May – In Rock History
Number One Songs
1956 Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
1959 Kansas City – Wilbert Harrison
1961 Runaway – Del Shannon
1964 Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles
1968 What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
1970 Spirit In The Sky – Norman Greenbaum
1973 You Are The Sunshine Of My Life – Stevie Wonder
1975 Stand By Your Man – Tammy Wynette
1977 Hotel California – The Eagles
1979 Heart Of Glass – Blondie
1981 Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes
1983 Beat It – Michael Jackson
1985 19 – Paul Hardcastle
1986 Rock Me Amadeus – Falco
1990 Killer – Adamski
1992 Stay – Shakespear’s Sister
1995 Some Might Say – Oasis
1996 Fastlove – George Michael
2003 Ignition (Remix) – R Kelly
2005 Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
Singer Frankie Laine (and his partner Ruth Smith) sets the all-time marathon dancing record lasting 3,501 hours (145 consecutive days). They are given a 15 minute break every hour and each earn $600 for their efforts.
The first album chart appears in the US. The word album is used to describe a set of 78 rpm singles. The LP (long player) won’t appear until 1948 when Columbia Records introduce it.
Chuck Berry records his first hit, ‘Maybellene’ with the help of Chess Records main man Willie Dixon. The song is originally called ‘Ida Red’ but the two decide to re-work it in the studio.
Jerry Lee Lewis has 34 of his 37 UK concerts cancelled when it is discovered that he arrives on the plane with his new wife, who is also his 14 year old cousin.
The Beatles sign their first record contract with EMI.
The Rolling Stones hold two days of recording sessions in Chess Studios in Chicago. Among the tracks that are completed is ‘Satisfaction’, which Jagger and Richards wrote in a hotel room together only days earlier.
The Beatle’s album ‘Let It Be’ sets a new record for initial sales in the US when 3.7 million advance orders are placed, generating over 26 million dollars in revenue.
Bruce Springsteen’s performance at Boston’s Harvard Square Theatre prompts music critic Jon Landau to write in The Real Paper, “I have seen the future of Rock ‘n’ Roll and his name is Bruce Springsteen.” He goes on to co-produce all of Springsteen’s records from ‘Born To Run’ (1975) to ‘Lucky Town’ (1991).
The Who play at Charlton Athletic Football Ground using a 76,000 watt PA system. This gives them the world record for the loudest concert ever at 126 decibels, measured at a distance of 32 meters from the speakers. This is louder than being ten inches away from a Fender guitar amp turned up to full volume or being on an airport runway when a plane takes off.
Pink Floyd perform the first ever quadraphonic concert in Portland Coliseum. The sound system is operated by the organist and allows him to place sound effects anywhere within the stadium. The sound quality is so good that it surpasses their studio work in clarity.
The Clash begin a series of eight concerts in New York on the site of Bond’s department store to support the release of ‘Sandinista’. However the venue only holds 3500 people and every show is blatantly oversold. When fire marshals cancel the third show, the band vow to give every single ticket holder the chance to see them live by extending their original booking to seventeen dates.
The 1,000th episode of Top Of The Pops airs on BBC.
Spinal Tap, a Mock ‘n’ Roll group, play a real concert in CBGBs in New York.
Several department stores in Minnesota refuse to stock the newly released Prince album, ‘Lovesexy’, because the cover photo features a semi-nude photo of him.
Frank Sinatra passes away after having a career that spanned over five decades. During this time he recorded 51 studio albums, more than any other artist in music history.