May 31st: On this day
1961, Chuck Berry opened ‘Berry Park’, an amusement complex near St Louis. The park had its own zoo, golf course and ferris wheel.
1962, The Beatles played the last night of a 7-week run at the Star-Club, Hamburg, West Germany. During their residency they would play for four-and-a-half hours on weekdays and six hours on Saturdays, with some songs lasting over 20 minutes to fill out the time.
1966, Filming began on The Monkees first TV series. The Monkees’ first single, ‘Last Train to Clarksville’ was released in August 1966, just weeks prior to the TV broadcast debut. In conjunction with the first broadcast of the television show on September 12, 1966 on the NBC television network, NBC and Columbia had a major hit on their hands.
1968, Working on what will become The White Album, The Beatles added overdubs of bass and vocals on ‘Revolution’. After numerous overdubs have been added, the final six minutes of the song evolved into chaotic, jamming, with Lennon repeatedly shouting “alright” and Yoko Ono speaking random phrases. The jam becomes the basis for ‘Revolution 9’, and this session is the first that Yoko attends.
1969, Jimi Hendrix was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, on sale for 35 Cents (2/6).
1971, 36 Grateful Dead fans were medically treated after unknowingly drinking L.S.D. laced cider, at a gig in the US.
1975, During a press conference held at the 5th Avenue Hotel in New York City to announce The Rolling Stones forthcoming American tour, the Stones themselves came down the street playing live from the back of a flat-bed truck. Stones drummer Charlie Watts came up with the idea, after the practise of New Orleans jazz musicians, who would play walking down the street.
1976, The Who gave themselves a place in the Guinness book of Records as the loudest performance of a rock band at 120 decibels, when they played at Charlton Athletic Football ground.
1977, The BBC announced a ban on the new Sex Pistols single ‘God Save The Queen’ saying it’s, “in gross bad taste”. And the IBA issued a warning to all radio stations saying the playing the single would be in breach of Section 4:1:A of the Broadcasting act. The single reached No.2 on the UK chart.
1980, Lipps Inc went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Funkytown’. The disco hit was also a No.1 in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Australia and The Netherlands. It reached No. 2 in the UK.
1980, The Theme From M*A*S*H* (Suicide Is Painless), by Mash was at No.1 on the UK singles chart, 10 years after it was first recorded after being championed by BBC Radio 1 DJ Noel Edmonds. Mike Altman the son of the original film’s director, Robert Altman, was 14 years old when he composed the song’s lyrics.
1982, The Rolling Stones played at the 100 Club, Oxford St, London, to a sold out crowd of 400 people.
1982, R.E.M. signed a five-album deal with I.R.S. Records, an independent label based in California.
1986, Peter Gabriel scored his second solo UK No.1 album with ‘So’ featuring the singles ‘Sledgehammer’ and a duet with Kate Bush ‘Don’t Give Up’.
1986, The Notting Hillbillies made their live debut when they appeared at The Grove in Leeds. The group featured Mark Knopfler, Steve Phillips and Brendan Crocker who were each paid £22.
1989, David Bowie’s Tin Machine made their live debut at the International Music Awards, New York.
1997, Eternal started a three-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘I Wanna Be The Only One’ the girl soul trio’s first – and only UK chart-topper.
1998, Geri Halliwell announced she had quit The Spice Girls saying “This is because of differences between us. I am sure the group will continue to be successful and I wish them all the best.”
1998, Simply Red went to No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘Blue’, their fifth consecutive No.1 album.
1998, The Tamperen went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Feel It’. The track featured US vocalist Maya and was based on the Jacksons 1981 hit ‘Can You Feel It’.
2000, US soul singer Johnnie Taylor died of a heart attack in a Texas hospital shortly after his 62nd birthday. Taylor had been a member of The Highway QCs and The Five Echoes and in 1957 Taylor replaced Sam Cooke in The Soul Stirrers. He scored the 1976 US No.1 ‘Disco Lady’.
2003, UK police announced that thousands of people at this year’s pop festivals would be subjected to a computerised drug test. Fans would be asked to provide swab samples from their hands, which would be inserted into a drug detection machine. It was to be a voluntary test but Anti-drug officers could search anyone refusing.
2004, US guitarist Robert Quine was found dead of a heroin overdose in his New York City home. Worked with Richard Hell And The Voidoids, (1977 album ‘Blank Generation’ features the track ‘Love Comes In Spurts’) and Lou Reed, Brian Eno, Lloyd Cole, Marianne Faithfull, Tom Waits and They Might Be Giants.
2005, Former East 17 singer Brian Harvey was in a critical condition in a London hospital after he fell under the wheels of his Mercedes convertible. The accident happened outside his home in Walthamstow when Harvey was reversing from an access road into the street. The singer suffered a broken leg, pelvis and a crushed abdomen and ribs.
2006, 71 year-old songwriter Hal Bynum, (whose credits include Kenny Rogers “Lucille,”) and his wife were arrested and charged with growing marijuana inside their Nashville home and possessing hallucinogenic mushrooms. After receiving a tip, police searched the couple’s home and confiscated 256 marijuana plants, 7.5 pounds of harvested marijuana, 14 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms, growing lamps and other drug paraphernalia. Bynum, and his wife were released on $73,500 bond each.
2008, Death Cab For Cutie were at No.1 on the US album chart with their sixth release ‘Narrow Stairs’.
2014, A car and jewellery belonging to Miley Cyrus were stolen after her home in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles was burgled. A Maserati and an unspecified amount of jewellery were taken in the raid.
May 31st: Born on this day
1938, Born on this day, Peter Yarrow, Peter Paul and Mary, (1969 US No.1 & 1970 UK No.1 single ‘Leaving On A Jet Plane’). Bob Egan Pop Spots
1947, Born on this day, Junior Campbell, Marmalade, (1969 UK No.1 single ‘Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da’). He co-wrote and produced some of their biggest hits including ‘Reflections of My Life’, ‘I See The Rain’ and ‘Rainbow’. Campbell also co-wrote the music and lyrics for the internationally successful children’s TV series Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends and TUGS.
1948, Born on this day, John Bonham drummer with Led Zeppelin who had the 1969 US No.4 single Whole Lotta Love. The bands fourth album released in 1971 featuring the rock classic Stairway To Heaven, has sold over 37 million copies. Bonham died on September 25th 1980 after choking on his own vomit.
1952, Born on this day, Karl Bartos, Kraftwerk, (1975 US No.25 single ‘Autobahn’, 1982 UK No.1 single ‘Computer Love / The Model’).
1956, Born on this day, Fritz Hilpert a member of the electropop group Kraftwerk.
1959, Born on this day, Danny Pearson, bass, American Music Club, (1993 album ‘Mercury’).
1962, Born on this day, Canadian singer Corey Hart best known for his hit singles ‘Sunglasses at Night’ and ‘Never Surrender’. He has sold over 16 million records worldwide and scored nine US Billboard Top 40 hits.
1963, Born on this day, Wendy Smith, guitar, vocals, Prefab Sprout, (1988 UKNo.7 single with ‘The King Of Rock ‘N’ Roll’).
1964, Born on this day, MC Darryl ‘D’ McDaniels, Run-DMC. (1986 UK No.8 single with Aerosmith ‘Walk This Way’, 1998 UK No.1 single ‘It’s Like That’).
1965, Born on this day, Steve White, drums, The Style Council, (1983 UK No.3 single ‘Long Hot Summer’ plus 14 other UK Top 40 singles).
1980, Born on this day, Andrew John Hurley, drummer, Fall Out Boy, (2007 US No.1 album ‘Infinity on High’).