Composer Benjamin Britten accepts a life peerage, only a few months before his death.
Brian Wilson performs on stage with The Beach Boys for the first time in three years at a Day on the Green concert in Oakland, California.
July 4 – Many outdoor festivals and shows are held all over the United States as the country celebrates its bicentennial. Elton John performs for 62,000 at Shaffer Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, while The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac play for 36,000 at Tampa Stadium, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top draw 35,000 at Memphis Memorial Stadium and Elvis Presley performs for 11,974 at the Mabee Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
July 7 – 50,000 fans brave the rain in New York to attend a free Jefferson Starship concert in Central Park.
July 27 – Tina Turner files for divorce from husband Ike.
August 5 – Eric Clapton provokes an uproar over comments he makes on stage at a Birmingham concert, voicing his opposition to immigration using multiple racial slurs while exhorting the audience to support Enoch Powell and to “keep Britain white”.
August 11 – Keith Moon is rushed to hospital for the second time in five months, collapsing after trashing his Miami hotel room.
August 13 – The official ABBA logo with the reversed ‘B’ is adopted.
August 16 – Cliff Richard becomes one of the first Western artists ever to perform in the Soviet Union when he gives a concert in Leningrad.
August 21 – An estimated 120,000 fans pack Knebworth House to see The Rolling Stones. Todd Rundgren, Lynyrd Skynyrd and 10cc also perform.
August 25 – Boston release their eponymous debut studio album, Boston.
August 31 – A U.S. district court decision rules that George Harrison had “subconsciously” copied The Chiffons’ hit “He’s So Fine” when he wrote the song “My Sweet Lord”.
September 1 – Ode Records president Lou Adler is kidnapped at his Malibu home and released eight hours later after a $25,000 ransom is paid. Two suspects are soon arrested.
September 3 – Rory Gallagher joins the short list of Western popular musicians to perform behind the Iron Curtain with a show in Warsaw, Poland.
September 8 – In a candid interview appearing in the October 7 edition of Rolling Stone published today, Elton John publicly discloses his bisexuality for the first time.
September 14 – The one-hour Bob Dylan concert special Hard Rain airs on NBC, coinciding with the release of the live album of the same name.
Queen performs a massive free concert at London’s Hyde Park for over 150,000 people.
The second annual Rock Music Awards air on CBS. Peter Frampton wins Rock Personality of the Year, while Fleetwood Mac wins for Best Group and Best Album.
September 20-21 – 100 Club Punk Festival, the first international punk festival is held in London. Siouxsie and the Banshees play their first concert.
September 25 – Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr form a band called Feedback in Dublin. The band would later be renamed U2.
October 2 – Joe Cocker performs a duet of “Feelin’ Alright” with himself (as portrayed by John Belushi) on Saturday Night Live.
October 8 – English punk rock group the Sex Pistols sign a contract with EMI Records.
October 11 – Irish singer Joe Dolan is banned for life by Aer Lingus after an air rage incident en route to Corfu from Dublin.
October 20 – The Led Zeppelin concert film The Song Remains the Same premieres at Cinema I in New York.
October 31 – George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic begin “The P-Funk/Rubber Band Earth Tour” in Houston, a national live series highlighting one of the biggest and revolutionary stage shows in the history of the music industry (the rock group Kiss would be the other group to do a similar act), relying on elaborate costumes, special lighting and effects, and extremely large props including “the Mothership”, which would arrive and land on stage, all of what this band is generally known for. This live set would vary in length (on average of 3 to 5 hours long) and at high volume.
November 18 – Former Tower of Power lead singer Rick Stevens and another person are found guilty on two counts of murder.
Thin Lizzy are forced to cancel their U.S. tour when guitarist Brian Robertson injures his hand in a bar fight.
Jerry Lee Lewis is arrested after showing up drunk outside Graceland at 3 a.m., waving a pistol and loudly demanding to see Elvis Presley. Presley denied his request.
November 25 – The Band gives its last public performance; Martin Scorsese is on hand to film it.
November 26 – The Sex Pistols’ debut single “Anarchy in the U.K.” is released by EMI.
December 1 – The Sex Pistols appear on Thames Television’s Today show as a last-minute replacement for Queen. The group causes a national outcry after swearing on the show.
December 2 – The Bee Gees perform at Madison Square Garden and donate the proceeds to the Police Athletic League in New York. In January 1979, they will receive the Police Athletic League’s “Superstars of the Year” award.
A Pink Floyd album cover shoot in South London goes awry when a large inflatable pig balloon being used for the shoot breaks free of its moorings and drifts out of sight.
Bob Marley and several others are injured when gunmen burst into his home in Kingston, Jamaica and open fire.
The Carpenters air their “Very First Television Special” on ABC.
The Eagles release Hotel California.
December 12 – Ace Frehley is shocked on stage during a Kiss concert in Lakeland, Florida after touching an ungrounded metal railing. The incident inspires the song “Shock Me”.
December 31 – The fifth annual New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special airs on ABC, with performances by Donna Summer, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, The Four Seasons, and KC and the Sunshine Band.
Also in 1976
The last practitioner of the rekuhkara form of throat-singing dies, in Hokkaido, Japan.
Tenor Franco Corelli retires from the stage at the age of 55.
Cheryl Byron performs rapso in calypso tents for the first time, beginning the popularization of rapso.
Peter Brown’s solo career begins.
Peter Tosh’s solo career begins.
Bunny Wailer’s solo career begins.
Leif Garrett’s solo career begins.
.38 Special’s musical career begins.
Y&T (Yesterday & Today)’s musical career begins.
Sergio Franchi becomes TV spokesman for Chrysler Corporation’s Plymouth “Volare” and media spokesman for Hills Brothers coffee.
Steve Martin signs a contract with Warner Bros.
Eddie Money signs a contract with CBS.
“Ten Percent”, by Double Exposure, becomes the first 12-inch single commercially available to the public (as opposed to DJ-only promotional copies).
The Chinese Music Society of North America is founded.
Gabin Dabiré embarks on a tour of Italy. – Wikipedia