2008-Danny Federici, longtime keyboardist in Bruce Springsteen‘s E-Street Band, dies of melanoma at 58.
1999-Elton John, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Don Henley, Tony Bennett and Sting sing Frank Sinatra songs at the ninth annual Rainforest Foundation benefit at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
1983-Cream producer and Mountain singer-bassist Felix Pappalardi, 44, is shot to death in New York by his wife and songwriting collaborator, Gail Collins.
1973-Pink Floyd receives a gold album for The Dark Side of the Moon. It has since exceeded that modest achievement by more than 15-million copies.
1970-At the invitation of President Nixon, Johnny Cash performs at the White House. Nixon asks him to perform “Okie From Muskogee,” but Cash declines, since it’s not his song. Instead, he sings “A Boy Named Sue.”
1970-Paul McCartney’s solo debut, McCartney, comes out in the U.K., three days before it’s released in America. “Maybe I’m Amazed” is a highlight.
1964-The Beatles announce that the title of their first movie, due in the summer, will be A Hard Day’s Night. That day, they cut the audio track for a T-V special, Around the Beatles, which had to be lip-synched to meet British music union rules. At I-B-C Studios in London, they perform “Twist and Shout,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “Long Tall Sally” and “Can’t Buy Me Love,” as well as a medley of “Love Me Do,” “Please Please Me,” “From Me to You,” “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” They end with “Shout,” a song they had long since dropped from their concerts.
1964-The Rolling Stones release their self-titled debut album in the UK. When it’s released in America on May 30th, the cover will bill them as “England’s Newest Hitmakers.”
1960-Rock and roll pioneer Eddie Cochran, 21, is killed en route to London’s Heathrow Airport when his cab blows a tire and hits a light pole. His girlfriend, songwriter Sharon Sheeley, and fellow American rocker Gene Vincent survive, though Vincent never fully recovers.
Jan Hammer – 69 years old
The bandleader and former Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jeff Beck keyboardist topped the Billboard Hot 100 in November, 1985 with his “Miami Vice Theme.” Born 1948.