollars (U.S.) in humanitarian aid. The money came from sales of the Russian-language version of “Wind of Change.” The song, originally with English lyrics, was written after the Scorpions played played the Soviet Union in 1988 and ’89.
In 1998, Grammy-winning musician Billy Preston pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to insurance fraud and agreed to testify against six other defendants. They were alleged to have set fires, staged thefts and rigged auto crashes in 18 bogus insurance claims. Preston was already serving time for violating probation on a cocaine conviction.