Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: May 19

1958:  Peggy Lee recorded the great song "Fever" at the famous Capitol Tower Studios in Hollywood, California.
1958:  Bobby Darin released the single "Splish Splash".  (Note:  some naive websites report the song was recorded June 21.  It is impossible for a song to have been released if it has not been recorded.  According to notes from the official website for Bobby Darin, the song was recorded on April 10 and released May 19.)

1958:  This group debuted on the chart with their first single.  Lead singer Dion would score 33 hits into the 1980's.  The first release from Dion & the Belmonts was "I Wonder Why".

1958:  An influential surf-rock duo that formed in high school as the Barons recorded their first song in a garage.  They scored 26 hits until a tragic accident to Jan Berry cut their recording career short.  On this date, the first single from Jan & Dean, credited as Jan & Arnie, debuted on the chart--"Jennie Lee".
1960:  The Drifters recorded "Save The Last Dance For Me".
1961:  The Everly Brothers began their own record label, Calliope Records.
1962:  Dee Dee Sharp remained at the top of the R&B chart for a fourth week with "Mashed Potato Time".

1962:  "Soldier Boy" by the Shirelles was #1 for a third week, holding off the great instrumental "Stranger On The Shore" by Mr. Acker Bilk.  Dee Dee Sharp was all about "Mashed Potato Time" at #3 while Shelley Fabares loomed close to the top with "Johnny Angel" at #4.

1967:  Strawberry Alarm Clock released the single "Incense And Peppermints".
1967:  The Beatles held a launch party at manager Brian Epstein's house in London for the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
1968:  The 5th Dimension were guests on The Ed Sullivan Show.
1968:  The Doors, the Animals, the Youngbloods, and Country Joe and the Fish were among the performers on the second and final day of the Northern California Rock Festival at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in Santa Clara.)

1971:  Pink Floyd were in concert at the Student Health Centre Reflectory at Edinburgh University in Edinburgh, Scotland.  (Note:  several websites incorrectly report that the show was on June 2.  Pink Floyd was due to perform on May 19 at Caledonian Cinema in Edinburgh but the venue was changed to Edinburgh University, according to the book 'Echoes:  The Complete History of Pink Floyd' by Glenn Povey.  As you can see from the above ticket, the show indeed was on May 19.)  
1972:  Elton John released the album Honky Chateau in the U.K.
1973:  "Daniel" by Elton John spent a second week at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

1973:  "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life", one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era* by Stevie Wonder, was the new #1, trading places with Dawn's "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree".  "Little Willy" from Sweet was #3 followed by Edgar Winter Group's classic instrumental Frankenstein".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Daniel" from Elton John, Paul McCartney & Wings climbed from 13 to 6 with "My Love", Dobie Gray's great song "Drift Away" was song #7, Stealers Wheel had #8 with "Stuck In The Middle With You, Sylvia moved from 14-9 with "Pillow Talk" and Skylark's one and only hit "Wildflower" entered the Top 10.

1975:  Elton John released the album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy in the United States on MCA Records.  (Note:  several websites claim the album was released in the United States on May 17, 1975 and was certified Platinum on the date of release.  Several websites, including MTV,' and unfortunately Elton's official website, claim that the album was released May 23.  The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which certifies official album sales, reports that the album was released May 19, and the RIAA certified the album Gold on May 21.  As great an album as 'Captain Fantastic' is, it is physically impossible for an album to be certified Gold if it hasn't been released yet.  As for the LP's Platinum status, the RIAA did not certify the album as Platinum until 1993, as shown on their official website.) 

1975:  The song that launched the greatest comeback of the Rock Era, and essentially gave the Bee Gees a second career...The trio released "Jive Talkin'" on this date.  (Note:  many na├»ve websites report the single was released May 31.  "Jive Talkin'" debuted on the Singles chart on May 31, 1975.  It is physically impossible for a song to be released by a record company, mailed to radio stations, listened to and added to playlists by the radio station, reported to the trade papers, and printed and published by the trade papers, all on the same day.)

1975:  Paul McCartney & Wings released the single "Listen To What The Man Said".
1976:  Trouble is his middle name.  Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones crashed his car near Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England.  Police found cocaine and marijuana in the car--small wonder.

1978:  Dire Straits released the single "Sultans Of Swing".  It flopped, but after a re-release, became a hit the following year.

1979:  "Just When I Needed You Most" by Randy Vanwarmer became the new #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1979:  Rex Smith moved from 59 to 30 with "You Take My Breath Away".
1979:  ABBA once again had the #1 album in the U.K., moving into the top position with their latest Voulez Vous.
1979:  Peaches & Herb was #1 for a fourth week on the R&B chart with "Reunited".

1979:  "Reunited" remained #1 for the third week out of four it would spend at the top for Peaches & Herb.  Donna Summer was making a bid with the Disco Rock song "Hot Stuff".

                              Supertramp reached #1...

1979:  The classic album Breakfast in America took over at #1 for the first time on this date, replacing Minute by Minute from the Doobie Brothers, which fell to #4.  Peaches & Herb had #2--2 Hot! while Bad Company came in third with Desolation Angels.  The rest of the Top 10:  Spirits Having Flown, the great album from the Bee Gees, Van Halen's second album at #6, We Are Family from Sister Sledge at #7, Go West by the Village People at 8, Blondie's Parallel Lines at #9 and Bad Girls by Donna Summer, moving from 39 to 10.

1980:  Olivia Newton-John released the single "Magic".  (Note:  some websites report the single was released on May 23.  "Magic" debuted on the Singles chart on May 24.  It is physically impossible for a song to be released by a record company, received and listened to by radio stations, reported by radio stations to the trade papers, and the trade papers printed and published, all in one day.)

1984:  ZZ Top released "Legs" on Dusty Hill's birthday.
1984:  "The Longest Time" from Billy Joel took over at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1984:  "Hello" by Lionel Richie spent a third week at #1 on the R&B chart.

1984:  Richard Carpenter married his wife Mary in Downey, California.
1984:  The Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon made it 10 consecutive years (520 weeks in a row) on the Album chart as one of the Top 200 top-selling albums of the week.
1985:  The television special Motown Returns to the Apollo aired on NBC.

1986:  Genesis released the single "Invisible Touch".
1988:  Not a good way to go out, but an undeniable way to leave your legacy.  James Brown was arrested for the fifth time in 12 months, charged with possession of PCP, unlawful possession of a pistol, resisting arrest, simple assault and battery against his wife and failure to stop for police at his home in Beech Island, South Carolina.
1990:  "Vogue" became Madonna's eighth #1 song on this date, taking over from "Nothing Compares 2 (sic) U (sic) by Sinead O'Connor.  Heart moved up with "All I Wanna' Do Is Make Love To You" at #3 and Wilson Phillips were at 4 with "Hold On".  
1990"  This Old Heart Of Mine" by Rod Stewart and Ronald Isley, was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for the fifth week in a row, making it one of the top AC hits of the 90's.
1991:  Odia Coates, who sang "Having My Baby" and others with Paul Anka, died of breast cancer in Oakland, California at the age of 49.
1997:  The Backstreet Boys released the single "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" in the United States.  
2003:  Aretha Franklin organized a candlelight vigil and prayer service at the Little Rock Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan for the great Luther Vandross, who suffered a stroke in April.
2004:  Gretchen Wilson debuted on the Album chart at #2 with Here for the Party.

2006:  Freddie Garrity of Freddie & the Dreamers ("I'm Telling You Now") died in Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales at the age of 69 after suffering from emphysema for many years.
2007:  Frank Guida, who produced "Quarter To Three" for Gary U.S. Bonds and "If You Wanna' Be Happy" for Jimmy Soul, among others, and was also the owner of a record company, died in Virginia Beach, Virginia shortly before his 85th birthday.  (Note:  the notoriously wrong '' and other websites falsely report that Guida died in Norfolk, Virginia.  Frank's obituary appeared in a Norfolk newspaper, 'The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot', but if they had bothered to read further, they would see that Guida died at his home in Virginia Beach.) 
2009:  Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff received a lifetime songwriting achievement award from BMI.

Born This Day:

1945:  Elite guitarist and leader of the Who, Pete Townshend was born in Chiswick, London.
1947:  Greg Herbert, saxophonist and flautist of Blood, Sweat and Tears; died of a drug overdose in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on January 31, 1977.
1947:  Steve Currie, bassist of T. Rex, was born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England; died  in a car crash near Vale de Parra, Algarve, Portugal April 28, 1981.  (Note:  some websites report his birth as May 20, but according to the BBC, Currie was born May 19.  Some websites say Currie was born in the county of North Lincolnshire; the county was simply called Lincolnshire.)
1947:  Jerry Hyman, trombone player of Blood, Sweat and Tears was born in Brooklyn, New York.

1948:  Great saxophone player and three-time Grammy Award winner (nominated 13 times) Tom Scott was born in Los Angeles, California.  Scott recorded the theme songs to Starsky & Hutch and The Streets of San Francisco, and is one of the top session musicians of the Rock Era.  Scott, who also has played flute, horn, percussion, synthesizers, and many other instruments, has played on "Listen To What The Man Said" by Paul McCartney & Wings, "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" by Rod Stewart, "Rhinestone Cowboy" by Glen Campbell, "Rosanna" by Toto, "Rapture" by Blondie, "Sing" by the Carpenters, "Lido Shuffle" by Boz Scaggs, "Saving All My Love For You" by Whitney Houston, and "It Never Rains In Southern California" by Albert Hammond.  Scott has also collaborated with Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, the Beach Boys, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton-John, Barry Manilow, Pat Benatar, Diana Ross, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd, Hall & Oates, Bread, Dan Fogelberg (including the album Phoenix), Steely Dan (album Aja), Helen Reddy, Johnny Rivers, Johnny Mathis, The Captain & Tennille, Donovan, Josh Groban, Steppenwolf, Joan Baez, Michael Buble, the Grateful Dead, Earl Klugh, and many others.

1949:  Dusty Hill, bass guitarist and vocalist of ZZ Top, was born in Dallas, Texas.
1952:  Joey Ramone, songwriter and lead singer of the Ramones, was born in Queens, New York; died of lymphoma April 15, 2001 in New York City.  (Note:  some websites report that Ramone was born in Forest Hills, New York.  Forest Hills is a neighborhood, not a city, and will never appear on an official birth certificate.  Ramone was born in Queens.)
1952:  Barbara Joyce Lomas, singer with B.T. Express ("Express"), was born in Bessemer, Alabama.
1956:  Martyn Ware of the Human League and later Heaven 17, who also produced "Let's Stay Together" for Tina Turner, was born in Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England.  (Note:  the infamous '' and other websites report that Ware was born on May 16.  This is false, according to the official websites for Heaven 17 and the city of Sheffield, as well as 'ABC News' and 'BBC'.  Numerous websites list Ware's county of birth as Yorkshire or South Yorkshire.  Sheffield did not become part of the county of South Yorkshire until 1974 with the Local Government Act, long after Ware's birth--the correct name of the county Martyn was born in is West Riding of Yorkshire) 
1960:  Phil Rudd, drummer for AC/DC, was born in Melbourne, Australia.
1962:  Iain Harvie, guitarist with Del Amitri, was born in Glasgow, Scotland.
1970:  Attrell Cordes, who formed P.M. Dawn with his brother Jarrett, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey; died June 17 in New Jersey after suffering from diabetes and renal kidney failure.
1972:  Jenny Berggren of Ace of Base was born in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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