Today in Rock & Roll History: April 8th

1964: The Supremes recorded “Where Did Our Love Go” at Motown’s Detroit headquarters, Hitsville USA. The song became the group’s first five of straight #1 records on the Billboard and Cash Box singles charts, their first #1 on the R&B charts, and their first song on the UK chart, where it reached #3

1965: British pop group Unit 4+2 were at #1 on the UK singles chart with their only chart-topping hit, “Concrete And Clay.”

1966: The Righteous Brothers went to #1 in the US for the second time with “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration.” It was the duo’s first hit after leaving producer Phil Spector and their first on the jazz-oriented Verve label. The song was written by Brill Building songwriting team Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who also wrote the group’s first hit “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” along Spector in 1964.

1967: Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Arthur Conley, and Booker T. And The M.G.’s all appeared at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. The show was part of a thirteen-date tour known as the “Stax/Volt Revue.” It was the first European tour of the label’s artists, none of whom except for Redding had traveled to the continent. While institutional racism was rampant back in Memphis, European fans treated all of the tour’s artists—both black and white—with great respect.

1972: “I’ll Take You There” by The Staple Singers entered the Billboard Hot 100. The record soon after became the group’s first #1 on both the pop and R&B charts.

1973: Gilbert O’Sullivan scored his second #1 on the UK singles chart with “Get Down.” The record was the last of his three top 10 hits in the US, reaching #7.

1974: Paul McCartney and Wings released “Band on the Run,” the third single and title track from the band’s third album, in the US. The record was released in the UK in late June after it reached #1 in the States.

1977: CBS Records released The Clash’s self-titled debut album in the UK. It wasn’t until 1979 that a significantly altered version of the LP was released in America as the band’s second US release. Americans bought over 100,000 imported copies of the record, making it one of the biggest-selling import albums of all time.

1978: Eddie Money’s debut single “Baby Hold On” entered the top 40 on the Billboard chart, eventually reaching #11.

1989: Swedish pop duo Roxette was at the top of the US singles chart with their international top 10 hit, “The Look.”

Birthdays Today

Jacques Brel, singer, songwriter, actor, and director whose works influenced many other English-speaking songwriters and performers such as David Bowie, Alex Harvey, Marc Almond, and Rod McKuen and whose songs have been translated and recorded by many top US performers such as Ray Charles, Judy Collins, John Denver, the Kingston Trio, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Scott Walker, and Andy Williams, was born in Schaerbeek, Brussels, Belgium in 1929.

Roger Chapman, vocalist for Family, was born in Leicester, England in 1942.

Deke Richards, songwriter and record producer with Motown Records who was a member of songwriting collectives The Clan and The Corporation, was born Dennis Lussier in Los Angeles, CA in 1944.

Steve Howe, songwriter, producer, and solo artist best known as the guitarist for Yes who’s also been involved with a number of other groups including Tomorrow, GTR, and Asia, was born in Holloway, London, England in 1947.

Mel Schacher, bassist for Grand Funk Railroad who started out as a member of ? Mark and the Mysterians, was born Flint, MI in 1951.

Julian Lennon, singer-songwriter, artist, philanthropist, and son of John Lennon, was born John Charles Julian Lennon in Liverpool, England in 1963.