Rock 'n' Roll History for
May 21






1955 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
Chuck Berry recorded "Maybellene", which would become his first hit record, reaching #5 on the US Pop chart and #1 on the R&B chart. In the heyday of Pat Boone, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and The McGuire Sisters, it was one of the few Rock 'n' Roll songs to get any radio air play that year.

1957 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
16 year old Paul Anka records "Diana" at the ABC-Paramount studios in New York. The song would reach #1 in the US the following September and became the first of his 33 US Top 40 hits. It was also a chart topper in the UK.

1963 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
13 year old Little Stevie Wonder recorded a song that would be his first number 1 hit, "Fingertips Pt. 2" at a concert in Detroit. The 7 minute song was later edited into two parts for radio play.

1966 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" enters the Billboard Hot 100, where it will reach #4 and become her biggest US hit. In the UK, it went all the way to #1.

May 21
The Mamas And The Papas went to the top of the Billboard album chart with "If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears", which contained the singles "Monday Monday" and "California Dreamin'". The LP was initially credited to the grammatically incorrect The Mama's and The Papa's, which was corrected on later printings.

1971 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
Paul McCartney releases "Ram", which, unlike his first solo LP, is not a one-man show. His wife Linda is on vocals and he enlists session men David Spinozza, Hugh McCracken on guitar and bass along with drummer Denny Seiwell.

1975 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
Officials at Gatwick Airport in London announce that they will not permit a plane carrying The Osmonds to land there because when the group last visited the UK, twenty overly enthusiastic teens were injured.

1976 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
The Rolling Stones open a six night stand at London's Earl's Court Theatre. The indifference of the Stones' performance causes them to be targeted as "dinosaurs" by the growing British Punk movement.

1977 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
Stevie Wonder scored his sixth #1 record on the Billboard Pop chart with "Sir Duke", a song written as a tribute to Jazz legend, Duke Ellington. The song reached #2 in the UK.

1979 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
Elton John became the first solo Rock artist to tour Russia when he played the first of eight concerts. He was currently enjoying chart success back in the USA with "Mama Can't Buy You Love", his first Top 10 hit in 2 1/2 years.

1980 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
A thief breaks into Electric Lady Studios in New York City, the recording studio built by Jimi Hendrix, and steals five Hendrix Gold records. They are for the albums "Are You Experienced?", "Axis: Bold as Love", "Cry of Love", "Rainbow Bridge" and "Live at Monterey".

May 21
Singer / guitarist Joe Strummer of the British punk group the Clash is arrested in Hamburg, Germany for hitting a fan on the head with his guitar. A fight broke out between the band and the audience following a concert.

1983 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
David Bowie topped the Billboard Hot 100 for the second time with "Let's Dance". It was also a #1 in the UK.

1992 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
Bette Midler is the only guest on Johnny Carson's final Tonight Show.

2008 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
Lou Pearlman, the music mogul who created the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison over a decades-long scam that bilked thousands of investors out of their life savings. Many victims were Pearlman's relatives, friends and retirees in their 70s or 80s who lost everything. A view of the behind-the-scenes life of The Backstreet Boys is revealed in Gary James' interview with A.J. Mclean's mother, Denise McLean Solis

2012 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
The US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from a Boston University student who was successfully sued by the Recording Industry Association of America for illegally sharing music on peer-to-peer networks. In 2009, a jury ordered Joel Tenenbaum to pay $675,000, or $22,500 for each song he illegally downloaded and shared.

2013 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
Trevor Bolder, bassist for Davie Bowie's Spiders From Mars before moving on to Uriah Heep, died of cancer at the age of 62.

May 21
News reports surfaced that 47-year-old Janet Jackson had now become a billionaire on the strength of her album sales, music and book publishing fees and sold out tours.

2016 - ClassicBands.com

May 21
Auctioneers at Julien's auction house in New York sold one of Elvis Presley's acoustic guitars for $354,400. Other items in the sale included a red vinyl jacket which Michael Jackson wore for his 1996-97 HIStory world tour which sold for $256,000 and John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for The Beatles' "Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite" which brought $354,400.






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