Today in Rock & Roll History: August 23rd

1963: The Beatles’ single “She Loves You,” backed with “I’ll Get You,” was released in Britain. It entered the UK chart a week later and spent thirty-one consecutive weeks on the chart–six of them at #1.

1967: Beatles manager Brian Epstein visited a recording session by the band for the last time at the independent Chappell recording studios in London, where they were recording “Your Mother Should Know” for their Magical Mystery Tour album. It was the last new Beatles song Epstein heard before his death four days later. Upon learning of Epstein’s death, the Beatles, who had been in Bangor, Wales with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, immediately returned to London.

1967: The self-titled debut album by Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin was released following the band’s success at the Monterey Pop Festival earlier that summer.

1967: After it was released in the UK in March, The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s debut album, Are You Experienced, was issued in the US by Reprise Records. The US version contained some of Hendrix’s best known songs, including the Experience’s first three singles, “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” and “The Wind Cries Mary.” The LP later spent 106 weeks on the Billboard pop chart and peaked at #5.

1967: Joni Mitchell performed her first live show in the UK, opening for British group The Picadilly Line, at London’s Marquee Club.

1968: Fleetwood Mac released their second studio album, Mr. Wonderful. The LP was not issued in the US, though about half of the tracks later appeared on the 1969 compilation album English Rose.

1968: The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Janis Joplin, Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Chamber Brothers, and Soft Machine played at the New York Rock Festival at Singer Bowl in Flushing Meadow, Queens.

1969: The Rolling Stones scored their fifth US #1 with “Honky Tonk Women.” In the UK, it was the band’s eighth single to top the chart. Initial recordings of the song were the last to include founding member Brian Jones before his death in early July.

1969: Johnny Cash topped the Billboard pop chart with Live at San Quentin, the second in a series of live albums recorded at prisons.

1969: Aretha Franklin had her seventh #1 single on the Billboard R&B chart with “Share Your Love With Me.”

1970: The Velvet Underground album Live at Max’s Kansas City was recorded. In the middle of recording sessions for their Loaded LP, the group had secured a nine-week residency at Max’s Kansas City nightclub in New York City. The shows were Lou Reed’s last live performance with the group until the early 1990s, and informal recordings made by an Andy Warhol associate were later released two years later as the live album, which also fulfilled contract obligations with Atlantic Records.

1970: Emerson, Lake and Palmer made their live debut at the three thousand-seat Guildhall in Plymouth, England. Six days later, the band was propelled to international renown with their performance at the Isle of Wight Festival.

1972: Jim Croce released “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels),” the second single from his third studio LP, You Don’t Mess Around with Jim.

1975: Gary Wright debuted on the Billboard pop chart with his third studio album, The Dream Weaver. It was his only top 10 LP in the US, peaking at #7.

1977: Linda Ronstadt released her cover of “Blue Bayou,” originally co-written and recorded by Roy Orbison in 1963, as the first single from her eighth studio album, Simple Dreams.

1978: Comedian Steve Martin was awarded a gold record for his novelty song “King Tut.” Martin’s backing band on the single, credited as the Toot Uncommons, were actually members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

1980: David Bowie had his third #1 on the UK singles chart with “Ashes to Ashes.”

1982: Dire Straits released “Private Investigations,” the lead single from their fourth studio album, Love over Gold.

1991: The re-formed Dire Straits began their final world tour in support of their latest album, On Every Street, at The Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland.

1994: Jeff Buckley released his only studio album, Grace. Despite having initially poor sales and only reaching #149 on the US charts, the album gradually acquired significant critical and commercial success.

Birthdays Today

Malvina Reynolds, folk and blues singer-songwriter and political activist best known for writing “Little Boxes” and “What Have They Done to the Rain,” was born in San Francisco, CA in 1900.

Tex Williams, Western swing singer-songwriter best known for his talking blues style, was born in Ramsey, IL in 1917.

Rudy Lewis, lead vocalist for The Drifters from 1960-1964, was born Charles Rudolph Harrell in Philadelphia, PA in 1936.

Roger Greenaway, songwriter, record producer, and singer best know for his collaborations with Roger Cook as the duo David & Jonathan, was born in Fishponds, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England in 1938.

Pete Shannon, bassist for the Cruisers Rock Combo and the Nashville Teens, was born in Antrim, Northern Ireland in 1941.

Bunny “Striker” Lee, influential reggae producer who both expanded the genre’s sound and helped proliferate its audience worldwide, was born Edward O’Sullivan Lee in Jamaica in 1941.

Pete Fornatale, New York disc jockey and author considered a “pioneer of FM rock,” who played an important role in the progressive rock era of FM broadcasting, was born in The Bronx, NY in 1945.

Keith Moon, songwriter and drummer for the Who, was born in Wembley, Middlesex, England in 1946.

Jim Sohns, vocalist for The Shadows of Knight, was born in Chicago, IL in 1946.

Linda Thompson, singer and solo artist known for her collaboration with her then-husband Richard Thompson, was born Linda Pettifer in Hackney, London in 1947.

Mark Hudson, member of the Hudson Brothers, musician, songwriter, and record producer who worked with artists such as Cher, Ringo Starr, Scorpions, and Harry Nilsson, was born in Portland, OR in 1951.

Shaun Ryder, singer-songwriter and lead vocalist for Happy Mondays, was born in Little Hulton, Lancashire, England in 1962.

Cedella Marley, daughter of Bob Marley and member of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, was born in Kingston bridge, Jamaica in 1967.

Julian Casablancas, musician, songwriter, record producer, and lead singer of The Strokes, was born in New York City in 1978.