May 26th: On this day
1933, American country singer Jimmie Rodgers who was among the first country music superstars and pioneers, died from a pulmonary hemorrhage while staying at the Taft Hotel; he was only 35 years old.
1962, Acker Bilk went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Stranger On The Shore’; it became a million seller in the UK making No.2 on the charts.
1964, Marianne Faithful recorded the Mick Jagger and Keith Richards song ‘As Tears Go By’, accompanied by future Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page on guitar and John Paul Jones on bass.
1966, The Rolling Stones were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Paint It, Black’, their sixth UK No.1 single. It was originally titled ‘Paint It Black’ without a comma. Keith Richards has stated that the comma was added by the record label, Decca. It was the first No.1 single to feature a sitar on the recording.
1966, The Beatles recorded ‘Yellow Submarine’ at Abbey Road studios in London. Recovering from a case of food poisoning, producer George Martin missed this recording, EMI engineer Geoff Emerick worked on the session. The track features John Lennon blowing bubbles in a bucket of water, shouting “Full speed ahead Mister Captain!”
1968, US blue artist Little Willie John died in prison after being convicted of manslaughter. Co-wrote and was the first to record a ‘Fever’ (covered by Peggy Lee in 1958), and ‘Need Your Love So Bad’ covered by Fleetwood Mac. James Brown recorded a tribute album ‘Thinking Of Little Willie John… And A Few Other Nice Things’.
1968, Pink Floyd, Blonde On Blonde and The Pretty Things all appeared at the OZ magazine benefit at the Middle Earth Club, Covent Garden, London, England. OZ was a satirical humour magazine, founded by Richard Neville and based in Sydney, Australia from 1963. In its second and better-known incarnation it became a counter-culture magazine, based in London from 1967 to 1973.
1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono began an eight-day ‘bed in’, in room 1742 of The Hotel La Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Canada, to promote world peace. They recorded ‘Give Peace a Chance’ in the hotel room (Petula Clark can be heard on the chorus). The song was credited to Lennon & McCartney, even though Paul had nothing to do with the record.
1972, At the point of the band splitting up David Bowie offered Mott The Hoople two of his new songs, ‘Suffragette City’, which they turned down and ‘All The Young Dudes’, which they recorded. The song gave the group a No.3 UK and US Top 40 hit.
1972, The first day of the four day UK festival ‘The Great Western Express’ near Lincoln featuring; The Faces, Joe Cocker, Humble Pie, Slade, The Groundhogs, Ry Cooder, Don McLean, Brewers Droop plus a special appearance by Monty Python.
1973, The Edgar Winter Group went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Frankenstein’, the bands only US No.1, it reached No.18 in the UK. The group featured ex McCoys guitarist Rick Derringer. In live performances of the song, Edgar Winter further pioneered the advancement of the synthesizer as a lead instrument by becoming the first person ever to strap a keyboard instrument around his neck.
1974, Tragedy struck at a David Cassidy concert at London’s White City when over 1,000 fans had to be treated by first aid workers due to the frenzied excitement. One fan Bernadette Whelan died from heart failure four days later.
1977, Billy Powell singer with The O’Jays died of cancer. (1972, hit ‘Back Stabbers’, 1973 US No.1 & UK No.9 single ‘Love Train’). Originally known as The Triumphs, and then The Mascots, they took the name “The O’Jays”, in tribute to radio disc jockey Eddie O’Jay.
1978, On Irish television today; at 4.00 ‘Top Cat’, 4.30 ‘Skippy’ and at 5.30 a program called ‘Youngline’ a series for young people highlighting their interests. On today’s show a feature on a new pop group, The Hype ( U2).
1979, ‘Sunday Girl’ gave Blondie their second UK No.1 hit single. The track was taken from the group’s ‘Parallel Lines’, which went on to become the biggest selling album of 1979.
1979, The first day of the two day Loch Lomond Festival with The Stranglers, Dr Feelgood, Skids, Third World, The Dickies. Day two featured The AWB, Buzzcocks, Rockpile and The Boomtown Rats who played ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ live for the first time.
1984, Former backing singer with Stevie Wonder, Deniece Williams started a 2 week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Let’s Hear It For The Boy’, taken from the film ‘Footlose’, a No.2 hit in the UK.
1990, For the first time ever the Top five positions on the US singles chart were held by female artists; Madonna was at No.1 with ‘Vogue’, Heart were at No.2, Sinead O’Connor No.3, Wilson Phillips at No.4 and Janet Jackson was at No.5
1994, Michael Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley. The couple divorced in 1995. They had first met when the seven-year-old Presley attended several of Jackson’s concerts in Las Vegas.
1995, The Rolling Stones played two semi-acoustic concerts at the Paradiso Amsterdam over two days. Keith Richards later said that the Paradiso concerts were the best live shows the Stones ever did. The venue is housed in a converted former church building that dates from the nineteenth century, subsequently squatted in 1967 by hippies who wanted to convert the church into an entertainment club. Artists who have recorded concerts at the Paradiso include Joy Division, Willie Nelson, Phish, Nirvana, The Cure, Lenny Kravitz, Nick Cave, Dave Matthews and Amy Winehouse.
1996, A fire at the home of Eric Clapton caused over one and a half million pounds worth of damage; Firemen arrived on the scene to find Clapton braving the blaze to save his collection of guitars.
2000, Drummer Tommy Lee was jailed for five days for drinking alcohol. Lee appeared in front of a LA court charged with violating his probation by consuming alcohol, an act that directly contravenes the terms of his parole.
2002, The first episode of At Home With The Osbournes was shown on MTV in the UK. Already becoming a hit in the the US, the show focused on the madman and his family (his wife Sharon, and two of their three children). Oblivious to the camera, they bicker, squabble, curse and hang out backstage at Ozzy shows.
2009, A US judge ended a bitter two-year battle over the late soul singer James Brown’s estate. Judge Jack Early ruled half of his assets will go to a charitable trust, a quarter to his wife and young son, and the rest to his six adult children. Brown’s family and wife Tomi Rae Hynie Brown, had fought over his fortune since he died of heart failure in 2006.
2015, US authorities were investigating the death of blues legend B.B. King after two of his daughters claimed he was poisoned. Karen Williams and Patty King said the musician had been given “foreign substances to induce his premature death” by his business manager Laverne Toney. King died in his sleep at his Las Vegas home on 14 May of this year, aged 89.
May 26th: Born on this day
1904, Born on this day, George Formby, UK singing comedian and ukulele player. He made over 20 films and his best-known song is ‘Leaning On A Lamp Post’. He was made an OBE in 1946, and died on March 6th 1961. Formby was a major influence on George Harrison
1920, Born on this day, American singer, actress, Peggy Lee, real name: Norma Dolores Egstrom, (1958 US No. 8 & UK No.5 single ‘Fever’, worked with Benny Goodman, Randy Newman, Quincy Jones. She was nominated for 12 Grammy Awards, winning Best Contemporary Vocal Performance for her 1969 hit ‘Is That All There Is’’ She died on 21st January 2002.
1926, Born on this day, Miles Davis, jazz trumpeter and composer who had a 1959 album with Kind of Blue. He was a major influence on jazz music. Davis died on September 28th 1991.
1941, Born on this day, Art Sharp, Nashville Teens, (1964 UK No.6 single ‘Tobacco Road’).
1942, Born on this day, Ray Ennis, Swinging Blue Jeans, (1964 UK No.2 and US No.24 single ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’).
1943, Born on this day, Levon Helm, drummer and singer with The Band. He died of throat cancer aged 71 on 19th April 2012. Helm formed his own high school band, the Jungle Bush Beaters, at 17, he later joined The Hawks (who became Bob Dylan’s backing group) who then became known as The Band. He sang on Band classics like ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,’ ‘Up on Cripple Creek,’ ‘Rag Mama Rag,’ and ‘The Weight.’
1945, Born on this day, Verden Allen, keyboards, Mott The Hoople, (1972 UK No.3 & US No.37 single ‘All The Young Dudes’).
1945, Born on this day, Gary Peterson, Guess Who, (1970 US No.1 & UK No.19 single ‘American Woman’).
1946, Born on this day, Mick Ronson guitarist, producer, member of The Rats, then worked with David Bowie, (1972 UK album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars 1974 UK No.5 single ‘Rebel Rebel’). Also worked with Mott The Hoople, Bob Dylan, Ian Hunter. Released the 1974 UK No.9 solo album ‘Slaughter On Tenth Avenue’. Ronson died on April 29th 1993.
1948, Born on this day, Stevie Nicks, singer, Fleetwood Mac who scored the 1987 UK No.5 single ‘Little Lies’ and 1977 US No.1 single ‘Dreams’, from world-wide No.1 album Rumours. Solo, 1981 US No.1 & UK No.11 album ‘Bella Donna’, 1989 UK No. 16 single ‘Rooms On Fire’.
1949, Born on this day, Hank Williams Jr, country singer, songwriter, son of country music’s greatest star.
1959, Born on this day, Wayne Hussey, guitar, Dead Or Alive, (1985 UK No.1 single ‘You Spin me round, Like A record’), Sisters Of Mercy, The Mission, (1988 UK No.12 single ‘Tower Of Strength’).
1962, Born on this day, Colin Vearncombe, singer, songwriter, Black, (1987 UK No.8 single ‘Wonderful Life’). Solo
1964, Born on this day, Lenny Kravitz, US singer, guitarist, songwriter, (1990 UK No.39 single ‘Let Love Rule’, 1999 UK No.1 single ‘Fly Away’, 1993 UK No.1 album ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’). Worked with Mick Jagger, Madonna and David Bowie.
1972, Born on this day, Alan White, drums, Oasis (replaced Tony McCarroll in 1995, 1996 UK No.1 single ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’). Sacked from the band in 2004.
1978, Born on this day, Jaheim Hoagland, (aka Jaheim), US R&B singer, (2006 US No.1 album ‘Ghetto Classics’).
1981, Born on this day, Isaac Slade, lead singer and pianist, The Fray, (2005 US Top 3 single ‘How to Save a Life’).