On this day, May 24 In Music History

On this day, May 24 In Music History


On this day, May 24 in 1956 – The very first Eurovision Song Contest took place in Lugano, Switzerland. However, unlike the today’s competition with over 40 countries, only 14 participated in the first song contest.

1962 – With ‘Good Luck’, the King of Rock and Roll – Elvis Presley went to number one on the UK singles chart. Also a number one hit in the US where it topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in April the same year.

1963 – American blues guitarist, singer-songwriter and bandleader Elmore James died at the age of 45 from a heart attack. He was known as ‘King of the Slide Guitar’. Also posthumously inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

1965 – Blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter Aleck Miller also known as Sonny Boy Williamson died at the age of 52. Many blues artist have covered his songs, especially ‘Help Me’ and ‘Bring It On’. While on tour in Europe he collaborated with Jimmy Page, the Yardbirds and the Animals.

1968 – The Rolling Stones released ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ as a single in the UK. The song became a chart topper in New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands, the US and the UK.

1969 – With ‘Get Back’The Beatles ft. Billy Preston started a five week run at number on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The only Beatles song that credits another artist. Also a number one hit in dozen more countries around the globe.

1969 – Canadian rock band The Guess Who made their first appearance on US television when they performed their recent number one hit ‘American Woman’ and ‘Laughing’ on American Bandstand. But despite the name, the song is actually a tribute to Canadian women.

1971 – American composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra Duke Ellington died from lung cancer at the age of 75.

1974 – David Bowie released his eight studio album Diamond Dogs through RCA Records. The album follows a post-apocalyptic theme inspired by George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four’. It topped the charts in the UK and Canada while in the US it peaked at #5.

1975 – With ‘Shining Star’, Earth, Wind and Fire went to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also topped the US Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart later that year.

Earth, Wind & Fire – Shining Star

1977 – Marc Bolan played his last live show with T-Rex, a band he founded in 1967. The glam rock pioneer died in a car crash later that year at the age of 29.

1980 – Genesis members Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks pleasantly surprised their fans by selling the tickets for their upcoming show in Los Angeles themselves.

1986 – Garage rock band the Count Five reunited for a one time gig 17 years after splitting up. They played at their high school reunion in San Jose, California. The band is best known for the 1966 No.5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

1986 – After a decade long hiatus, The Monkees also reunited on this day, May 24 in music history. However, instead of a one time thing they kicked off a reunion tour at the Concord Hotel in New York City.

1991 – Singer-songwriter and founding member of the Byrds, Gene Clark died from a heart attack at the age of 49.

1997 – With their debut single ‘MMMBop’, American pop rock band Hanson started a three week run at No.1 in the US.

1997 – The all-girl group Spice Girls went to number one on the US album chart with their debut studio album ‘Spice’.

2000 – American rapper Curtis Jackson also known as 50 Cent was shot nine times outside of his grandmother’s home in South Jamaica. However, the rapper survived and became one of the biggest names in the industry few years later.

2003 – At the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Paul McCartney made his first live performance in the country. Over 20,000 people attended the show.

2010 – Founding member and bassist for heavy metal band SlipknotPaul Gray died at the age of 38 due to an accidental overdose.

2013 – American swing musician and jazz drummer Edward ‘Ed’ Shaughnessy died from a heart attack, aged 84.


1938 – Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer Cecil Campbell also known as Prince Buster was born on this day, May 24 in music history.

1941 – Robert Zimmerman also known professionally as Bob Dylan was born on this day, May 24 in music history. His six decades long and rich career makes him one of the most influential and most successful artists of all time.

1944 – American singer, actress, and entrepreneur Patti LaBelle was born on this day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Best known for her solo career and as member of Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles.

1945 – English musician and bass guitarist David Peacock was born in Enflield, England. Best known as the other half of the pop rock duo Chas & Dave.

1947 – Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Albert Bouchard was born in Watertown, New York. Best known as founding member and drummer for hard rock band Blue Öyster Cult.

1955 – American singer-songwriter and the eldest daughter of Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash was born in Memphis, Tennessee.

1956 – Founding member and frontman of Cameo, Larry Blackmon was born on this day, May 24 in music history.

1960 – English multi-instrumentalist Guy Fletcher was born on this day, May 24 in music history. Best known for his work as keyboardist with Dire Straits with whom he was also inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

May interest you: Metal Bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

1969 – Guitarist and founding member of rock band The Black CrowesRich Robinson was born on this day, May 24 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Featured image by: Jean-Luc Ourlin

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