Monday, May 15, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: May 16

1960:  The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania celebrated proclaimed it "Jimmy Clanton Week".
1960:  Elvis Presley held on to #1 for a fourth week with "Stuck On You".

1964:  This great group formed in 1962 in Manchester, England.  They went on the record 23 hits and are one of The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era*.  On this date, the Hollies first debuted on the chart with their debut single--"Just One Look".  (Note:  some websites report that the group formed in "autumn" of 1962, while others claim they formed in December.  Although unfortunately no credible sources exist for their exact founding, the Hollies debuted at the Oasis Club in December of 1962, so it is doubtful they started a band the month they made their live debut.) 

1964:  "My Guy" by Mary Wells was the new #1 song.  "Hello, Dolly!" by Louis Armstrong fell to #2 after just one week at the top while the Beatles were closing fast with "Love Me Do", which moved from 12 to 3.  The Dave Clark Five had #4 with "Bits And Pieces while the Beatles fell to #5 with "Do You Want To Know A Secret".
1965:  Petula Clark performed on The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS-TV.  (Note:  numerous websites falsely claim that the Beach Boys appeared on the show.  The group was scheduled to appear, but canceled, according to ''.)

1966:  The Beach Boys released their landmark Pet Sounds album.
1968:  Tony Joe White recorded the song 'Polk Salad Annie". at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  (Note:  one website claims White recorded the song in 1969--it was released in 1968, making that impossible.)
1969:  Jack Cassady of Jefferson Airplane was arrested at the Royal Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana for possession of marijuana.
1969:  Pete Townshend of the Who was arrested onstage after mistakenly kicking a New York police officer.
1970:  The Moments enjoyed their moment as "Love On A Two-Way Street" hit #1 on the R&B chart.

                                  "Cecelia", one of the bad girls of the Rock Era. 

1970:  The Guess Who's double sided hit "American Woman"/"No Sugar Tonight" remained at #1 for another week with the Jackson 5's former #1 "ABC" holding strong at #2.  The Ides of March had a huge hit with "Vehicle" while the Beatles' former #1 "Let It Be" was now at #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Cecilia" from Simon & Garfunkel moved from 14 to 5, Norman Greenbaum slipped to 6 with "Spirit In The Sky", funnyman Ray Steven's serious song "Everything Is Beautiful" was at #7, Tyrone Davis edged up one with "Turn Back The Hands Of Time", CCR had a huge double-sided hit of their own with a 13-9 jump for "Up Around The Bend"/"Run Through The Jungle" and the Marmalade remained at #10 with "Reflections Of My Life".

                                   CSNY dislodged a classic from the top...

1970:  Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel finally relinquished its spot at #1 on the Album chart after 10 weeks, falling to #2.  The winner was the great Deja Vu by Crosby Stills, Nash & Young.  McCartney, Paul's first solo release, went from 14-3 with Hey Jude from the Beatles at 4 and Band of Gypsys (sp) by Jimi Hendrix coming in fifth.  The rest of the Top 10:  Chicago II at #6, Steppenwolf 'Live', It Ain't Easy from Three Dog Night moving from 18 to 8, the Guess Who at 9 with American Woman and Bobby Sherman scored a Top 10 album with Here Comes Bobby.

1970:  Randy Bachman left the Guess Who after a show at the Fillmore East in New York City.  He would soon form the highly-successful Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
1970:  Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane was arrested for marijuana possession and for contributing to the delinquency of minors in Bloomington, Minnesota.  (What the heck was going on May 16?  May be a good day to stay inside..)
1975:  Chuck Berry hosted a retro tribute on The Midnight Special with taped performances by the Drifters, Lesley Gore, the Angels, and Danny & the Juniors.
1980:  Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn of the Buggles joined Yes after the exit of Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman.
1980:  Dr. George Nichopoulos was indicted on 14 counts of overprescribing drugs to Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and 12 other patients in Memphis, Tennessee.

1981:  "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes was the top song in America, leapfrogging "Just The Two Of Us" by Grover Washington, Jr. and Bill Withers.  "Being With You" from Smokey Robinson was #3, followed by Juice Newton's "Angel Of The Morning" and Sheena Easton's former #1 "Morning Train (Nine To Five)" at 5.  The rest of the Top 10:  REO Speedwagon had another big hit with "Take It On The Run", Gino Vannelli edged up one with "Living Inside Myself", A Taste of Honey was at 8 with "Sukiyaki", Hall & Oates' former #1 "Kiss On My List" was #9 and Styx had a Top 10 song with "Too Much Time On My Hands".
1981:  REO Speedwagon's album Hi Infidelity, which had already spent 9 weeks at #1, regained the top position from Styx's Paradise Theater, which fell to #2.  Arc of a Diver by Steve Winwood was #3, followed by Face Dances by the Who and Grover Washington, Jr.'s great album Winelight.
1981:  Martin Chambers of the Pretenders married Tracy Atkinson in Los Angeles.
1981:  Ernie Freeman, a session musician (piano on "The Great Pretender" by the Platters), recording artist ("Raunchy"), and famed arranger ("Bridge Over Troubled Water" for Simon & Garfunkel, "Strangers In The Night" and "That's Life" for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin ("Everybody Loves Somebody", and arranger for artists including Bing Crosby, Connie Francis and Bobby Darin, among others, died of a heart attack at his home in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 58.  (Note:  some websites report that Freeman died in Hollywood, California, while others say he died in Los Angeles, and '' hilariously reports that Freeman died in Hawai'i.  According to the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times', Freeman died at this home.  He never lived in Hawai'i.  Unfortunately, there are no credible sources as to his place of death, but our best research indicates that Freeman died in Beverly Hills.)
1983:  Michael Jackson performed the moonwalk for the first time before a live audience in the television special Motown 25:  Yesterday, Today and Forever.
1984:  Prince released the single "When Doves Cry".
1987:  "Just To See Her" from Smokey Robinson was atop the Adult Contemporary chart.
1987:  "Always" by Atlantic Starr was the new #1 R&B song.

1987:  U2 scored a #1 song "With Or Without You", jumping over "Looking For A New Love".  The biggest move within the Top 10 came from Atlantic Starr, which moved from 17 to 10 with "Always".
1987:  David Crosby married Jan Dance in Los Angeles, California.  Stephen Stills gave the bride away.  Graham Nash also renewed vows with his wife Susan.

1988:  Richard Marx released the single "Hold On To The Nights".
1990:  Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets and singles "Rainbow Connection" and "Rubber Duckie", died of pneumonia at age 53 in New York City.

1990:  Sammy Davis, Jr. died at the age of 64 from throat cancer in Beverly Hills, California.
1992:  Genesis took over the #1 position on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Hold On My Heart".  It would remain there for five weeks.

1992:  En Vogue's great song "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna' Get It)" topped the R&B chart.
1992:  No Fences from Garth Brooks moved from 15 to 7 on the Album chart.  Adrenalize from Def Leppard was #1 for a fifth consecutive week.
1993:  Marv Johnson died of a stroke at age 54 in Columbia, South Carolina.  Johnson helped get the Tamla Motown label off the ground in 1959 with "Come To Me".
1998:  Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones fell again, this time off a chair in his Connecticut home, injuring his ribs and chest.  The Stones had to cancel concert dates.
1999:  Diana Ross and Brandy starred in the television movie Double Platinum on ABC.
2000:  Pearl Jam released the album Binaural on Epic Records.
2000:  "The Artist" announced that he was reclaiming the name "Prince" after his contract with Warner-Chappell had expired.  The superstar had actually lost the rights to that name through the previous contract (which is why he rebelled by calling himself the "unpronounceable symbol".
2002:  Cher was a guest star on the television show Will & Grace on NBC.
2003:  The post office in Frank Sinatra's hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey was named after him.
2003:  Soul great Barry White suffered a stroke while undergoing dialysis treatment in Los Angeles for kidney failure.
2004:  Usher's "Burn" took over the #1 spot from his own "Yeah!".

2004:  Carlos Santana, Alicia Keys and Andrea Bocelli performed at the We are the Future concert at the Circus Maximus in Rome, Italy.  Circus Maximus was the first and largest chariot racing and entertainment facility that dates back to the second century before Christ and was built to hold 250,000 people.  The show, organized by Quincy Jones, benefited child care centers in Africa and the Middle East.
2007:  Parma, Italy named streets after Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
2012:  Chuck Brown ("Bustin' Loose"), died May 16, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland at age 75 from multiple organ failures.

Born This Day:

1932:  Drummer Isaac "Redd" Holt, who gave us two of rock's great instrumentals ("Soulful Strut" with Young-Holt Unlimited and "The In Crowd" with the Ramsey Lewis trio), was born in Rosedale, Mississippi.
1933:  Corinthian "Kripp" Johnson, tenor for the Del-Vikings ("Come Go With Me"), was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts; died of cancer June 25, 1990 in Pontiac, Michigan.
1945:  Nicky Chinn, songwriter extraordinaire and producer with Mike Chapman, was born in London.  Chinn and Chapman wrote "Kiss You All Over" for Exile,  "Little Willy" and "Ballroom Blitz" for Sweet, "Better Be Good To Me" for Tina Turner, "Mickey" for Toni Basil, "Heart And Soul" for Huey Lewis & the News, "Stumblin' In" for Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman, and many others.
1946:  Drummer Billy Cobham, who played for James Brown and Peter Gabriel, was born in  Colón, Panama.  (Many websites, including '', lazily report that Cobham was born in Panama.  According to Billy's official website, he was born in Colón.

1946:  Elite guitarist Robert Fripp of King Crimson was born in Wimborne, Dorset, England.  (Note:  some websites lazily report that Fripp was born in Dorset, England.  Dorset is a county, but the city that Fripp was born in is Wimborne, according to the book 'Legends of Rock Guitar:  The Essential Reference of Rock's Greatest Guitarists' by Pete Prown and Harvey P. Newquist.)
1946:  Roger Earl, drummer of Savoy Brown and Foghat, was born in London.
1947:  Darrell Sweet, drummer for Nazareth, was born in Bournemouth, Hampshire, England; died of a heart attack April 30, 1999 in New Albany, Indiana.  (Note:  some websites naively say that Sweet was born in Bournemouth, Dorset, England.  While Bournemouth is now in the county of Dorset, the city was a part of Hampshire until 1974.  Since Sweet was born in 1947, you will never see Dorset listed on his official birth certificate.)
1964:  Boyd Tinsley, violinist and mandolinist of the Dave Matthews Band, was born in Charlottesville, Virginia.
1965:  Krist Novoselic, bassist with Nirvana, was born in Compton, California.

1966:  Janet Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana.
1968:  Ralph Tresvant of the New Edition and later a solo star, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Note:  some websites report that Tresvant was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts.  Roxbury was once a town, but it hasn't been since 1868, when it was annexed by Boston.  It is now a neighborhood in Boston, and neighborhoods are never listed on official birth certificates.)
1974:  Sonny Sandoval, singer with P.O.D., was born in San Diego, California.  (Note:  some websites report Sandoval was born in San Ysidro, California.  San Ysidro was annexed by San Diego in 1957, long before Sandoval's birth.  In 1974, San Ysidro was not a city, but rather a district within the city of San Diego.)

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