Today in Rock & Roll History: December 27th

1958: Buddy Holly made his first appearance in his home town of Lubbock, TX since becoming a major star. After broadcasting live over KLLL Radio from a fruit and vegetable store, he returned to the station’s studios, where the management challenged Holly to write a song in less than 30 minutes. Buddy composed “You’re The One” and was it was recorded on the station’s acetate machine. Holly sang and played guitar while station disc jockeys Waylon Jennings and Ray “Slim” Corbin provided percussion with hand-claps.

1960: Smokey Robinson and the Miracles became the first Motown group to appear on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand television show.

1963: The Animals played their first radio broadcast on the BBC program Saturday Club. The band soon after signed with Columbia Records.

1965: The Supremes made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing their recent #1 hit single “Come See About Me.” The group made a total of sixteen appearances on the show and become a personal favorite of Sullivan, who affectionately referred to the group as “the girls.”

1966: The Marvelettes released “The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game,” the first single from their self-titled seventh album.

1967: Bob Dylan’s eighth studio album John Wesley Harding was released. The LP was well-received in the US, where it became his highest-charting album yet, reaching #2 on the Billboard pop chart. In the UK, it became Dylan’s third #1 album.

1967: After establishing his career as a poet and writer, Leonard Cohen’s first album Songs of Leonard Cohen was released by Columbia Records.

1969: The Supremes’ final single released with Diana Ross, “Someday We’ll Be Together,” became the last #1 song of the 1960s on the Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box Top 100 charts.

1969: In the middle of the Beatles’ run at #1 on the Billboard pop chart with their Abbey Road LP, Led Zeppelin’s second album took the top spot, trading places with the Beatles over the next four weeks before starting five consecutive weeks at #1. It was band’s first LP to top the chart in the US.

1974: At the Sound80 recording studio in Minneapolis, Bob Dylan recorded “Idiot Wind” and “You’re a Big Girl Now” for his 1975 album Blood On The Tracks.

1975: Queen achieved their first #1 album when their third LP A Night at the Opera reached the top of the UK chart. In the US, the album was the group’s first to enter the top 10, reaching #4.

1975: “Let’s Do It Again,” written by Curtis Mayfield and recorded by the Staple Singers, was the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100. Part of the soundtrack for the film of the same name, the song was the Staple Singers’ last major hit on the pop charts.

1979: The self-titled debut album by The Pretenders was released by Sire Records in the US. Less than a month later, the LP was issued in the UK by Real Records.

1980: Double Fantasy, John Lennon’s fifth album with wife Yoko Ono, went to the top of the Billboard pop chart. It was Lennon’s third and final #1 album and reached the top of the UK chart in February. On the same day, the album’s first single, “(Just Like) Starting Over,” began five weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.

1982: Billy Joel played a benefit concert in Allentown, Pennsylvania as his recent single, “Allentown,” a song about struggling rust belt workers, climbed the charts on its way to #17.

1988: Mike + The Mechanics released “The Living Years,” the second single from their second album, “Living Years.” It became the group’s first top 20 hit in the UK and first #1 single in the US.

Birthdays Today

Scotty Moore, guitarist and recording engineer who backed Elvis Presley during the first part of his career, was born Winfield Scott Moore III in Gadsden, TN in 1931.

Les Maguire, second pianist for Gerry & the Pacemakers, was born in Wallasey, Cheshire, England in 1941.

Mike Pinder, founding member and original keyboardist for the Moody Blues, was born in Erdington, Birmingham, England in 1941.

Mike Heron, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and member of the Incredible String Band, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1942.

Peter Sinfield, poet, songwriter, and lyricist and co-founder of King Crimson, was born in Fulham, London, England in 1943.

Mick Jones, singer, songwriter, record producer, member of Spooky Tooth, and a founding member of Foreigner, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England in 1944.

Tracy Nelson, singer and founding member of Mother Earth, was born in Madison, WI in 1944.

Lenny Kaye, guitarist, composer, writer, and member of the Patti Smith Group, who also worked with such artists as R.E.M., James, Suzanne Vega, Jim Carroll, Soul Asylum, Kristin Hersh, and Allen Ginsberg and is also known for his “Nuggets” anthology of 1960s garage-rock, was born in New York City in 1946.

Larry Byrom, lead guitarist for Steppenwolf from 1969-1971, was born in Huntsville, AL in 1948.

Ronnie Caldwell, soul and R&B musician and member of Stax Records session group the Bar-Kays, was born in Madison, WI in 1948.

Martin Birch, producer and engineer known for his work with groups including Deep Purple, Fleetwood Mac, Wishbone Ash, Jeff Beck, Faces, and others, was born in Woking, Surrey, England in 1948.

Terry Bozzio, drummer for Frank Zappa and Missing Persons, was born in San Francisco, CA in 1950.

Karla Bonoff, singer-songwriter and backing vocalist for Linda Ronstadt early in her career, was born in Santa Monica, CA in 1951.

David Knopfler, singer, songwriter, guitarist, solo artist, and co-founder of Dire Straits, was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1952.