1978: After singing background vocals for Eric Clapton's "I Shot The Sheriff" in 1974, Yvonne Elliman had a US number one hit of her own with "If I Can't Have You". The song reached #4 in the UK.
1981: The Who's first album without Keith Moon, "Face Dances" goes Gold. It is considered a disappointment even to the band itself. The L.P. makes it to #4 but offers just one hit single, "You Better You Bet" (#18).
1959: Dave "Baby" Cortez reached the top spot on the Billboard chart with "The Happy Organ". The song was originally recorded under the name "The Dog and the Cat" with a vocal track that didn't work out. Cortez then added an organ solo and changed the title. A follow-up record was called "The Whistling Organ" which stalled at #61, but Cortez would find his way back to the Top Ten in 1962 with "Rinky Dink".
1983: After receiving no interest from any major record labels, Metallica begin recording their debut album for Megaforce Records on a budget of just $15,000. Originally titled "Metal up Your Ass", the LP's name was later changed to "Kill 'Em All" and would peak at #120 on the Billboard Hot 200.
Today in Rock History: May 9th
1970: The Guess Who hit the top spot on Billboard's Hot 100 with "American Woman". The song was born by accident when guitarist Randy Bachman was playing a heavy riff on stage after he had broken a string and the band had taken a break. The other members joined in on the jam and Burton Cummings started singing the first thing that came into his head. A fan in the audience had it all on tape and presented it to the group after the show. It was quickly developed into a full song in the studio and ended up spending 3 weeks at the top of the US singles chart. It made #19 in the UK.