Born this Week in Rock History:

Lee “Shot” Williams: May 21, 1938 (Blues Singer)

Fats Waller: May 21, 1904 (Jazz Singer & Pianist)

Tony Sheridan: May 21, 1940 (English Rock and Roll Guitarist)

John Dalton: May 21, 1943 (The Kinks, Bass)

Hilton Valentine: May 21, 1943 (The Animals, Guitar)

Stan Lynch: May 21, 1955 (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Drums)

Sun Ra: May 22, 1914 (Jazz composer and piano player)

Bernie Taupin: May 22, 1950 (Lyricist, Elton John)

Doyle Dykes: May 23, 1954 (acoustic guitarist)

Bob Dylan: May 24, 1941 (Rock Singer-Songwriter)

Albert Bouchard: May 24, 1947 (Blue Oyster Cult, Drums, Guitar)

Chuck Ruff: May 25, 1951 (Edgar Winter, Drummer)

Jessi Colter: May 25, 1943 (Country Singer-Songwriter)

Mamie Smith: May 26, 1883 (Blues Singer)

Levon Helm: May 26, 1940 (The Band, Drums, Vocals)

Gary Peterson: May 26, 1945 (The Guess Who, Drums)

Miles Davis: May 26, 1926 (Jazz Trumpeter & Composer)

Mick Ronson: May 26, 1946 (guitarist, David Bowie)

Stevie Nicks: May 26, 1948 (Fleetwood Mac, Vocals)

Died this Week in Rock History:

Joe Pass: May 23, 1994 (Jazz Guitarist)

Elmore James: May 24, 1963 (Blues Singer-Songwriter, Guitar)

Duke Ellington: May 24, 1974 (Jazz Composer & Pianist)

Gene Clark: May 24, 1991 (The Byrds, Vocals)

Sonny Boy Williamson: May 25, 1965 (Blues Singer-Songwriter, Harmonica)

Eric Gale: May 25, 1994 (Jazz Guitarist)

Marshall Lytle May 25, 2013 (Bassist, Bill Haley And His Comets)

Gregg Allman: May 27, 2017 (Allman Bros)

Music releases and the top of the charts:

Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein” hits #1: May 21, 1973

The Elton John album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy is certified Gold: May 21, 1975

Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” hits number one on Billboard’s Pop Chart: May 21, 1977

Rumors by Fleetwood Mac hits number 1: May 21,1977

David Bowie tops Billboard Hot 100 for second time with “Let’s Dance:” May 21, 1983

The Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride” hits #1: May 22, 1965

The Rolling Stones album Sticky Fingers hits #1: May 22, 1971

The Guess Who’s single and album “American Woman” are certified gold: May 22, 1970

The Who, Tommy was released: May 23, 1969

The Beatles’ “Get Back” goes to #1 on Billboard’s Pop chart: May 24, 1969

Deep Purple, “Smoke On The Water” was released: May 26, 1973

The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is released: May 27, 1963


This week in rock History:

–  The Rolling Stones begin a six-night stand at London’s Earl’s Court Theatre: May 21, 1976

– Elton John plays the first of eight historic concerts in Moscow, making him the first rock star to perform there: May 21, 1979

– The Beatles return to Heathrow themselves, after their first triumphant visit to America. Thousands of Beatlemaniacs rush to greet them: May 22, 1964

– Cream gets Gold Record with “Disraeli Gears:” May 22, 1968

– Fleetwood Mac reunites and performs first of two MTV Unplugged specials: May 22, 1997

– 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: May 23, 1964

– San Francisco bans electric instruments from all free outdoor concerts, leaving Jefferson Starship to cancel their planned free concert in Golden Gate Park. Years later, Bernie Taupin would write “We Built This City” for the band about this event: May 23, 1977

– The last Fleetwood Mac gig featuring Peter Green is played at the Bath Festival in Somerset, England: May 24, 1970

– The Who and Led Zeppelin play their first and only gig together at in Columbia, Maryland. Zeppelin was the opening act. On the tickets, the band’s name was spelled “Lead Zeppelin.” May 25, 1969.

– Still on honeymoon, John Lennon and Yoko Ono check in to room 1742 in Montreal’s Hotel La Reine, where they begin their second “bed-in” for peace: May 26, 1969

– With Mott The Hoople threatening to disband due to public indifference, David Bowie gives the band two of his new, unrecorded songs. The band passes on “Suffragette City” but decides to cut a song called “All The Young Dudes,” a massive hit that revives the group’s career: May 26, 1972

– Marianne Faithful records a version of “As Tears Go By” by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The recording features Jimmy Page on guitar and John Paul Jones on the bass, foreshadowing good things to come: May 26, 1964

– The rock group KISS provides Marvel Comics with a small vial of their blood to be mixed with printers’ ink for their upcoming faux-autobiographical comic: May 26, 1976

– Firemen arrive at the burning home of Eric Clapton to find the guitarist running in and out of the home to save his guitar collection. The house is gutted, with about three million dollars in damage: May 26, 1996

That’s all for This Week in Rock History. Did we get it all? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook or send us a Tweet!

Patrick Ortiz