This Day in Music History: October 22

1969 Paul McCartney denies being dead in response to a storm of rumors about his demise.
The rumors, which were then concentrated in London, started when McCartney was involved in a paul is deadcar accident in 1967. The Beatles Book fanzine denied the story and it faded away.

However in September of 1969, a Drake University student newspaper published the headline story “Is Beatle Paul McCartney Dead?” The paper talked about a rumor going around the campus that McCartney had died in 1966, and had been replaced by a double. The paper cited various “clues” from recent Beatles albums, including the song “Revolution 9” from The White Album, which when played backwards allegedly including the line, “Turn me on, dead man”.
The most famous “clue,” the cover of Abbey Road showing McCartney walking barefoot, originated with a satirical review of the album written by University of Michigan student Fred LaBour. He made up the interpretation of the cover as a funeral procession, and was amazed when other newspapers picked up the story as fact.

Despite Paul McCartney’s 34-year career since 1969, there are people who still believe that Paul is actually dead.

In 2012, an amusing indie mockumentary called “Paul McCartney Really Is Dead” was released to the public, just to confuse the matter further.

The Abbey Road album cover

The Abbey Road album cover

Other events on this day in history

1883 The New York Metropolitan Opera House opens with Charles Gounod’s “Faust”
1961 Chubby Checker performs medley of “The Twist” and “Let’s Twist Again” on the Ed Sullivan Show, propelling “The Twist” to #1 for second time
1964 The Who, then known as The High Numbers, audition for EMI and are turned down
1966 Aerosmith, then known as Chain Reaction, opens for The Yardbirds at Staples High School in Westport, CT
-The Supremes become first female group with #1 album on the U.S. charts with The Supremes A’ Go-Go, replacing the Beatles’ Revolver
1969 Led Zeppelin II released in the U.K
1990 The band Mookie Blaylock (soon to be Pearl Jam) play first gig at Seattle Off-Ramp – members of Soundgarden and Seattle Mariners pitcher Randy Johnson are there
1993 Oasis signs 6-album deal with Creation Records
1976 The Damned release first British punk single, “New Rose”
1997 Italy’s regulators determine BMG, EMI, PolyGram, Sony and Warner Music have formed cartel to cut out competitors – companies fined equivalent of $4.5 million
1999 The Temptations finally get platinum when their 56th album, Phoenix Rising, sells millionth copy
2000 REM play a 3-song concert on the steps of the Athens Clarke County Courthouse in hometown Athens, GA to benefit Land Aid
2008 Guns ‘N Roses release title track from album Chinese Democracy, their first new material since 1999
2012 Garth Brooks inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame

Billboard #1 Singles

1950 “Goodnight Irene” Gordon Jenkins and The Weavers
1955 “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing” The Four Aces
1960 “Save the Last Dance for Me” The Drifters
1965 “Yesterday” The Beatles
1970 “I’ll Be There” The Jackson 5
1975 “Bad Blood” Neil Sedaka
1980 “Another One Bites the Dust” Queen
1985 “Take On Me” a-ha
1990 “I Don’t Have the Heart” James Ingram
1995 “Fantasy” Mariah Carey
2000 “Come on Over Baby (All I Want is You) Christina Aguilera
2005 “Gold Digger” Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx
2010 “Just the Way You Are” Bruno Mars


1811 Franz Liszt (pianist)
1832 Leopold Damrosch, New York Philharmonic founder
1942 Bobby Fuller (The Bobby Fuller 4)
1946 Eddie Brigati (The Young Rascals)
1968 Shaggy
1976 Joe Foreman (Switchfoot)
1985 Zac Hanson (Hanson)


1969 Tommy Edwards (American singer), brain aneurism, age 47
1986 Jane Dornacker (The Tubes, Leila and the Snakes), helicopter crash, age 39
1989 Ewan McColl (singer, songwriter, poet, record producer), age 74
1997 Harry Goodman (brother of Benny Goodman), age 91
2005 Franky Gee (Captain Jack), cerebral hemorrhage, age 43