May 23: This Day, that Year in Music History

British rock band Led Zeppelin Image Credit: AP

Leppelin wins Sweden’s biggest music honour


Led Zeppelin members

British rockers Led Zeppelin received the prestigious Polar Music Laureate and a prize of one million Swedish kroner from the King of Sweden during a televised ceremony in Stockholm.

The Polar Award, which is one of the world’s most unique and prestigious music prizes, was presented to band members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and the daughter of the late drummer John Bonham.

The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson, manager of Swedish pop group ABBA who named it after his record label by the same name.

Ella strikes gold with Beatles cover


Ella Fitzgerald Image Credit: AP

With the help of George Martin, producer extraordinaire, Ella Fitzgerald became the first artist to score a hit with a Beatles cover.

Martin helped the ‘Queen of Jazz’ turn Paul McCartney’s ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ into a big-band masterpiece and a best-seller in the UK.

The original song was released the same year and it was certified No 1 both in the UK and US.

Orchestra loving San Francisco ban Jefferson Airplane rock concert


Jefferson Airplane
Jefferson Airplane Image Credit: Instagram/JeffersonAirplane

Jefferson Airplane was denied from performing at a free concert in their hometown in San Francisco after authorities passed a resolution banning the use of electronic instruments.

The group was told that the reason for the ban was because San Francisco was a city built on orchestral music.

Jefferson Airplane took revenge by recording a song about the ban that they titled ‘We Built This City.’

It became their biggest hit ever and received a 1986 Grammy nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a duo /group and till today remains a classic rock staple.