Today in Rock & Roll History: April 29th

1964: “I’ll Be in Trouble” by The Temptations was released. Written by Smokey Robinson, the single peaked at #33 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was included on the group’s third album, The Temptin’ Temptations.

1967: Fundraising concert “The 14 Hour Technicolor Dream” was held by British counterculture newspaper the International Times in the Great Hall of the Alexandra Palace in London. More than thirty acts appeared including The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, The Move, Pete Townshend, Tomorrow, The Pretty Things, Graham Bond, and Savoy Brown, all of whom played for free. Pink Floyd headlined the event, taking the stage at dawn.

1967: The second single from Aretha Franklin’s breakthrough album I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, “Respect,” was released. Originally written and recorded by Otis Redding, Franklin’s version turned Redding’s plea from a desperate man into a declaration from a confident woman, adding the “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” chorus and the backup singers’ refrain of “sock it to me.” The song became her second #1 on the R&B charts, her first #1 on the pop charts, and won two Grammy Awards in 1968.

1967: “Creeque Alley” by The Mamas and the Papas entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it became their last top 10 single, reaching #5.

1967: The Turtles released their third studio album, Happy Together.

1968: The Temptations released their seventh studio album, The Temptations Wish It Would Rain.

1968: The musical Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical opened at New York’s Biltmore Theater. The production first began its run forty blocks to the south, in the East Village, as the inaugural production of Joseph Papp’s Public Theater. Despite mediocre reviews, Hair was a big enough hit with audiences during the six-week period to win financial backing for the proposed move to Broadway. With lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and music by Galt MacDermont, the show featured songs that became rock standards such as “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” and “Good Morning Starshine,” which both became #1 hits the following year. The production ran for 1,729 performances, and closed at the beginning of July in 1972.

1968: Martha Reeves and the Vandellas released their seventh studio album Ridin’ High. It was the group’s first album without the help of producers William “Mickey” Stevenson and Holland–Dozier–Holland and includes their last top 40 singles, “Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone” and “Honey Chile.”

1969: Ringo Starr recorded his lead vocal tracks for “Octopus’s Garden” for the Beatles’ eleventh album, Abbey Road.

1973: David Bowie scored his first #1 album when his sixth studio LP Aladdin Sane started five weeks at the top of the UK chart. The album reached #17 in the US.

1977: English mod revival band The Jam released their debut single and title track from their first album, In The City.

1983: Men at Work released their second studio album, Cargo. It became the group’s second straight #1 LP in Australia and reached #3 in the US.

1983: Following the Go-Go’s recording of “Our Lips Are Sealed,” co-writer Terry Hall released a re-recording of the song with his group, Fun Boy Three. The single was included on their second and final album, Waiting, and was their last single to chart in the UK before their split later that year.

1983: Pink Floyd released “Not Now John,” from their twelfth studio album, The Final Cut, in the UK. It was later issued in the US in May.

1985: While Queen was on hiatus from recording, lead singer Freddie Mercury released his debut solo studio album, Mr. Bad Guy.

1985: Eurythmics released their fourth album, Be Yourself Tonight.

1989: John Cougar Mellencamp released “Pop Singer” from his tenth studio album, Big Daddy.

1997: Indigo Girls released their sixth studio album, Shaming of the Sun. It is the duo’s highest charting album in the US, peaking at #7 on the Billboard pop chart.

2008: Mudcrutch released their self-titled first album over thirty years after the band’s formation. Founded in 1970 by Tom Petty and Tom Leadon, the band had been a popular act across Florida before moving to Los Angeles in search of a record deal. After signing with Shelter Records and releasing one poor-selling single, the group broke up in 1975. The following year, members Petty, Mike Campbell, and Benmont Tench formed the Heartbreakers. In 2007, the original Mudcrutch lineup reformed to record their first album as well as tour.

2008: Steve Winwood released his ninth solo album, Nine Lives.

Birthdays Today

Duke Ellington, jazz composer, pianist, and bandleader, was born in Washington, D.C. in 1899.

Big Jay McNeely, influential R&B saxophonist known for his flamboyant “honking” style of playing, was born Cecil James McNeely in Los Angeles, CA in 1927.

Carl Gardner, singer and founding member of the Coasters, was born in Tyler, TX in 1928.

Ray Barretto, conga drummer and bandleader who also played in sessions for the Rolling Stones and the Bee Gees, was born in New York City in 1929.

Joe Porcaro, jazz drummer, percussionist, and father of Jeff, Mike, and Steve Porcaro who recorded with Toto, Gladys Knight, Pink Floyd, Frank Sinatra, The Monkees, and many others, was born in New Britain, CT in 1930.

Lonnie Donegan, singer, songwriter, and musician known as “The King of Skiffle” who was an influence to many 1960s British pop and rock musicians, was born in Bridgeton, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland in 1931.

Rod McKuen, poet, singer-songwriter, and actor whose works have been recorded by artists such as Barbra Streisand, Petula Clark, Waylon Jennins, Johnny Cash, The Kingston Trio, Dusty Springfield, Johnny Mathis, and Frank Sinatra, was born in Oakland, CA in 1933.

Willie Nelson, singer, songwriter, author, poet, actor, activist, and one of the main figures of outlaw country, was born in Abbott, TX in 1933.

Otis Rush, blues guitarist and singer, was born in Philadelphia, MS in 1934.

J.C. “Billy” Davis, guitarist, singer, and songwriter best known for his work with Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, was born in Bentonia, MS in 1938.

Klaus Voormann, bassist for Manfred Mann from 1966-1969, in-demand session musician who played on recordings by several artists including Carly Simon, the Beatles, and the members of the Beatles as solo artists, and visual artist who designed artwork for many bands such as the Beatles, Harry Nilsson, and the Bee Gees, was born in Berlin, Germany in 1938.

Tammi Terrell, Motown singer and songwriter, was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1945.

Hugh Hopper, bass guitarist and member of Soft Machine and other bands, was born in Whitstable, Kent, England in 1945.

Lorraine Chandler, soul singer and one of the first black female songwriters and producers, was born Ermastine Lewis in Detroit, MI in 1946.

Tommy James, singer, songwriter, and record producer, was born Thomas Gregory Jackson in Dayton, OH in 1947.

Joel Larson, drummer for the Grass Roots, was born in San Francisco, CA in 1947.

Michael Karoli, guitarist, violinist, composer, and founding member of Can, was born in Germany in 1948.

Mike Hogan, bassist for the Cranberries, was born in Limerick, Ireland in 1973.