Today in Rock & Roll History: August 14th

1965: Husband and wife pop duo Sonny & Cher went to the top of the Billboard and Cash Box pop charts with their debut single, “I Got You Babe.” The record also lead UK chart two weeks later, and became a top 10 hit in nine other countries.

1965: “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” by the Animals entered the Billboard pop singles chart, the same week it peaked at #2 in Britain. In the US, the song later peaked at #13.

1965: The debut single by the McCoys, “Hang On Sloopy,” entered the Billboard Hot 100. Three weeks later the song was a top 40 hit, and was #1 by early October. It was the Indiana group’s first of only two top ten singles, the other being their follow-up release, “Fever.” Originally titled “My Girl Sloopy,” the song was first recorded in 1964 by the LA-based soul group The Vibrations, and went to #10 on the Billboard R&B chart and #26 on the pop chart. Early in 1965, the Strangeloves, a trio of Brooklyn writer and producers Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, and Richard Gottehrer, who pretended to be Australian sheep herders, wanted the song to be the follow-up single to their current hit, “I Want Candy.” The Dave Clark Five, with whom they were touring, told them that they planned to record their own version when they got back to England. Assuming the Dave Clark Five version would outsell their own, and since they were still enjoying the success of “I Want Candy” and weren’t ready to record a new single, the Strangeloves presented their arrangement to a young rock group who had previously opened for them called Rick and the Raiders. Their 16-year-old lead singer, Rick Zehringer, was flown into NY to record his vocal track over the Strangeloves’ pre-recorded backing track, and it was decided to change the band’s name to avoid confusion with Paul Revere and the Raiders. The group’s name was changed to the McCoys, and Rick Zehringer began using the stage name Rick Derringer. Released by Bang Records, “Hang on Sloopy” beat the Dave Clark Five to the charts later that year became the group’s biggest hit.

1967: The Marine Broadcasting Offences Act became law in the UK, which made offshore pirate radio stations illegal if they were operated or assisted by individuals subject to UK law. The act successfully suppressed the pirate radio movement, but some unlicensed stations such as Radio Caroline continued to find ways to remain active in various forms.

1971: The Moody Blues’ seventh album, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, became their third #1 in the UK.

1971: The Who’s fifth studio LP, Who’s Next, was released in the US by Decca Records, a week and a half before being issued in Britain. On the Billboard chart in the US, the album tied with their previous LP, Tommy, reaching #4, while in the UK it became their first #1.

1971: Marvin Gaye went to the top of the Billboard R&B chart with “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology),” the second single from his album, What’s Going On.

1976: Nick Lowe released “So It Goes,” his first solo single since his departure from Brinsley Schwarz, and the first single released on the new Stiff Records label.

1976: “Rock’n Me” by The Steve Miller Band entered the Billboard Hot 100. By early November, the single became their second US #1. It also became the group’s first #1 hit in Canada and reached #11 in the UK.

1976: Cliff Richard’s biggest hit on the US charts, “Devil Woman,” entered the Billboard top 40, later reaching #6. A huge star in his native UK, it was one of one of Richard’s nine singles to reach the top 40 in the US.

1981: The Rolling Stones released the first single from their Tattoo You album, “Start Me Up.”

1985: The fifth album by X, Ain’t Love Grand!, entered the Billboard chart. It was the first of the band’s albums not produced by former Doors member Ray Manzarek and peaked at #89 in the US.

Birthdays Today

Darrell “Dash” Crofts, half of the duo Seals and Crofts, was born in Cisco, TX in 1938.

David Crosby, singer-songwriter, guitarist, solo artist, and founding member of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, was born David Van Cortlandt Crosby in Los Angeles, CA in 1941.

Steve Martin, writer, comedian, author, playwright, and musician, was born in Waco, TX in 1945.

Larry Graham Jr., bass player with Sly & the Family Stone and founder and frontman of Graham Central Station, who’s credited with inventing the “slapping technique” which he calls “thumpin’ and pluckin’,” was born in Beaumont, TX in 1946.

Maddy Prior, lead vocalist for Steeleye Span, was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England in 1947.

Mark Collins, guitarist for The Charlatans/UK Charlatans, was born in Barton-upon-Irwell, Lancashire, England in 1965.