1957: “Wake Up Little Susie” by The Everly Brothers reached #1 in US despite being banned by some radio stations for what were considered “suggestive lyrics.”
1957: Sam Cooke debuted on the US top 40 pop charts with his first single, “You Send Me.”
1958: “I Got Stung” by Elvis Presley was released as a double A-side single with “One Night.” The song later reached #8 in the US and #1 in the UK.
1958: Buddy Holly had his final studio sessions at Decca’s Pythian Temple Studios in New York City, recording “True Love Ways,” “Moondreams,” “Raining In My Heart,” and “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore.”
1965: The Beatles finished recording “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” and began recording John Lennon’s “Nowhere Man.”
1965: The Kingsmen appeared on Shindig! performing “Too Much Monkey Business,” a medley of “Jolly Green Giant,” “Annie Fannie,” and “Little Latin Lupe Lu,” and their 1963 hit, “Louie Louie.”
1965: The Spence Davis Group recorded “Keep On Running” at Pye Studios in London. Originally written and recorded by Jamaican musician Jackie Edwards earlier that year, the Spencer Davis Group’s version of the song later became their first #1 hit in Britain early the following year.
1966: “Happening Ten Years Time Ago” by the Yardbirds was released in the UK. Considered a prototype of heavy metal music, the song features twin lead guitars by Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Bass playing on the track was provided by session musician John Paul Jones.
1966: Manfred Mann released their third British studio album, As Is. The album was the group’s first to feature new members Mike d’Abo and Klaus Voormann.
1967: Lulu achieved her only #1 single in the US with “To Sir With Love,” the theme to the film of the same name released earlier that year in June.
1972: Chuck Berry went to #1 on the Billboard pop chart for the first and only time with the Dave Bartholomew song “My Ding-a-Ling.” Many stations refused to play the song due to its thinly-veiled innuendo.
1972: Albert Hammond released the title track from his debut album, It Never Rains in Southern California. Instrumental backing was provided by Los Angeles session group the Wrecking Crew.
1972: Curtis Mayfield reached #1 on the Billboard pop chart with his third solo studio album and soundtrack to the film Super Fly. It became one of the few albums to out-gross the film it accompanied and was such a surprise hit that Mayfield was tapped for several additional film soundtracks over the course of the decade. The album had reached the top of Billboard’s R&B chart the week before and was Mayfield’s only solo LP to enter the top 10 on the pop chart.
1974: Queen’s single “Killer Queen” was released in the US following its release in the UK ten days earlier. It was the band’s first international hit, reaching #2 in the UK, and their first hit in the US, peaking at #12 on the Billboard and Cash Box charts.
1975: Tom Waits’ first live album, Nighthawks at the Diner, was released.
1976: Keith Moon played his final live concert with the Who at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on the final date of the band’s 1976 tour. Afterward, Moon played with the Who in a couple of special gigs filmed for the band’s The Kids Are Alright documentary, the last of which occurred in late May of 1978.
1980: Bruce Springsteen released “Hungry Heart,” the first single from his recently released fifth studio album, “The River.”
1981: Grateful Dead singer and guitarist Bob Weir’s side project Bobby and the Midnites released their self-title first album.
1981: The Police began the first of two North American legs of their Zenyatta Mondatta tour at the Winnipeg Arena in Canada.
1985: Carl Perkins, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Dave Edmunds, and others recorded the television special Carl Perkins & Friends at Limehouse Studios in London, England. The concert ended with the performance of Perkins’ song, “Blue Suede Shoes,” thirty years after he’d written it. The event was also the first public performance by George Harrison in more than ten years.
1985: Simple Minds released their seventh studio album, Once Upon a Time.
1986: “Weird Al” Yankovic released his fourth studio album, Polka Party!.
1989: “Lovesong,” the third single from the Cure’s eighth studio album, Disintegration, peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the band’s only top 10 entry on the chart.
1991: U2 released “The Fly,” the lead single from their seventh studio album, Achtung Baby.
1991: Genesis released “No Son of Mine,” the lead single from their fourteenth studio album, We Can’t Dance.
1995: R.E.M. released “Tongue,” the fifth and final single from their ninth studio album Monster.
2000: U2 topped the UK singles chart with “Beautiful Day,” the first single from their tenth studio album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind. The song peaked at #21 in the US.
2003: Little Feat released their fourteenth studio album, Kickin’ It at the Barn.
2003: Van Morrison released his thirteenth studio album, What’s Wrong with This Picture?.
2016: Leonard Cohen released You Want It Darker, his fourteenth studio album and last released in his lifetime.
Dizzy Gillespie, virtuoso jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and singer, was born John Birkes Gillespie in Cheraw, SC in 1917.
Celia Cruz, singer and one of the most popular Latin artists of the 20th century, was born in Havana, Cuba in 1925.
Doctor Ross, blues singer, guitarist, harmonica player and drummer known as Doctor Ross the Harmonica Boss, born born Charles Isaiah Ross in Tunica, MS in 1925.
Manfred Mann, keyboardist, guitarist, vocalist, and founder and namesake of Manfred Mann, Manfred Mann Chapter Three, and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, was born Manfred Sepse Lubowitz in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1940.
Jimmy Beaumont, solo singer and leader of doo-wop group the Skyliners, was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1940.
Steve Cropper, songwriter, record producer, member of the Blues Brothers Band, and guitarist with Stax Records’ house band, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, which backed artists such as Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, and Johnnie Taylor, was born in Willow Springs, MO in 1941.
Elvin Bishop, singer, guitarist, bandleader, songwriter, solo artist, and original member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, was born in Glendale, CA in 1942.
Yvonne Fair, soul singer, member of the Chantels and the James Brown Revue, solo artist, and opening act for many Motown artists, was born Flora Yvonne Coleman in Richmond, VA in 1942.
Ron Elliott, composer, producer, songwriter, and lead guitarist of The Beau Brummels, who also played on and produced albums by several other artists, was born in Healdsburg, CA in 1943.
Lee Loughnane, trumpeter, flugelhorn player, vocalist, songwriter, and founding member of Chicago, was born in Elmwood Park, IL in 1946.
Brent Mydland, vocalist, songwriter, and keyboardist for the Grateful Dead from 1979-1990—the longest tenure of any of the band’s keyboardists, was born in Munich, Germany in 1952.
Charlotte Caffey, songwriter, guitarist, and keyboardist for The Go-Gos, was born in Santa Monica, CA in 1953.
Eric Faulkner, guitarist, songwriter, singer, and member of the Bay City Rollers, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1954.
Steve Lukather, guitarist, singer, songwriter, arranger, record producer, and founding member of Toto who’s also recorded guitar tracks for more than 1,500 albums across a broad array of artists and genres, was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1957.
Julian Cope, singer, songwriter, solo artist, and frontman for The Teardrop Explodes, was born in Deri, Monmouthshire, Wales in 1957.
Jeff Chimenti, keyboardist best known for his work with former Grateful Dead members in such groups as Bob Weir and RatDog, The Dead, Further, and Dead & Company, was born in San Francisco, CA in 1968.