May 1: This day, that year in music history

190611 Elton John
Elton John Image Credit: Supplied

The Rolling Stones turn street musicians in NY


The Rolling Stones made a unique arrival at a press conference in New York City to announce their forthcoming tour of the Americas: they travelled down 5th Avenue while playing their hit song playing ‘Brown Sugar’ in an open truck.

Strangely, the flatbed truck rolled past 5th Avenue Hotel, the venue for the much-hyped press conference and stopped a block later allowing the band members to jump into waiting limousines and drive away. They never attended the press conference.

The Rolling Stones Image Credit: AFP

Drummer Charlie Watts came up with the publicity gimmick which was inspired by New Orleans jazz musicians who would on a typical day play music walking down the street in the popular French Quarter.

The tour which featured 46 concerts across America and Canada was the Rolling Stones’ first tour with new guitarist Ronnie Wood who replaced Mick Taylor.

In Europe, street musicians are referred to as ‘buskers’.

Elton John wows Israel and Russia


TAB 200320 Elton John-1584699975813
Elton John Image Credit: AP

Elton John made history when he became the first Western solo pop star to perform in Israel and Russia.

He played three concerts in Jerusalem and two in Tel Aviv.

After wowing fans in Israel John travelled to Russia where he played eight solo concerts in Leningrad and Moscow.

Fever pitch as The Beatles appear on bubble gum wrappers

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The Beatles Image Credit: AFP

The Beatles popularity reached a new high in the USA when their pictures were included in packages of bubble gum.

The British band were paid $140,000 for the rights for the Black and White Series cards. The first series featured 60 cards along with blue facsimile signatures. The cards were numbered 1-60.

It was a popular trend in the sixties to features famous musicians or actors on bubble gum wrappers or cards.

On the same day in 1966, The Beatles played live for the last time in the UK when they appeared at the NME Poll Winners concert at Wembley.

The bill also featured The Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison, Herman’s Hermits, The Seekers, The Who and The Yardbirds.

Born This Day, That Year… in Music History

May 1939

Judy Collins
Judy Collins Image Credit:

American singer and songwriter Judy Collins who fell in love with traditional and contemporary topical music as a young teenager.

During the early days of her career Collins performed traditional songs and contemporary Folk tunes written by songwriters like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell.

It wasn’t until 1967 that she started writing her own music.

However, it was a cover of the Joni Mitch song ‘Both Sides Now’ that won her the first of two Grammy Awards for Best Folk Performance.

In 2019, Collins scored her first No. 1 album on an American Billboard Charts with ‘Winter Stories’ at the age of 80 years old.

During her career she released 28 studio albums, four live albums, several compilation albums and four holiday albums.


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