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.
1976: John Sebastian, who had left The Lovin' Spoonful for a solo career in 1968, hit the top of Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 chart with the theme to the TV show, Welcome Back Kotter. John would later say that he wrote the song in 15 minutes. Oddly enough, it even reached #93 on the Billboard Country Chart.
1977: Ten weeks after entering the Billboard singles chart, The Eagles' masterpiece, "Hotel California" became the band's fourth US #1 hit. It made #8 in the UK. In 2009, the song was certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales of 1,000,000 digital downloads.
1984: Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do With It" is released. The song would eventually climb to number one, win Grammys for record and song of the year and established Turner as a major solo star. When Tina left her husband and former band mate Ike Turner in 1975, she was carrying nothing more than thirty-six cents in change and a gas station credit card.