Today in Rock & Roll History: August 20th

1955: Elvis Presley released his version of “Mystery Train,” a song originally written and recorded by Junior Parker in 1953.

1964: “Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)” by The Temptations was released from their third studio album, The Temptin’ Temptations.

1965: Gary Lewis & the Playboys released “Everybody Loves a Clown,” the lead single and title track from their third studio album.

1965: After its release in the US in early June, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones was issued in the UK.

1966: After the success of their first two singles, “Time Won’t Let Me” and “Girl Love,” The Outsiders’ third record, “Respectable,” entered the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it later rose to #15.

1966: MGM Records released Animalization, the fourth US album by the Animals and the American version of their Animalisms album, which was released earlier that summer in the UK. The LP reached #20, produced three top 40 singles, and was the first Animals album to have some tracks mixed in true stereo. During recording of the album, drummer John Steel left the group and was replaced by Barry Jenkins, a former member of The Nashville Teens.

1968: Marvin Gaye released “Chained,” the second single from his eighth studio LP, In the Groove, which was later re-titled I Heard It Through the Grapevine!.

1969: Frank Zappa disbanded the Mothers of Invention a week after a brief eight day tour of Canada, claiming he was “tired of playing for people who clap for all the wrong reasons.” Later that year, Zappa cited financial strain as the main reason he was breaking up the band, but also mentioned what he referred to as members’ “lack of sufficient effort.” The following year, Zappa started to put together a new version of the Mothers of Invention, which first appeared on his next solo album, Chunga’s Revenge. Despite initial bitterness towards Zappa splitting up the band, several original members played with him in years to come.

1969: All four members of the Beatles were at EMI Studios in London for the final time to complete the final mix of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” for their eleventh studio LP, Abbey Road. From that evening, long into the early hours of the next morning, the group put together their initial version of the album’s running order.

1973: The Rolling Stones released “Angie,” a composition by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards that was suspected of being inspired by either David Bowie’s first wife Angela Barnett, Keith Richards’ newborn daughter Dandelion Angela, or actress Angie Dickinson. In 2004, Richards claimed it was about his daughter, though in his 2010 memoir, he wrote that he chose the name before her birth, and that the song “was not about any particular person.” According to New Musical Express, Jagger’s contributions to the lyrics referred to his breakup with singer Marianne Faithfull.

1977: The Marshal Tucker Band entered the Billboard Hot 100 with the re-release of their debut single, “Can’t You See.” While the single only made it to #108 after its initial release in 1973, the second time around it managed to reach #75.

1977: NASA’s unmanned probe Voyager 2 was launched carrying a golden record containing sounds and images representing life and culture on Earth, including the first movements of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Chinese musician Guan Pinghu’s composition “Liu Shui,” and Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.”

1979: Bob Dylan’s nineteenth studio album, Slow Train Coming, was released. Looking for a funk sound similar to what had emerged from Muscle Shoals, Dylan approached producer Jerry Wexler to oversee recording sessions. Guitarist Mark Knopfler was also invited to play on the album, though neither Wexler nor Knopfler were aware of the religious nature of the album that Dylan had had in mind. On the same day, “Gotta Serve Somebody” was released as a single. The song later won a Grammy Award in 1980.

1979: “Look Back in Anger” by David Bowie, from his thirteenth studio album, Lodger, was issued as a single in the US.

1982: British synthpop duo Yazoo, known in North America as Yaz, released their debut studio album, Upstairs at Eric’s.

1990: Prince released Graffiti Bridge, his twelfth studio album and soundtrack to film of same name. The album was much better received in sales than the film, reaching #6 in the US. It was also Prince’s third #1 LP in the UK.

1991: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts released their eighth studio album, Notorious.

2007: The Eagles released the single “How Long.” Originally written by J.D. Souther in 1971 and recorded in 1972 for his debut solo album, the song was frequently performed in concert by the Eagles, who were longtime friends and collaborators with Souther. The Eagles’ version was recorded for Long Road Out of Eden, the group’s first full studio album since 1979, and the single later won a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

2013: Tedeschi Trucks Band released their second studio album, Made Up Mind.

Birthdays Today

“Gentleman” Jim Reeves, country and popular music singer-songwriter and early practitioner of the Nashville sound, was born in Galloway, TX in 1923.

Paul Robi, singer and member of The Platters, was born in New Orleans, LA in 1931.

Roland Janes, rockabilly guitarist and record producer at Sun Records who played on records by Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Rich, Sonny Burgess, and many others, was born in Brookings, AR in 1933.

Sneaky Pete Kleinow, country-rock musician, songwriter, member of the Flying Burrito Brothers, and a session musician for such artists as Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, The Byrds, Joe Cocker, Rita Coolidge, Eagles, The Everly Brothers, George Harrison, The Steve Miller Band, Joni Mitchell, The Rolling Stones, Ringo Starr, Stevie Wonder, Spencer Davis, Linda Ronstadt and many others, was born in South Bend, IN in 1934.

Sky “Sunlight” Saxon, singer and leader of The Seeds, was born Richard Elvern Marsh in Salt Lake City, UT in 1937.

John Lantree, bass guitarist for The Honeycombs, was born in Newbury, Berkshire, England in 1940.

Gilbert Moorer, Jr., lead singer for The Esquires, was born in Birmingham, AL in 1941.

Isaac Hayes, singer-songwriter, actor, producer, session musician, and key figure behind Memphis-based music label Stax Records, was born in Covington, TN in 1942.

“Uncle” John Turner, drummer who played with Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Freddie King, Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and others, was born in Port Arthur, TX in 1944.

Ralf Hütter, lead singer, keyboardist, and founding member and leader of Kraftwerk, was born in Krefeld, Germany in 1946.

James Pankow, songwriter, trombone player, and founding member of Chicago, was born in St. Louis, MO in 1947.

Robert Plant, songwriter, lead singer for Led Zeppelin, and a solo artist, was born in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England in 1948.

Phil Lynott, principal songwriter, bassist, and lead singer for Thin Lizzy, was born Phillip Parris Lynott in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England in 1949.

John Hiatt, singer-songwriter and musician, was born in Indianapolis, IN in 1952.

Doug Fieger, songwriter, guitarist, and lead singer for The Knack, was born in Oak Park, MI in 1952.