Today in Rock & Roll History: December 16th

1965: The Beatles’ double A-sided single “Day Tripper” backed with “We Can Work It Out” went to #1 on the UK chart.

1966: The Jimi Hendrix Experience released their first single in the UK, “Hey Joe.” On the same day, the Experience made their television debut performing “Hey Joe” on the penultimate episode the UK variety show Ready Steady Go!.

1967: “Green Tambourine” by Oxford, Ohio band The Lemon Pipers entered the Billboard Hot 100. It became the only top 40 hit in the US and reached #1 on the Hot 100 in early February.

1968: “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man,” the title track from the first album by The Bob Seger System, entered the Billboard Hot 100. The single later became Seger’s first to enter the top 100 in the US as well as a top 20 hit, reaching #17.

1969: Keith Emerson and Greg Lake jammed with each other for the first time on the night that both Lake’s group, King Crimson, and Emerson’s, the Nice, were both on the same bill at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. Both musicians had become disillusioned with their respective outfits, so a spirited session between Emerson and Lake during an afternoon soundcheck was all it took to get the pair thinking about a longer-term liaison that later roped in drummer and percussionist Carl Palmer from Atomic Rooster.

1972: After its release in November, Loggins and Messina’s debut album Sittin’ In entered the Billboard pop chart. The collaboration had started by chance; Messina had been signed to produce Loggins’ debut album, but the chemistry between the two led Messina to sing and play on the album as well.

1974: Mott the Hoople announced their breakup when singer Ian Hunter quit the band. The remaining members carried on under the names “Mott” and “British Lions.”

1974: John Lennon’s “#9 Dream” single was released in the US. The second single from his Walls and Bridges LP released in September, the song peaked at #9 on Billboard Hot 100 and #23 on UK singles chart. According to Lennon and then girlfriend May Pang, much of the song came to Lennon in a dream.

1983: After a series of misfortunes and tragedies, including the death of drummer Keith Moon, the Who broke up for the first time when guitarist Pete Townshend announced that he was leaving the band. After releasing a string of solo material, the Who later reunited at the Live Aid benefit concert in 1985.

1989: Billy Joel achieved his third #1 on the Billboard pop album chart with his eleventh studio LP, Storm Front.

Birthdays Today

Tony Hicks, guitarist for the Hollies, was born in Nelson, Lancashire, England in 1945.

Billy Gibbons, singer, songwriter, record producer, and lead vocalist and guitarist for ZZ Top, was born in Houston, TX in 1949.

Robben Ford, blues, jazz, and rock guitarist, member of the LA Express, the Yellowjackets, and has collaborated with Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, George Harrison, Larry Carlton, and others, was born in Woodlake, CA in 1951.

Mark Heard, record producer, folk rock singer, and songwriter, was born in Macon, GA in 1951.

Christopher Thorn, guitarist for Blind Melon, was born in Dover, PA in 1968.