April 20, 1939
The first civil rights song, “Strange Fruit,” an Abel Meeropol poem originally titled “Bitter Fruit” and later set to music, was recorded by Billie Holiday. It became Holliday’s biggest record success
The first single by 13-year-old Dolly Parton was released on Gold Band Records. It was called “Puppy Love.” and it would become a hit record in the 1970s for the anti-lgbtq2 mormon Donny Osmond.
Aretha Franklin enjoyed a third straight week at #1 on the R&B chart with “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone”. and was on the pop chart at #5
Barbra Streisand recorded “We’ve Only Just Begun.”
1974“Bennie And The Jets” fell to #2 for Elton John,
single charts: Madonna #2 with “Crazy For You”
LP Charts: Madonna with Like a Virgin at 6, Wham’s #7 album Make It Big
Vladimir Horowitz returned to Russia to perform after being away for almost 60 years. Horowitz, who denied being homosexual, once joked, “[t]here are three kinds of pianists: Jewish pianists, homosexual pianists, and bad pianists.”
Madonna signed a deal with Time Warner to set up a multimedia company. The reported $60 million deal made her the highest-paid woman in pop music.
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert was held at London’s Wembley Stadium. Def Leppard, Lisa Stansfield, Elton John, David Bowie, Robert Plant, Annie Lennox, Guns N’ Roses, Roger Daltrey, George Michael, Metallica, Liza Minnelli, Spinal Tap, and the three remaining members of Queen performed Freddie’s major hits. Elizabeth Taylor also appeared. The concert was televised to more than 1 billion viewers worldwide and is listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as “The largest rock star benefit concert.”
April 20, 1994
At Wembley Stadium, Barbra Streisand gave her first London concert in 28 years.
Celine Dion was #1 for the fifth week out of six eventually with “Because You Loved Me”. Mariah Carey could not top her with the #2 “Always Be My Baby”.