BORN ON MAY 8
1911 – Robert Johnson, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1938)
1940 – Ricky Nelson, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (d. 1985)
1941 – John Fred, American singer-songwriter (d. 2005)
1943 – Jon Mark, English-New Zealand singer-songwriter and guitarist (Sweet Thursday)
1943 – Danny Whitten, American guitarist and songwriter (Crazy Horse) (d. 1972)
1943 – Paul Samwell-Smith, English bass player and producer (The Yardbirds and Box of Frogs)
1951 – Philip Bailey, American singer-songwriter, drummer (Earth, Wind & Fire)
1951 – Chris Frantz, American drummer (Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club)
1953 – Billy Burnette, American singer-songwriter, guitarist(Fleetwood Mac)
1953 – Alex Van Halen, Dutch-American drummer (Van Halen)
1954 – John Michael Talbot, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Mason Proffit)
1960 – Eric Brittingham, American bass player (Cinderella and Naked Beggars)
1963 – Anthony Field, Australian guitarist, songwriter (The Cockroaches)
1964 – Dave Rowntree, English drummer (Blur and The Ailerons)
1976 – Martha Wainwright, Canadian-American singer-songwriter and guitarist
Martha WainwrightDIED ON MAY 8
1967 – LaVerne Andrews, American singer (The Andrews Sisters) (b. 1911)
1982 – Neil Bogart, American record producer, co-founded Casablanca Records (b. 1943)
2000 – Dédé Fortin, Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist (Les Colocs) (b. 1962)
2007 – Carson Whitsett, American keyboardist, songwriter, and record producer (b. 1945)
2008 – Eddy Arnold, American singer-songwriter, guitarist (b. 1918)
2012 – Everett Lilly, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Lilly Brothers) (b. 1924)
2013 – Ken Whaley, Austrian-English bass player (Help Yourself, Ducks Deluxe, and Man) (b. 1946)
EVENTS ON MAY 8
1954 – The BBC bans Johnnie Ray’s latest single, “Such A Night,” from airplay due to its somewhat suggestive lyrics. It would later become a hit for Elvis Presley.
1961 – Teen idol Ricky Nelson turns 21 and, eager to shed his teenybop image, changes his professional first name to “Rick,” which he would insist upon being called for the rest of his career.
1962 – Beatles manager Brian Epstein, already somewhat discouraged by the Decca label rejecting them, runs into engineer Ted Huntly while at HMV Record Store in London. Huntly suggests sending the band demo to a producer at EMI named George Martin.
1967 – Gerry and the Pacemakers, increasingly out of step with changing rock trends, announce their disbandment.
1972 – Following promoter 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 – On stage during Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue in Houston, Willie Nelson joins Bob 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 – The Steve Miller Band released “Take The Money And Run”
1976 – BBC’s Radio One fires DJ Johnny Walker after he refuses to promote teenybop phenoms The Bay City Rollers on the station.
1982 – Neil Bogart died of cancer at the age of 39. Bogart was the founder of Casablanca Records, with Peter Guber, home of Donna Summer, The Village People, KISS, T.Rex and Joan Jett.
1990 – Tom Waits wins his $2.5 million suit against snack kings Frito-Lay for using a Waits “soundalike” in a commercial.
1991 – 55-year-old Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman divorces his second wife, 21-year-old model Mandy Smith, after three years of marriage.
2005 – Bruce Springsteen was at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Devils and Dust’ his 13th No.1 studio album.
2006 – The Rolling Stones called off their forthcoming European tour after guitarist Keith Richards underwent emergency brain surgery. The 62 year-old guitarist suffered “mild concussion” when he fell out of a coconut tree on holiday in Fiji.
2006 – Former MC5 bassist Michael Davis is badly injured in a motorcycle accident while riding in his hometown of Detroit.