On This Day, April 5 In Music History


On this day April 5 in 1964 – Merseybeat group The Searchers made their US TV debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. They performed their hit ‘Needles and Pins’ which previously topped the charts in the UK, Ireland, and South Africa.

1965 – The 37th Academy Awards were held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. The Sherman Brothers won an Oscar for Best Original Song with ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’ which featured in the Disney musical film Mary Poppins’.

1968 – Simon & Garfunkel released ‘Mrs. Robinson’ through Columbia Records. The single became their second chart-topper in the US and it also won the duo a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

1975 – With ‘Loving You’, singer-songwriter Minnie Riperton topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was an international and it peaked within the Top 10 in five other countries, including the UK (No.2) and Canada (No.3).

1979 – English new wave band Duran Duran played their first live show at the Birmingham Polytechnic. Since then, the group has sold over 100 million records worldwide.

1980 – American rock band R.E.M. also played their first show on this day. They performed at the deconsecrated St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Athens, Georgia.

1980 – With their tenth studio album ‘Duke’, progressive rock band Genesis topped the UK Albums chart for the first time.

1981 – American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Robert ‘Bob’ Hite nicknamed “The Bear” died at the age of 36 from an overdose. Best remembered as the co-founder of the rock band Canned Heat.

1994 – American singer, songwriter and guitarist Kurt Cobain committed suicide, aged 27. Best remembered as the co-founder and frontman of the rock band Nirvana.

1997 – With their twelfth studio album ‘Nine Lives’, rock band Aerosmith reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart.

1997 – Electronic music duo The Chemical Brothers topped the UK Singles chart with ‘Block Rockin’ Beats’.

1998 – Prolific drummer Cozy Powell died in a car crash, aged 50. Best remembered for featuring on 66 albums and for his work with the likes of Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Whitesnake, The Jeff Beck Group, Gary Moore, and others.

2002 – American singer-songwriter and guitarist Layne Staley died of a drug overdose, aged 34. Best remembered as the co-founder and frontman of the rock band Alice In Chains.

2003 – Italian record producer and DJ Room 5 featuring R&B singer Oliver Cheatham topped the UK Singles chart with ‘Make Luv’.

2003 – With their second studio album ‘Meteora’, rock band Linkin Park reached No.1 in the UK. It was a hit worldwide that year and it became a chart-topper in a dozen countries, including the US.

2006 – American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gene Pitney died at the age of 65 from a heart attack. Best remembered for hit songs such as ‘(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance’, ‘Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa’, ‘I’m Gonna Be Strong’, etc.

2007 – American guitarist Mark Leslie Norton also known by his stage name Mark St. John died from a brain hemorrhage, aged 51. Best remembered for his work with the rock band Kiss.

2008 – The 2006 UK X Factor winner, Leona Lewis topped the US Billboard Hot 100 with ‘Bleeding Love’. The song was a massive worldwide hit and it reached No.1 in 35 countries.

Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love

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2011 – American singer and actor Gilbert “Gil” Robbins died at the age of 80. Best known for his work with the folk band The Highwaymen.

2014 – Australian pop rock band 5 Seconds of Summer scored their first No.1 single in the UK with ‘She Looks So Perfect’.

2014 – English singer Sam Bailey went to number one in the UK with her debut studio album ‘The Power of Love’.

2017 – American composer, lyricist, guitarist, record producer, and audio engineer Paul O’Neill died at the age of 61.

2018 – With his second studio album ‘Staying at Tamara’s’, singer-songwriter George Ezra reached No.1 in the UK.

2018 – The No.1 single in the UK was ‘These Days’ by Rudimental featuring Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen.


1926 – American jazz drummer and composer Stan Levey was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1928 – American doo-wop singer Tony Williams was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He came to prominence as the lead vocalist of The Platters.

1929 – Record producer, sound engineer and songwriter Robert George “Joe” Meek was born in Newent, England. He is credited for pioneering the space age and experimental pop music genres.

1932 – R&B singer and songwriter Billy Bland was born in Wilmington, North Carolina. Best known for his 1960 hit song ‘Let the Little Girl Dance’.

1934 – American jazz tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

1935 – English music manager Peter James Grant was born in South Norwood, London. Best known for managing bands such as The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, and Bad Company.

1939 – Baritone singer and founding member of the vocal group The Miracles, Ronald ‘Ronnie’ White was born in Detroit, Michigan.

1941 – Folk rock multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter David Swarbrick was born in Stoneleigh, England. Best known as a member of the band Fairport Convention.

1942 – English singer Allan Clarke was born in Salford. He came to prominence as a founding member and frontman of the pop rock band The Hollies.

1944 – Singer and founding member of the vocal group The Whispers, Nicholas Caldwell was born in Loma Linda, California.

1950 – Swedish singer, songwriter, and record producer Agneta Fältskog was born in Jönköping, Sweden. Best known as a member of the pop group ABBA.

1954 – Multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and film score composer Stanard “Stan” Ridgway was born in Barstow, California. Best known as the founding member and frontman of the band Wall of Voodoo.

1966 – American guitarist and songwriter Michael ‘Mike’ McCready was born in Pensacola, Florida. Best known as the co-founder of the rock band Pearl Jam with whom he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

Metal Bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

1967 – One half of the country music duo Montgomery GentryTroy Lee Gentry was born in Lexington, Kentucky.

1968 – American singer-songwriter, piano player, and clarinetist Paula Cole was born in Rockport, Massachusetts.

1973 – American record producer, songwriter, rapper, and singer Pharrell Williams was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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