Today in Rock & Roll History: December 28th

1963: “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it became her fourth and final top 5 hit on the chart.

1963: Stevie Wonder released his third studio album, With a Song In My Heart. It was Wonder’s first album to drop his “Little” nickname and similar to Motown label mate Marvin Gaye, it features covers of several standards.

1964: “Tell Her No,” the second single from The Zombies’ eponymous debut album, was released in the US. It became the group’s second of three top 10 hits in the US, reaching #6.

1968: “Touch Me” by The Doors entered the Billboard Hot 100. The song reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Cash Box Top 100 in early 1969, making it the band’s third American #1 single.

1968: The second Miami Pop Festival, unrelated to the one organized earlier that year in May, took place at the Gulfstream Park horse racing track in Hallandale, Florida. It was the first major rock festival on America’s east coast, drawing in approximately 100,000 people. Performers during the three-day event included Chuck Berry, Paul Butterfield, the Box Tops, Fleetwood Mac, Marvin Gaye, the Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Steppenwolf, the Turtles, and many more. This festival was unique in that it was the first rock festival to have two entirely separate “main” stages, both operating simultaneously and offering performers of equal caliber.

1968: The Beatles’ self-titled ninth studio album known also as the “White Album” reached #1 on the Billboard pop chart. The double LP stayed at the top of the chart for the next eight of nine weeks.

1969: The Temptations released “Psychedelic Shack.” The use of the group’s previous single, “I Can’t Get Next to You,” in the beginning of the song makes it one of the first examples of sampling. The song went on to become the title track of the group’s twelfth studio album.

1970: The single version of “Mother” by John Lennon, from his recently released debut solo album, was released in the US.

1971: After years of serving as an opening act, New York group Sha Na Na headlined a show at Carnegie Hall. Keith Moon of the Who hosted the event in drag.

1974: Stevie Wonder hit the top of Billboard’s R&B chart with “Boogie on Reggae Woman.”

Birthdays Today

Earl “Fatha” Hines, jazz pianist and bandleader and one of the most influential figures in the development of jazz piano, was born in Duqesne, PA in 1903.

Harold Rhodes, music teacher and inventor of the Rhodes piano, which was incredibly popular during the 1960s and 1970s and used by artists including Ray Manzarek, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Chick Corea, Billy Preston, Donny Hathaway, Ray Charles, and Donald Fagen, was born in San Fernando, CA in 1910.

Roebuck “Pops” Staples, songwriter, guitarist, and singer with the Staple Singers, was born in Winona, MS in 1914.

Johnny Otis, singer, musician, composer, arranger, bandleader, talent scout, disc jockey, record producer, TV host, author, and seminal influence on American R&B and rock and roll who discovered numerous artists early in their careers that went on to become highly successful in their own right, was born Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes in Vallejo, CA in 1921.

Dorsey Burnette, singer, rockabilly pioneer, and founding member of the The Rock and Roll Trio, was born in Memphis, TN in 1932.

Del Casher, guitarist who invented the wah-wah pedal in 1966 and was the original proponent of using it in conjunction with an electric guitar, was born in Hammon, IN in 1938.

Charles Neville, vocalist and sax player for the Neville Brothers, was born in New Orleans, LA in 1938.

Bonnie MacLean, graphic artist and wife of concert promoter Bill Graham from 1968-1975 known for creating elaborate posters to promote rock concerts at The Fillmore in San Francisco during the 1960s, was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1939.

Bob Seidemann, graphic artist, photographer, and producer of dozens of album covers who collaborated with several artists including Janis Joplin, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead, Blind Faith, Jackson Browne, and Neil Young, was born in Manhattan, NY in 1941.

John Till, session musician and lead guitarist for Janis Joplin’s backing band, the Full Tilt Boogie Band, was born in Stratford, Ontario, Canada in 1945.

Edgar Winter, rock and blues multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, record producer, and younger brother of Johnny Winter, was born in Beaumont, TX in 1946.

Dick Diamonde, bass guitarist and founding member of Australian group The Easybeats, was born Dingeman Adriaan Henry van der Sluijs in Hilversum, Netherlands in 1947.

Mary Weiss, pop vocalist best known as the lead singer for The Shangri-Las, was born in Jamaica, Queens, NY in 1948.

Joseph “Ziggy” Modeliste, drummer and founding member of The Meters who also worked with Dr. John, Robert Palmer, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, and others, was born in New Orleans, LA in 1948.

Alex Chilton, singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and lead singer of the Box Tops and Big Star, was born in Memphis, TN in 1950.

Joey Shuffield, drummer and percussionist for Fastball, was born in 1969.

John Legend, singer, songwriter, and record producer, was born John Roger Stephens in Springfield, OH in 1978.