Author: Neil Cossar

Publisher: Omnibus Press, a Division of Music Sales Limited

ISBN: 978-1-84938-543-5

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I would wager that 99% of those who pick up This Day in Music turn immediately to their own birthdays to see who was born on the same day. The other 1% are those who insist on reading any book—even when it is arranged in a day-by-day calendar format such as this—from beginning to end. Either approach works, as This Day in Music is fun and enlightening any way you slice it.

Based on Neil Cossar’s winning formula for the website he started in 1999, at practically the dawn of the Internet, This Day in Music devotes a page to each day of the year, chronicling the significant and interesting events throughout the history of contemporary music. Cossar covers not only birthdays, but the momentous, career-altering news of the music world. Many of the highlights and milestones are obscure tidbits that he might have made note of as they happened, given his background. He was a guitarist in the group The Cheaters and continued in the music industry as a radio DJ and a PR rep with partner Liz Sanchez. He definitely has the expertise necessary to designate what should be saved for the record, although some of the more obscure listings are just humorous, such as May 27, 1964, when “Eleven boys are suspended from a school in Coventry, England, for having Mick Jagger haircuts.”

Big names and more obscure, all the best of the music world are here, following the chronological arrangement that the book’s name implies. Although it’s not possible to translate the interactive aspects of the website into book form, many of the same features fill the back pages of the volume in “Did You Know?,” “My First Record” (the first recording owned by various musicians, with The Beatles heavily represented), “My Name Is,” a list of artist aliases and the names their parents actually bestowed, “Working 9 to 5,” jobs the greats had before they became great, “My First Gig,” stage acts that introduced musicians to the performance arts, and “Chart Facts,” some of the firsts, longests, and mosts of the industry.

I enjoyed the book more than the website for the simple fact that to me, a book is more easily navigable than a site. Reading the factoids became somewhat addictive, and I found that a simple “I’ll just read the list for today” would become a half-hour perusal of today’s, tomorrow’s, and next week’s facts as well. The photographs of musicians in their prime as well as pictures of notable album covers, favorite instruments, and great performances add to the readability.

This is the updated version of the book Cossar published in 2005, which was also based on the website’s info. Because he is apparently still compiling and updating the website with new information, this update provides a wonderful snapshot trip down memory lane as well as reminders of more recent events. Any music lover or trivia master would appreciate a copy for their coffee table.

Click Here To Purchase This Day in Music