May 15th: On this day
1959, Elvis Presley scored his fourth No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘A Fool Such As I / I Need Your Love Tonight.’ His first ballad to hit No.1.
1961, Floyd Cramer was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘On The Rebound.’ The US singer’s only UK No.1. The Nashville pianist played on many Elvis Presley hits.
1963, During a UK tour, The Beatles performed at the Royalty Theatre in Chester. The set list was: ‘Some Other Guy’, ‘Thank You Girl’, ‘Do You Want to Know a Secret’, ‘Please Please Me’, ‘You Really Got a Hold on Me’, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, and ‘From Me To You’.
1965, Bob Dylan’s single Subterranean Homesick Blues peaked at No.39 in the US charts, giving Dylan his first US top 40 hit. John Lennon was reported to find the song so captivating that he didn’t know how he’d be able to write a song that could compete with it.
1967, Paul McCartney met American photographer Linda Eastman for the first time, during a Georgie Fame concert at the Bag O’Nails nightclub in London, England. They married on March 12, 1969.
1968, George Harrison and Ringo Starr attended the premiere of ‘Wonderwall’ at the Cannes Film Festival. The 1968 film by first-time director Joe Massot starred Jack MacGowran and Jane Birkin, and featured cameos by Anita Pallenberg. The soundtrack was composed by then-Beatle George Harrison. The film provides the name for the Oasis track ‘Wonderwall’, which was inspired by George Harrison’s score.
1969, John Lennon’s ‘Life With The Lions’ was released on Apple’s avant-garde imprint Zapple. One side of the album was recorded on a cassette player at London’s Queen Charlotte Hospital during Yoko Ono’s pregnancy which ended in a miscarriage.
1971, Crosby Stills Nash & Young scored their second US No.1 album with ‘4 Way Street.’ The live album featured recordings from shows at The Fillmore East, New York, and The Forum, Los Angeles.
1974, Frank Zappa and his wife announced the birth of their third child, a boy named Ahmet Rodan, after the Japanese movie monster that lived of a steady diet of 707 planes.
1976, The Rolling Stones went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Black And Blue’, the group’s sixth US No.1 album. The band’s first studio album released with Ronnie Wood as the replacement for Mick Taylor featured the hit ‘Fool To Cry’.
1981, Former Sex Pistol John Lydon’s band Public Image Ltd performed a show at New York’s Ritz Club posing behind a video screen while the music was played from tapes. They were showered with missiles and eventually booed off stage.
1982, Asia went to No.1 on the US album chart with their self-titled album. It spent a total of nine weeks at No.1 and became the best-selling album in the US for the year 1982. The supergroup included former members of several veteran progressive rock bands, namely bassist/vocalist John Wetton (formerly in Mogul Thrash, Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, U.K. and Wishbone Ash), guitarist Steve Howe (formerly in Yes), keyboardist Geoff Downes (of Yes and The Buggles) and drummer Carl Palmer (formerly in The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster and Emerson, Lake & Palmer).
1982, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney started a seven week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Ebony And Ivory’. The song gave McCartney his 24th US No.1 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.
1991, Manic Street Preacher guitarist Richey Edwards carved ‘4 real’ into his arm with a razor blade while being interviewed by music paper The NME.
1992, Barbara Lee of the Chiffons died from a heart attack the day before her 45th birthday. Had the 1963 US No.1 single ‘He’s So Fine.’
1993, Janet Jackson started a eight week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘That’s The Way Love Goes’, her sixth US No.1, a No.2 hit in the UK.
1994, Blur scored their first UK No.1 album with ‘Parklife’, which went on to spend over two years on the chart. The album featured four UK hit singles: ‘Girls & Boys’, ‘End of a Century’, ‘Parklife’ and ‘To the End’. In the year following its release the album came to define the emerging Britpop scene. The album cover for Parklife was among the ten chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of “Classic Album Cover” postage stamps issued in January 2010.
1995, Supergrass released their debut studio album ‘I Should Coco’. The album which peaked at No.1 on the UK chart featured their No.2 hit single ‘Alright’. The album title is Cockney rhyming slang for “I should think so”.
1997, Courtney Love sold the Seattle mansion she shared with Kurt Cobain. A local family purchased the house in the salubrious Denny Blaine area for $3m.
1997, Oasis became one of the first artists to attempt to exert censorship over the Internet. The group were working with Sony to put an end to unofficial websites carrying lyrics, sound files and photographs of the band.
1999, Rob Gretton manager of Joy Division and New Order died aged 46. He was also a partner in Factory Records, proprietor of the Rob’s Records label and a co-founder along with Tony Wilson of The Hacienda nightclub in Manchester, England.
2000, Songwriter Geoff Goddard died aged 62. Wrote ‘Johnny Remember Me’, and played keyboards on The Tornadoes 1962 No.1 hit ‘Telstar’. Wrote songs for Heinz, Mike Berry, The Outlaws, Freddie Starr and Screaming Lord Sutch.
2000, It was reported that Britney Spears had been crowned the queen of America’s fastest growing youth movement, the teenage celibates. Spears told a German magazine that she intended to abstain from sex until her wedding night.
2001, Brian Pendleton of The Pretty Things died of cancer aged 57, (1964 UK No.10 single ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’). The bands 1974 album Silk Torpedo was the first album release on Led Zeppelin’s own label Swan Song.
2002, Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay claimed he was assaulted at the premiere of ‘Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones’ in London. The singer suffered facial injuries after an incident with a photographer after the star-studded event.
2003, Country singer June Carter Cash, the second wife of Johnny Cash died in Nashville, Tennessee, of complications following heart valve replacement surgery, aged 73. She was a member of the Carter Family, and had hits with Johnny Cash, including the Grammy Award winning songs, ‘Jackson’, ‘Ring Of Fire’, (which she co-wrote about their courtship), and ‘If I Were A Carpenter.’
2008, Neil Diamond reached the top of the US Billboard album chart for the first time in his career with ‘Home Before Dark’ the 67-year-old’s 29th studio album. His previous highest chart position was in 1973 when the soundtrack to the film Jonathan Livingston Seagull peaked at No.2. At the age of 67, Diamond became the oldest artist to have a US number one, the record was previously held by Bob Dylan in 2006 with ‘Modern Times’ released when he was 65.
2015, R&B and jazz singer Ortheia Barnes-Kennerly died from heart failure in the US Virgin Islands, where she was visiting for a performance, she was 70 years old. Ortheia spent much of her career touring with and opening for some of Motown’s biggest acts, including Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Gladys Knight.
May 15th: Born on this day
1918, Born on this day, Eddy Arnold, US country singer, (1965 US No.6 single, ‘Make The World Go Away’).
1932, Born on this day, Baba Oje, Arrested Development, (1992 UK No.2 and US No. 8 single ‘People Everyday’).
1937, Born on this day, Trini Lopez, singer, songwriter, (1963 US No.3 & UK No.4 single ‘If I Had A Hammer’).
1938, Born on this day, Lenny Welch, US singer, (1963 US No.4 single ‘Since I Fell For You’).
1944, Born on this day, Ian Amey, (Tich), Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, (1968 UK No.1 single, ‘Legend Of Xanadu’).
1947, Born on this day, Graham Goble, Little River Band, Australian group, (1978 US No.3 single ‘Reminiscing’ plus 12 other US Top 40 singles).
1948, Born on this day, Brian Eno, synthesisers, Roxy Music, (1972 UK No.4 single ‘Virginia Plain’). Member of The Winkies, produced U2, Talking Heads, David Bowie, John Cale and released solo albums.
1948, Born on this day, Gary Thain, bassist with Keef Hartley Band and then Uriah Heep. Had a hit with ‘Easy Livin’ from the 1972 album Demons and Wizards. Died of a drug overdose December 8, 1975.
1951, Born on this day, Dennis Fredericksen, vocals, Toto, (1983 US No.1 & UK No.3 single ‘Africa’).
1953, Born on this day, Mike Oldfield, UK composer, multi-instrumentalist, ‘Tubular Bells’ was the first album released on the Virgin record label in 1973 and went on to sell over 10 million copies world-wide. 1976 UK No. 3 single ‘Portsmouth’ plus 20 other UK Top 40 albums.
1959, Born on this day, Andrew Eldritch, vocals, The Sisters Of Mercy, (1992 UK No.3 single ‘Temple Of Love’).
1965, Born on this day, Jon Sevink, violin, The Levellers, (1995 UK No.12 single ‘Just The One’).
1965, Born on this day, Mark Colwill, bass, Tindersticks, (1993 album ‘Tindersticks’).
1966, Born on this day, Pete Wiggs, Saint Etienne, (1993 UK No.12 single ‘You’re In A Bad Way’).
1983, Born on this day, Devin Bronson, guitarist with Avril Lavigne, Kelly Osbourne and Black List Club.