Historically speaking, this week in rock music has been marked by a trove of memorable events. Great Britain’s most influential hard rock band kicked off their first American tour, a country music icon passed away at a tragically young age, and a spectacularly popular Swedish pop group performed onstage for the last time. A spate of classic albums was released as well, including landmark records by Bob Dylan, The Stooges and Rush. Read on for a look back at other significant moments that shaped rock and roll during this historically eventful week. 

Events

1953 – Country music icon Hank Williams dies of a heart attack. He is just 29. More than 20,000 mourners attend his funeral. 

1960 – Johnny Cash plays the first of his prison concerts, performing for inmates at San Quentin. Among those in the audience is Merle Haggard. 

1961 – The Beach Boys perform under their just-adopted bandname for the first time, earning $300 for a show staged in Long Beach, California. 

1963 – Capitol Records issues the first Beatles single to be released in America: “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” backed by “I Saw Her Standing There.” 

1967 – The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour film debuts on Great Britain’s BBC television network. 

Beatles

1968 – The Miami Pop Festival is staged, making it the first major rock festival held on America’s East Coast. Performers include Chuck Berry, Fleetwood Mac, The Box Tops, Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly and The Grateful Dead, among others. 

1968 – Led Zeppelin kicks off their very first U.S. tour, opening in Denver, Colorado, for Vanilla Fudge and Spirit. 

1973 – AC/DC make their performance debut in Sydney, Australia. 

1974 – Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham are asked to join Fleetwood Mac. 

1975 – The Faces formally disband. 

1980 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy album begins an eight-week run atop the U.S. album charts. 

1982 – ABBA make their final live appearance, performing in Stockholm, Sweden. 

1984 – Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen loses his left arm after crashing his Corvette. He continues on as a member of the band. 

1985 – Country rock icon Rick Nelson is killed, along with six other passengers, when the chartered airplane in which they are flying crashes in Texas. 

Rick Nelson

1999 – George Harrison suffers a serious stab wound after a mentally disturbed intruder breaks into the ex-Beatles’ home. Harrison’s injuries include a collapsed lung. 

2005 – Pink Floyd are voted the greatest-ever rock stars in a poll conducted by U.K. radio station Planet Rock. More than 50,000 listeners participate in the survey. 

2010 – Soundgarden reunites. 

Releases

1967 – Bob Dylan: John Wesley Harding

Bob Dylan

1967 – Leonard Cohen: The Songs of Leonard Cohen

1969 – Grand Funk Railroad: Grand Funk

1969 – Blue Cheer: Blue Cheer

1971 – America: America

1971 – The Byrds: Farther Along

1971 – The Electric Light Orchestra: Electric Light Orchestra

1972 – The Rolling Stones: Hot Rocks

1973 – Thin Lizzy: Vagabonds of the Western World

1973 – The Stooges: Raw Power

Stooges

1974 – Joni Mitchell: Court and Spark

1975 – Emmylou Harris – Elite Hotel

1975 – Bachman-Turner Overdrive: Head On

1976 – Genesis: Wind & Wuthering

1976 – Blondie: Blondie

1979 – Todd Rundgren’s Utopia: Adventures in Utopia

1980 – Warren Zevon: Stand in the Fire

1980 -- Steve Winwood: Arc of a Diver

1980 – Rush: Permanent Waves

1981 – Badfinger: Say No More

1982 – Neil Young: Trans

1984 – Los Lobos: How Will the Wolf Survive?

1987 – Anthrax: I’m the Man

Deaths

Hank Williams – Jan. 1, 1953 

Hank Williams

Bert Berns (writer of “Hang on Sloopy” and “Twist and Shout”) – Dec. 30, 1967 

Freddie King – Dec. 28, 1976 

Chris Bell (Big Star) – Dec. 27, 1978 

Chris Bell

Tim Hardin – Dec. 29, 1980 

Dennis Wilson – Dec. 28, 1983 

Alex Korner – Jan. 1, 1984 

Rick Nelson – Dec. 31, 1985 

Clarence “Satch” Satchell (The Ohio Players) – Dec. 30, 1995 

Ted Hawkins – Jan. 1, 1995 

Townes Van Zandt – Jan. 1, 1997 

Floyd Cramer – Dec. 31, 1997 

Curtis Mayfield – Dec. 26, 1999 

Meri Wilson – Dec. 28, 2002 

Hank Garland – Dec. 27, 2004 

Delaney Bramlett – Dec. 27, 2008 

Stevie Wright (The Easybeats) – Dec. 27, 2015 

Lemmy Kilmister – Dec. 28, 2015 

Births

Pops Staples – Dec. 28, 1915 

Johnny Otis – Dec. 28, 1921 

Bo Diddley – Dec. 30, 1928 

Odetta – Dec. 31, 1930 

Scotty Moore – Dec. 27, 1931 

Del Shannon – Dec. 30, 1934 

Felix Pappalardi (Mountain) – Dec. 30, 1939 

Phil Spector – Dec. 26, 1940 

Mike Pinder (The Moody Blues) – Dec. 27, 1941 

Ray Thomas (The Moody Blues) – Dec. 29, 1941 

Rick Danko (The Band) – Dec. 29, 1942 

Michael Nesmith (The Monkees) – Dec. 30, 1942 

Pete Sinfield (King Crimson) – Dec. 27, 1943 

John Denver – Dec. 31, 1943 

Mick Jones (Foreigner) – Dec. 27, 1944 

Davy Jones (The Monkees) – Dec. 30, 1945 

Edgar Winter – Dec. 28, 1946 

Marianne Faithfull – Dec. 29, 1946 

Patti Smith – Dec. 30, 1946 

Cozy Powell – Dec. 29, 1947 

Jeff Lynne – Dec. 30, 1947 

Burton Cummings (The Guess Who) – Dec. 31, 1947 

Donna Summer – Dec. 31, 1948 

Alex Chilton – Dec. 28, 1950 

Morgan Fisher (Mott the Hoople) – Jan. 1, 1950 

David Knopfler (Dire Straits) – Dec. 27, 1951 

Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) – Dec. 31, 1951 

Andy Johns (Producer) – Jan. 1, 1952 

Paul Westerberg – Dec. 31, 1959 

Paul Westerberg

Jim Reid (The Jesus and Mary Chain) – Dec. 29, 1961 

Lars Ulrich – Dec. 26, 1963 

Dexter Holland (The Offspring) – Dec. 29, 1965