Thursday, May 1, 2008

This Date In Music History- May 1

Chuck Berry signed with Chess Records in 1955, landing a contract on the strength of his songwriting. Label head Leonard Chess was particularly impressed with Berry's version of an old country & western song, "Ida Red," which he's rewritten as "Maybellene."

Sun releases John Cash's "I Walk the Line" in 1956.

In 1956, Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" became Sun's first Certified million-seller.

Judy Collins ("Both Sides Now") is 69.

Rita Coolidge, who toured with Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen ensemble, and cut several duet discs with husband Kris Kristofferson, was born in Nashville in 1944.

If you've ever sung "God Bless America" a few octaves higher than you should, then you're imitating Kate Smith, one of the most popular singers of the '20s and '30s. She is born today in Greenville, Ala. in 1907.

Popular country artist Sonny James was born in Hackleburg, Ala. in 1929. His biggest pop hit was the 1957 No. 1 "Young Love."

Ray Parker, Jr. ("Ghostbusters" and lead singer of Raydio) turns 54.

The Kingston Trio formed in 1957.

Today in 1965, the song "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" by Herman's Hermits topped the charts and stayed there for 3 weeks.

In 1975, in one of their best-ever publicity stunts, the Rolling Stones announced their Tour of the Americas by playing "Brown Sugar" on the back of a flatbed truck driving down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.

Bachman-Turner Overdrive, featuring former Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman, released their first album in 1973. The LP would take six months to hit the charts and over a year before the hard rockin' single "Let it Ride" became a Top 25 hit.

Neil Young released 'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere' in 1969.

Paul Simon released his self-titled solo debut album in 1972.

The Beatles made their final live appearance in the UK when they played a 15 minute set at the NME Poll Winners concert at Empire Pool, Wembley. Also appearing were The Spencer Davis Group, The Fortunes, Herman's Hermits, Roy Orbison, Cliff Richard, The Rolling Stones, The Seekers, The Small Faces, Dusty Springfield, The Walker Brothers, The Who and The Yardbirds. The Fab Four were not filmed because a financial agreement could not be reached. (The "Let It Be" rooftop set doesn't count)

R&B singer/songwriter Titus Turner was born in Atlanta in 1933. His compositions, such as "Leave My Kitten Alone," have been covered by artists including the Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Elvis Costello.

In 1967, Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu, who he met eight and a half years earlier during his tour of duty in Germany, at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. Although the marriage license was only $15, the wedding cake cost $3,500. Their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, was born exactly nine months later, on February 1, 1968.

Apple Corps, Ltd. begins operating in London in 1968. It is the Beatles' attempt to take control of their own creative and economic destiny. Later that month, John invites Yoko to his house in Weybridge. They make experimental tapes all night.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono exhibit their first official joint venture at the Arts Lab in London in 1968. Soon after, they plant acorns outside Coventry Cathedral as a conceptual "living arts sculpture."

Diana Ross leaves the Supremes in 1970 to go solo.

Police in California are called to a jewelry store after employees reported a suspicious person. He turned out to be Michael Jackson, who had donned a wig, fake moustache, false teeth and eyelashes to go shopping. Officers had him remove his disguise and show his identification. Let the weirdness begin.