1962: “Playboy” by the Marvelettes was released as their third single and title track from their third album. It became the group’s second top 10 hit, reaching #7 on the pop charts and #4 on the R&B chart.
1962: “I’ll Try Something New” by The Miracles was released as the title track from the group’s third album. Written by Smokey Robinson, it was their third top 40 single on the US pop charts, peaking at #39, and reached #11 on the R&B chart.
1964: The legal battle between Vee Jay Records and Capitol Records to distribute Beatles records in the US was finally settled out of court. Capitol was awarded exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute Beatles records and for a limited time, Vee Jay was permitted to continue releasing Beatles material, but only the songs from the Beatles’ first album, which they had previously released under the title Introducing the Beatles.
1965: English band the Zombies released their first album, Being Here. The American version, titled The Zombies, contained many of the same tracks, but omitted and substituted others.
1965: Bruce Johnston became a permanent member of the Beach Boys. Johnston replaced Glen Campbell, who had been a temporary replacement for Brian Wilson on the road, playing bass and singing Wilson’s vocal parts. Johnston’s first vocal recording with the band was “California Girls,” the vocals for which were recorded in June of that year. Due to contractual reasons, Johnston was not credited or photographed on a Beach Boys album until “Wild Honey” in 1967.
1965: The Rolling Stones performed live for the first time on British television on Ready Steady Go!. At the time, the program had temporarily changed its name to Ready Steady Goes Live! and forbid miming in favor of live studio performances. Nine weeks after the show’s title had been changed, the old title was brought back.
1965: “Ticket to Ride” by the Beatles was released in the UK, where it later became the group’s seventh #1 hit single and the first Beatles track with a running time exceeding three minutes. Released by Capitol Records ten days later in the US, it became their third straight American #1.
1965: “For Your Love” by The Yardbirds was released in the US. Released a month earlier in the UK, the song was written by 19-year-old Graham Gouldman, who cited the Beatles as inspiration. It became the band’s first top 10 hit in both the US and UK and was a departure from blues roots in favor of a more commercial pop sound. Guitarist Eric Clapton disapproved of the change and soon left group.
1966: “Daydream,” The Lovin’ Spoonful’s third single and title track from their second album, peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
1966: New entries on the Billboard Hot 100 included “Eight Miles High” by the Byrds, which peaked at #14, “Leaning on a Lamp Post” by Herman’s Hermits, which reached #9, “(I’m a) Road Runner” by Jr. Walker & the All Stars, which peaked at #20, and Percy Sledge’s first single “When a Man Loves a Woman,” which entered the chart at #100 and later went all the way to the top in addition to reaching #1 on the R&B chart, making it the first #1 hit recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Also entering the chart was “Monday Monday” by the Mama’s and the Papas, which later became the group’s first #1 single and reached #3 in the UK.
1969: Bob Dylan released his ninth studio album, Nashville Skyline. Following the rustic style of his previous LP, John Wesley Harding, the album saw Dylan fully immerse into country music and also introduced his new, affected country croon style of singing.
1969: King Crimson, then including Robert Fripp, Greg Lake, and Ian McDonald, made their stage debut at London’s Speakeasy club.
1970: Dr. John released his third album, Remedies.
1970: Pink Floyd began their second North American tour at The Fillmore East in New York City.
1970: In a press announcement for his forthcoming debut solo album that several media outlets received in addition to advance copies the record, Paul McCartney stated that he was not planning any new material with the Beatles. Reluctant to confirm the definitive break-up of the group, McCartney did say that he did not see a future in which he and John Lennon would be an active songwriting team again. Months earlier, Lennon had privately told the group that he wanted to leave the band. In an effort to quell rumors that McCartney was leaving the Beatles, Apple Records issued a statement denying they were breaking up. The next day, news outlets ran headlines declaring “Paul Quits The Beatles” and “The Beatles are breaking up.” The band’s final studio album, Let It Be, was released a month later.
1971: Ringo Starr released his second solo single, “It Don’t Come Easy,” which later became his first top 10 hit in the US and UK, reaching #4 on both charts. Written with and produced by former Beatles bandmate George Harrison, the track features Harrison on guitar with contributions by Gary Wright, Badfinger’s Pete Ham and Tom Evans, and session musicians Klaus Voormann, and Jim Keltner.
1971: Elton John released his first live album, 17-11-70. Known as 11-17-70 in the US, the recording was taken from a live radio broadcast on November 17, 1970. According to John, a live album was never planned to be released, but his producer, Gus Dudgeon, convinced their record label to release the recording due to the popularity of broadcasts among bootleggers.
1973: After signing to the newly formed EMI Records, Queen played a showcase gig for their new record label as their debut performance at London’s Marquee Club, where they performed their first single, “Keep Yourself Alive.”
1973: Paul McCartney and Wings released “My Love” in the US two and half weeks after it had been issued in the UK. The single went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June and was the most successful track on their upcoming album, Red Rose Speedway.
1975: Country Joe McDonald performed a free lunch-time concert at the University of California in Berkeley to support his mother’s campaign for city auditor.
1977: The Clash released Capital Radio, an EP that wasn’t released commercially but given for free to of readers of New Musical Express who returned a printed coupon plus the red sticker found on the band’s debut album. Most of the EP contains an interview with the band conducted by NME writer Tony Parsons. The EP’s title track was very critical of what was (at the time) London’s only legal commercial music radio station, which played little to no punk.
1982: Elton John released his sixteenth studio album, Jump Up!.
1983: David Bowie was at #1 on the UK singles chart with the title track from his fifteenth studio album, Let’s Dance. Featuring blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, it was Bowie’s fourth single to top the UK chart. Six weeks later, it went to #1 in the US as well, making it his first single to reach the top spot on both sides of the Atlantic.
1984: R.E.M. released their second album, Reckoning, in the UK. Released in the US on April 17, the LP reached #91 on the UK chart and #27 on the Billboard pop chart in the US. The spine of the vinyl version of the album features the phrase File Under Water, which singer Michael Stipe told New Musical Express in 1984 is the true title of the record.
1986: The Moody Blues released their twelfth studio album, The Other Side of Life.
1988: Pet Shop Boys scored their fourth #1 single on the UK chart with “Heart.”
1990: Fleetwood Mac released Behind the Mask, their their fifteenth studio album and first after the departure of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Buckingham was subsequently replaced by Billy Burnette and Rick Vito.
1999: Bruce Springsteen kicked off his first tour with the E Street Band in eleven years at the Palau Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona, Spain.
2000: Moby achieved his first #1 album when his fifth studio album, Play, reached #1 on the UK chart. The album was his first to chart in the US, where it reached #38.
2001: R.E.M. released “Imitation of Life,” the lead single from their twelfth studio album, Reveal.
2002: Neil Young released his twenty-fourth studio album, Are You Passionate?. It was Young’s eighth album with backing Crazy Horse and, as his foray into soul music, also features Booker T. & the M.G.’s.
2002: Bonnie Raitt released her fourteenth album, Silver Lining.
2018: After disagreements over the band’s upcoming tour, Lindsey Buckingham was fired from Fleetwood Mac. At the same time, the band announced that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Neil Finn of Crowded House would replace him.
Tom Lehrer, musician, singer-songwriter, satirist, and mathematician, was born in New York City in 1928.
Carl Perkins, singer-songwriter known as “the King of Rockabilly” who influenced artists such as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, and Eric Clapton, was born in Tiptonville, TN in 1932.
Rockin’ Sidney, R&B, zydeco, and soul singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, was born Sidney Simien in Lebeau, LA in 1938.
Terry Knight, producer, promoter, singer, and songwriter who started out as a disc jockey before becoming the frontman for Terry Knight and Pack and later the original manager and producer for Grand Funk Railroad, was born Richard Terrance Knapp in Lapeer, MI in 1943.
Steve Gadd, session drummer and percussionist who’s worked with artists that include Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Kate Bush, and James Taylor, was born in Irondequoit, NY in 1945.
Phil Wright, leader singer and drummer for Paper Lace, was born in St. Ann’s, Nottingham, England in 1948.
Dave “Chico” Ryan, bass guitarist, singer, and member of The Happenings and Sha Na Na, was born in Arlington, MA in 1948.
Peter Wood, keyboardist and member of Quiver, Sutherland Brothers & Quiver, and Natural Gas who also worked with Al Stewart, Roger Waters, Cyndi Lauper, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, and Joan Armatrading, was born in Middlesex, England in 1950.
Mark Kelly, keyboardist for Marillion, was born in Dulin, Ireland in 1961.
Albert Hammond Jr., singer, songwriter, rhythm and lead guitarist for The Strokes, and a solo artist, was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1980.