Today in Rock & Roll History: April 27th

1957: Little Richard went to the top of the Billboard R&B chart for the third time with “Lucille.”

1963: “Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)” by The Crystals entered the Billboard Hot 100. Produced by Phil Spector using his “Wall of Sound” technique, it became the group’s second top 10 pop hit, reaching #3.

1964: The Beatles’ first single, “Love Me Do” backed with “P.S. I Love You,” was released in the US by Vee-Jay Records on the Tollie label. Early pressings of the single released in the UK were the song’s initial recording, with Ringo Starr on drums, but producer George Martin was dissatisfied with Starr’s under-rehearsed performance, so a second pressing was soon after issued that featured session musician Andy White on drums and Starr playing the tambourine. It was this second version that was released in the US, as well as included on the band’s debut album, Please Please Me.

1966: The Beatles began recording John Lennon’s song “I’m Only Sleeping” at EMI’s studios in London. The sessions incorporated the then-unique sound of a reversed guitar duet, initially because the tape had been played backwards accidentally.

1967: Otis Redding’s cover of Sam Cooke’s “Shake” was released in the US as a single from his first live album, Live in Europe.

1968: Traffic’s debut album, Mr. Fantasy, entered the Billboard pop chart. It reached #88 in US and #16 in UK.

1968: “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon & Garfunkel entered the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to becoming the duo’s second US #1 single.

1968: Sly and the Family Stone’s second studio album, Dance to the Music, was released. It was the group’s first LP to enter the US charts, and the title track is credited for its influence on the formation of the psychedelic soul subgenre and for helping to lay the groundwork for the development of funk music.

1969: Joe Cocker made his American television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show with his backing group The Grease Band performing “Feelin’ Alright” before they began on a tour of the US.

1969: Pink Floyd performed at the Mothers Club in Birmingham, England. The concert, along with another several days later at Manchester’s College Of Commerce, was recorded for their upcoming album Ummagumma.

1971: In the middle of a five day residency at the Fillmore East in New York City, the Grateful Dead surprised the audience by inviting Beach Boys members Mike Love, Carl Wilson, Bruce Johnston, and Al Jardine onstage. Together, the two California bands performed renditions of The Robins’ “Riot In Cell Block #9,” Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee,” and Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.”

1979: David Bowie released “Boys Keep Swinging,” the lead single from his thirteenth studio album, Lodger.

1981: Wings broke up when guitarist and vocalist Denny Laine announced that he was leaving to pursue a solo career. Paul McCartney, feeling that he had accomplished all he could with the band, also continued as a solo artist.

1983: The B-52’s released their third studio album, Whammy!.

1985: “Would I Lie To You” by Eurythmics entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it became their third top 10 hit, reaching #5.

1987: The Replacements released Pleased to Meet Me, he band’s fifth studio album and first recorded as a trio.

1990: David Bowie began the first American leg of his Sound + Vision tour with guitarist Adrian Belew as a member of his band.

1992: XTC released their twelfth studio album, Nonsuch.

1994: San Francisco’s historic music venue The Fillmore was re-opened after closing in 1989 as a result of earthquake damage. The retrofit had been the final wish of former concert promoter and venue manager Bill Graham, who had died three years earlier. The re-opening was celebrated with an unannounced show by the Smashing Pumpkins.

2008: Carly Simon released her twenty-second studio album, This Kind of Love.

2010: Melissa Etheridge released her eleventh studio album, Fearless Love.

Birthdays Today

Syd Nathan, founder of King Records who contributed to the development of country & western music, rhythm and blues and rock and roll and is credited with discovering many prominent musicians, most notably James Brown, was born in Cincinnati, OH in 1904.

Ronnie Milling, drummer and founding member of Them, was born in 1940.

Jim Keltner, prolific session drummer who worked with many musicians including George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, Ry Cooder, Nick Lowe, John Hiatt, Randy Newman, Jack Bruce, Bob Dylan, J.J. Cale, Roy Orbison, Richard Thompson, Charlie Watts, Lucinda Williams, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Brian Wilson, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and the Traveling Wilburys, was born in Tulsa, OK in 1942.

Cuba Gooding, Sr., lead singer for The Main Ingredient, was born in New York City in 1944.

Gordon Haskell, musician and songwriter who started as the bassist for The Fleur de Lys before spending a brief period with King Crimson and going solo, was born in Verwood, Dorset, England in 1946.

Ann Peebles, blues, R&B, and soul singer and songwriter, was born in St. Louis, MO in 1947.

Pete Ham, singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer, and lead vocalist and songwriter for Badfinger, was born in Swansea, Wales in 1947.

Kate Pierson, singer, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, and founding member of the B-52s, was born in Weehawken, NJ in 1948.

Wally Palmar, musician, singer, songwriter, and composer best known as a founder member and lead singer of The Romantics, was born Volodymyr Palamarchuk in Hamtramck, MI in 1954.

Marco Pirroni, guitarist, songwriter, and record producer who worked with Adam Ant, Sinéad O’Connor, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and many others, was born in Camden Town, North London, England in 1959.

Sheena Easton, singer, songwriter, and actress, was born in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, Scotland in 1959.

Rob Coombes, keyboardist for Supergrass, was born in Oxford, England in 1972.

Isobel Campbell, singer-songwriter, composer, cellist, and early member of Belle & Sebastian before going solo, was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1976.