May 19th: On this day
1960, American DJ Alan Freed was indicted along with seven others for accepting $30,650 in payola from six record companies. Two years later, he was convicted and given a suspended sentence and a $300 fine.
1967, The Beatles held a press party at manager’s Brian Epstein’s house in London for the launch of the Sgt. Pepper album. Linda Eastman was hired as the press photographer.
1973, Stevie Wonder went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘You Are The Sunshine Of My Life’. His third US No.1, won Wonder a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. This song was the second single released from the album ‘Talking Book’.
1973, Paul Simon released the single ‘Kodachrome’ named after the Kodak 35mm film Kodachrome which became a No.2 hit in the US. It was not released as a single in Britain, because the BBC would not play the trademarked name.
1976, Rolling Stone Keith Richards crashed his car near Newport Pagnell, Bucks, after falling asleep at the wheel; marijuana and cocaine were found by the police resulting in another fine for the guitarist.
1978, Dire Straits released their first major label single ‘Sultans Of Swing’, recorded on a £120 budget. The song was first recorded as a demo at Pathway Studios, North London, in July 1977, and quickly acquired a following after it was put on rotation at Radio London.
1979, ABBA started a four week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘Voulez-Vous’ the group’s fourth No.1 album.
1979, Eric Clapton held a party at his Surrey house celebrating his recent marriage to Patti Boyd. Clapton had set-up a small stage in the garden and as the evening progressed, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr ended up jamming together along with Clapton, Ginger Baker and Mick Jagger. The all-star band ran through old Little Richard and Eddie Cochran songs.
1979, Supertramp went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Breakfast In America’, the group’s only US No.1. It featured three US Billboard hit singles: ‘The Logical Song’, ‘Goodbye Stranger’ and ‘Take the Long Way Home’.
1980, Ringo Starr and his future wife were involved in a car crash less than half a mile from where Marc Bolan was killed, the car was a write-off but Starr and Bach were not seriously injured.
1984, Bob Marley and the Wailers started a 12-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with the compilation album ‘Legend’, released to commemorate the third anniversary of Marley’s death.
1988, James Brown was arrested for the fifth time in 12 months, following a car chase near his home, he was charged with assault, resisting arrest and being in charge of illegal weapons, he was given a 6 year jail sentence.
1990, Madonna started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Vogue’. Originally planned as a B-side, it became the singers eighth US No.1 and seventh UK No.1 hit.
2001, Mike Sammes founder of The Mike Sammes Singers died aged 73. He worked with Tom Jones, Cliff Richard and featured on The Beatles, ‘I Am the Walrus’, and ‘The Long And Winding Road.’
2007, Lawyers for Michael Jackson dropped an effort to block an auction of the star’s personal belongings and other Jackson family items. An agreement was reached with representatives of an auctioneer, who was the current owner of the materials, and a New Jersey man who claimed to own a warehouse full of Jackson memorabilia after a failed business venture wound up in bankruptcy court.
2010, ‘Stairway To Heaven’ was named the UK’s favourite rock song in a survey by listeners to radio station Absolute Classic Rock. Led Zeppelin had two other tracks in the top 10; ‘Whole Lotta Love’ was voted at No. 4 and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’, from the group’s fourth album, was at No. 7.
2013, A guitar played by John Lennon and George Harrison sold for $408,000 (£269,000) at auction. The custom-made instrument, built in 1966 by VOX was bought by an unidentified US buyer in New York. Harrison played ‘I Am the Walrus’, on the guitar in a scene from Magical Mystery Tour in 1967. Lennon used it in a video for ‘Hello, Goodbye’ later that year. After playing the guitar, Lennon gave it as a 25th birthday present to Alexis “Magic Alex” Mardas, a member of The Beatles’ inner circle in the 1960s.
2015, Lee Ryan became the fourth and final member of Blue to declare himself bankrupt. Lee became the last member of the chart-topping boyband – who earned more than £80million after selling in excess of 15million records worldwide – to file for bankruptcy, following in the financial footsteps of his band mates Simon Webbe, Antony Costa and Duncan James.
May 19th: Born on this day
1932, Born on this day, Alma Cogan, UK singer, (1955 UK No.1 single ‘Dreamboat’, plus 20 other UK Top 40 hits). Youngest female to top the charts during the 50’s. She died of stomach cancer on 26th October 1966.
1945, Born on this day, Pete Townshend, guitar, vocals, The Who, (1965 UK No.2 single ‘My Generation’ 1967 US No.9 single ‘I Can See For Miles’ plus over 20 other UK Top 40 hit singles, 16 US Top 40 singles and rock opera albums ‘Tommy’ & ‘Quadrophenia’). Townshend became known for his eccentric stage style during the band’s early days, swinging his right arm against the guitar strings in his signature move; a windmill style, often smashing guitars on stage.
1947, Born on this day, Greg Herbert, Blood Sweat & Tears, (1969 US No.2 single ‘Spinning Wheel’). Herbert died of an accidental drug overdose 31st January 1977.
1948, Born on this day, Tom Scott, saxophonist, the L.A. Express worked with Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Steely Dan. Composer of film soundtracks & TV shows.
1949, Born on this day, Dusty Hill, bass, keyboardist, and co-vocalist with ZZ Top, (1984 US No.8 and 1985 UK No.16 single ‘Legs’). ZZ Top has had global album sales in excess of 50 million as of 2014. Along with his brother Rocky Hill and future fellow ZZ Top member Frank Beard, Hill played in local Dallas bands the Warlocks, the Cellar Dwellers, and American Blues.
1950, Born on this day, Romeo Challenger, Showaddywaddy, (1976 UK No.1 single ‘Under The Moon Of Love’, plus over 20 other UK Top 40 singles).
1952, Born on this day, Grace Jones, singer, model, (1985 UK No.12 single ‘Slave To The Rhythm’).
1952, Born on this day, Jeffrey Hyman, (Joey Ramone), vocals, the Ramones, 1977 UK No.22 single ‘Sheena Is A Punk Rocker’. He died on 15th April 2001 after losing a long battle with lymphatic cancer aged 49. On November 30, 2003, a block of East 2nd Street in New York City was officially renamed Joey Ramone Place.
1954, Born on this day, Phil Rudd, drums, AC/DC, from 1975 through 1983, and again from 1994 to 2015, (1980 UK No.36 single ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ and 1980 UK No.1 & US No.14 album Back In Black sold over 49 million copies). On 6 November 2014 Rudd was arrested and charged with attempting to procure a murder, threatening to kill, possession of methamphetamine and possession of cannabis, following a police raid on his home.
1956, Born on this day, Martyn Ware, Heaven 17, (1983 UK No.2 single ‘Temptation’), Human League, (1981 UK No.1 single ‘Don’t You Want Me’ plus over 15 other UK Top 40 singles).
1960, Born on this day, Yasmin Evans, (Yazz), singer, (1988 UK No.1 single ‘The Only Way Is Up’).
1962, Born on this day, Iain Harvie, guitarist, Del Amitri, (1990 UK No.11 single ‘Nothing Ever Happens’).
1963, Born on this day, Ben Volperliere, Curiosity Killed The Cat, (1989 UK No.14 single ‘Name And Number’).
1968, Born on this day, Paul Hartnoll, Orbital, (1996 UK No.11 single ‘The Box’).
1970, Born on this day, Attrell Cordes, Prince Be, PM Dawn, (1991 US No.1 & UK No.3 single ‘Set Adrift On Memory Bliss’). He died on June 17, 2016, of renal disease, caused by complications of diabetes, at the age of 46 at a hospital in Neptune City, New Jersey.
1970, Born on this day, Stuart Cable, drums, Stereophonics, (2001 UK No.5 single ‘Have A Nice Day’). Left the band in 2003. Presented his own Cable TV show in Wales and worked for BBC Radio Wales. Cable was found dead at him home near Aberdare in Wales on 7th June 2010 aged 40.
1972, Born on this day, Jenny Berggren, singer, songwriter, Ace Of Base, (1993 UK No.1 single ‘All That She Wants’, 1994 US No.1 single ‘The Sign’).