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 Who’s debut album, 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: The Hollies released their cover of George Harrison’s “If I Needed Someone,” which the group had recorded in the same studio as the Beatles.

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

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 released the single “Happy Jack” backed with “I’ve Been Away” in the UK. It was later issued in the US in March with the B-side “Whiskey Man.”

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 photo shoot for Pink Floyd’s tenth studio album, Animals, 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 was named Algie by bassist and vocalist Roger Waters, who’d conceived of the idea, and 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: Cat Stevens released Back to Earth, his eleventh studio album and his only album to use the name Cat Stevens after his conversion to Islam until the release of The Laughing Apple in 2017.

1978: The title track from Al Stewart’s 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: “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club entered the Billboard Hot 100. Nine weeks later, the single became the group’s only #1 in the US.

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

1984: The charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?,” recorded by an all-star ensemble of UK artists known as Band Aid, was released. It 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.”

1996: Spirit released their last studio album, California Blues. Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Randy California died a month later.

1996: Elvis Costello and longtime sideman Steve Nieve released Costello & Nieve, a limited edition five-disc live album recorded in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and New York City, exclusively in the US.

Birthdays Today

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

Jody Reynolds, rock singer, guitarist, and songwriter best known for his 1958 hit “Endless Sleep” and his subsequent single “Fire of Love,” was born in Denver, CO in 1932.

Nick Venet, record producer best known for signing the Beach Boys to Capitol Records and producing the band’s early material, who also worked with numerous other Capitol clients including Glen Campbell, Jim Croce, Bobby Darin, Fred Neil, Ricky Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, John Stewart, and many others, was born Nikolas Kostantinos Venetoulis in 1936.

Ken Lewis, singer, songwriter, record producer, and member of The Ivy League who collaborated with John Carter and co-wrote “Can’t You Hear My Heart Beat” for Herman’s Hermits, was born Kenneth Alan James Hawker in 1940.

Jim Freeman, member of doo-wop group The Five Satins, was born in 1940

John Wilson, drummer for bands including Them, Taste, and Stud, was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1947.

Paul “Buffalo” Bruce Barlow, bassist for Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, was born in 1948.

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

Mickey Thomas, lead vocalist for the Elvin Bishop Group, Jefferson Starship, and Starship, was born born John Michael Thomas in Cairo, Georgia in 1949.

Kimberley Rew, singer-songwriter and guitarist best known as a member of Katrina and the Waves and Robyn Hitchcock’s Soft Boys, was born in Bristol, England in 1951.

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.