Today in Rock & Roll History: April 8th

1960: Elvis Presley’s fourth studio album, Elvis is Back!, was released. It was his first LP after his discharge from the US Army as well as his first issued in stereophonic sound.

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: “Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart” by The Supremes was released. It was one of the group’s few songs written and produced by Motown production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland that didn’t go to #1, instead peaking at #9. The single was later included on their ninth studio album, The Supremes A’ Go-Go.

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 with 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.

1969: Three Week Hero by P.J. Proby was released. Though the album was not commercially successful, it is best remembered as the first time all four members of Led Zeppelin recorded together in the studio.

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.

1974: Dr. John released his seventh studio album, Destively Bonnaroo. It was produced by Allen Toussaint and features significant contributions from The Meters. “Bonnaroo” is derived from the French word “bon” meaning “good” and “rue” meaning “street,” and was the inspiration for the name of the Bonnaroo Music Festival.

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.

1982: Dave Edmunds released his seventh solo album, D.E. 7th. Following the breakup of Rockpile the previous year, Edmunds formed a new band that consisted of guitarist Mickey Gee, bassist John David, pianist Geraint Watkins, and drummer Dave Charles, who all previously recorded an album together as Geraint Watkins and the Dominators. The new group recorded and toured with Edmunds through the rest of the 1980s.

1985: “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds was released as a single in the UK after it had been issued in the US in February.

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

1991: Simple Minds released Real Life, their ninth studio album and first without keyboardist and original bandmember Mick MacNeil.

1997: Boz Scaggs released his thirteenth studio album, Come On Home.

2003: Lucinda Williams released her seventh studio album, World Without Tears.

2011: Paul Simon released his twelfth solo studio album, So Beautiful or So What. The LP saw Simon return to a traditional composing method and reunite with former collaborator and producer Phil Ramone.

2016: Peter Wolf released his eighth studio album, A Cure for Loneliness.

Birthdays Today

Yip Harburg, Broadway and pop lyricist who wrote the lyrics to several pop standards including “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” and “Over the Rainbow,” was born in Manhattan, NY in 1896.

Carmen McRae, jazz singer who worked with Count Basie, Noël Coward, Sammy Davis Jr., Louis Armtrong, Better Carter, and Dave Brubeck who is considered to be one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century, was born in Harlem, NY in 1920.

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.

Leon Huff, songwriter and producer who, with partner Kenneth Gamble, is credited with developing the Philadelphia soul genre in the 1970s, wrote and produced dozens of hits, and formed the Philadelphia International Records label, was born in Camden, NJ in 1942.

Roger “Chappo” Chapman, vocalist for Family and Streetwalkers and a solo performer, was born in Leicester, England in 1942.

Keith “Keef” Hartley, drummer who played with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, The Artwoods, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, and fronted his own band, was born in Plungington, Preston, Lancashire, England in 1944.

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 ? 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.

Ezra Koenig, lead singer and rhythm guitarist for Vampire Weekend and record producer, was born in New York City in 1984.