On This Day, May 31 In Music History

EVENTS THAT HAPPENED ON THIS DAY MAY 31 IN MUSIC HISTORY

On this day May 31 in 1974 – The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) awarded Gordon Lightfoot a Gold Plaque for his tenth studio album ‘Sundown’ which sold over half a million units. The album and the title track both topped the music charts in the US.

1975 – Freddy Fender topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with ‘Before the Next Teardrop Falls’. The song also reached No.1 in Canada and Australia that year.

1976 – The Who became the world’s loudest band on this day May 31 in music history when the noise level at their concert at the Valley Stadium in London exceeded 120 dB. The record was listed in the Guinness Book of Records.

1977 – Only four days after releasing ‘God Save The Queen’, the BBC banned Sex Pistols‘ song because of its anti-royalist theme. But despite efforts by the British government to ban the song, it still managed to reach No.2 on the UK Singles chart and sell over 250,000 copies.

1980 – Disco and funk group Lipps Inc hit No.1 in the US with ‘Funkytown’ for the first of four consecutive weeks on this day May 31. The song was a big international hit and it became a chart-topper in a dozen other countries.

1980 – Ten years after it was originally released, the theme song ‘Suicide is Painless’ from the 1970 film M*A*S*Hreached No.1 on the UK Singles chart for the first of three consecutive weeks.

1980 – Singer-songwriter Paul McCartney started a two-week stint at number one in the UK on this day May 31 with his second studio solo album ‘McCartney II’. He played all the instruments on every song.

1986 – With this fifth studio album ‘So’, singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel reached No.1 in the UK for the second time as a solo artist. The album features his biggest hit ‘Sledgehammer’ and was also a chart-topper in Austria, Canada, the Netherlands, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, and Spain, while in the US it peaked at No.2.

1997 – R&B girl group Eternal ft. singer BeBe Winans topped the UK Singles chart with ‘I Wanna Be the Only One’ on this day May 31 in music history.

2002 – American multi-genre singer and songwriter Johnnie Taylor died on this day, aged 66. He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2022.

2003 – With their fifth studio album ‘The Golden Age of Grotesque’, rock band Marilyn Manson scored their second chart-topper on the US Billboard 200 on this day May 31.

2003 – Rappers 50 Cent and Nate Dogg hit number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 with ’21 Questions’ for the first of four consecutive weeks. This was 50 Cent‘s second chart-topper of the year who previously was at No.1 for nine weeks straight with ‘In Da Club’.

2004 – American guitarist Robert Quine died on this day May 31 in music history, aged 61. Best remembered for his collaborations with musicians such as Lou Read, John Zorn, Brian Eno, Tom Waits, and others.

2008 – Barbadian singer Rihanna scored her second chart-topper on the UK Singles chart with ‘Take a Bow’. It also reached No.1 in the US, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, and Slovakia that year.

2008 – The number one album in the United States on this day May 31 was ‘Narrow Stairs’ by the alternative rock band Death Cab for Cutie.

2008 – With their debut studio album ‘We Started Nothing’, indie pop duo the Ting Tings went to number one in the United Kingdom.

The Ting Tings – That’s Not My Name

YouTube player

2014 – American rock duo The Black Keys topped the US Billboard 200 chart for the first time on this day May 31 in music history with their eight studio album ‘Turn Blue’.

2014 – Pop rock band Coldplay scored their sixth consecutive chart-topper on the UK Albums chart with their sixth studio release ‘Ghost Stories’.

2014 – English singer and songwriter Sam Smith reached number one on the UK Singles chart with ‘Stay with Me’ on this day May 31.

2019 – American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Roger ‘Roky’ Erickson died on this day, aged 71. Best remembered as a pioneering figure of the psychedelic rock genre and as the co-founder and frontman of the group 13th Floor Elevators.

BORN ON THIS DAY MAY 31 IN MUSIC HISTORY

1913 – American jazz and jump blues guitarist Jimmy Shirley was born in Union, South Carolina on this day May 31 in music history

1931 – American jazz guitarist Dick Garcia was born on this day in New York City. Best known for his work with the likes of Tony Scott, Charlie Parker, George Shearing, Milton Buckner, and others.

1935 – Hard bob drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath was born on this day May 31 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the brother of fellow musicians Jimmy and Percy Heath.

1938 – American singer and songwriter Peter Yarrow was born in Manhattan, New York City. He rose to fame as one third of the folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary.

1938 – Country music singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Donald Eugene Lytle better known by his stage name  Johnny Paycheck was born on this day May 31 in Greenfield, Ohio.

1940 – Singer-songwriter and record producer August “Augie” Meyers was born in San Antonio, Texas. Best known as a founding member of the bands Texas Tornados and Sir Douglas Quintet.

1947 – Founding member and frontman of the group MarmaladeJunior Campbell was born in Glasgow, Scotland on this day May 31 in music history.

1948 – English cellist Michael Edwards also known as Swami Deva Pramada was born on this day in London. Best known as a member of the Electric Light Orchestra.

1948 – Drummer and founding member of the rock band Led ZeppelinJohn Bonham-Bonzo was born on this day May 31 in Redditch, England.

1952 – German percussionist, keyboardist and composer Karl Bartos was born in Marktschellenberg. Best known for his work with the electronic band Kraftwerk.

1962 – Canadian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Corey Hart was born on this day May 31 in Montreal, Quebec. Best known for songs such as ‘Never Surrender’, ‘Sunglasses at Night’ and ‘It Ain’t Enough’.

1964 – American rapper Darryl McDaniels better known professionally as DMC or Easy D was born in Harlem, New York. He came to prominence as a founding member of the hip hop group Run-DMC.

1980 – American drummer Andrew “Andy” Hurley was born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin on this day May 31 in music history. Best known as a member of the rock band Fall Out Boy.

1991 – Singer, songwriter, rapper and actress Azaealia Banks was born on this day in New York City. Best known for songs such as ‘212’, ‘1991’, ‘Chasing Time’, ‘Luxury’, etc.

<< May 30

June 1 >>