Music History: May 2
2014 '60s R&B/pop singer Jessica Cleaves (Friends Of Distinction) dies at age 65 of complications from a stroke.
2012 Greg Ham's funeral takes place at the Fitzroy Town Hall in Melbourne, Australia, with more than 300 mourners attending. The Men at Work flute player died two weeks earlier on April 19, at his home in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton North. Among the many mourners attending, are his partner, Linda Wostry, from whom he had recently separated, and Men At Work bass player John Rees. At the end of the service, to the strains of jazz music, Greg's 20-year-old son, Max, stands on the steps of the town hall, holding a framed photo of his father, while his sister, Greg's 17-year-old daughter, Camille, releases a single white dove into the sky. The mourners then give the troubled musician a final round of applause as his coffin drives away down the streets of Melbourne.
2010 A flood in Nashville damages the Grand Ole Opry House and Country Music Hall of Fame. John Fogerty, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill and Keith Urban are among those who lose guitars and other equipment that is held in a storage facility. Also destroyed are the bass used on the Hank Williams song "Your Cheatin' Heart," and a Stratocaster owned by Jimi Hendrix.
2005 Cream reunites for the first of four shows in London's Royal Albert Hall, the site of their farewell concert 36 years earlier. The band hasn't played together since their 1993 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.
2003 Composer George Wyle, who wrote the theme song for the '60s TV series Gilligan's Island, dies at age 87.
1998 Heavy metal guitarist Hideto "Hide" Matsumoto (of X-Japan) commits suicide at age 33 by hanging himself.
1995 Pink Floyd's album The Wall goes Diamond, with sales of over 10 million in the US. It later eclipses (oh wait, wrong album) that total with sales of well over 20 million.
1994 Varg Vikernes, leader of the Norwegian black metal band Burzum, begins his trial for the murder of rival black metal musician (and former bandmate) Oystein Aarseth, co-founder of the band Mayhem. The two men had had a confrontation in August of 1993 which ended with the fatal stabbing of Aarseth. Vikernes was convicted at the trial and was sentenced to 21 years in prison; however he was released early in May of 2009 on probation and currently continues to do business as Burzum, with several albums released since then. He still has fans.
1992 Dance Floor, a horse owned by MC Hammer, comes in third in the Kentucky Derby.
1988 Living Colour's debut album, Vivid, is released. It would take almost a year to catch on, as the band slowly builds a following through tours, radio play and MTV.
1987 Cutting Crew's "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" hits #1 on the Hot 100.
1986 Country singer-songwriter Rose Falcon is born in New York.
1985 Pop singer-songwriter Lily Allen is born in Hammersmith, London, England.
1980 Joy Division play what transpires to be their final show at the University of Birmingham, England, two weeks before singer Ian Curtis commits suicide at the age of 23. The show features the band's only live performance of the song "Ceremony," which is later released as the debut single by New Order - a new act formed from the surviving members.
1979 At the Rainbow Theatre in London, The Who play their first concert following the death of drummer Keith Moon. Their new stickman is Kenney Jones, formerly of Faces.
1977 Eric Clapton records "Wonderful Tonight."
1974 Stevie Wonder wins four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for Innervisions.
1973 Actress and jazz vocalist June Hutton (The Stardusters) dies in Encino, Los Angeles, California, at age 52.
1972 Bruce Springsteen auditions for Columbia Records' John Hammond, who is the guy that signed Bob Dylan. The planned 15-minute session runs 2 hours, and the next day, Bruce records a 14-song demo. He signs with the label five weeks later.
1971 It's day two of the Mayday protests, as demonstrators fed up with the war in Vietnam try to shut down the US government by blocking off streets and bridges in Washington, DC. Thousands of arrests are made, many to bystanders who have nothing to do with the protest. At the foot of the Washington Monument, where much of the action is taking place, 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."
1969 The Beatles record "Something."
1966 #1 Billboard Pop Hit: The Mamas & The Papas' "Monday Monday"
1965 The Rolling Stones appear on the Ed Sullivan Show after having earlier been banned from the show.
1964 The Beatles Second Album sets a record by reaching #1 on the Billboard chart a week after its release; but for the first time in a year, The Beatles are bumped from the #1 spot on the UK chart, by The Rolling Stones' debut album.
1960 Ben E. King leaves The Drifters and signs a solo contract with Atco Records.
1960 Dick Clark testifies before a Congressional committee investigating payola (and is cleared).
1960 Production begins on Elvis Presley's first post-Army movie, G.I. Blues.
1960 Ray Peterson records "Tell Laura I Love Her."
1954 Prescott Niles (bassist for The Knack) is born in New York City.
1951 John Glascock (bassist for Jethro Tull) is born in Islington, Greater London, England.
1951 Jo Callis (keyboardist, guitarist for The Human League) is born John William Callis in Rotherham, England.
1950 Lou Gramm (original frontman of Foreigner) is born Louis Andrew Grammatico in Rochester, New York.
1948 Country/gospel singer-songwriter Larry Gatlin (The Gatlin Brothers) is born in Seminole, Texas.
1946 Lesley Gore is born Lesley Sue Goldstein in Brooklyn, New York.
1945 Rock keyboardist Goldy McJohn (Steppenwolf) is born John Raymond Goadsby in Toronto, Canada.
1944 English drummer Bob Henrit (The Kinks, Argent) is born in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, England.
1936 English pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck is born Arnold George Dorsey in Madras, British India (present-day Chennai, India). He'll borrow his stage name from the German composer of the 1893 opera Hansel and Gretel.
1933 Bunk Gardner (played woodwinds and tenor sax for Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention) is born John Leon Gardner in Cleveland, Ohio.
1929 Rock and roll guitarist Link Wray is born Fred Lincoln Wray Jr. in Dunn, North Carolina.
1904 Broadcaster, singer and occasional lyricist Wilfrid Coad Thomas is born in Britain. Wrote the English lyrics to "Rose, Rose, I Love You," recorded by Frankie Laine in 1951.
1885 Wilhelm Schimmel starts his piano company.
2003Dixie Chicks appear naked on the front cover of Entertainment Weekly, with slogans such "Traitors," "Hero," "Boycott," "Saddam's Angels" and "Proud Americans" printed across their bodies. The slogans represent the mixed reaction Dixie Chicks received following singer Natalie Maines' anti-George W. Bush comments.
1989 Michael Jackson, wearing a wig and fake moustache, enteres a Zales jewelry store in Simi Valley, California. Security finds him suspicious and calls the police, who show up to explain that you shouldn't wear a disguise to a jewelry store.