April 25th: On this day
1954, Johnnie Ray was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Such A Night.’ The singer’s first of three UK No.1’s. He became deaf in his right ear aged 13 after an accident and would later perform wearing a hearing aid. Dexys Midnight Runners’ 1982 music video for ‘Come On Eileen’, used footage of Ray from 1954. The lyrics of the song say, “Poor old Johnnie Ray sounded sad upon the radio / he moved a million hearts in mono”.
1960, Elvis Presley started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Stuck On You’, his first hit single after his two-year stint in the US Army. It became his first No.1 single of the 1960s and thirteenth overall.
1965, During a North American tour, The Rolling Stones appeared at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto to over 16,000 fans.
1967, Just days after the completion of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles embark upon their next project, recording the theme to ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ at Abbey Road studios in London.
1970, The Jackson Five started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘ABC’. It was the group’s second US No. 1, a No.8 hit in the UK.
1974, Pamela Courson the long-term companion of the late Jim Morrison died of a drugs overdose. It was Courson who found The Doors singer dead on July 3, 1971 in the bathtub of their apartment in Paris, France.
1977, Elvis Presley made the last recordings of his life during a concert at the Saginaw, Michigan Civic Centre. Three songs from the show appeared on the posthumously released Presley album, ‘Moody Blue’.
1979, The Police made their debut on BBC TV’s Top Of The Pops performing ‘Roxanne’. The single which was taken from their album Outlandos d’Amour was written from the point-of-view of a man who falls in love with a prostitute.
1980, Stranglers singer, guitarist Hugh Cornwell was released from a London prison after serving six weeks for possession of drugs.
1982, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Ebony And Ivory.’ This was McCartney’s 24th No.1 hit single as a songwriter. The title was inspired by McCartney hearing Spike Milligan say “black notes, white notes, and you need to play the two to make harmony folks!”. It was later named as the tenth worst song of all time by Blender magazine and in 2007 was named the worst duet in history by BBC 6 Music listeners.
1987, Madonna went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘La Isla Bonita.’ The fifth and final single from her third studio album, True Blue, made her the only female artist to score four UK No.1 singles. The song had been offered to Michael Jackson for his Bad album.
1987, U2 started a five-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with their fifth studio album Joshua Tree. Inspired by American tour experiences, literature, and politics, the album topped the charts in over 20 countries, and is one of the world’s all-time best-selling albums, with over 25 million copies sold. The album which won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year produced the hit singles ‘With or Without You’, ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’, and ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’.
1988, Carolyn Franklin the Younger sister of Aretha Franklin, died of breast cancer at the age of 43. Released numerous albums throughout the 1970s, had the 1973 No.1 R&B hit’ Angel’. She appeared as one of Aretha’s background singers in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers.
1988, Bon Jovi’s manager Doc McGee was convicted on drug offences arising from the 1982 seizure of 40,000lb of marijuana smuggled into north Carolina from Colombia. McGee was sentenced to a five year suspended prison term and a $15,000 fine.
1990, The Fender Stratocaster that Jimi Hendrix played at the Woodstock festival was auctioned off for a record $295,000. His two-hour set at the 1969 festival became the longest of his career.
1992, Kris Kross started an eight week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Jump’, a No.2 hit in the UK. The duo of Chris Smith and Chris Kelly were 12 and 13 when they recorded the song.
1994, Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys was sentenced to 200 hours of community service for attacking a TV cameraman during the memorial services for actor River Phoenix the previous November.
1994, The Eagles played the first of two shows where they recorded their ‘Hell Freezes Over’ album. Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmit first got back together the previous December for the making of a Travis Tritt video of their song, ‘Take It Easy’ The name of the album was taken from an earlier quote by Glen Frey, who responded to the question “When will the Eagles get back together?”
1996, A pair of skin-tight trousers owned by Queen singer Freddie Mercury were sold at a pop memorabilia sale in London.
1997, U2’s ‘Pop Mart’ world tour kicked off at The Las Vegas San Boyd Stadium in front of 35,000 fans. The tour featured the largest video screen in the world and would visit 80 cities around the planet.
2002, TLC member Lisa Lopes was killed in a car accident in La Ceiba, Honduras, aged 30. Seven other people, including Lopes’ brother and sister, who were in the Mitsubishi Montero sports utility vehicle when the crash happened, were taken to a hospital. Lopes who was driving the car when it crashed had spent the past month in Honduras working on various projects including a clothing line, a new solo project and a book.
2003, In this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, Paul McCartney was confirmed as the world’s richest musician with a fortune worth over £760m. Madonna was 4th in the list with £227m, Mick Jagger 6th with £175m and Elton John 7th with £170m. Ozzy Osbourne became the 24th richest musician after earning an estimated £42m from his MTV show The Osbournes. And Simon Fuller was said to have earned over £50m from sales of the ‘Pop Idol’ TV show.
2005, Bruce Springsteen played the opening show on his Devils & Dust Tour North American Tour at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan.
2007, During The Rolling Stones current world tour, aides to George Bush were told they couldn’t book a luxury five star hotel suite because Mick Jagger had already booked it. Jagger had splashed out £3,600 a night for the suite at the five-star Imperial Hotel in Vienna, Austria, in advance of the band’s appearance there. Prior to the attempted booking, US Secret Service agents had already vetted the hotel, but to no avail.
2007, American singer Bobby “Boris” Pickett died of leukaemia at the age of 69. Scored the Halloween anthem ‘The Monster Mash’ in 1962. The song had been banned by The BBC in the UK, deemed offensive and wasn’t a hit until 1973. It was a spoof on the dance crazes popular at the time, including the Twist and the Mashed Potato.
2008, The Empire State Building in New York City was lit up in Mariah Carey’s motif colours, lavender, pink, and white, in celebration of her achievements in the world of music. Carey was the first person in history to be honoured with this event.
2009, A man suing rapper Snoop Dogg told a court he received a ‘brutal’ beating from the star’s security. Richard Monroe Jr also claimed that the rapper hit him with a microphone after he climbed on stage. Mr Monroe was asking for $22m (£15m) in damages from the rapper and others. Jurors were told that as the performer started his hit ‘Gin and Juice’, at the White River Amphitheatre in Seattle, Mr Monroe thought there was an open invitation to go up on stage and party.
2009, Rascal Flatts went to No.1 on the US album charts with ‘Unstoppable’, the American country pop acts sixth studio album.
2014, Spotify removed a album of silence by American funk band Vulfpeck from its streaming site. The band’s fourth record, Sleepify, was made up of 10 tracks of silence which they encouraged fans to stream on repeat overnight. The idea was aimed at generating money so that the band could go on tour and not charge admission fees.
April 25th: Born on this day
1918, Born on this day, Ella Fitzgerald, US jazz singer, died 15th June 1996, (1960 US No.27 & UK No.19 single ‘Mack The Knife’).
1923, Born on this day, Albert King, US blues guitarist. Died 20th December 1992.
1933, Born on this day, Jerry Leiber, (& Stoller), songwriter and producer for Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, The Monkees, Cliff Richard. Among their hit songs: Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock, King Creole, Don’t, There Goes My Baby, Searchin’, Yakety Yak and Kansas City. Leiber died on August 22, 2011 in Los Angeles at the age of 78 from cardio-pulmonary failure.
1943, Born on this day, Tony Christie, UK singer, 1971 UK No.18 single (‘Is This The Way To) Amarillo’, re-released in aid of Comic Relief in 2005 becoming a UK No.1 with comedian Peter Kay. This broke the record set over 18 years previously by Jackie Wilson. His “Reet Petite” topped the chart in Dec 1986; 29 Years, 1 Month, and 11 Days after it first entered the chart. The new record set by Christie was 33 Years, 3 Months, and 27 Days.
1944, Born on this day, Charlie Harper, vocals, punk band, UK Subs, (1979 UK No.26 single ‘Stranglehold’).
1945, Born on this day, Bjorn Ulvaeus, guitar, vocals, ABBA (first UK hit was 1974 No.1 single ‘Waterloo’, followed by eight other UK No.1 singles and nine No.1 albums, 1977 US No.1 single ‘Dancing Queen’).
1945, Born on this day, Stu Cook, bass, Creedence Clearwater Revival, (1969 UK No.1 and US No.2 single ‘Bad Moon Rising’ plus 11 other US Top 40 singles, 1970 US & UK No.1 album ‘Cosmo’s Factory’).
1945, Born on this day, Michael Kogel, Los Bravos, (1966 UK No.2 & US No.4 single ‘Black Is Black’). First Spanish rock band to have a UK & US hit single.
1946, Born on this day, Ronnie Gilbert, The Blue Magoos, (1967 US No.5 single, ‘We Ain’t Got Nothin’ Yet’).
1949, Born on this day, Michael Brown, singer, 1966-67 he was in the Left Banke, which had a 1966 US number 5 hit, ‘Walk Away Renee’ and was a member of Stories, (1973 US No.1 single ‘Brother Louie’). Written by Errol Brown of Hot Chocolate who had a UK No.7 with the song the same year. Brown died on March 19, 2015, at age 65.
1950, Born on this day, Steve Ferrone, drummer, Average White Band, (1975 US No.1 & UK No.6 single ‘Pick Up The Pieces’).
1958, Born on this day, Fish, (Derek Dick), Marillion and solo, vocals, (1985 UK No.2 single ‘Kayleigh’). Radio presenter.
1964, Born on this day, Andy Bell, Erasure, (1992 UK No.1 single ‘Abba- esque’ plus over 20 other UK Top 40 singles).
1964, Born on this day, Maya Gilder, keyboards, Furniture, (1986 UK No.21 single ‘Brilliant Mind’).
1965, Born on this day, Eric Avery, Jane’s Addiction, (1991 UK No.34 single ‘Been Caught Stealing’, 1990 US No. 19 album ‘Ritual De Lo Habitual’).
1965, Born on this day, Simon Fowler, vocals, Ocean Colour Scene, (1996 UK No.4 single ‘The Day We Caught The Train’, plus over 12 other Top 40 singles, 1997 UK No.1 album ‘Marchin’ Already’).
1980, Born on this day, Jacob Underwood, O-Town, winners of US TV show ‘Making The Band’ (2001 US No.3 single ‘All Or Nothing’, 2001 UK No.3 single ‘Liquid Dreams’).