Today in Rock & Roll History: August 24th

1956: Elvis Presley recorded “Love Me Tender” and “We’re Gonna’ Move” at 20th Century Fox Studios in Hollywood, California.

1964: The Beach Boys released “When I Grow Up (To Be a Man),” the first single from their eighth studio album, The Beach Boys Today!.

1964: The Beatles’ rendition of the Carl Perkins song “Matchbox” was released as a single in the US with a cover of Larry Williams’ “Slow Down” as its B-side.

1964: Ben E. King released his fourth studio album, Young Boy Blues.

1965: On their second day off during their tour of North America, The Beatles rented a house owned by Zsa Zsa Gabor in Beverly Hills. There, they were visited by Roger McGuinn and David Crosby of the Byrds as well as English actress Eleanor Bron, who’d appeared in their film, Help. While young girls stood outside the gates with police, John Lennon and George Harrison had their second experience with LSD, and Ringo his first. Paul did not partake. It was here that McGuinn introduced Harrison to Indian music, particularly that of Ravi Shankar. Actor Peter Fonda was also present, and helped comfort Harrison as he grew unsettled after taking LSD and thought he was dying. According to Fonda, Lennon overheard him saying to George, “I know what it’s like to be dead,” recalling a childhood incident in which his heart stopped beating several times due to blood loss after accidentally shooting himself in the stomach. Lennon then told Fonda “You’re making me feel like I’ve never been born,” words that were later included in the Revolver track “She Said She Said.”

1967: “How Can I Be Sure” by The Young Rascals was released as a single from their third album, Groovin’. It became the group’s fourth top 10 hit, peaking at #4.

1968: Steppenwolf’s most successful single, “Born to Be Wild,” from their self-titled debut album, peaked at #2 on Billboard Hot 100.

1968: Jeff Beck’s debut studio album, Truth, entered the Billboard pop chart. Beck’s backing group included vocalist Rod Stewart, bassist Ronnie Wood, and drummer Micky Waller, and the LP peaked at #15.

1970: Aretha Franklin released her seventeenth studio album, Spirit in the Dark.

1979: Prince released “I Wanna Be Your Lover” as the lead single from his self-titled second studio album.

1981: Tattoo You, the sixteenth British album and eighteenth American album by the Rolling Stones was released. The LP is mostly composed of studio outtakes recorded during the 1970s, assembled by associate producer Chris Kimsey, who had taken it upon himself to put together a Stones album while Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were not getting along. After three months of sifting through the band’s recording tapes from previous albums, he presented his findings to the group and encouraged them to make something out of the “great stuff sitting in the can.” Despite the eclectic mix of tracks, the band was able to organize the album into two halves, a rock and roll side backed with one focusing on ballads. It was the Stones’ ninth and final #1 on the Billboard pop album chart and the last in a string of eight consecutive chart-topping LPs, starting with Sticky Fingers ten years earlier.

1982: R.E.M. released their debut EP, Chronic Town. The band had recorded the EP’s five tracks at producer Mitch Easter’s Drive-In Studios in Winston-Salem, North Carolina after manager Jefferson Holt felt that the band was ready for a longer release following the success of their debut single, “Radio Free Europe.” The intention was to release the EP on an independent label run by Holt, but after the band’s demo caught the attention of I.R.S. Records, the label signed a deal with the group.

1985: John Cougar Mellencamp released “Lonely Ol’ Night,” the lead single from his eighth studio album, Scarecrow.

1987: John Cougar Mellencamp released his ninth studio album, The Lonesome Jubilee. The album reached #6 in the US and was Mellencamp’s first to enter several other international charts.

1989: Squeeze released their eighth studio album, Frank. Despite critical praise, poor sales lead to the group being dropped by A&M Records. The band soon after signed with Reprise Records.

1992: Los Angeles band The Wallflowers, founded by Bob Dylan’s son Jakob, released their self-titled debut album.

1993: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration, a live double-album released in recognition of Bob Dylan’s thirty years as recording artist, was released by Columbia Records. The album captures most of the concert held at New York City’s Madison Square Garden in October 1992. Artists at the event included John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Kris Kristofferson, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Lou Reed, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Johnny Winter, Richie Havens, Chrissie Hynde, The Band, George Harrison, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Roger McGuinn, and Tracy Chapman along with a backing band made up of the surviving members of Booker T. and the MG’s.

1996: Everything But the Girls’ first US top 40 single, “Missing,” scored a record fifty-five weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, a record that has since been broken several times over. It was also the first single to spend an uninterrupted year on the chart.

2004: Donovan released Beat Cafe, his twenty-third studio album and first collection of newly written songs since 1996.

2004: Steve Earle released his eleventh studio album, The Revolution Starts Now, which later won for Best Contemporary Folk Album at the 2005 Grammy Awards.

Birthdays Today

Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, Delta blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist, was born in Forest, MS in 1905.

Wynonie Harris, blues shouter and upbeat R&B singer considered by many to be a founding father of rock and roll, was born in Omaha, NE in 1915.

Jackie Brenston, R&B singer and saxophonist who recorded the first version of the pioneering rock-and-roll song “Rocket 88,” was born in Clarksdale, MS in 1924.

Willie Winfield, lead vocalist for the Harptones, was born in Norfolk, VA in 1929.

Tony Davis, guitarist for the Spinners, was born in Liverpool, England in 1930.

David Freiberg, bassist, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist with Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, and Jefferson Starship, was born in Boston, MA in 1938.

Mason Williams, classical guitarist, composer, writer, comedian, and poet, was born in Abilene, TX in 1938.

Ernest Wright, original member of Little Anthony and the Imperials, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1939.

Tony Secunda, manager for groups including The Moody Blues, Procol Harum, The Move, T. Rex, Steeleye Span, and the Pretenders, was born in Epsom, Surrey, England in 1940.

Jimmy Soul, pop and soul singer best known for his 1963 #1 hit, “If You Wanna Be Happy,” was born in Weldon, NC in 1942.

Marshall Thompson, singer, musician, and original member of The Chi-Lites, was born in Chicago, IL in 1942.

John Cipollina, leader guitarist and founding member of both Quicksilver Messenger Service and Copperhead, was born in Berkeley, CA in 1943.

Ken Hensley, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, best known for his work with Uriah Heep during the 1970s, was born in Plumstead, London, England in 1945.

Molly Duncan, tenor saxophonist and founding member of Average White Band who has recorded and performed with artists such as Ray Charles, Tom Petty, Buddy Guy, Dire Straits, Marvin Gaye, and Eric Clapton, was born in Montrose, Angus, Scotland in 1945.

Jimmy Fox, drummer for the Outsiders and the James Gang and session musician with Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Stephen Stills, and Chuck Mangione, was born in Cleveland, OH in 1947.

Michael Derosier, drummer for Heart from 1975-1982, was born in Canada in 1951.

Ron Holloway, tenor saxophonist who’s worked with Susan Tedeschi, Dizzy Gillespie, Gil Scott-Heron, Root Boy Slim, and Warren Hayes, in addition to leading his own band, was born in Washington D.C. in 1953.

Mark Bedford, songwriter, composer and bassist for Madness, was born in Islington, London, England in 1961.

Oteil Burbridge, multi-instrumentalist specializing on the bass guitar best known as a member of The Allman Brothers Band and Dead & Company who has also worked with Trey Anastasio, Bill Kreutzmann, and The Derek Trucks Band, was born in Washington, D.C. in 1964.

Aaron Lee Tasjan, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer, was born in New Albany, OH in 1986.