Today in Rock & Roll History: December 30th

1963: The Beatles won record of the year and group of the year in British music newspaper New Musical Express’ annual year-end poll.

1966: Cat Stevens released “Matthew and Son,” the title track from his 1967 debut studio album. It remains his highest charting single in Britain, reaching #2.

1967: “Hello Goodbye” by the Beatles became the group’s fifteenth #1 in the US.

1968: During filming for the Monkees’ television special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, Peter Tork announced he was leaving the group. Tork stayed with the band until the project was complete, after which he bought himself out of the remaining four years of his contract at $150,000 per year. He later did some club performances and live television appearances before returning to the Monkees in 1986.

1969: “Evil Ways,” the second single from Santana’s self-titled debut album, was released. The song became their first top 40 hit in the US and peaked at #9 on Billboard Hot 100.

1969: Disheartened by the poor sales of their Keynsham album, the members of satirical British group the Bonzo Doo-Dah Dog Band decided to go their separate ways after embarking on a lengthy farewell tour of the UK in January.

1974: Sessions for Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks album continued, with Dylan in Minneapolis’ Sound80 studio, recording “Tangled Up in Blue,” “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts,” and “If You See Her, Say Hello.”

1978: After selling over 35 million albums since forming in 1970, Emerson, Lake & Palmer announced that they were splitting up.

1982: Cars singer and songwriter Ric Ocasek released his debut solo album, Beatitude. It features Cars keyboardist Greg Hawkes as well as Jules Shear and Stephen Hague from Jules and the Polar Bears.

1984: the Pointer Sisters released “Neutron Dance,” the fifth single from their tenth studio album, Break Out. It was the group’s last top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #6.

1985: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their cover of “Needles and Pins” as the first single from their recently released first live album, Pack Up the Plantation: Live!. Recorded at the Los Angeles Forum in 1981, the track features guest vocals by Stevie Nicks.

1991: Genesis released “I Can’t Dance,” the second single from their fourteenth studio album, We Can’t Dance.

2009: Burton Cummings of the Guess Who and Neil Young were among those on the list of new appointments to become Officers of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honors which recognizes individuals for a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community, and service to the nation.

Birthdays Today

Bo Diddley, influential singer, guitarist, songwriter, and music producer, was born Ellas Otha Bates in McComb, MS in 1928.

Skeeter Davis, singer and first solo female country vocalist to achieve major stardom, was born Mary Frances Penick in Dry Ridge, KY in 1931.

Del Shannon, singer-songwriter, was born Charles Weedon Westover in Grand Rapids, MI in 1934.

John Hartford, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, was born in New York City in 1937.

Noel Stookey, singer-songwriter and “Paul” of folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary, was born in Baltimore, MD in 1937.

Felix Pappalardi Jr., songwriter, vocalist, producer for Cream, and co-founder and bassist of Mountain, was born in the Bronx, NY in 1939.

Kenny “Popeye” Pentifallo, original drummer and bass vocalist for Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, was born in 1940.

Perry Ford, singer and founding member of The Ivy League, was born in Lincoln, England in 1940.

Michael Nesmith, songwriter, producer, solo artist, and guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist with the Monkees, was born Robert Michael Nesmith in Houston, TX in 1942.

Robert Quine, guitarist for artists the include Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull, and Tom Jones, was born in Akron, OH in 1942.

Davy Jones, Openshaw, Lancashire, England) (vocalist for the Monkees, was born David Thomas Jones in 1945.

Patti Smith, singer-songwriter and poet, was born in Chicago, IL in 1946.

Clive Bunker, original drummer for Jethro Tull who left in 1971 and later recorded solo and played with artists such as Blodwyn Pig, Robin Trower, Steve Howe, Mannfred Mann, Jack Bruce, Steve Hillage, was born in Luton, Bedfordshire, England in 1946.

Jeff Lynne, member of the Move and the Traveling Wilburys and lead singer, guitarist, songwriter, arranger, and producer of Electric Light Orchestra, was born in Shard End, Birmingham, England in 1947.

Chris Jasper, singer, composer, producer, and keyboardist with the Isley Brothers, was born in Cincinnati, OH in 1951.

Andra Day, singer and songwriter, was born in Spokane, WA in 1984.