Today in Rock & Roll History: August 13th

1952: “Hound Dog” was first recorded by Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton at Radio Recorders Annex in Los Angeles. The song later became the first hit song for songwriting team Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, topping the Billboard R&B chart for seven straight weeks and selling nearly two million copies.

1964: The Supremes recorded “Baby Love” at Motown’s Hitsville U.S.A. studios in Detroit. The song topped the Billboard pop singles chart by the end of October.

1964: The Kinks entered the UK singles chart for the first time with “You Really Got Me.” Four weeks later, it became their first #1 record and reached #7 in the US.

1964: Manfred Mann topped the UK singles chart with their first #1, “Doo Wah Diddy Diddy.” In mid-October, the song became the group’s first US #1 when it topped the Billboard Hot 100.

1964: 17 year old Marianne Faithfull debuted on the British singles chart with one of the first original compositions by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, “As Tears Go By.” Faithfull had been offered the ballad by Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, and though it was originally recorded as a B-side, the song’s success caused her record company, Decca, to switch it to the A-side. The single reached #9 in September and launched Faithfull’s career as a major singer. By the end of November, it had entered the US Billboard Hot 100, where it later reached #22.

1965: The American version of the Beatles’ album Help! was issued by Capitol Records in both stereo and mono. Unlike the British version released a week earlier, the American release included selections from the Beatles film of the same name, composed by Ken Thorne and performed by the George Martin Orchestra.

1965: Jefferson Airplane made its first public appearance at the opening night of The Matrix club in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. The venue had been a former pizza shop purchased by singer Marty Balin before he and fellow musician Paul Kantner put together the club’s house band that later became Jefferson Airplane. The Matrix played a key role in what became known as the San Francisco Sound, and hosted numerous acts through the sixties and early seventies such as Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Blues Project, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Country Joe and the Fish, the Doors, the Grateful Dead, John Lee Hooker, Johnny Winter, Moby Grape, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Santana, and The Velvet Underground.

1966: “Black is Black,” the debut single by Spanish beat group Los Bravos entered the Billboard Hot 100. Peaking at #4, it was their most successful song on the charts.

1966: The Supremes entered the Billboard Hot 100 with “You Can’t Hurry Love.” Four weeks later, the song became their seventh #1 on the Billboard and Cash Box pop charts, and their fourth R&B #1.

1966: “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys entered the Billboard Hot 100, later topping out at #39. On the Cash Box chart, the single peaked at #38. In the UK, however, the song reached #2—their third record to enter the top 3 in Britain.

1966: The Lovin’ Spoonful had their first #1 in the US when “Summer in the City” started a three-week run at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, and two weeks at the top of the Cash Box chart.

1967: Fleetwood Mac made their stage debut at the seventh National Jazz and Blues Festival at England’s Royal Windsor Racecourse. Also on the bill during the three-day festival were Cream, Jeff Beck, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Ten Years After, Donovan, Pentangle, Small Faces, The Move, Arthur Brown, and Pink Floyd.

1969: The Guess Who recorded “American Woman” at RCA’s Mid-America Recording Center in Chicago. In May of 1970, the song became the band’s first US #1, and their fourth single to top the chart in their home country of Canada.

1976: After their live debut opening for the Sex Pistols in July, the Clash decided not to perform publicly again until they’d tightened up their set. On August 13, the band played again at a rehearsal hall in a London suburb to a private audience of critics and friends.

1985: After playing three “secret” shows at The Ritz in New York City at the end of February, Sting kicked of the North American leg of his first solo tour at the San Diego State University Amphitheater in San Diego, California.

Birthdays Today

Dan Fogelberg, singer, songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, was born in Peoria, IL in 1951.

Tom Finch, multi-instrumentalist and guitarist with Big Brother and the Holding Company from 1997-2008, was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1969.