1956, Dean Martin was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Memories Are Made Of This’. The American actor, comedian, singer and TV hosts biggest hit. Also covered by The Everly Brothers, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra and The Driffters.
1961, The Miracles’ ‘Shop Around’ became Motown Record’s first million-selling single. It was also the label’s first No.1 hit on Billboard’s R&B singles chart. In the following ten years, The Miracles would have six more million sellers.
1964, The Beatles returned to New York City by train from Washington, D.C. for two performances at Carnegie Hall. There was such a demand for tickets that some extra seating was arranged surrounding the stage. Tickets ranged from $1.65 to $5.50.
1965, Pye Records announced that they’d signed ‘the British Bob Dylan’, when they added Donovan to the label. The Scottish singer-songwriter produced a series of hit albums and singles between 1965 and 1970 and became a friend of leading pop musicians including Joan Baez, Brian Jones and The Beatles. He influenced John Lennon when he taught him a finger-picking guitar style in 1968.
1967, 15 police officers raided Redlands the West Sussex home of The Rolling Stone Keith Richards during a weekend party. The police who were armed with a warrant issued under the dangerous drugs act took away various substances for forensic tests. George and Pattie Harrison had been at the house, but it was said that the police waited for them to leave before they raided the house in order not to bust the holder of an MBE.
1969, ‘(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice’ by Amen Corner was at No.1 on the UK singles chart, the group’s only UK No.1. The song was first offered to The Tremeloes as a potential single, who rejected it.
1970, John Lennon performed ‘Instant Karma!’ on BBC TV’s Top Of The Pops, becoming the first Beatle to have appeared on the show since 1966. Lennon wrote, recorded, and mixed his new single, all in one day. It ranks as one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history. Lennon later stated, “I wrote it for breakfast, recorded it for lunch, and we’re putting it out for dinner.”
1972, Al Green went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Let’s Stay Together’, his only US chart topper. It was ranked the 60th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Tina Turner had a hit with the song in 1984.
1977, The Police recorded their first single, ‘Fall Out’ for £150 ($255) at Pathway Studios, London, England.
1977, Blondie, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and the Ramones all appeared at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles, California.
1977, Pink Floyd released their tenth studio album Animals in the US, where it reached No.3 in the charts. The album’s cover image, a pig floating between two chimneys on Battersea Power Station, was conceived by bassist Roger Waters and realised by long-time design and photographic collaborators Hipgnosis.
1989, Aretha Franklin lost a court case against Broadway producer Ashton Springer, who sued for $1 million when Aretha failed to turn up for rehearsals for the stage show Sing Mahalia Sing, blaming her fear of flying on the non appearance.
1997, U2 held a press conference in the Lingerie Department at the Greenwich Village Kmart store in Manhattan, New York City, to announce their Pop Mart world tour. The tour was set to start in Las Vegas on April 25th of this year.
2000, American singer, songwriter, musician Screamin’ Jay Hawkins died aged 70 after emergency surgery for an aneurysm. A Golden Gloves boxing champion at 16, he was married nine times, fathered over 30 children, spent two years in jail and was temporary blinded by one of his flaming props on stage in 1976. He recorded ‘I Put A Spell On You’ in 1956, (which was covered by many acts including The Animals, Creedance Clearwater Revival and Nina Simone).
2003, Former Doors drummer John Densmore took out legal action against The Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger for breach of contract, trademark infringement and unfair competition. The band had reformed with Ex- Cult singer Ian Astbury and former Police drummer Stewart Copeland. Densmore said “It shouldn’t be called The Doors if it’s someone other than Jim Morrison singing.”
2005, The Class 47 locomotive 47828 was named after Clash frontman Joe Strummer at a ceremony in Bristol. The diesel train, owned by Cotswold Rail, was named after the singer/guitarist who died, aged 50, in 2002.
2007, During a press conference at West Hollywood’s Whisky a Go Go club Sting confirmed that The Police were getting back together. The band were set to kick off a world tour on May 28 in Vancouver, Canada, supported by Sting’s son Joe Sumner’s band, Fiction Plane.
2008, Ronald Isley’s appeal against a three-year jail term for tax fraud was rejected by a US court. The 65-year-old singer of the Isley Brothers argued against being imprisoned in an Indiana jail on the grounds of age and poor health. The court heard he cashed royalty cheques belonging to his brother O’Kelly, who died in 1996 and spent millions of dollars made from undeclared performances on a yacht and two homes. Isley was ordered to pay more than $3.1m to the US tax service for “pathological” evasion.
2009, A full frontal nude photo of Madonna taken in 1979 before she became famous, sold at auction for $37,500. The black and white picture was taken at a time when Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was a 20-year-old dancer trying to make ends meet in New York.
2014, It was reported that Rock music overtook pop in UK album sales during 2013, winning a bigger share of the market for the first time in five years. Rod Stewart’s ‘Time’ was the best-selling album to be classified as rock by the Official Charts Company, followed by Arctic Monkeys and Bastille. In total rock accounted for 33.8% of album sales, compared with 31% for pop, said industry body the BPI. However, pop records still held the lead in single sales.
2015, Welsh singer Steve Strange, (born Steven Harrington) lead singer of Eighties pop band Visage, died aged 55 following a heart attack in hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. His band, Visage, formed in 1979 (with Rusty Egan and Midge Ure from Rich Kids, Billy Currie from Ultravox, and Barry Adamson, John McGeoch and Dave Formula from Magazine), and their breakthrough single, ‘Fade To Grey’, peaked at No.8 in the UK in 1981. Strange appeared in the video for David Bowie’s No.1 hit ‘Ashes to Ashes’.
2017, Adele was the biggest winner at The 59th Annual Grammy Awards with five trophies, including Album of the Year for 25, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year for ‘Hello’. Adele also became the first artist in history to win all three general field awards in the same ceremony twice, previously winning all three categories in 2012. David Bowiewon Best Rock Performance, Best Alternative Music Album, Best Rock Song and Best Recording Package for Blackstar.
2017, American singer and musician Al Jarreau died of respiratory failure at the age of 76, just two days after announcing his retirement. During his career he received a total of seven Grammy Awards and is best known for his 1981 album Breakin’ Away. He also sang the theme song of the late-1980s television series Moonlighting.