Today in Rock & Roll History: August 25th

1960: “Please Don’t Tease” by Cliff Richard and the Shadows was replaced at the top of the UK singles chart with “Apache,” an instrumental credited to just the Shadows, despite the fact that Cliff Richard appears on the recording playing a Chinese drum at the beginning and end of the track. It was the Shadows’ first #1 record and spent a total of five weeks at the top of the chart.

1962: “The Loco-Motion” by Eva Boyd, her first single released as “Little Eva,” went to #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts. The song had been written by husband and wife songwriting team Gerry Goffin and Carole King, originally with R&B vocalist Dee Dee Sharp in mind, but after Sharp turned down the tune, Don Kirshner at Dimension Records decided to take a chance on the song with Boyd, whose demo he liked. Boyd also happened to be Goffin and King’s babysitter.

1962: The first national single by the Four Seasons, “Sherry,” entered the Billboard Hot 100. Within a month, it reached #1, becoming their first chart-topping hit.

1966: During a tour of the US, Yardbirds lead guitarist Jeff Beck became ill in San Francisco and Jimmy Page, who had been playing bass, took over on lead guitar for the band’s concert at the Carousel Ballroom. The remaining members finished the tour and reunited in London. From then on, the Yardbirds’ new lineup featured former rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja on bass, and Beck and Page both serving as lead guitarists.

1966: Motown Records released Take Two, a duet album by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston.

1966: The Supremes released their ninth studio album, The Supremes A’ Go-Go, which later became the first album by an all-female group to reach #1 on the Billboard pop chart.

1967: Brian Wilson appeared onstage with the Beach Boys for the first time in over two years with the first of two concerts in Honolulu, Hawaii. The shows were recorded for a prospective live album titled Lei’d in Hawaii, but the tapes were deemed unusable and the band re-recorded the songs in-studio. Eventually the whole project was canceled and the studio recordings morphed into sessions for the Wild Honey LP.

1970: Elton John made his US debut with the first of six sold-out nights at the Troubadour nightclub in West Hollywood. The 300-seat club’s audience included movers and shakers of the music industry as well as artists such as Quincy Jones, Gordon Lightfoot, Leon Russell, the Beach Boys’ Mike Love, Three Dog Night’s Danny Hutton, and Neil Diamond, who introduced John at the start of his first show. After the first show, music critic Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times wrote that John was “going to be one of rock’s biggest and most important stars.”

1972: The Kinks released their eleventh studio album, Everbody’s in Show-Biz.

1973: “Ramblin’ Man,” the lead single from The Allman Brothers Band’s fourth studio album, Brothers and Sisters, entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it became their first of three top 40 hits and only top 10 single, reaching #2 in October.

1973: Stories topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box Top 100 charts with “Brother Louie,” a song first recorded and released by Hot Chocolate earlier that year. It was the band’s only top 10 single and also managed to reach #22 on the Billboard R&B chart and #12 on the Cash Box R&B chart.

1975: Bruce Springsteen released Born to Run, his third studio album and a breakthrough success for him and the E Street Band. It was his first to enter the top 40 on the Billboard pop chart and ultimately reached #3.

1976: Boston released their self-titled debut album. The LP broke sales records, became the best-selling debut album at the time, and has since sold seventeen million copies in the United States alone and twenty-five million worldwide.

1979: Nine weeks after its release, “My Sharona” by the Knack started six weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1980: The Cars released “Touch and Go,” the lead single from their third studio album, Panorama.

1986: Paul Simon released his seventh solo studio album, Graceland.

1987: The Cars released Door to Door, their sixth and last studio album before disbanding in 1988. It was also the group’s last album with founding member Benjamin Orr before his death in 2000. The band did not release another album until Move Like This in 2011.

1992: Lucinda Williams released her fourth studio album, Sweet Old World.

1994: Former Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page reunited in London for a performance for MTV’s Unplugged series. Recordings from additional shows in Wales and Morocco were combined into a TV special titled UnLedded. The program was so well-received that it was later released in November as the album No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant UnLedded. The following February, Page and Plant took the show on the road with a world tour.

1997: Bob Dylan released “Not Dark Yet,” the lead single from his thirtieth studio album, Time Out of Mind.

Birthdays Today

Walter Williams, original member of The O’Jays, was born in 1943.

Keith Tippett, jazz pianist, composer, solo artist, and contributor to albums by King Crimson, Arthur Brown, Julie Driscoll, Ian Matthews, David Sylvian, and many others, was born in Bristol, England in 1947.

Danny Smythe, drummer and founding member of The Box Tops, was born in Memphis, TN in 1948.

Willy DeVille, eclectic singer, songwriter, and leader of Mink DeVille who has collaborated with Jack Nitzsche, Doc Pomus, Dr. John, Mark Knopfler, Allen Toussaint, and Eddie Bo, and others, was born William Paul Borsey Jr. in Stamford, CT in 1950.

James Warren, co-founder, bassist, and vocalist for The Korgis, was born in Bristol, England in 1951.

Geoff Downes, keyboardist, songwriter, record producer, and member of The Buggles, Yes, and Asia, was born in Stockport, Cheshire, England in 1952.

Elvis Costello, singer, songwriter, composer, and record producer, was born Declan Patrick MacManus in London, England in 1954.

John McGeoch, guitarist who played with several bands including Magazine, Siouxsie and Banshees, Visage, and Public Image, was born in Greenrock, Inverclyde, Scotland in 1955.

Matt Aitken, member of songwriting and production trio Stock Aitken Waterman, was born in Coventry, England in 1956.

Jeff Tweedy, singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and co-founder of Uncle Tupelo and Wilco, was born in Belleville, IL in 1967.

Stuart Murdoch, co-founder and lead singer and songwriter of Belle & Sebastian, was born in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire, Scotland in 1968.