On this day, April 5 In Music History

On this day, April 5 In Music History


On this day, April 5 in 1923 – Joseph ‘King’ Oliver and his Creole Jazz Band became the first African American musicians to make a jazz recording. Young Louis Armstrong was also part of the band.

1964 – On the Ed Sullivan ShowThe Searchers made their US TV debut. They sang ‘Needles and Pins’ and ‘Ain’t That Just Like Me’.

1965 – At the annual Academy Awards, The Sherman Brothers won an Oscar for Best Original Song with ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’. A song they composed and wrote for the Disney musical Mary Poppins.

1967 – Hundreds of Monkees fans protested in front of the US embassy in London because Davy Jones was supposed to join the Army. At the end however, he didn’t join because he was the main provider in the family.

1968 – A day after Martin Luther King‘s assassination, James Brown appeared on national television to calm the masses because riots had broken out in dozens of US cities.

1969 – Four months after its release, The Guess Who entered the Billboard singles chart with ‘These Eyes’. The song peaked at No.7 and also managed to sell over one million copies.

1975 – With ‘Loving You’Minnie Riperton went on number one on the US singles chart. Also a hit in the UK where it peaked at No.2.

1977 Iggy Pop and David Bowie appeared on the Dinah Shore’s daytime show on NBC. They also sang two songs (‘Funtime’ and ‘Sister Midnight’) from Iggy Pop’s debut album The Idiot.

1979 – At The Lecture Theatre in Birmingham, English new wave band Duran Duran made their first ever live appearance. Since then, they have sold over 100 million records worldwide.

Duran Duran – Ordinary World

1980 – Another now-worldfamous band R.E.M. made their debut on this day, April 5 in music history. They appeared in Athens, Georgia.

1981 – Lead singer of blues-rock band Canned Heat, Robert ‘Bob’ Hite died at the age of 36 from a heart attack. He was also known as The Bear.

1984 – Four days after he was murdered by his own father, Marvin Gaye‘s funeral took place in Los Angeles, California. Many celebrities such as Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson and others attended the funeral.

1987 – Three days after his death, Buddy Rich‘s funeral took place in Los Angeles. Celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Johnny Carson attended the funeral.

1994 – Frontman and guitarist of NirvanaKurt Cobain died on this day at the age of 27 from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to his head

1998 – Rock drummer Cozy Powell died at the age of 50 after suffering fatal injuries in one car crash. He had appeared on at least 66 albums and had worked with bands such as; Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Whitesnake, The Jeff Beck Group and others.

2002 – Another grunge legend, Layne Staley died on this day after overdosing on heroin and cocaine. He was the frontman of Alice In Chains.

2008 – After 3 decades of existence, Toto disbanded after a performance in Seoul, South Korea. But the break up didn’t last for long because they got back together two years later.

2006 – American singer-songwriter and sound engineer Gene Pitney died at the age of 65 from a heart attack.

2007 – Guitarist Mark Leslie Norton also known as Mark St. John died at the age of 51 from a brain hemorrhage. Best known for his brief sting with Kiss.

2008 – The UK X Factor winner from 2006, Leona Lewis topped the US singles chart with ‘Bleeding Love’.

2011 – American folk musician Gilbert ‘Gil’ Robbins died at the age of 80 from prostate cancer. Best known as member of the folk band The Highwaymen.

2017 – American music composer, lyricist, producer, and songwriter Paul O’Neill died at the age of 61 after a long battle with illness.


1926 – American jazz drummer Stan Levey was born on this day, April 5 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1928 – Lead singer of the PlattersTony Williams was born on this day, April 5 in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

1929 – English record producer, sound engineer and songwriter Joe Meek was born on this day, April 5 in music history.

1932 – R&B singer and songwriter BIlly Bland was born on this day, April 5 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

1935 – English music manager Peter James Grant was born in London, England. He has managed worldwide popular bands such as The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin and Bad Company.

1939 – American musician Ronald ‘Ronnie’ White was born on this day, April 5 in music history. Also known as the co-founder of The Miracles.

1941 – English folk music singer-songwriter David Swarbrick was born in New Malden. Best known as member of the British folk rock band Fairport Convention.

1942 – Founding member and lead singer of The Hollies, Allan Clarke was born in Salford, England. He also was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

1944 – Founding member of the R&B vocal group The Whispers, Nicholas Caldwell was born in San Francisco, California.

1950 – Founding member of ABBAAgneta Fältskog was born on this day, April 5 in Jönköping, Sweden. Besides her work with ABBA, she also had a stellar solo career.

1954 – Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Stanard “Stan” Ridgway was born in Barstow, California. Also known as the founding member and lead singer of Wall of Voodoo.

1966 – American musician Michael ‘Mike’ McCready was born on this day, April 5 in music history. Best known as the lead guitarist of Pearl Jam, with whom he was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

1968 – Singer-songwriter Paula Cole was born on this day, April 5 in Rockport, Massachusetts.

1973 – Rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer Pharrell Williams was born on this day, April 5 in music history.

Featured image by: Susi Acosta

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