May 24th: On this day
1956, The first Eurovision Song Contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland. The event was the brainchild of Marcel Baisoncon of the European Broadcasting Union. Seven countries participated and they were each allowed two songs. Both Luxembourg and the winner Switzerland used the same singer for both. Switzerland won with ‘Refrain’ by Lys Assia.
1962, Elvis Presley was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Good Luck Charm’ his 11th UK No.1 single. It completed his second hat-trick of chart topping singles in the UK.
1963, Elmore James US blues guitarist, singer, died of a heart attack aged 45. Wrote ‘Shake Your Money Maker’, covered by Fleetwood Mac in 1968. Known as “The King of the Slide Guitar”, James influenced Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Keith Richards.
1963, The Beatles recorded the first of their very own BBC radio program, “Pop Go the Beatles”. The theme song for the program was a version of “Pop Goes the Weasel”. The Beatles’ guests for this first show were the Lorne Gibson Trio.
1966, Captain Beefheart appeared at the Whisky a Go Go. West Hollywood, California. Supported by Buffalo Springfield and The Doors.
1968, The Rolling Stones released the single ‘Jumpin Jack Flash’ in the UK, the track gave them their seventh UK No.1 hit. Keith Richards has stated that he and Jagger wrote the lyrics while staying at Richards’ country house, where they were awoken one morning by the sound of gardener Jack Dyer walking past the window. When Jagger asked what the noise was, Richards responded: “Oh, that’s Jack – that’s jumpin’ Jack.”
1969, Bob Dylan’s album Nashville Skyline peaked at No.3 in the US chart. The singer’s ninth album, it also scored Dylan his fourth UK No.1. The album featured ‘Lay Lady Lay’, which became one of Dylan’s biggest pop hits, reaching No.7 in the US, his biggest single in three years.
1969, BBC television aired the first ’33 & A Third Revolutions Per Monkee’, guests included Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Julie Driscoll.
1969, The Beatles with Billy Preston started a five week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Get Back’, the group’s 17th US No.1. Credited to “The Beatles with Billy Preston”, it was the Beatles’ only single that credited another artist, ‘Get Back’ was also the Beatles’ first single release in true stereo in the US.
1970, Peter Green played his last gig with Fleetwood Mac when they appeared at the Bath Festival, Somerset, England.
1974, American composer, pianist, and bandleader Duke Ellington, died of lung cancer and pneumonia aged 75. Worked with Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday. Awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1966. In 2009 the United States Mint launched a new coin featuring Duke Ellington on the reverse side of the coin.
1974, David Bowie released his eighth studio album Diamond Dogs. The cover art features Bowie as a striking half-man, half-dog grotesque painted by Belgian artist Guy Peellaert. It was controversial as the full painting clearly showed the hybrid’s genitalia.
1975, Earth Wind and Fire went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Shining Star’, the group’s first and only US No.1.
1980, Genesis fans turning up at the Roxy Club box office in Los Angeles to buy tickets for a forthcoming gig were surprised to find the band members Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford selling the tickets themselves.
1991, Founder member of The Byrds Gene Clark died of a heart attack aged 49. Wrote The Byrds hits ‘I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better’, and ‘Eight Miles High’, member of McGuinn, Clark and Hillman and solo.
1991, Guns N’ Roses played the first show on their 192-date Use Your Illusion world Tour at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, Wisconsin.
1992, Police in Montgomery were called when an impostor posing as Steve Miller left a hotel owing a $600 (£353) unpaid bill, he did however leave a $73 (£43) tip on a $8 (£4.7) drinks bill.
1997, Hanson started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘MMMBop’, the brothers first US No.1, also a No.1 in the UK. ‘MMMBop’ was phenomenally successful, especially for a debut single, reaching No.1 in 27 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Mexico.
1997, The Spice Girls went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Spice’, making them only the third all girl group to do so after The Supremes and The Go-Go’s and the first ever UK girl group to do so.
1999, Queen front man Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991, was honoured on a new set of millennium stamps issued by the Royal Mail. Mercury, who featured on the 19p stamp, was a keen stamp collector, and his collection was bought by the Post Office in 1993. The stamp marked his contribution to the Live Aid charity concert in 1985, and caused controversy by featuring a small portion of Queen’s drummer, Roger Taylor, in the background – UK stamps by tradition only carry pictures of living persons who are members of the Royal Family.
2000, A New York Judge told Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde that if she wanted her March arrest for protesting the sale of leather goods in a Gap store dismissed, she’d better keep her nose clean for the next six months.
2000, Andrea and Sharon Corr from The Corrs both collapsed in the mid-day sun whilst shooting their new video in the Mojave Desert in California. The pair were treated in hospital for heat exhaustion and were back on the set within 24 hours.
2003, Paul McCartney made his first ever live performance in Russia when he appeared in-front of 20,000 fans in Red Square.
2004, Madonna kicked off the North American leg of her Re-invention World Tour by playing three sold out nights at The Los Angeles Forum. The tour became the top grossing of the year, with ticket sales of nearly $125 million, with over 900,000 fans attending the 60 date tour. As a follower of the Kabbalah, Madonna didn’t play any Friday night gigs as the teaching of the religion forbids it.
2007, Amy Winehouse, Madonna and Arctic Monkeys were among the winners at this years Ivor Novello Awards. Winehouse won best contemporary song for her hit ‘Rehab’, while Madonna collected the international hit of the year for ‘Sorry.’ Sheffield-based band Arctic Monkeys collected the best album award for ‘Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not.’
2009, Billy Joel was being sued by his former drummer for hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid royalties. Liberty Devitto, claimed that Joel hadn’t paid him proper royalties for 10 years of his work. Devitto was Joel’s drummer from 1975 until 2005, when he said he was abruptly thrown out of the band. He said: “People get fired, they get severance or insurance for a certain period of time. I didn’t even get a phone call. It was cold.”
2010, Paul Gray, the bassist with US metal band Slipknot, was found dead in a hotel in Des Moines, Iowa. The body of the 38-year-old musician was found by an employee at the hotel in a suburb of the city. Police said foul play was not suspected, but an autopsy would be carried out. The nine members of Slipknot wore masks in public and referred to other bandmates by numbers; Gray was number two.
May 24th: Born on this day
1941, Born on this day, Robert Zimmerman, (Bob Dylan) US folk singer, songwriter. Released over 40 albums since 1964, major influence on The Beatles and The Rolling Stones during the 60’s. Biggest hit is 1965 US No.2 single ‘Like A Rolling Stone’, 1969 UK No.5 single ‘Lay Lady Lay’, 1964 UK No.1 album ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’. 2006 album ‘Modern Times’ entered the US chart at No.1. Also a member of The Traveling Wilburys.
1942, Born on this day, Derek Quinn, Freddie and the Dreamers, (1963 UK No.3 single ‘You Were Made For Me’, 1965 US No.1 single ‘I’m Telling You Now’).
1944, Born on this day, Patti Labelle, singer, (1975 US No.1 & UK No.17single ‘Lady Marmalade’, 1986 US No.1 & UK No.2 single with Michael McDonald, ‘On My Own’.
1945, Born on this day, Dave Peacock, Chas & Dave, (1982 UK No.2 single ‘Ain’t No Pleasing You’).
1946, Born on this day, Steve Upton, Wishbone Ash, (1972 UK No.3 album ‘Argus’, & 8 other Top 40 albums).
1947, Born on this day, Albert Bouchard, drummer, guitarist, songwriter, Blue Oyster Cult, (1976 US No. 12 and 1978 UK No.16 single ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’).
1947, Born on this day, Cynthia ‘Plaster’ Caster, groupie who became famous for making plaster cast’s of rock star’s penises and breasts. Clients included Jimi Hendrix and members from MC5, Television, The Kinks and various road managers.
1955, Born on this day in Memphis, Tennessee, was American singer-songwriter and author, Rosanne Cash, the eldest daughter of country music icon Johnny Cash and his first wife, Vivian Liberto Cash Distin. She won a Grammy in 1985 for ‘I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me’, and has received twelve other Grammy nominations. She has had 11 No.1 country hit singles, 21 Top 40 country singles and two gold records.
1956, Born on this day, Larry Blackmon, lead singer with Cameo, (1986 UK No.3 single ‘Word Up’).
1960, Born on this day, Guy Fletcher, multi-instrumentalist, Roxy Music, (joine Roxy Music in 1981 for their ‘Avalon’ world tour). Also worked with Bryan Ferry, Dire Straits an Mark Knopfler.
1962, Born on this day in 1962, Gene Anthony Ray, ‘Leroy’ in TV’s ‘Fame’. Axed from the show in 1984, after his mother was jailed for running a drug ring. He danced with The Weather Girls in their video of ‘It’s Raining Men.’ Leroy died on November 19th 2003.
1967, Born on this day, Heavy D, US rapper, (1991 UK No.2 single ‘Now That We Found Love’). He died on November 8, 2011, in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 44.
1969, Born on this day, Rich Robinson, guitar, The Black Crowes, (1991 UK No.39 single ‘Hard To Handle’, 1992 US No.1 & UK No.2 album ‘The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion’).
1969, Born on this day, Tommy Page, (1990 US No.1 single ‘I’ll Be Your Everything’, No. 53 in the UK.
1976, Born on this day, Alessandro Cortini, keyboards, Nine Inch Nails, (2005 US No.1 album ‘White Teeth’).