1928:

Delta bluesman Son House begins a two-year stint in Parchman Farm prison after fatally shooting a man at a house party in Lyon, Mississippi.

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Music Timeline

1928:

Delta bluesman Son House begins a two-year stint in Parchman Farm prison after fatally shooting a man at a house party in Lyon, Mississippi.

May, 1937:

Honky-tonk singer Rex Griffin records "The Last Letter," a suicide note set to music.

1943:

In downtown LA, a clash between sailors from Chavez Ravine Naval Base and local Hispanic gangs—"zoot suiters"—explodes into several nights of rioting. Fifty-five years later, the Cherry Poppin' Daddies exploited the incident and started a different sort of "Zoot Suit Riot."

1952:

Future legend Merle Haggard declared incorrigible by the courts and sent to the high-security Preston School of Industry for 15 months. With another PSI "graduate," the 16-year-old Haggard robs and beats another teen, landing him back in PSI.

April 3, 1961:

Self-proclaimed "King of Western Swing" Spade Cooley stomps his wife to death as their daughter watches.

May 26, 1968:

R&B singer Little Willie John dies of pneumonia in Washington State Penitentiary, where he's serving time for stabbing a man.

1962:

Brooklyn girl group the Crystals releases their third single, a Carole King/Gerry Goffin song called "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)," setting an unfortunate precedent for everyone from Tina Turner to Pamela Anderson Lee.

Summer, 1963:

Shortly after breaking up the Louvin Brothers, the gospel/country duo he started with his brother Charlie, Ira Loudermilk gets drunk and argues with Faye, his third wife. The resulting shooting nearly kills Ira.

December 11, 1964:

LA motel manager Bertha Franklin kills Sam Cooke. Franklin claims that she is acting in self-defense after seeing Cooke rape another woman. The shooting is ruled justifiable homicide.

1966:

Tom Jones releases A-tom-ic Jones, with a cover depicting him in front of a nuclear explosion.

July 18, 1966:

Loraine Fuller discovers the body of her son, surf guitarist Bobby Fuller, bloody and in rigor mortis, draped across the front seat of her Oldsmobile.

1974:

Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting" becomes a number-one hit, launching a pop music flirtation with martial arts that continues to this day.

February, 1977:

Pete Townshend scuffles with a London photographer who's trying to take a picture of the Who guitarist talking to Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook.

Oct. 11, 1978:

Former Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious stabs his girlfriend Nancy Spungeon in room 100 of New York's Chelsea Hotel.

Dec. 3, 1979:

Fans stampede into concert by the Who at Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum. Eleven die.

March 1980:

Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde spends night in jail after kicking out the window of a police car.

January 18, 1981:

Plasmatics singer Wendy O. Williams is charged with battery in Milwaukee after the local cops try to arrest her for onstage obscenity.

April 1, 1984:

The day before his 45th birthday, soul legend Marvin Gaye is shot and killed by his father, Rev. Marvin Gaye, Sr. during a domestic dispute.

October, 1984:

A Rolling Stone article lists suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Jerry Lee Lewis's fifth wife, Shawn Michelle Stevens: blood and bruises on her body, broken glass on the floor, and a sack of bloodstained clothes nearby.

July 31, 1987:

The best-selling debut album in history, Guns N' Roses' Appetite For Destruction, is released. The cover artwork, a Robert Williams cartoon depicting the aftermath of a rape, causes so much controversy that the band moves it to the inside jacket.

February, 1989:

Groundbreaking Jamaican producer King Tubby is murdered outside his house during a burglary.

July 3, 1990:

Slick Rick shoots his cousin on a Bronx street corner, then crashes his car during the ensuing police chase.

1991:

Agonized screams become all the rage when Nirvana's Nevermind knocks Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks, U2, and Hammer from the top of the charts.

1991:

Puff Daddy promotes an AIDS benefit basketball game at the City College of New York, where a stampede for seats leaves nine people dead and 29 injured.

May, 1993:

British drummer Hugh Whitaker is found guilty of assaulting one James Hewitt with an axe and setting fire to his house three times.

1993:

The brutal rape and murder of singer Mia Zapata leads to the formation of self-defense organization Home Alive.

July 4, 1995:

Backstage at the Gorge Amphitheater, Hole singer Courtney Love punches Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna.

Sept. 13, 1996:

Death Row recording artist Tupac Shakur is shot at close range while being driven to a charity event in Las Vegas. Suspicion immediately falls on East Coast rival Puff Daddy's Big Boy posse. Tupac dies six days later. The murder remains unsolved.

March 9, 1997:

Big Boy recording artist the Notorious B.I.G. is shot and killed in a car while returning from the Soul Train Awards in Los Angeles. Suspicion immediately falls on West Coast rivals in the Death Row camp. The murder remains unsolved.

Sept. 20, 1997:

A crowd of 700 loots and vandalizes several downtown Seattle businesses. The riot is alleged to have begun after several people are turned away from a local DJ's private party at the Showbox.

Nov. 23, 1998:

Then-Spin editor Craig Marks is allegedly threatened by Marilyn Manson and assaulted by two bodyguards.

April 15, 1999:

Three men burst into Interscope Records exec Steve Stoute's office and beat him with chairs, a telephone, and a champagne bottle. The next day Puff Daddy is arrested. Two months later, the rapper settles out of court.

July 25, 1999:

The Woodstock '99 music festival concludes in a conflagration of rioting, rape, and vandalism. Members of the crowd start fires with candles that were handed out for an anti-gun violence demonstration.

 
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