Events on this date: MAY 8
1954: The BBC bans Johnny Ray’s latest single, “Such A Night,” from airplay due to it’s somewhat suggestive lyrics. It would later become a hit for Elvis Presley.
1961: Teen idol Ricky Nelson turns 21 and, eager to shed his teeny-bop image, changes his professional first name to “Rick,” which he would insist upon being called for the rest of his career.
1963: Chicago R&B great Major Lance records “The Monkey Time.”
1962: Beatles manager Brian Epstein, already discouraged somewhat from the Decca records rejection, runs into engineer Ted Huntley while at the HMV Record Store in London. Huntley suggest sending the bands’s demo to a producer at EMI by the name of George Martin.
1967: During filming of what would become the documentary Don’t Look Back, Bob Dylan gets the idea to make a short film of his single, “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” featuring him standing in an alley next to London’s Savoy Hotel. The film features Dylan with the company of his two friends, Allen Ginsberg and Bob Neuwirth flipping cue cards with the lyrics of the Dylan song on them.
1967: Gerry and the Pacemakers, increasingly out of step with changing rock trends, announce their disbandment.
1969: The Beatles sign a contract making Allen Klein their manager (through his company ABKCO). Paul, pointedly, refuses to show up and sign the agreement, a decision that will eventually lead the group to dissolve as a band.
1972: Following promoter’s Sid Bernstein’s decision to reinvent Radio City Music Hall in New York as a rock venue, Billy Preston becomes the first rock performer to headline at the famous landmark.
1976: John Sabastian’s “Welcome Back” hits No. 1 on the Billboard chart.
1976: On stage during Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue in Houston, Willie Nelson joins Dylan for a stirring rendition of the country standard, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” dedicated (as is the concert itself) to freeing wrongfully convicted ex-boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter from his murder sentence.
1976: BBC’s Radio One fires deejay Johnny Walker after he refuses to promote the teeny-bop group Bay City Rollers’ “Saturday Night” on the station.
1990: Tom Waits wins his $2.5 million lawsuit against snack giant Frito Lay for using a Waits “sound-alike” in a television commercial promoting their product.
1991: 55 year-old Rolling Stones’ bassist Bill Wyman divorces his second wife, 21 year-old model Mandy Smith, after three years of marriage.
1998: The three former Beatles, along with Yoko Ono, win an injunction stopping the re-release of the band’s live 1962 “Star Club” tapes, recorded in Hamburg at the famous venue.
2006: Apple Computers wins a long, long legal battle over rights to sell music over the internet without violating the trademark of the Beatles’ Apple label.
2006: Former MC5 bassist Michael Davis is badly injured in a motorcycle accident while riding in his hometown in Detroit, Michigan.
And that’s just a few of the events which took place in pop music history, on this day…. MAY 8