Saturday, May 20, 2017

May 20th

A British radio station world premiers the brand new Beatles album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", airing it in its entirety.  

Well, almost.   

BBC Disc Jockey Kenny Everett had the honors and broadcast the album on his BBC Light Program, "Where It's At".  However, he was not allowed to play the LP's final track, "A Day In The Life", as the BBC had banned it the day before due to its drug references.   

John Lennon and Paul McCartney are on hand to give a live interview regarding the making of the album.  (They are none too happy about the BBC banning.)  The LP would not officially be released for nearly two more weeks (June 1st) in Great Britain, hitting store shelves here in The United States on June 2nd.  (US radio stations … particularly in California … also began playing assorted tracks right around this date until Capitol Records issued an injunction prohibiting anything be broadcast prior to the official US release date). 

Meanwhile, Beatle George Harrison visits with The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for the first time.  He will later persuade the rest of The Beatles to accompany him to India where they will go through the ritual of transcendental meditation.  (When The Maharishi makes a pass at Mia Farrow's sister, John Lennon is inspired to write the song "Sexy Sadie", which will appear on The Beatles' White Album the following year.  His original lyric was "Maharishi, what have you done?") 

Jimi Hendrix signs with Reprise Records, a division of Warner Brothers, owned by Frank Sinatra.  (Now THERE'S a pairing for you!!!)  He will release three albums worth of new material for the label over the course of the next two years:  "Are You Experienced", "Axis: Bold As Love" and "Electric Ladyland".  (I think something like 300 more albums were released on a wide variety of labels after his death!)  "Are You Experienced" goes to #5 on the charts and sells about eight million copies … "Axis: Bold As Love" peaks two notches higher at #3 and sells about six million copies and "Electric Ladyland" goes all the way to #1, selling about 4.5 million copies.  Hendrix died in September of 1970 … and has charted an incredible 32 times since his death! 

Manuel Fernandez, organist and founding member of Los Bravos (who hit the charts in a very big way the year before with "Black Is Black"), commits suicide.  He is only 23 years old.