1960 - Paul "Bono' Hewson
Happy birthday to Paul Hewson, born on this day in 1960. The Irish singer, musician, and humanitarian (and former petrol pump attendant) is best known as Bono, the singer with U2.
Arguably the most successful rock band from the late '70s, U2 formed in 1976 (first known as Feedback), after drummer Larry Mullen, Jr., a 14-year-old student at Mount Temple Comprehensive School, posted a note on the school's notice board in search of musicians for a new band.
The Irish group won a talent show in Limerick, Ireland on Saint Patrick's Day in 1978, with the prize of £500 and studio time to record a demo which was later heard by CBS Ireland.
U2 signed to Island Records in 1980, and set about on an almost continual tour of clubs and university gigs throughout the UK building up a dedicated fan base while at the same time evolving their live performances into something special.
U2's performance at Live Aid in 1985 in front of 82,000 fans at Wembley Stadium was a pivotal point in the band's career. During their performance Bono leapt down off the stage to embrace and dance with a fan, showing a television audience of millions the personal connection that Bono could make with audiences.
In the same year Rolling Stone magazine called U2 the "Band of the '80s", resulting in America falling in love with the Irish group whose albums such as The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby have contributed to their 150 million plus record sales.
U2 have gone on to win 22 Grammy awards (from 34 nominations), more than any other band in rock history.
1969 - Frank Sinatra's "My Way"
We've all done it. Yes, own up, walking back from the pub, in the shower, driving home from work, we've all sung those immortal lines..."I did it... my waaaaay..."
On this day in 1969, Frank Sinatra's version of "My Way" made the British Top ten for the first time and over the next three years it made history by re-entering the singles chart on eight different occasions.
Canadian tunesmith Paul Anka ("Diana") wrote the lyrics with Sinatra in mind (these were set to music based on the French song "Comme d'habitude" composed in 1967 by Claude François and Jacques Revaux; Anka's English lyrics are unrelated to the original French song).
"At one o'clock in the morning, I sat down at an old IBM electric typewriter," Anka said. "If Frank were writing this, what would he say?' And I started, metaphorically, 'And now the end is near.' I read a lot of periodicals, and I noticed everything was 'my this' and 'my that'. We were in the 'me generation' and Frank became the guy for me to use to say that. I used words I would never use: 'I ate it up and spit it out.' But that's the way he talked."
"My Way" is often quoted as the most covered song in history with versions by many artists from Elvis Presley, to Nina Simone to Sid Vicious (who performs a rousing version in the Sex Pistols 1980 movie The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle).
But a word of warning. Next time you take to the stage in a karaoke bar to belt out your rendition of "My Way," sing with caution. There have been at least half a dozen murders over the past decade allegedly triggered by people singing the song so badly in karaoke bars (all in Asia where they take their karaoke very seriously!), resulting in many karaoke bars removing the song from their songbooks to avoid any further violence.
You have been warned!