Today in Rock History – May 18

1967, The Beatles were selected to represent the UK for the first-ever global-wide satellite broadcast. The group agreed to be shown in the studio recording a song written especially for the occasion, scheduled for June 25. John Lennon wrote “All You Need is Love” which was thought to sum up the 1967 “Summer of Love” and The Beatles’ sympathies. With the satellite broadcast being broadcast to many non-English-speaking countries, the BBC asked The Beatles to “keep it simple.”

1967, Pink Floyd started recording their forthcoming single “See Emily Play” at Sound Techniques Studios, Chelsea, London. Syd Barrett was inspired to write See Emily Play, by the “looning about” of the early Pink Floyd fan Emily Young, (who became a renowned sculptor). Guitarist David Gilmour, playing gigs in France with his own band in that period, visited Floyd in the studio during a trip to London.

1968, Archie Bell and The Drells started a two week run at number one on the singles chart with “Tighten Up”.

1968, Grateful Dead, The Doors, The Steve Miller Band and Jefferson Airplane all appeared at The Northern California Rock Festival in Santa Clara. It took place at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds .

1972, According to today’s New York Times, the Beatles have agreed to split the fortune they accrued in their partnership. Paul McCartney says they’ve come to this arrangement to free up the $17 million that was frozen as they sued one another.

1972, Europe ’72 stop for the Grateful Dead was the Kongressaal Deutsches Museum in Muenchen, Germany.

1973, Pink Floyd plays the first of two shows at London’s Earl’s Court Exhibition Hall after the official UK release of “Dark Side of the Moon.”

1974, Ray Stevens started a three week run at No.1 on the singles chart with the novelty song ‘The Streak’ which capitalized on the then popular craze of streaking.

1975, Five times married US country singer, Tammy Wynette was at No.1 on the singles chart with ‘Stand By Your Man.’ Originally recorded by Tammy Wynette and released as a single in 1968. It proved to be the most successful record of Wynette’s career and is one of the most covered songs in the history of country music.

1977, the third Grateful Dead show on this date took place at the renown Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.

1978, Bob Marley and The Wailers played the first night on a 19-date North American tour at the Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

1978, The Buddy Holly Story has its world premiere in Dallas. Star Gary Busey is later nominated for the Best Actor Oscar.

1980, Joy Division singer and guitarist Ian Curtis hanged himself in the kitchen of his house in Macclesfield, England at the age of 23. Curtis had the Iggy Pop album The Idiot playing on his stereo and left a note that said, “At this very moment, I wish I were dead. I just can’t cope anymore.” Joy Division released the critically acclaimed debut album Unknown Pleasures in 1979, and recorded their follow-up Closer in 1980.

1984, Simple Minds were at number one on the US singles chart with “Don’t You Forget About Me”, (a number seven hit in the UK). Written by Keith Forsey (who won an Oscar for “Flashdance… What a Feeling”) and Steve Schiff (guitarist and songwriter from the Nina Hagen band, the track was featured in John Hughes’ 1985 American teen drama film The Breakfast Club.

1993, Singer Janet Jackson released Janet. The album’s first week sales of 350,000 was the highest for a female artist at that time, and would go on to sell over fourteen million copies worldwide. It’s one of only seven albums to have six Top Ten Hits in the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

2004, Clint Warwick, the original bass player with The Moody Blues, died from liver disease at the age of 63. Clint departed the band in 1966 after appearing on their early number one hit “Go Now”.

2011, Handwritten lyrics by John Lennon for the 1967 Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” sold for $237,132 at a US-based auction. The sale of the sheet, which featured the song’s third verse and the opening words to “‘”She’s Leaving Home”, took place at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Both songs feature on the Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

2017, American musician, singer and songwriter Chris Cornell died suddenly in Detroit after performing at a show with Soundgarden. Cornell was known for his role as one of the architects of the 1990s grunge movement. He released four solo studio albums as well as working with Audioslave and Temple of the Dog.

Born on this day: Joe Turner, bluesman (1911); Perry Como (1912); Albert Hammond (1942);  Rick Wakeman (1949); and George Strait (1952)

Get more Today in Rock History

Bob Marley, Buddy Holly, Jefferson Airplane, Joy Division, Ray Stevens, Simple Minds, Steve Miller Band, Tammy Wynette, The Beatles, The Grateful Dead.