Today in Rock & Roll History: August 6th

1955: Ray Charles & His Band topped the R&B chart with “A Fool For You,” his second #1 single released by Atlantic Records.

1960: The Beatles went to the Casbah Coffee Club in Liverpool, England to evaluate drummer Pete Best, who was playing with the group the Blackjacks. Best was also the son of the club’s owner, Mona Best. Shortly after, Best joined the Beatles as their first drummer and was later dismissed in 1962.

1960: Chubby Checker performed “The Twist” and its accompanying dance for the first time on US television on The Dick Clark Show, also known as Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beechnut Show.

1963: Bob Dylan began recording The Times They Are A-Changin’, his third album and first to feature exclusively original compositions.

1964: The Hoochie Coochie Men made their British television debut on The Beat Room with Long John Baldry and Rod Stewart sharing lead vocals.

1965: Small Faces released their first single, “Whatcha Gonna Do About It,” which later reached #14 on the UK chart.

1965: The Beatles’ fifth studio album and the soundtrack to their second film, Help!, was released in the UK. The North American version of the album, which includes selections from the film’s orchestral score composed and conducted by Ken Thorne, was released by Capitol Records a week later.

1965: The Who, The Moody Blues, and The Yardbirds opened the fifth annual National Jazz and Blues Festival on the Richmond Athletic Grounds in Richmond, Surrey, England.

1966: Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs topped the Cash Box Best-Sellers list with “Little Red Riding Hood,” which also reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1969: “Hot Fun in the Summertime” by Sly and the Family Stone entered the Billboard Hot 100. The single later reached #2 and peaked at #3 on the R&B chart.

1970: After a brief tenure with British blues band Chicken Shack and the release of a solo album, Christine McVie, wife of bassist John McVie, played her first gig as an official member of Fleetwood Mac in New Orleans. She had recently contributed backing vocals and cover art to the group’s most recent album, Kiln House, but was not credited.

1970: Creedence Clearwater Revival, Paul Simon, Steppenwolf, Janis Joplin, Poco, the James Gang, and Johnny Winter were among those who performed at the Festival for Peace at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York. It was the second event of a series planned to raise funds for anti-war political candidates in the early 1970s and was held on the 25th anniversary of the United States’ first use of an atomic weapon in the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. It proved to be one of the last performances by Janis Joplin, who died only two months later, as well as a reunion and last performance with her former band, Big Brother & the Holding Company.

1973: The Eagles released “Outlaw Man,” the second single from their second studio album, Desperado.

1976: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band released their cover version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded By the Light.” The record later hit the top of the US and Canadian singles charts and became Springsteen’s only #1 single as a songwriter on Billboard’s Hot 100.

1977: The Brothers Johnson were at the top of the Billboard R&B chart for the second time with their cover of Shuggie Otis’ “Strawberry Letter 23,” which also reached #5 on the Hot 100.

1980: Chrysalis Records released Pat Benatar’s second album, Crimes of Passion. It became her first of three top 10 LPs, reaching #2. The album also contains one of Benatar’s signature songs and first US top 10 single, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” which reached #9.

1983: Tears for Fears debuted on the US singles charts with “Change” from their debut album, The Hurting. Three weeks later, the song peaked at #73 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1984: Tears for Fears released “Mothers Talk” in the UK as the first lead single from their second studio album, Songs From the Big Chair. The record was later released in the US in April of 1986.

1996: The Ramones played their final concert at The Palace in Hollywood. The show wrapped up with a cover of the Dave Clark Five classic “Any Way You Want It,” with guest Eddie Vedder.

1996: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released Songs and Music from the Motion Picture She’s the One, their ninth studio album and soundtrack to the film She’s the One. It is the band’s only album not to feature an official drummer, and some of the songs on the album were originally recorded for Petty’s second solo album, Wildflowers.

Birthdays Today

Andy Warhol, artist, director, and producer and manager for the Velvet Underground, was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1928.

Mike Elliott, jazz, ska, pop, and soul saxophonist and member of The Foundations, was born in Jamaica in 1929.

Charlie Haden, jazz double bass player, bandleader, and composer whose revolutionary approach liberated the bassist from being a strictly accompanying role, was born in Shenandoah, IA in 1937.

Sonny Sanders, soul music singer, songwriter, arranger, and record producer who worked with artists such as Marv Johnson, Barrett Strong, Mary Wells, Edwin Starr, Jackie Wilson, and Wilson Pickett, was born William Nelson Sanders in Chicago, IL in 1939.

Don Myrick, alto, tenor and soprano sax player for Earth, Wind & Fire’s original horns section, The Phenix Horns, was born in Chicago, IL in 1940.

Louis Shelton, guitarist and producer who recorded with many artists as a member of Phil Spector’s Wrecking Crew session group and is best known for his work with The Monkees, most notably the guitar solo in “Valleri,” was born William Louis Shelton in Little Rock, AR in 1941.

Judy Craig, singer and member of The Chiffons, was born in New York City in 1946.

Allan Holdsworth, guitarist, composer, and solo artist who has been cited as an influence by numerous acclaimed guitarists, was born in Bradford, England in 1946.

Pat MacDonald, singer, guitarist, and main songwriter for Timbuk 3, was born in Green Bay, WI in 1952.

John Keeble, drummer for Spandau Ballet, was born in London, England in 1959.

Elliott Smith, singer, songwriter, and musician, was born Steven Paul Smith in Omaha, NE in 1969.