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. It later became their second top 10 single on the chart, 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 (and Paul) 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 Abbey Road Studios. The sessions incorporated the then-unique sound of a reversed guitar duet, initially because the tape had been played backwards accidentally.

1968: Traffic’s debut album Mr. Fantasy entered the Billboard pop chart. The LP 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. The album was the group’s first to enter the US charts and 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 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 a short set of Beach Boys songs as well as Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee” and Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.”

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.

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’s twelfth studio album Nonsuch was released.

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.

Birthdays Today

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.

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.

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.

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