Rock 'n' Roll History for
May 18






1959 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
Wilbert Harrison's recording of Leiber and Stoller's "Kansas City" rose to the top of the Billboard singles chart. Cover versions by Hank Ballard And The Midnighters, Rocky Olson, Rockin' Ronald & The Rebels, and Little Richard all appeared in March of 1959, but the Harrison version was by far the most popular. Further success for Harrison would have to wait until 1970 when "Let's Work Together" made it to number 32 in the US.

1963 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
Lesley Gore's "It's My Party" enters Billboard's Top 40, where it will reach #1. It will also become a Top Ten hit in the UK.

May 18
The Beatles kicked off their first British tour as a headline act with a concert in Slough, England.

May 18
After hitting #22 the previous year with "Twistin' Matilda", Jimmy Soul reached #1 on the Billboard chart with "If You Wanna Be Happy", a song about the benefits of marrying an ugly woman. It would prove to be his final entry as the follow-up "Treat 'Em Tough" flopped completely, after which Jimmy entered the US Army. He died of a heart attack in 1988, aged 45.

1968 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
Reprise Records releases Tiny Tim's rendition of "Tiptoe through the Tulips", a remake of a 1929 hit for Nick Lucas. Although he recorded the novelty tune in falsetto, the 36-year-old Tim, whose real name was Herbert Khaury, actually had a beautiful baritone voice. "Tiptoe" would climb to #17 in America in mid-June.

May 18
It should have been a great time in the life of Archie Bell when his song "Tighten Up" reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Instead, he was resting in a West German hospital after suffering a leg wound he received while serving in Vietnam with the US Army. Although the record was a big hit in the US, it didn't chart at all in the UK.

1974 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
Ray Stevens had the whole country saying "Don't look Ethel", the hook line from his second straight Billboard chart topper, "The Streak". It would also lead the hit parade in the UK a month later.

1975 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
44 people were injured, four seriously, in a riot at a Bay City Rollers concert north of London. The performance was part of a "fun day" sponsored by the BBC.

May 18
Tammy Wynette, who was married five times, had the #1 song on the UK singles chart with "Stand By Your Man". The record had topped the US Country chart in 1968.

1978 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
The Buddy Holly Story, a film starring Gary Busey, premiered in Holly's hometown of Lubbock, Texas. The movie will be a critical and commercial success, although insiders said it had little historical accuracy.

1985 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
The Scottish Rock band Simple Minds make their breakthrough in North America when "Don't You (Forget About Me") tops the Billboard singles chart. The song was written specifically for the film The Breakfast Club and was only the second tune recorded by the group that they did not write.

1988 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
Just six weeks after being charged with assaulting his wife with intent to murder, James Brown spent the night in jail on charges of drug possession and fleeing from police.

1989 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
A judge in Tampa, Florida gave permission to original Byrds drummer Michael Clarke to continue using the Byrds' name for another group he had formed.

1994 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were married in a private ceremony at a judge's home in the Dominican Republic. First word of the marriage would come two months later from the judge himself during an interview published in a Dominican newspaper.

2003 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
The Isley Brothers were at the top of the US album chart with "Body Kiss", the group's first US #1 in over 30 years.

2004 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
Clint Warwick, the original bassist for The Moody Blues, died from liver disease at the age of 63. Clint left the band in 1966 after playing on their only number one hit, "Go Now".

2005 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
Gordon Lightfoot made a triumphant return to the stage at Massey Hall in Toronto, two years after he nearly died from an abdominal aneurysm. Greeted by a standing ovation, he quipped, "Sorry I'm late."

2006 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
Freddie Garrity, the lead singer of Freddie And The Dreamers died at the age of 65 after receiving treatment for what were described as circulation problems. The group placed four songs in the UK Top Ten and four in Billboard's Top 40 in the mid '60s and had remained active until December 2000 when Garrity's health began to fail.

2007 - ClassicBands.com

May 18
Lawyers for Michael Jackson dropped an effort to block an auction of the Pop star's personal belongings and other Jackson family items after a confidential agreement had been reached with representatives of an auctioneer, the current owner of the materials, and a New Jersey man who claimed a warehouse full of Jackson memorabilia after a failed business venture wound up in bankruptcy court.

May 18
Four days after suffering a stroke, Bo Diddley walked around the intensive-care unit at Creighton University Medical Center and doctors were encouraged that the singer-songwriter-guitarist would be able to perform again. Unfortunately, the only time he ever sang in public again was an impromptu, one song performance at the unveiling of a plaque devoted to him in early November. He would pass away after suffering heart failure at his home on June 2, 2008.






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