Today in Rock & Roll History: February 14th

1957: Guitarist Dale Hawkins, along with bassist Joe Osborne, drummer Ronnie Lewis, and 17-year-old guitarist James Burton recorded “Susie Q” in the studios of a Shreveport, Louisiana radio station after a local DJ heard Hawkins perform the song earlier at a club. Written by Hawkins and bandmate Robert Chaisson, the song was soon bought by Chicago-based Checker Records, a subsidiary of the Chess label, and released the following May. Added to the record’s publishing credits were Stan Lewis, a record store owner who had connected Hawkins with the Chess brothers, and Eleanor Broadwater, the wife of Nashville disc jockey Gene Nobles, who’d promoted the song on his station. Despite having nothing to do with the writing of the song, both were entitled to royalties, as a thank-you from Hawkins.

1964: “Bits and Pieces” by The Dave Clark Five was released in the UK. The single peaked at #2 on the British chart and #4 in the US after its American release in March.

1967: Per the suggestion of producer Jerry Wexler, Aretha Franklin recorded Otis Redding’s “Respect” at Atlantic Records Studio in New York City. Franklin’s re-imagining of the song lent it an entirely new meaning, leading it to become an anthem of the Civil Rights and Women’s Rights movements. Franklins’ sisters Erma and Carolyn sang backup vocals and helped come up with the song’s new hook, spelling out “Respect.” The phrase “sock it to me” also became a household expression. Franklin’s version surpassed Redding’s original recording, reaching the top of the R&B chart and became her first #1 on the pop charts.

1968: Manfred Mann had the #1 single in England with their cover of the Bob Dylan song “Might Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo).”

1970: A week after it topped the R&B chart, “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” by Sly and the Family Stone became the group’s second #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. One week a later the record also became their second #1 on the Cash Box pop chart.

1970: The Who recorded their first live LP, Live at Leeds at a concert at the University of Leeds in West Riding of Yorkshire, England. Guitarist Pete Townshend had reportedly balked at the idea of listening to all of the band’s accumulated live recordings for the purpose of compiling an album, so he had them all burnt.

1972: In New York City, John Lennon and Yoko Ono began a week long stint as co-hosts on the mid-day variety television program The Mike Douglas Show.

1977: The B-52’s made their first live performance appearing at a Valentine’s Day party in their hometown of Athens, Georgia.

1977: “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett was released. The single became his only #1 in US, topping Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.

1979: “Blow Away,” the lead single from George Harrison’s self-titled eighth studio album, was released. In the US, the song reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1990: In the middle of their Steel Wheels tour, the Rolling Stones performed for the first time in Japan at the first of ten sold-out shows at Tokyo’s Korakuen Dome. Although Mick Jagger had toured the country as a solo artist in 1988, visa hassles stemming from band members’ drug busts in the 1960s and 1970s had prevented earlier visits. Footage of the concert was later released in 2012 as Live at the Tokyo Dome.

2009: Bruce Springsteen topped the Billboard pop chart with his sixteenth studio album Working On a Dream.

Birthdays Today

Murray the ‘K’ Kaufman, rock and roll impresario, disc jockey, and early and ardent supporter and friend of The Beatles, who called himself “fifth Beatle,” was born in New York City in 1922.

Merl Saunders, vocalist, well-known session pianist, organist, and collaborator with Jerry Garcia, was born in San Mateo, CA in 1934.

Magic Sam, Chicago blues guitarist, was born in Grenada County, MS in 1937.

Eric Andersen, folk singer-songwriter, was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1943.

Maceo Parker, funk and soul jazz saxophonist best known for his work with James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic, was born in Kinston, NC in 1943.

Denny Zager, singer, songwriter, and half of the duo Zager and Evans, was born in Wymore, NE in 1944.

Vic Briggs, lead guitarist and pianist for Eric Burdon and the Animals from 1966-1968 who afterward became an independent arranger and producer, was born Victor Harvey Briggs III in Twickenham, Middlesex, England in 1945.

Doug Simril, Jr., guitarist and pianist with Boz Scaggs, was born in Dallas, TX in 1946.

Tim Buckley, singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, and father of Jeff Buckley, was born in Washington, D.C. in 1947.

Roger Fisher, guitarist and founding member of Heart, was born in Seattle, WA in 1950.

Kenny Hyslop, drummer for one of Midge Ure’s early bands, Salvation, and early member of Simple Minds from 1981-1982, was born in Helensburgh, Scotland in 1951.

Boo Hewerdine, singer-songwriter and record producer, was born Mark Hewerdine in England in 1961.