Today in Rock & Roll History: December 3rd

1964: The Rolling Stones scored their second #1 single on the UK chart with their version of the Willie Dixon blues standard, “Little Red Rooster.”

1965: The Beatles’ sixth studio album, Rubber Soul, was released in the UK alongside the double A-sided single “Day Tripper” backed with “We Can Work It Out.” With advance orders exceeding 500,000, the album entered the UK chart a week later and reached #1 by Christmas. Three days after the British release, the North American version of the album was issued by Capitol Records with an altered track selection. After the British version of A Hard Day’s Night, it was the second LP by the group to contain only original material. George Harrison’s performance on the sitar on the track “Norwegian Wood” marked the first appearance of the Indian string instrument on a Western rock recording and lead to Harrison becoming a pupil of Indian musician Ravi Shankar.

1965: The Beatles began their final UK tour, performing at the Odeon Cinema in Glasgow, Scotland. Opening for them were The Moody Blues.

1965: The debut album by the Who, My Generation, was released by Brunswick Records in the UK. The album was later issued by Decca Records in the US in late April the following year as The Who Sings My Generation. In addition to the group’s four main members, the album also features contributions from session musicians Nicky Hopkins and Jimmy Page.

1965: During a Rolling Stones concert at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, California, Keith Richards received an electric shock and was knocked unconscious when his guitar made contact with an ungrounded microphone stand while playing “The Last Time.”

1966: The Monkees performed their first full live concert at the Honolulu International Center Arena in Hawaii. The day before the show, the group visited radio station KPOI to spin records and go live on the air, a practice that became a tradition for the band as they traveled from city to city while on tour.

1966: The Who’s “Happy Jack” single was released in the UK, with its US release following in March the next year.

1966: “Good Thing” by Paul Revere and the Raiders entered the Billboard Hot 100. The song became the group’s second top 5 hit on the chart, peaking at #4 in late January the following year.

1968: Elvis Presley’s television special Singer Presents…Elvis, commonly referred to as the ’68 Comeback Special, aired on NBC. Taped earlier that summer, the show marked Presley’s return to live performance after seven years in the movie business. Afterward, Presley expressed an interest in touring again to his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, who later staged a press conference announcing Presley’s “Comeback Tour,” though the use of the word “comeback” frustrated Presley. Early the following year, Presley started his return to recording non-soundtrack albums.

1969: During the group’s second day of sessions at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama, the Rolling Stones recorded “Brown Sugar.”

1973: Ringo Starr’s cover of the Johnny Burnette song “You’re Sixteen” was released in the US, where it later became his second solo #1 in the States.

1976: The photoshoot for Pink Floyd’s Animals LP caused pilots flying around London’s Heathrow Airport to beware of a flying pig when a 40-foot inflatable pig being photographed at Battersea Power Station broke free of its moorings. The flying swine reached a height of 18,000 feet before coming down in Kent, England. While they didn’t manage to get a photo for the cover, the event generated substantial publicity. Artist Aubrey Powell and the band later returned to Battersea station for a second shoot, but ultimately settled on pasting a picture of the pig onto a photo from the first session. The inflatable pig, named Algie by bassist and vocalist Roger Waters, who’d conceived of the idea, became a staple of future Pink Floyd concerts.

1977: Wings achieved their first #1 single in the UK with “Mull of Kintyre.”

1977: Linda Ronstadt topped the Billboard pop chart for the second time with her eighth studio album, Simple Dreams.

1978: The title track from Al Stewarts’ eighth studio album and second of two top 10 singles in the US, “Time Passages,” peaked at a career-high of #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1982: “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran was released, which later became the group’s first single to chart in the US and ultimately reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1983: Duran Duran scored their only #1 album on the UK chart with their third LP, Seven and the Ragged Tiger.

1984: Recorded by an all-star ensemble of UK artists known as Band Aid, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was released. The single went straight to the top of the UK singles chart, outselling all other records in the chart put together and became the fastest-selling single of all time in the UK, selling a million copies in the first week alone. It also went on to become the biggest-selling single of all time in the UK, a title that was later surpassed by Elton John’s tribute to Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind 1997.”

Birthdays Today

Andy Williams, singer, songwriter, and record producer, was born Howard Andrew Williams in Wall Lake, IA in 1927.

Ozzy Osbourne, lead singer for Black Sabbath, was born John Michael Osbourne in Aton, Birmingham, England in 1948.

Mickey Thomas, one of the lead vocalists of Jefferson Starship and Starship, was born in Cairo, Georgia in 1949.

Mike Stock, songwriter, record producer, musician, and member of the songwriting and production team Stock, Aitken, and Waterman, was born in Margate, Kent, England in 1951.

Amy Helm, singer-songwriter and daughter of Levon Helm, was born in Woodstock, NY in 1970.