Today in Rock & Roll History: August 18th

1962: After a two hour rehearsal, Ringo Starr performed on stage as an official member of the Beatles for the first time at Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight, Northwest England for the local horticultural society’s seventeenth annual dance. Starr was already familiar with the group, having previously played in one of Liverpool’s leading bands, Rory and the Hurricanes. Starr had replaced original drummer Pete Best, who’d been fired by manager Brian Epstein. After a Beatles performance at the Cavern Club the next day, displeased fans of Best held vigils outside his home and the club shouting “Pete Forever! Ringo Never!”

1964: The Beatles flew from London to San Francisco to begin their 25-date, first full concert tour of the US, with the debut show slated for the following day at San Francisco’s Cow Palace. On the way, they made two stops in Winnipeg, Canada, and Los Angeles for pictures and interviews. The group had previously played several gigs in New York City, Washington D.C., and Miami.

1966: Paul Jones left Manfred Mann just as their single “Pretty Flamingo” was climbing the US charts. He was replaced by singer Mike D’Abo, who took over lead vocals on the band’s next hit, their cover of the Bob Dylan song “The Mighty Quinn.”

1966: “Reach Out I’ll Be There” by the Four Tops was released. Written and produced by Motown’s main production team, Holland-Dozier-Holland, the single went to #1 on both the Billboard R&B and Hot 100 charts for two weeks. The record also made it to #1 on the UK singles chart, making it Motown’s second UK chart-topper after The Supremes’ 1964 hit, “Baby Love.”

1965: The Dave Clark Five film Having a Wild Weekend premiered in the US, after its initial premiere in England, where it was originally titled Catch Us If You Can.

1967: The Rolling Stones released “We Love You” as a single in the UK backed with “Dandelion.” Written as a message of the band’s appreciation for support in the wake of the recent drug arrests of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the song opens with the sounds of a jail cell door clanging shut. In the US, “Dandelion” was promoted as the record’s A-side.

1969: Mick Jagger was accidentally shot in the hand during the filming of Ned Kelly in Australia in one of several incidents that dogged the movie’s production. Jagger’s then-girlfriend, Marianne Faithfull, had gone to Australia to play the lead female role, but her relationship with Jagger was breaking up. Soon after arriving in Sydney, she overdosed on sleeping tablets, resulting in her being hospitalized in a coma and pulling out of the film.

1970: The Everly Brothers began a stint as hosts of a summer replacement show in place of Johnny’s Cash’s television show on ABC. Titled Johnny Cash Presents the Everly Brothers, guests over the program’s ten-week run included Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Jackie DeShannon, Arlo Guthrie, Neil Diamond, Brenda Lee, Ike & Tina Turner, Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Wonder, Rick Nelson, and Tony Joe White.

1973: “Live and Let Die” by Wings went to #1 on the Cash Box Best Sellers list. The week before, the single had peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1973: “China Grove” by the Doobie Brothers entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it eventually reached #15 in early October.

1973: “Higher Ground,” the first single from Stevie Wonder’s sixteenth album, Innervisions, entered the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to #4.

1973: Jethro Tull topped the Billboard pop chart with their sixth studio album, Passion Play. It was the group’s last #1 LP in the US and followed the success of their previous album, Thick as a Brick, which had reached #1 the year before.

1973: Marvin Gaye began six weeks at the top of the Billboard R&B chart with “Let’s Get It On,” the lead single from his thirteenth studio album. The record became Gaye’s most successful single for Motown Records and one of his most well-known songs.

1977: With the departure of guitarist Henri Padovani, the Police performed as a trio for the first time, headlining a show at a small nightclub called Rebecca’s in Birmingham, England.

1978: The Who released Who Are You, the band’s eighth studio album and last to feature drummer Keith Moon.

1978: The Jam released their cover of the Kinks’ “David Watts” as the lead single from their third studio album, All Mod Cons.

1982: Four streets in the Beatles’ hometown of Liverpool, England were named after the group’s members: John Lennon Drive, Paul McCartney Way, George Harrison Close, and Ringo Starr Drive.

1980: Yes released their tenth studio LP, Drama. It was the group’s first album to feature lead vocalist Trevor Horn and keyboardist Geoff Downes after the departure of Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman.

1981: Los Angeles band Wall of Voodoo released their first full-length album, Dark Continent.

1986: Genesis released “In Too Deep,” the second single from the group’s thirteenth studio album, Invisible Touch.

1989: Jefferson Airplane’s classic lineup of Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Marty Balin, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Peter Kaukonen, Tim Gorman, and Kenny Aronoff began a reunion tour at Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Birthdays Today

Cisco Houston, folk singer and songwriter known for his extensive history of recording with Woodie Guthrie who also performed with such folk musicians as Lead Belly, Sonny Terry, and the Almanac Sisters, was born Gilbert Vandine Houston in Wilmington, DE in 1918.

Sonny Til, lead singer for vocal group The Orioles, was born in 1928.

Johnny Preston, pop singer best known for his international #1 hit, “Running Bear,” was born in Port Arthur, TX in 1939.

Maxine Brown, R&B, soul, and gospel singer, was born in Kingstree, SC in 1939.

Carl Wayne, singer for the Vikings, the Move, and the Hollies, was born in Birmingham, England in 1943.

Sarah Dash, singer, songwriter, member of Patti LaBelle & The Bluebells, and solo artist who also contributed to recordings by the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Bo Diddley, was born in Trenton, NJ in 1945.

Vince Melouney, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter and member of Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs, Vince & Tony’s Two, Bee Gees, Fanny Adams, and his own band, the Vince Melouney Sect, was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia in 1945.

Nigel Griggs, bassist for Split Enz, was born in Hatfield, England in 1949.

John Rees, bass player for Men at Work from 1980-1984, was born in 1951.

Marvin Isley, singer, songwriter, and composer who was the bassist and youngest member of the Isley Brothers, was born in Cincinnati, OH in 1953.

Tony Garnier, double bass player and bass guitarist best known for accompanying Bob Dylan since 1989 who’s also recorded with artists like David Johansen, Tom Waits, Loudon Wainwright III, Paul Simon, Marc Ribot, Eric Andersen, Robert Gordon, and Chris O’Connell, was born in Saint Paul, MN in 1956.

Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz, drummer best know for his work with “Weird Al” Yankovic, was born in Chicago, IL in 1956.

Ron Strykert, lead guitarist, singer, songwriter, and founding member of Men at Work, was born in Korumburra, Victoria, Australia in 1957.

Tracy Tracy, vocalist for The Primitives, was born Tracy Louise Cattell in Australia in 1967.