Music History: May 23
2015 Australia makes its inaugural entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, which is held in Vienna, Austria. The country is represented by singer and songwriter Guy Sebastian. Their invitation to compete follows a successful guest appearance from Jessica Mauboy in 2014. Sebastian finishes fifth, with the win going to Sweden's Måns Zelmerlöw.
2014 Malik Bendjelloul, who directed the Sixto Rodriguez documentary Searching For Sugar Man, commits suicide at age 36.
2012 Billboard reports that the albums of Donna Summer increase in sales by a factor of over 3000% in the week following her death on May 17 after a battle with cancer.
2008 Veteran rapper Ricky "Slick Rick" Walters receives a full pardon from New York's Governor David Paterson for the attempted murders of two men in 1991, ending a long legal saga.
2008 Shirley Bassey suffers from abdominal pains in Monaco, necessitating emergency surgery and forcing her to cancel her upcoming appearance at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday concert.
2006 Jordin Sparks wins Season 6 of American Idol.
2006 Clifford Antone, a blues club owner and independent record label founder who mentored the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Gary Clark Jr., dies at age 56 of a possible heart attack.
2000 Billy Corgan announces that The Smashing Pumpkins will break up at the end of the year, saying they are tired of "fighting the good fight against the Britneys of the world."
1994 Jimmy Fernandez (bassist for The God Machine) dies suddenly of a brain tumor at age 28.
1992 Totally Krossed Out by the teenage rap duo Kriss Kross hits #1 in the US. Produced by Jermaine Dupri, the title is a reference to how they wear their clothes: backwards in a look they call "krossed out."
1987 The Doobie Brothers reunite with original members, including singer/guitarist Tom Johnston, for a Vietnam Veterans benefit at the Hollywood Bowl. The show leads to a reunion tour for The Doobies.
1985 It's Aretha Franklin Appreciation Day in Michigan, as Governor James Blanchard declares the singer "One of Michigan's natural resources."
1979 The Third Barry Manilow Special airs on ABC.
1979 The Who's acclaimed documentary The Kids Are Alright debuts in New York City.
1979 Sister Sledge's "We Are Family" is certified Platinum.
1978 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band begin their "Darkness Tour" at Shea's Buffalo Theatre in Buffalo, New York.
1977 When San Francisco outlaws "electronic instruments" in public, a free Jefferson Airplane concert in Golden Gate Park is canceled.
1976 Bob Dylan finishes recording the album Hard Rain.
1975 Jackie "Moms" Mabley, vaudeville star and standup comedian who appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, dies of heart failure at age 81. At age 75, she became the oldest living person to have a Top 40 hit with her 1969 cover of Dion's "Abraham, Martin and John."
1973 Neo-soul singer Maxwell is born Gerald Maxwell Rivera in Brooklyn, New York.
1971 Iron Butterfly breaks up.
1970 Grateful Dead play outside North America for the first time, doing a 4-hour set at the Hollywood Music Festival in England. Mungo Jerry and Steppenwolf are also on the bill.
1970 Paul McCartney's first solo album, McCartney, hits #1 in America.
1967 Bobby Darin's film Cop-Out, also known as Stranger In The House, debuts in the UK.
1967 Phil Selway (drummer for Radiohead) is born in Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England.
1966 The Beatles release "Paperback Writer" b/w "Rain."
1966 The Doors play their first show. The gig is at the Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood, where they become the house band for a while.
1965 #1 Billboard Pop Hit: The Beach Boys' "Help Me, Rhonda"
1964 Elvis Presley's ninth film, Follow That Dream, opens.
1964 Ella Fitzgerald's cover of The Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" enters the UK charts, making her the first outside artist to have a hit with a Beatles song.
1963 Paul Revere and the Raiders sign their first major label contract with Columbia Records.
1960 The Everly Brothers' "Cathy's Clown" hits #1 for the first of five weeks.
1953 Rick Fenn (guitarist for 10cc) is born in England.
1952 Rock guitarist Jim Mankey (of Concrete Blonde) is born in Washington.
1947 Bill Hunt (keyboardist and horn player for Electric Light Orchestra) is born in Birmingham, England.
1946 Ruth Komanoff, the future Ruth Underwood, is born. The percussionist would become known for her work with Frank Zappa.
1946 Danny Klein (bassist for The J. Geils Band) is born in The Bronx, New York City.
1945 Country singer Misty Morgan is born in Buffalo, New York.
1944 Ramon "Tiki" Fulwood (drummer for Parliament, Funkadelic) is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1941 "General" Norman Johnson (frontman for Chairmen of the Board) is born in Norfolk, Virginia.
1940 Frank Sinatra records "I'll Never Smile Again."
1934 Dr. Robert Moog, engineer and inventor of the Moog synthesizer, is born in New York City.
1928 Rosemary Clooney is born in Maysville, Kentucky.
1910 Jazz clarinetist and bandleader Artie Shaw is born Arthur Jacob Arshawsky in New York City.
1969The Who release their album Tommy, a rock opera about a deaf, dumb and blind boy who plays a mean pinball.
2010 Bret Michaels of Poison wins Season 9 of Donald Trump's show The Celebrity Apprentice.
2008 Weezer's video for "Pork and Beans" debuts.More
2007 The US Library of Congress hands out the first Gershwin Award to Paul Simon for being a "performer whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins."
2006 Dixie Chicks release Taking the Long Way, their seventh studio album. It goes on to win five Grammy Awards.
2000 A Perfect Circle release their debut album, Mer de Noms. In addition to Maynard James Keenan of Tool, the group features guitarist Billy Howerdel and drummer Josh Freese, who had been working on the Chinese Democracy album for Guns N' Roses. Mer de Noms racks up worldwide sales of well over 2 million; Chinese Democracy doesn't appear until 2008.
1979 Tom Petty files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a legal maneuver to protect him from MCA, which has acquired his record company. A deal is reached where MCA creates a subsidiary called Backstreet Records, which is devoted to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
1974 Jewel Kilcher is born in Payson, Utah. Raised in Homer, Alaska, she would rise to fame using just the name Jewel.