Today in Rock & Roll History: February 13th

1960: Frank Sinatra formed his own record label, Reprise Records, which later released recordings by The Beach Boys, Ella Fitzgerald, The Kinks, Neil Young, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Eric Clapton, Stevie Nicks, and Jimi Hendrix. One of the label’s founding principles under Sinatra’s leadership was that each artist was to have full creative freedom and at some point complete ownership of their work, including publishing rights. In 1963, Reprise was acquired by Warner Bros. Records.

1965: Jr. Walker and the All Stars debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts with “Shotgun.” Written by Walker and produced by Berry Gordon Jr. and Lawrence Horn, the song reached #1 on R&B singles chart for four non-consecutive weeks and peaked at #4 on the Hot 100.

1965: The Rolling Stones, Now!, the third American studio album by the Rolling Stones, was released in the US by their initial American distributor, London Records. The LP peaked at #5 on the Billboard pop chart.

1967: The Beatles’ double A-side single “Strawberry Fields Forever” backed with “Penny Lane” was released. The two songs were originally part of the sessions for their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, but with pressure from their record company and management for new material, the two tracks were released as a single and omitted from the album. “Strawberry Fields Forever” represented a departure from the group’s previous singles and while it initially divided and confused critics and fans, it has since been considered one of the band’s most influential works of psychedelic rock.

1973: Cat Stevens debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 with the second single from his Tea for the Tillerman LP, “Wild World,” which later climbed to #11.

1974: Bob Dylan and The Band performed the first of three shows at the Los Angeles Forum in Inglewood, the last stop of their American tour. Recordings from the shows were later released that summer as the Before the Flood album.

1978: Dire Straits began recording their self-titled debut album at Basing Street Studios in London.

1981: Phil Collins’ debut solo album Face Value was released.

1983: British new wave band Kajagoogoo achieved their only #1 single when their debut single “Too Shy” hit the top of the UK chart. The song peaked at #5 in US.

Birthdays Today

Boudleaux Bryant, half of hit songwriting team with wife Felice, who together wrote hits for the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Simon & Garfunkel, The Grateful Dead, Elvis Costello, Ray Charles, Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan, and many others, was born Diadorius Boudleaux Bryant in Shellman, GA in 1920.

Peter Tork, singer, bassist, and keyboardist for the Monkees, was born Peter Halsten Thorkelson in Washington, D.C. in 1942.

Bill Szymczyk, music producer and technical engineer best known for working with the Eagles in 1970s who also worked with artists that include B.B. King, Joe Walsh, The James Gang, The J. Geils Band, Wishbone Ash, and Elvin Bishop, was born in Mukegon, MI in 1943.

Anthony “Rebop” Kwaku Baah, percussionist best known for his work with Traffic and Can, was born in Konongo, Ghana in 1944.

King Floyd, soul singer and songwriter best known for his 1970 hit “Groove Me,” was born in New Orleans, LA in 1945.

Roy Dyke, drummer for groups that include The Remo Four and Ashton, Gardner and Dyke and contributor to George Harrison’s Wonderwall, was born in Liverpool, England in 1945.

Peter Gabriel, original singer for Genesis and a solo artist, was born in Chobham, Surrey, England in 1950.

Peter Hook, singer, songwriter, bassist, and co-founder of Joy Division and New Order, was born Peter Woodhead in Broughton, Salford, England in 1956.

Tony Butler, bassist for Big Country, was born in Shepherd’s Bush, London, England in 1957.

Henry Rollins, singer, musician, actor, writer, television and radio host, and frontman for Black Flag and Rollins Band, was born Henry Lawrence Garfield in Washington, D.C. in 1961.

Matt Berninger, singer, songwriter, frontman for the National, and co-founder of EL VY, was born in Cincinnati, OH in 1971.