Today in Rock & Roll History: December 7th

1962: The Rolling Stones held an audition for a possible replacement for bass player and founding member Dick Taylor at the Wetherby Arms pub in London’s Chelsea neighborhood. Despite Wyman’s interest in rock & roll artists like Jerry Lee Lewis and Eddie Cochran, to which the band insisted they were a blues band, Wyman’s offer to the band to freely use his Vox AC30 bass amp and a Watkins Westminster amp. He further sweetened the deal by buying the group’s broke members cigarettes and a round of drinks. Wyman was hired and stayed with the band for next 28 years.

1968: In Britain’s New Musical Express magazine, the Hollies’ recently departed Graham Nash announced the formation of Crosby, Stills & Nash with Byrds singer and guitarist David Crosby and Buffalo Springfield guitarist Stephen Stills.

1968: The Beatles self-titled double LP, commonly referred to as the “The White Album,” debuted at the top of the UK chart. The album remained at the #1 spot for seven of the next eight weeks. A few days before the year’s end, the album reached #1 on the Billboard pop chart.

1971: Paul McCartney’s new band, Wings, released their first album, Wild Life, in Britain and America. Paul, his wife Linda, and session drummer Denny Seiwell, who had all worked on McCartney’s previous album, Ram, were joined by former Moody Blues guitarist and vocalist Denny Laine. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios earlier in July, McCartney had been inspired by Bob Dylan’s quick recording schedule and recorded the album in less than a week. Looking to capture the raw, fresh sound of a live studio recording, five of the eight tracks were recorded in a single take.

1974: Jamaican Carl Douglas achieved his first hit and only #1 single with “Kung Fu Fighting.”

1976: A day before the release of the Eagles’ fifth studio album, Hotel California, the LP’s lead single, “New Kid in Town,” was released.

1991: U2’s seventh studio album, Achtung Baby, debuted at #1 on the Billboard pop chart.

1991: Michael Jackson topped the Billboard Hot 100 with “Black Or White.”

2007: Three years after his death, Ray Charles was honored in his hometown of Albany, Georgia with the unveiling of a bronze statue of the musician as part of a newly renovated park, dubbed Ray Charles Plaza.

Birthdays Today

Louis Prima, singer, songwriter, actor, bandleader, and trumpeter known as The King of Swing, who helped popularize jump blues in the 1940s and 1950s, was born in New Orleans, LA in 1910.

Harry Chapin, singer-songwriter, activist, humanitarian, film-maker, and producer, was born in New York City in 1942.

Mandré, synthesizer and keyboard player best known for recording with Motown Records who also toured with acts like The Who, Labelle, the Buddy Miles Band, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Frank Zappa, was born Michael Andrew Lewis in Omaha, NE in 1948.

Tom Waits, singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and actor, was born in Pomona, CA in 1949.

Tim Butler, songwriter, bassist, and co-founder of the Psychedelic Furs, was born in Teddington, Middlesex, England in 1958.