On this day, May 26 In Music History

On this day, May 26 In Music History


On this day, May 26 in 1962 – Mr Aker Bilk became the first British artist to score a number one in the United States. He topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart with ‘Stranger on the Shore’. Also a hit in his home country where it peaked at #2.

1963 – Elvis Presley recorded ‘Echoes of Love’, ‘Never Ending’ and ‘ (You’re The) Devil in Disguise’. With ‘Devil in Disguise’, he topped the UK singles chart while in the US it peaked at #3. The other tunes had mediocre success.

1966 – With ‘Paint It Black’The Rolling Stones went to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Also a number one in the UK and the first chart topper to feature a sitar among the instruments used on the recording.

1966 – At Abbey Road studios in London, The Beatles had their first of two recording sessions for ‘Yellow Submarine’. The song went to number one on almost every singles chart it entered except the charts in Spain and the US where it peaked at #3 and #2. Also the most successful Beatles song to feature Ringo Starr as lead vocalist.

1967 – Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention released their second studio album Absolutely Free through Verve Records.

1967 – The Beatles released their eight studio album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The record won four Grammys and became the first rock LP to win Album of the Year Award. It also topped the UK albums chart for 27 weeks while the US one for 15. Many critics and fans consider it to be one of the greatest albums of all time.

1968 – American R&B singer “Little Willie” John died from a heart attack while serving a sentence for manslaughter, aged 30. He was posthumously inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

1969 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono started the second week of their famous anti-war protest “bed-in” for peace while on their honeymoon. At the end of the week they recorded ‘Give Peace a Chance’.

Give Peace A Chance – Plastic Ono Band

1972 – After hearing up that Mott the Hoople were splitting up due to lack of success, David Bowie who was a big fan of the band offered them his help. He penned two songs for them – ‘Suffragette City’ and ‘All The Young Dudes’. They refused the first but took the second one, which later became their biggest hit and helped them to stabilize.

1973 – Deep Purple released the now-classic song ‘Smoke on the Water’, a single from their sixth studio album Machine Head. It reached #3 on the US Cash Box Top 100 chart while on the Billboard Hot 100 it peaked at #4.

1973 – With ‘Frankenstein’The Edgar Winter Group went to number one on the US singles chart. While in the UK it stalled at #8.

1977 – Founding member of the American R&B group The O’JaysWilliam Powell died on this day, May 26 in music history from cancer, aged 35.

1979 – With ‘Sunday Girl’Blondie scored their second number one hit on the UK singles chart. Chart topper in Ireland as well while in the US it wasn’t even released.

1984 – Deniece Williams started a two week run at number one in the US with ‘Let’s Hear It For The Boy’. A soundtrack for the movie ‘Footlose’ and also a hit in the UK where it reached #2.

1990 – For the first time in music history, the first 5 spots on the US singles chart were held by five female artists.

1994 – Elvis Presley‘s daughter Lisa Marie Presley married Michael Jackson. But the marriage did not last for long because the couple divorced a year later.

2002 – Two months after airing in the US, The Osbournes arrived in the UK as well. It’s a reality TV show that follows the lives of Ozzy Osbourne and his family.

10 Ozzy Osbourne Facts You May Have Not Known

2013 – Lead singer of The Five StairstepsClarence Burke Jr died on this day, May 26 in music history at the age of 64.


1904 – English singer-songwriter, actor and comedian George Formby was born on this day, May 26 in music history.

1916 – American musician, composer and inventor of several musical instruments Louis Thomas Hardin also known as Moondog was born in Marysville, Kansas. He was blind since the age of 16.

1920 – Jazz and pop music singer-songwriter Delores Egstrom also known as Peggy Lee was born in Jamestown, North Dakota.

1926 – American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer Miles Davis was born on this day, May 26 in music history. Often credited as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.

1940 – American musician and actor Levon Helm was born on this day, May 26 in music history. Best known for his work as lead guitarist with The Band.

1941 – Vocalist and lead guitarist for The Swinging Blue JeansRay Ennis was born on this day, May 26 in music history.

1944 – Organ player and founding member of Mott the HoopleVerden Allen was born on this day, May 26 in Crynant, Wales

1945 – Canadian musician Garry Peterson was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Also known as the long-term member and drummer for The Guess Who.

1946 – English songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Mick Ronson was born in Kingston upon Hull. Best known for his work with David Bowie but also collaborated with Van Morrison and Bob Dylan.

1948 – Singer and songwriter for Fleetwood MacStevie Nicks was born on this day, May 26 in music history. She is the only woman to be inducted twice in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for now.

1949 – American singer-songwriter and musician Hank Williams Jr was born on this day in Shreveport, Louisiana. He is also the son of country music legend Hank Williams.

1964 – American singer-songwriter and record producer Lenny Kravitz was born on this day in Manhattan, New York.

1972 – English musician Alan White was born on this day, May 26 in music history. Best as the drummer for Oasis from 1995 until 2004.

Featured image by: Eva Rinaldi 

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