Home Day In Music History This Day In Music History: May 4th

This Day In Music History: May 4th


May 4th: On this day

1956, Gene Vincent recorded the classic rock ‘n roll song ‘Be Bop-A-Lula’, at Owen Bradley’s studio in Nashville, Tennessee. The song went on to be a US & UK Top 20 hit in this year. Vincent has said that he wrote the words to the song after being inspired by a comic strip called “Little Lulu”.

1961, The Marcels were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with the Rodgers & Hart song from the 1930s ‘Blue Moon’, their only UK No.1.

1967, The Young Rascals started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Groovin.’ Atlantic Records head Jerry Wexler did not want to release the song. US disc jockey Murray the K heard the track and encouraged Atlantic to release it.

1967, The Jimi Hendrix Experience appeared on UK TV’s Top Of The Pops, performing ‘Purple Haze’. During afternoon rehearsals for the show, Mick Jagger pops into the studio to see Hendrix.

1968, Mary Hopkin won her heat on the ITV talent show ‘Opportunity Knocks’. She later signed with The Beatles owned Apple Records, Paul McCartney produced her UK No.1 single ‘Those Were The Days’, which also made No. 2 in the US. Hopkin later married record producer Tony Visconti.

1970, Four students at Kent University were killed and eleven wounded by National Guard troops at a campus demonstration protesting the escalation of the Vietnam War. The incident inspired Neil Young to compose ‘Ohio’ which became a hit for Crosby Stills Nash & Young.

1973, Led Zeppelin opened their 1973 North American tour, which was billed as the ‘biggest and most profitable rock & roll tour in the history of the United States’. The group would gross over $4 million from the dates, flying between gigs in ‘The Starship’ a Boeing 720 passenger jet, complete with bar, shower room, TV and video in a 30′ lounge and a white fur bedroom.

1974, ABBA were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Waterloo’, the group’s first of nine UK No.1 singles was the 1974 Eurovision song contest winner for Sweden. The song was first called ‘Honey Pie’.

1974, Grand Funk Railroad started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with their version of the Little Eva hit ‘The Loco-Motion.’ It was only the second time that a cover version had been a No.1 as well as the original.

1974, The film soundtrack to ‘The Sting’ by Marvin Hamlisch started a five-week run at No.1 on the US album chart.

1975, Mud were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of the Buddy Holly hit from 1958 ‘Oh Boy’. Their third and final No.1 single.

1975, Elvis Presley kicked off a 31 date North American Tour by playing two shows at the Civic Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

1977, The Patti Smith Group, David Johansen, Dead Boys, Blondie, Suicide and Richard Hell & The Voidoids all appeared at a Punk Benefit at CBGB’s in New York City.

1978, ‘Night Fever’ by The Bee Gees was at No.1 on the UK singles chart. The group’s third No.1 and the theme from the film ‘Saturday Night Fever.’ The song was a US No.1 for over two months.

1985, Phyllis Nelson was at No.1 on the UK singles with ‘Move Closer’, her only UK hit making the American singer a One Hit Wonders.

1987, American blues vocalist, harmonica player Paul Butterfield, who fronted The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, died at his home in North Hollywood, California, of drug-related heart failure, he was 44. Gained international recognition, as one of the early acts performing during the Summer of Love, at Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock festival.

1989, Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine in Jersey, he was released on £5,000 bail.

1989, Stevie Ray Vaughan set out on what would be his last ever tour at the Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, British Columbia. The guitarist was killed in a helicopter crash on 27th Aug 1999 after a concert at Alpine Valley Music Theater in Wisconsin, after playing 107 of the 110 dates.

1990, Madonna played the first night of the North American leg on her 57-date Blond Ambition World Tour at The Summit in Houston, Texas.

1991, Cher scored her first solo UK No.1 single with ‘The Shoop Shoop Song’ from the film ‘Mermaids’. The song had been a hit for Betty Everett on 1964, and gave Cher her first No.1 in the UK since 1965’s ‘I Got You Babe’.

1996, Alanis Morissette started a six-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with Jagged Little Pill. The record produced six successful singles, including ‘You Oughta Know’, ‘Ironic’, ‘You Learn’, ‘Hand in My Pocket’, and ‘Head over Feet’.

1996, George Michael scored his seventh UK No.1 single as a solo artist when ‘Fastlove’ started a three-week run at the top of the chart. The second of six singles to be taken from George’s comeback album Older.

1996, Mariah Carey started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Always Be My Baby’, her 11th US No.1, a No.3 hit in the UK.

1997, Courtney Love placed an advert in The Seattle Times selling the house she had shared with Kurt Cobain. The five bedroom four bathroom house was on the market for $3m. The carriage house where Kurt Cobain died had been knocked down during refurbishment.

2000, Metallica were demanding online music service Napster cut off 335,000 users who they claimed had been illegally trading their songs. The band had passed on the names of all those they considered to be “stealing” their material over the internet in the latest development in an ongoing battle over the protection of music copyrights on the web.

2003, Madonna was at No.1 on the US album chart with American Life, the singers fifth US No.1.

2004, Clement Seymour Dodd died aged 72. Producer and major force in the development of ska and reggae, made the first recordings of Bob Marley.

2008, Madonna’s latest album Hard Candy went straight to No.1 in the UK, giving the singer a chart double, with her song 4 Minutes, featuring Justin Timberlake, on top of the singles chart for a third week. Hard Candy was Madonna’s 10th number one album.

2008, Thieves broke into the childhood home of Motown star Martha Reeves and stole about $1 million worth of uninsured recording equipment, including speakers, microphones and karaoke machines. A suspect was arrested at his home later in the day after he tried to sell the goods to a pawnshop for $400.

May 4th: Born on this day

1923, Born on this day, Ed Cassidy, drummer, Spirit, (1969 US No.25 single ‘I Got A Line On You’). In 1964 he formed the Rising Sons with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder. Cassidy died on 12th Dec 2012.

1942, Born on this day, Nicholas Ashford, Ashford and Simpson, (1979 US No.36 single ‘Found A Cure’, 1985 UK No. 3 single ‘Solid’). Wrote hits such as: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, You’re All I Need To Get By, Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, and Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand). Ashford died August 22, 2011, of complications from throat cancer, in New York.

1942, Born on this day, Ronnie Bond, drummer, The Troggs, (1966 US No.1 & UK No.2 single ‘Wild Thing’). Bond died on 13th November 1992.

1945, Born on this day, George Wadenius, Blood Sweat & Tears, (1969 US No.12 & UK No.35 single ‘You’ve Made Me So Very Happy’).

1949, Born on this day, Zal Cleminson, guitar, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, (1975 UK No.7 single ‘Delilah, 1975 album ‘Next’).

1951, Born on this day, Bruce Day, Santana, (1970 US No.4 single ‘Black Magic Woman’, 1977 UK No.11 single ‘She’s Not There’), Pablo Cruise.

1951, Born on this day, Jackie Jackson, The Jackson Five, (1970 US No.1 & UK No.2 single ‘I Want You Back’,) The Jacksons, (1977 UK No.1 single ‘Show You The Way To Go’).

1951, Born on this day, Mick Mars (real name Bob Deal), Motley Crue (1988 UK No.23 single ‘You’re All I Need’ & 1989 US No.1 album ‘Dr Feelgood’).

1959, Born on this day, Randy Travis, Since 1985, he has recorded 20 studio albums and charted over 20 No.1 hits. Considered a pivotal figure in the history of country music, Travis broke through in the mid-1980s with the release of his album Storms of Life, which sold more than three million copies. The album established him as a major force in the Neotraditional country movement.

1961, Born on this day, Jay Aston, Bucks Fizz, (1981 UK No.1 single ‘Making Your Mind Up’ plus 12 other UK Top 40 singles).

1970, Born on this day, Gregg Alexander, US singer, songwriter, New Radicals, (1999 UK No. 5 single ‘You Get What You Give’). Written hits for Ronan Keating, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Enrique Iglesias and the 2003 Grammy award winning song ‘The Game Of Love’ by Santana and Michelle Branch.

1972, Born on this day, American musician Mike Dirnt, bassist with Green Day who had the 1995 US No.2 album ‘Dookie’. Green Day are one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide.

1979, Born on this day, Lance Bass, *NSYNC, (2000 US No.1 single ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’, 1999 UK No.5 single ‘I Want You Back’).

1984, Born on this day, Ari Levine, producer and songwriter who is part of the Smeezingtons record producing team with Bruno Mars and Philip Lawrence. Worked with Adele, Snoop Dogg, Cee Lo Green, Justin Bieber, Flo Rida and many other artists.


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