May 23

Today In Music History

1940 : Recorded on this day, Frank Sinatra – “I’ll Never Smile Again”

1960 : The Everly Brothers started a five week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Cathy’s Clown’, which also spent seven weeks at No.1 in the UK. It became the Everly Brothers’ biggest hit single and their third and final US chart topper, selling eight million copies worldwide.

1963 : Paul Revere and the Raiders sign their first major label contract with Columbia Records.

1964 : The Beach Boys score their first #1 hit: I Get Around.

1964 : Ella Fitzgerald became the first artist to have a hit with a Beatles cover when ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ entered the UK chart.

1964 : In an interview with Melody Maker, Louis Armstrong says no one wanted the song “Hello, Dolly!”

1965 : No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: The Beach Boys’ Help Me, Rhonda

1966 : The Doors play their first show. The gig is at the The Whisky A-Go-Go in West Hollywood, where they would become the house band for a while.

1967 : Recorded on this day, Pink Floyd – “See Emily Play”

1969 : The Who’s rock opera “Tommy” is released

1970 : Paul McCartney’s debut solo album, ‘McCartney’, started a three-week run at No.1 on the US album chart. Apart from Linda McCartney’s vocal contributions, McCartney performed (and recorded) the entire album solo. The album featured ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’, which Rod Stewart and the Faces featured on their 1971 album Long Player.

1970 : The Beatles 12th and final studio album ‘Let It Be’ started a three week run at No.1 on the UK chart, featuring ‘The Long And Winding Road’, ‘Across The Universe’ and the title track.

1970 : Grateful Dead play outside North America for the first time, doing a 4-hours set at the Hollywood Music Festival in England. Mungo Jerry and Steppenwolf are also on the bill.

1971 : Iron Butterfly breaks up

1973 : Jefferson Airplane were prevented from giving a free concert in Golden Gate Park when San Francisco authorities passed a resolution banning electronic instruments. The group later wrote ‘We Built this City’ about the ban.

1974 : George Harrison announced the launch of his own record label, ‘Dark Horse.’

1975 : B.J. Thomas’ “(Hey, Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” is certified gold.

1976 : Recorded on this day, Bob Dylan’s – “Hard Rain” album

1977 : When San Francisco outlaws “electronic instruments” in public, a free Jefferson Airplane concert in Golden Gate Park is canceled.

1978 : Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band kicked off their 117 show Darkness Tour at Shea’s Buffalo, in Buffalo, New York.

1979 : Tom Petty files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (owing $575,000) in a legal maneuver to protect him from MCA, which has acquired his record company. A deal is reached where MCA creates a subsidiary called Backstreet Records, which is devoted to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

1979 : The Who’s acclaimed documentary “The Kids Are Alright” debuts in New York City.

1979 : Sister Sledge’s We Are Family is certified platinum.

1982 : The UK Musicians Union moved a resolution to ban synthesizers and drum rhythm machines from sessions and live concerts fearing that their use would put musicians out of work.

1985 : It’s Aretha Franklin Appreciation Day in Michigan, as Governor James Blanchard declares the singer “One of Michigan’s natural resources.”

1987 : The Doobie Brothers reunite with original members, including singer/guitarist Tom Johnston, for a Vietnam Veterans benefit at the Hollywood Bowl. The show leads to a reunion tour for The Doobies. The show raised $350,000 for Vietnam veterans, about two-thousand of whom attended the show for free.

1991 : Photographer Michael Lavine took what would be the publicity shots for Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ album at Jay Aaron Studios in Los Angeles. The idea for the front cover shot of the baby swimming was taken after Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl saw a TV documentary on water babies and was taken by Kirk Weddle. Several babies were used; five-month old Spencer Eldon’s photo came out best.

1992 : A statement issued by Freddie Mercury’s attorneys stated that Mercury had bequeathed the majority of his estate ($17 million) to his long-time friend Mary Austin.

1992 : Iron Maiden went to No.1 on the UK album chart with ‘Fear Of The Dark’ their third No.1 album.

2000 : Noel Gallagher walked out on his band Oasis during a European tour. The move was put down to a series of burst-ups with his brother Liam. The band drafted in replacement guitarist Matt Deighton for the rest of the European dates.

2000 : Billy Corgan announces that The Smashing Pumpkins will break up at the end of the year, saying they are tired of “fighting the good fight against the Britneys of the world.”

2002 : Cliff Richard announced plans to launch a new wine ‘Vida Nova’. 27,000 bottles of the Portuguese red from the grapes of his 25 acre estate would go on sale at $15.28 a bottle.

2002 : ‘Up For Grabs’ opened at London’s Wyndham’s Theatre featuring Madonna in the lead role. The first night crowd complained that the singer was lacking in vocal power and strained to hear her lines.

2002 : Winners at the 47th Ivor Novello awards included, Dido for Songwriter of the year, Best song went to U2, ‘Walk On.’ Kylie Minogue won The Dance Award and Most Performed Work and International Hit for ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.’ Hear’say won Bestselling UK single for ‘Pure And Simple’. Mick Hucknall won Outstanding Song collection and Kate Bush was awarded Outstanding Contribution to British music.

2006 : The king of Sweden presented the surviving members of Led Zeppelin with the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm recognizing them as “great pioneers” of rock music. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were joined by the daughter of drummer John Bonham, who died in 1980. The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson, manager of Swedish pop group Abba, who named it after his record label, Polar Records previous winners include Sir Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and producer Quincy Jones.

2007 : The US Library of Congress hands out the first Gershwin Award to Paul Simon for being a “performer whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins.”

2010 : The Rolling Stones scored their first UK No.1 album for 16 years with the re-release of their classic 1972 double LP ‘Exile On Main Street’. The album, which was first released in 1972, had been reissued with previously unheard tracks. Their last No.1 album was 1994’s Voodoo Lounge.

2012 : Billboard reports that the albums of Donna Summer increase in sales by a factor of over 3000% in the week following her death on May 17 after a battle with cancer.

2012 : Erasmus MC University Medical Center in the Netherlands announced they had drawn clear links between listening to loud music, smoking marijuana and having “risky” sex. The study, published in the Official Journal of the American Academy Of Pediatrics, revealed that young people who listened to loud music on their MP3 players were more likely to have sparked up a joint in the last month. The researchers, surveyed 944 students from inner-city vocational schools aged 15 to 25.

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