May 1st: On this day
1955, On tour with Hank Snow’s All Star Jamboree, Elvis Presley played three shows at the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sun Records had just released Elvis’ fourth single, ‘Baby, Let’s Play House.’
1962, The Beatles started a month long residency at The Star Club, Hamburg, Germany. American musicians including Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, Everly Brothers, Bill Haley, Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Lee Lewis also all appeared here.
1964, The Beatles received $140,000 dollars for the rights to having their pictures included in packages of bubble gum in the USA.
1965, Herman’s Hermits started a three week run at No.1 in the US singles chart with ‘Mrs Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter’.
1966, The Beatles played live for the last time in the UK when they appeared at the NME Poll Winners concert at Wembley Empire Pool. The Beatles set included; ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘Nowhere Man’, ‘Day Tripper’, ‘If I Needed Someone’ and ‘I’m Down’. Also on the bill, The Spencer Davis Group, The Fortunes, Herman’s Hermits, Roy Orbison, The Rolling Stones, The Seekers, The Small Faces, Dusty Springfield, The Walker Brothers, The Who and The Yardbirds.
1967, 32 year old Elvis Presley married 21 year old Priscilla Beaulieu, a girl he first met in 1959 when she was just 14 years old. When Elvis got out of the army in 1960, Beaulieu moved into the singer’s Graceland mansion with her family’s blessing. The wedding ceremony took place at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas and although the marriage license was only $15, the wedding cake cost $3,500. The couple divorced after five years of marriage on October 9, 1973.
1967, The F.B.I. arrested The Beach Boys’ Carl Wilson on charges of avoiding the military draft and refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance. He was later released and joined the rest of the band in Ireland for a British tour.
1969, Bob Dylan recorded an appearance for The Johnny Cash Show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. After two solo numbers from Dylan, Johnny Cash joined him for a rendition of ‘Girl From The North Country’. In this primetime show, Cash enjoyed booking contemporary performers as guests; Neil Young, James Taylor, Ray Charles and Eric Clapton were all booked to appear on forthcoming shows.
1970, The Jimi Hendrix Experience played the first of 13 US shows this month when they appeared at the Milwaukee Auditorium.
1971, Dave and Ansel Collins were at No.1 in the UK singles chart with ‘Double Barrel’. It featured renowned drummer Sly Dunbar who was only 14 when the song was recorded.
1973, In the US, Washington DC, proclaimed a ‘Marvin Gaye Day’.
1974, The Carpenters performed at the White House, at the request of President Nixon.
1976, Led Zeppelin started a two-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with Presence, the group’s fifth No.1 album.
1976, The Bellamy Brothers went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Let Your Love Flow’, the duo’s only US No.1, a No.7 hit in the UK.
1977, The ‘White Riot Tour’ kicked of at the Roxy in London with The Clash, The Jam and The Buzzcocks.
1979, Elton John became the first pop star to perform in Israel. In three weeks time he also became the first Western solo pop performer to tour Russia.
1980, The South African government banned Pink Floyd’s single ‘Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)’ after black children adopted the song as their anthem in protest against inferior education.
1984, Fleetwood Mac drummer and founder member Mick Fleetwood filed for bankruptcy. It was reported that the drummer had spent thousands of dollars of cocaine a month, and had refused to listen to financial advisers, buying up several homes, a $400,000 spread in Hawaii and a $1.8 million farm outside Sydney, Australia.
1986, American songwriter and producer Hugo Peretti died aged 70. Wrote and produced many classic hits including, ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’, ‘Twistin’ The Night Away’, ‘Shout’, ‘The Hustle’ and ‘You Make Me Feel Brand New.’
1993, George Michael, Queen and Lisa Stansfield went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘The Five Live EP’ which was recorded at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert held in April 1992, at Wembley Stadium, London.
1997, Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt had a quadruple heart by-pass operation after visiting his Harley Street doctor and complaining of chest pains.
1997, The house where Kurt Cobain committed suicide went up for sale. The asking price for the five-bedroom house built in 1902 was $3 million. The carriage house where the Nirvana guitarist died had been demolished.
1999, The Paintings of Paul McCartney exhibit opened at the Lyz Art Forum, Siegen, Germany. The exhibit featured 70 paintings by the former Beatle, including a piece called ‘Bowie Spewing’ McCartney’s representation of a young David Bowie.
2000, A writer who claimed Neil Young went back on an agreement to have a biography written about him filed a $1.8 million civil fraud suit against Young in Los Angeles Superior Court. Young had blocked the book’s publication.
2003, American soul singer Barry White suffered a stroke while being treated for kidney failure. The singer died two months later on July 4th 2003.
2005, Coldplay became the first British band to have a new entry in the US Top 10 singles chart since The Beatles. Coldplay’s latest single ‘Speed Of Sound’ entered the chart at number eight, only the second time a UK band has achieved the feat. The Beatles managed it with ‘Hey Jude’ in 1968.
2005, Tony Christie made chart history by hanging on to the UK number one spot for the seventh week in a row with ‘(Is This The Way To) Amarillo.’ The last single to spend that long at number one was ‘Believe’ by Cher from October to December 1998.
2005, Bruce Springsteen went to No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘Devils & Dust’ the American singer songwriters sixth UK No.1.
2005, Matchbox 20 singer Rob Thomas went to No.1 on the US album chart with his first solo album ‘Something To Be.’ This marked the first time a male artist from a rock group had debuted at number one with his first solo album since the Billboard Top 200 was introduced 50 years ago.
2013, A Minnesota man was accused of pretending to be a member of Pink Floyd at a US hospital racked up as much as $100,000 in unpaid medical bills. Phillip Michael Schaeffer, 53, went for treatment April 20 and claimed he was Pink Floyd singer-guitarist David Gilmour and that he didn’t have health insurance. The man was treated and released from the St. Cloud Hospital, Minnesota, but not before he signed an autograph for an employee’s son.
2013, Chris Kelly, one half of the 1990s rap duo Kris Kross, died in an Atlanta hospital at the age of 34. Kelly had been found “unresponsive” at his home. Kris Kross was made up of Kelly, known as “Mac Daddy”, and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith. They are most widely remembered for their 1992 hit ‘Jump’.
2014, Justin Bieber’s personal assistant was ordered to do community service after police found ecstasy in his room. Xavier Domonique Smith, who is also known as Lil Za, was also sentenced to probation and ordered into a drug treatment programme. He was fined $1,000 (£592).
2015, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars gave The Gap Band a writing credit on their huge hit ‘Uptown Funk’, due to its similarities with their 1979 track ‘Oops Up Side Your Head’. ‘Uptown Funk’, which had topped the UK chart for seven weeks and the US chart for 14, originally had six songwriters but was now credited to The Gap Band as well.
May 1st: Born on this day
1929, Born on this day, James Loden who beacme known as Sonny James, best known for his 1957 hit, ‘Young Love’. Dubbed the Southern Gentleman, James has had 72 country and pop chart hits from 1953 to 1983, including a five-year streak of 16 straight among his 23 No.1 hits.
1930, Born on this day, blues artist, Little Walter. First harmonica player to amplify his harmonica, giving it a distorted echoing sound. He died on February 15th 1968.
1939, Born on this day, Judy Collins, US singer, (1968 US No. 8 & 1970 UK No.14 single ‘Both Sides Now’).
1945, Born on this day, Rita Coolidge, US singer, songwriter, backing singer with Joe Cocker, Delaney and Bonnie, solo, (1977 UK No.6 & US No.7 single ‘We’re All Alone’). Married Kris Kristofferson.
1946, Born on this day, Nick Fortune, bass, The Buckinghams, (1967 US No.1 single ‘Kind Of A Drag’).
1954, Born on this day, Ray Parker Jr. (1984 US No.1 & UK No.2 single ‘Ghostbusters’).
1957, Born on this day, Rick Driscoll, Kenny, (1975 UK No.3 single ‘The Bump’).
1957, Born on this day, Steve Farris, Mr Mister, (1985 US No.1 & 1986 UK No.4 single ‘Broken Wings’).
1959, Born on this day, Phil Smith, sax, Haircut 100, (1982 UK No.3 & US No.37 single ‘Love Plus One’)
1962, Born on this day, Owen Paul, UK singer, (1986 UK No. 3 single ‘My Favourite Waste Of Time’).
1966, Born on this day, Johnny Colt, The Black Crowes, (1991 UK No.39 single ‘Hard To Handle’, 1991 US No.4 album ‘Shake Your Money Maker’, 1992 US No.1 & UK No.2 album ‘The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion’).
1967, Born on this day in Delhi, Louisiana, Tim McGraw country singer and actor. Many of McGraw’s albums and singles have topped the country music charts with total album sales in excess of 40 million units in the US. McGraw had 11 consecutive albums debut at No.1 on the Billboard albums charts, as well as twenty-one singles hitting No.1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. He is married to country singer Faith Hill and is the son of former baseball player Tug McGraw.
1968, Born on this day, D’arcy Wretsky-Brown, bass, Smashing Pumpkins, (1995 US No.1 album ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’, 1996 UK No.7 single ‘Tonight Tonight’).
1970, Born on this day, Bernard Butler, guitar, vocals, Suede, (1994 UK No.3 single ‘Stay Together’, left in 1994), solo, (1995 UK No.8 single ‘Yes’ with David McAlmont),