“Silent Night” (German: Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht) is a popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria.
The song was first performed on Christmas Eve 1818 at St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, a village in the Austrian Empire on the Salzach river in present-day Austria. A young priest, Father Joseph Mohr, had come to Oberndorf the year before. He had already written the lyrics of the song “Stille Nacht” in 1816 at Mariapfarr, the hometown of his father in the Salzburg Lungau region, where Joseph had worked as a co-adjutor.
The melody was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber, schoolmaster and organist in the nearby village of Arnsdorf. Before Christmas Eve, Mohr brought the words to Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment for the church service. Both performed the carol during the mass on the night of December 24.
1965, The Beatles had the No.1 album in the US for the third Christmas in a row. Rubber Soul was at the top of the LP chart, following Beatles For Sale in 1964 and With The Beatles in 1963.
1976, The Eagles sixth album, Hotel California spent the first of eight non-consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard chart. The band’s first LP with Joe Walsh and last with bassist Randy Meisner which has now sold over 16 million copies.
1945, Born on this day, Lemmy, English musician, singer, and songwriter who founded and fronted the rock band Motorhead. Lemmy played in several rock groups in the 1960s, including the Rockin’ Vickers and worked as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix and the Nice, before joining the space rock band Hawkwind in 1971, singing lead on their hit ‘Silver Machine’. He died on 28 December 2015 following a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer.
1946, Born on this day, Jan Akkerman, guitar, Focus, (1973 UK No.4 single ‘Sylvia’, 1973 US No. 9 single ‘Hocus Pocus’).