Today in Rock & Roll History: April 15th

1964: Together, the first and only studio album by Marvin Gaye and Mary Wells, was released by Motown. The hope was that Gaye, then a rising artist, would benefit from the exposure of being paired with Wells, an established star with a #1 record to her name. The album became the first album credited to Gaye to enter the charts, and peaked at #42 on the Billboard pop chart.

1965: “What The World Needs Now Is Love” by Jackie DeShannon was released. Written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, it became DeShannon’s first top 10 single on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at #7. Her previously highest-charting record “Needles and Pins” had only reached #84.

1966: Buffalo Springfield made their first concert appearance at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernadino, California opening for the Byrds, the Dillards, and Mastin & Brewer. The show was the first stop on a seven-day tour of Southern California. The band used electric instruments discarded by the Dillards, who a month later returned to their bluegrass roots.

1966: The Rolling Stones released Aftermath, their fourth album in the UK, sixth in the US, and first to consist entirely of compositions by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Brian Jones played a variety of instruments not usually associated with their music, including sitar, Appalachian dulcimer, marimbas, and Japanese koto, though much of the music is still rooted in Chicago electric blues. Recorded at RCA Studios in California, It was the first Rolling Stones album to be recorded entirely in the US as well as the group’s first album released in true stereo. Aftermath is also one of the earliest rock albums to eclipse the 50-minute mark and contains one of the earliest rock songs to exceed 10 minutes, “Goin’ Home.”

1972: Roberta Flack achieved her first #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” The record spent six weeks at the top and was Billboard’s #1 song at the end of the year.

1972: James Taylor, Carole King, Barbra Streisand, and Quincy Jones and his Orchestra performed at the “Four For McGovern” benefit concert for Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern at the Los Angeles Forum. Organized by Warren Beatty, celebrity ushers at the event included Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Julie Christie, Gene Hackman, Burt Lancaster, Jon Voight, Sally Kellerman, Robert Vaughn, Mama Cass, John Philip Law, Peggy Lipton, Michelle Phillips. Additional celebrities in the audience included Gregory Peck, Britt Eklund, Carly Simon, and Joni Mitchell.

1976: “Love is Alive” Gary Wright entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it later became Wright’s second of two top 10 hits on the chart, peaked at #2 by the end of July.

1989: Roy Orbison had his first top 10 hit in the US in 25 years with “You Got It,” which had been released in January after his death in December. Orbison’s fellow Traveling Wilburys bandmates Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne co-wrote the song and also played instruments on the record.

1989: Fine Young Cannibals had their first of two #1 singles in the US with “She Drives Me Crazy.”

Birthdays Today

Bessie Smith, highly regarded singer known as the “Empress of the Blues,” who was a major influence on many blues and jazz singers, was born in Chattanooga, TN in 1894.

Roy Clark, country singer and musician, was born in Meherrin, VA in 1933.

Bob Luman, country and rockabilly singer-songwriter, was born in Nacogdoches, TX in 1937.

Dave Edmunds, singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and record producer, was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1944.

Linda Perry, singer-songwriter, producer, and lead singer and songwriter for 4 Non Blondes, was born in Springfield, MA in 1965.

Ed O’Brien, guitarist for Radiohead and solo artist known as EOB, was born in Oxford, England in 1968.

Patrick Carney, drummer for the Black Keys, was born in Akron, OH in 1980.