Today in Rock & Roll History: August 10th

1959: Elvis Presley had his twelfth #1 on the Billboard pop chart with “A Big Hunk o’ Love.”

1959: “I Want to Walk You Home” by Fats Domino entered the Billboard Hot 100. Two weeks later, it reached the top 10 and ultimately peaked at #8.

1963: 13-year-old Little Stevie Wonder’ first #1 hit, “Fingertips Pt. 2,” went to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 a week after it topped the R&B chart.

1963: The Surfaris’ surf guitar instrumental, “Wipeout,” peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the group’s only entry into the US top 40.

1965: RCA Victor released Elvis for Everyone, an “anniversary album” to celebrate Presley’s tenth year with the label. The album was assembled from unused tracks going all the way back to Presley’s time recording for Sun Records in the mid 1950s.

1968: Guitarist and Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour head writer Mason Williams was at the top of the Cash Box pop singles chart with “Classical Gas.” A week earlier, the instrumental had peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the song won three Grammy Awards the following year.

1968: Cream started four weeks at the top of the Billboard pop chart with their third studio LP and only #1 in the US, Wheels of Fire. It also reached #1 in Canada and Australia and became the world’s first platinum-selling double album.

1968: “Magic Bus” by the Who entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it reached #25 by the end of September.

1968: “Time Has Come Today” by The Chambers Brothers entered the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to reaching #11 seven weeks later. It was their first hit single and only song to reach the top 20 on the Billboard pop chart, and in November, it became their only top 10 R&B hit, reaching #6.

1968: Ten Years After released their first live album, Undead, recorded in May at the small Klooks Kleek jazz club in London.

1970: The Mothers of Invention released Weasels Ripped My Flesh, their seventh studio album and second since disbanding in 1969. The album is split between studio recordings and live performances which feature frenetic improvisation characteristic of avant-garde jazz.

1971: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band began recording sessions for their triple album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, which features collaborations with many famous bluegrass and country artists such as Roy Acuff, Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Earl and Randy Scruggs, Merle Travis, Pete “Oswald” Kirby, Norman Blake, Jimmy Martin, and Vassar Clements.

1972: A live version of “For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her” by Simon & Garfunkel was released to promote the duo’s recently released first greatest hits album.

1974: John Denver had his first #1 on the Billboard pop chart with his eighth studio album, Back Home Again.

1979: Michael Jackson released Off the Wall, his fifth solo LP and his first with Epic Records after leaving Motown.

1979: Smokey Robinson released “Cruisin,” a song he also wrote and co-produced from his album Where There’s Smoke…. The single became one of Robinson’s most successful solo singles after leaving The Miracles, reaching #1 on the Cash Box Top 100 and #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and R&B charts.

1984: Los Angeles band Red Hot Chili Peppers released their self-titled debut album. It is the group’s only album to include guitarist Jack Sherman.

1989: Love and Rockets’ self-titled fourth album peaked on the Billboard pop chart at #14, making it the group’s only top 20 LP. It contains the group’s most successful single, “So Alive,” which reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Alternative chart.

1993: Billy Joel released River of Dreams, his twelfth studio album and last LP on which he performs.

1994: Robert Earl Keen released his fourth studio album, Gringo Honeymoon.

2004: David Crosby and Graham Nash released Crosby & Nash, the duo’s first studio album since Whistling Down the Wire twenty-eight years earlier, and the final album to date of original material by any grouping of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young as a quartet, trio, or duo.

Birthdays Today

Leo Fender, founder of the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Co., whose Stratocaster and Telecaster models are two of the most popular guitars in rock and roll history, was born between Anaheim and Fullerton, CA in 1909.

Al Alberts, singer, composer, and co-founder of vocal pop quartet The Four Aces, was born in Chester, PA in 1922.

Bobby Hatfield, tenor half of the Righteous Brothers, was born in Beaver Dam, WI in 1940.

Ronnie Spector, lead singer of the Ronettes and a solo artist, was born Veronica Yvette Bennett in New York City in 1943.

Larry Larden, vocalist and guitarist for Every Mother’s Son, was born in 1945.

Brian Carman, guitarist and original member of The Chantays best known for the 1963 hit surf instrumental, “Pipeline,” was born in 1945.

Ian Anderson, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work as the lead vocalist, flautist and acoustic guitarist of Jethro Tull, was born in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland in 1947.

Andy Davis, multi-instrumentalist and original member of The Korgis, was born Andrew Cresswell-Davis in 1949.

Patti Austin, R&B, pop, and jazz singer and songwriter, was born in Harlem, NY in 1950.

Mark Price, original drummer for All About Eve who also worked with Nik Kershaw, Del Amitri, the Cure, and Right Said Fred, was born in Nelson, Lancashire, England in 1959.

Jon Farriss, drummer for INXS, was born in Perth, Australia in 1961.