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JEWDAYO ROCKS: Jewish Rock and Roll Dates for May

April 29, 2014
Research by Lawrence Bush and Bennett Muraskin lesley-gore-its-my-party-mercuryMay 1: Leonard Chess of Chess Records signed Chuck Berry to his label on this date in 1955. To see him playing Maybellene that year, look below. . . . High schooler Lesley Gore (Goldstein) performed her hit, "It's My Party," on American Bandstand on this date in 1963, which brought the song to the top of the pop charts. May 2: Speaking of Lesley Gore, she was born on this date in 1946. May 9: Steve Katz of The Blues Project and Blood, Sweat, and Tears was born on this date in 1945. . . . Billy Joel was born on this date in 1949. . . . Bob Margolin (nicknamed "Steady Rollin'"), back-up guitarist for Muddy Waters from 1973 to 1980, was born on this date in 1949. . . . Bob Dylan gave his first major performance in the UK at the Royal Albert Hall on this date in 1965, with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in the audience. . . . "Piano Man" Billy Joel was born on this date in 1949. May 10: Graham Gouldman, singer, instrumentalist, and songwriter with the British band 10cc, was born in England on this date in 1946. To see them playing their hit song, "I'm Not in Love," look below. May 12: Burt Bacharach, whose contributions to rock and roll included nearly all of Dionne Warwick's hit songs, as well as "What the World Needs Now Is Love" (Jackie De Shannon), "Blue on Blue" (Bobby VInton), "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (Gene Pitney), and "Baby, It's You" (The Shirelles), was born on this date in 1928. May 13: "Magic Dick" Salwitz, harmonica player for the J. Geils Band, was born on this date in 1945. May 16: Jonathan Michael Richman, founder of the proto-punk band The Modern Lovers, was born on this date in 1951. To see the video for their song, "I'm Straight," look below. May 18: The Kingsmen recorded "Louie Louie" on this date in 1963. Their record company, Wand, was owned by Florence Greenberg, a housewife who had discovered the Shirelles through her daughter’s Passaic, New Jersey high school assembly and broke into the music business. Ramones-239x300May 19: Joey Ramone (Jeffrey Ross Hyman) of the Ramones was born in Queens on this date in 1951. . . . The FBI paid a visit to Florence Greenberg's Wand Records on this date in 1965 to determine if the lyrics to "Louie Louie" were obscene, as they were purported to be. To see the lead singer of the Kingsmen reciting the lyrics at a much later date, look below. . . . Jerry Hyman, trombonist with Blood, Sweat and Tears, was born on this date in 1947. . . . Pioneering disk jockey Alan Freed was indicted in the payola scandal on this date in 1960. May 22: Bob Dylan became a bar mitsve in Hibbings, Minnesota on this date in 1954. May 23: Danny Klein, bassist with the J. Geils Band, was born on this date in 1946. . . . The first Gershwin Award from the Library of Congress was given to Paul Simon on this date in 2007. bob-dylanMay 24: Bob Dylan was born on this date in 1941. May 25: Burt Bacharach's collaborator Hal David was born on this date in 1921. . . . Mitch Margo of the all-Jewish band The Tokens ("The Lion Sleeps Tonight") was born on this date in 1947. . . . Carole King played a free concert for 100,000 fans in Central Park on this date in 1973. May 28: Tony Mansfield (Bookbinder), drummer with B.J. Kramer and the Dakotas, was born on this date in 1943. May 29: Bubblegum singer Joey Levine ("Yummy Yummy Yummy") was born on this date in 1950. . . . The body of Philip Kramer, bassist for Iron Butterfly, was discovered at the bottom of a canyon on this date in 1999, four years after he'd gone missing, probably a suicide. May 31: Trumpeter Herb Alpert was born on this date in 1935. . . . Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary was born on this date in 1938.