Today in Rock & Roll History: August 10th

1955: Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene” entered the Billboard Top 25 Best Sellers chart at #13, and two weeks later the single peaked at #5.

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 Dominoe 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 pop chart 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.

1968: Guitarist and Smothers Brothers 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 chart, and the song won three Grammy Awards the following year.

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

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

1971: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band began recording sessions for their triple album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, featuring 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.

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

1974: Stevie Wonder’s seventeenth studio album, Fulfillingness’ First Finale, entered the Billboard pop chart. In October, the LP became Wonder’s third straight #1 on the R&B chart, but before that, in mid-September, it became his first album to top the pop chart since his first #1 LP, “Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius,” in 1963.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.