I wanted to start This Day in Music for May 19th with a follow up to a story from our May 15th edition, with the Dead Kennedys in court battling each other over song rights and royalties.
On May 19th, 2000, the judge in the Dead Kennedys case ruled in favor of the other members of the band as the jury found Jello Biafra had committed fraud and not given the rest of the people in the group their fair share of royalties from their songs. He had to pay out over $200,000 and $20,000 in punitive damages as well.
Not a good day for Jello...
There were happier times for The Dead Kennedys, like the "Holiday In Cambodia" video!
And it also wasn't a good day for Alan Freed. On May 19th, 1960 he was indicted for accepting money for playing songs on the radio from 6 different record companies. He was the first big name to be taken down in radio for payola, which was made illegal by the government and they conducted their Payola Investigations. Dick Clark was also involved in the charges but never charged.
As for Alan Freed it ruined his career and changed the way things were in the radio business.
Watch this short film about what happened to Alan Freed and the way payola changed music radio.
Someone had to have a good May 19th, right? Yes, Sting did! On May 19th, 1981, he was honored at the 26th Annual Ivor Novello Awards as the Songwriter of the Year. That's because of the work he did for Zenyatta Mondatta, which The Police released in 1980.
Watch, with all the big pants and neon, The Police performing "Don't Stand So Close To Me" in 1980 at Rockpalast!
We have two birthdays to talk about on May 19th, two icons in music.
First we'll talk about Mr. Pete Townshend, born today in 1945. With The Who, he helped define what it meant to be a rock star and how to play the guitar. He's always found on lists from music publications for their best guitarists of all time, he's written countless classic songs and is still going strong.
Amazing performance of "Won't Get Fooled Again" at Shepperton in 1978. This song, to me, is The Who at their best.
It's unbelievable that The Who is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year and are going to put out another album.
One more icon to talk about today, another man who helped change music! May 19th, 1951 is the day the world was given Jeffrey Hyman. Maybe you know him better as Joey Ramone! I told you it was another icon!
His look, songs and sound were the start of a rock and roll revolution and he helped pioneer punk rock. Plus, The Ramones were film stars. Watch their performance scene in Rock n Roll High School.
Let me lay one more Joey Ramone fact on you. He was actually supposed to be the drummer of the band but he couldn't drum and sing at the same time so he was moved to the front and their manager became, in one decision, the new drummer and Tommy Ramone!
Happy May 19th my amigos!