1956: Elvis Presley topped Billboard’s “Best Sellers in Stores” and “Most Played by Jockeys” lists with “Love Me Tender.”
1957: Sam Cooke appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show to sing his debut single, “You Send Me.” Cooke was the final act of the program and his performance was unfortunately cut short moments into the first verse when the live program ran long. The Ed Sullivan Show received so many complaints that Cooke was immediately re-booked for December 1. After his televised performance, “You Send Me” hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
1962: “He’s a Rebel” by the Crystals became the group’s first and only #1 and first of three top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. In reality, the song was recorded by a trio called the Blossoms. The song’s writer, Gene Pitney, had originally intended it for the Shirelles, but they had declined. Producer Phil Spector then learned that singer Vicki Carr planned to release her recording of the song as her debut single, and Spector was determined to have his own version on sale first and beat her to the chart. Since the Crystals were currently on tour on the east coast, Spector had Los Angeles girl group The Blossoms record the song, but credited it to the Crystals, much to the Crystals’ surprise when they heard “their” new song introduced by disc jockeys on the radio. The quintet shortly after was joined by 15-year-old Dolores Brookes, since none of the Crystals’ members could mimic Blossoms lead singer Darlene Love.
1963: One of the first instances of the term “folk rock” was used by Billboard magazine to label “Devil’s Waitin’” by The Glencoves, which the magazine described as “having a wide-open folk rock sound.”
1965: The Beatles recorded “Michelle.” The song later won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1967.
1966: Jefferson Airplane recorded “Somebody to Love” at RCA’s studios in Hollywood, CA. The song had been written by singer Grace Slicks’ brother-in-law Darby Slick, while he and Grace had been members of their previous band, The Great Society.
1967: The Beatles completed filming for their television movie special Magical Mystery Tour, with sequences for George Harrison’s song “Blue Jay Way” shot at Sunny Heights and Ringo Starr’s house in Weybridge.
1967: Fleetwood Mac released their first single in England, a cover of Elmore James’ “I Believe My Time Ain’t Long.”
1973: The Who’s double album Quadrophenia was released in America, later reaching #2 on the Billboard chart.
1977: During a concert at the Empire Pool in London, Elton John announced that he would not be touring anymore before playing “Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word.” It ended up being a short retirement, and two years later, he was back on the road.
1979: The Eagles’ sixth studio album, The Long Run, reached #1 after debuting on the Billboard chart at #2 two weeks prior.
1979: British musician Robin Scott, using they pseudonym “M,” topped the Billboard Hot 100 with his only entry on the chart, “Pop Music.” The song had reached #2 in the UK earlier in May.
1984: Paul McCartney went to #1 on the UK album chart with his fifth studio album and the soundtrack to the film of the same name, Give My Regards to Broad Street.
1991: An estimated 300,000 people attended a free concert at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to see Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Journey, Santana, Jackson Browne, Tracy Chapman, John Fogerty, the Grateful Dead, and Joan Baez who all performed to honor promoter Bill Graham, who had died the week before.
1992: Bob Dylan released his 28th studio album, Good as I Been to You. Composed entirely of traditional folk songs and covers, it was Dylan’s first entirely solo, acoustic album since Another Side of Bob Dylan in 1964.
2004: Eric Clapton was named Commander of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace in London.
Nick Simper, bass guitarist and founding member of Deep Purpe who began his career in bands such as Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, The Flower Pot Men, and Lord Sutch’s Savages, was born in Norwood Green, Southall, Middlesex, England in 1945.
Tommy “Dee” DeGeneres, keyboardist for John Fred and His Playboy Band, was born in Baton Rouge, LA in 1946.
Joe Lala, musician, percussionist, actor, voice actor, singer, and co-founder of Blues Image, who also worked with The Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Manassas, The Stills-Young Band, The Bee Gees, Whitney Houston, Joe Walsh, Andy Gibb, and many others, was born in Ybor City, FL in 1947.
Lulu, singer-songwriter, actress, and TV personality, was born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie in Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire, Scotland in 1948.
Adam Ant, singer, musician, and leader of Adam and the Ants, was born Stuart Leslie Goddard in Marylebone, London, England in 1954.
Steven Wilson, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist, and founder of Porcupine Tree, who has worked with such artists as King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Andy Partridge, Yes, Marillion, Tears for Fears, and Roxy Music, was born in Kingston upon Thames, London, England in 1967.
Courtney Barnett, singer, songwriter, and musician, was born in Sydney, Australia in 1987.