May 8 in music history

On This Day, May 8 In Music History


On this day May 8 in 1954 – The BBC banned Johnnie Ray‘s single ‘Such a Night’ because listeners complained about the song’s “indecent lyrics”.

1964 – With ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’The Beatles topped the US singles chart for the fifth consecutive week. Before that they also topped the chart with ‘She Loves You’ and ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ making it 14 straight weeks at No.1 in total.

1965 – Storm of British acts took over the US Billboard Hot 100 chart when 8 of the first 10 hits came from the UK. The only American act on the chart was Gary Lewis and the Playboys with ‘Count Me In’.

1967 – The eldest sister of the siblings close harmony singing group The Andrews SistersLaVerne Sophia died from cancer on this day May 8, aged 55.

1968 – Founder of the country radio program Grand Ole Opry, George D Hay died on this day May 8 in music history at the age of 72.

1969 – Paul McCartney refused to sign a business management contract with Allen Klein while his bandmates gladly did it. This event later proved to be one of the main reasons for The Beatles‘ break up.

1970 – The Beatles released their twelfth and final studio album ‘Let It Be’ in the UK on this day May 8 in music history. American fans had to wait for 10 more days to buy it. The LP later topped both the US and UK albums charts.

The Beatles – Let It Be

1972 – Keyboardist Billy Preston became the first rock star to headline a show at the Radio City Music Hall in New York on this day May 8. David Bowie also headlined there shortly after him.

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1974 – British musician and occultist Graham Bond committed suicide at the age of 36. He was considered the founding father of the English rhythm and blues boom during the 1960s.

1976 – With the theme song of the TV sitcom Welcome Back Kotter”John Sebastian went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

1976 – With ‘Fernando’ABBA topped the UK singles chart on this day May 8 in music history. Their third chart-topper and also their biggest selling single with sales exceeding 10 million.

1982 – American record executive and founder of Casablanca Records, Neil Bogart died at the age of 39 from cancer.

1982 Paul McCartney went to number one in the UK with his third solo studio album ‘Tug of War’ on this day May 8. The Album was also nominated for a Grammy at the following annual awards in 1983.

1982 – With the instrumental theme song from the eponymous film ‘Chariots of Fire’Vangelis went to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.

1991 – Bohemian-born pianist Rudolf Serkin died from cancer at the age 88. Often regarded as one of the greatest Beethoven interpreters of the 20th century.

1993 – With their eleventh studio album ‘Get a Grip’Aerosmith went to number one in the US on this day May 8 in music history. The LP is the band’s best-selling album with over 20 million units sold worldwide.

1999 – American avant-garde jazz singer Amos Leon Thomas died on this day May 8 at the age of 62.

1999 – Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin started a five-week stint at No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 with ‘Livin’ la Vida Loca’. The song was a massive hit worldwide that year, reaching the top spot in over 20 countries.

2001 – Canadian rock band Sum 41 released their debut studio album ‘All Killer, No Filler’ on this day May 8 in music history.

2005 – With his thirteenth studio album ‘Devils and Dust’Bruce Springsteen topped the Billboard 200 chart.

2008 – American country music singer Edward ‘Eddy’ Arnold died on this day May 8 at the age of 89.

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2021 The Weeknd and Ariana Grande started a two-week run at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with ‘Save Your Tears’.


1911 – American delta blues singer and songwriter Robert Johnson was born on this day May 8 in music history.

1940 – American singer-songwriter and keyboardist Cathryn ‘Toni’ Tennille was born on this day in Montgomery, Alabama. Best known as one half of the husband and wife music duo Captain & Tennille.

1940 – Rock and roll singer-songwriter Ricky Nelson was born on this day May 8 in Teaneck, New Jersey. Best known for his chart topping single ‘Poor Little Fool’. Besides his musical he also had a successful acting career.

1941 – R&B and soul musician John Gourrier also known by his stage name as John Fred was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Best remembered for his 1967 hit song ‘Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)’.

1943 – Founding member and bassist of The YardbirdsPaul Samwell-Smith was born on this day May 8 in music history.

1943 – American musician and songwriter Danny Whitten was born on this day May 8 in Columbus, Georgia. Best known as a member of Neil Young’s backing band Crazy Horse. He also wrote the hit single ‘I Don’t Want to Talk About It’.

1951 – American musician and record producer Chris Frantz was born on this day May 8 in Campbell, Kentucky. Best known as the co-founder of Talking Heads with whom he was also inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1951 – R&B, soul, gospel and funk singer-songwriter Philip Bailey was born in Denver, Colorado. Best known as an early member and one of the two lead singers of Earth, Wind & Fire.

1953 – Drummer and co-founder of the hard rock band Van HalenAlex Van Halen was born on this day May 8 in music history.

1953 – American guitarist, singer, and songwriter Billy Burnette was born on this day May 8 in Memphis, Tennessee. He played for Fleetwood Mac from 1987 until 1995.

1972 – Former frontman of the pop duo Savage Garden, Darren Hayes was born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

1975 – Spanish singer-songwriter Enrique Igleasias also known as the ‘King of Latin Pop’ was born in Madrid.

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