Today In Music History

Important events in music history for the month of May.
May 1, 1966James Brown performs on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time. Unlike most solo acts, he brings his own band, which allows him to provide the full James Brown experience.
May 2, 1971At the foot of the Washington Monument during day two of the Mayday protest against the Vietnam War, Jonathan Edwards performs his new song, "Sunshine." As the arrests continue, he plays the song over and over "because there's no better song for the soundtrack of that movie."
May 2, 1997The James Bond spoof Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery hits theaters. The theme is "Soul Bossa Nova," a song by Quincy Jones from 1962—the same year the first Bond movie appeared.
May 3, 1986Propelled by a memorable video where lookalike models vamp the song, Robert Palmer's "Addicted To Love" hits #1 on the Hot 100.
May 3, 2010"I Gotta Feelin'" by The Black Eyed Peas reaches 5,561,000 downloads, making it the best-selling digital song of all time. It eventually sells 8 million digital copies and retains the record as streaming replaces downloads.
May 4, 1974The Sting soundtrack, featuring Marvin Hamlisch's adaptations of Scott Joplin's ragtime piano tunes, hits #1 in America, where it stays for five weeks.
May 4, 1979Bob Dylan records "Gotta Serve Somebody.”
May 5, 1972

Paul Simon, Chicago and Carole King all perform at a benefit concert for US presidential candidate George McGovern.

May 5, 1984Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders marries Jim Kerr of Simple Minds.
May 6, 1965At a hotel in Clearwater, Florida, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones can't sleep because there's a guitar riff running through his head. He rolls a tape, falls asleep and wakes up the next morning to find he's recorded the riff to "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."
May 6, 1965James Brown records "I Got You (I Feel Good)."
May 7, 1966"Monday Monday" by The Mamas & the Papas is #1, becoming the first song with a day of the week in the title to top the Hot 100 chart.
May 7, 1977Running 6:08 and loaded with metaphor and guitars, "Hotel California" by the Eagles tops the Hot 100.
May 8, 1965D.A. Pennebaker films Bob Dylan in one of the earliest music videos ever shot, the famous "flashcard" clip for "Subterranean Homesick Blues."
May 8, 1965The Rolling Stones stop in Jacksonville, Florida on their first American tour. In the audience: A 17-year-old Ronnie Van Zant who decides then and there that he wants to be a singer in a rock and roll band. He later forms Lynyrd Skynyrd.
May 9, 1964After 14 weeks at the top of the charts with "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "She Loves You" and "Can't Buy Me Love." The Beatles are knocked out of the #1 spot by Louis Armstrong's "Hello, Dolly!"
May 9, 1964After 14 weeks at the top of the charts with "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "She Loves You" and "Can't Buy Me Love." The Beatles are knocked out of the #1 spot by Louis Armstrong's "Hello, Dolly!"
May 9, 1964Louis Armstrong's "Hello, Dolly!" hits #1 in the US, making him the first artist to displace The Beatles, who held the top spot the previous 14 weeks with "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "She Loves You" and "Can't Buy Me Love."
May 10, 1963The first Rolling Stones recording session is held in London, where they record their first single: a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On”.
May 10, 1986Paul Simon plays three songs from his upcoming Graceland album on Saturday Night Live. He's backed by South African musicians, including the vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who perform with him on "Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes."
May 11, 1981Bob Marley dies at age 36 after a long battle with cancer.
May 12, 1963Bob Dylan refuses to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show when they won't let him play "Talkin' John Birch Society Blues." But you can always hear "Talkin' John Birch Society Blues."
May 12, 1963Bob Dylan refuses to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show when they won't let him play "Talkin' John Birch Society Blues."
May 13, 1985The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) holds a meeting where they formulate a ratings system for albums and concerts like those used for movies. Their efforts lead to warning stickers on albums with offensive lyrics.
May 13, 2008Ten years after his death Frank Sinatra gets his own stamp. The 42-cent stamp features a young Sinatra in a snappy suit and fedora.
May 14, 1968The Rascals record "People Got To Be Free."
May 14, 1988Atlantic Records' 40th Anniversary celebration takes place at New York's Madison Square Garden. The event's main attraction was a rare reunion of Led Zeppelin, with John Bonham's son Jason taking over drums for his late father.
May 15, 1963

The Rolling Stones sign with Decca Records in London, the the same label that turned down The Beatles the year before.

May 15, 1982The racial-harmony anthem "Ebony And Ivory," by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, hits #1 in the US.
May 16, 1966The Beach Boys release their landmark album "Pet Sounds," produced with great ingenuity by their bass player, Brian Wilson. Standout tracks include "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "God Only Knows."
May 16, 2007Parma, Italy, names streets after Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
May 17, 1963It's the very first Monterey Folk Festival, featuring Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul and Mary and Joan Baez.
May 17, 1965The FBI ends its two-year investigation into the Kingsmen song "Louie Louie," concluding that the largely indecipherable lyrics are not obscene.
May 18, 1959Wilbert Harrison's "Kansas City," written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, hits #1 in America.
May 18, 1963"If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife." Jimmy Soul's marriage advice anthem hits #1 in America.
May 19, 1973Stevie Wonder hits #1 in America with "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life," a song inspired by his wife (and sometimes co-writer) Syreeta Wright.
May 19, 1984"Thriller" by Michael Jackson falls off the Hot 100, ending a run of hits from the Thriller album that started on November 6, 1982, when "The Girl Is Mine" entered the chart.
May 20, 1967Because of the line, "I'd love to turn you on," the BBC bans The Beatles song "A Day In The Life," claiming it may promote drug use.
May 20, 2016The National release an anthology album of 59 Grateful Dead covers called Day of the Dead, with performances by Lucinda Williams, Bruce Hornsby  and Courtney Barnett. Proceeds go to the Red Hot Organization, which helps fight AIDS.
May 21, 1965Ten years into the Rock Era, it looks like it's here to stay. Time magazine reports on the rock revival with the cover story, "Rock 'n' Roll: The Sound of the Sixties."
May 21, 1977Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album takes over the #1 spot in the US from the Eagles' Hotel California.
May 22, 1965"Ticket To Ride" becomes The Beatles' eighth #1 US single.
May 23, 1969The Who release their album Tommy, a rock opera about a deaf, dumb and blind boy who plays like a pinball Wizard.
May 24, 1969The Beatles' "Get Back," featuring piano from Billy Preston, hits #1 in America.
May 25, 1973Carole King, at the end of a 12-show tour, gives a free concert for 100,000 fans in New York's Central Park.
May 26, 1926Miles Davis, jazz trumpeter, composer and eight-time Grammy award winner was born today.
May 26, 1966The Beatles recorded 'Yellow Submarine' at Abbey Road studios in London.
May 26, 1969John Lennon and Yoko Ono started their eight-day 'bed in' at The Hotel La Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Canada, to promote world peace.
May 26, 1984Deniece Williams' "Let's Hear It For The Boy," from the movie Footloose, hits #1 in America.
May 26, 1990For the first time in history, all Top five positions on the US singles chart were held by female artists; #1 Madonna, #2 Heart, #3 Sinead O’Connor, #4 Wilson Phillips and #5 Janet Jackson.
May 27, 1950Frank Sinatra made his TV debut on NBC's "Star-Spangled Review."
May 27, 1964Eleven schoolboys are suspended from a grammar school in Coventry, England, for showing up with Mick Jagger-style haircuts.
May 27, 2008Sir Paul McCartney was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale University.
May 27, 2017Founding member of the The Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman, died at his home in Savannah, Georgia.
May 28, 1945John Fogerty is born, not on the bayou but in Berkeley, California.
May 29, 1965The Beach Boys' "Help Me, Rhonda," with Al Jardine on lead vocals, goes to #1 in America.
May 29, 1969Crosby, Stills & Nash release their self-titled debut album, lighting a path for '70s bands like America and the Eagles with rich harmonies and mysterious melodies.
May 30, 1968The Beatles begin recording the White Album.
May 31, 1964The Dave Clark Five perform on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time, performing "Glad All Over." They're a hit with the host, who has them on 18 more times.