1957: Sam Cooke recorded his first single, “You Send Me,” at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. The song became a massive commercial success, reaching #1 on both the Billboard R&B and Hot 100 charts, and was the first of Cooke’s 29 Billboard top 40 hits. Cooke gave the writer credit to his young brothers L.C. because he didn’t want his publisher to profit from the song and because he had hoped that L.C. would record it himself.
1958: The Kingston Trio’s self-titled first album was released by Capitol Records. It entered the charts in October, stayed there for four years, and went to #1 for one week in 1959.
1959: Johnny Horton achieved his only #1 single on the Billboard pop chart with “The Battle of New Orleans.” The record later became the chart’s best-performing single of the year.
1959: The Kingston Trio’s fourth album, The Kingston Trio At Large, was released. It was the group’s first stereo studio album and later spent fifteen weeks at #1.
1962: Aretha Franklin released “Don’t Cry, Baby” from her third studio album, The Tender, the Moving, the Swinging Aretha Franklin. The song was composed by James P. Johnson, with lyrics by Saul Bernie and Stella Unger, and was first recorded in 1929 by Bessie Smith.
1963: Lesley Gore’s debut single single, “It’s My Party,” reached #1 on the US singles charts. Two weeks later it topped the R&B chart as well. It was Gore’s only #1 single and only record to reach the top 10 in the UK.
1963: Singer Bobby Vee teamed up with renowned instrumental quartet The Ventues to release the collaborative album Bobby Vee Meets the Ventures.
1963: “One Fine Day” by The Chiffons entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later became a top 5 hit.
1963: “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash entered the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to #17.
1964: The Rolling Stones arrived at New York City’s JFK Airport before commencing their first tour of the US. The band was still relatively unknown in America, having had only one single chart that year—their cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away,” which reached #48. Nonetheless, the British group was greeted with a hysteria that echoed that of the Beatles’ arrival. Two days later, England’s Newest Hit Makers, the American version of their debut album was released, and in the fall of that year, the Stones had their first major US hit with “Time Is On My Side.”
1965: The Temptations released “Since I Lost My Baby,” a song written by Smokey Robinson and Pete Moore of the Miracles. It was a top 20 hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 and R&B charts and was included on their third studio album, The Temptin’ Temptations.
1966: The Hollies released their fourth studio album, Would You Believe?. It was the group’s last album with original bass player Eric Haydock.
1967: David Bowie’s self-title debut album was released by Deram Records. The LP, which featured the single “Love You till Tuesday,” received positive reviews, but both the album and the single were not big sellers.
1968: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by the Rolling Stones was released in the US a week after the single was issued in the UK.
1968: Lovin’ Spoonful songwriter and frontman John Sebastian left the group. In the year prior, lead guitarist Zal Yanovsky had gotten caught in a marijuana drug bust. Facing deportation, Yanovsky revealed the identity of his dealer, causing a fan backlash and added to existing tensions between the group’s members over the band’s diverging interests. Yanovsky soon left the Lovin’ Spoonful and was replaced by Jerry Yester. Soon after, Sebastian left as well to pursue a solo career. He did not play with future versions of the band, except for a brief reunion in Paul Simon’s 1980 film “One-Trick Pony” and for a performance at their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
1968: Simon & Garfunkel scored their second #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 with Mrs. Robinson. Featured in the duo’s soundtrack for the film The Graduate, the song later won a Grammy award for the Best Contemporary Pop Performance by a Vocal Duo or Group.
1968: The 5th Dimension’s cover of Laura Nyro’s “Stoned Soul Picnic” entered the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to reaching #3.
1969: The Bee Gees released “Tomorrow Tomorrow.” The song was originally intended to be recorded by Joe Cocker and it was the group’s first single released after Robin Gibb had quit the group.
1969: In room 1742 of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, John Lennon recorded his first solo single, “Give Peace A Chance,” during his Bed-In honeymoon with wife Yoko Ono. The recording was made using a simple setup of four microphones and a four-track tape recorder rented from a local recording studio, and the session was attended by dozens of journalists and various celebrities, including Timothy Leary, Rabbi Abraham Feinberg, Joseph Schwartz, Rosemary Woodruff Leary, Petula Clark, Dick Gregory, Allen Ginsberg, Roger Scott, Murray the K, Derek Taylor, and Tommy Smothers, many of whom are mentioned in the lyrics. The song reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, #2 on the British chart, and became an anthem of the American anti-war movement in the 1970s.
1972: Asylum Records released the self-titled debut album by Los Angeles band Eagles.
1972: Aretha Franklin’ double live gospel album Amazing Grace was released. Recorded in January at the New Temple Missionary Baptish Church in Los Angeles, Franklin was accompanied by Reverend James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir. Since then it has become the biggest-selling LP of Franklin’ entire career as well as the highest-selling live gospel album of all time.
1972: Pink Floyd recorded “Us and Them” during sessions at Abbey Road Studios for their eighth album, The Dark Side of the Moon.
1973: Wings’ theme song to the James Bond film Live and Let Die was released in the UK just over two weeks before it was released in the US. Written by Paul and Linda McCartney, the song recording reunited them with former Beatles producer George Martin. It the first rock song to open a Bond film and upon release, became the most successful Bond theme up to that point, reached #1 on two of the three major US charts and #9 in the UK.
1974: James Taylor’s fifth studio album, Walking Man, was released.
1975: The Rolling Stones began a tour of the US with new guitarist Ronnie Wood on Wood’s 28th birthday at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
1976: The Runaways released their self-titled debut album.
1977: Billy Joel concluded his Turnstiles album tour with the first of four sold-out shows at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Recordings from the June 3rd show were released thirty years later as part of the 30th anniversary edition of Joel’s fifth studio album, The Stranger.
1979: The Ramones released “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” from the soundtrack to the musical comedy film of the same name. The following year, the single was also included on the band’s fifth studio album, End of the Century.
1979: Wings released “Old Siam, Sir,” the lead single from their seventh and final studio album, Back to the Egg, in the UK. In the US, the song was issued as the B-side of “Arrow Through Me.”
1981: George Harrison’s ninth studio album, Somewhere in England, was released. The album was recorded as Harrison was becoming increasingly frustrated with the music industry and was his first LP released after the murder of former Beatles bandmate John Lennon, who Harrison pays tribute to in the album’s first single, “All Those Years Ago.”
1983: The Talking Heads’ fifth studio album, Speaking in Tongues, was released. It was the group’s first album, apart from their debut LP, without Brian Eno as producer. It became their commercial breakthrough, reaching #15 on the Billboard chart, and produced the band’s first and only American top 10 hit, “Burning Down the House.”
1985: Shortly after the Police went on hiatus, singer, songwriter, and bassist Sting released his first solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles.
1988: Patti Smith released “People Have the Power,” the lead single from her fifth studio album, Dream of Life.
1992: Del Amitri released Change Everything, the group’s third studio album. It became their highest-charting LP, reaching #2 on the UK chart.
1993: A reformed Velvet Underground performed their first show of a European tour at The Playhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland.
1996: Patti Smith released “Summer Cannibals,” the lead single from her sixth studio album, Gone Again.
1999: Blondie released “Nothing Is Real but the Girl,” the second single from their seventh studio album, No Exit.
2010: Jack Johnson’s fifth studio album, To the Sea, was released in the US. The album had previously been released in Japan on May 26th and in the UK on May 31st. It debuted at #1 in the US and sold nearly a quarter of a million copies in its first week.
Nelson Riddle, arranger, composer, bandleader and orchestrator, who, while with Capitol Records, contributed to the success of vocalists like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, and Linda Ronstadt, was born in Oradell, NJ in 1921.
Hazel Dickens, bluegrass pioneer and activist, was born in Mercer County, WV in 1935.
Jim McCarty, guitarist who has performed and recorded with Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, the Buddy Miles Express, Bob Seger, Jimi Hendrix, Cactus, and many others, was born in Detroit, MI in 1945.
Ronnie Wood, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist; bassist for the Jeff Beck Group, guitarist for Faces and the Rolling Stones, and a solo artist, was born in Hillingdon, Middlesex, England in 1947.
Alan Wilder, keyboardist, drummer, and vocalist for Depeche Mode, was born in Hammersmith, London, England in 1959.
Simon Gallup, bass guitarist for the Cure, was born in Duxhurst, Surrey, England in 1960.
Mike Joyce, drummer for the Smiths, was born in Fallowfield, Manchester, England in 1963.
Alanis Morissette, singer and songwriter, was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1974.