50 years ago today Neil Young joined Crosby, Stills and Nash on stage for the first time, playing at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago—a collaboration that would continue on and off for the next 30 years. Young was originally offered a position as a sideman, but agreed to join only if he received full membership, and the group—winners of the 1969 Grammy for Best New Artist—was renamed Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. At the show, they mentioned they were going to someplace called Woodstock the next day, but they had no idea where that was.
The band’s second show at the massive Woodstock festival was a “baptism by fire,” with a crowd of famous performers looking on from offstage prompting Stills to say, “This is only the second time we’ve performed in front of people. We’re scared shitless!” Soon after, their recording of the Joni Mitchell song, Woodstock, along with other hits like Teach Your Children and Our House on the debut album, Déjà Vu in 1970, sealed their prominence in rock history. Later that year, Young released his third solo album, After the Gold Rush, which featured, his former bandmate from Buffalo Springfield, Stephen Stills. WATCH Wooden Ships from Woodstock… (1969)
Neil Young refused to be filmed on stage that day, but played on this performance, with historic footage of the festival in a montage over the recording…
MORE Good News on this Day:
- The first transatlantic telegraph cable was inaugurated by U.S. President Buchanan who exchanged greetings with UK’s Queen Victoria (1858)
- Dominican Republic gained freedom after four-year war against Spanish Annexation (1865)
- First female students admitted to the (Imperial) Tōhoku University of Japan (1913)
- 65 years ago today, Sports Illustrated was first published by Time Inc. (1954)
- Britain granted independence to Cyprus (1960)
- Ringo Starr replaced Pete Best to become the drummer for The Beatles (1962)
- Thousands of people worldwide began a two-day celebration of the “harmonic convergence,” a planetary alignment with the Sun, Moon and six planets, which believers marked as the start of a new, more enlightened age (1987)
Also on this day in 1960, as part of research into high altitude bailouts, Air Force Captain Joseph Kittinger parachuted from a balloon at 102,800 feet (31,330 meters) over New Mexico, setting four historical records: highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump, longest drogue-fall (four minutes), and fastest speed by a human without an aircraft.
The Tampa-born retired Colonel fell for 19 miles and reached a maximum speed of 614 miles per hour (988 km/h). In 2012, at the age of 84, he participated in the Red Bull Stratos project as capsule communicator, directing Felix Baumgartner on his record-breaking 39-kilometer (24 mi) freefall from Earth’s stratosphere. (Click to enlarge the USAF photo documenting his jump, and read more on Wikipedia.)
Also, Happy 61st Birthday to the incomparable Madonna, who has been counting down the days to the big ‘60’ on Twitter with her 2.26 million followers. Over the last 12 years, the singer–songwriter–actress has opened her wallet to help revitalize Detroit in her home state of Michigan, and built 10 primary schools in Malawi, where she has adopted several children and supported other charity initiatives. She has also started many businesses (cosmetics, fashion, fitness, and a pub), directed acclaimed films, and made more money touring than any other solo artist overall. (1958)
Having sold more than 300 million records worldwide, Madonna is recognized as the best-selling female recording artist of all time worldwide. According to Billboard, Madonna is the most successful solo act on its Hot 100 song chart and second overall behind the Beatles.
Other Notable Birthdays: James Cameron (65), Director of Titanic, Aliens, Avatar, and The Terminator series; Timothy Hutton (59), Actor–Ordinary People; Steve Carell (57) Actor and comedian–The Office